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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).

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Cotisse Transport is a scheduled taxi service offering transport between Antananarivo and Toamasina, Mahajanga, Morondava, Fianaratsoa and Diégo-Suarez.
  • Besadi+ is a bus service between Antananarivo and Ambanja, Antsohihy and Nosy Be.

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

Le Pavillon de l'Emyrne
12 rue Rakotonirina Stanislas, Isoraka
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 259 45 / +261 (0)20 22 259 46

Tsanga Tsanga Hotel
2, rue Reallon, Tsaralalana
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 254 80

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

Lemur Hostel
LOT VG 26 Ter Antsahabe Rue Andrianaivoravelona
Tel: +261 (0)32 66 091 20

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

Hotel Isoraka
11, Avenue Gal Ramanantsoa
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 355 81

Hotel Colbert
29 Rue Prince Ratsimamanga
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 202 02

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

Hotel Carlton
Rue Pierre Stibbe Anosy
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
Email: Website:

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

Secret Garden
VT3 Avaradrova
Tel: +261 (0)34 02 219 04 or +261 (0)34 16 858 37

Le Louvre Hotel & Spa
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 390 00

Relais des Pistards
Lot III 45 ter Tsimbazaza
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 Maison des Cotonniers
Rue Ratsimilaho lot vb 18
Tel: +261 (0)20 2220954

Hotel Ibis

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 – 10 Killed After Heavy Rains Trigger Floods and Landslides in Antananarivo – FloodList - FloodList
18-Jan-2022 14:37
Embassy of India in Antananarivo celebrates World Hindi Day 2022 - ANI News
11-Jan-2022 07:03
Madagascar's Ivato International Airport Debuts New Terminal -
21-Dec-2021 08:00
Ship sinks off Madagascar coast; 17 dead and 68 missing - Associated Press
20-Dec-2021 08:00
Crystal Dawn Weaver Obituary (1957 - 2022) - Dublin, OH -
18-Jan-2022 00:25
Madagascar Prime Minister reviews bilateral ties with India - Devdiscourse
11-Jan-2022 11:53
Madagascar: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Toamasina. - Vatican News
18-Jan-2022 18:16
Hindu community in Madagascar extends helping hand to fight drought - ANI News
24-Dec-2021 08:00
Health Alert – US Embassy Antananarivo, Madagascar - US Embassy - US Embassy in Madagascar
03-Nov-2021 07:00
Half of Americans frustrated with Biden's presidency: poll - United News of India
18-Jan-2022 05:09
Household transmission of COVID‐19 among the earliest cases in Antananarivo, Madagascar - Wiley
10-Aug-2021 07:00
Escape To Madagascar - TNT Magazine
12-Jan-2022 09:50
Canada's Covid cases surpass 2.8 mn - United News of India
18-Jan-2022 05:32
10 killed by floods in Madagascar capital - CGTN
18-Jan-2022 12:01
Madagascar: Pneumonic plague outbreak in Antananarivo, according to media report - Outbreak News Today - Outbreak News Today
04-Sep-2021 07:00
Version of Indian epic Ramayana found in Madagascar in form of 'Ibonia' - ANI News
10-Jan-2022 16:14
Madagascar: Indian community in Antananarivo celebrates Diwali with religious fervour - Economic Times
07-Nov-2021 07:00
Quran recitation ceremony held in Madagascar for soul of Martyr Soleimani - AhlulBayt News Agency ABNA24
13-Jan-2022 04:52
Message to US Citizens: US Embassy Antananarivo - US Embassy in Madagascar & Comoros - US Embassy in Madagascar
27-May-2021 07:00
Revealed: the cheapest cities in the world for a pint of beer - Time Out Shanghai
13-Jan-2022 04:44
Embassy of India, Antananarivo organizes webinar on opportunities in healthcare, pharmaceuticals - ANI News
14-Dec-2021 08:00
“We Started Eating Them” – Mother Jones - Mother Jones
18-Jan-2022 10:40
Indian Embassy celebrates Constitution Day in Antananarivo - ANI News
26-Nov-2021 08:00
Antananarivo Airport to open new terminal when international travel resumes | CAPA - CAPA - Centre for Aviation
08-Aug-2021 07:00
Madagascar court jails 2 Frenchmen for plotting failed coup - ABC News
17-Dec-2021 08:00
Cultivating urban farmers – Madagascar's capital has an app for that - Cities Today
18-Oct-2021 07:00
Novotel Convention & Spa Antananarivo Hotel Implements Latest in Security Access and Digital Key Convenience by ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions - Hospitality Net
06-Apr-2021 07:00
Antananarivo: Paris with Rice Paddies - Newsweek
28-Aug-2019 07:00
Madagascar Reopens Borders on Nov. 6 -
21-Oct-2021 07:00
MADAGASCAR : Beijing busy building bridges in Antananarivo - 25/05/2021 - Africa Intelligence
25-May-2021 07:00
Madagascar: Severe drought could spur world's first climate change famine - Madagascar - ReliefWeb
21-Oct-2021 07:00
Donation of Additionnal 336000 Doses of J&J COVID-19 Vaccine to Madagascar: Press Statement by Chargée d'Affaires Amy Hyatt - US Embassy in Madagascar
25-Oct-2021 07:00