Your Comprehensive Guide to Maputo Mozambique 

This is your comprehensive guide to Maputo Mozambique, a travel guide to an old city, a place where history and culture unite to create something special.  Maputo is a magnet for visitors who are carried along the waves of its unique vibrancy and charm. Delicious food, tasty beers, jubilant people at outdoor markets, inspiring views, top-end hotels and rocking nightlife make Maputo a good central holiday destination as part of a Mozambique safari or tour.  For all you need to know about the best hotels and lodges, flights, airline information, restaurants and bars, read on in this top travel guide where your questions are answered on Maputo!

The busy streets of Maputo Mozambique
From impressive architecture to botanical gardens and bustling markets, a walking tour of Maputo reveals all manner of delights.

Visit Maputo. Wander around a city that rose from the dust in the 18th century when the pioneering Portuguese arrived to change the landscape and the country’s history forever. Then a devastating 15-year civil war that harmed the environmental, social and economic foundations of the country wreaked havoc on Maputo – since revived into a bustling tourism and business centre for local and international travellers. Take a stroll down wide avenues in old neighbourhoods where gracious guest houses open their doors and huge gardens to guests and chat with locals who want to know your story. 

Sightseeing in Maputo is tantalizing and fascinating such as the train station’s 20th-century Praca dos Trabalhadores – an architectural wonder of wrought iron latticework and a dome designed by the same guy who engineered the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Art is big in Mozambique’s capital city making the National Art Gallery, the Chissano Gallery and Núcleo De Arte must-sees. The rich biodiversity forms Mozambique’s tourism foundation and the National History Museum showcases the country’s splendid fauna and flora. 

Maputo is a sensual destination where smells, tastes, sights, sounds and overwhelming sensations fill your days. It’s the strong pull of Africa in the crumbling architecture and old-style ways of life on the one hand and the very new buildings, stores, hotels and harbourfront walkways on the other hand. There are plenty of Instammagrable photographs for willing posers at the Fortaleza fortress staring out over the Indian Ocean.

The Best Hotels in Maputo 

As a growing business and tourism destination in East Africa, Maputo attracts commercial, romantic and leisure travellers from far and wide. It is therefore easy to find some of the best hotels in Maputo with modern facilities, high-tech conference centres and appropriate pampering attractions. Most of the slick hotels in Maputo stand in the business centre or along the coastal boulevard and feature swimming pools, spas, gyms, wellness centres, bars, restaurants and nightclubs. 

deck and sunbeds looking out onto the ocean in Mozambique
Maputo has a wide selection of hotels, resorts, and restaurants to explore, as well as plenty of attractions and activities to enjoy.

Maputo is easily accessible thanks to its international airport, upgraded tar roads, train services, buses and taxis. There is always a way to get around. Many visitors choose to self-drive the entire country, crossing the border from South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal to start off in Ponta do Ouro or starting off from Kruger National Park and working their way south.  Maputo’s top hotels offer airport shuttles and transfers to tourist destinations as part of the selected holiday, honeymoon or business package. 

Browse these best hotels in Maputo:

Villa das Arabias

The upmarket Villa das Arabias nestles in the Polana suburb and is famed as being the first-ever boutique hotel in the city. This pretty little hotel attracts corporate clients seeking a more intimate space, couples and leisure visitors into its embrace. Close to the Maputo business centre, Villa Das Arabias offers a fantastic conference venue, rooftop bar and restaurant. Stylish Arabic décor conjures up images of the past Eastern-African trade route days, and a dreamy spa promises massages before meetings. 

the bedroom interior at Villa Das Arabias
Villa das Arábias Boutique Hotel is located in Maputo’s upmarket Polana area. This Arabic-themed property offers an outdoor pool and sun beds along with a lot more.

Modern furnishings accentuate the blend of charm and efficiency at this slick 4-star hotel. Villa das Arabias offers 29 rooms boasting aircon, free Wi-Fi, TVs, minibars and en suite bathrooms. The glorious swimming pool is a refreshing respite from hot summer days and most guests appreciate the comforting Arab-Mozambique aura of this boutique hotel. 

Southern Sun Hotel 

Visitors to Maputo often book the Southern Sun thanks to its good name, regal charm and warmth, its 4-star facilities and slick service, and its setting right on the bay. Excellent business amenities attract delegates from across the globe to meet in a choice of 4 versatile conference venues with uncapped Wi-Fi, a business centre, top-class technology and modern furnishings. Trendy yet comfy holiday leisure amenities include huge lawns, a dazzling swimming pool, a sun deck, a 24-hour fitness centre, a salon and a shop!

outside pool with palm trees and the beach in the back
For the perfect combination of sun, sea and sand, the Southern Sun Maputo is spectacularly situated on the magnificent Mozambique coast.

Ask reception about daily outings to play golf, cruise the oceans and islands, try some diving or snorkelling or simply wander the city on a cultural and historical tour. Three modern yet well-established dining choices offer guests simple food on the run, pizzas on the terrace or fine dining to sample real Mozambican cuisine with a twist of European flavours. Chill out on the Terrace with salads and drinks plus awesome fresh seafood or choose The Bar for signature burgers while you watch sport on TV. 

Pestana Rovuma Hotel 

The acclaimed Pestana Rovuma City Centre and Conference Hotel is rated one of the best conference venues in Maputo Mozambique. This fantastic destination merges top-class four-star quality accommodation and high-tech conference and business facilities with a friendly African ambience and decor. The hotel stands in front of the Old Cathedral, the ideal meeting point for social and business ventures alike. 

outside roof top pool with the view of the city in the back
The Pestana Rovuma is a 4-star hotel in the city of Maputo, Mozambique. It is located in the centre of downtown, next to the Cathedral and City Hall.

