Famous for hosting the National University, Butare, located in the southern region is the third largest city in Rwanda. Located at a distance of 135 kilometers to the south of Kigali, Butare is considered to be the intellectual and cultural center of this East African nation. A compact, attractive and sedate town with comfortable small hotels and breezy terrace restaurants is built around many shady avenues emanating around a main street. The bustling Butare Market is an excellent place where visitors can learn how the local population of 77,000 residents, go about their daily lives.
This capital city of the Huye district in Rwanda called Astrida by the Belgian colonial rulers in the past still holds important political power. Nyanza, the traditional seat of Rwandan traditional monarchy featuring the impressive Royal Palace is located in the nearby Nyabisindu area. Other prominent Butare tourist attractions include the Gikongoro Genocide Memorial and the National Museum of Rwanda providing a comprehensive understanding of the country’s colonial and post-colonial historic past.