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The Top 10 Best & Iconic Malls in Nairobi, Kenya

With the exponential number of malls built each year, here are the top 10 in Nairobi that stand out from the crowd, either due to their unique offering, size, design, or character. A good mall generally means it has a better layout, lots of open spaces, glass walls to let more light in, spacious alleyways, and a couple of signature unique touches.

Personally, I’m a mall rat, there is something comforting about having everything you need under one roof, and it doesn’t just end at shopping, even just a casual hanging around just does it. In any neighborhood, the mall is probably the cool and peaceful place to hang out, away from the shenanigans of everyday life.

1. Two Rivers

Opened in February 2017, It is the second biggest mall in East and Central Africa, along Limuru Road in Gigiri. It was the talk of the town back then and still is. It is a 5-star mall, and while the biggest doesn’t equal being the best, it is still the best overall mall in Kenya.

Two Rivers Mall Logo HD
  • Area: 65,000 m²
  • Owner: Centum Group (58%)
  • Facilities: 180 stores, 1,900 parking bays, and 20 eateries

Two Rivers is my favorite mall. It has everything you would need, there is no store you will miss here. The comprehensive shopping experience is just on steroids. This is a place where you will spend your entire day and still won’t explore it all.

It just doesn’t end at shopping, Two Rivers offers more in terms of scenery, attractions, and activities. The giant amusement park is probably what makes it stand out from the crowd of malls, well that, and its sheer size.

Two Rivers Malls Entrance

Security is a big deal everywhere, but at Two Rivers, it’s like they take it to another level. The checks are so extensive that you’ll feel like they’re auditioning you for a spy movie.

You don’t go through one screen but a series of them, with giant dogs the size of buffaloes on standby. Everything is done extensively and this is the mall where you will feel the safest, and have peace of mind running mall errands.

For parking, that should be the least of your worries here. The spaces available are more than enough and barely even occupied by half during peak hours.

The mall is generally well-maintained and cleaned, it just looks pristine and new. Also, being this big means it is never overcrowded even in the presence of many shoppers. People are just spread apart and you can have your moments through like walking at your pace, without holding people back. This can’t be said for Sarit.

The downside here is navigation can be challenging if you are not a frequent visitor. This is not exclusive to Two Rivers, but it’s a Kenyan mall’s thing; they aren’t mapped out properly. But still, be sure you will find your way, after getting lost twice or thrice.

If you are an adrenaline junkie or an overgrown child then there is alot here. There is an amusement and theme park called Funscapes. It has a flume ride, indoor games, water bumpers, and the Ferris Wheel- which is the largest in Africa.

Read More: Your Ultimate Guide to Two Rivers Mall and Outlets

2. The Hub Karen

Established in 2016, The Hub Karen distinguishes itself from traditional shopping centers with its strong emphasis on sustainability. Notably, it stands out as an open-air mall, eliminating the need for air conditioning and thus contributing to its environmentally friendly focus.

The Hub Karen Logo HD

Going another extra mile in sustainability efforts, the mall utilizes solar systems that generate an impressive 450kV of energy, firmly establishing it as a green and eco-conscious establishment. The Hub Karen is the greenest mall

  • Area Size: 35,000 square feet
  • Number of Floors: Spread across 3 levels
  • Owner : Humphrey Kariuki

The Hub Karen accommodates more than 85 stores and draws in over 300,000 visitors each month, offering over 1,200 parking spaces for convenience. The mall’s layout is thoughtfully designed, featuring a serene pond and a delightful walking track.

The Hub Karen Mall

Renowned for its upscale offerings, The Hub Karen Mall presents an array of shops and restaurants, both local and international brands.

Arguably one of Nairobi’s and Kenya’s most stylishly designed shopping malls. The architecture is stunning, and The Hub Karen is often pleasantly uncrowded, making even weekends the ideal time to explore its offerings.

Beyond shopping, this mall offers a range of outdoor activities, including golfing, zip lining, airbag jumping, and wall climbing.

The mall’s regular operating hours are from 8 am to midnight, with the exception of Sundays when it closes an hour earlier at 11 pm.

Key Stores at The Hub Karen:

  • Elite Digital Solution (Apple Reseller)
  • Samsung
  • Adidas (Newly opened in 2023)

3. Village Market

The Village Market caters mostly to the diplomatic and expat community, but there are many locals also enjoying their time there. Village Market is the most unique, serene, and ambient mall. It is just elegant, except that everything here is on the expensive side.

One unique aspect is that the food court is located outside in open air. In fact, it was the first mall to introduce a food court in Kenya

Village Market Logo HD
  • Opened: 1995
  • Total Space: 20,000 m2  
  • Retail Space: 1,900 m2
  • Outlets: > 150
  • Owner: Green hills Investment

The mall maintains a clean and ambient environment, thanks to its architectural design and layout that cleverly incorporates semi-open spaces – a feature I personally found appealing. The decor is the best of all the malls in Kenya. This place truly has a character and each section is different, so it doesn’t feel monotonous walking through.