The hotel is a stone’s throw away from wonderful vibrant street markets and nightclubs to rock away the nights. A selection of luxurious rooms, all with air-conditioning, satellite TVs, free internet access and balconies looking out over the city lights and ocean make the Postana Rovuma even more attractive. Visitors gravitate to the sparkling outdoor swimming pool, gym, business centre, restaurant, and bar. 

Serena Polana Hotel 

Majestic and proud, a legend in her own right, the gracious Polana Serena Hotel commands fantastic views of the bay, the city, and the outlying areas. This is Maputo’s most famous hotel, first established in 1922 and now a renowned accommodation icon.  In the very heart of Maputo on a prestigious avenue and close to international embassies, government buildings, shops, restaurants and sidewalk cafés, it’s also only 15 minutes from the airport. The Polana Hotel’s architectural splendour is reminiscent of Mozambique’s interesting history and world-class renovated facilities attract busy corporates, honeymooners and families every season of the year. 

ballroom interior of Polana Serena Hotel in Mozambique
The 5 star Polana Serena Hotel is situated in one of the most prestigious avenues of Mozambique’s capital, overlooking the bustling Maputo Bay.

International visitors gravitate towards Serena’s grandiose offerings of 87 rooms in the main building plus 66 Polana Mar guestrooms – all elegantly decorated for a luxurious experience.  There’s a mind-blowing choice of 5 first-rate restaurants and bars offering authentic blends of European, African, Portuguese and Mozambican culinary delights.

Flights into Maputo from Johannesburg 

Getting to Mozambique is super convenient, especially on flights into Maputo from Johannesburg. Maputo International Airport is a popular destination favoured by international business and leisure travellers who use it as a gateway into the rest of Mozambique and East Africa.  

Visitors fly into Maputo International Airport (MPM) or cross into the country by road or by boat. Southern Mozambique can be accessed from Maputo after landing there on daily flights from Johannesburg.  The Bazaruto Archipelago is easily accessible from Johannesburg with flights to Vilanculos, the gateway to the islands, and the Kruger area with direct flights three times a week. 

Mozambique flight schedules for 2023 have recently been updated and finalized for all flights into the major airports. Read more here about which airlines have flights to Mozambique and how to get from South Africa to Mozambique. The flying time from Johannesburg to Maputo is about 1 hour but some flights take 1 hour 55 minutes from Johannesburg to Maputo. There are now direct flights from South Africa to Mozambique so you can choose the best times, the cheapest flights and the best airlines to suit your dream holiday trip to Mozambique. Grab a taxi from the airport to town or wait for your hotel shuttle. 

The Funkiest Clubs and Restaurants of Maputo 

A hive of activity, special views, beaches, shops, markets and historic landmarks, Maputo is a fascinating destination where many visitors start and end their holidays in Mozambique. One of the main attractions in Maputo is the sensory explosion of excellent food and drink in a diverse range of cosmopolitan restaurants and bars, nightclubs and cool music spots. Mozambican food is a fusion of African, Portuguese, Middle Eastern, Indian, and Pakistani flavours. 

people dancing at the nightclub in mozambique maputo
Whether you’re looking for a place to dance the night away, relax while enjoying a couple of drinks or seeing some live music, you’ll have more than enough options in Maputo.

There is so much to do in Maputo and it’s important to know that nightclubs and bars, restaurants and music light up the nights too.  Mozambicans know how to party that’s for sure! Go and find the best live music in the top party spots in Maputo and grab a local beer at a local bar. 

Find out more about the funkiest clubs and restaurants in Maputo here:

  • Gil Vicente Café: Where it’s all happening, hip Mozambique music with a lot of improvisation and some wild jam sessions. All the action on Wednesday night through to Saturday night. Once the “karaoke” singers go up the atmosphere cranks up a notch – incredibly talented singers steal the show.
  • Xima Bar: Get lots of action and dive fully into Mozambican musical culture, learn to dance marrabenta with the Maputo locals here. Nice place to relax and meet or hang out with friends, have a nice beer and play pool! And here’s a tip! There is the best ice cream in the city!
  • Coconut Live:  A huge nightclub boasting three large video screens and an enormous dance floor in the middle. One level up is a VIP lounge overlooking the dance floor. Very crowded on weekends with younger revellers, it rates as Maputo’s biggest club, right on the beach. 

Eating out in Maputo Mozambique at authentic restaurants is a treat worth mentioning! Some of the best places to eat seafood can be found in the streets of Maputo, the most popular offerings being traditional peri-peri chicken and prawns.  

  • Zambi: Perfectly located on the Maputo Seaboard, have a great time under the palm trees with a premium menu and top wines, outside on a veranda facing the ocean as dhows drift past. African Asian fusion meals with gusto and delicacy mixed in for new flavours and a wonderful vibe. Unique quality! 
  • Sagres Shellfish Restaurant: Lobster grilled to perfection, exquisite vegetable soup, samosas and rissoles, grilled spicy chicken and indescribable deserts. A talented friendly chef, clean and attentive service. Excellent all around.
  • Campo di Mare: Come and try excellent Italian cuisine and wonderfully flavoured seafood with friendly service and a great location on the beach for sunny afternoons with a cold beer. Diners always have a very good experience with fresh seafood and big dishes that fill everyone up. The homemade gelatos are enormous and fab! 

This comprehensive travel guide to Maputo Mozambique highlights all you need to know about the best hotels and lodges, flights, airline information, restaurants and bars. Planning a trip to Mozambique Africa is probably the best thing you will do this year!