The commercial hub of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam has come a long way from its roots as a quiet fishing village into the sprawling metropolis of high-rise buildings it is now. Home to East Africa’s second largest port and with a population of around four million people, Dar es Salaam has a stylish urban centre and is Tanzania’s most prominent city for fashion, music, arts and film. With exquisite architecture that mixes Arab, German, Indian and African influences, it is a city not to be overlooked.
For practical reasons, Dar es Salaam is seldom explored by visitors and is far more likely to be used as a stop off before heading on to some of the wildlife parks in Zanzibar or South Tanzania, on account of the city featuring the country’s largest commercial airport. With a healthy choice of large international style and standard hotels, you can relax either side of international flights. Whilst the notorious traffic jams can be frustrating, it is worth considering a stay here to freshen up after flights or even briefly explore some of the coastal areas located around an hour from the centre; these offer a fantastic alternative to Zanzibar, with stunning beaches and cultural experiences.