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Cheap and Cheerful: 14 Affordable Places to Visit in Mombasa

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Are you planning a trip to Mombasa but don’t want to break the bank? Or are you a local looking for some cheap and cheerful ideas for a day out? Either way, you’re in luck!

In this blog post, we’ve put together a list of the best budget places to visit in the port city of Mombasa. From the city’s beautiful beaches to fascinating historical sites, there’s something for everyone. So, continue reading for details about affordable places to visit in Mombasa, Kenya.

1. Fort Jesus Museum

Fort Jesus, one of the cheap places to visit in Mombasa
Fort Jesus

If you’re looking to discover ancient events that made Mombasa what it is today, drop by Fort Jesus Museum. It was built by the Portuguese back in the 16th century to safeguard the Port of Mombasa. This UNESCO World Heritage Site houses fascinating collections of maritime artifacts and local art. The gardens surrounding the site are perfect for a relaxing stroll.

Best of all, admission is affordable. Fort Jesus Museum’s entry charge is 1,200 KES (10.18 USD) for non-resident adults, 400 KES (3.39 USD) for resident adults, and 200 KES for adult citizens. Children below 16 years pay half the entry fee. Plus, the museum is open from 8 am to 10 pm daily.

A tour guide comes in handy for informative insights about this historic site.

2. Old Town

A street in Mombasa's Old Town. Affordable places to visit in Mombasa
A street in Old Town Mombasa

The ancient area of Old Town Mombasa offers a nice spot to travel back in time. It has narrow streets and old houses. Some buildings here have carved wood doors dating back centuries ago. Be sure to visit the Old Port to reminisce about the days when the Portuguese ruled Mombasa.

Old Town is also home to some great food stalls and markets, where you can find cheap souvenirs to take home with you. Hire a tour guide for your safety and an in-depth understanding of the area. You can access their services at Fort Jesus at an affordable price.

3. Haller Park

A hippo at Haller Park. Low-cost places to visit in Mombasa
A hippo at Haller Park

Become one with nature at Haller Park. Here, you’ll breathe fresh air and see animals such as giraffes, hippos, monkeys, tortoises, and crocodiles. Animals are used to people and won’t run away, so you can get up close and personal.

This nature park in Bamburi is open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is a nice place to bring your kids. Haller Park’s entrance fee is as follows: Citizens and East African Residents: (Adults) 600 KES; (Children below 16 years): 200 KES. Non-residents: (Adults): 1,400 KES (11.88 USD); (Children below 16 years): 600 KES (5.09 USD).

4. Mombasa Marine National Park

A person swimming underwater while looking at a sea turtle. Cheap yet cheerful places to visit in Mombasa.
A person swimming underwater while looking at a sea turtle. Photo by Martin Hungerbühler.

About 30 minutes drive from Mombasa’s Central Business District is the Mombasa Marine National Park. This park is famous for its coral reefs that can be explored by snorkeling and diving. The nature preserve is also home to a wide variety of marine life, including dolphins, whales, and sea turtles.

It’s open daily, from 6 am to 6 pm, and is next to Serena Beach Resort and Spa. Entry into the park costs 100 KES (0.85 USD) for adults and residents. Non-residents: (Adults) 15 USD; (Children below 16 years) 10 USD. If you’re looking to explore some beautiful coral reefs without spending too much, the Mombasa Marine National Park is the place to go.

5. Nyali Beach

A section of Nyali Beach. One among many cheap places to explore in Mombasa.
A section of Nyali Beach

Spend time at Nyali Beach. It is among numerous unrestricted beaches in Kenya and the city of Mombasa. You’ll fall in love with its crystal-clear waters, smooth white sand, and stunning views. Also, you won’t incur any cost to enjoy yourself on the shore. You’re free to swim, sunbathe, cycle, or soak up some shade from palm trees.

6. Bombolulu Coast Workshop and Cultural Centre

Beautiful handicrafts on sale at Bombolulu Coast Workshop and Cultural Center. An inexpensive place to visit in Mombasa.
Beautiful handicrafts resembling musical instruments

Bombolulu Coast Workshop and Cultural Center is a popular tourist destination for those looking to learn about local communities, including Swahili culture. The center offers cultural performances and a wide array of handicrafts for sale. Handmade ornaments, bags, carvings, and jewelry are on sale here.

You can also watch traditional craftsmen at work, which is an amazing experience. Admission is cheap, making it a great option if you’re on a budget. Citizens and residents: (Adults) 250 KES (2.12 USD); (children below 16 years) 150 KES (1.27 USD). Non-residents: (Adults) 750 KES (6.36 USD); (children below 16 years) 550 KES (4.67 USD).

7. Nguuni Nature Sanctuary

Giraffes roaming in Nguuni Nature Sanctuary. Low-priced places to tour in Mombasa.
Giraffes roaming in Nguuni Nature Sanctuary

A visit to Nguuni Nature Sanctuary is a must for anyone looking to enjoy Mombasa on a budget. Entry is 300 KES for citizens, 350 KES (2.97 USD) for residents, and 800 KES (6.79 USD) for non-residents. The animal park is open daily, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and off Kiembeni Road in Bamburi.

