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Antananarivo, Tananarive or simply Tana is the capital of Madagascar. Most foreign visitors to the country will pass through the city as almost all international flights to the country connect with its nearby Ivato International Airport. This page includes information on various city attractions, hotels and restaurants etc.

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If you are accessing this site within Madagascar, this page is open for editing. Feel free to add any local advise here.

Antananarivo, the ancient royal city

Text from Passport for Madagascar - 81st edition, March/April 2014

Antananarivo, an ancient royal city in the sixteenth century is the synthesis of a series of construction technologies making it a modern city from the reign of Radama I (1810 - 1828). The latter, initially the King of Imerina, was recognised as the king of Madagascar by the British government, a major world power of the time, following the signature of a friendship and cooperation treaty which provided for the abolition of the slave trade in 1817 and 1820.

This was the beginning of the opening of the Big Island to European influence in many domains, including construction. At that time the houses were built according to an architecturally unique pattern: wooden walls, thatched or shingled roofs, a single room, one door, one window, but as the cost of wood kept rising because of the decline in forest areas, only the wealthy could afford to build. For the royal buildings, common wood was not used but species especially known for their resistance to weather and especially for their imputrescibility were selected. It was Radama I who wanted to break with the traditional model. It was from this period that the idea emerged of providing an upstairs and a veranda.

Over the years, the scarcity of wood was felt, making it unaffordable for everyone. It was Queen Ranavalona II, witness to many house fires and even of entire villages, calamities over which men were powerless, who broke tradition by allowing the use of new materials such as stone and brick whose manufacture had been initiated and popularised by the English missionary James Cameron. It was an English missionary who would design and build the prototype of a "modern" house at the end of the nineteenth century, i.e. walls of burnt brick, tiled roof, veranda, an upper floor, with four or six spacious rooms, multiple windows, which was a revolution in the field of housing.

Antananarivo adopted this type fo house as seen so far, and even if the corrugated iron has gradually replaced tiles, these Tananarivian constructions continue to look good.

Antananarivo and its staircases

Text from Passport for Madagascar - 83rd edition, July/August 2014

Built on a hill, 1,200 metres above sea level, the city of Antananarivo features multiple staircases certain of them narrow and steep, linking different neighbourhoods and other, wider ones descending from Antaninarenina and the opposite Ambondrona staircase to reach the Zoma place (or what remains of it).

Two tunnels were also constructed to avoid long detours for the population: the Garbit tunnel, dug between 1914 and 1924 and the Cayla tunnel, dug between 1932 and 1935 allowing access to the eastern neighbourhoods of the city.

The Ambondrona staircase and Antaninarenina staircase are essential routes to reach the Zoma. From Antaninarenina it takes exactly 168 steps before reaching the place.

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Places to visit

Day excursions

  • Ambohimanga - a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the original kings and queens that once united Madagascar lived, about 24km northeast of the capital. A great view of Antananarivo on clear days.
  • Green Club Vontovorona - one of three Green Club health spas in Madagascar which offers a quick getaway from the capital.
  • Lemurs Park - lemurs reserve and botanical garden, 22km from Antananarivo


View from Carlton
View of Queen's Palace
Staircase to Analakely Market
Market street

Souvenirs and shopping

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Overland transport

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Eric RASOLOHERY is a taxi driver in Antananarivo sporting a vintage 1958 2CV in immaculate condition.

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Taxi Driver Richard is a reliable and reasonably priced English speaking taxi driver in the capital.

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Tina's Tana Taxi is one of only two or three female taxi drivers in Antananarivo who with a big smile and a good sense of humour will likely find you the quickest as well as the most entertaining route to your destination.

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Madarail is the national intercity rail service which operate freight and passenger trains.

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Mountain bike rental (part of La Ferme d'Ivato).

Madagascar airlines

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Air Madagascar - the national airline with international and domestic flights

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Madagasikara Airways - a domestic airline since 2015.

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Private Charter Flights - various small private aircraft operators.

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Tsaradia - a domestic airline launched in 2018.

Taxi-brousse stations in Antananarivo

  • the eastern station in Ampasampito
  • the northern station in Ambodivona
  • the southern in Lalana Pastora Rahajason
  • the western station a couple of hundred metres west of the southern station


Tana Hotel
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 313 20/26

Tana Jacaranda
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 562 39 or +261 (0)34 22 562 39 (mobile)
Skype: noro_rh

Villa Besoa
32 rue de Russie, Isoraka
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 21063

Tsanga Tsanga Hotel
Crossing of Lalana Idira Gandhi and Lalana Reallon

Maison Vue Royale
Lalana Printsey Kamamy
Tel: +261 (0)43 20 388 38

Madagascar Underground
18 Lalana Rainitovo, Madagascar
Tel: +261 34 29 909 07
Email: [mailto:]

Fara's Guest House
Tel: +261 (0)33 14 294 83

Hotel Isoraka
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 355 81

Hotel Colbert
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 202 02

Hôtel La Résidence
Tel: +261 (0)34 01 807 70

Hotel Carlton
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 26060

Hotel de France
34 Avenue de l'indépendance
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 213 04

Maison Lovasoa
Lot VE28 Bis Rue Razanakombana
Tel: +261 (0)34 9352065

La Medina
52 Avenue du Général Ramanantsoa
Tel: +261 (0)34 0413433 (mobile)

La Résidence du Rova
Place Ratsimandrava
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 341 46 or +261 (0)32 07 245 03 (mobile)

