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Tips for First-Time Travelers in Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam is a beautiful city that serves as the gateway to the Zanzibar Archipelago as well as the southern safari circuit. It’s the former capital of Tanzania and is home to beautiful museums, stunning churches and intricate architecture. 

Here are some tips for first-time travelers in Dar es Salaam:

  • Always keep some extra cash with you. Dar es Salaam has plenty of ATMs where you can withdraw some cash. You probably won’t find any ATMs at far-away locations in your safari so it’s best to be prepared. 
  • Make sure you lock your luggage properly when you leave it behind in your hotel room to explore the city. 
  • Stay safe and secure at all times. Make sure you don’t travel alone at night on deserted streets. Always travel in groups and don’t flash expensive gadgets. 
  • The locals often increase the prices of products when they realize that you’re a tourist. Thus, it’s a great idea to bargain for the item/service you’re purchasing. That being said, you should tip drivers and waiters generously because they barely get minimum wages. 
  • Slipway Center is your go-to for all ferry rides from Dar es Salaam. If you plan on visiting any surrounding islands like Mbudya or Bongoyo, head over to Slipway and catch a ferry. 
  • These are the place/sights that are a must-visit if you’re a first-time traveler in Dar es Salaam:
  • Village Museum – the Village Museum is Dar es Salaam’s cultural crown. It contains traditional huts and homesteads representing over 120 ethnic tribes. The huts contain traditional crafts, jewelry and other items. You can enter each hut and go through the items. Moreover, the Museum also hosts traditional dances. 


  • Bongoyo Island – this island is located about a thirty-minutes ferry ride away from the coast of Dar. It’s a beautiful island where you can go snorkeling and observe marine life.

  • Kariakoo Market
    This busy market will entertain all your shopping needs. Shopping at Dar is an amazing experience because you get to interact with the locals and learn more about their culture. Make sure you bargain for the product you like!


  • Azania Front Lutheran Church and St. Joseph’s Cathedral

Both of these stunning buildings were built by German missionaries in the latter part of the 9th century. They’re interesting sights to visit and located very close to each other so you can visit both in single trip. 

So, what are you waiting for? Head over to Dar and have a great time exploring the beautiful city. Don’t forget to check out the Guide to Air Travel in Tanzania so that you can get the best flights at the best rates.