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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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This article was originally published on April 6, 2015.