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Antananarivo (City of a Thousand), also known as Tana, is the capital of Madagascar.

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Points of Interest in Antananarivo

There's no point being kind about this - there really is no tourist infrastructure to speak of in Antananarivo - for some folks that is part of the attraction!

  • Rova (Queen's palace). A cab ride (or very long walk) from the hotel district, but be warned that it has been severely fire damaged by suspected arson in the late 1990s, and only the stone shell remains, together with some outbuildings, statues and a Chapel (the latter rebuilt with American money). As of 2011 a semi-official fee of 10,000 ariary was being charged to access the site and then native Tana guides (usually University students with good English or French) may give a good account of the Rova's features in return for a gratuity. The site offers good panoramic views of the city. While walking up the hill towards the palace you may be told by local guides that the Rova is shut for the day and to follow them elsewhere to a different attraction but the likelihood is that the gate will be open as normal.
  • Prime Minister's Palace, near the Rova. In 2005, the situation here was even more uncertain, the Palace appeared to be closed, but a freelance guide let visitors in and gave a comprehensive account of the historical artifacts which were on show, again in return for a gratuity.
  • LemursPark, about 30 minutes' drive (25 km) outside Antananarivo. Lemurs Park is a conservation park established by and French-Japanese charity which hosts wild and rescued lemurs. Over 6000 trees have been planted in this 5 hectare park preserving a lot of important flora and fauna of Madagascar. The parks gives an opportunity to see at close range a variety of lemurs living in the wild which would normally not be possible as lemurs are very shy animals. Its website is The park also gives valuable employment to graduates from the local university as guides and free tours to local school children. There is a small fee but taking a guide is compulsory. Carry local cash as they do not accept cards.


Prime Minister\'s Palace

Ambohitsorohitra Palace

Faravohitra Church

Mahama Sina Stadium


Andohalo Cathedral

Tsimbazaza Zoo

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

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About Antananarivo


Antananarivo has a temperate climate, despite being situated in the Tropics, due to its high elevation of 1,300 to 1,400 metres (4,265 to 4,593 ft) above sea level. Antananarivo receives practically all of its average annual 1,400 mm (55.1 in) of rainfall between November and April. The dry season between May and October is pleasant and sunny, although somewhat chilly, especially during the nights, and in the mornings and evenings. Although frosts are rare in Antananarivo, they are common at higher elevations.

The daily and monthly temperature variations are quite small. Means range from 22.2 °C (72.0 °F) to 15.3 °C (59.5 °F).


  • La Table de Mariette, 11 rue George-V-Faravohitra,  + 261 20 22 216 02.This is a good choice for high quality Malagasy food. More expensive than many other restaurants.
  • Hotel Colbert, 29 Rue Prince Ratsimamanga,  + 261 20-222-0202, e-mail:
  • Ile Bourbon.
  • La Brasserie at the France Hotel, 34 Ave de l'Independence.Very good and inexpensive. Try the calamari. Also vegetarian (non vegan) dishes, a very cheesy veg lasagne for 13,000 Ar
  • Grill De Rova, Near Palace de Rova. Small Menu. Great Zebu!
  • Ku de Ta, 16 rue de la Reunion,  + 261 20 22 281 54.A relatively new and a slick setting for excellent French influenced Malagasy food.
  • Cookie Soph.French and English is spoken here. Good cappucino, milkshakes, and bagels.

Eat Vegetarian. The many Chinese restaurants serve excellent Chinese vegetarian and vegan food

  • Jasmin, Palace Analakely 101 Antananarivo (Behind BNI bank). €7 for two courses and drink.Lovely veg meal with tofu. Perhaps a bit pricey,


  • Lots of bottled water (no tap water!), the main brand is Pura Vida, relatively expensive, with a 1.5l bottle costs about 3000 ariary (~£1)
  • THB (Three Horses Beer). Multi-awarded beer.
  • Madagascar wine - variable but so much cheaper than the alternative (imported French wine).
  • Bonbon Anglais - very sweet, bubble gum tasting soft drink, similar to South American Inka Cola. Excellent if you mix it with a little bit of THB. You may be presented with this when asking for limonade.
  • betsa-betsa - alcohol made from coconut water. Stronger than beer but not quite as potent as hard liquor.
  • Litchel (or Vin Litchi in French) - lychee wine. Some brands are off-dry and quite nice, others are sickeningly sweet.
  • Saint Claude - a local brand of rum with a hint of vanilla.


The city centre is focused on Avenue de L'Independence. Restaurants and shops line both sides of the road and it's the place to go if you want to visit a restaurant or decent cafe, including a good pizzeria and a take-away pizza restaurant. There are also internet cafes and photo-printing facilities. Shops for the Maki and Baobab clothing brand shops can be found a few streets away. The main attraction for this area is the large central market, which includes a covered section selling bags, jewellery and clothing at relatively cheap prices (remember to haggle). Outside there's a plethora of fruit, vegetable and spice stalls, where large packs of vanilla pods can be bought for just a couple of thousand ariary (January 2012).

Outside the centre there is a dedicated tourist market which has about 30 stalls selling souvenirs and local crafts. Definitely worth a visit, due to the decline in tourists since the 2009 coup the place will likely be dead, and some bargains can be picked up.

There are many large western style supermarkets notable the chain 'Jumboscore', any taxi driver can take you here. However, most stock is imported from abroad and so include a significant mark up (although most goods are still below European prices). For fresh goods like fruit and vegetables, significant savings can be made by buying them from the local markets stalls dotted throughout the city.

Buy a local SIM (Telma, Orange etc.) to access calls at the national rate. Both Sim cards and credit are easily obtainable throughout the country, and one of the few things you can easily get hold of (aside from Coca cola, THB beer and coconut flavoured biscuits) in provincial towns and small rural villages. As with most countries, the cheapest way to receive calls from abroad is to use a local SIM and get someone to ring the number using Skype (or similar software), as it will be free for you (the receiver) and cheap for them.

Most banks have an ATM, although they often limit you to how much you can draw out at once. It's relatively simple to change money from euros and dollars to ariary, and you often get a better rate than at the airport. Some banks will also accept pound sterling.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Antananarivo on Wikivoyage.