There is more to do in Kampala than you might think. It is a very multicultural place, with a mixed population of Baganda (the obvious majority) and other Ugandan tribes and Indians.
Kampala, which is only a 45-minute drive from Entebbe Airport, is a great place to visit all year round because of the great weather. The dry season months of mid-December to February and June to August are ideal for a visit. We’ll provide you with all of the best things to do in Kampala in this article. This is whether you’re looking for thrilling outdoor activities, the best restaurants, or things to do with kids, couples, alone, or on a budget.
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1. Check out the Baha’i Temple
The Baha’i temple was the first and only in Africa until 2021, It is located on Kikaya Hill in the suburbs of Kampala. At the Baha’iTemple, Learn about the Baha’i faith in Uganda while admiring the magnificent architecture. In addition to its religious significance, the temple is situated on a sizable plot of land with lovely gardens where you can indulge in relaxing and bird-watching.
Operating Times: Daily, except Monday and Friday. 8:00 AM – 5 PM
Address: 25b Minsaaki Lusaaka Rd, Kampala, Uganda
2. Visit the Gadhafi Mosque
This mosque serves as Uganda’s national mosque and was built with assistance from the late Muammar Gadhafi of Libya. Due to its location atop one of Kampala’s original “seven hills” and the old “British” colonial capital, it has a rich history. The mosque can accommodate up to 20,000 people and for stunning 360-degree views of Kampala, be sure to climb the 272-stair skyscraper.
The mosque is open for visits throughout the year. However, the months of January, February June, July, August, and December during the dry season are the best because there is less rain.
Operating Times: Mon – Fri. – 9:00 AM – 7 PM, Sat-Sun- 09:00 AM – 7 PM
Address: Gaddafi Mosque, 8H89+F8P, Kampala, Uganda
3. Check out the Uganda Museum
The Uganda Museum is a one-stop shop for a chronological historical tour of Uganda. It provides visitors with an excellent opportunity to learn about Uganda’s beautiful culture and history.
It houses a magnificent collection of local art masterpieces, ethnological and natural history exhibitions, and culture, displaying the true ethnicity of Uganda’s various tribes, archaeology and musical instruments. You can even play traditional musical instruments. Stroll through the palaeontology gallery to see the vast collection of fossils and bones.
Operating Times: Monday – Sunday. 10am – 5:30pm
Address: Plot 5 Old Kira Road, Kitante Cl, Kampala, Uganda, after Mulago Referral Hospital
4. Visit the Uganda Martyrs Shrine
The Uganda Martyrs Shrine is situated near Namugongo, which is 15 miles (24 kilometres) from the heart of Kampala. It honours the Ugandans from the Buganda Kingdom who lost their lives in defence of their beliefs. The shrine provides a chance to study the development of Christianity in Uganda.
Operating Times: Monday – Saturday: 8:30 am – 6pm, Sunday. 6:30am – 7pm
Address: Uganda Martyrs Shrine, Naalya-Namugongo Road Kampala, Uganda
5. Pay a visit to the Kabaka’s Palace
The official residence of the King of the Buganda Kingdom is Kabaka’s palace. It is situated at the top of Bulange Hill. The palace offers a rich history of Buganda, the largest kingdom in Uganda. The palace is a fantastic place to learn about Ugandan culture.
The guided tour of Bulange will include stops at the Lukiiko Hall, the Kabaka’s roundabout (junction), Mengo, and the “Empukku,” formerly the location of Idi Amin’s torture cells.