Le Louvre Hotel & Spa
Tel: +261 (0)20 2239000

Lemur Hostel

Relais des Pistards
Tel: +261 (0)32 29 471 65 / +261 (0)32 29 471 65

Le Combava
Ambodihady Ambohimanarina (between Antananarivo and Ivato International Airport
BP 8271- 101 Antananarivo
Tel: +261 (0)20 23 584 94 / +261 (0)20 26 328 47 / +261 (0)20 23 252 49

Villa Isoraka
Lot IB 78 Isoraka
Tel: +261 (0)20 24 22052 or +261 (0)32 05 712 69

Hotel Saint Ange
Soarano Tana 101
Tel: +261 (0)33 13 66569 / +261 (0)34 4883700

Hotel Secret de Tana
Alarobia Ivandry
Tel: +261 (0)33 1117453

Hotel Ibis

Hotel Maison des Cotonniers
Tel: +261 (0)20 2220954

Restaurants and bars


Malagasy / Chinese

  • Au Bon Accueil - simple Malagasy-Chinese restaurant with a great panoramic view over Tana
  • Chantaco - Malagasy with a Chinese influence


  • Little India - traditional north and south Indian cuisine (reopened with new management and a genuine Indian menu and kitchen in 2015)
  • Shalimar - Indian/Pakistani cuisine
  • Terrace Exotic - authentic Indian restaurant






Coffee shops

Food shopping

Street food

Health & Spa & Sport

Jewellers and gemstones

Tour operators

Phone networks

There are three major phone operators in Madagascar offering prepaid cards, all of which have have good connections in cities but with varying quality throughout the countryside:

IT services

  • domain registration and hosting services

Money exchange

Medical services




Additional information

Google Newsfeed

Madagascar FM unveils Ambassadors Portrait Gallery at Indian Embassy in Antananarivo - Republic World - Republic World
17-Sep-2020 20:56
Air Madagascar to operate 13 Antananarivo-Paris repatriation charters in Sep-2020 - CAPA - Centre for Aviation
08-Sep-2020 04:12
Report: COVID-19 Pandemic Has Dealt a Major Blow in Efforts to Alleviate Global Poverty - Voice of America
15-Sep-2020 09:57
Madagascar Food Security Outlook, August 2020 - Madagascar - ReliefWeb
31-Aug-2020 07:00
Madagascar closes 3 coronavirus treatment centers - Anadolu Agency
24-Aug-2020 07:00
Madagascar introduces stoves that burn rice husks instead of forests -
02-Sep-2020 07:00
What’s the link between cannabis and endangered tortoises? The rise of corrupt, organised gangs in Madagascar - Daily Maverick
14-Sep-2020 21:21
Air Madagascar evacuates 61 Indians through historic flight from Antananarivo to Mumbai - Economic Times
20-Aug-2020 07:00
Message for US Citizens: Possible July 11 flight - US Embassy in Madagascar
07-Jul-2020 07:00
UN troubled by fatal Madagascar jailbreak shootings - Seychelles News Agency
29-Aug-2020 07:00
Overseas Request for Quotation (RFQ) for Residential Furniture For Peace Corps - US Embassy in Madagascar
10-Aug-2020 07:00
Plumbing Maintenance Worker; FSN-5/FP-09 - US Embassy in Madagascar
13-Aug-2020 07:00
A year ago today, in pictures: Pope appeals for end to poverty and more moments you may remember - Bloomington Pantagraph
08-Sep-2020 19:15
Birth Month and Prevalence of Atopic Dermatitis in Children Under 3 Ye | JAA - Dove Medical Press
12-Aug-2020 07:00
Message for US Citizens: Travel advisory message - US Embassy in Madagascar
13-Aug-2020 07:00
Madagascar president's herbal tonic fails to halt Covid-19 spike - BBC News
13-Aug-2020 07:00
Supply Clerk; FSN-5/FP-09 - US Embassy in Madagascar
10-Aug-2020 07:00
Madagascar reopens national parks shuttered by COVID-19 -
17-Sep-2020 20:14
Aéroports de Paris SA: August 2020 traffic figures -
16-Sep-2020 15:51
Madagascar’s justice ministry blames deadly prison breakout on coronavirus - Vanguard
28-Aug-2020 07:00
MADAGASCAR: Wattec installs solar system on ABC’s rooftop in Antananarivo - AFRIK 21
09-Jun-2020 07:00
A Madagascan Telecoms Magnate Is Opening an Innovative Paris Gallery to Support African Artists - artnet News
02-Sep-2020 07:00
Madagascar Country Office: Covid-19 response (29 July 2020) - Madagascar - ReliefWeb
29-Jul-2020 07:00
In Focus: In Newburyport, films that take the path of most resistance - The Boston Globe
09-Sep-2020 16:19
Message for US Citizens: Alert:State of Health Emergency Extended - US Embassy in Madagascar
14-Jul-2020 07:00
Madagascar: again under pressure from COVID-19, re-containment of Antananarivo - RegionWeek
11-Jul-2020 07:00
Engineer; FSN-11/FP-03 - US Embassy in Madagascar
13-Aug-2020 07:00
WFP Southern Africa COVID-19 Response, Situation Report 15 September 2020 - World - ReliefWeb
15-Sep-2020 20:10
Airlink, Flysafair plan to spread their wings beyond SA borders after ban is lifted - News24
28-Aug-2020 07:00
MADAGASCAR: American school of Antananarivo now solar-powered - AFRIK 21
29-May-2020 07:00
COVID-19 rampant in Madagascar's prisons: official - Xinhua | - Xinhua
22-Jul-2020 07:00
Mauritius: Oil and Troubled Waters - WWF International
28-Aug-2020 07:00