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Ideal duration: 2 days

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"The city of fun, games and adventure. "

Mombasa Tourism

Mombasa is one of Kenya's most popular tourist destinations. The coastal city is located along the Indian Ocean and is the second largest city in Kenya. From thrilling safaris to relaxing beaches, this city has it all. It's also famous for its nightlife.

Mombasa is culturally diverse - a blend of Indian, African and Arabic cultures. Mosques, Jain temples and more can be found dotted across the city. The Mombasa Tusks are an important landmark, built to form the letter M back in 1956 to commemorate Princess Margaret's visit. Other famous spots include the Spice Market and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fort Jesus.

Mombasa has developed into one of the busiest ports in Africa and an economic hub owing to its natural beauty, cultural diversity and rich history. With coral reefs, seafood, architectural wonders, and white sand beaches, there is so much to do in Mombasa.

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Currency in Mombasa

The currency used here is the Kenya Shilling (KES). Euros and USDs are accepted at most places in Mombasa.

Shopping in Mombasa

Mombasa is a great place for shopping for knick-knacks like artefacts, souvenirs, clothes, household items and food items. Found in most local shops and street stalls are Mombasa Sandals. These are made from leather and old tyres and make an excellent souvenir. African fabrics like esos (khangas) and kikois are also easily found here. 

Diani Beach Shopping Centre is a great place to shop for all things exclusively African. For delicate beaded jewellery, visit the Kazuri store. For an authentically Kenyan shopping experience, head to central Mombasa, stroll along streets such as Mwembe Tayari and pick up anything that catches your eye there.

Nightlife in Mombasa

Mombasa has quite a good nightlife and a fun vibe to it. Il Covo is a famous spot which has a restaurant and a disco, frequented by the Indian locals of Mombasa. Florida Club is Mombasa's most famous club. You can also head to Tapas Cielo or Tamarind Dhow for a live band and dinner aboard a cruise.

History of Mombasa

The exact date when the city was found is debatable. But, several history books say that Mombasa was found as early as 900 A.D. It is also believed that it was a prosperous town. It was a well-to-do trade centre, dealing in spices, ivory and more. Mombasa was the capital of the Protectorate of Kenya, after 1887. Later, Kenya's capital was shifted to Nairobi, which has not changed since.

Language of Mombasa

A vast majority of the locals here speak Swahili. English is also spoken to some extent.

Mombasa Customs

Tipping is not compulsory here. As always, it is definitely considered polite if you do. Casual clothing is the norm here. However, when visiting Old Town, women should preferably not wear sleeveless tops or shorts.

Religion of Mombasa

Muslims are predominantly found in the city of Mombasa. There are a small number of Catholics as well.

Daily Budget for Mombasa

A luxurious stay in Mombasa will cost KES 9,400 excluding accomodation. A mid-range trip would come up to KES 4,375 while a budgeted trip will cost you KES 2,200.

Exchanging Money in Mombasa

You will find currency exchange stations at airports. ATMs for your use will also be available at the airport.

Best Time to Visit Mombasa

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How to Reach Mombasa

How to Reach Overview

You can get to Mombasa by plane, train, bus, cab or car.

How to reach Mombasa by flight

You can get to Mombasa from Moi International Airport, which is about 13 km from the main city. From there, you can rent a taxi to take you to the city or even a bus.

How to reach Mombasa by train

You can get to Mombasa by train from Nairobi with two daily departures. The journey takes around 6 hours. The Mombasa railway station is located around 15km from the city centre/

How to reach Mombasa by bus

There are a few buses coming to Mombasa from other cities. Matatus can also get you to Mombasa city.

How to reach Mombasa by waterways

Local transport in Mombasa

You can use two modes of transport to get around Mombasa - matatus or mini-buses and tuk-tuks or auto rickshaws. Matatus will cost you about KSh30 for a short trip. The range for a tuk-tuk would lie between KSh50 to KSh200.

Mombasa Photos

Mombasa, Kenya
An aerial view of Mombasa skyline at sunset from the old town

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FAQs on Mombasa

What is the local food in Mombasa?

Mombasa has a wide variety of delicious food. Street food is your best bet if you want to indulge in the best of sea-food and coastal cuisine. Viazi Karai or fried potatoes is a specialty here, apart from prawns, octopus and other fish dishes.
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What are the places near Mombasa?

The top places near to Mombasa are Nairobi which is 440 km from Mombasa, London which is located 7235 km from Mombasa, Dubai which is located 3663 km from Mombasa, Amsterdam which is located 7075 km from Mombasa, New york city which is located 12286 km from Mombasa

What are the top hotels in Mombasa?

There are 519 in Mombasa which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Mombasa are Fastcare Lamarina villa c9, Time Out Art Camp, Sun Set Paradise Baringo 12, Emirates Reef Apartment, SIFA PRIVATE APARTMENT, Joe's Beach Close Studio. You can see all the hotels in Mombasa here

What is the best way to reach Mombasa?

You can get to Mombasa by plane, train, bus, a cab or car.
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What is the best time to visit Mombasa?

This time period witnesses lots of bright sunshine and spotless skies. Needless to say, your time here will be much more enjoyable and you will be able to make the most of the safaris, if you visit during these months.
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