Having long been a gateway to the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro, its history, bustling markets, restaurants and beaches are now fast-persuading travellers to prolong their stay in the city when they take flights to Dar es Salaam to get to their final destination.
Dar es Salaam’s past has left an indelible mark on its architecture, food and ethnic make-up – there are Asian flavours, an unmistakable Arabic influence and remnants of colonial Europe. Indeed, the city was once an important hub for the slave trade, and visitors can learn more about the city’s history at the National Museum.
Many of Dar es Salaam’s attractions are accessible by foot – somewhat surprising, considering the heavy traffic. However, this all feels a world away when strolling through the tree-lined streets in the city centre – the aforementioned National Museum, Askari Monument, Botanical Gardens, Karimjee Hall and Lutheran Church are all a short walk from one another, and the beaches of Oyster Bay are just a short cab ride away.
Plus, as in any big city, you’ll stumble upon your fair share of hidden gems, from market stalls and trendy boutiques to hole-in-the-wall cafes and traditional restaurants.
Dar es Salaam’s restaurants are a good place to meet fellow travellers and hang out with the city’s residents, whether you’re indulging in some fine dining at one of the hotels or staying out late to socialise with expats. Finally, if and when you do decide to explore further afield, beautiful Zanzibar is just a ferry ride away.