Antananarivo Travel Guide

  • Market
    Market
    by lotharscheer
  • Rova
    Rova
    by lotharscheer
  • Rova
    Rova
    by lotharscheer

Antananarivo Things to Do

  • Terra Cotta Bas Relief

    Between the ruins of the Rova, and the Prime Minister's Palace (Andafiavarata) is a very fine terracotta bas relief, a few metres long which depicts the history of Madagascar, including scenes of royal audiences, funerals, hunting and fishing. Worth a short stop on a tour of the Haut Ville.

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  • A Long Restoration

    The Rova was the royal palace of the Merina monarchs of Madagascar, situated atop the highest of Tana's many hills. The most recognisable building is the stone Queen's Palace, originally built from wood but clad in stone during the 19th Century.The majority of the complex was destroyed by fire in 1994, and since then a long restoration process has...

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  • Lemurs Park

    We had stayed about 48 hours on the Island when we decided we should go out and see the some attractions of the Island. Having read a little about the unique nature of the Island’s natural habitat and rare animals, I was eager to go see the national parks and local culture. Don was just as excited; the journey seemed not to have fazed him having...

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Antananarivo Hotels

  • La Varangue

    La Varangue was a beautiful and peaceful place to rest in busy Antananarivo. We has 2 short stays...

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  • Le Relais des Plateaux

    Lot 66 B Antanetibe Ivato, Antananarivo, 105, Madagascar

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

    Hotel Class 3.5 out of 5 stars

  • Hotel Royal Palissandre

    Le Royal Pallisandre is a very good quality hotel in the heart of the city. The rooms and public...

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Antananarivo Restaurants

  • A taste of madagascar

    The Tatao Restaurant is in the Radama Hotel. in the government and commercial area of Antananarivo. The room itself is quiet, and modestly decorated, with local crafts and with restrained lighting. We walked over from our accommodation at La Varangue, and were neither mugged, nor accosted for our troubles, despite warnings!The restaurant menu is...

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  • Mad Michellin Stars

    In addition to being a very fine small hotel, La Varangue is also home to a very fine restaurant, one of the most highly regarded in Madagascar. Indeed it is said that were it located in metropolitan France, the quality of the cooking would be such that it might qualify for much coveted Michellin stars. Given that my experience of 'starred'...

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  • IT'S A COUP ALRIGHT!

    IT'S A COUP ALRIGHT! It’s a coup alright. This fantastic restaurant manages to make French influenced food taste great, have an artful presentation AND give you enough food to survive on. That’s impressive. The service was friendly and always a glance away from appearing at my table. Even something as simple as pate (pictured) was sublime. It was a...

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Antananarivo Nightlife

  • PROSTITUTION CENTRAL

    The bar here is quite bizarre. I saw this massive fronted bar during the day and noted it in my Lonely Planet Guide says its a lively place, is cheap and I also noticed that it had a Cabaret advertised. No problems, so when I went back I had some young lady (about 20-22) all over me before I could get in the door. I honestly thought she was on...

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  • Live Music

    Though not every night, you likely will be able to catch a local band at Hotel Glacier's venue. It is Tana's version of a meat market, that's for sure, as all of the local prostitutes know the tourists come here. This was the first place me and my friends went out, so we were a bit caught off-guard watching super-old European men and the...

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  • Thumping Dance Music

    I love dance music, so this place was the best of the places we tried. From the cool entrance, you descend into pounding dance music, which rotates from electronica/trance to rap to R&B, plus some local flavor. Drinks are certainly cheaper than back home, but fairly stiff for Madagascar. As with every place we went out, prostitutes were everywhere,...

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Antananarivo Transportation

  • Airport Shuttle Van by ADEMA

    Updated 06/05/2014> Fare is Reduced to MGA 10,000.00Updated24/02/2013> New Fare is MGA 14,000.00There is regular Shuttle Van to and from the Antananarivo Airport at Ivato (TNR) serving the route from Airport to Isoraka/Analakely picking and dropping off from any hotels. This is the cheapest way to and from airport for single travelers, ample...

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  • Trans Madagascar Taxi Brousse

    The most affordable way of inter cities travel in Madagascar is The Taxi Brousse.It comes in many kind of Vehicles, mostly 15 seat Mazada Vans (There are few big buses as well) The Coverage is Nation wide.I traveled to Toamasina (Tamatave) and it was 8 hours drive with 1 meal stop at Moramanga (a few more to pick and drop passengers on the way) and...

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  • Taxi from Airport

    Avoid the Taxi booking counter inside the arrival hall they have fixed fares Ar 40,000, walk out to the parking lot and get the taxi from there for Ar 20,000 ~25,000 to anywhere in Central Tana there will be many taxis standing (beige color with TAXI sign on the roof)

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Antananarivo Shopping

  • Everything you'll need to stock up on!

