Top 9 Best Things To Do in Arusha

Arusha offers a unique blend of urban life and cultural richness that few places can match in Tanzania. As the gateway to northern Tanzania’s renowned safari destinations, Arusha boasts a comprehensive tourism infrastructure alongside a vibrant cultural scene. From museums and bustling markets to artisanal boutiques and exquisite culinary offerings, the city exudes charm and diversity.

Venturing just beyond the city limits, visitors can explore exceptional national parks and engage in immersive cultural tourism experiences. And with some of Africa’s most renowned safari parks, including Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro, and Tarangire, within easy reach. Arusha serves as an ideal base for unforgettable adventures.

Whether before or after your safari, Arusha invites exploration and discovery, promising a memorable Tanzanian experience like no other.

Cultural Heritage Centre


Located on the western outskirts of Arusha, the Cultural Heritage Centre boasts an array of upscale boutiques. It offers high-quality handicrafts and artisanal products. Among these, Schwari stands out for its captivating selection of homewares, clothing, and jewelry. Unlike the bustling atmosphere of the markets, the Cultural Heritage Centre offers a more serene shopping experience, free from the pressure of hard-selling tactics. Visitors can browse at their leisure, appreciating the diverse range of items in a relaxed and low-key environment.

Arusha National Park


Arusha National Park stands out as a top attraction in the city, drawing visitors with its rich wildlife and breathtaking scenery. Here, encounters with elephants, zebras, giraffes, buffalo, hippos, and Kilimanjaro colobus monkeys are commonplace. It offers a glimpse into Tanzania’s diverse fauna. However, it’s the park’s dramatic landscape that steals the show, with majestic Mt. Meru dominating the skyline. Other highlights include Ngurdoto Crater, reminiscent of the iconic Ngorongoro Crater, and Serengeti Ndogo, aptly named ‘Little Serengeti’. Whether trekking, canoeing, or birdwatching, Arusha National Park offers a plethora of activities for nature enthusiasts to enjoy amidst its scenic splendor.

Cultural Tourism Program

Arusha boasts a rich cultural tapestry, with diverse communities residing in its hinterland. Visitors have ample opportunities to engage with these communities through various cultural programs facilitated by a central office in the city. These programs, managed directly by the local communities, range from guided walks and homestays to cultural performances and interactive demonstrations. Through these immersive experiences, travelers can gain a deeper understanding of the traditions, customs, and way of life of the local people.

Encounter City Wildlife


Housed within a historic fortified compound dating back to the early 20th century, the Natural History Museum in Arusha is a captivating destination dedicated to fossils and indigenous wildlife. Originally constructed by the Germans during their colonial era in Tanzania, the museum also features engaging exhibits on the region’s rich historical legacy. For those seeking live wildlife encounters, the Meserani Snake Park offers a fascinating array of native snake species from northern Tanzania. Additionally, visitors can explore a recreated Maasai cultural village on the premises, providing insights into the traditional Maasai way of life.

Via Via

While the café offers a serene atmosphere ideal for unwinding, there’s a plethora of activities waiting to be discovered. Drop by and immerse yourself in drumming lessons, guided city and market tours, or perhaps even culinary classes. Conveniently located just behind the Natural History Museum, this café is not only a hub for relaxation but also a gateway to exciting experiences and cultural immersion.

Arusha Declaration Museum

In 1967, Julius Nyerere, Tanzania’s president, delivered the landmark Arusha Declaration, advocating for bolstered socialism, self-sufficiency, and pan-African unity. Though modest in size, the museum houses a compelling collection of archival photographs that offer profound insights into this pivotal moment in history.

Market Shopping

Arusha’s bustling markets offer a vibrant tapestry of activity and hues, making them a must-visit in the city. Central Market, predominantly frequented by locals, offers an authentic glimpse into Tanzanian daily life, providing a captivating experience for visitors. Similarly, Kilombero Market, Arusha’s largest, embodies the essence of an African market, attracting fewer tourists and retaining its traditional charm. For those seeking local handicrafts and souvenirs, Mt Meru Curios & Crafts Market, also known as the Maasai Market, presents an array of options against the backdrop of a bustling marketplace ambiance.

Khan’s Barbeque


Dining at Khan’s Barbeque is a quintessential Arusha experience and a favorite among locals. Located near the mosque, Khan’s starts off as a motor-repair workshop during the day but transforms into a lively roadside barbecue spot as the sun sets. Follow your nose and the bustling crowds to enjoy the aroma of sizzling meats on the grill. The atmosphere is vibrant, with the air filled with smoke and the sounds of chatter and laughter, making it an enjoyable and memorable dining experience.

Blue Heron

Nestled away from the bustling downtown area yet conveniently located near the city center, the Blue Heron is a beloved garden café in Arusha. Renowned for its homemade pizza, it’s a favorite among locals and visitors alike. As you indulge in their delicious pizzas, you’ll be captivated by the breathtaking views of Mt Meru. Hence making it difficult to tear your gaze away from the picturesque scenery.

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