CITIES OF MOZAMBIQUE


A visit to Mozambique is not complete without a visit to the capital, Maputo. It is a vibrant, modern city, that offers a surprising mix of culture, history, modern architecture and nightlife. Maputo, located in the south of the country, has more than one million inhabitants and is the administrative and commercial center of the country. For most visitors, it is also the gateway to Mozambique. Almost all international flights are calling at Maputo International Airport. The capital is well connected by road and road to South Africa.

Maputo is a green city facing the beautiful Maputo bay; its atmosphere is African, tropical and Mediterranean. In the old part of the city, you can stroll along avenues lined with jacaranda trees or along the Avenida da Marginal with it's beautiful coconut trees and view to the Maputo bay. In Maputo, the bars and cafes remind you of vibrant Brazil. Do not miss the most important monuments of Maputo. The city offers a fortress, built in the eighteenth century by Dutch settlers. Maputo’s railway station was voted the seventh most beautiful in the world. Visit the building of the Municipal Council, the Natural History Museum in it's neo-manueline architectual tyle, the amazing works of the legendary architect Pancho Guedes and the Tunduru Gardens, the green lung of the city. Hotel Polana can compete with the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Stroll along the central market in downtown, where you can buy fresh fish, tropical fruit or vegetables. In Maputo you can also find several craft markets, for that precious souvenir to take home. The National Art Museum has an interesting collection of Mozambican art, including paintings by Malangatana as well as sculputers by Alberto Chissano.

Maputo has excellent restaurants with international and local food as well as fast-food chains. Looking for accommodation? In the capital you can stay in several five star hotels as well as in more modest hotels and pensions. After sunset, Maputo offers a nice nightlife, with bars, clubs and discos. Here you can party to the sounds of jazz or marrabenta, the national music of Mozambique. The annual jazz and marrabenta festivals of Maputo are known internationally.

Inhambane, a city in southern Mozambique, is a real charming place. The name means Land of the Good People, and Inhambane has a history of more than ten centuries old. Its culture is influenced by contacts with southern African, the Arab peninsula and India. Tofo, near Inhambane, has one of the most popular beaches in the country. Further north, the towns of Vilanculos and Beira, in the center of the country, are cities with a unique atmosphere.
Beira is the second largest city in Mozambique, with nearly half a million inhabitants. Its main tourist attractions are its beaches, the National Reserve Marromeu and some monumental buildings such as the Cathedral of Beira, the railway station and the lighthouse of the Macuti River.

Quelimane, in the north, is the city of 12 million coconut trees. It has an essentially Islamic culture. The city has a dozen mosques, which give it a special atmosphere.

Further north, we arrive at Ilha de Moçambique, an island with a small historic town, considered to be the pearl of the East African coast. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, because the tiny island, about 3 km long and 300-400 meters wide, has a fabulously rich history. It was originally a Swahili village, frequented by Arab traders. From the sixteenth century, the Portuguese occupied the island and built a stone city and a fortress, the Fortaleza São Sebastião. The Misericordia Church houses the Museum of Sacred Art, which depicts the history of the Ilha de Moçambique.

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