10 Must-Do Activities In Antananarivo For A Memorable Trip

things to do in antananarivo

Antananarivo, also known as Tana, is a charming city nestled in the heart of Madagascar. This vibrant city is home to a plethora of attractions that will make your trip one to remember. From the bustling markets and historical landmarks to the idyllic countryside and stunning viewpoints, Antananarivo has something for everyone. To help you make the most of your time in this enchanting city, we've compiled a list of the 10 must-do activities that you can't afford to miss out on. So, whether you're a first-time traveler or a seasoned explorer, hold tight and get ready for an unforgettable experience in Antananarivo.

Activity Description
Visit the Royal Palace Tour the 19th century palace of the Madagascar monarchy, now a museum
Explore the Tsimbazaza Zoo See over 70 species of endemic animals, including lemurs
Head to Tsarasaotra Park Enjoy the tranquil lakeside park with walking trails
Shop at the Analakely Market Experience the bustling local market with vendors selling crafts, clothing, and food
Visit the Andafiavaratra Palace Tour the ornate residence of Madagascar's first prime minister
View the Rova of Antananarivo Take in the panoramic views from the citadel of the historic city
See the Tana Waterfront Stroll along the picturesque lakefront and enjoy local food stalls and artisans
Walk through the Ambohimanga Kingdom Experience the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the ancient city
Take a tour of La Digue Market Visit the second oldest market in the city, known for locally grown produce


Visit the Rova of Antananarivo

Source: en.wikipedia.org
Characteristic Description
NameQueen's Palace
TypeBuilding complex in Antananarivo, Madagascar
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count3.8 / 262
AddressQueen's Palace, 101 Lalana Ramboatiana, Antananarivo, Madagascar
Phone+261 34 20 270 51

Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar, is a fascinating destination that is rich in culture and history. If you're planning a trip to this beautiful city, one of the must-visit attractions is the Rova of Antananarivo.

The Rova, also known as the Queen's Palace or the Royal palace, is a complex of buildings located on top of a hill in Antananarivo. The palace was built in the 17th century, during the reign of King Andrianjaka, and served as the residence of the royal family until it was set on fire in 1995. Despite the damage caused by the fire, the Rova remains an important historical and cultural site that offers a glimpse into Madagascar's rich past.

Visiting the Rova is an unforgettable experience that will take you back in time. As you climb up the hill towards the palace, you'll find yourself surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful views of the city. Once you reach the top, you'll be greeted by the magnificent sight of the palace, with its red brick walls and towering spires. The palace complex consists of several buildings, including the Queen's Palace, the Throne Room, and the Royal Tombs.

One of the highlights of a visit to the Rova is the chance to see the royal artifacts and treasures that are on display in the palace museum. The museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts, including royal clothing, weapons, and artwork. You can also see the crown jewels, which were worn by the Madagascan monarchs during ceremonial occasions.

Another must-see attraction at the Rova is the Royal Tombs, a collection of tombs that house the remains of the Madagascans royals. The tombs are impressive structures that are decorated with intricate carvings and designs. The most famous tomb is that of Queen Rasoherina, who ruled Madagascar in the late 19th century. Her tomb is adorned with beautiful carvings that capture the essence of Malagasy culture and history.

In conclusion, a visit to the Rova of Antananarivo is an essential part of any trip to Madagascar. This magnificent palace has played an essential role in Madagascar's history and culture, and it's a site that shouldn't be missed. Whether you're interested in history, culture, or architecture, the Rova of Antananarivo has something to offer everyone. So, add it to your itinerary, and get ready to be mesmerized by the beauty and grandeur of this fantastic site.

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Experience the hustle and bustle of Analakely Market

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Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar, is a bustling city that offers a unique African experience. Among the most vibrant areas of Antananarivo, is the famous Analakely Market. Located in the heart of the city, this market attracts both tourists and locals who flock to the market to purchase goods ranging from clothing, souvenirs, fresh produce, and much more.

As you enter the market, you will be met with a vibrant mix of colors and scents that fill the air. You will see vendors who are eager to sell their goods, and buyers who are looking for the best bargains. Local artisans showcase their skills in crafting beautiful handicrafts such as wood carvings, handmade beads, and traditional baskets. You will also find clothing that's brightly colored with an African flair.

