What to see in Maputo Mozambique
Maputo is the capital city of Mozambique in South Eastern Africa. Things to see in Maputo Mozambique include;
- Casa de Ferro (The Iron House)
- The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
- Maputo Fort (Fortaleza de Maputo)
- Independence Square
- City Hall
- Craft market
- CFM Railway Station
You’ll find that hotels in Maputo are a little on the expensive side therefore it’s worth checking out Airbnb.
Visit Maputo Mozambique – Maputo History
The official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, in fact, back in 1975 Mozambique gained independence from the Portuguese. Due to the Portuguese history of the country you’ll find lots of colonial buildings from this era. Foodies will love Maputo as there are lot’s of Mozambican food restaurants as well as Portuguese influenced restaurants.
Maputo is separated into two main districts, Baixo (downtown) which is the business district. Additionally, the other main district is Polana Cimento. You’ll find most of the points of interest in Baixo but it’s worth visiting Polana Cimento, if not for anything else, for the restaurants.
What was Mozambique formerly called?
Mozambique used to be called Portuguese East Africa or Portuguese Mozambique. Furthermore, the city of Maputo used to be called Lourenço Marques. In 1975, after independence from Portugal, it became simply, Mozambique.
Iron House – Casa de Ferro
Casa de Ferro is known in English as The Iron House. As a matter of fact it was designed by the same architect who designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Gustave Eiffel. The whole house is made from iron, including its interior of walls and ceilings. For this reason it’s considered to be a masterpiece in Mozambique. The house was designed for the governor of Maputo. Due to the tropical climate and the fact the house is made from iron makes it too hot and uninhabitable. Still, it can be admired as a tourist attraction and a truly unique alternative to the Eiffel Tower.
Maputo Fort – Fortaleza de Maputo
Maputo Fort is also known as Fortaleza de nossa Senhora da Conceição or the Fort of Lourenço Marques. This fort was constructed by the Portuguese in the 19th century. In fact, you can still find Portuguese era cannons inside. The fort photographs beautifully from the outside. In addition, the views from inside the fort looking out over the Bay of Maputo are stunning too. Furthermore, the unique Ministry of Trade and Industry building is very Instagrammable.
City Hall, Independence Square
City Hall was built in 1945 and houses the Mayor. Throughout the colonial era it housed the governor. Independence Square was originally built by the Portuguese in 1940 and it used to be called Mouzinho de Albuquerque Square. Mouzinho de Albuquerque was the former governor of Portuguese Mozambique. For this reason there used to be a statue of him in the center of the square. In 1975 when Mozambique gained independence from the Portuguese they renamed the square Independence Square. Furthermore, the statue was replaced by a statue of Samora Machel, the first president of Mozambique.
Cathedral of our Lady of Conception
Maputo has its own showcase cathedral, the Cathedral of our Lady of Conception (Nossa Senhora da Conceicao). This stunning pearl white cathedral is adjacent to Independence Square. Additionally it was built in 1944 under Portuguese rule. For this reason, the cathedral was designed by Portuguese designer, Marcial Simões de Freitas e Costa. It’s believed that his inspiration for the design came from the Church of Notre Dame du Raincy in France.
Nearby the cathedral are the Tunduru Gardens which were designed in 1885. The designer of these gardens also designed gardens for the Sultan of Turkey as well as the King of Greece. Unfortunately these gardens are past their best, nevertheless I still recommend a quick walk through them.
CFM Railway Station
The CFM railway station (Caminho de Ferro de Mozambique) was built in 1912 and it’s located in downtown Maputo. It has been voted as one of the top ten most beautiful railway stations in the world. In fact the iron dome (above) was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the architect behind the Eiffel Tower. You can take a train from Maputo to Pretoria or Johannesburg in South Africa.
Intercape Maputo Johannesburg
It is rumored that the train to South Africa can be dangerous. As a result I recommend you travel by bus. I recommend the Intercape bus service.
Where is Maputo Mozambique?
Maputo is located in South East Africa. For this reason you can travel from Johannesburg to Maputo by bus or train. Alternatively you could find a cheap flight direct to Maputo. Enjoy your visit to Maputo!
Check out these Instagram worthy locations in Portugal.
Mozambique I think is still quite underrated despite the fact that there is so much to do here. Maputo Fort interests me the most of all the places you listed here. So much history there. I am a canon fan and have photographed many canon in ancient forts of India.
Thank you for featuring a post on Mozambique, the country doesn’t get great press attention, so it’s useful to read your post! I’m surprised that hotels are expensive in Maputo, so it good to know to get an Airbnb instead. I think I’d prefer to see other parts of the country 🙂
Maputo seems like a great city with all those historical buildings and history. European influences are all around the world. The Mozambican food must be something different, although it might have Portuguese influences as well.
I love the history of each location of interest you have! You have really went into detail to give us (the reader) a good understanding of the location. I also love the fort! I think its really cool! All in all, pretty awesome article!
Interesting post. I didn’t imagine Maputo to look like this. I’ve been wanting to visit Mozambique for quite some time as I was sponsoring a little girl there.
