Things to do in Dar es Salaam

Things To Do In Dar es Salaam

We have talked about attractions in Tanzania before as a whole, but now we are covering it’s cities. Among them, Tanzania Dar es Salaam is arguably the largest and most influential. This political and economical center of Tanzania has lots of things to do in Dar es Salaam. Most tourists to Africa give it a miss since they target the more popular jungles and geographical formations deep in the country.

Tanzania Dar es Salaam

Which is a shame, to be honest. Tanzania Dar es Saalam has lots of tourist attractions to be enjoyed by any kind of tourists, of any age. It is a vibrant african city with colorful east african culture and arts. There are lots of exciting activities and plenty of character in this city. From monuments to museums, beaches and islands, lively markets and crafts – you won’t find a dull moment here! 

Located along the coast of the Indian Ocean, Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania and home to a wide range of people and cultures. Known for its beaches, islands, seafood and music, the city is brimming with a variety of activities for every type of tourist. Here are a few of the best things to see while visiting the City of Peace. 

1. Hunt for bargains in Kariakoo Market 

Kariakoo Market

I always say, if you want to know a city, go to its markets. This is one of the busiest markets in Tanzania Dares Salaam. The authentic local east african shops and vendors pack closely together here. You will find the best, freshest local produce and crafts here. You will need some hard bargaining to cover this, though. Tanzanian markets are notorious for their unfairness to tourists. Also, you need to be careful of your belongings. Pickpockets and purse-snatchers are a big issue here. 

2. Be overwhelmed by the Dar es Salaam Fish Market

Dar es Salaam Fish Market

Another great market to visit in Tanzania Dares Salaam is the fish market that starts every early morning. If you don’t mind a bit of smell, you should get up early and go wander in the Dar fish market. People gather around the freshest catches of the day and frenzy of activity occurs. It’s truly an overwhelming sight! At around half past six in the morning, the most energized actions take place here. Climb up the stairs leading to the office building to get a bird’s eye view of the action, which is one of the best things to do in dar es salaam tanzania. 

3. Revere at the Askari Monument

Askari Monument

Arguably, the most significant historical point in Dar es Salaam is the Askari Monument. Once the african troops took part in the first world war. Here, a statue of a soldier of the Carrier Corps fiercely points his beyonetted rifle towards the harbor. This reminds the people and the tourists of the soldiers’ valor and sacrifice. The cast bronze statue is situated in the precise center of Dar es Salaam, in the center of the roundabout at Samora and Maktoba avenues. 

4. Utter a prayer at the Azania Church

Azania Church

On the waterfront, near the harbor, there is a beautiful church in Dar es Salaam. This Lutheran church was built by germanic missionaries in the beginning of the colonial ages in Tanzania. The bell tower provides you with an excellent view of the city and the harborfront all around. The magnificent white-stuccato building with red-tiled roofs reminds of the olden days. If you’re not averse to a little donation to the church, you can take the help of the locals who will happily guide you around and tell you many stories. Best things to do in dar es salaam tanzania. 

5. Learn Tanzanian history at the National Museum of Dar es Salaam

National Museum of Dar es Salaam

From natural to national history, uncovered fossils to ancient potteries to modern african art, there are lots of excitable exhibits at the National Museum of Dares Salaam. With an unassuming facade, the museum is a wealth of information if you are okay with reading. One of the most popular exhibits here is an amazing wooden bicycle. The entire bicycle is made out of wood – from frame to wheels. Dar es salaam travel is best. 

6. Take a tour of Pugu Hills Forest Reserve

Pugu Hills Forest Reserve

Do you want to see one of the oldest surviving forests in the world? Then come to Pugu Hills. Also known as Mogo Hills Forest, it is located near the Kazimzumbwi reserve. The jungle is populated by a large number of endemic flora and fauna. Being only 20 minutes drive from the airport in Dar, this is one of the best places to visit in Dar es Salaam. There is a cave here that is sacred to the Zaramo natives. Other bat-infested caves offer some fairly scary experience. The colorful cattle market offers good photo opportunities. 