As you explore the narrow alleys of the market, be prepared to haggle with the vendors to score the best deal. You can find everything from fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables, seafood, local snacks, and spices to take home and cook. Savor the mouth-watering aromas of the local street food and try out some of the local delicacies.

One thing that everyone can agree on is that the spirit of Analakely Market is contagious. It's a hub of activity that offers a glimpse of life in Antananarivo. The market is bustling with energy and excitement that is hard to find elsewhere. The vendors will welcome your curiosity, and their advice and stories are sure to stay with you long after your visit.

The Analakely Market is a must-visit if you're looking to experience the authentic culture and daily life of the Malagasy people. The market is open every day, except for Sundays, so ensure that you schedule your visit on the days when the market is open.

In conclusion, experiencing the hustle and bustle of the Analakely Market is a unique adventure that is bound to leave you with everlasting memories. So, put on your walking shoes, pack your curiosity, and visit the market for an unforgettable Antananarivo experience.


Explore Andafiavaratra Palace

Source: en.wikipedia.org
Characteristic Description
NameAndafiavaratra Palace
TypeMuseum in Antananarivo, Madagascar
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count3.6 / 56
Address9 Lalana Printsy Ratsimamanga, Antananarivo 101, Madagascar

Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar, is known for its rich history and culture. One of the city's most prominent historical landmarks is the Andafiavaratra Palace, also known as the Queen's Palace. This iconic palace is sure to excite history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike. Here's everything you need to know to explore this beautiful palace.

History of Andafiavaratra Palace

The Andafiavaratra Palace was built in the 19th century during the reign of Queen Ranavalona I as her personal residence. The palace was used as the official residence of the royal family up until the French colonial period, after which it was turned into a museum in 1995. The museum showcases the fascinating history of Madagascar as well as the reigns of the country's royal families.

Architecture of Andafiavaratra Palace

The architecture of the Andafiavaratra Palace is a beautiful blend of Malagasy and European styles. The palace features several architectural styles, including Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical. The palace's exterior is adorned with intricate carvings and motifs, which are symbolic of Madagascar's culture and traditions.

Exploring Andafiavaratra Palace

As you explore Andafiavaratra Palace, you will be transported back in time to Madagascar's royal past. You will be able to walk through the palace's halls and rooms, which are filled with various artifacts and exhibits that have been carefully curated to showcase Madagascar's rich history. Visitors can expect to see exhibits such as the Queen's throne, the royal bedchamber, and various royal artifacts. The palace's gardens are also a sight to behold, with their manicured lawns and colorful flowers providing a beautiful background for any photo.

Tips for Visiting Andafiavaratra Palace

If you're planning a visit to Andafiavaratra Palace, it's best to plan ahead. The palace is open to visitors from 8 am to 4 pm, and for the best experience, it is recommended to hire a guide who can provide you with insights and information on the palace's history and culture. It's also important to dress appropriately, as the palace is a place of cultural significance, and visitors are required to dress modestly.

In conclusion, if you're interested in exploring Madagascar's rich history, culture, and architecture, a visit to Andafiavaratra Palace is a must. This iconic palace is a national treasure, and visitors are sure to be enchanted by its beauty and grandeur. Don’t miss your chance to experience Madagascar’s rich history and culture at Andafiavaratra Palace!


Take a walk in Tsimbazaza Zoo

Source: en.wikipedia.org
Characteristic Description
NameTsimbazaza Zoo and Botanical Gardens
TypeZoological garden in Antananarivo, Madagascar
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count3.8 / 356
Address3G9G+V6C, Antananarivo, Madagascar
HoursThursday - 9 AM–5 PM
Friday - 9 AM–5 PM
Saturday - 9 AM–5 PM
Sunday - 9 AM–5 PM
Monday(Whit Monday) - 9 AM–5 PM
Tuesday - 9 AM–5 PM
Wednesday - 9 AM–5 PM

Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar, is a fascinating destination where visitors can immerse themselves in Malagasy culture, explore historic landmarks, and enjoy natural attractions. One of the must-visit spots in Antananarivo is Tsimbazaza Zoo, a popular destination among locals and tourists alike.

Tsimbazaza Zoo, located in the Tsimbazaza neighborhood of Antananarivo, is home to more than 80 animal species from Madagascar and other countries. The zoo is spread over 11 hectares of lush greenery and offers a unique opportunity to see some of the rarest and most exotic animals in the world.

