What to do in Dar Es Salaam? 6 tips!

Salam, today I am taking you for a stroll through Tanzania’s largest metropolis: Dar es Salaam. Most of you quickly flee to the Usambara Mountains or the Serengeti after arriving in this metropolis. A shame, because this New York in East Africa deserves so much more attention than just that ride from the airport to your hotel. Get ready for a walk through Dar es Salaam!

History of Dar es Salaam
The city used to be called differently: Mzizima, or the ‘healthy city’. The sultan of the much more powerful Zanzibar incorporated the present day Dar, and called it Dar es Salaam: House of Peace. A beautiful name, we think. Dar es Salaam boasts the largest port in East Africa and has long been Tanzania’s largest city, but not the capital. Heaven of Peace, as many travelers call Dar; has always been a very buzzy hub, overlooking the blue Indian Ocean, and an array of fantastic beaches within easy reach.

Dar es Salaam

Fashionistas beware, Kariakoo Market in sight
At Kariakoo Market you can buy anything, but really everything: from a colorful collection of kitenge fabrics, to “really real” iPhone cables and fake designer bags. Here you will find it all! Try a portion of fried crickets, or have a nice coffee in the countless shops and ‘deli’s’ that you have here.

Shopping in Dar es Salaam

Botanical Garden
And are you not in the mood for people anymore? Then venture into the Dar es Salaam Botanical Garden, founded by the Germans in 1893, to display all those fat flowers, trees and plants they’d just discovered. A bit neglected and worn out, but with an old, colonial vibe and a mountain of very special plants.

Botanical Garden

Fish market
For 200 tshil (8 eurocent) you take the ferry and view Dar from the water. The skyline is beautiful and gives you outright New York City vibes, almost like being on the boat to Ellis Island. Dar es Salaam, however, has a smelly edge over the Big Apple. The Ferry will drop you off just next to the fish market where you will really find and smell the most beautiful, freshest and tastiest fish in Tanzania. Nice to take with you when you go to the beach, to grill a fish on a fire.

Fish market in Dar es Salaam
Clubs, uitgaan en stappen in Oost-Afrika

Dance that night away in Dar es Salaam!
That is certainly possible at Mikardi, but the more mundane Oyster Bay or the more hippie-like Coco Beach are also perfect for a party. Nice clubs and bars are Triniti bar, High Spirit – great view – and the Mbalamwezi Beach Club. The Level 8 Bar at the Hyatt Hotel is famous and highly recommended, this global party crasher knows. But the Waterfront is also ideal for a late night dinner or a nice cocktail. And Tanzania is really a beer country: Lavender Garden Hall is a real beer garden, with German sausages.

Street in Dar es Salaam

Chill out on your Tanzanian city beach Mikardi Beach
Because of course you grill that fish on your own fire on Mikardi Beach, just on the south side of the Dover sole that cuts Dar es Salaam in two. It is difficult to imagine that the metropolis of millions is so close when you hang out on the beach here. You can also camp here; a big bonus is the sunrise that you get for free. Nice to take with you when you come back from a party in the early hours, because going out – you’re in the right place in Dar.

Nightlife in Dar es Salaam

Good night, Dar
And after all that shopping, walking and dancing, you will be tired. Time to check in at one of the hundreds of hotels in Dar es Salaam, and have a good night’s sleep. Oyster Beach and Coco Beach are very nice areas to stay, and there are also plenty of Airbnb’s. For example, check Alexanders, or do you prefer an apartment in Kigamboni?

Do you have questions for our Africa experts?
Have I convinced you to come stroll, eat and dance in vibrant Dar es Salaam, before exploring Tanzania’s beautiful nature? Get in touch now and tune in with us or read more about this vibrant city!

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