The Heart Of Madagascar: 10 Things To Do In Antananarivo

While most travelers head to Madagascar to see exotic animals, parks and beaches, the capital city of Antananarivo has much to offer, too. It’s the largest city in the country and has fascinating culture, cuisine and attractions. Here are 10 things to do in Antananarivo.

Rova of Antananarivo

Rova of Antananarivo(Lemurbaby/Wikimedia Commons)

Rova of Antananarivo

This palace sits on one of the highest hills in the city. Its intricate gate features design elements such as a carved eagle, while tombs inside the structure hold the bodies of former royalty. Avoid hiring the guides that stand near the entrance. Instead, arrange for a guide before setting out for a day at the site.

Musee Andafivaratra

Musee Andafivaratra(Alex Dunkel (VisionHolder)/Wikimedia Commons)

Musee Andafivaratra

The Musee Andafivaratra highlights the history of Madagascar and is housed in a former palace. Much of the building was restored following a devastating fire. Exhibits on display include a throne and the crown jewels from previous royalty.

Downtown arts centers in antananarivo

Wikimedia Commons

The Albert Camus Cultural Center

The Albert Camus Cultural Center is a great location to catch art exhibitions, films, and concerts. Check prior to arrival to learn about scheduled daily activities as well as special events.

nosy komba crafts

Crafts in Nosy Komba (Shutterstock)

Musee de L’Art et de Archeologie

The Musee de L’Art et de Archeologie features up to date exhibits about the cultural history of Madagascar. Displays cover the archaeological concerns and major developments in retrieving important historical items.

An indri lemur in Madagascar (Shutterstock)

An indri lemur in Madagascar (Shutterstock)

Parc De Lémuriens à Madagascar

Several types of lemurs and native plants can be found inside this park. It’s an easy to access location that is just a short drive from the city center.

 (L/Wikimedia Commons)

(L/Wikimedia Commons)

La City Centre Commercial

The large scale shopping mall is a great destination for an afternoon out in Antananarivo. Large brands as well as locally owned shops are found throughout the mall. Children will also appreciate play areas located in the centre.

market on the garden route

(Jack Gavigan/Wikimedia Commons)


The markets of Andravoahangy offer travelers the chance to purchase unique, locally-produced products. Crafts like baskets and leather goods are some of the most popular items among this crowded market.

Lac Anosy

Lac Anosy(mwanasimba from La Réunion/FLickr/russavia/Wikimedia Commons)

Lac Anosy

Take a short walk to the lake and experience a natural getaway from the city. Great birdwatching opportunities include White Cattle Egrets found in the area. Try to limit visits to daytime hours only.

Is’Art Galerie

An exhibition for local artists is an important part of this gallery. Traditional styles as well as modern trends can be found among the selections on display. Visitors can purchase most of the artwork.

(Mstyslav Chernov/Wikimedia Commons)

(Mstyslav Chernov/Wikimedia Commons)

Scooter Tours

Scooters or motorcycle tours are popular in the city. Tourists can rent a scooter and travel alone through the Antananarivo, but it is recommended that visitors take a day tour with a licensed operator.

More from AFKTravel:

Fascinating Animals You Can Only Find In Madagascar

7 Events In Madagascar You Need To Attend

Visiting The Avenue Of The Baobabs: The Roots Of Madagascar

This article was originally published on April 6, 2015. 

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