Visitors can take a leisurely walk around the zoo and observe the animals in their natural habitats. The zoo is well-maintained, and the animals are well-fed and taken care of by the zookeepers. Some of the animals that can be seen in the zoo are lemurs, fossas, crocodiles, birds, and reptiles, among others.

Aside from admiring the animals, there are many things to do and see in Tsimbazaza Zoo. For example, there is a botanical garden on the premises where visitors can learn about various plant species. There is also a small museum that houses a collection of Malagasy artifacts and objects, including traditional musical instruments, masks, and weapons.

For those who are interested in learning about the conservation of Madagascar's unique wildlife, Tsimbazaza Zoo is a great place to start. The zoo has various educational programs and activities that aim to promote conservation efforts, raise awareness about endangered species, and engage visitors in the protection of wildlife.

In conclusion, Tsimbazaza Zoo is a fantastic destination for anyone visiting Antananarivo. It offers visitors a chance to see some of the rarest and most exotic animals on earth, learn about Malagasy culture and traditions, and engage in wildlife conservation efforts. So, if you're ever in Antananarivo, be sure to take a walk in Tsimbazaza Zoo and experience all that it has to offer.

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Discover Malagasy culture at Ambohimanga

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar, is a cultural hub that offers visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Malagasy way of life. One of the top cultural destinations in Antananarivo is the ancient city of Ambohimanga, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ambohimanga, located on a hilltop just outside Antananarivo, was the spiritual and political capital of the Merina Kingdom. This ancient city offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Madagascar. The site has served as a place of worship, a royal palace, and a fortress. It was also the burial place for some of the Merina Kings and Queens.

Today, visitors can explore the beautifully preserved historic buildings of Ambohimanga. The main gate features intricate wooden carvings that showcase traditional Malagasy designs. The Royal Palace, built of traditional Malagasy materials such as wood, thatch, and stone, has been reconstructed and now houses a museum showcasing the lives and customs of the Merina people. The museum also contains artifacts, including weapons, clothing, and tools, used during the Merina reign.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the site to explore the many interesting nooks and crannies of Ambohimanga. The tour guide will explain the history and significance of each building, as well as traditional Merina customs and practices. Visitors can learn about the Malagasy music, dance, and cuisine that is celebrated in the area.

Ambohimanga is also a pilgrimage site for many Malagasy people, who gather there to pay respects to their ancestors and seek blessings from their gods. Visitors can witness traditional ceremonies and practices, such as the Great Sacrifice that involves the slaughtering of a prized bull in front of the palace gates.

In conclusion, a visit to Ambohimanga is a must for visitors who want to discover the rich cultural traditions of Madagascar. This UNESCO site is an exceptional example of Malagasy wooden architecture, customs, and culture. The site is easily accessible from Antananarivo, making for a great day trip, and the guided tours provide visitors with a deeper understanding of Madagascar’s fascinating cultural heritage.


Satisfy your sweet tooth at La Pâtisserie Française

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Antananarivo is the capital city of Madagascar, and it is home to a plethora of delicious food options. However, one spot that should not be missed is La Pâtisserie Française. This quaint bakery is the perfect spot for anyone who has a sweet tooth.

La Pâtisserie Française is a small bakery on Avenue de l'Indépendance. It stands out with its classic French-style architecture, and its charming setting redefines the bakery experience. As soon as you enter, the aroma of freshly baked croissants and pastries permeates the air, whetting your appetite for something sweet and mouth-watering.

The first thing that you notice upon entering La Pâtisserie Française is their fantastic display of cakes and pastries. The display is colorful and enticing, with varieties of delectable treats that will leave your taste buds begging for more. From macaroons, eclairs, tarts to colorful cupcakes, the bakery has a variety of sweets that make it almost impossible to choose what to order.

If you're looking for a unique experience, try the "makotch," one of Madagascar's traditional sweets. The makotch is a piece of cake formed into a roll with filling in the middle. The filling varies based on the flavor, with options such as vanilla, chocolate, or even coconut. It is a fusion of French and Malagasy baking techniques and is a definite must-try at La Pâtisserie Française.

In addition to sweets, the bakery offers some savory options too. You can enjoy a delicious quiche or a sandwich paired with one of their scrumptious pastries. On top of that, their coffee is as authentic as it can get, perfect for anyone who loves their caffeine fix.