Village Market Mall Nairobi

Village Market is probably the most spacious inside the mall complex, the hallway feels like an highway, and this gives that wide illusion where everything appears big.

I tend to avoid crowded malls and this one creates that perfect ambiance. With its abundant choices for entertainment, dining, and shopping, the Village Market is a must-visit destination.

There is about everything you need at Village Market, from restaurants, liquor stores, supermarket and fast food chains. Plus it has extras like; a bowling alley, VR-gaming and a trampoline park.

The mall’s upscale prices may be the only bummer here, but everything feels premium and high end.

I don’t have anything bad to say about Village Market, just good aspects only. Security is as tight as at Two Rivers if not more. Photography is restricted here, just like in many malls. But here it is intense as the place is where “high profile individuals” visit like diplomats and politicians.

4. Westgate Mall

Westgate, situated in Westlands and in close proximity to the Westlands city center, owes its popularity to its convenient location. It is easily accessible to residents of Westlands and provides a comprehensive range of amenities, fulfilling all the expectations one might have for a mall.

Westgate Mall Logo HD
  • Total area: 350,000 m2
  • Retail space: 33,000 m2
  • Retail outlets:
  • Stories: 5

Westgate is an affluent mall that is classy, modern and ultra clean. Like most malls in Nairobi, signage is not at it’s best and easy navigation is for those who have frequented the place. The outlets variety is satisfactory but not the best with pleasant ambiance.

The mall is comprehensive and packs fashion stores, a supermarket, bowling alley, cinema, cafes & restaurants.Westgate has one of the best food courts of any mall in Kenya. It is also kid friendly and has a dedicated section serving as a play area.

Westgate Shopping Mall

On 21st September 2013, Westgate Mall fell victim to an attack by Al Shabaab militants, killing over 68 people and wounding 200 others. The standoff took 4 days, with hostages held, and the mall was blasted with explosives collapsing 3 floors. Four terrorists were killed.

Reconstruction was done and the mall was reopened in 2015. Ever since security has been beefed up, while this incident has made many people hesitant to visit Westgate, it is still booming, less overcrowded and security is on higher alert than ever with special teams deployed there.

Don’t let history hold you back, I recommend visiting Westgate as it is safe and has alot to offer.

5. The Junction Mall

Located along Ngong Rd, The Junction offers top-notch services and security, with everything you need under a single roof, including dining options, beverages, banking services, movie theater, gaming, and casinos. It is owned and managed by The Primarc Group and was opened in 2004.

The Junction Mall Logo HD
  • Operation hours:
  • Monday–Sunday:
    5:00 am–11:00 pm
  • Retail outlets: 91
  • Monthly visitors: 125, 000
  • Parking: 800 lots
The Junction Mall

The security measures at all entrances are stringent, ensuring a safe environment. The mall is easily accessible, offering ample parking space, and is designed with consideration for people with disabilities. It features a diverse range of shops, restaurants, and a playground for children.

This clean and well-maintained establishment provides an enjoyable destination for shopping, dining, and leisure activities. Additionally, various banks are conveniently located here.

On a less positive note, some of the security guards can be impolite, and the place can get quite busy and occasionally crowded.

6. Rossyln Riviera

Located along Limuru Road and is near Two Rivers and Village Market. The mall closes surprisingly early, at 8pm. That is too early if you ask me.

Rosslyn Riviera offers a fairly good atmosphere and a wide range of stores that combine to create a delightful shopping experience. The carefully curated collection of shops caters to a variety of tastes, featuring both local and international brands.

The mall’s spacious layout ensures a comfortable shopping venture, and the attentive staff members contribute to the overall experience.

Rosslyn Riviera Mall Logo HD

Additionally, it’s worth noting that parking is free, this is the highlight here allowing visitors to browse without concern for parking fees.

However, there is room for improvement in terms of signage within the mall. As someone visiting for the first time, I found it challenging to navigate and locate specific stores.

Rossyln Riviera

The presence of a few vacant shops can create a somewhat empty atmosphere.

Rosslyn Riviera hosts live music performances on weekends, houses an art gallery, offers dining options, features a supermarket, and provides well-organized underground parking.

7. Garden City

Garden City Mall is a popular destination, especially for locals. It is usually packed especially on Sunday afternoon, this mall is like a watered-down version of Two Rivers and design aspects are almost the same from the entrance to the layout. It is probably the most popular mall in Nairobi as it is normally almost to capacity despite its big size.

Garden City Mall Logo HD

Garden City Mall, is the 3rd largest mall; ( 50,000 m²)situated along Thika Super Highway, is a lively and thriving shopping spot that provides an enjoyable visit for people of all age groups. and it is a haven, especially for kids.