    The big Shoprite supermarket in the centre of Tana is the ideal 'one stop shop' to stock up at either before you head out on your travels, or to buy last minute comestible goodies before you fly home. It stocks a wide range of groceries, toiletries and alcohol at what seemed to us to be reasonable prices.Shoprite is part of a South African...

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  • What to buy for the kids at home?

    Wondering what to buy the kids at home, when you don't have space for a cuddly lemur in your baggage?Look no further than the top of the steps from the Haute Ville, where there are a few men selling wooden stamps. You select from a wide range of metal patterns with whimsically Malagasy themes (geckoes, lemurs, taxi brousses passing through baobab...

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  • Chocolate is taken seriously here!

    Your best "comfort food" is from Madagascar ! That is if you love chocolate, of course.Yes folks, this is the real thing!From the website of its South-African distribution network"... Chocolaterie Robert produces a number of NATURAL Cocoa and Chocolate products each sharing the heritage of the organically cultivated, naturally fermented, sun-dried...

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Antananarivo Local Customs

  • Zoma mahafinaritra: Cool Fridays

    Or so are simply called Friday evenings. Friday evenings are cool because it’s, for urbanites, when week-ends begin. It's when it starts. It’s usually made for letting the steam off, partying, going out with friends, to clubs, cabarets, karaoke. “Zoma mahafinaritra” is now an institution, so is “Manal’azy”. For those Friday evenings, newspapers...

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  • June 26, it is Independance day.

    No office neither shop opens on June 26, it is Independance day.On the menu:- Procession in Mahamasina stadium- In the evening, at least in Tana countryside, families and musicians (drum and sometimes, fluts) go out for a procession with Chinese lanterns, sing, call other person to join them.. How I enjoyed it when I was a kid. :-)

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  • "Manal' azy"

    "Manal' azy" is an expression meaning "to let off steam". Textual meaning is "Get rid off it!". Well, this is about loosening up after exams. Exams period, for most pupils and students, ends end June- early July. Only University people and those who sit for Baccalauréat may still have exam in Mid-July.If you travel in Madagascar from end of June,...

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Antananarivo Warnings and Dangers

  • Airport Departure Tax

    Update: "The Departure Tax is been Withdrawn" No Payment is required, simply proceed to the boarding counter of the Airline you are travelling with.There is Airport Departure Tax Imposed recently, to be Paid in cash before the Check In, Ar 37,800-00 2 tickets will be given and the one Ticket/receipt will be taken upon entering the departure hall.

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  • Horrible Airport policemen in...

    Horrible Experience at Antananarivo Airport, Madagascar.September 1, 2013 - Our friends and I are out on a photographic tour and we were heading to the airport flying out of Madagascar to Mauritius on flight MK0289.Suddenly, airport policemen stopped us at the parking lot, demanding to open our entire luggage for inspection, which is very strange....

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  • Postoffice

    The postoffice in Antananarivo (on Arabe Andrinampuinimerina close to Analakely market) is not very reliable, the (only) postcard i did send did unfortunately not arrive.

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Antananarivo Tourist Traps

  • THE TAXI SCAM AT THE AIRPORT

    Just to confirm that Taxi Drivers are dishonest bastards and scum of the earth – they are waiting for you when you get off the plane. They have organised ‘Official’ Taxi Rates on laminated cards. This is completely untrue, a criminal enterprise and a practice that is the shame of Madagascar. They told me I would have to pay about $10 to go 1 km to...

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  • Never walk in urban Tana streets at...

    When returning to your hotel or lodge, esp. in urban areas like Tana, you'd better do it by cab or "taxi"... for safety purpose.Never expect to walk in Tana streets at night. One can experience it but one would never know what may happen. Ask people to bring you back, by car... or bring as many persons as you can while wallking in the...

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  • Don't give money to beggars

    No mystery, begging is everywhere in Madagascar, especially in big cities... And especially, when tourists (mainly White men and Japanese) are there.It may sound weird that I recommend you not to give money to beggars. In fact, two reasons for that:- First, if you give to a person, be sure that others will not come afterwards, asking for their...

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Antananarivo What to Pack

  • Things that may make a big difference to...

    We travel with hard shell suitcases that have combination and key locks, as these are harder (but not impossible) for thieves to raid as you're passing through airports (a huge problem throughout Africa, including South Africa). They are also useful if you are going to leave your case in your hotel room and don't want to leave stuff lying around...

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  • In Summer (Dec-March)

    Raincoat or sthg lighter with water-repellent material (windbreaker). Linen & cotton gear. I don't recommend sandals if you're walking. Rain and walking in the city are not always comfy neither clean. Loafers are OK, walking shoes: not necessary if only for urban Tana. For Tana specifically, you'd find everything in pharmacies there.. but bring...

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  • Antananarivo Hotels

    18 Hotels in Antananarivo

Antananarivo Off The Beaten Path

  • Changing Money.

    If you wish to change money in Tana (which you will need to do!) The best place to do so is at the airport. If, for some reason this is not on option you can try the bank. You may find they 'don't have enough staff' to exchange currency in which case your 3rd option could be to use the 'black market' exchange system. This nerve racking procedure...

