Things to do in Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam Itinerary

An African megacity between tradition and future

Duration: at least FOUR DAYS

Budget: $ 45 per day

Stay: Ak’s home daycare & HOME STAY OR Eazy’s Place

Tanzania’s former capital, often referred to as “Dar,” is not only Tanzania’s second-largest city but one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. Located along the coast of the Indian Ocean, Dar es Salaam is brimming with activities for anyone. Dar is not only known for its beaches and islands, but it also offers a glimpse into a vibrating African city. We recommend staying a couple more days to enjoy the beach before heading for a safari!

  • Sight Seeing 70% 70%
  • Beaches 65% 65%
  • City Life 100% 100%
  • Activities 80% 80%

Stuck in rush hour, it took us two hours to arrive at our destination. The house of Joseph, the doctor, was located in a suburban area, giving us the first glimpse of daily life. We were starving by the time we arrived.
We found our first Tanzanian dinner right by the street. Upon entering, we were eagerly greeted and received first instructions to food customs in Tanzania. Food is often shared and eaten with hands. Quite clumsy, we started eating away the first “kuku” with typical ugali. The warm welcome to Dar es Salaam made us even more excited to explore the city the following days!

Along Kivukoni Waterfront

Kivukuni is the trading spot for locally caught fish. It’s exciting to watch the vivid hustle of the fishermen. You’ll also find the exotic botanical garden and the Lutheran church Azania Front close by. Just keep looking out for Azania’s striking red bell tower. Many interesting museums are close by, too.

Cavalerio church in Leon, Nicaragua
Dar es Salaam National Museum

National Museum

The National Museum in Dar es Salaam is a fantastic place to learn about the history of Tanzania.The museum contains two million old bones from the ancestors of Homo Sapiens, making it one of the most important paleontological sites in the world. The museum also has a wealth of other exhibits, ranging from traditional African masks to modern art. The National Museum is a mustsee for anyone interested in the history of Tanzania or the human race. The museum is open every day except Monday, and admission is free. Dar es Salaam is an intriguing city with a lot to offer, and The National Museum is one of its most cherished treasures.

Makumbusho Village Museum

The Makumbusho Village Museum is an open-air museum established in 1967 with the primary goal of acquiring, researching, and preserving Tanzania’s indigenous culture and architecture. The museum features several traditional homes and buildings from various regions of the country and a variety of exhibits on topics such as agriculture, pottery, and traditional medicine. In addition, the museum offers a variety of educational programs and events throughout the year. So whether you’re looking to learn more about Tanzania’s rich cultural heritage or want to enjoy a stroll through the beautiful grounds, the Makumbusho Village Museum is worth visiting.

Leon, Nicaragua: barrio Sutiavia
Kivukoni fish

Kivukoni fish market

If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, add the Kivukoni fish market to your Dar-es-salaam itinerary. This lively market is held every morning, with fishers offloading their catch from traditional dhows. Then, restaurateurs, hoteliers, and public members gather to bargain for the best seafood in a raucous auction. It’s a fantastic opportunity to see an impressive range of Indian Ocean fish species and snap some great photos. Throughout the day, you can purchase fresh fish from the market. So if you’re a fan of seafood, make sure to add the Kivukoni fish market to your list of things to do in Dar es

Kariakoo Market – Dar’s busiest market

On our first day, we decided to visit one of the busiest and most vibrant local markets to get an authentic Dar experience right away. On the way to the market, we passed Dar es Salaam’s famous Oyster Bay. Kariakoo market is located at the intersection of Mkunguni and Nyamwezi streets. As soon as we hopped off the bus, we were immediately swallowed by the busy hustle and bustle of the market. You can find virtually anything here: fresh produce, agricultural crops, fresh and dried fish, cloths, even house, and office furniture. We strolled around for quite some time enjoying the bustling streets

Kariakoo Market, Dar's geschäftiger Straßenmarkt
Dar es salaam market

Mwenge Carvers Market

Mwenge is one of the most popular tourist markets in Dar es Salaam. It’s located in the city center and is known for its wood carvings, paintings, and sculptures. Mwenge is a great place to find souvenirs and gifts for friends and family back home. The market is also a great place to bargain for prices on things like clothing, jewelry, and other items.

Uhuru Street – the place to shop kangas

Since we were on the lookout for a traditional African dress, so-called kangas, we visited Uhuru Street (from Mnazi Moja to Samora Avenue). Uhuru street is well known to be one of the best places to shop for fabrics, clothes, and most importantly, kangas. After our little shopping spring, we can only confirm that. Tanzanians and tourists complimented our kangas. While taking in the vibe of the market, our experience from last night was reaffirmed: men and women greeted us warmly, started conversations, and thought us the basics of Swahili. We found the friendliness of the people, the buzzing streets, and the colorful environment exhilarating. We could barely wait to discover more of Tanzania. Thanks to the malaria pills we had
an unrestful night, and we got up early to head to

Tanzania backpacking, tanzania responsible travel guide, Masai culture, Tanzania safari, Trangire safari, Zanzibar, Zanzibar's best beaches, best time to visit Tanzania, Tanzania safety, Tanzania cultural travel guide
Leon, Nicaragua: Cerro Negro

Beaches around Dar es Salaam

Even though Dar es Sallam is not a beach destination per se, the beaches are a very cool place to spend some time around Dar and feel the city’s energy.

