From historic monuments to creative movements to pulsating nightlife, the modern city of Kampala has ample diversity of attractions and culture to interest every visitor. One day in the Ugandan capital is ample time for a memorable overview. Here are our tops tips on how to maximize 24 hours in Kampala.
Morning: Hit the Highlights
Start your day with a comprehensive city tour, and gain an overview of Ugandan history as you take in landmarks such as Kabaka’s Palace, the Uganda Martyrs Shrine, the Uganda Museum, and the Independence Monument. Kampala’s main sights are spread across its 21 hills, and whether you’re interested in traditional customs or ongoing development projects, there are tours to suit—and most offer round-trip transfer from your hotel for fatigue-free exploration. A full-day tour eliminates the need for advanced planning, and allows you to tick off several highlights on limited time.
Afternoon: Explore Further
Enjoy lunch included in your full-day tour package, or, if traveling independently, sample a street vendor’s “rolex” for a taste of Kampalan fast food before continuing to explore the city with ease by foot, taxi, or boda boda (bicycle or motorcycle taxi). Several galleries and creative spaces, such as 32° East/Ugandan Arts Trust and Under Ground, offer an alternative perspective to historical sightseeing tours, and it’s possible to visit to the prestigious Makerere University, particularly known for its literary and political alumni. If you need a rest, while Kampala’s rapid growth has negatively impacted green spaces in the city, community hubs such as Maisha Garden provide natural retreats from the bustling streets.
Night: Do Dinner and Dancing
After a busy day of sightseeing, grab a bite in a popular Central Kampala or Kololo restaurant, or head off the beaten track to one of the city’s often-overlooked vegetarian spots, which are wonderfully representative of Kampala’s sizable Indian community. Note that no visit to Kampala is complete without sampling its thriving nightlife, and the clubs and bars of Kololo and the Industrial Area will keep you entertained into the wee hours. If your feet are too fatigued to dance the night away yourself, check out Ndere Centre, where traditional dance and music shows are scheduled regularly.