What To Do In Madagascar Antananarivo

What to Do in Madagascar Antananarivo

Madagascar, the large island off the east coast of Africa, is a biodiversity hotspot and known for its unique flora and fauna. Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar, is the gateway to exploring this incredible country. With its rich cultural heritage, vibrant markets, and stunning landscapes, Antananarivo offers a plethora of activities and attractions for tourists to enjoy. In this article, we will delve into the top things to do in Antananarivo, giving you a taste of what this vibrant city has to offer.

Exploring the Historic Royal Hill

One of the main highlights of Antananarivo is the historic Royal Hill of Ambohimanga. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a sacred place for the Malagasy people and provides a fascinating glimpse into the country’s history and traditional culture. Visitors can explore the ancient royal palace, admire the architectural wonders, and learn about the customs and beliefs of the Malagasy people. The panoramic views of the city from the hilltop are simply breathtaking, making it a must-visit destination for any traveler.

Immersing in the Local Markets

The bustling markets of Antananarivo are a sensory delight. Tsena Malalaka, known as the “Craft Market,” is a vibrant hub where local artisans showcase their traditional handicrafts, including wood carvings, textiles, and jewelry. For food lovers, Andravoahangy Market offers a wide array of fresh produce, spices, and street food. This is a great opportunity to taste local delicacies like romazava, a traditional meat and vegetable stew, and koba, a sweet banana cake. Exploring these markets allows visitors to connect with the local community and experience the authentic flavors of Madagascar.

Discovering Natural Wonders

Antananarivo is surrounded by breathtaking natural landscapes that are worth exploring. Close to the city, you will find the Lemurs’ Park, a sanctuary where you can observe different lemur species in their natural habitat. Lemurs are native to Madagascar and are considered one of the country’s most iconic animals. Another popular destination is the Mantadia National Park, located approximately 45 kilometers from Antananarivo. This pristine rainforest is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species, including rare orchids and the elusive indri lemurs. Exploring these natural wonders allows visitors to connect with Madagascar’s unique biodiversity.

Unraveling the Cultural Heritage

Antananarivo boasts a rich cultural heritage, which can be experienced through its museums and historic sites. The Rova of Antananarivo, also known as the Queen’s Palace, is a fascinating site that offers a window into the country’s royal history. The palace was severely damaged by a fire in 1995 but has since been partially restored. The Museum of Art and Archeology showcases an impressive collection of Malagasy art, including wooden sculptures, textiles, and historical artifacts. These cultural attractions provide invaluable insights into Madagascar’s diverse heritage.

Soaking in the Vibrant Atmosphere

Exploring the bustling streets of Antananarivo is an experience in itself. The city is known for its colorful markets, lively street vendors, and bustling nightlife. The Independence Avenue, with its vibrant shops and cafes, is a great place to soak in the local atmosphere. For a more authentic experience, venture into the old town of Antananarivo, where you can wander through narrow cobblestone streets and admire the traditional wooden houses. The warm hospitality of the Malagasy people adds to the charm of this vibrant city.

Enjoying the Local Cuisine

No visit to Antananarivo is complete without indulging in the delicious Malagasy cuisine. The city offers a wide range of dining options, from street food stalls to high-end restaurants. Try the famous Malagasy dish, “vary amin’anana,” which is rice cooked with greens, meat, and various spices. Seafood lovers can indulge in “ranovola,” a delicious fish soup traditionally served with a side of rice. For dessert, don’t miss out on “mofo gasy,” a deep-fried doughnut-like pastry. The fusion of French, African, and Asian flavors makes the local cuisine a true culinary delight.


Antananarivo is a city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural wonders. From exploring the ancient Royal Hill to immersing in the local markets and indulging in the local cuisine, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. Whether you are a history buff, nature lover, or food enthusiast, Antananarivo has it all. So, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Madagascar.

Rita Brooks

Rita G. Brooks is an experienced author and researcher who specializes in the diverse ecology and culture of Madagascar. She has traveled extensively throughout the island nation and written extensively about its unique flora and fauna, as well as its rich history and culture.

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