7 Top Things to Do In Dar Es Salaam

Dar Es Salaam is Tanzania’s largest city which is brimming with beautiful tourist spots and activities. It is home to varied cultures, islands, beaches, seafood, races, and a whole lot more. If you want a unique adventure of your own, be sure not to miss this East African metropolis which can be found along the coast of the Indian Ocean.

Here are the top things to do in Dar Es Salaam that you will definitely enjoy:

Visit the National Museum of Tanzania

Become familiar with the history of this vibrant metropolis by visiting the National Museum & House of Culture which was opened to the public as a memorial to King George V in 1940. It showcases the unearthed fossils of the early dwellers of Tanzania and their traditional ornaments, crafts, musical instruments. You will also learn its ancient customs, tribal heritage, the culture of colonial periods, and the slave trade impact.

National Museum and House of Culture
National Museum and House of Culture | Photo by David Stanley under creative commons

The museum is open daily from 9:30 to 6:00 pm. Admission is 6500 TZS for adults and 2600 TZS for students.  

Haggle at the Kivukoni Fish Market

Residents, hoteliers, restaurateurs, and fish peddlers gather early in this famous market to auction the catch of the fishing boats. Make sure to bargain hard to get the best fish, crab, or squid that you want. Even if you are not buying, you will enjoy discovering the varied Indian Ocean species and taking photos as well.

Kivukoni Fish Market
Kivukoni Fish Market | Photo by Nguva under creative commons

See St. Joseph Cathedral

This Gothic-inspired Roman Catholic church is the seat of the Archdiocese of Dar Es Salaam. It was constructed by the German missionaries in 1887 until 1902. The striking features of this cathedral are the stained-glass windows, vaulted interior, and shingled spire. The inside of the St. Joseph Cathedral displays many original German artworks and inscriptions, including the carved relief above its altar. It is also noted for the amazing singing of the local choir. English Mass is at 8:30 am and 11:00 am.

St. Joseph Cathedral
St. Joseph’s Cathedral | Photo by David Stanley under creative commons

Swim at Coco Beach

Lying idyllic in Msasani Peninsula is the much-sought Coco Beach which is also known as the Oyster Bay. This popular weekend getaway should be in the list of your top things to do in Dar Es Salaam. Local and foreign visitors flock to swim, stroll, and party! The beach has bars, clubs, restaurants, and street food stalls.  From the city, ride a taxi to reach the beach.

Coco Beach
Coco Beach | Photo by David Stanley under creative commons

Shop at Kariakoo Market

Never leave the city without hunting down authentic Tanzanian products in the Kariakoo Market. It is considered the most thrilling and busiest local shopping district because everyone is haggling for the best deals. It is such a chaotic and fun market to shop, but always negotiate to get what you want. One precaution, be careful with your valuables and money as you go around.

Top Things to Do In Dar Es Salaam
Kariakoo Market | Photo by Prof.Chen Hualin under creative commons

Visit the Askari Monument

At the junction of Samora Avenue and Azikwe Street is where the Askari Monument stood proud to commemorate the heroism of African soldiers who fought in World War 1 as Carrier Corps. It has a Swahili and English inscription, both written by the famous British poet-writer Rudyard Kipling.

Askari Monument
Askari Monument | Photo by Zahra Abdulmajid under creative commons

Taste the local cuisine

While in the city, eat like the locals. Dar Es Salaam boasts of a fascinating array of local dishes and delicacies, so have a feast and try them all if you want. Some of the most favorites are the Nyama Choma (roasted meat with tomato, red onion, and chili), the Mishkaki (grilled meat on sticks or BBQ which is served with lime juice and hot chili), and the Zanzibari Mix (a rare dish of deep-fried fritters in coconut milk curry with chili sauce and fresh chutneys). And while there, relish the street foods like Roasted Maize (corn) and Tanzanian Chapati (pancake), as well as local beverages like the sugar cane juice, the pungent Stoney Tangawizi, and the Dar coffee.

Nyama Choma
Nyama Choma | Photo by Shyqo under creative commons

Eat, Explore, and Experience these top things to do in Dar Es Salaam to truly feel the Tanzanian way of life. Your trip is definitely worth the memories you will accumulate.

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