8 Best Spots to Visit in Dar es Salaam

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Dar es Salaam is the former capital of Tanzania and it’s one of the busiest cities in the country. Not only is Dar the gateway to the southern safari circuit of Tanzania, but it’s also the gateway to the Tanzanian islands including Bongoyo Island and Zanzibar!

Here are the 8 best spots to visit during your stay in Dar es Salaam:


  • Slipway Center

The Slipway Shopping Center is one of the best spots to go shopping for clothes and souvenirs. It contains high-quality clothes and is very popular with tourists. After you’re done shopping, you can chill at The Waterfront restaurant and bar!

The Slipway Center is also the best spot to find ferries that will take you to nearby islands like Bongoyo Island.

  • St. Joseph’s Cathedral and Azania Front Lutheran Church

Both these buildings were constructed by the Germans in the 19th century and represent German architecture. They even have original German writings and inscriptions up on the walls! The Azania Front Lutheran Church is just about 3-4 minutes away from the Cathedral so it’s a good idea to visit both these in one go!

The Cathedral also offers mass services every day in both, Swahili and English.

  • The Askari Monument

The Askari Monument was built as a tribute to the Askari soldiers of Africa that took part in World War I. The Monument is located at the roundabout connecting Samora Avenue with Maktaba Street. It consists of a bronze statue of a soldier holding a rifle. The statue lies on a pedestal that has plates with memorial inscriptions or drawings on each side.

The Askari Monument is the heart of Dar es Salaam.

  • National Museum and House of Culture

The National Museum is known for its displays on the evolution of mankind, since one of the earliest remains of humans were found in Africa. It also contains interesting and unique African art pieces. One section of the museum is dedicated to the history of the slave trade. It’s an interesting and insightful museum.

  • Coco Beach/Oyster Bay

If you’re up for interacting with the locals, head over to Coco beach! The beach doesn’t usually have a lot of tourists so it’s a bit cheaper than other Tanzanian beaches. You get to witness pure and authentic Tanzanian culture here. The restaurants and bars lining the beach serve delicious local food! Don’t forget to try Chipsi Mayai and Mishkaki!

  • The Village Museum

The Village Museum is not a traditional museum where you’re not allowed to touch objects on display.  It consists of different huts that represent over 15 different Tanzanian ethnic groups. You can enter the furnished huts and explore the traditional objects inside the huts. Moreover, you can also watch live cultural dances that take place in the museum every day!


  • Kivukoni Fish Market

Wake up early in the morning and head over to the Kivukoni Fish Market to take part in a fish auction! Fishermen deposit their catch early in the morning and then the locals visit the market to get the best price on fish and other seafood.

  • Bongoyo Island

Bongoyo Island is located just off the coast of Dar es Salaam. A 30-minute ferry ride from the Slipway Center will take you to the island. The island is beautiful and unspoiled with white sand and clear water. It’s best to rent a hut (banda) on the Island if you plan on staying for a few hours. Take a stroll on the shore and just relax at the Island, away from the busy and hectic city life!

So, what are you waiting for? Head over to Dar es Salaam and visit these wonderful spots!

Don’t forget to check out the Expert Guide on Selous Game Reserve while you’re in Tanzania!

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