A Day in Arusha | Tanzanias flourishing Town | Best Spots & Sights

Arusha, Tanzania, has one of the most diverse populations in East Africa, which makes it an exciting place to visit. This city that was initially settled in the 1830s offers many fascinating places to visit where you can learn more about the people of Tanzania, the country’s history, and its diverse ecosystem.

The airport in Arusha is often used by visitors looking for a Tanzanian safari adventure, but do not miss the chance to spend a day or two exploring this city of about 417,000 residents with another 323,000 residents living in the surrounding district.

What to Expect When Visiting Arusha

Arusha is a very diverse city. You will find traditional markets where vendors are hawking wares located beside mega-malls. You will also find a great selection of attractions to visit, with many focusing on the cultural heritage of people groups who call this city home.

There is a wide choice in places to eat with African, Indian, Chinese, and Italian food being popular choices. If you decide to spend the night in Arusha, you will find many different price points and selections ranging from five-star hotels to farm stays.

Take a Look at Arusha

Thirty-one neighborhoods with their unique characteristics make up Arusha and the surrounding region. One thing that will strike many visitors is that the fifth tallest mountain in Tanzania is located here, and it makes a natural navigational aid for those who want to explore the city on their own.

Before arriving, view this video to get a sneak peek of Arusha.


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Highlights of an Arusha, Tanzania, Trip

While many take day trips from Arusha to visit Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater or Arusha National Park, there are many things that you may want to consider doing in Arusha, including:

  • Shop for home decor items while supporting people with disabilities in Tanzania with a stop at Shanga.
  • Haggle over prices at traditional markets on Bondeni Street and Sokione Road.
  • See the sculptures and learn about spices during a stop at the Cultural Heritage Center.
  • See traditionally carved wooden masks by stopping at the Makonde Museum.
  • Learn about the colonial history of Arusha, along with seeing a collection of taxidermy animals from across the county on a Boma Museum tour.
  • Sample the barbecue at Khan’s Barbecue.
  • Learn some Tanzanian dance steps by visiting Ibuka Dance Foundation.
  • Buy certified tanzanite stones and learn about their discovery at the Tanzanite Experience.
  • Enjoy a refreshing beverage while seeing over 60 South and East Africa snakes along with animals that are too weak or injured to make it in the wild by stopping at Meserani Snake Park.
  • Eat a traditional Swahili meal at Mwambao.
  • See how cloth is made by people working in the textile industry on a Weaving and Walking Tour.

A Market in Arusha

The Other Side of Arusha

Every community has its negative side, so it should come as no surprise that fact is true in Arusha.

You may not like:

  • Females, in particular, should be cautious of walking in some areas at night, mainly if they are alone.
  • Avoid worrying about malaria by taking precautions before and during your visit.
  • Vendors at markets will try to take advantage of tourists by charging them high prices if they are not prepared to haggle.
  • Traffic congestion can be a problem when getting around in Arusha.

Should You Visit Arusha?

Almost everyone can find something fun to do in Arusha. It also makes a great city to rest in after a long flight before going on a safari.

While the city has the usual problems of traffic congestion and needing to be aware of your surroundings, it is a unique city to visit that offers much to do, including eating great food, learning about the culture and shopping.

Consider putting it on your travel itinerary before or after a safari or make it a fun city to visit on its own. Chances are very strong that you will be warmly welcomed.

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