The bakery's interior decor is warm and welcoming, with soft lighting and cozy seating. It is an excellent place to relax with friends or family while enjoying some sweet treats and drinks.

Overall, if you're looking for a quintessential baking experience in Antananarivo, La Pâtisserie Française is the perfect spot. With a wide variety of sweets and pastries, friendly service, and a warm atmosphere, it is the perfect spot to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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Trek to Lac Anosy viewpoint

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Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar, is a bustling metropolis that offers visitors a diverse range of activities. One of the most popular things to do in Antananarivo is to take a trek to the Lac Anosy viewpoint, which offers stunning views of the city and beyond.

Located in the heart of the city, Lac Anosy is a man-made lake that was created in the 19th century. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens and trees, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. From the lake, visitors can take a trek up the hill to the viewpoint, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of Antananarivo.

The trek is not for the faint of heart, as it is steep and can be difficult at times. However, the views from the top are well worth the effort. As you make your way up the hill, you will pass through local villages and see how the people of Antananarivo live. It's a great way to experience the culture of Madagascar and get a glimpse into the daily life of its people.

Once you reach the top of the hill, you will be rewarded with an incredible view of the city. You can see the red roofs of the houses, the bustling streets, and the surrounding hills and countryside. It's a view that will take your breath away, and one that you will never forget.

If you're interested in taking the trek to the Lac Anosy viewpoint, it's best to do it early in the morning or late in the afternoon, as the heat of the day can make it more challenging. Be sure to wear appropriate shoes and bring plenty of water, as it can be quite hot and humid.

Overall, the trek to the Lac Anosy viewpoint is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Antananarivo. It's a challenging but rewarding experience that will give you an unforgettable view of the city and its surroundings. So lace up your hiking shoes and get ready for an adventure!


Visit the impressive Museum of Art and Archaeology

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Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, is quickly becoming a popular destination among travelers. With its rich history, unique culture, and beautiful scenery, it's not hard to see why. One of the must-visit attractions in this city is the Museum of Art and Archaeology.

Located in the heart of Antananarivo, the museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase Madagascar's history, art, and culture. The museum is divided into two parts: the archaeological section and the ethnographic section.

In the archaeological section, visitors can explore the island's early history and civilization. Here, you'll find displays of prehistoric tools, pottery, and other relics from ancient times. One of the most significant exhibits in this section is the "Tombs of Kings and Queens," where visitors can see the magnificent burial sites of Madagascar's ancient royals.

In the ethnographic section, visitors can learn about modern-day Malagasy culture through various artifacts and exhibits. Visitors can experience the customs and traditions of Madagascar's various ethnic groups, from their music and dance to their unique artworks and crafts.

The museum's highlights include a collection of traditional textiles, sculptures, masks, and other handicrafts. Visitors can also enjoy exploring the art exhibits featuring works by both local and international artists, ranging from contemporary pieces to more traditional art forms.

Whether you're interested in archaeology, history, or art, the Museum of Art and Archaeology is a must-visit destination when visiting Antananarivo. It is a perfect way to dive deep into the cultural richness of Madagascar and understand the country's unique identity. Plan your visit to the Museum of Art and Archaeology to gain an experience that the capital city offers to its visitors.


Take a day trip to Lemurs' Park

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Antananarivo is the bustling capital city of Madagascar, situated in the central highlands of the country. It's a bustling city with plenty of things to do and places to see, but if you're looking to escape the chaos of the city for a day, then a trip to Lemurs Park is the perfect answer.

Located just 22 km south of Antananarivo, Lemurs Park is an extraordinary natural reserve that is home to a variety of lemur species. The park is spread over 5 hectares of land and is a private initiative aimed at contributing to the conservation of rare and endangered lemurs.

A day trip to Lemurs Park promises an unforgettable experience, and it's an opportunity for visitors to witness how different species of lemurs go about their daily lives in a natural, yet confined environment. A guided tour of the park lasts anywhere between one hour and 90 minutes, and visitors will have the chance to observe lemurs in their natural habitat. With over nine species of lemurs, including the Verreaux's Sifaka, Black and White Ruffed Lemur, and Indri, you're guaranteed to see several of these creatures up close.

Aside from observing the fascinating creatures, visitors to the park can also explore the park's botanical gardens, which showcase a diverse collection of endemic and exotic plants and flowers.