We haven’t been in Mozambique yet although we are often in South Africa. As for what you write about Maputo, it’s full of history. I like especially the one of Henning Mankell, Swedish author, who loved Maputo.
i really appreciate that you gave some history along with the sites. Also including the map was a nice touch since many of us don’t know the geography of Africa. What beautiful photos!
This is one of the very few posts I read on Mozambique. In fact it wasn’t even in my consideration set. It seems Maputo has a bit of everything – history, architecture, culture, nature and food. And I would actually not mind going to Polana Cimento for the restaurants 😛
Maputo looks cool. It looks really clean from your pics. Great architecture and I’d be interested in the cuisine with the Portuguese influence. I will have to check it out for myself! 🙂
I haven’t heard about Maputo ever. It seems to be less explored places on earth. I loved the Iron House. The whole city offers a lot of places to explore and experience. Would love to visit someday. Thanks for sharing this.
It seems like the Portuguese have done their part spreading spices and culinary traditions around the world. When we were in Thailand, I heard how the modern Thai flavor came from the Portuguese spice trade. I can only imagine the masterpieces they must have with the availability of tropical spices in Mozambique. We love the flavors of Africa.
Is there any place you haven’t been yet?????? Never thought of visiting Mozambique, but it looks so verge and green! Beautiful!
Lovely account. This place as such seems underrated and for the fact that there is a lot to do here. You brought out lovely facts. Hope to visit it soon 🙂
I have read Mozambique in my high school geography books and after that nowhere. It is very good of you, that you have described this off beat path so nicely. Maputo and City Hall at Independence Square is my favorite. Photographers would really love this place.
Wow, the iron house looks quite unique, would like to check out the interiors. The City Hall looks very magnificent, I love the look of Maputo Baixa overall. It would be a great holiday destination for lovers of Portuguese history.
Mozambique continues to go higher on my travel bucket list. Your photos are beautiful, and really capture the essence of what looks like a very special place. I never heard of The Iron House but would love to see it in person.
Hey a fellow Yorkshire blogger. Where are you from? Anyway I’m thinking of adding Mozambique to a trip to Tanzania but Maputo might be a bit far. Did you visit any other places in the north you can recommend?
I’ve only been to Senegal and Mali in the north of Africa, I recommend Senegal!
I’ve never really thought about going to Mozambique but it looks beautiful. I had no idea about it’s history at all but it sounds fascinating. I love being in places with beautiful architecture to explore too.
I agree about the price of hotels. I love Airbnb and I use it quite often. I haven’t been to Mozambique yet but it’s my goal to visit all African countries before I die.
Haha how did he think an iron house in a tropical climate would be a good idea?! Mozambique looks like it has some incredible architecture – I’d love to visit one day!
There is so much to do in Mozambique. Did not realize that Portuguese is spoken there. Interesting history and good transportation tips 🙂
Great to see this post. I don’t think I ever saw any blog post on Mozambique. Like those old colonial structures. Maputo seems like a much more urbanized city than I initially thought.
Had never heard of Maputo but with the Portuguese history it sounds really interesting. We would love to try Mozambican food. The CFM railway station also looks like something we would want to see especially with the Gustave Eiffel connection.
I am suddenly reminded of school where I had read about Mozambique for the first time. If I remember well, it was about 500 years of Portuguese influence and more than 700 species of birds. I did not know about Maputo.
We have a friend who have always invited us to visit Mozambique and now thank to your post we know why. With your photos you inspired us and we’d love to try your same experience especially the visit at the Cathedral of our Lady of Conception.
Seems like an off-beaten place in Africa. You never come across posts on Maputo or Mozambique on a daily basis. Love the history and architecture of the place, especially the Iron House, designed by Gustave Eiffel.
Mozambique looks interesting, I love that you provided information on the Portuguese history with some great photos. Would love to head there and check out the coral islands and reefs as well as see Maputo.
It is very interesting to read about Maputo. I feel like there are only a few tourists who go there but your photos showed that there are so many things to do and see. I am curious about Mozambican food. I read that it is all about fresh and delicious seafood.
Mozambique wasn’t on our radar, but the history and architecture really appeal to me. I’ll have to look more into it.
Maputo looks really charming. Not seen many posts about this place, it appears so pristine and relaxed, I am sure it would make for a great getaway.
I heard Mozambique is a very beautiful country and worth to visit. The capital Maputo looks like a must see. I would probably visit the train station just to take photos, the Gustave Eiffel connection is very interesting.
Maputo seems like a great place to explore. Your detailed information and beautiful photos are great support for planning a visit to the Mozambican capital.
I’ve never been to Mozambique but the pictures and colours make me really want to visit. The railway building looks stunning, I’d definitely want to visit that as I’m a bit obsessed with railway stations and their architecture!
Mozambique looks very interesting with the various styles of the buildings! Casa de Ferro looks really cool! Thanks a lot for this post about Maputo, a destination I didn’t know anything about 🙂
Firstly James you are so well travelled, always envious reading your posts! Great post, seems Gustave Eiffel designed a lot of buildings around the world, he also did the post office office in Saigon that we visited last year.
I love the collection of historic sites and buildings that you’ve showcased here. I admit – I know little about Mozambique. I appreciate that you’re taking us, your readers, throughout the world with your journeys!