A Comprehensive Mombasa Travel Guide

By Azure Lee

Kenya, a country in East Africa, has a lot to offer tourists. While Nairobi, the country's capital, continues to be the main hub for both leisure and business travelers, the coastal city of Mombasa is beginning to draw more and more visitors for good reason.

Mombasa, a city that borders the Indian Ocean, is a great place to go to unwind and enjoy yourself at the beach. It is a vibrant metropolis that offers an intriguing blend of cutting-edge modern living and unique Arabian culture. This multicultural center is an island that is connected to the Kenyan coast via ferries and bridges. In addition to its renown for historical and cultural excursions, Mombasa boasts additional attractions, making it one of the best tourist destinations in Kenya.

Within this Mombasa travel guide, you will find all the information you need to visit this beautiful city, from the best things to do, what to eat, and more. Now, without further ado, let us begin.

Mombasa, a historic coastal town in Kenya, is known for its beautiful beaches and white-blue colonial architecture

Mombasa, a historic coastal town in Kenya, is known for its beautiful beaches and white-blue colonial architecture

Where Is Mombasa Located?

Mombasa, the capital and main port of Kenya, is located 485 kilometers from Nairobi on a coralline island in an Indian Ocean harbor. The island is 5.5 square miles (14.25 square km) in size and is connected to its 100 square mile (259 square kilometer) municipal territory on the mainland via causeway, bridge, and ferry.

This city offers everything, from tranquil beaches to exhilarating safaris. The fascinating old town, with its winding lanes and Arab architecture, is where Mombasa really comes alive. Mombasa is a vibrant, diverse city that is a melting pot of cultures, making it a top tourist destination in Kenya.

Mombasa is located 485 kilometers from Nairobi on a coralline island in an Indian Ocean harbor

Mombasa is located 485 kilometers from Nairobi on a coralline island in an Indian Ocean harbor

Best Things To Do In Mombasa

1. Stroll Around Mombasa Old Town

As the oldest city in the nation, Mombasa has a rich historical background that dates back to 900 AD. The city has been impacted by numerous outside factors as a result of its Indian Ocean coastal position, which has led to the development of its distinct character.

While strolling through the streets of Mombasa Old Town, you can observe an Arab influence evident in the intricate carvings adorning numerous old wooden doors that continue to be in use.

Additionally, you can see several Portuguese and British influences on the colonial architectural elements found all across the Old Town. It resembles traveling through time.

2. Explore The History At Fort Jesus

It is time to visit the Fort Jesus Museum to discover more about the rich history of Mombasa after spending a few hours strolling around the picturesque streets of Mombasa Old Town.

Fort Jesus, originally a Portuguese coastal fortress, has been transformed into a museum. Here, visitors can delve into the history of Mombasa and witness firsthand some of the archaeological discoveries from Kenya.

3. Check Out Mandhry Mosque

Visiting Mandhry Mosque is one of the best things to do in Mombasa. It is the city's oldest mosque and a superb illustration of Swahili architecture. As seen by its minaret, it blends rounded African geometric motifs with exquisite Arabic design.

Being a prominent structure in Mombasa Old Town, it is a testament to the fact that Swahili architecture originated locally in Africa.

4. Stroll Around Haller Park

Haller Park is a best national park to visit in Kenya if you want to get away from Mombasa's busy city, spend some time in nature, and interact with some of the famous animals of Kenya.

Originally a wasteland used for quarrying, Haller Park is now a recreational area for people to explore and a refuge for wildlife, including hippos. There are many different kinds of animals in the park, such as giraffes, hippos, oryx, elands, and tortoises.

5. Spend A Day By The Beach

Do not worry if you have had enough of touring Mombasa and its ancient sites. In Mombasa, there are many beaches where you can unwind for a few days. Nyali Beach is one of Mombasa's most well-liked beaches.

Nyali Beach is an extensive stretch of white sandy shoreline providing ample opportunities for ocean swimming and sunbathing on its expansive beach.

Unfortunately, it is not quite as peaceful as it once was, and the sheer amount of beach guys trying to sell you goods may irritate you. We strongly advise going to Diani Beach if you are searching for a more tranquil beach and do not mind traveling for an hour to spend the night somewhere else.