7. Have weekender fun at the Coco Beach

coco beach in dar es salaam

On the Msasani Peninsula of Dar, the beautiful Coco beach is a must visit in Dar es Salaam. It is often packed full of locals and tourists. With beach parties, street vendors, sports and just lazing around, this beach is one of the best fun things to do in Dar es Salaam. Sometimes, there is live music and performances going on the beach. It’s one of the most hip and happening places in this lively city. So, check a city events guide to catch a program. Though it’s a nice beach, you’re advised not to go swimming here. 

8. Wander around Bagamoyo Town

dar es salaam tourist

Located right north of Dar es Salaam, the Bagamoyo Town is a port town. Much similar to other african harbor towns like Mombasa or Lamu, it was influenced by multiple cultures, eastern and western. The unique Swahili culture and art found here is heavily influenced by arabic and indian cultures. You can find many ancient ruins and buildings here. Old churches, mosques and temples dot the little town. You should also visit the only Tanzanian college of Arts here, named Chuo Cha Sanaa. Where is dar es salaam? It’s right here. 

9. Have a vacation at the Bongoyo Island

bangoyo island dar es salaam

One of the greatest tourist attractions in Dar es Salaam is Bongoyo Island. A hearty swim in the clear blue warm tropical waters around the island is one of the most entertaining things to do in Dar es Salaam. This little gem in the Indian ocean has a few sisters nearby that are even more secluded and beautiful than it. You must take a day trip to this island, complete with snorkeling and picnic on the beach. The area is a marine reserve and required permission and a $20 fee per head. 

10. Other beaches of Dar es Salaam

dar es salaam beaches

The North Beach of Dar es Salaam is famous for the lovely soft sands and deep blue waters. A few well-known resorts operate here in Jangwani, with top-class service. You can take a boat to the nearby Mbuja island for some private time. On the south of the city, the South Beach is great for peace and quiet, offering a quality escape from the city bustle. Hop on a dala dala to get here, or rent a car. The cinematic view of the tall palms swaying beside the blue water and secluded beach will steal your heart, for sure. Where is dares salaam is the best travel know to go. 

11. Get a tribal experience at the Village Museum

tribal experience in dar es salaam

An even greater attraction than the National Museum, the Village Museum is more like a live experience than an exhibition. It is a population of tribal huts with tribal people going about life in ancient ways. Here, you will have a great opportunity to learn about Tanzanian ancient life. The ticket is not cheap, though. Also, if you pay extra, dance and drum performances are arranged for groups. It’s pretty much available anytime, but we recommend enjoying it in the evening around a bonfire.  

12. Get amazed by crafts in Mwenge Wood Carvers’ Village

dar es salaam wood carver's village

On the outskirts of Tanzania Dar es Salaam, there is a little village of craftsmen and women. With shops. You will be amazed by the colorful crafts they make and sell. Mwenge Crafters’  Village is among the best places to go in Dar es Salaam, with beautiful caps, baskets, things made of beads, statuettes, carvings, and so much more. And everything is so colorful! Indeed, Mwenge village is one of the best places in east africa to go souvenir hunting. 

13. Enjoy the arts and crafts at Tingatinga

dar es salaam tourist destinations

A great competitor of Mwenge village is the Tingatinga Art Center, where you can see and shop for equally great works of arts and crafts in where is dares salaam. Tanzania has been famous in Africa for their artistic expressions from the ancient era, and here you can see some of the finest renditions of that. Named after Edward Said Tingatinga, this gallery hosts many of modern artworks led by him. This modernistic style is characterized by using extremely bright oil colors and cartoonish figures of reality. 

