By Azure Lee
Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, is a stunning country with a diverse array of cultures and captivating places to explore. When you look at a map of Tanzania, you'll discover numerous major cities, each offering a blend of appealing urban landscapes, architecture, excellent amenities, attractions, and housing options that collectively contribute to making Tanzania one of the most beautiful countries to visit in East Africa. It boasts some of the most gorgeous locations and the largest cities you can experience in your lifetime.
In this article, we will explore some of the best cities to visit in Tanzania for unforgettable travel experiences.
Best Cities In Tanzania You Can't Miss
Tanzania is home to more wild animals per square kilometer than any other African country. It also boasts the highest and largest free-standing mountain in the world, which is majestically resting there. It is understandable why the nation is cherishedly referred to as the "Soul of Africa" given its vast diversity, culture, beauty, minerals, history, and varied fauna. Here are several of the best cities in Tanzania you must visit once in your life:
Arusha - The Safari Capital
Arusha city is often referred to as the "Safari Capital of the World." Nestled at the foot of Mount Meru, this city serves as the gateway to some of Tanzania's most famous national parks, including the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Before embarking on your wildlife adventure, take some time to explore Arusha itself.
In Arusha, you can visit the Arusha National Park, which offers breathtaking landscapes, lush forests, and an opportunity to spot wildlife like giraffes, zebras, and flamingos. A visit to the surrounding coffee plantations is also worthwhile. There isn't much to see in the city, but if you do find yourself there, make sure to check out the local market.
The landscape of Mount Meru in Arusha, Tanzania
Tanga - A Coastal Gem
Tanga, another coastal city, is celebrated for its rich history, beautiful beaches, and cultural gems, making it a perfect blend of relaxation and exploration. Tanga region is a remarkably diverse destination that captivates discerning travelers and adventurous explorers. In the past, it served as a stopover, alongside Pangani and Bagamoyo, for caravans heading to the Central African hinterland in search of ivory and slaves.
Undoubtedly, this renowned Tanzanian city has a wealth of attractions and is a surprisingly safe and hospitable place to explore. It's enriched with stunning landscapes, a distinctive culture, and friendly locals, making Tanga the perfect destination for intrepid travelers.
Zanzibar City - The Island Paradise
When mentioning the beautiful cities in Tanzania, people often think of Zanzibar City. Zanzibar Town, the vibrant heart of Unguja Island, commonly referred to as Zanzibar, is where the island's lively life unfolds. The historic quarter, known as Stone Town, is characterized by numerous colonial-era buildings.
This area earned its name due to the prevalent use of coral stone in constructing these structures, and it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Many of these coral stone buildings have undergone extensive restoration efforts in recent years, making Stone Town one of the key tourist destinations in Zanzibar. Wandering through its narrow alleyways, you'll feel transported back in time by several centuries.
When mentioning the beautiful cities in Tanzania, people often think of Zanzibar City
Dodoma - The Political Heart
Tanzania's official political capital and seat of government is Dodoma, which is situated in the country's center. By comparison, it is significantly smaller and less developed than Dar es Salaam, one of the richest cities and best cities to visit in Tanzania. In the past, Dodoma served as a rest stop on the overland caravan route that connected Lake Tanganyika with the Swahili coast. The town rose to prominence at the beginning of the 20th century as a hub for the Central Line railway, which carried agricultural products to the port of Dar es Salaam for export.
Today, visitors can explore the Museum of Earth Sciences as well as several ancient structures like Tanzania's largest mosque, the Gaddafi Mosque, and the Parliament building. With so many bars and restaurants, Nyerere Square is a great place to spend your lunch break.
Dar es Salaam - The Coastal Metropolis
Dar es Salam is one of the most beautiful cities in Tanzania. Ranking among the top 5 largest cities in Tanzania, Dar es Salaam city is a vibrant metropolis full of contrasts and a melting pot of many different cultures. The city boasts one of Tanzania's most stunning beaches because of its location on the Indian Ocean, and you can go from the bustling city center to the beach in no time.
