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.
Hotel prices in Dar es Salaam do not fluctuate a great deal as there isn’t an obvious tourist season in the city. (You will find seasonal price fluctuations throughout Zanzibar and the National Parks though.) Hostels are rare. There is a rundown YMCA and a few hostels that are run by charities but cater more towards volunteers who are staying for a few months.
It can be hard to book budget hotels online due to the lack of computer and internet access in the smaller establishments. The city is full of hotels of all budget ranges, and comfort levels though, so it isn’t hard to find a hotel once you arrive. However, taxi drivers aren’t always very helpful and will rarely advise on budget accommodations. It’s always helpful to have a few hotel names to offer if your driver isn’t able to help you. When looking at hotel rooms, check for a mosquito net for your bed, working fan or air conditioning and running water as lower budget hotels are sometimes missing some or all of these items.