A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Arusha vs. Nairobi for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Arusha or Nairobi?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Arusha and Nairobi can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Arusha or Nairobi?

Arusha

Arusha is a city in East Africa's Tanzania, located at the base of volcanic Mt. Meru. It’s a gateway to safari destinations and to Africa’s highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro, lying some 100 kilometers northeast. To the west lies Serengeti National Park, home to wildlife including lions, rhinoceros, giraffes and leopards. Annual migrations feature huge herds of wildebeests crossing its plains. Arusha is Tanzania’s gateway to the northern circuit of stellar national parks and the starting point of many a memorable safari. It’s also a large, sprawling city which offers a nice break from the rigors of life on the African road – it has excellent places to stay and eat and, for the most part, it’s lush and green and enjoys a temperate climate throughout the year. Arusha is a great destination, and you're sure to enjoy your time here, no matter what your interests are.

Nairobi

Nairobi is Kenya's capital as well as the country's largest city. With a population of about 3 million, it is also one of the largest cities in Africa. It is a prominent city both politically and financially within the region. There are many international companies that are located in Nairobi and the Nairobi Securities and Exchange is one of the largest in Africa.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best G Adventures Tours to Tanzania, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Tanzania, The Best Safaris in Kenya, and The Best Budget Safaris in Kenya.


Which place is cheaper, Nairobi or Arusha?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Arusha is $172, while the average daily cost in Nairobi is $62. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Arusha and Nairobi in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Arusha $126
    Nairobi $12
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Arusha $252
    Nairobi $24
Compare Hotels in Arusha and Nairobi

Looking for a hotel in Arusha or Nairobi? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Arusha


Hotels in Nairobi


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Arusha Hotel Prices and Nairobi Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Arusha $13
    Nairobi $11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arusha

Also for Arusha, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Transfer Around Moshi and Arusha in Tanzania: $75
  • Kilimanjaro International Airport to Arusha City Center Transfer: $54
  • Kilimanjaro Airport Transfer to Moshi: $65
  • Airport transfer: $45
  • Airport Transfers, Arusha Airport and Kilimanjaro JRO: $70

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Nairobi

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Nairobi:


  • Taxi from Airport
    $9.29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nairobi

Also for Nairobi, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Safe and Private Airport transfer in Nairobi : $20
  • Safe and Executive Airport transfer in Nairobi: $40
  • Safe Private Airport transfer in Nairobi : $28
  • Professional Airport Transfer Service in Nairobi: $33
  • Private Transfers from Nairobi Airport to Hotels: $170
  • Private Transfer to Naivasha from Nairobi: $70
  • Private Transfer from Nairobi to Naivasha: $70
  • Private Transfer from Nairobi Airport to city or Maasai Mara: $495
  • Private Transfer from Nairobi Airport or city To Maasai Mara By Road: $135
  • Private Transfer from Jomo Kenyatta Airport (NBO) to Nairobi: $83
  • Private Road transfer from Nairobi to Amboseli: $150
  • Private Departure Transfer in Nairobi: $115

Is it cheaper to fly into Arusha or Nairobi?

Prices for flights to both Nairobi and Arusha change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Arusha $23
    Nairobi $7.51
Typical Food Prices in Arusha

For Arusha, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • A Quick Lunch (for 2)
    $2.10

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Arusha

For Arusha, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Cooking and Sewing & Jewelry Workshops in Arusha: $27
  • NGO Lifted Strong - Traditional Tanzanian Cooking Class: $50
  • Africa health cuisine food tour: $106

Typical Food Prices in Nairobi

For Nairobi, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dinner for Two
    $5.03

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nairobi

For Nairobi, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Nairobi:Carnivore Restaurant Dinner and Pub Crawling.: $47
  • Local Market Tour and Traditional Meal Cooking Class: $54
  • Enjoy Traditional Kenyan Food Cooking Class With a Host.: $54
  • Nairobi Private Traditional Kenyan Cooking Class with Lunch: $55
  • Traditional Kenyan Cooking Class & Local Market Tour : $55
  • Private Interactive Cooking Class and Market Tour in Kinoo: $65
  • Carnivore Resturant Dinner Experience : $68
  • Cooking Lesson of Local Food $ Lunch: $68
  • Carnivore Restaurant Lunch or Dinner Experience: $80
  • Carnivore Dinner Experience: $80
  • Safari Park Hotel Show & Dinner Experience In Nairobi Tour: $89
  • Safari Cat Dancers Show And Dinner: $92

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Arusha $44
    Nairobi $46

Tours and Activities in Arusha

For Arusha, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • From Day Tour in Arusha National Park: $279
  • Marangu waterfall & Coffee making Cultural Tour | BURIGI CHATO SAFARIS CO LTD : $150
  • Materuni Waterfalls & Coffee making Cultural Tour | BURIGI CHATO SAFARIS LTD : $167
  • Materuni Waterfalls, Visiting Chagga Village, CoffeeTour Kikuletwa Hotsprings: $100
  • Materuni Waterfalls,Coffee and Chemka Hotspring Tour: $100
  • "Ultimate Tanzanian Adventure: 5-Day Safari Experience": $4,275
  • 1 Day Arusha National Park tour: $270
  • 1 Day Best Of Tarangire National Park Tour on 4x4 Jeep: $675
  • 1-Day Ngorongoro Crater Special Tour: $645
  • 12 Days Best Of Tanzania Safari & Zanzibar Beach Tour: $8,745
  • 12 Days Best Of Tanzania Safari & Zanzibar Beach Tour: $8,775
  • 1Day Safari Tour Tarangire National Park Join Group: $279

Typical Entertainment Prices in Nairobi

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Nairobi's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Village Visit
    $15

Tours and Activities in Nairobi

For Nairobi, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Amboseli Day trip Private tour: $200
  • Elephant Orphanage & Giraffe Centre Tour: $95
  • Half day tour to Elephant orphanage & Giraffe Centre Nairobi: $95
  • Lake Naivasha Full day Tour With Boat Rides: $156
  • Nairobi Museum Snake Park Giraffe Center and Beads Center Tour: $95
  • Nairobi National Park Group Joining Daily Tour: $138
  • The 42 Stories -Kenya Culture and Walk Experience with a Local: $36
  • "Nairobi's Ultimate Wildlife & Cultural Adventure: $40
  • 1 Day Bike Tour to Hell’s Gate And Lake Naivasha : $130
  • 1 Day Lake Naivasha & Hell's Gate National Park Tour: $150
  • 1 Day Tour Hiking Mt. Longonot and lake Naivasha Boat ride : $75
  • 1-Day Hiking Adventure at Mount Longonot from Nairobi: $150

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Arusha $11
    Nairobi $16

Sample the Local Flavors in Nairobi

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Nairobi:

  • Nairobi Bar Crawl and Matatu Experience: $28


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Arusha and Nairobi, we can see that Arusha is more expensive. And not only is Nairobi much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Nairobi would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Nairobi and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Arusha would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Arusha than you might in Nairobi.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Arusha Expensive? and Is Nairobi Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Arusha or Nairobi?

Nairobi has a larger population, and is about 8 times larger than the population of Arusha. When comparing the sizes of Arusha and Nairobi, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.