Nairobi, being the metropolitan city that it is, is a thriving canvas for diverse artistic expressions and cultural experiences. From the colorful street murals to the numerous dance studios, exhibition venues, art festivals and theaters, there is always something new and exciting to explore in Nairobi’s thriving creative scene. A testament to the city’s dedication to the arts is the proliferation of institutions nurturing the emerging talent pool of next-generation artists, ensuring a promising future for the creative community. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, this guide presents an overview of the must-visit artsy hotspots to sample. These sites especially come in handy for artists, writers, or any creative professional attempting to find a crowd of individuals with similar interests to their own. So, grab your map and get ready to immerse yourself in the captivating world of Nairobi’s artistic tapestry.

Alliance Française de Nairobi

Alliance Française truly has a special place in my heart. I began intentionally pursuing the arts in my early undergraduate years. At the time, I was in dire need of a space within which I could get acquainted with artistic circles organically. More pertinently, I was a comrade – and as is typical of comrades, I hoped for an option that would cost me close to nothing. Alliance Française provided exactly that. Not only did it offer a welcoming and inclusive environment for artists, but it also offered numerous free or affordable workshops, exhibitions, and events that allowed me to immerse myself in the arts without breaking the bank.

Known for its rich arts and culture program, Alliance Française in Nairobi curates an extensive schedule of yearly events that showcase the diversity of local and international arts, with a focus on inspiring creativity. Book launches, open discourse forums, monthly exhibitions, concerts, film, cinema & theatre are, to name but a few, among the useful resources provided by the institution. Alliance Française de Nairobi endorses the creation and presentation of artistic expression spanning various fields, which mirror the multiplicity, ambitions, and complexities of our modern community. As a central conduit, this institution has fostered the seamless exchange of creative ideas between Francophone and Anglophone artists over the years.


Goethe-Institut Nairobi

Adjacently located to the latter, Goethe-Institut Nairobi similarly promotes creativity and cultural exchange through a wide range of programs and events. From workshops and artist residencies to film screenings and music festivals, they offer a platform for artists from different backgrounds to collaborate and showcase their work. By facilitating these interactions, the institute contributes to the vibrant artistic scene in Nairobi and fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures. The affordability of the programs and events offered by the Goethe-Institut allows for greater accessibility and participation from a wider audience, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to engage with and be inspired by the arts.


Kenya National Theatre

As goes by the name, Kenya National Theater, otherwise known as the Kenya Cultural Centre is home to all things theater-related. It serves as a hub for local theater groups, providing them with a space to rehearse, perform, and connect with fellow artists. The theater also hosts a variety of productions, ranging from traditional Kenyan plays to contemporary international performances, further enriching the cultural landscape of Nairobi. With its diverse programming, state-of-the-art facilities, dedicated staff and commitment to nurturing local talent, Kenya National Theatre plays a vital role in promoting the performing arts and fostering a sense of community among theater enthusiasts in the country. Multiple screenplay audition calls are also hosted in the premise, providing aspiring actors and actresses with opportunities to showcase their talent and potentially land roles in film and television productions.


Unseen Nairobi

Unseen Nairobi stands as a self-reliant cinema hub, specifically dedicated to the promotion of East African cinematic productions. In collaboration with filmmakers, Unseen is on a mission to rekindle people’s interest in cinema by creating a shared space for the enjoyment of films. Unseen Nairobi offers a diverse range of film screenings, including both classic and contemporary East African films, as well as international cinema. By showcasing a variety of cinematic works, Unseen aims to expose audiences to different perspectives and narratives, fostering a deeper appreciation for the art form. With its humble capacity of 50, the cinema provides an intimate and immersive viewing experience, allowing viewers to fully immerse themselves in the stories being told on screen. Additionally, Unseen offers opportunities for filmmakers to engage with audiences through post-screening discussions and Q&A sessions, further enhancing the overall cinematic experience.


Geco Tribe Café

The live band performances at Geco Tribe Cafe have propelled it to unparalleled fame, making it the quintessential locale for live shows in Nairobi. The establishment offers a vibrant and energetic atmosphere that perfectly complements the electrifying live performances of talented musicians and bands from various genres that grace the stage. It serves as a platform for both established and emerging artists to showcase their craft, creating a sense of community and support within the local music scene. It also offers a diverse menu of delicious food and drinks, ensuring that visitors can enjoy a complete entertainment experience while indulging in culinary delights. All in all, Geco Tribe Café guarantees an unforgettable experience filled with soulful melodies and captivating performances.