Best things to do in Mombasa

Best things to do in Mombasa 

6. Make your way to Mamba Village Center

The Mamba Villiage Center provides an opportunity to witness amazing crocodiles, including one dubbed Big Daddy. This unbelievably gigantic crocodile weighs 2,000 pounds and is said to have devoured five individuals before being captured and imprisoned at the institute. The center wants to spread awareness about these amazing reptiles that reside in Kenya and to give a home for those who are unable to thrive in the wild.

Mamba Center also offers equestrian rides, a lovely botanical park, and an aquarium. It is advisable to visit at feeding time to see the crocodiles in action. They might be a little lazy throughout the day.

7. Visit Shimba Hills National Reserve

This is home to several endangered plant species, birds, and animals. You will be astounded by the breathtaking surroundings, which include mesmerizing waterfalls, lily-covered ponds, and a biodiverse forest canopy. This is where you may discover the biggest densities of elephants in Kenya!

Shimba Hills National Reserve Day Trip

Shimba Hills National Reserve Day Trip

Where To Eat In Mombasa

1. Tamarind Mombasa

This restaurant undoubtedly claims the top spot if you search for a classy dining experience in Mombasa. Their delicious quantities and seafood selections are what make them most well-known. You would also be treated to a beautiful view of the surrounding natural landscape.

2. Misono

Great Japanese food is served at this restaurant, which is well-known for its tepanyaki. They also have delicious, freshly prepared fish. Since there is free parking available at the restaurant, you will not need to worry about finding a spot. The restaurant's atmosphere and cuisine exemplify genuine Japanese culture.

3. Shehnai Restaurant

The restaurant's decor is rather simple, with chairs and tables grouped together. This does not make the food that is presented any less delicious. They serve delicious, spicy, real Indian food. They also have delicious vegetarian selections and expertly cooked barbecue.

4. Tamarind Dhow

The views both inside and outside the dhow at night are quite breathtaking and romantic, and you can take in the lovely vista of the water all around you. They provide a huge selection of vegetarian and African dishes in addition to seafood cuisines. You will be kept delighted the entire time by the charming music played by the live band on board.

Where to eat in Mombasa

Where to eat in Mombasa 

5. Imani Dhow Restaurant

The eatery resembles a stationary dhow, never setting sail. While presenting African, Seafood, and International cuisines, it garners particular acclaim for its exceptional seafood choices. They have a good assortment of wines as well. 

Where To Stay In Mombasa

1. Mombasa Comfort House

Ideal for singles and couples, this two-bedroom apartment is located in the center of the old town. It features free Wi-Fi, a lounge space, a fully furnished kitchen, a refrigerator, a smart TV, and a clean bathroom, in addition to lovely sea views. 

2. Hotel Sapphire

This favorite hotel on Mombasa Island is this 3-star establishment because of its prime location, lovely outdoor pool, spotless rooms, and exceptional customer service. Stay at Sapphire if you are a first-time visitor to the area or need somewhere to crash before a train or plane. 


This lodging option in Mombasa's downtown is ideally situated among dining options, transport stops, and nightlife hotspots. It features a multi-cuisine restaurant, free parking, stylish rooms with a desk and flat-screen TV, and more. 

How To Go To Mombasa

1. By air

Mombasa's closest airport is Moi International Airport, which is located around 13 kilometers from the city. Regular international flights connect it to the rest of the country and other cities in Europe.

2. By Road

Although they are available for travel outside of Mombasa, buses are not typically the preferred means of transportation within the city. Once you are there, you can go around the city via local buses, tuk tuks, or taxis.

3. By Rail

From Naibori, there are numerous rail options to Mombasa. You may get there in a maximum of thirteen hours. If you decide to take the train, you may get up close and personal with the local scenery and fauna. 

How to go to Mombasa

How to go to Mombasa  


As one of the top tourist destinations in Kenya, Mombasa is a must-see when traveling through the area. There are still a ton of different activities and experiences you can attempt during your visit; this Mombasa tourist guide, however, could only summarize our favorite and most crucial advice for visitors to the city.

As you prepare for your Mombasa adventure, we've made the travel experience even more convenient. With our user-friendly website, applying for a Kenya eTA is a breeze. Save time, skip embassy visits, and enjoy swift approval, allowing you to focus on the excitement of exploring Mombasa.

So, what are you waiting for? Experience a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Kenya in East Africa!