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The 15 Iconic Nairobi CBD Building Landmarks

Are you looking for the most famous buildings in Nairobi CBD? This helpful guide covers the top ten iconic buildings in the CITY, perfect for a first-time visit.

Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC)

Even though it’s not the tallest or the fanciest, the KICC is the most well-known landmark in Nairobi and Kenya at large.

Its unique shape is like the symbol of the city. You can see it in old money, and it’s often used to represent Nairobi in movies and films. The KICC is a symbol of the city’s identity.

The KICC represents a blend of innovation and cultural inspiration. The tower and amphitheater incorporate innovative design elements inspired by the traditional conical houses found in various cultures across Kenya. This fusion of modern architecture with traditional influences reflects a connection to the rich cultural heritage of the region.

The KICC, situated in Nairobi’s City Square, serves as a crucial location for numerous government offices and conferences. Initiated by Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, the first President of the Republic of Kenya, the construction of this landmark began in 1967 and concluded in 1973.

Originally, KICC was the tallest building upon its completion, it now holds the 9th position in 2024, standing at a height of 105 meters. Surpassing the Hilton Nairobi, the KICC is renowned for its role as a prominent meeting venue in Nairobi. Equipped with state-of-the-art conference and meeting rooms, KICC is the home of any major conferences and big events.

KICC Closeup

The tower, featuring a unique structure composed of a cylindrical form made up of several cuboids, includes an amphitheater and helipad resembling cones, the building is entirely (structurally) constructed with concrete.

Times Towers

Times Tower Nairobi

The Times Tower is an office building situated in Nairobi, Kenya, standing at a height of 140 meters. It currently holds the fourth position in Kenya’s list of tallest buildings, following Britam Tower, GTC Office Tower, and UAP Tower.

The main tower has 38 floors, and besides it is a 7-story banking complex and an 11-split-story car park, the tower is equipped with 10 elevators. Designed to withstand earthquakes, it exclusively serves as the headquarters and main office for the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

Times Tower Entrance

Security measures are stringent, and its proximity to the Central Bank of Kenya adds an extra layer of control. Access beyond the ground floor requires a Kenyan ID card for locals or passports for foreigners.

Times Tower was built by The Central Bank of Kenya for purposes of revenue collection and management.

The Times Tower held the title of the tallest building in East and Central Africa for 15 years from 2000, surpassing the Teleposta Towers. However, it was later surpassed in 2015 by the UAP Old Mutual Tower in Upper Hill. Situated along Haile Selassie Avenue, construction on the Times Tower began in 1992 and concluded eight years later in 2000.

Serving as the headquarters for the Kenya Revenue Authority, the Times Tower is a symbol of economic development, reflecting Nairobi’s commitment to growth and progress.

The Kenyan Parliament

The Kenyan Parliament

The Parliament Buildings are not only the seat of Kenya’s government but also a remarkable architectural ensemble. Completed in 1954, the structures display a blend of British colonial and African design elements, making them a symbol of Kenya’s independence.

The design is as British as it gets since it was heavily inspired by the Palace of Westminster a government building area in London, most notably the Clock Tower.

London, United Kingdom – Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament) with Big Ben clock tower. UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Kenyan parliament was built in 1954 and was known as Legislative Buildings and was later renamed to The National Assembly. The parliament is essentially where the national assembly motions and debates go on.

The upper house is the senate while the lower is the national assembly. Just like KICC, the parliament is an iconic landmark featured on old Kenyan notes.

Nyayo House

Nyayo House
Nyayo House from Upperhill

Named after the Swahili word for “footsteps,” Nyayo House is a government building that houses various offices.

Nyayo House, situated on the junction of Kenyatta Avenue, serves as the location for various government departments, including immigration.

This is where the processing of passports and visas takes place. Standing at a height of 84 meters with 27 floors, the building was initially intended to be named Nairobi House.

Construction commenced in 1979, a year after Daniel Arap Moi assumed the presidency of Kenya, and was completed in 1983.

Notably, Nyayo House gained notoriety due to its detention facilities in the basement, commonly referred to as the “Nyayo House torture chambers.”

Many critics of the Moi government faced physical abuse within these facilities. Additionally, the building is infamous for its association with state corruption, particularly within the immigration department. Securing a passport often involves bribery. Nyayo House also functioned as the provincial headquarters for Nairobi.



Odeon presently functions as a pivotal transportation hub in Nairobi, serving as the location where matatus and buses to various neighborhoods are stationed.

Despite not towering over the skyline like some other structures visible from a distance, the Odeon has become an iconic landmark in the Central Business District (CBD). Odeon remains a highly visible landmark, particularly beneficial for individuals unfamiliar with the city who can easily meet up

Originally established as a cinema in 1928 at the intersection of Latema Road and Tom Mboya Street, Odeon Cinema transformed in the early 1950s, making it the oldest cinema in Kenya. However, the cinema faced financial challenges and was repurposed into a church hall, which proved unsuccessful for its owners.

Odeon internationally closed its theatres across many nations due to the ongoing pandemic. Currently, the venue is utilized for other activities such as offering a space for recreational pursuits.

The area is bustling with shops and stalls where one can purchase accessories, clothes, shoes, and more. It is advisable to be cautious with personal belongings due to the crowded nature of this part of Nairobi.

CBK Pension Towers

CBK Pension Towers

Launched in May 2022, it was voted the most impressive architectural masterpiece in Kenya and Africa, owned by the Central Bank of Kenya, Pensions Division.

It is a twin-glass tower building with towers curved and facing opposite directions. The building’s design is meant to symbolize retired and senior citizens and how they benefit from the country’s pension scheme.

Pension Towers is located on Harambee Avenue, in the Central Business District, Nairobi, Kenya.  The 27-floor skyscraper has been valued at Ksh 2.49 Billion and features 2 separate buildings facing different directions, 6 levels of basement, office suites, as well as retail stores for other tenants.

Teleposta Towers

Teleposta Towers Nairobi

Currently the 7th tallest building in Nairobi, and Kenya, this is a 120m structure whose construction was completed in 1999 after 3 years.

Teleposta Towers is located along Kenyatta Avenue. The structure has 27 floors and Houses; Telkom Kenya, Ministry of Communication & Ministry of Trade.

Kencom House

Kencom House Nairobi

After the building was unveiled in 1977, the area became known as KenCom. The building while not trying to touch the sky like others, is expansive and long, so long that it stretches almost half the length of the avenue along it.

Kencom House headquarters is the KCB Bank, and outside is one of the busiest bus terminals to almost all parts of the city. This terminal unlike others, features exclusively city buses; especially Kenya Bus Service(KBS) and City Shuttle.

i&M Bank Tower

i&M building tower nairobi

i&M Bank Tower is the iconic blue skyscraper that you can see all through from all sides of CBD. It is also the 15th tallest building in Nairobi.

Just like Teleposta Towers, i&M Tower is located along Kenyatta Avenue, Completed in 2001, the tower is the main headquarters for i&M Bank, completed in the year 2001 and boasts a substantial 18 stories, soaring to a height of 99 meters.

Nation Centre

Nation Centre Nairobi

Located along Kimathi Street, this is the home to Nation Media brands including; Daily Nation, NTV, Taifa Leo, Business Daily, and more. It is just over 80m, with 17 flours.

Completion was in 1997 and while not a skyscraper or anything, it sticks out with its twin circular towers that are almost Zebra stripped, so your eyes can’t ignore the structure.


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