Antananarivo, Madagascar

Antananarivo, Madagascar

According to Wholevehicles, Antananarivo (Antananarivo, “the city of a thousand warriors”) is the capital of Madagascar, which the locals call simply and affectionately – Tana. The city is located at altitudes from 1240 to 1470 meters, in a valley between two hills, where low-rise houses rise in steps along their slopes, forming a real labyrinth of lanes, arches, terraces, balconies and stairs. There is also an international airport that receives most flights from abroad.

Banks and exchange offices

The best rate is offered by “exchangers” at the airport. Banks are usually open from 8:00 to noon and from 15:00 to 18:00. Each branch has ATMs that accept Visa cards, but they all close for lunch and at night. A 24-hour ATM is available at the Madagascar Hilton.

In addition, you can withdraw “cash” in banks: Bank of Africa (Ave de l’Indépendance and (Place de l’Indépendance), which also accepts MasterCard; BFV-SG (Ave de l’Indépendance and Ave Ramanantsoa) – travel Western Union checks and transfers; BMOI (Place de l’Indépendance) – traveler’s checks; BNI-CL (Ave 26 Juin 1960) – traveler’s checks and Visa; Socimad Bureau de Change (Rue Radama I); UCB (Rue des 77 Parlementaires Français) – traveler’s checks, Visa and MasterCard card services.

Transport in Antananarivo

Antananarivo Ivato Airport is located 20 km from the city center. The cheapest way to get to the city is by shuttle bus, the schedule of which is adjusted to the arrival and departure of flights at the airport. The cost depends on the distance (where exactly you will get off) and ranges from 5,000 to 13,000 MGA. Minibuses are even cheaper – only 400 MGA, however, they are often crowded and stop at almost every intersection. Finally, for lovers of comfort, there are taxis at prices ranging from 50,000 to 70,000 MGA.

There are three ways to travel around the capital: by taxi, bus or on foot. Taxi is the most popular form of transport, the fare must be negotiated in advance (~ 10,000 MGA). Buses (or taxi-bi) to Antananarivo are quite comfortable mini-veins, the fare on which ranges from 1,000 to 2,000 MGA. In the city center, Analakely district, there are traffic jams during rush hour, at which time it will be easier to walk.

Most bus stops are located in the Ave de l’Indépendance area in the city centre.

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To buy souvenirs and local delicacies, you need to go to the Zuma Market – this is one of the largest open-air markets in the world.

Shopping and shops

On Fridays, artisans and merchants from all over the city and the surrounding area flock to Antananarivo: the famous “Zuma”, a fair on the main street of the city, begins. When buying processed emeralds, you should definitely take a certificate from the seller – it will be required at customs. All products from representatives of the Malagasy flora and fauna (including dried flowers) will also require export certificates for export, which must be obtained at the time of purchase. It must be borne in mind that the vast majority of souvenirs of this kind sold in markets and souvenir shops are made illegally and therefore do not have any certificates. The tourist who bought them runs the risk of running into a fairly large fine. To buy souvenirs and local delicacies, you need to go to the Zuma Market – this is one of the largest open-air markets in the world. Also worth a look are the shopping district of Analakeli, the Yerden Gallery and the handicraft market in the Andruvuhangi quarter.

Entertainment and attractions of Antananarivo

The main attraction of the capital is the magnificent ensemble of Ruva Ambuhimanga palaces: the “double palace” of Mandzakamiadan, Mahitsilafandzak, Tranavaluna, Manampisoa and the tombs of Madagascar monarchs. And also: the presidential palace and the complex of ministerial buildings, the prime minister’s palace, the buildings of the National Library, the “canal district” of Antuhumadinik, the Izutri Theater on Raketamanga Street, Tsimbazaza Park with a luxurious Botanical Garden, museums of archeology and paleontology, the colorful Besareti Garden in the Andravuhangi quarter, Lake Anusi with a monument to the participants of the First World War and Croke Farm near the Iwatu airport.

Antananarivo, Madagascar