Antsirabe is a large Malagasy city with about 110 000 inhabitants. It is very lovely place with nice little shops selling typical Malagasy artifacts and handicrafts. The shop owners really go after their sales so try not to be talked into buying something that you don’t really want. Prices are negotiable and bargaining is a part of the shopping experience in Madagascar for visitors and locals alike so don’t be scared to hold out for a better deal. To explore the cities and its sights you can ask one of the many pousse-pousse drivers who will bring through the city for a fair price.
Very popular are the thermal springs and baths. They are situated next to Lac Ranomafana and are the perfect spot to relax while getting some body massages. The name of the city comes from the contraction of the Malagasy words “Any sira Be” which simply means where there is much salt. Salt in question comes from the presence of minerals in thermal spring waters which are numerous in Antsirabe.
The countryside of Antsirabe is very beautiful as well and a rich agricultural area. Explore the vineyards or visit the lakes west of the town to go swimming. Lac Andraikiba is a large lake and provides you many quiet areas while Lac Tritiva is smaller and busier but more scenic.