You can also expect to see monkeys, giraffes, zebras, and numerous bird species in the park. Besides, it’s a great place to spend a sunny day in Mombasa.

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8. Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach (Pirates Beach)

Tourists strolling on Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach. Cheap places to visit in Mombasa.
Tourists stroll on Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach, one of the cheap places to visit in Mombasa.

Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach, affectionately known as Pirates Beach, is free and always open. This wide sandy beach has plenty of coconut trees that provide shade. To make your trip to the beach enjoyable, you can engage in swimming, boat rides, bicycle riding, and playing football.

Moreover, the beach is a great place for experiencing the laid-back vibe of Mombasa. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can dance the night away at The New Big Tree bar.

9. Mamba Village Crocodile Farm

Mamba Village Crocodile Farm. One of the cheap places in Mombasa to get up close with crocodiles.
Mamba Village Crocodile Farm in Nyali, Mombasa

Get up close and personal with crocodiles, snakes, and other exotic animals at Mamba Village Crocodile Farm. It’s an ideal place for families and school trips. The good thing is you can explore this beautiful area without breaking the bank.

Tickets cost: Residents: (Adults) 350 KES; (children) 200 KES. Non-residents: (Adults) 800 KES (6.79 USD); (children) 400 KES (3.39 USD). Besides that, this tourist attraction offers school trips and photography packages.

They feed crocodiles at 5 p.m. every day. Moreover, the crocodile farm is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

10. Mama Ngina Waterfront

A road leading to Mama Ngina Waterfront, a budget-friendly spot in Mombasa.
A road leading to Mama Ngina Waterfront

Mama Ngina Waterfront, next to the Likoni ferry channel, is one of the most popular places to visit in Mombasa on a budget. This 26-acre (10.52-hectare) park is always open and accessible for free. It’s a great location to enjoy the ocean breeze and view ships heading to and from Kilindini Harbour.

Activities such as horse rides, bicycle riding, and photography attract tourists to the park. In addition, vendors sell coconut water, fried cassava, water, and french fries in and around the tourist site. Kids love playing in the expansive park, too.

The waterfront park was refurbished in 2019 and is now well-paved and tidy.

11. Tudor Water Sports Marina

Kayaking is a fun way to pass the time. Cheap places to visit in Mombasa.
A tourist kayaking.

Tudor Water Sports Marina is a great place to visit on a budget. It’s home to some of the best watersports in Mombasa, and you can enjoy a day out on the water without spending a fortune. Some popular water sports activities here include deep-sea fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, and sailing.

Kayaking is 300 KES (2.55 USD) per hour. You can go there as a group for the water sports activities. This tourist site also features a seafront restaurant, gym, and accommodation.

12. Mombasa Tusks

Take pictures at Mombasa Tusks. The landmark is a cheap place for tourists in Mombasa City.
Mombasa Tusks (mapembeni) in Moi Avenue, Mombasa

You’ve seen them in pictures and postcards, but what are Mombasa Tusks? They are four giant aluminum tusks opposite Uhuru Gardens, Mombasa. Further, the tusks are a famous landmark of Mombasa and among the most photographed sites in the city.

They were erected in 1952 along Moi Avenue, at one time Kilindini Road; since Princess Margaret was to pass through the road from the port. Her five-week trip to Mauritius and East Africa commenced in Mombasa.

There are usually photographers around who charge to capture and print the images at an affordable rate. You can also bring your camera to the site.

13. Mombasa Butterfly House

Live tropical butterflies at Mombasa Butterfly House. Affordable places to visit in Mombasa.
Live tropical butterflies at Mombasa Butterfly House.

The next time you’re in Mombasa, be sure to visit the Butterfly House.

Butterflies are beautiful creatures, and the Butterfly House is a great place to see them up close. It’s also a great place to learn about these amazing insects. The staff at the Butterfly House are passionate about their work, and they’re happy to share their knowledge with visitors.

The Butterfly House is a great place to spend an afternoon, and it’s also affordable. Admission is 500 KES (4.24 USD) for non-resident adults, 200 KES (1.70 USD) for resident adults, and 100 KES for adult citizens. Children below 16 years pay half the admission charge. This conservation department is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and is within a three-minute walk from Fort Jesus.

14. Barka Restaurant

A plate of chicken biryani. Barka Restaurant is an affordable place to visit in Mombasa for food.
A plate of chicken biryani with some sauces and salad on the side. Image by 2sif Farooqui from Pixabay 

Tourists seeking a coastal culinary adventure should drop by Barka Restaurant. The eatery in Mombasa’s Old Town and a few meters from the Central Police Station serves authentic Swahili dishes, especially its biryani and pilau. It is so popular that sometimes Kenya’s fourth president, Uhuru Kenyatta, dines here while visiting Mombasa.

Mango, sugarcane, and tamarind juices are available. Food and drink prices are affordable, and the place is easily accessible by public transport. The restaurant is open every day from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Visiting Mombasa on a budget

If you’re looking to explore what Mombasa has to offer and don’t want to spend much money, never fear! There are plenty of affordable places to visit in Mombasa. From beautiful beaches to fascinating historical sites, the city has something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your budget-friendly vacation today!

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