Antananarivo, better known by locals as Tana, is the bustling capital of Madagascar and is home to about 2,000,000 inhabitants. Situated in the high plateau, the city was founded in 1610 by a Malagasy King. To protect the newly gained territory he left 1000 men behind and that’s how Antananarivo got its name (town of 1000). It has developed into a very interesting city with a lot of contrasts. At first it can seem a little overwhelming as the hum of traffic and markets fills the airwaves but after a little time it is sure to feel like home.Read More
For many, Antananarivo will be the most immersive experience they will get into authentic Madagascan culture. While the city sees a number of travellers every year, this is considerably lower than other parts of the country, like the islands and the national parks. As a consequence, much of the pomp and glamour that usually adorns tourist hotspots has been done away with here, leaving in it its place a perfect insight into the everyday lives of the Malagasy people.
Whilst in Tana, there is an array of exciting things to do both within the city centre and a little further afield. Take a trip to the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga, a site brimming with history and the former residence Madagascar's nobles. Those looking for souvenirs or gifts should make their way over to Independence Avenue or to one of the city's many markets. Alternatively, check out the remains of the Rova, a palace that burned down in 1995, leaving behind nothing more than the stone facade.
If you are planning a Antananarivo holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
IC Hotel Antananarivo
The IC hotel offers comfortable and clean rooms and Malagasy hospitality. The rooms are Malagasy in style and all the wooden furniture is made from Palissandre – a wood local to Madagascar. Paintings and other works from local artists adorn the walls of the room, adding a personal touch to your stay. Traditional Malagasy food can be sampled at the hotel's restaurant along with a variety of European dishes. The IC Hotel is situated on a hilltop, 30-40 minutes from the city centre of Antananarivo.
Le Palissandre Hotel & Spa Antananarivo
Le Palissandre Hotel & Spa offers you comfort and an exotic yet elegant interior, with true Malagasy hospitality. The comfortable rooms are decorated with rosewood and colourful fabrics and come equipped with a TV, minibar and air conditioning. The hotel's restaurant serves a range of delicious local dishes as well as a selection of French specialities. Cocktails and other beverages can be found in the bar, which overlooks the garden. The hotel is situated on a hillside in the heart of the city.
Relais Des Plateaux Antananarivo
The Relais des Plateaux hotel and restaurant is in a wooded park and has a heated swimming pool. The spacious and tranquil rooms are set in manicured gardens, ensuring a peaceful night's sleep. Sublime dishes are prepared in the hotel's restaurant using local ingredients to ensure quality and freshness. The hotel also a huge outdoor pool, complete with sun loungers and palm trees. The hotel is conveniently located just 5km away from the Ivato Airport and around 20km from the centre of Antananarivo.
Antananarivo Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Antananarivo.