6 Interesting things to do in a day in Dar es Salaam

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As the largest city in Tanzania, Dar es Salaam offers a diverse culture of art, music and sport that can easily be explored from the convenient location of Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel. With a view of the Indian Ocean and a prime urban address, immerse yourself in the unique attractions that are available in Dar es Salaam, with suggested sights to see and activities to enjoy. Whether you are travelling for business or leisure, the greatest cultural experiences are at your fingertips.

The commercial hub of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam is a bustling port city with a great atmosphere. Guests can look forward to having an unmatched experience when it comes to taking part in all that this city has to offer. From vibrant markets to taking a walk down Tanzania’s history at the village or cultural museums. If sports are what interest you, stay active with an array of sporting options available at the Gymkhana Club. Or, peruse and purchase handcrafted goods at the Mwenge Handcraft Centre.

Being a port city, it’s also the departing point for the ferries to Zanzibar, so many travelers end up passing through Dar whether they want to or not!

We highly recommend spending at least one day checking out this great city and so, to get you inspired, here are our top 6 things to do in Dar es Salaam.

Kivukoni Fish Market

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For those looking for an authentic Dar es Salaam experience, the Kivukoni Fish Market is the place to go. The best time to visit is early in the morning as the whole market springs into action. From the buying and selling of the fish the moment it’s unloaded from the fishing boats to the eating section where women cook up a storm of various fish dishes, the Kivukoni fish market presents the perfect opportunity to witness the blending up of cultures and business in a traditional Tanzania setting. Be sure to bring your camera with you as there are excellent photo opportunities such like the site of fishermen unloading their catches and wares along the docks.

Village Museum

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Established in 1996, the Village Museum provides a wonderful glimpse into the housing and culture of various Tanzanian tribes from various regions. Aptly named Makumbusho Village Museum meaning “to remind”, the museum showcases over a dozen different types of traditional Tanzanian huts. This museum comes to life when you get to learn of how things were done by specific tribes and the reasoning behind how those things were done.  The highlight of the trip is easily the traditional dance performed by a fantastic troupe of energetic dancers, singers and musicians.

Visit to Mwenge Handcraft Centre

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Looking for gifts or momentos from your trip to Tanzania? A short distance from the village museum, the Mwenge Handcraft Centre is arguably the best place for souvenirs and handcrafts from all over Tanzania, The Congo, Malawi and West Africa. Also known as the Woodcarvers Market, the shops line within packed stalls, offering a variety of goods. The prices are negotiable and concession must be reached by smart bargaining. The famous Makonde carvers can be seen at work, pecking with their sharp chisels on the rare black ebony wood.

Visit to the National Museum

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Know and understand the history and culture of Tanzania at The National Museum. The Museum houses a copy of the famous fossil discoveries of zinjanthropus (‘nutcracker man’) from Olduvai Gorge, plus other archaeological finds. Wander through the History Room and ethnographic collection for insights into Tanzania’s past and its mosaic of cultures, including the Shirazi civilisation of Kilwa, the Zanzibar slave trade, and the German and British colonial periods.

For lovers of all things vintage, there’s a small special collection, including the Rolls-Royce used first by the British colonial government and later by Julius Nyerere. The new extension, the House of Culture, provides an educational resource centre, a contemporary concert venue and a display area for contemporary art.

The Azania Lutheran Church

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The white, waterfront building of the Azania Church is a Dar es Salaam icon you should definitely check out during your time in this city. Built by German missionaries in 1898, it stands out architecturally with its red-tiled roof and window canopies. Still in active use for services, head in to view the Gothic interior or to listen in during the beautiful choir rehearsals.

Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club

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Located in the heart of the city, the Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club is everything from a multi-faceted sports facility to a tranquil and scenic view above the hustle and bustle of the city. Enjoy activities at the exclusive club that include Tennis, Football, Squash and Cricket. Not to mention the outstretched fairways that makes up a gorgeous 18-hole golf course. This wholesome experience is available for guests staying at Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel at a special rate

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