Things to do in Dar es salaam

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Dar es Salaam is a growing city on the coast of Tanzania, and while it's not a traditional tourist destination, there are a number of reasons why visiting here is a good idea. The town has a charm and culture all its own, and there are many shops, museums and other attractions to keep even the most demanding of tourists occupied. A visit to Dar es Salaam can be done as part of a longer journey to Zanzibar or other places in Tanzania, or it can be used as a short vacation on its own.

Attractions

Tourists should take time to visit at least one of the museums in Dar es Salaam, either the National Museum of Tanzania, which houses fossils from the dawn of time, or the Village Museum, which preserves the living history of the 18 tribes of the Tanzanian region.

Other places to visit include the South Beach, a short ferry-ride away, but seeming to be a fantastic tropical island. There are a range of hotels across the beach, from budget to luxury, so tourists may opt to stay there if they wish.

Shopping

Tourists might like to explore the cultural diversity of Dar es Salaam’s shopping centers, from the traditional African handicrafts market of the Nyumba ya Sanaa, to the Kariakoo, the largest covered market in all Africa. Note that it's a haven for pickpockets as well as shoppers. Aside from the traditional markets, Dar es Salaam also has some more western-style shopping malls, such as the Slipways, which is a mish-mash of boutiques, ice-cream parlours, apartments and pubs. It also holds a bazaar of crafts at the weekends.

Nightlife

Dar es Salaam should be more widely known for its lively nightlife, although it's still a very dangerous area and not suitable for solitary tourists. There's the amazing Bongoyo Island, where you can eat grilled fish fresh off the boat, or visit the Q-bar – good food and a place where good beer can be found. Sweet Easy is a bar on Oyster Bay. Thursday nights are standing-room only. Trinity, next to the Ugandan Embassy, caters to European/American tastes with Electronic music. Club Bilicanas, near Upanga, caters more for traditional Tanzanian music, although mixed with hip-hop and R&B. If you fancy somewhere to eat and dance, then Garden Bistro, open until 4am, combines western, African and Indian music with Indian food and outdoor dancing.

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