For a more exceptional experience, visitors can opt for the night walk tour, which enables you to see nocturnal animals in their natural element while exploring the park's moonlit paths.

Getting There:

Getting to Lemurs Park is relatively easy. You can take a cab or arrange transportation with the park's tour operator. The drive to the park lasts about an hour, and you'll pass through some of the most picturesque scenery in Madagascar, including traditional Malagasy villages and rice paddies.

In conclusion, a day trip to Lemurs Park is an excellent way to escape the hustle and bustle of Antananarivo and experience the natural beauty and wildlife of Madagascar. It's a unique opportunity to see these beautiful creatures up close while learning about their habitats and behaviors. Regardless of whether you're traveling alone or with family and friends, the park is an unforgettable experience that's worth your time.


Enjoy panoramic city views from the top of Faravohitra Hill

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Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, is a bustling city filled with history, culture, and stunning views. There are many things to see and do in Antananarivo, but one of the most rewarding experiences is to climb Faravohitra Hill and take in the panoramic views of the city.

Faravohitra Hill is located in the heart of Antananarivo and rises 1,420 meters above sea level. The hill is steeped in history and was once a sacred site for the Merina people, one of the largest ethnic groups in Madagascar. At the top of the hill, there is a statue of Queen Ranavalona III, who ruled Madagascar from 1883 to 1897.

To reach the top of Faravohitra Hill, visitors can take one of the many staircases or paths that wind their way up the hillside. The climb can be challenging, but the effort is well worth it for the spectacular views that await at the summit.

Once at the top, visitors can take in 360-degree views of Antananarivo and its surroundings. Looking to the east, they can see the sprawling city below, with its colorful buildings and bustling streets. To the west, the majestic silhouette of the Queen's Palace can be seen, while to the south, the lush hillsides and rice fields stretch out as far as the eye can see.

The best time to visit Faravohitra Hill is in the late afternoon, when the sun starts to set and the sky turns shades of orange and pink. As the sun sinks below the horizon, the city transforms into a sea of lights, creating a magical and unforgettable sight.

In conclusion, visiting Faravohitra Hill in Antananarivo is a must-do activity for anyone traveling to Madagascar. The climb up the hill may be tiring, but the rewards are immense - stunning panoramic views of the city and a unique insight into the history and culture of this fascinating country. So, put on your hiking shoes, grab your camera, and head up to the top of Faravohitra Hill for an unforgettable experience.

Frequently asked questions

Some must-visit places in Antananarivo are Rova of Antananarivo, Lake Anosy, Avenue of the Baobabs, and Ambohimanga.

Yes, there are many outdoor activities you can enjoy in Antananarivo such as exploring Lemurs Park, hiking to the top of Mount Ibity, and visiting the botanical garden of Tsimbazaza.

Yes, Madagascar is famous for handicrafts, especially woven products such as mats, baskets, handbags, and hats. You can find these at the Analakely market, which is a great place for souvenir shopping.

The best time to visit Antananarivo is from April to November, when the weather is dry and comfortable for outdoor activities. June to September is the peak season for tourism in Antananarivo.

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Karim Golden

Hello fellow travelers! I recently had the chance to spend some time in Antananarivo, and I absolutely fell in love with the city. One of my favorite activities was visiting Lemurs' Park, a unique sanctuary where you can see lemurs up close and personal. These adorable creatures are native to Madagascar and it was such a joy to interact with them. Another must-visit spot is the Ambohimanga Rova, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ancient royal city is steeped in history and offers a fascinating glimpse into Madagascar's past. Lastly, don't miss out on sampling the local cuisine. I highly recommend trying the tasty street food at the Avenue de l'Indépendance. Overall, Antananarivo is a city that has something for everyone, and I can't wait to go back one day.

Anna Reese

Hey there! I recently visited Antananarivo and I have to say, it's such a vibrant and exciting city. One of my favorite things to do there was to explore the colorful markets. The Analakely Market was always buzzing with activity, and the rows of stalls selling everything from fresh produce to handicrafts were a sight to behold. I also loved taking a leisurely stroll around Lake Anosy, especially in the evening when the sunsets cast a beautiful glow over the water. If you're looking for a cultural experience, I highly recommend visiting the Rova of Antananarivo, a historic palace on a hilltop that offers stunning views of the city. Antananarivo truly has something for everyone!

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