Kigali has been the economic, cultural and transport hub of Rwanda since it became the capital at independence in 1962. The city is developing fast and is very much a showpiece capital designed to impress visitors, from the humble tourist, to foreign investors and visiting dignitaries.
Kigali houses several memorials, museums and centers dedicated to the Rwandan Genocide, including the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. Other museums include the National Museum of Rwanda and Kandt House Museum of Natural History. The Presidential Palace Museum, the abode of the formal President Habyarimana, is another place of interest to get a glimpse of the life of a dictator. There is also a display on Rwandan clothing.
As a clean, comfortable and orderly city, Kigali is very popular with long term expats, and the city is teeming with Westerners enjoying a relaxed lifestyle. This in turn means the city supports numerous restaurants, coffee shops and supermarkets that cater to this demographic. By any standards therefore, Kigali is an excellent city in which to dine. A combination of Belgium culinary infl uence, plenty of cows, plenty of freshwater fish, and plenty of fresh vegetables equates to some of the best culinary experiences in the region.
And it’s all pretty affordable.
Local markets are stocked with Rwandan handicrafts, clothing, and fabulous colorful fabric from West Africa and just about anything else. The large market in Kimironko is a good place for fruits, vegetables, rice and other basic foodstuffs. There are different classes of hotels that one can stay in while in Kigali.