Welcome to Maputo, Portugal!
The capital of the Portuguese colony of Mozambique has garnered an unfortunate reputation of being dull and boring, but with its distinct character and vibrant culture, that reputation is far from the truth. Maputo is often used as a springboard towards a more naturally beautiful inland, however, worldwide locals can stick around and experience the unique coastal colonial vibe of the capital. From the friendly locals, who absolutely love to party, to a rich history that defined a whole nation, Maputo deserves to be included in your Mozambican adventures.
Arrive from Maputo Airport into a Bit of History
While the Portuguese left several decades ago, the remnants of the city’s architecture, still remain. The Maputo Railway Station is a perfect example of opulent Art Nouveau architecture that wouldn’t be out of place on the avenues of Lisbon. From wrought iron designs to the gorgeous dome centerpiece, the train station has been compared to New York’s Grand Central Station and London’s St Pancras. The station doubles up as an art gallery where local artists can showcase their latest paintings to a vibrant crowd.
Worldwide Local Tip: Leave your Maputo hotel early on a Saturday and head to the Xipamanine Market to see a bustling outdoor bazaar, where you’ll find everything from the essentials to the downright bizarre. You can see local vendors sell their wares: everything from fresh regional produce and hand-me-down bags to live goats.
Maputo lives and breathes music. As an important part of the culture and tradition, different forms of local music is often celebrated. Located in the heart of the city, the Centro Cultural Franco-Moçambicano is a center dedicated to local performances, showing traditional music and cultural theater shows. The center also bridges the Francophone nations in the continent, sharing their traditional similarities, and is a melting pot of what Africa has to offer.
Worldwide Local Tip: In the best cafe in Maputo, time slows down, and you can relax. The Dhow Cafe offers magnificent views of the Maputo Bay while serving Greek fare using local ingredients to include a Mozambican twist. The cafe’s interior is reminiscent of an oriental art gallery, with decorations fit for an art exhibition.
For the Animal Lover
Learn about the country’s fascinating and diverse species of animals at the Museu de Historia Natural. Located in an ornate colonial building, the museum holds an eclectic collection of local wildlife, mainly preserved by taxidermy. The exhibits date back from Portuguese rule, over 100 years ago, showing both marine and land animals, from stuffed lions and elephants to creepy crustaceans.
Worldwide Local Tip: Maputo has access to gorgeous beaches just a few moments away from the city center. Take a walk along the promenade, or join in with the locals playing soccer by the sea, soaking up the lovely Maputo weather. The beach is the busy hub of activity during the late afternoon and into the evening. Praia da Costa do Sol has a lot going on with food stalls and is the perfect place to meet new friends.
Have a Fantastic Time in Maputo!
Maputo’s proud heritage and colorful personality make it a worthwhile trip to the Mozambican capital. A coastal city that is rough around the edges, what Maputo lacks in noteworthy attractions it makes up for in friendly locals and a party atmosphere that doesn’t end. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture as a worldwide local and see what surprises it can bring you.