Garden City Mall

One of its standout features is its expansive layout and contemporary architectural design. The mall showcases a chic and modern facade, coupled with an ample and meticulously arranged interior. Thanks to its open-air design, and abundant natural light.

What I enjoy the most is the movie theater which is a true IMAX experience, with numerous outlets in the food court, and I mean numerous.

Read More: Your ULTIMATE Guide to Garden City Mall, Nairobi

Read More: Century Cinemax IMAX in Garden City, Guide & Review

8. Galleria Mall

Galleria Mall, situated along Langata Road in the Karen neighborhood, boasts a distinctive touch to the shopping experience due to its proximity to Nairobi National Park. It has several outlets and while shopping options are good, dining ones are even excellent.

Galleria Mall Logo HD
  • Opened: 2009
  • Size: 22,000 m sq
  • Outlets: > 70
  • Floors: 2
  • Parking: 700 lots

Its architecture is both stylish and aesthetically pleasing, it is spacious and well-lit layout creates a welcoming atmosphere that extends to its thoughtfully arranged shops, ensuring easy and enjoyable navigation. I won’t complain about navigation here

Galleria Mall

One often underestimated aspect of a top-notch mall is its cleanliness and security, and in these aspects, Galleria excels. The mall is meticulously maintained, maintaining a high standard of cleanliness and security and I love its minimalist style

9. Sarit Centre

Opened in 1983, Sarit is the oldest of all on this list. It is the most functional mall as it packs everything major despite the size not being the largest. Again, Sarit is located in the city center of Westlands hence it is the most accessible even by foot. The oldest store that is currently operational at Sarit is TBC (Text Book Centre)

Also, it being that old, it is a favorite to the now adults who grew up with it and have nostalgic ties like playing arcade games back in the day.

Sarit Centre Mall Logo HD
  • Operation Hours: 5 am–11:30 pm
  • Number of stores: 166
  • Retail Area: 74,000m sq
  • Parking lots: 4,000
  • Floors: 6

Security is just mid, not the best of other malls, it is a bit lax. The complex emphasizes greenery as there are plants everywhere, between the parking lots, and even a green wall at the back of the building. Parking is KSh 50 under 1 hour, considering.

Restaurant and cage options are so many, you can’t even explore them all.

In terms of ambiance, it is probably not the best experience as it is overwhelmingly crowded, and corridors and hallways are always at capacity, especially at peak. Feels like downtown CBD.

Sarit Centre

To add to crowding, Sarit has the worst navigation in modern civilization. Feels like you are solving a maze rather than finding your exit, and you will be lost most of the time if you are new.

I feel like Sarit is a place you go for errands and not a place to just sit, experience, and take it in. If you treat it like the functional mall it is, then you will love it here.

Sarit Expo Centre is for events and gatherings, located inside the Sarit Center. It offers one of the largest indoor spaces for events and product launches.

10. Imaara Mall

The Imaara, the most recent addition to this lifestyle mall scene, is owned by Tuffsteel Limited, a construction materials company.

Imaara radiates style, colors, and vibrancy with shiny decor, all garnished with wall art, creating an inviting casual ambiance and upbeat vibes.

The Imaara Mall Logo HD

It is located in Imara Daima along Mombasa Road and has been a great addition to the existing mall scenes in the area; Nextgen and Capital Center which are far away from the Imara Daima area.

The Imaara offers retail, dining, entertainment, banking, partying, and health facilities just like any standard Kenyan mall.

The Imaara Mall

The Imaara is a lifestyle mall and is the newest in the block. It is just located behind a petrol station and I don’t know how to feel about that. It has 3 floors and a rooftop, it is well spacious with a plethora of shops, security is okay and parking is right

Other Malls in Nairobi

  • (TRM)Thika Road Mall: Read: TRM- Thika Road Mall Your Ultimate Guide
  • Yaya Centre
  • The Waterfront
  • Gateway Mall
  • Lavington Mall
  • Nextgen Mall
  • Signature Mall
  • Prestige Mall
  • Valley Arcade
  • Capital Centre
  • ABC place
  • Southfield Mall
  • Ridgeways Mall

Honorable Mention: BBS Mall

BBS Mall(Business Bay Square) in the neighborhood of Eastleigh is set to be the biggest, overtaking Two Rivers which had the crown for 5 years. It spans over 130,000 m² of area making it the largest in Africa. It is already open but not operational to full as still construction and finishes are still underway.

A render of BBS Mall Nairobi

It has 3,500 retail spaces, 3 hospitals, 12 banking halls, 1,400 parking lots, 20 restaurants, and even a 7-star hotel, all under one roof. The food court is on the rooftop, unlike in the basement like most malls.

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