Operating Times: Monday – Saturday 8:30 am – 5 pm
Address: The Twekobe, Lubiri Ring Road Lubiri Ring Rd, Kampala, Uganda
6. Visit Kasubi Tombs
It is the only World Heritage Site in Kampala designated by UNESCO. Because of this, visiting the Kasubi Tombs is one of the best things to do in Kampala. The tombs are the burial places of four Buganda kings, the biggest kingdom in Uganda. Your guide will tell you fascinating tales like the Baganda’s belief that kings do not die, but rather disappear, and you will see some of Buganda’s regalia at the tombs. The main structure, called Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, was built for the Kabakas of Buganda as a palace in 1882. It was later transformed into a royal burial ground in 1884
Operating Times: Open 24 hours
Address: Kasubi Royal Tombs, Masiro Rd, Kampala, Uganda
7. Experience culture at Ndere Cultural Centre
The Ndere Cultural Center is situated in the Kampala suburb of Kisasi. It is a cultural centre where you can experience a mixture of all the cultures of Uganda. The centre provides Stunning shows, traditional dance lessons, and cooking classes for traditional Ugandan foods.
Operating Times: Monday-Sunday, 6 am-12 am
Address: Plot 4505 Kira Rd, Ntinda – Kisaasi Rd, Kampala
8. Check out Namirembe Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe, also known as Namirembe Cathedral, is Uganda’s oldest cathedral, having been built by the Church of Uganda in 1890. It is a popular tourist destination in Kampala because of its spectacular setting atop one of the city’s original hills. Its dome is visible from many locations throughout the city. High palm trees surround the cathedral, creating a magnificent sight.
Operating Times: Monday-Sunday 7:00 AM – 12:30 AM
Address: Namirembe Cathedral, Cathedral Hill Road, Kampala, Uganda
9. Check out Rubaga Cathedral
Rubaga Cathedral, also known as St. Mary’s Cathedral Lubaga, is located at the top of Lubaga Hill, one of Kampala’s seven hills.
This twin-towered cathedral was built as a shrine to 22 Ugandan martyrs who refused to denounce Christianity, It is also one of Uganda’s most revered tourist destinations. In 1885, Kabaka Mwanga II hacked these people to death.
The remains of the first African Catholic Bishop and the first Archbishop of Kampala are also kept in the cathedral.
Operating Times: Monday – Saturday 8:30am – 5pm
Address: St Mary’s Cathedral Rubaga, Mutesa Road, Kampala, Uganda
10. Visit the Shri Sanatan Dharma Mandal Hindu Temple
When visiting Kampala, you should also visit another house of worship that is conveniently located in the heart of the city. Visitors are welcome to the Shri Sanatan Dharma Mandal Hindu Temple without paying anything. It’s an incredible sight inside. Inside, photography is permitted, but you will be requested to make a small gift.
Operating Times: Monday-Saturday 6am-12:30pm and 4pm-8pm
Address: 10 Snay Bin Amir Rise, Kampala, Uganda
11. Shop and Buy souvenirs at the Craft markets
The city is home to various craft markets. Some markets are held on a weekly or monthly basis, while others are held in permanent places. Visit a craft market and buy a souvenir of Ugandan heritage, such as prints, home goods, canvases, paintings, or postcards, depending on what you’re looking for. The Buganda Road Craft Market, the National Theatre Craft Market, and Uganda Crafts 2000 Ltd. are three permanent craft marketplaces.
12. Check out the Uganda Independence Monument
The Uganda Independence Monument is located in the centre of the city, next to City Square Park. It depicts a man in a blanket holding up a kid while standing straight. It is one of Kampala’s most iconic and notable monuments.
It was built by a Kenyan student at Makerere University named Maloba shortly before Uganda gained independence in October 1962. It represents a newly born culture that has been unwrapped and set free from its colonial masters.
Operating Times: 24 hrs
Address: 8H8J+6M3, Speke Road, Kampala, Uganda
13. Visit the Owino Market and other Local Markets
Owino Market also known as St Balikuddembe Market is a chaotic multipurpose market where you can find almost anything you can imagine. This includes unique souvenirs to beautiful fabrics with African prints, bags, herbs, food, and electronics. You can also find a wide variety of used clothes and shoes in great shape. Since the market is always crowded and busy with over 20,000 people visiting daily. Watch out for thieves and pickpockets.
