Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city after Nairobi, offers travelers an exotic taste of the African tropics steeped in centuries of seafaring history. This cosmopolitan tourist hub is actually an island connected by bridges and ferries to the Kenyan coast. Stretching for miles along the mainland to the north and south, Mombasa’s beach resorts preside over palm-studded strands fringed by shimmering coral reefs.

Tourists from Europe and beyond flock here to enjoy the many things to do – from dolphin spotting trips on traditional dhows and deep-sea fishing to diving and snorkeling the wrecks and reefs and basking on the sun-splashed shores. But in the city itself, on the bustling island, a world of history and culture awaits.

Thanks to its legacy as the largest port in East Africa, Mombasa is a cultural melting pot. British, Asian, Arabic, Omanis, Indian, and Chinese immigrants have enriched the city’s architecture and cuisine, and many mosques and temples grace the city streets.

In the Old Town, where fragrant spices waft from local markets, you can step back in time and explore the ancient buildings. Beyond the city, wildlife parks, villages, and ancient ruins round out the wealth of water-based fun. Find out more about the best places to visit with our list of attractions in Mombasa, Kenya.

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