Meaning 'Haven of Peace' in Arabic, Dar es Salaam began as a small fishing village and has become a melting pot of cultures, encompassing African, Arabic and South Asian flavours. This city is anything but 'peaceful', though, and is a bustling metropolis by East African standards. As well as being the largest city in Tanzania, Dar es Salaam is a major port that straddles some of the world's most important sea routes. It is also the economic and cultural heart of Tanzania and the main transport hub for travellers.
With German, Asian, Swahili and British architecture to appreciate, visitors will find no shortage of attractions to busy themselves with while on holiday in Dar es Salaam. The city also has a few interesting museums, including the National Museum and the Makumbusho Village Museum. On a nice day travellers can head to the Botanical Gardens, while the colourful and vibrant Kariakoo Market and clock tower are also popular with tourists and holidaymakers. Those in search of sandy beaches to sun worship on will do well to take the ferry to Bongoyo Island, or visit Kigamboni on the south coast.
Most tourists simply transit through Dar es Salaam on the way to more exotic Tanzanian destinations, but this rapidly expanding city is not without charm and more and more travellers are discovering its hidden delights. Accommodation in the city is plentiful, and visitors will find that Dar es Salaam provides plenty in both the luxury and budget brackets, but not much in between, making mid-range accommodation the hardest to find.