One of East Africa's busiest ports, Dar es Salaam is Tanzania's largest city and commercial center, though no longer its capital. The name means "haven of peace" in Arabic, and was more fitting for Dar's former status as a sleepy fishing village than the now bustling city of more than three million people. Nevertheless Dar es Salaam is loved among travelers for its seaside setting and eclectic vibe thanks to its mix of African, Arabic, and Indian cultures.
Tanzania's main port is found at Dar es Salaam harbor straddling some of the most important sea routes in the world. On the northern section of the harbor is Kivukoni Front, with a bustling fish market, where dhows sail in every morning at dawn to offload the night's catch. The city's architecture is a mix of Swahili, German, Asian, and British influences. German colonists organized Dar by arranging a grid pattern of streets fanning out around the port. The Lutheran Church and St Joseph's Cathedral are notable structures on the waterfront, and the city has an excellent museum. Beach lovers can escape the hustle and bustle of Dar with day trips to beautiful Mbudya and Bongoyo Island.