The 10 Best Things to Do in Kigali, Rwanda

February 25, 2018 Sheron Bogner

Inhabited since the 11th-century, what is now Kigali has been the home of Twas, Tutsis and Hutus. The city sits on a series of verdant ridges and lush valleys, and has a Muslim Quarter and a bustling market. Rwanda's capital is the site of battles that left over a million, mostly Tutsi and moderate Hutus, dead. Kigali Memorial Centre is a permanent memorial to 1994's Genocide, built on a mass grave where 250,000 are buried. Kigali City Tour Bus offers an excellent introduction to this now safe, friendly city.
Restaurants in Kigali

1. Kigali Genocide Memorial

KG 14 Ave, Kigali, Rwanda +250 788 303 098
Excellent
77%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
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5 based on 1 reviews

Kigali Genocide Memorial

A permanent memorial for the more than one million victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The memorial is a place of remembrance and learning where more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide have been laid to rest. Many people who lost loved ones in the Genocide visit to remember and grieve. There is no entrance fee and donations are gratefully accepted.

Reviewed By 77by77

A must visit in Rwanda. The visit takes you in a chronological manner through the events leading to Rwandas genocide and then right through the genocide and post genocide. You have option of guided tour or head set. I suggest guided tour. It is a very moving experience with pictures videos and even artifacts. You will need tissue! However it also demonstrates the resilience of the Rwandans to rise above the genocide and soar to greater hieghts. The childrens section will grip your heart. There is also a section dedicated to other genocides around the world.

2. Ntarama Church

Kigali, Rwanda
Excellent
79%
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5 based on 142 reviews

Ntarama Church

This site of the April 1994 massacre has been declared a genocide memorial. It remains a solemn tribute to those who were slain, the bones and belongings of the dead still lying among the aisles and the altar.

Reviewed By MumbaiRiders - Mumbai

"Ntarama Genocide Memorial" church is situated a few kilometers away from Nyamata Genocide memorial.On entering the large open air ground of Nyamata Genocide memorial a lady approached me explaining that she was the guide and opened the main door of the church that was locked .Entering the small church presented almost the same tragic sight as in Nyamata church..Here a lot of young children attending catechisnm classes lost their lives on 15th August 1994 when approximately 5000 people were massacred in this church premises. Nyamata church was the main parish church of the diocese while Ntarama was the subsidiary church .The simililarities between the "Jewish Holocaust" are the "Rwandan Genocide" are undeniable although the Jewish holocaust was on a larger scale with different political ideologies.

3. Nyamata Church

Kigali, Rwanda +250 788 303 098
Excellent
76%
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4.5 based on 223 reviews

Nyamata Church

Reviewed By MumbaiRiders - Mumbai

Its a long distance of almost 33 Kms from Nyanza bus/taxi terminus in Kigali to Nymata taxi stand and after a long journey on excellent paved highway roads finally reached Nymata taxi stand..From Nymata Taxi stand walked all the way to Nymata Church Genocide Memorial..I was the lone tourist at the memorial and the local lady guide showed and explained to me the various aspects of that terrible day on 14 th April 1994 when approximately 10,000 Tutsi worshippers who had taken shelter inside the church premises were massacred .This memorial is in the same Catholic church that has been preserved in the same manner as on the day this terrible human genocide took place.There are bullet holes on the corrugated roof of the church and entrance walls. Grenades were used to blast open the door which was locked shut by the worshipers. Inside the church were the clothes of the massacred victims A section contained the skulls and bones of the victims of the Rwandan massacre of 1994..Rosaries,prayer books of the victims were kept on the altar of this former church now a memorial museum.In the centre of the church is a underground vault where coffins containing the skulls of the victims is kept. A lone coffin of a woman stands out amongst the numerous nameless heaps of skulls enclosed in all the coffins. This woman was brutally tortured and killed and hence her coffin placed separately as a reminder of crimes against humanity.From the church we went into a open compound just outside the church premises that also housed a underground memorial of corpses in coffins.A total of 50,000 people lie buried in the "Nymata Genocide Memorial" at Nymata.Entrance to the Genocide memorial is free and visitors are obliged to drop some donations into a charitable box kept at the visitor's book signing table

4. Inema Art Center

KG 563 Street | Kacyiru, Kigali, Rwanda +250 783 187 646
Excellent
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4.5 based on 496 reviews

Inema Art Center

Founded in 2012 by brothers and self-taught painters Emmanuel Nkuranga and Innocent Nkurunziza, the Inema Arts Centre's Mission is to spur creativity for personal, social, and economic growth.At its core, Inema provides space for 10 artists-in-residence to explore their creative talent. Specialising in contemporary african art, Inema's artists produce painting, sculpture, and mixed media expressions, all of which is showcased at the Gallery at Inema Arts Center.Inema is also home to the following- Nziza Artworks, featuring bespoke jewelry, African linens and leatherworks made by women at the onsite Nziza Workshop- Art with a Mission, training children with limitted resources art to give them livelihood;- Inema Dance, our youth cultural dance troupe, Inema art center provides a room for weekly traditional dance classes to the experts .Inema is open daily from 8AM to 8 PM, located in Kigali in the suburb of Kacyiru. Take the first right after the Umubano Hotel (the old Novotel), and then the first left. Inema is located on KG 563 Street in 100 meters down the road, past Solace Ministries, behind Telecom House.

