List of 10 Major Cities in Kenya

Which are the major cities in Kenya? Kenya is, undoubtedly, one of the most attractive countries in the world.

Known for its friendly and welcoming citizen, Kenya offers you a variety of attractive destinations.

Among them are wildlife, beautiful vegetation, conducive weather conditions, and diverse cultures, thanks to the over 40 ethnic groups.

Kenya is divided into 47 counties and has three significant cities, Namely Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu.

Also, there are other major towns which are famous for various reasons such as agriculture and industrialisation.

These cities play a significant role in making Kenya the rich Country that it is today.

In this article, we list ten major cities in Kenya and what makes them famous. Read on.

10 Major Cities in Kenya

1. Nairobi

The first major city in Kenya. Also called the Green city in the sun, Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya and is the largest city in the Country.

The name Nairobi is obtained from a Maasai phrase Enkare Nairobi meaning a place of calm waters. The title refers to the Nairobi River, which flows through the city.

According to the 2019 census, Nairobi had a population of 4, 397, 073, while the metropolis population is 9354,580 people.

It covers an area of 696 km2 (269 sq. mi).

The essential features in Nairobi are the Nairobi National park, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Giraffe Centre, Bomas of Kenya, monuments, museums, nature parks, and a vibrant nightlife.

Do you want to experience Kenya in one place? Nairobi is the place to be.

2. Mombasa

Mombasa is Kenya’s second-largest city and business hub. It borders the Indian Ocean and is also known as the White and Blue City.

It has a population of 1, 208, 333 people according to the 2019 census. On the other hand, its metropolitan region has 3, 528, 940 people.

It is home to Moi International Airport, Various tourist attractions, and is famous for its super vibrant nightlife.

Mombasa is also a favourite tourist destination; you will often find both local and international tourists going to the coast for holidays.

While there, make sure to visit Fort Jesus to get in touch with the rich history of Mombasa.

3. Kisumu

Kisumu is not only the third-largest city in Kenya; it is also the central city in western Kenya. The name Kisumu means a place of Batter trade.

While Kisumu city has a population of about 750,000 (Kenya National Census, 2019), the Metropolitan Area has 1,334, 574 people.

It serves as a port town where goods are transported to and from Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and The Democratic Republic of Congo.

It resides on the shores of Lake Victoria, and its main tourist attractions are, Kisumu Museum, Kisumu Impala Sanctuary, Hippo Point and Ndere Island National Park.

Don’t forget to taste the mouth-watering tilapia that is taken fresh from the lake to the pan.

4. Nakuru

After Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu, Nakuru is the fourth-largest urban centre in Kenya. Famous for agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing.

It is currently the capital city of Nakuru County and was the former capital of Rift Valley Province before devolution.

By 2018 Nakuru’s population was approximately half a million. Also, it is at 1850m above sea level.

Tourist attractions are Lake Nakuru National park, Menengai Crater, the second-largest volcanic crater in the world, and Hyrax Hill Prehistoric Site.

5. Eldoret

The fifth major city in Kenya Eldoret is the capital of Uasin Gishu County.

It is found south of Cherengani Hills in the Rift Valley.

With a population of 400,000 in 2019, Eldoret is the fastest growing town in Kenya.

Also, Eldoret is home to the legendary Kenyan athletes who have dominated marathons in the world.

At this point, it won’t be fair to ignore the fact that superhero Eliud Kipchoge who finished the marathon in less than two hours, hails from Eldoret.

6. Kitale

Kitale town is another major city and the food basket of Kenya.

It is mainly an agricultural city located between Mt Elgon and Cherengani Hills.

The main cash crop here is maize though it has conducive weather conditions for other agricultural produce.

Other cash crops are sunflower, tea, coffee, beans, and pyrethrum.

Also, while in Kitale, make a point of visiting the Kitale Museum, and The Agroforestry Center.

Also, it is home to the smallest national park in Kenya, the Saiwa swamp. Which is famous for the rare aquatic antelope called the Sitatunga.

7. Malindi


Also, a coastal town like Mombasa, Malindi is one of the largest cities in Kenya. Malindiajor town in Kilifi County.

Its located close to the Gelena river and is mainly a tourist town. It is famous for Italian visitors.

Also, it is home to Malindi Airport and Broglio space centre.

8. Kakamega

The capital city og=f Kakamega county is found in western Kenya. After Nairobi Kaka, mega is the second most populous town In Kenya.

The main economic activity here is agriculture.

It has its share of tourist attractions: the Kakamega forest, and the crying stone.

The crying stone of Ilesi is 40 meters high and resembles a sobbing human figure.


Situated in central highlands, Nyeri town is the capital city of Nyeri County. The town is 150 kilometres north of Nairobi.

It is situated between the eastern side of the Abadeare Range and the western slopes of Mt Kenya.

According to the 2009 census, Nyeri town had an estimated population of 325,357 people.

Apart from being an agricultural town: it is also home to the tomb of Lord  Robert Baden Powell, the founder of the scouts’ movement.

Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai and the late freedom fighter Dedan Kimathi.

Tourist attractions include; Mt Kenya, The Aberdares National Park and the Eastern part of the Rift Valley.

Additionally, you can visit the MauMau caves and Dedan Kimathi’s hideouts to experience the rich history that this town bears.

10. Thika

Thika town is another major city and is mainly an industrial town.

With an approximate population of 200, 000 people, Thika town is famous for pineapple production.

Other activities are textile and mills industries. Also, it is home to the Fourteen Falls, which is its major tourist attraction.

Final Thoughts on the 10 Major Cities in Kenya

At this point, it is worth recording that these are ten of the 47 cities that serve as cities in the 47 counties in Kenya.

They are famous because of their population, vibrant economies, and tourist attractions.

Going through their histories, you will realise that they were the main towns in the colonial era. Also, they were used as business centres by the colonialists.

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Khaosa is a talented writer who likes to play with words and facts to write amazing pieces. She has contributed many articles on the platform with a goal of empowering Kenyans.

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