Other local markets include: Nakasero Market, Kalerwe Market, Nakawa Market, Wandegeya market and Nakulabye Market
Operating Times: Monday-Sunday 5 am-8 pm
Address: Owino Market , Kafumbe – Mukasa Road, Kampala, Uganda
14. Visit the Beaches on Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria holds the title of being the largest tropical lake in the world while being the Source of the River Nile.
The shores of Lake Victoria are a great place to relax, swim, and enjoy the incredible views. Some of the top beaches include; Imperial Beaches and Munyonyo Beach. They are also home to many different kinds of wildlife, including hippos, and Nile crocodiles.
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15. Take a Food tour and Try out Uganda’s street Foods
Kampala is a place where traditional local foods mix with Indian and Arabian influences. Kampala is a city with great restaurants but also interesting markets and street food stalls that have become renowned around the country. Uganda has a great food scene and it is possible to join a food tour. Posho (Ugali), Matooke and Rolex(Rolled eggs and Vegetables in a Chapati) are among Uganda’s most famous delicacies all travellers must try when visiting Uganda, and you can find them with the help of an experienced guide. You can end the tour in a local restaurant or learn to cook at a cooking class in at Ndere Cultural Centre.
16. Enjoy a night out
Kampala is renowned for being incredibly vibrant. People are constantly celebrating on the streets as though there is no tomorrow. Almost every corner of Kampala has bars and clubs. It should be noted that not all of the venues are safe. Going to a more upscale spot is advised. Ninety9 By The Embers, Club Guvnor, Thrones Kampala, Banana Bar & Bistro, Club Ambience, Club Venom, Fame lounge, Wave lounge, Bubbles O’Learys, and Casablanca Pub and Restaurant are just a few of the available options.
17. Visit the Kampala Old Taxi park
A walking tour led by a local will give you a close perspective of vibrant Kampala. It is just so relaxing to walk through Kampala’s city centre and discover a fascinating part of local culture. Your guide will point out hidden gems, such as the iconic Taxi Park, the Katanga Slum, Nakasero Market and other markets, Kampala Hindu Temple, and the best spots to have fun. But be prepared; wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses, and carry water to hydrate. Walking all day in the African sun is tough.
Address: 8H6G+WR3, Burton St, Kampala, Uganda
18. Attend a rugby or football match
Attending a rugby or football match is one of the most exciting things to do in Kampala if you visit at the right time of year. Some of Uganda’s best teams, as well as regional teams, are often competing and watch as old rivals Kenya and Uganda square off.
Basketball, beach volleyball, and goat races are some of the other fun sporting events in Kampala. Sports events are also a great opportunity to meet passionate locals, connect with them, interact with them, and get a taste of what Kampala has to offer. This is also an opportunity to put that Uganda jersey to good use. After the game, the fun usually continues at restaurants, clubs, and bars.
19. Attend a session at the Uganda parliament
A visit to parliament, which is open to the public, is an interesting way to spend an hour or two. You can either tour the building or watch the parliament in session during sitting weeks. The parliament meets from 2 pm-4 pm Tuesday to Thursday and is conducted in English. Request permission from the public relations department (room 114) to arrange a visit to the Ugandan Parliament Building.
A visit can usually be arranged on the spot. You must bring an identification card and dress appropriately.
Operating Times: Parliamentary sessions, Tuesday – Thursday: 2 pm – 4 pm
Address: Parliament Avenue, Kampala /P.O BOX 7178 Parliamentary Av., Kampala, Uganda
20. Enjoy Views of the City on a Boba Boda tours
A Boda Boda is the most exciting way to explore this vibrant city. A Boda Boda is a motorcycle taxi. The rider will take you through every corner of the city, saving you the time and energy of climbing the numerous hills. This allows you to see the city from various vantage points quickly and easily. The Boda Boda originated at the Ugandan-Kenyan border crossing. Even though they are risky, they can save you a lot of time in Kampala traffic.