First time visitor to Maputo? Then make sure you stay up to date on what to see and do in the lush capital of Mozambique with our beginner’s guide.
Maputo sits by the shoreside and is aptly nicknamed “Pearl of the Indian Ocean”. The capital city has a population of around 1.8 million and has plenty of things to see and do.
Gaze into a Window into the Past
© Fedor Selivanov / shutterstock.com
One of the city’s most popular attractions is the Maputo Central Train Station, a remnant from the golden age of railways. Even though the trains rarely make their way into the station, it is still a sight worth seeing. Wander around the area with your camera in hand and snap some great shots of the impressive architecture. The building was actually designed by an associate of Alexandre Gustav Eiffel, meaning you may even see some resemblance between the Eiffel Tower and this impressive structure.
Remnants of colonial rule
In the late 17th century Portugal colonized the country and established various trading posts in what is now Maputo. The city of Maputo, once called Lourenço Marques, grew around one of the Portuguese forts built in the city. Ruins of this fort, which are open to visitors, still stand and contain a garden as well as a small museum. Mozambique was a Portuguese colony until 1974.
Walls of Iron
Ever considered building a house of iron? Well, if you’re living in Mozambique you won’t be the first! Alexandre Gustav Eiffel designed this unique house in the late 19th century, intended for use as a governor’s residence. But the heat made the house quite uninhabitable as the walls, ceiling and all are made of iron. The house may not have been a great residence, but it is surely an interesting attraction. Combine a visit with a serene break in the nearby Jardim Tundura botanical gardens.
The Heart of the City
Close to the Iron House lies the Independence Square. Here, the neoclassical building that is Maputo City Hall stands watch and has been doing so since 1947. Today it serves as the seat of the Maputo government, which is administered as its own province. In front of the building stands a statue of Samora Machel, who led the country from the day of its independence until his passing in 1975.
Large areas of Maputo are still influenced by Portuguese architecture. But some later additions to the city’s skyline make for equally great views and striking imagery. One example of such is the Saint Antonio Catholic Church, known as Polana, by architect Nuno Craveiro Lopes. Completed in 1962 this Catholic Church and its iconic design stands out from the crowd of modern day churches. The stained glass and triangle-shaped windows make for a spectacular view.
After making your acquaintance with Maputo’s iron houses and architecture, return to Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence, Maputo for a good night’s sleep. This stylish and modern hotel will be your home away from home in the capital.