Thursday, July 4, 2024

Romance in Kigali: A Guide to Date Night

So, you’re in Kigali and you’re thinking, “Date nights here are a bit… predictable?” If your idea of a great date night out is just dinner or drinks, well, this blog might just flip your dating game upside down and give it a good shake.

Let’s start by agreeing that the best dates kick off from 5 pm onwards. Kigali evenings are like a warm embrace, and trust me, the magic happens when the sun goes down. And here’s the cool thing about this city – everything’s close by, so hopping from place to place is a breeze.

Dinner – Outdoor Movie – Walk Date

Imagine this: it’s a Tuesday evening around 5 pm. You’re at either Heaven Restaurant or the recently opened Le Petit Chalet. These places ooze romance straight out of a movie scene. Elegant decor, cozy atmosphere, and a menu that’ll tantalize your taste buds. Trust me, Le Petit Chalet in Kacyiru is worth every penny for its French cuisine and tranquil setting, especially on a rainy day.

After a delightful dinner experience, make your way to Kimihurura’s Lavana for a 7:30 pm outdoor movie (provided it’s Tuesday). Be sure to peek at their Instagram during the weekend for the movie lineup. Technically, it’s not “outdoor” per se, but it ain’t a cinema either. And guess what? Free popcorn, tacos, and drinks from the bar – all while snuggled up with your date.

Romance in Kigali: A Guide to Date Night

As the credits roll around 9 pm, take a leisurely 30-minute walk through the charming streets of Kimihurura. It’s the perfect time to reflect on the movie and enjoy some intimate moments. Trust me, after five hours together, it’s the cherry on top of a fantastic evening.

Art Gallery– Drinks & Pizza – Ice Cream Date

Up for an active date? Start by immersing yourselves in art at the galleries in Kacyiru. You might even want to explore two if time allows. Art sparks conversation, and it’s a great way to connect on a deeper level.

At Niyo Arts Center

Once you’ve soaked in some culture, head to Kabana for mouthwatering pizza and a couple of drinks. It’s my go-to pizza joint, and trust me, you won’t be disappointed. From there, a short walk to Kigali Heights for ice cream is a must. It’s a sweet way to end the evening, savoring delightful flavors and each other’s company.

Sunset – Dinner – Movie Date

Dreamy Date for Romantics. If you’re a sucker for dreamy moments and sweeping views, here’s a date idea that’s pure magic. Imagine perched atop Rebero, a hill in Kigali that gifts you panoramic views of the sun bidding adieu. There is plenty of empty space waiting for construction, and relatively quiet. Share a bottle of wine as the sky transforms into a canvas of hues – it’s a scene straight out of a fairytale.

If you’d rather not try those empty spaces, go to the Sawa Citi building; it has small restaurant with outside sitting that will give you the same views.

View from Rebero

From there, it’s off to CanalOlympia for a movie, continuing the enchantment. But the best is yet to come: wrap up your night with dinner at the 1000 Hills Distillery. You’ve been there? It’s a good spot. I love walking around Rebero, but it’s a hill folks, and you don’t want to be sweating around your date. So, get a car to move around.

Nyamirambo Date

Funny thing – despite being born, raised, and still living in Nyamirambo, I’ve never experienced a date here. But if you’re seeking something unique and vibrant, Nyamirambo is calling. It’s laid-back, packed with character, and offers a different side of Kigali. Just a heads-up – walking is your best friend here, so finding somewhere safe to park or leaving the car behind is a smart move.

To be honest though, there aren’t many activities to do here unless you count going all the way to Fazenda, which I don’t. There is also the Women’s Center – a spot that every expat I know always wants to go to. So, you might wanna check it out with your date and buy a little something from there.

Romance in Kigali: A Guide to Date Night

Nyamirambo also boasts small, cozy spots (that can get very hot though) in Biryogo and around Cosmos for some coffee, and some light food. But as the sun sets, head to the car-free zone for local flavors that start quiet and turn into a vibrant feast for the senses. From street food to the chance to introduce your date to local beer, this spot is a culinary adventure. Nyamirambo’s distinct charm is waiting to be explored – it’s time to walk, talk, and embrace the lively spirit of this neighborhood.

Beyond the Guide

Now, let’s talk about bonus tips. There are so many date ideas that I can’t possibly fit them all into one blog post. How about a hike up Mount Kigali, an artsy session at Azizi Life Studio, trying your hand at ceramics at Laini, or watching cranes at Umusambi Village?

There is also lake Kivu outside Kigali, but you will surely love the trip to Gisenyi. Take in the breathtaking views of rolling hills and lush forests surrounding the lake on a romantic sunset boat ride. Enjoy a glass of wine and relax on the deck of a traditional wooden boat while watching the sun dip below the horizon.

Romance in Kigali: A Guide to Date Night

Remember, while Kigali may seem quiet, your dates don’t have to be. Whether you’re seeking cozy and intimate or fun and lively, Kigali’s got it all. So, go on, dive into the array of activities, restaurants, bars, and charming streets. Your dating life in Kigali is about to become a thrilling adventure, full of unforgettable moments and shared experiences.

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