For a taste of local delicacies, a visit to the city's market is a must. After fortifying yourself, you can continue your sightseeing adventure along the coast, where you'll find attractions such as the Cathedral of St. Joseph, the White Fathers' House, the botanical garden, and the Old State House (Ikulu). Notably, this is also the departure point for the ferry to Zanzibar.
Dar es Salaam is the largest in Tanzania
Bagamoyo is home to world-class historical sites and one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites in Tanzania, as well as a rich social past that awaits you to discover. Bagamoyo town, located 70 kilometers north of Dar es Salaam on the coast opposite Zanzibar, was formerly a major commerce port along the East African Coast and a German East African capital.
This Tanzanian city is home to various ethnic groups, including the Wakwere, Wazaramo, and Wazigua. Aside from the local populations, diverse civilizations, including those of Arab descent, dwell in Bagamoyo, making the town a peaceful and welcoming destination for visitors from all over the world.
Mwanza - The Rock City
Mwanza, which is located in the northwest of the country on the beaches of Lake Victoria, is a great starting point for exploring the nearby attractions of Saanane Island, Rubondo National Park, and the Bujora Sukuma and Nyerere Museums.
Alternatively known as "Rock City" due to the enormous stone outcrops that emerge from the lake and are scattered throughout the city; the most famous of these are the Bismarck Rocks, named for the German Chancellor who oversaw the establishment of this community as the authoritative center of German East Africa. Among the attractions in Mwanza are land excursions, canoe safaris, and tilapia or goliath Nile roost fishing.
Mwanza is located in the northwest of the country on the beaches of Lake Victoria
Kigoma, located on the eastern beaches of Lake Tanganyika, is surrounded by harsh mountains and woodlands, making it a fulfilling and lovely environment. This one of the best cities to visit in Tanzania is the territorial capital of western Tanzania and a regional hub. Some of the noteworthy places to visit around Kigoma are Ujiji, a nearby former Arab slave-exchanging hamlet, Stanley, and Livingstone's famous meeting place, Gombe National Park for chimp survey, and Lake Tanganyika.
Tips For Exploring Best Cities In Tanzania
Exploring the vibrant and diverse cities of Tanzania is an exciting adventure that can offer you a deeper understanding of the country's culture, history, and local way of life. Whether you're planning a visit to the bustling metropolis of Dar es Salaam, the historical charm of Zanzibar City, or the political heart of Dodoma, there are some essential tips to consider as you explore the top cities to visit in Tanzania.
Understand the Local Culture and Customs
Learning a few Swahili phrases, respecting local traditions, and adhering to appropriate dress codes can go a long way in fostering positive interactions with locals.
Pack Appropriately for Different Climates
Tanzania's climate varies from city to city, with coastal cities like Dar es Salaam having a tropical climate, while cities in the highlands may be cooler.
Ensure you pack appropriate clothing for the conditions you'll encounter. Lightweight, breathable fabrics work well for warm cities, while warmer attire is advisable for cooler regions. Don't forget comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
Savor Street Food and Local Cuisine
Tanzanian street food offers an excellent opportunity to experience local flavors and culinary traditions. Be adventurous and try some street food, such as samosas, grilled maize, and delectable seafood in coastal cities.
Explore Local Markets for Unique Souvenirs
Each city in Tanzania has its own unique markets where you can shop for local products, handmade crafts, fresh produce, and more. Exploring these markets not only allows you to purchase souvenirs but also offers a glimpse into the local way of life. Bargaining is common in Tanzanian markets, so don't hesitate to negotiate prices.
Apply for a Tanzania eVisa
Before embarking on your journey to explore the best cities in Tanzania, it's important to ensure that you have all the necessary travel documentation in place. Travelers from many countries are required to obtain a visa to enter Tanzania. To make the visa application process more convenient, you can apply for a Tanzania eVisa through our official website: Tanzania Immigration Services.
The Tanzania eVisa simplifies the application process, allowing you to obtain your visa online. It's a quick and efficient way to secure your travel authorization, ensuring a smooth entry into this beautiful East African nation. Contact us for the most up-to-date information on visa requirements, application fees, and processing times.