Sleeping in Airports

Sleeping in Nairobi Airport

sleeping in nairobi airportWhether your situation calls for a short nap or an overnight slumber, this sleep guide will give you the essential information needed to prepare you for sleeping in Nairobi Airport.

Our guide is updated with the help of airport sleepers who tell us about their experiences at Nairobi Airport. If you have a tip to share, write a review to help us keep this sleep guide up-to-date!

Covid-19 Update: This sleep guide was written before Covid-19, so the information may have changed.  In October 2021, we will be starting our first guide update since March 2020.  A lot has changed, so it’s going to be a massive update.  If you are interested in helping,  click here to add or update information or write a review to add tips or share photos to help future travellers .

This guide was last updated: 4 November 2019. Read the latest traveller reviews.

Sleeping in Nairobi Airport Overnight

Locations & Seating

Terminal 1 is more comfortable than Terminal 2, home of the low-cost carriers. Unfortunately, the five terminals that comprise T1 are in separate buildings, so you can’t hop around once you’ve passed through Security. If you’re lucky enough to fly from T1E (International), you’ll likely be in the best spot for sleeping.

We have few reviews related to specific sleep spots in this airport. Travellers have reported that the Avanti Restaurant near Gate 23 may have some comfortable couches, but if they’re open, you may need to purchase an item.

Rest Zones

At the time of this update, there are no designated rest zones within the airport.

Temperature

The terminal temperatures vary widely, from hot and stuffy to downright cold. Dress in layers.  Arrive prepared with a blanket or even a sleeping bag. A hoodie provides extra warmth if the terminal gets even colder.

Lighting

It seems most lighting stays brightly lit throughout the night.  Come prepared with eyeshades or something else to cover your eyes, such as a shirt or towel.  

Noise

Daytime sleepers can expect to hear frequent announcements, non-stop music, and ambient traveller noise. At night when there are no more flights, you would think the announcements would be put to rest, but that is not always the case. As a precaution, you should come prepared with earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones.

Showers

Freshen up (and loosen those stiff muscles) with a shower before your flight. Access the shower facilities in the Turkish Airlines Star Alliance Lounge, located in Terminal 1E near Gate 3. See our Nairobi Airport Guide for details.

Food & Drink

We are unable to confirm whether any 24-hour food concessions are available, so you’ll want to stock up on food and water before eateries and convenience stores close for the night.

Hotels

Nairobi airport hotelsPrefer the privacy and comfort of a hotel room? If you would like a good solid sleep between flights, you’ll have to leave the airport behind and head to one of the hotels located a quick 5-10 minutes from the terminal. At least a couple hotels offer day rooms. See the hotel section of our Airport Guide for locations or visit Tripadvisor to find hotels deals at Nairobi Airport.

Lounges

Nairobi airport loungesWhile Nairobi Airport has a few lounges, none have designated sleep rooms or rest areas. If you just want to relax in a comfortable seat, check out this list of lounges in our Nairobi Airport Guide that you can pay to access.

Security & Safety

In terms of airport safety, at the time of this update, we have no traveller reports about safety issues at Nairobi Airport. Some older reviews mention that some airport staff required bribes or inflated prices or otherwise seemed corrupt, but more recent reviews haven’t mentioned this issue, so perhaps it is improving.

As a precaution, here are a few tips to ensure you have a safe airport sleeping experience:

  • Know Where Security is Located. Whether you are sleeping in the airport by yourself or with friends, it is good to know where security is. Know where their office is located and look for video cameras in the spot you decide to stay the night. Ask security where it is safe to spend the night. They’ve probably seen many airport sleepers before you and they will direct you to a safe spot.
  • Don’t Seclude Yourself. If you are travelling alone we recommend that you sleep near other travellers or close to security.
  • Hide Your Valuables. Don’t leave all your mobile devices out in plain view. We have received reports from people who woke up with earphones and no ipod and a laptop bag strap and no laptop bag (or laptop). Same goes with important documents and money. Keep these secure on your body, so that no one can get them without waking you up.
  • Secure Your Bags. If you are a deep sleeper, you may want to padlock your bag to something. If your bags have zippers turn the bag upside down (zippers to the floor) or sleep with your bag up against the wall, so that it would be hard for someone to access.
  • Choose to Stay Alert. If you don’t feel safe, drink coffee and stay awake and be alert. You can always sleep on the plane!

Pro-tip: If you are sleeping in the public zone, don’t be surprised if you receive an early morning wake-up call. Security is known to make the rounds waking people up as travellers begin to arrive for morning flights.

Nairobi Airport Photo Gallery

Sorry, we do not have any photos of Nairobi Airport yet.  If you have any airport photos, click here to contribute to the guide.

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