Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania and the hub for many international flights. Although not the capital city (that honour goes to Dodoma), Dar es Salaam is a busy African city heaving with people, traffic and normal daily life.
With the beauty of Tanzania drawing tourists from all over the globe, Dar es Salaam has become a layover city for travelers, though rarely the final destination. Because of this, budget accommodation aimed at tourists is not in abundance but you will find many cheaper options used by the local population that are perfectly acceptable for tourists. Alternatively, you can find five star hotels in the nicer areas of the city geared towards Western expectations.
There is a huge range of food and beverage options available in Dar to suit most tastes. You can eat for a reasonable price assuming you are willing to eat at local street stalls and restaurants which include Tanzanian and Indian food. Establishments geared towards the Western community are quite expensive but do offer a nice change of pace if you have been in East Africa for awhile.
Traveling within the city is easily done by “bajaji”; three wheeled motorcycle carts that can carry a maximum of three passengers for a very reasonable price. Due to their size, a bajaji can move through heavy traffic more easily than a bus or car. There are local buses that run throughout the city but they are always overcrowded and they don’t run on a set schedule. Although Dar es Salaam has not been seen as a tourism hot spot, it is worth a short visit. If you are not moving on to Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam has some beautiful beaches and there are island day trips available for reasonable prices.