First Time Tourists Guide in Dar es Salaam

Google Maps - Photo by Allan Kaitila

Dar es Salaam is the city and the largest economic capital in Tanzania.

Located in a quiet bay off the coast of the Indian Ocean, the city has developed into an important economic center and welfare throughout the East African region.

Its busy port is the main area in Tanzania. Restaurants, shops, office buildings and government buildings are a common feature of downtown Tanzania.

During the German occupation in the early 20th century, Dar es Salaam was the center of colonial administration.

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SIGHTSEEING

Remnants of a colonial presence, both German and English, can still be seen in landmarks and architecture around the city. The National Museum, the Village Museum, and many colorful markets are worth a visit. Many historic landmarks, including the Cathedral Joseph, the White Father's Mission Building, the Botanical Gardens, and the old State House make interesting walking tours around the beach and downtown.

Village Museum

You can enter authentic village houses, learn about how they were built and community traditions.

National Museum and House of Culture

The museum offers various exhibits about ethnic heritage, traditional crafts, musical instruments, local artists, colonial and political history and much more.

DOWNTOWN

Its industrial area produces products for export and use throughout the country. Government offices all have their main headquarters in Dar es Salaam, and diplomatic missions and non-governmental organizations in the country are all present in busy urban cities.

SHOPPING

Perhaps the busiest market area in Dar es Salaam, Kariakoo is the best place to visit if you are looking for goods at cheap prices. While locals often get it from groceries, clothing, toiletries, furniture, auto parts and much more. Tourists can also find various souvenirs, African fabrics, traditional clothing, shoes, instruments, and many other cultural items. As a coastal city, Dar es Salaam has a lot of fresh seafood, but although you can find seafood in many places, nothing beats the experience you have at the Kivukoni Fish Market. At the fish market, you can choose directly from a variety of fresh seafood choices such as shrimp, octopus, squid and more; and then wait for your order to be cooked before your eyes.

Kariakoo Market

Tourists can also find various souvenirs, African fabrics, traditional clothing, shoes, instruments, and many other cultural items.

FOOD & DRINK

The typical cuisine of the city of Dar, which has long been inspired by spices from Zanzibar and Indian migrants, provides a clear picture of the Tanzanian community. Here you will find foods with high spice flavor.

CULTURE

The Bantu, Swahili language and English, the latter of which was inherited from colonial rule (see Tanganyika Territory), are widely spoken as lingua francas. They serve as working languages in the country, with Swahili being the official national language.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Though the equatorial weather remains nearly the same throughout the year, it is believed that the best time to visit Dar es Salaam is during June to October, and mid-December to March which is the dry season.

HOTEL

Oyster Bay is the best place to stay in Dar es Salaam. There are only 8 rooms, unlike the normally large airport hotels in Dar. Food and service are outstanding. The rooms are large and welcome from safari or long-distance flights. The Slipway Hotel is just 7 km from the city center of Dar es Salaam on the Msasani peninsula, right on the Indian Ocean overlooking Msasani Bay. Offering the best value accommodation in this upscale environment. The services and comfort offered will make you feel at home staying here.

Slipway Hotel

The hotel is integrated into the Slipway complex, which provides a wide range of amenities including various dining options and everything a traveler needs. Within its vicinity are a selection of popular shopping, dining and nightlife destinations.

Oyster Bay Hotel

ou will know that you are travelling first class when you see your name on the hand-held board of our uniformed chauffeur. You will then be speedily and comfortably transferred from the airport.

RESTAURANT

305 Karafuu is one restaurant that has earned a reputation as one of the best restaurants in all of Dar. Located on a quiet side street in Kinondoni, this hotel has the feel of a family home. The food is international, but with Tanzania-specific flavors and meets this arrangement. Overlooking the Indian Ocean from one of the northernmost suburbs in Dar, Mediterraneo is perhaps the most beautiful dining place in the entire city. Stay for a few hours and relax with various cocktails before tasting some of the best Italian food in Africa.

Mediterraneo Restaurant

Featuring a bohemian chic atmosphere, the hotel is designed for complete relaxation, romance and leisure. Set either overlooking the ocean or in the lush gardens, our cozy cottage-style rooms offer free Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs, air-conditioning.

305 Karafuu

At Last, a song by legendary Etta James 305 Karafuu is not built on a dream so much as the bricks of a million tiny details.

CAFE

Karambezi Cafe is run by the five-star Sea Cliff Hotel. Sitting on the edge of a cliff at the northernmost point of the glamorous Msasani peninsula, it offers unrivaled views of the sea. Sit outside the straw canopy to feel the soft sea breeze and share a plate of sumptuous seafood and other complete dishes.

Karambezi Cafe

Bring your friends and loved ones and join us for the most deliciously fresh seafood you’ve ever tasted, or why not go for our famous steaks, amazingly juicy burgers or big pizzas?

BAR AND NIGHTLIFE

George & Dragon is an expat place, serving imported beer and simple and delicious dishes in a modern incarnation of a traditional British pub. Come for steak and chips and a bottle of Safari or Kilimanjaro beer, and chat with busy regular customers.

George & Dragon

George & Dragon Pub serves up classic English dishes to include a vast BBQ selection, and with a fine selection of various beverages both local and from around the globe… beers, ales, whiskies, gins, wines, etc.

INTERESTING PLACE

If you are interested in history and want to learn more about Tanzania's cultural heritage and past, the National Museum is a place to visit. The museum offers various exhibits about ethnic heritage, traditional crafts, musical instruments, local artists, colonial and political history and much more. Besides that, you can enjoy the quiet and beautiful atmosphere of the museum garden which is also a popular wedding venue. Makumbusho, which means 'reminder' in English, and also known as the Village Museum, truly takes you back in time to rural Tanzania, by fully illustrating the diversity and complexity of village life among ethnic Tanzanian groups. You can enter authentic village houses, learn about how they were built and community traditions.

Village Museum

You can enter authentic village houses, learn about how they were built and community traditions.

National Museum and House of Culture

The museum offers various exhibits about ethnic heritage, traditional crafts, musical instruments, local artists, colonial and political history and much more.

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOT

One of the most famous historical statues of Dar Es Salaam is the Askari Monument. Describing a soldier with his bayonet pointing to the harbor, the monument reminds the soldiers who fought as the Carrier Corps in World War I. Originally built by German missionaries in Tanzania, the Lutheran Azania Church is an iconic structure located in front of the port of Dar Es Salaam. From the cathedral you will have easy access to other tourist attractions around the city. When you enter the church, someone might approach you and start guiding you around, without even being asked.

Lutheran Azania Church

When you enter the church, someone might approach you and start guiding you around, without even being asked.

Askari Monument

Describing a soldier with his bayonet pointing to the harbor, the monument reminds the soldiers who fought as the Carrier Corps in World War I