Our favorite beaches around Dar es Salaam


Oyster Bay & Cocoa Beach

Oyster Bay is a beautiful stretch of beach on the Msasani Peninsula, located just north of Dar Es Salaam. On weekends, the beach is buzzing with activity as Tanzanians come out to enjoy the food trucks, music, and atmosphere. While Oyster Bay is not recommended for swimming, it’s still a great place to relax and soak up the sun. Cocoa Beach is also nearby if you’re looking for a more traditional beach experience. This beach is popular with locals and tourists alike and offers plenty of opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the views. Dar es Salaam is a beautiful city with plenty to offer, and Oyster Bay and Cocoa Beach are just two of the many great
places to explore.

Bongjojo Island Dar es salaam

Bongojo Island

Bongojo Island is a great place to spend the day if you want to go snorkeling, sunbathing, or dining on fresh fish. It is located off the coast of Dar es Salaam and can be reached by taking a
boat from the Slipway shopping center. To get to Bongojo Island, take a boat from the Slipway shopping center. (Min. 4 people/ $20 roundtrip). Once you’re on the island, there are plenty of  things to keep you busy. If you’re looking to snorkel, there are several spots around the island where you can find some stunning marine life. If you’re looking to relax, there are plenty of beaches where you can soak up the sun. And finally, if you’re looking for some delicious food, several restaurants on the island serve fresh fish caught that day. So whether you’re looking for excitement or relaxation, Bongojo Island is the place for you.

Dar Beach 2

Jangwani & Mbuja Island

Jangwani is one of the most popular beaches in Dar es Salaam. It’s located north of the city center and is known for its white sand and clear blue water. Jangwani is also a great place to take
a boat to Abuja Island, a small island with beautiful beaches and fresh seafood. If you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, Jangwani is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the incredible views of the Indian Ocean.

Populat Tours in Dar es Salaam

Practical travel tips for Dar es Salaam

When is the best time to visit Dar es Salaam?


Dar es Salaam is warm all year round. The average temperature is around 27 degrees. Expect the most rainfall from March till May.

How to get around Dar es Salaam by public transport?


There are no taximeters, so start practicing haggling skills! Usually, a cab to the city center costs about 30 000 Schilling (US$ 14). However, our first Airbnb was located in a very local neighborhood, about one hour from the center of Dar es Salaam. Too exhausted from the flight to take a daladala, we exchanged money and took some time to negotiate a reasonable price ($18) with
the cab drivers.

A daladala (=minibus) is the cheapest and most fun option to reach the city center.
The final stops are listed on the bus. You pay when you get off the bus. If you want to get off, knock on the wall of the bus. There is no "stop button."
The ride with the Daladala is not only super cheap but also safe. It gets super crowded at times.
However, Tanzanians don't fear contact despite heat and sweat, so you should either if you plan on going by daladala.

What is a muzungo?


In Tanzania, people often refer to us as "Mzungu." This means people of European descent, so this term should not be insulting. Nowadays, it only describes a person with fair skin. However, when
shopping at the market, you often get the "Mzungu price." So be prepared to haggle.

Where to get money?


Load up on cash before heading to Zanzibar's beaches. Unfortunately, ATMs are hard to find.

Is Dar es Salaam safe for travelers?


Tanzania is a safe travel destination, and so is Dar es Salaam. However, we heard you should watch out for pickpockets. We have been warned to visit the Kariakoo market but can not confirm the warnings.

Don't stroll out too long after dark and use a taxi.

Can I drink tap water on Tanzania?


You can not drink tap water in Tanzania? without risking becoming sick. Bring your water filter or self-cleaning bottle and enjoy cool drinks while avoiding plastic pollution.

What's the biggest challenge for the conscious traveler?


Trash: Often, you'll find food vendors selling typical Nicaraguan dishes on the go. It's not just delicious but cheap. To avoid plastic wrapping, choose to buy your food at the bus stations and have them put it in your collapsible container. Bring your water filter or UV bottle to avoid having to buy bottled water.
Sunscreen: Protect Marine life and wear reef-friendly sunscreen!

tanzania travel Zanzibar beaches

Packing List Tanzania

Tanzania is one of the most diverse and beautiful countries in the world. You can explore bustling cities, go on safari to see some of the most incredible wildlife on earth or relax on some of the best beaches in Africa.

Check out our packing list to prepare for all Tanzania has to offer. You’ll find anything from clothing to travel gadgets and eco-friendly toiletries.


Going to Tanzania?

Let us inspire you!
More Tanzanian destinations

Places to visit in Tanzania

With its diverse cultures, beautiful nature and rich history Tanzania is a country not to be forgotten.