Antananarivo City Guide: Best Hotels, Restaurants & Sights

Antananarivo is the capital of Madagascar, being mostly known under the short form of its name: Tana. In the local language, Antananarivo means “City of a Thousand”.

The interesting thing about Antananarivo is that, despite the fact it is located within the Tropics, the climate is temperate because of the altitude around 1,400 m. Therefore, the average temperature doesn’t usually get much higher than 22.2 °C (72.0 °F).

Lake Anosy

Lake Anosy, Central Antananarivo, Capital of Madagascar | Image Source: Wikipedia

Best Hotels in the City

Antananarivo Madagascar has a wide selection of hotels that vary in terms of prices and facilities which is why it’s better that you take a look at the hotel booking category and decide on your own the accommodation that you want to choose.

Things You Have to See in Antananarivo

So, you’ve just landed in Antananarivo. What should you do next?

Royal Hill of Ambohimanga

Royal Hill of Ambohimanga

Royal Hill | Image soruce: Traveleguides.com

The city itself is very chaotic so if you want to get away from it and just experience the life in Madagascar as it is you should just take a trip to the Ambohimanga hill or Namehana, which are not just remarkable in terms of landscapes but they’re also filled with history. You can get a glimpse of how people live in those historical villages just by hiking.

The Main Market

The variety of rice is impressive but not surprising if you took a glimpse of the number of rice paddies in Antananarivo.

Visit Rova

Rova (or the Palace in which the Queen or the Sovereigns ruled the Kingdom of Imerina in the 17th and 18th century) is the highest point in Antananarivo and you can get a wonderful, panoramic view from up there even though a great part of the Rova itself had been burned down and is currently renovated.

Lemurs Park

Anyone who’s seen “Madagascar”, the animated movie, is probably interested in seeing the lemurs in their natural habitat and you can do so by visiting the Lemurs Park which is located 22 km away from Antananarivo but it’s worth it.

animals in madagascar

Lemurs Park in Antananarivo | Image Source: Wikipedia

Bars and Restaurants

There are many great places where you can eat tasty food available for a reasonable price. The selection of foods are often represented by French cuisine but also Indian and local as well.

  • Radama Hotel Restaurant – If you’re interested in trying out traditional Malagasy food then this is the right place for you. Many tourists left great reviews of this place on virtualtourist.com and among the meals that will delight you are: duck pate, zebu, dried fish or cassava and pork.
  • Shalimar – This is a place where you can eat foods from the Indo-Pakistanese cuisine under the form of delicious snacks and for great, affordable prices.
  • La Table D’Hotes De Mariette – Yet another place with traditional Malagasy food which has a lot in common with French cuisine considering the fact that Madagascar used to be a French colony.
  • Espace Dera – This is a great bar where you can dance and socialize in a pleasant atmosphere and if you are a man travelling alone, you won’t find prostitutes harassing you here.

Nosy Be Island

Nosy Be Island

Nosy Be Island | Image source: keyafrica.com

Nosy Be is an island paradise situated of the north west of Madagascar in the western Indian Ocean. The Island is not just the largest tourist resort here but the busiest as well with the number of visitors increasing every year.

Located on the island which used to be a plantation of sugarcane are hotels, bungalows, houses, villas, restaurants and diving centers. Nosy Be is served by Fascene Airport which has direct flights from Europe on Corsairfly, Air Madagascar and Air Italy. Fishing charters and boat trips are also available.

Dhow Safari

nosy be beach madagascar

Nosy Be Island is perfect for sailing, snorkeling, kayaking and deep sea fishing. If you want a memorable trip to Madagascar why not try the 6-day dhow safari trip in Nosy Be which starts at the airport where Mohammed welcomes you and take you to the Ylang-ylang Plantation followed by a short stop to Helville town and then to the port where your dhow is waiting to take you to 3 private camps namely:

  • Lokobie Tented Camp,
  • Russian Bay and
  • Mahalina.