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Kenya Currency: Information about the Kenyan Shilling

by Ana Sofía Teresita | July 24, 2019
lady selling fruit at a market in Kenya

If you are planning to travel to Kenya, it's important to know that the Kenyan currency is the Kenyan shilling, which has been in circulation in the country since 1995. The approximate conversion, since the exact value can vary depending on the day, is 1 euro = 114 Kenyan shillings.

For several years now, it is no longer necessary to submit a currency declaration and is permitted to enter or leave the country with a maximum of 500,000 in Kenyan currency. If you are leaving the country and you have extra shillings you can exchange them for dollars, euros or pounds sterling at the airport bank.

What is the currency in Kenya?

The Kenyan Shilling is the currency in Kenya. Our currency rankings show that the most popular Kenya currency exchange rate is the US dollar to Kenyan shilling rate. The currency code for KES and the currency symbol is KSh. 

Exchange rate from US Dollar to Kenya shilling

Most travelers wish to know what the exchange rate is before traveling. If you travel to Kenya from the US, you need to know the current exchange rates:

  • US Dollar to Kenya shilling: 1 USD = 142,75 KSH
  • Kenya shilling to USD: 1 KSH = 0,0070 USD

Kenyan currency

Where can I exchange foreign currency in Kenya?

Where are the Kenya currency exchange offices with the best service? In the capital of the African country, Nairobi, where you will have banks, exchange offices and hotels where you can obtain the Kenya currency. However, it is recommended to do it in an exchange office or in the bank, since the hotels will charge you higher commission for the transaction. The bank hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

The main banks where you can exchange Kenya currency are the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Barclays Bank Kenya and the Standard Chartered Bank Kenya. 

In addition, in some places they will also allow you to pay with US dollars instead of Kenya currency, such as Natural Parks and Reserves, so it does not hurt to take them on your trip. Of course, you have to check that the year of issuance of the notes is after 2000, otherwise they will not be accepted. And do not forget to keep a receipt of the currency exchanges you make, because upon your departure or if you continue your trip through the neighbouring countries, they can request it from you to check it.

For the withdrawal of cash in Kenyan shilling you will have no problem, as there are several ATMs both at the airport and in the different cities. It is recommended that you always carry some cash in case the ATM is damaged or you cannot find one for several kilometres.

As for card payment, many shops and practically all hotels accept VISA. There are still shops that do not have a card reader, so do not forget to always carry some loose change. It is important that you review the transactions of your card in case there is an error.

Is Kenya expensive to visit?

To give you an idea, a 1.5-litre water bottle costs about $1, rice $1.60 and fruit costs $1.5 per kilo (depending on the type). In a restaurant, coffee and beer will cost approximately $2 and the cheap day menu about $4.25. Petrol is around $1per litre and $3 per 1 hour taxi ride (the minimum fare is $2,96). In addition, a ticket on public transport will be about 86 cents.

If you travel to Kenya, take dollars, use the exchange offices to get the Kenyan currency and really enjoy the trip.