What is there to do in Moshi, Tanzania? Moshi is one of the major cities used as a starting point before the Mount Kilimanjaro hike or a safari; another option is Arusha. Most visitors spend a night in town before and after their adventures and then take off for the airport. We had a few extra rest days to explore and wanted to share with you some fun things to do in Moshi, Tanzania.
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1. Explore the main area/downtown Moshi.
Depending on where you’re staying, your mode of transportation is either walking or taking a taxi to the main area. We stayed at the Key’s Hotel which was arranged by our tour operator. Our hotel was a 15-20 minute walk away from the main area with the local shops and restaurants. It was a nice way to leave the hotel and also experience life at Moshi. Our tour operator said to take a taxi if we leave the hotel after 6:30pm.
The best part was exploring each of the side streets to see what was available. Some streets were more residential than others. If you need snacks or water to stock up during the adventures, there are plenty of mini-markets. 1.5 liters of water is relatively cheap at 1000-1500 Tanzania shillings ($.50 – $.75 USD).
The Moshi bus station has random shops if you’re looking for specific items. There is a store for electronics, beauty and hair products, stationery, shoes, and more. You can easily peruse. Watch out for the crowds as many people hang out on the sidewalks to sell things or wait for the bus.
2. Eat delicious and cheap food.
We were impressed with the variety food options at Moshi. We saw burgers, Italian, Indian, Chinese, snack/drink places, and more. Plenty of vegetarian option available. You can either go for the local food or more high-end type places. The places that we visited were cheaper (compared to U.S. standards), tasty, and had good portions!
Chrisburger (on Kibo Road)
The restaurant is open from the mornings to the mid-afternoons. In the evenings, it turns into a bar. Seating is limited to 6 tables outside and is often at capacity with locals. You can’t go wrong with ordering any of the meals with chips or burgers. We ate here twice for an early dinner and lunch.
Fresh Restaurant (On Mawenzi Road)
We arrived at Fresh Restaurant by accident. Food is mostly snack items and subject to availability. The first time we ate here, it was a late afternoon so it was a hangout place for drinks. We went here the following day for breakfast and tried a lot of items.
Indoitaliano Restaurant (Off of Mawenzi Road and Shule Street)
We loved Indoitaliano! It had high reviews on TripAdvisor and looked interesting with the Indian/Italian twist. We thought it was Indian food with Italian flavors or vice versa. However, there is a separate menu for Indian and Italian food. Prices are a bit higher than the fast food that we’ve had. We opted for the Indian food and flavors were comparable to what we eat back in the Bay Area in a densely Indian populated community. Awesome flavors and spices. The naan was delicious too.
Key’s Hotel (On Uru Road)
We know, it is hotel. Sometimes, we didn’t want to venture out of the area, so we ate at the hotel restaurant. Menu included appetizers, salads, main courses, Tanzanian dish of the day, and dessert. Be patient as the wait is long and may have an occasional power outage. The wood fired pizzas were popular and tasted good. Two people can easily share the pizzas.
3. Buy souvenirs.
You can’t leave a trip without buying souvenirs! Our tour operator suggested Blue Zebra in the Kibo Tower (on Boma Road and Rindi Lane). The store is in the back of the first floor and next to a cafe. Store has all of the possible things to purchase for souvenirs from toys, clothing, handbags, and more. Prices are fixed and are higher as this is the “touristy” shop.
Another option is to visit the local artisan’s shops. People randomly talked to us to have us visit their shop. Know what the going prices are and how much you’re willing to negotiate. The more you buy, the more chances you have to lower the price by a few dollars.
We recommend visiting Chui’s Trading Limited (On Mawenzi Road and the cross streets of Shule Road and Viwanda Street). The store has a large variety of products from t-shirts, hats, fabric, stuffed animals, crafty items, and more. All prices are fixed and much cheaper than other places we visited; no haggling involved. The store owner was very friendly and answered questions that we had. My sister bought fabric and asked how to procure a seamstress to make a dress. The store owner went around the corner as there was a row of seamstress and introduced her to Maria. Come here to buy your souvenirs!
4. Visit the post office to send postcards back home.
One of our traditions when visiting a country is to send a postcard to ourselves back at home. The post office had fun postcard designs of Mount Kilimanjaro and safari animals. Each postcard was 700 Tanzanian shillings ($.30 USD) as the going rate at Blue Zebra was $1. Stamps to the United States were 1600 TZS ($.72 USD) each. What a deal!
5. Take a coffee tour and visit the Materuni Waterfall as a day trip from Moshi.
Spend some time away from the main city. The coffee tour is great to see how organic coffee is produced, plus you get to enjoy nature at Materuni Waterfalls. We recommend this day trip which was organized by our tour operator, Top Climbers Expedition. Check out our blog post to read our adventure drinking coffee and the Materuni Waterfall.
Watch our video of the coffee process.
6. Take a day trip to visit Lake Chala and/or Massai village.
Your tour operator can arrange a specific tour. We didn’t have a chance to explore these options. Lake Chala looks beautiful from the photos online. We saw the Massai villages passing through the cities on our way to the safari and in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
7. Relax by the pool.
It is hot in Moshi. If your hotel or accommodation has a pool, spend some time to relax and cool off before your climb or safari adventures.
Have you visited Moshi? What are your recommendations or highlights on things to do?
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