Maputo is the capital of Mozambique, and it sits on the coast of the Indian Ocean. If you love history and you want to see the preserved Portuguese neo classical architecture, then Maputo is the place to be.
In this Maputo, Mozambique travel guide, we will cover vital information you will be glad you had so you can have an outstanding vacation in Mozambique.
The city is deep-rooted history dates back to the 1500s when it was only a fishing village.
Over the centuries after its foundation by the explorer Lourenço Marques, it transcended into a Portuguese colony and a critical port city. Upon gaining independence, it became the capital city of Mozambique.
Map of Matupo, Mozambique
When to Visit
With its fusion of Mediterranean architecture and influences from African, Indian, and Arabic cultures, Maputo is the most cosmopolite city of Mozambique and the Mozambican cultural capital.
It is suitable for visiting all year round since southern Mozambique is usually a milder rainy season. However, if you want to travel the northern part of the country as well, you should consider visiting between May and September.
Best Places to Stay in Maputo Mozambique
#1 Hotel Polana
#2 Southern Sun
#3 Radisson Blu Hotel &Residents
Best Things to Do in Maputo Mozambique
#1 Explore the Museums
Thanks to the history of this African city, you can find many museums full of information about the colonial era. These include the Natural History Museum, The Museum of the Revolution, and the National Art Museum.
Chissano Gallery displays an extensive collection of works from sculptor Alberto Chissano, as well as his remains.
Last but not least, Franco-Mocambicano Cultural Center is a perfect source of entertainment with many live music and dance performances illustrating the Mozambican traditions.
#2 Visit Maputo Elephant Reserve
Book a guided tour to experience a unique safari trip to see elephants and other wildlife by the Maputo bay in the inlet of the Indian Ocean.
#3 Join a Guided Walking Tour
Maputo has hidden gems around every corner. A local guide can help you walk around the streets and delve into the unknowns of the city.
Best Things to See in Maputo Mozambique
#1 Infulene Train Station
The most remarkable building in the city is the train station designed by a close friend of Alexandre Gustav Eiffel.
Inside the Maputo railway station is an art gallery that showcases the work of local and visiting artists. The paintings and sculptures are for sale so you can get to support the local community and purchase authentic African art.
#2 City Hall
Another landmark is the iconic City Hall built in the 1940s in the neoclassical style and is located at the higher end of Avenida Samora Machel.
#3 Iron House
This historic building is a perfect example of how Eiffel’s fame expanded outside France. While you are out and about, take a 5-minute walk to the Tunduru Botanical Gardens. The garden was constructed in 1885 and it has a statue of Mozambique’s 1st president.
#4 Inhaca Island
Although this paradise island is off the mainland Mozambique, taking a ferry from Maputo is the easiest way to get here. Inhaca is a perfect destination for snorkeling and diving at coral reefs and underwater caves.
Best Things to Buy in Maputo Mozambique
#1 Capunalas (sarongs) at Casa Elefante across the Municipal Market
#2 Batiks and woodcarvings at Feira de Artesanato
#3 Makonde masks
Best Places to Eat in Maputo Mozambique
#1 Fish Market
#2 Restaurante Costa do Sol
#3 Feira Popular
- Dorm bed: US$10
- Double room in a budget hotel: US$50
- Double room in a hotel: US$100–US$150
- Double room in an upscale hotel: from US$250
- Local-style meal: US$5
- Restaurant lunch or dinner: US$10
- A meal in a fancy restaurant: from US$15
- Chapa fare: US$0.10
- Short city taxi trip: US$5
- Rental car: from US$100 per day
Money-Saving Tips in Maputo Mozambique
- The local markets can inflate some of the prices but will lower the cost down by 60% if you negotiate confidently.
- If you arrive by plane, try to book hotels with free airport shuttle services.
Stay Safe and Healthy
Use standard precautions when visiting the city. Also, you must be aware of the potential natural disaster threats like cyclones and plan your holiday accordingly.
The rainy summer season is more prone to storms. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date, and the CDC site can provide you with more information.
Getting In and Around Maputo Mozambique
Many international flights from Africa can reach the city via Kenya Airways, LAM, South African Airways, and TAP Air Portugal. The Maputo international airport is north of Maputo and is only a 15-minute drive.
You can take a bus to Maputo from Johannesburg or Nelspruit in South Africa using the express bus companies like Greyhound, Luciano Luxury Coach, and Translux.
Maputo Mozambique is a city with vast territories, so visiting only one destination is not enough to claim that you have been there. The entire coastline of Mozambique is a mystery that is waiting to be discovered by you.
We hope you enjoyed our post on the best of Maputo. For more inspiration on places to visit in Mozambique, our Pemba, Beira, Bazaruto Archipelago, Benguerra Island, and the Quirimbas Islands city guides, Gorongosa National Park, and Mozambique Packing List will be helpful.
We will love to hear your thought. Did you visit Mozambique? If so, what was the best part of your trip? If not, what additional information do you need from you to make planning your trip a breeze? Happy traveling!