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  • Second-hand book stalls

    Wherever in urban areas, I love to browse markets of second-hand things... books, antiques, jewelry, vintage clothing. For clothing though, I like to see design yet am most reluctant to wear something that had been worn by someone else. When I was told about the second-hand book stalls in Andohan' Analakely (Upper Analakely), I used to think "Must...

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  • La piscine d'Ivato - with Tana in...

    This sight shouldn't be that uncommon from someone living in the countryside. Fishermen and their pirogues.... This means of transportation is still prevalent in the area where I live (countryside) esp. when there are floods.Now, look at the picture. You see the hills that surround the urban, crowded, crazy basin that is Tana at the background. The...

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Antananarivo Sports & Outdoors

  • Countryside Hiking

    Antananarivo offers many terrains to hike on. Escape the hassle of the city center & head to any coutryside. My favourite & natural area is the one past Anosy Avaratra (Northwards, on the way to Ambohimanga hill). There, hills alternate with plains, that makes your trek interesting, exercise-wise. Nothing complicate: one foot before another, then...

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  • Cycling to sightseeing

    Although Antananarivo and its province do not have any beach, they offer some opportunities to see other landscapes: the highlands. Through these areas, you can either walk either cycle either ride a motorbike to see the plains, the villages, the ricefields in cascades, in plains. Also its geography allows variations in declivity, that may interest...

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  • The place to be

    This is the main sport stadium in town. It uses to host major (by Malagasy standards) events, the most important being JOI, Jeux des Iles (de l'Ocean Indien, that is). Sometimes, Madagascar hosts some regional meetings, especially football. Then, Mahamasina stadium should be the center of action.

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Antananarivo Favorites

  • Outcool Web Bar, your best web...

    Simply put, web bar experience in Tana is lame. Dirty and sticky keyboards, blurry screns (dust, dust, dust). Outside the 4* hotels lobbies where you guys can enjoy a web experience in quiteness and...err... cleaned area, the only web bar I'd recommed is here, at Outcool (delivering this tip to you at this very place).Some food (salads, sandwiches...

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  • Changes, changes

    My first hours in Tana streets during my visit in Feb-March. 2005 were a bit of a shock.The city has changed, spruced up, cleaned. The buildings on Araben'ny Fahaleovantena (Avenue de l'Indépendance) had been restored and painted in their initial beige, crème and ochre colours. It is, undoubtedly, a third world country but Tana has recovered bit by...

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  • Three Horses Brew

    THB signs are almost ubiquitous in Madagascar, and stand for the local beer: Three Horses Brew. I would have to say that I was thoroughly impressed with the beer. It comes in 3 different forms, 2 similar regular beers and the super-refreshing cider-like "Fresh" version. Aptly named...The Fresh has a low alcohol content for those who require it....

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Explore Deeper into Antananarivo
Nice for a little rest
Restaurants
Reasonable french restaurant
Restaurants
THE TOUR GUIDE SCAM
Warnings and Dangers
Railway + restaurant = a winning combination!
Restaurants
Moseying around the main market
Things to Do
Halal Food in Tana (Antananarivo)
Restaurants
THE BEST RESTAURANT IN TANA
Restaurants
Wonderful ambience and great food
Restaurants
Enjoy the 'free range' lemurs at the Lemur Park
Things to Do
Encounter the exotic locals at Madagascar Exotic!
Things to Do
Tips on surviving the terrible Tana traffic ...
Warnings and Dangers
Synergies between brickmaking and rice cultivation
Things to Do
Atmospheric Ambohimanga
Things to Do
Admire the exquisitely renovated railway station
Things to Do
Smile at the Antananarivo sign
Things to Do
Contemplate your own mortality at the necropolis
Things to Do
Meet your first Malagasy flora at the flowermarket
Things to Do
Get acquainted with the locals at the zoo!
Things to Do
Good Malagassy Food
Restaurants
Cookies, Cheesecake, all things US plus coffee
Restaurants
MONEY MONEY MONEY
Things to Do
Tsimbazaza zoo
Things to Do
Visit the zoo!
Things to Do
Créole cuisine !
Restaurants
AGGRESSIVE SELLERS AND BEGGARS
Warnings and Dangers
MARCHE COMMUNAL de PETIT VITESSE
Things to Do
THE MAIN MARKET – ANALAKELY
Things to Do
LAC ANOSY
Things to Do
IT MAKES ME SICK
Restaurants
Rova and Around
Things to Do
Wandering Around Aimlessly
Favorites
Crafts Galore
Shopping
Colors Gone Wild
Shopping
Pousse-Pousse
Transportation
Taxis
Transportation
Malagasy Meals
Restaurants
TAXIS TO AND FROM THE AIRPORT
Transportation
Zoma mahafinaritra: Cool Fridays
Nightlife
Another palace.... to see
Favorites
Men at work... ;-)
Favorites
Map of Antananarivo

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