14. Browse for a best Kanga at Uhuru Street

Kangas are large, colorful, rectangular pieces of cloth that you can wrap around your body or put on your head or shoulders in multiple ways. The color and patterns of the Kanga and the way a true Tanzanian wears it conveys special meanings. Indeed, it is a kind of a language in itself. 

tourist destination in dar es salaam

While that won’t apply to tourists, you should absolutely get one. Uhuru Street in downtown Dar es Salaam Tanzania is particularly packed with Kanga vendors, which you can get for a good price with hard bargains. The geometric infinitely variable patterns arrayed around the market is a sight to behold. However, try not to buy and wear a Kanga that carries some sort of political message, or you may get in trouble. 

15. Grub up some Nyama Choma

places to eat at dar es salaam

A wildly popular Tanzanian cuisine is Nyama Choma. It is basically spiced meat roasted on open fire. Mostly goat, but other fares are available from selected restaurants as well. This incredibly delicious and nourishing dish is available pretty much anywhere in Dar es Salaam. You can find it at street vendors, to top upscale restaurants as well. If short on pocket, you should taste some from the famous street vendors like Mamboz Corner. There are no Carnivore-like giant grills in the city, but plenty of them specialize in this. 

Dar es Salaam FAQs: what you need to know 

1. Where can I find affordable hotels in Dar Es Salaam? 

Dar Es Salaam is a fairly cheap city to get a room in, because of the light tourist influx. Most people, sadly, bypass the city and go straight off to the huge rainforests or Kilimanjaro. So, you can try the following hotels and hostels: 

  • Eazy’s Place – from $16 
  • ShaMoo Hotel – from $20 
  • Riverview Apartment – from $22
  • Sophia House Hostel – from $23 
  • JJ & JE Family house – from $25

All prices mentioned here for two persons staying in one standard room for one night on the first of July. Prices can change according to the situation. 

2. Are there low cost flights to Dar Es Salaam? 

  • New York 
    • Qatar Airways, Ethiopian, PrecisionAir, Emirates, Turkish Airlines: $720 – $1141 
  • London 
    • Turkish Airlines, Oman Air, Emirates, Swiss: $498 – $589 
  • Dubai 
    • Ethiopean, FlyDubai, Emirates, Kenya Airways, PrecisionAir: $243 – $278 
  • New Delhi 
    • Air India, Kenya Airways, PrecisionAir, oman Air: $314 – $430 
  • Sydney 
    • Qantas, Ethiopean, Malaysia Airlines, oman Air, Garuda Indonesia: $765 – $893 

Please note that the above fares are for one person traveling one-way in economy class on the first of July only. Prices are subject to change. 

3. What are some Dar Es Salaam Holiday Packages?

  • Dar es Salaam city tours in Cruise Ship – 4 days + half day in city 
  • History Tour in Dar es Salaam – 3 hours 
  • Market Tour – 6 hours 
  • Bike Tour – 4 hours, recommended in mornings only
  • Dar By Night – 5 hours, at night 

4. Which are the most popular places to eat in Dar Es Salaam? 

  • 305 Karafuu – homely feeling, adorned with great collection of arts, international 
  • Mediterraneo – beautiful oceanfront artfully crafted dining station, italian 
  • Mamboz Corner BBQ – roadside tables right in the middle of market, delicious grills
  • Chef’s Pride – well-known lunch server with best local cuisine 
  • Samaki Samaki – best seafood in town with electronic tables and in-house DJ’s 

BookOnBoard’s guide to Dar es Salaam 

The great commercial hub of Tanzania, Dar Es Salaam is a buzzing, working city that has a raw energy to it unmatched by any other large metropolis in East Africa I’ve visited. Naturally, it would be hard to figure out what to do here in your short vacation time. That is why we present you with our Guide to Dar es Salaam.

Bookonboard guide things to do in dar es salaam

Here you can find many important information about DarEs Salaam Tanzania. For example, Best Places to visit , Cheapest places to stay, Most popular places to eat, Fun things to do in Dar Es Salaam, Affordable hotels, Low cost flights, Dar Es Salaam Holiday Packages, and much more. 

We hope you like our guide! Please let us know your thoughts and suggestions. You can use the 

comment form below or you can email us. Also, do check out our travel guides to other African places! Till then, Kwaheri! 

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