Reviewed By LaurenRkampala - Kampala, Uganda

You will be missing out if you overlook this artistic hub quietly redefining Kigali's character. The brother's (whose artwork is on display) are some of the most down-to-Earth, approachable and kind young men you will ever meet. They have a vision for how to leverage their creativity towards community cohesion and social impact. If you do one thing in Kigali, come to Inema Art Center and enjoy a lovely cappuccino or beer while admiring the work of some of Rwanda's most humble, trailblazing artists. Enjoy!!

Umuganda Road | 513 St House #9, Kigali, Rwanda +250 788 932 111
Excellent
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5 based on 121 reviews

Niyo Art Gallery

Niyo Arts gallery, is a collection of Rwandan creative artists and also hosts different artists from the region. we provide a space for 7 artists in residence to explore their creative talents. contemporary African art works, Music and Dance going with Drumming. its initiative of NIYONSENGA Pacifique the founder of the Niyo Cultural Centre dedicated to improving the lives of street children.

Reviewed By johanna s

I visited this art gallery whilst in Kigali to find some inspiration for my own art work based on Africa / Rwandan culture. There was a wide variety of paintings and sculptures that were really intriguing. Niyo art gallery is a wonderful place to visit and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone if your travelling to Kigali. You will be greeted with a warm welcome!

6. Kimironko Market

Kigali, Rwanda
Excellent
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4.5 based on 75 reviews

Kimironko Market

Reviewed By Tandroy F - Washington DC, District of Columbia

We came here to do some souvenir shopping before heading home. If you've been to other African cities, then you've seen markets like this before. It's a mix of food, stuff, and tourist souvenirs. It's definitely not as overwhelming as many other markets I've been to, and if this is your first it will be quite interesting to wander around.
We headed straight to the souvenir section. While most of the souvenirs you'll find are the same you'll find across East Africa, we enjoyed our visit and came away with multiple things. The prices were cheaper than I've found in other places, and I only negotiated a few times for the fun of it, since the prices were more than affordable.

7. Ivuka Arts Centre

565 St Kg, Kigali, Rwanda +250 788 620 560
Excellent
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4.5 based on 73 reviews

Ivuka Arts Centre

Reviewed By CloudsThick - Bradford, United Kingdom

I stayed here for several nights (booked via Airbnb)
Rooms:
Comfortable and clean, with a fantastic host.
Gallery:
Really interesting, great to find a thriving local arts scene.
Building:
The whole environment is a work of art, with sculptures and paint abounding.
Note: access is down some quite steep steps.

8. Camp Kigali Memorial

Rue de l'Hospital, Kigali, Rwanda
Excellent
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4.5 based on 40 reviews

Camp Kigali Memorial

Reviewed By april c - Decatur, Georgia

It was a small memorial with the orginal place where the 10 Belgiums tried to support the Rwanda people during their genocide. This is the original building that was gunned down during the Rwanda Genocide.

9. Muslim Quarter

Nyamirambo District, Kigali, Rwanda +250 782 111 860
Excellent
46%
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4 based on 61 reviews

Muslim Quarter

Reviewed By Tassaduqhussain51 - Multan, Pakistan

Muslim Quarter/Masjid Alfatah (Victory Mosque)
Masjid Alfatah is the largest and oldest mosque of Rwanda, located in suburban area of Nyamirambo (commonly known as Nyamijos) about 7 kilometers south west of Kigali city center. It is nicknamed and better known as “Green Mosque” because of its green and white minarets. It was founded in late 1930s when Muslims merchants first came to Rwanda and started settling in the suburbs of Kigali. It soon became an important center for learning Islamic teachings and holy book Quran. The mosque also houses an Islamic Research Center on a small scale.
The Green Mosque is considered a symbol of peace. It proved to be a safe haven for many Rwandans during the worst genocide perpetrated by extremist Hutus against Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Nyamirambo escaped some of the worst atrocities of the 1990s, largely due to its Muslim population. The homes and mosques of Muslims provided shelter to Tutsis. Their acts of righteousness, along with a loss of faith in Catholic and Protestant leaders, resulted in high conversion rates and Rwanda’s Muslim community has doubled since the genocide of 1994.

10. Librarie Ikirezi

Kigali, Rwanda +250 252 571 314
Excellent
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4.5 based on 41 reviews

Librarie Ikirezi

Reviewed By deboraflowers - New York City, New York

Whenever I visit a city or a country, I try to always visit bookstores, and find authors from that country, or music from that country. The Ikirezi bookstore was a very well-furnished bookstore, and the staff was very knowledgeable. I found Rwandan authors, African authors, and world-renowned ones. There was a good section on the history of the country, the wildlife, the music... and of course a section for educational toys for kids... and the cafe. Overall a good visit to a bookstore.

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