One of the most charming capital cities in southern Africa, Maputo appeals with its elegant architecture, wide European-style avenues, and breezy café culture. From admiring the historic buildings to soaking up the vibrant nightlife, here’s how to make the most of one day in the Mozambican capital.
Morning: See the Sights
Kick off your day in Maputo with a guided tour of its main attractions. Sightseeing tours by van typically include visits to the landmark train station, Cathedral of Our Lady of Conception (Nossa Senhora da Conceição), fortress, central market, and Museum of Natural History. As you explore the city, your guide will explain the cultural, political, and social changes that Maputo has undergone over time and offer insights into local culture. Tours of various lengths are available, and some also include lunch at one of the city’s many excellent restaurants.
Afternoon: Dive Into Local Culture
Travelers interested in Mozambican arts and culture will find plenty to fill their afternoon in Maputo. At the Chissano Gallery Museum (Museu Galeria Chissano), works of renowned sculptor Alberto Chissano, as well as his remains, are on display in his family’s residence in the Matola suburb. In downtown Maputo, the National Art Museum (Museu Nacional de Arte) also houses works by Chissano, as well as an extensive collection of paintings and sculptures by more of Mozambique’s best contemporary artists. Another top downtown cultural attraction is the French-Mozambican Cultural Center (Centro Cultural Franco-Moçambicano), which hosts art exhibitions, music and dance performances, films, and theatrical productions and has a craft shop and café on-site.
Night: Enjoy the Nightlife
Maputo is a vibrant city that really comes to life after dark, when locals unwind in restaurants and nightclubs. Africa Bar, on Avenida 24 de Julho and Karl Marx street, is a popular night spot known for live jazz, while Coconuts Live, east of downtown, is famous for its enormous dancefloor. If you’re not sure where to go or prefer to be in the company of a local, you can book an evening tour that includes dinner at a seafood restaurant, visits to bars, and entrance to a nightclub—these tours conveniently include hotel pickup and drop-off.