What is special about Arusha? Known as the safari centre of Tanzania’s Northern Safari Circuit, Arusha is located at the base of the stunning Mount Meru. The city is a hive of activity, with marketplaces, busy roads, historic colonial buildings, and contemporary amenities like WiFi-equipped coffee shops and fantastic dining options.

Arusha is frequently thought of as a place to halt while travelling on safari. If you extend your stay, though, this bustling town with its blend of modern and colonial buildings, congested roadways, and amiable Tanzanians will offer a plethora of things to see and do.

Things to do in Arusha

There are many different places to go and activities to do in Arusha 2024 – 2025. The town has a vibrant nightlife with plenty of eateries and coffee shops. Spend a day or two in Arusha if you want to see a true African town that is crowded and bustling.

Smack square in the middle of the town, the Clock Tower serves as a fantastic gathering place for visitors and locals alike. According to urban legend, this is the halfway point between Cairo and Cape Town. Even if it is entirely false, it is nonetheless a fantastic tale.

The Central and Maasai markets are tumultuous, lively places to buy anything from gadgets to meat and fish. African art and curios are widely available at Maasai Markets. Although they’re packed and hectic, they’re a fantastic opportunity to see authentic Africa. Keep an eye out for pickpockets and be ready to bargain!

The Cultural Heritage Centre has amazing sculptures strewn throughout the area, as well as a café, stores, and a spice centre. A must-see is the Makonde Museum, which is brimming with exquisitely crafted masks.

Learn about the history of tanzanite and the process used to mine these stunning jewels at the Tanzanite Experience. Remember to purchase one to bring home.

Originally constructed as a German fort in the early 1900s, the Boma Museum documents both the town’s colonial past and the local tribe’s history. Additionally, it is home to the Natural History Museum, which has interesting information on the local fauna as well as archaeological and paleoanthropological sites.

Shanga, located on the Dodoma Road, is a fantastic facility that includes shops, an outdoor dining area, and a workshop for artists with disabilities who create exquisite jewellery, glass, beading, and clothing.

A bit further outside of Arusha is Meserani Snake Park, where you may observe a variety of snakes, learn about them, and even handle them! A tiny Maasai Museum and camel rides are also available.

How to get to Arusha

Two airports serve the city of Arusha. While Kilimanjaro International Airport serves daily flights from African, international, and local carriers, Arusha Airport serves daily flights from a number of local locations.

The majority of people only think about Arusha as the capital of Tanzania for Tanzania tours or as a place to stay while climbing the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro. You shouldn’t ignore this East African city, though. A massive clock tower marks the centre of the Old British Empire, which is represented by Arusha, which is situated exactly midway between Cairo and Cape Town. Explore this city, there are many reasons to do so, beneath its chaotic, dusty the facade. These are the top ten.

Backdrop mountain view

Tanzania’s second-highest peak, Mount Meru, is frequently visited by tourists as a warm-up for climbing the formidable Kilimanjaro. Some, though, are content to observe it from a distance. If you’re in the latter group, you’ll be happy to learn that Arusha has a breathtaking backdrop thanks to this inactive volcano. If you don’t feel like working out, you may still visit the lower slopes of the park and take a far less taxing camel safari or swim under the waterfalls at Arusha National Park.

What is special about Arusha?
Arusha National park

The Tanzania Experience

 The Tanzanite Experience, the world’s first museum devoted to this gemstone, is located in the centre of Arusha. Tanzanite is the birthstone for December and one of Tanzania’s most proud exports. Take the lift to the third level at the Blue Plaza on India Street. Free guided tours take you inside a temporary mine and explain the background of this vivid blue diamond that is mined in Mt. Kilimanjaro’s foothills. Examine the stunning tanzanite jewellery that is on show, and if it makes you feel hot, buy it.

Tanzanian Market

One of the best venues to see Tanzanian life is the Central Market in Arusha, which is an absolute sensory overload. Be prepared to barter and keep your wits about you since locals will do everything in their power to be your tour guide (for a price) and traders are motivated to make a sale. A vibrant mood permeates the numerous kiosks selling exotic fruit, coffee, nuts, and spices.

The town host a good number of coffee shops

Unexpectedly for this classic African city, Arusha boasts a respectable assortment of coffee shops offering European-style cups of coffee, iced lattes, and flat whites. Explore Boma Road’s Africafe and Jambo Coffee House, Sokoine Road’s Café Barrista, and Themi Road’s Fifi’s. For those who have a deep passion for coffee, there are luxurious coffee lodges located outside of the city, offering “Bean to Cup” plantation tours.


The museums in Arusha are an excellent place to start if you want to learn more about the political, cultural, and social history of Tanzania. The Arusha Declaration Museum, located near the Uhuru roundabout, provides insight into the nation’s struggle for independence and serves as a visual representation of its colonial past. The National History Museum takes tourists on a trip through human evolution in its German fort located off of Boma Road. Visit The Cultural Heritage artisan mall to find a large assortment of African sculptures, paintings, and antiquities.

Great town for shopping

Numerous stores in Arusha Central Market sell hand-woven baskets and Maasai textiles. But it’s worth visiting the Mt Meru Curios & Crafts Market (also known as the Maasai Market) on Fire Road for the best selection of African trinkets and souvenirs. It boasts the largest assortment of goods in the city, but it will require some assured haggling and an acute eye to choose the best items. Visit the Maasai Women Fair Trade Centre on Simeon Road if you want to shop ethically. Additionally, the Cultural Heritage craft mall provides a laid-back shopping atmosphere.

Plenty of food joints

You have an abundance of options when it comes to simple street food in Arusha. At Discovery Restaurant, take a seat next to the Maasai men and enjoy Nyama Choma, which is roasted beef and corn, along with chapatti, pilau, and biryani. A cult following is developed by Khan’s BBQ on Mosque Street because of its “Chicken on the Bonnet” street food and heaping platters of Indian-style salads, naans, and chutneys. In the downtown streets, roadside foods are always available, and foodies love the monthly Arusha Farmer’s market.

Private tranquil locations

At first, Arusha can seem like a crazy place to visit. If you go a little further, you’ll discover some unexpectedly calm areas. Run by a women’s community enterprise, Eat Wild is an eco-restaurant serving organic meals in the verdant Themi Living Gardens. Another urban haven is The Mulberry, where you can relax on plush daybeds, take in the birdsong, and sip some of the best drinks the city has to offer. Try the sunset in Arusha or a mango margarita.

Charitable activities

One of the best reasons to go to Arusha is that you can volunteer and perform charitable work there while you’re on vacation. You can arrange this through a volunteer agency like Projects Abroad or VSO, or you can get in contact with local organisations like Good Hope Orphanage, The Fruitful Orphanage, and KATz Volunteer Adventure. Supporting socially conscious companies like Shanga Shangaa, who create jewellery and home goods from recycled materials, is another way you can give back.

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