Best Hotels in Arusha—Top Areas & Accommodations 

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Looking for the best hotels in Arusha? Even though the city is not as big as other Tanzania cities like Dar Es Salaam, there are still plenty of accommodation choices to choose from. 

The city can seem a little spread out if you’ve never visited before. This guide has all the best choices for neighborhoods and hotels to make sure you pick the right area based on your activities and budget! 

Arusha also has tons of hostels and lodges to choose from if you don’t want to stay in a traditional hotel. You’ve got lots of options here in various price ranges.

I’ve been to Arusha several times, including as a tourist and later as an ex-pat where I lived and worked there. I learned the city inside and out! I stayed at most of these recommendations myself or had a friend stay there that can vouch for the place! So, let’s get to it!

aeriel view of arusha bus station, hotels in arusha

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Arusha Accommodation Quick Guide

Trying to find a hotel fast? Here are my top four recommendations throughout Arusha!

Budget—Graceland Hotel: They have nice basic rooms right on the outskirts of downtown.  The price is super budget-friendly since it’s not right in the city center! They have an on-site restaurant where you can have complimentary breakfast and order other meals if you choose. 

Mid-range—Mrimba Palm Hotel: I love this hotel because every room has a terrace where you can enjoy views of the garden and Mount Meru in the distance. The beds are super comfy. And you can enjoy food at the restaurant or bring it to your room. 

Luxury—Kibo Palace Hotel: I stayed here for one night when I had a bunch of friends visiting. Their suites are two bedrooms with a living room and kitchen, making them perfect for large groups. The breakfast buffet is one of the best in the city. You can also order a la carte if you want, with African and Western options. 

Lodge—Legendary Lodge: This lodge is about 20 minutes from downtown Arusha, but the drive is worth it. It’s set in a beautiful garden that is also a coffee farm. You can stay in a single cottage or a family cottage, depending on how many people you’re traveling with. You also get food and beverage service right to your cottage!

masaai tribe in arusha


During my short stay in Arusha as an ex-pat, I lived in Njiro. You can reach the city center in about 10 minutes, so it’s not too far from all the action. It’s quieter and away from the disturbing nightlife noises that reach some of the hotels and guesthouses when staying in the center. 

Most of the options in Njiro are aimed at backpackers and younger travelers, so you’ll find more hostels and cheaper options here. There are also a few lodges in the area. There are plenty of local restaurants and bars and a small shopping mall called Njiro Complex

BudgetUjamaa Hostel: I stayed here for about a month during my first visit to Arusha. It’s cheap, clean, and a great place to meet other travelers. Your nightly fee includes breakfast, dinner, and laundry. They have one private room and several dorm rooms. You can Whatsapp the owner (Gasper) at +255753960570 for booking.

Another great hostel in Njiro is the White House of Tanzania. They have dorm rooms as well as private rooms with their own bathrooms. The common area is great for meeting other travelers, watching TV, and playing board games.

Mid-RangeSafariLand Cottages: A friend of mine stayed here, and it was beautiful. You can rent a private cottage set in a stunning garden. All cottages have bathrooms and small kitchens inside. They also have a shuttle to take you downtown if you’re not comfortable taking public transportation. 

LuxuryThe African Tulip: Njiro doesn’t have many luxury options since it’s more of a local area aimed toward backpackers. African Tulip is just outside Njiro before you get to town, making it an excellent middle option. I love the rooms. They are colorful and safari-themed. They also have a lovely outdoor pool with bar service. 

Lodge—Arusha Planet Lodge: Although this lodge is only 10 minutes from the city center, the tropical gardens and tall trees will make you feel secluded and peaceful. They have a beautiful outdoor dining area and a small pool. You can also book a shuttle to the airport for a small fee. 

Mount Meru 

Arusha is located right at the base of stunning Mount Meru. If you want to be close to the mountain, there are many hotels and lodges to choose from. Staying closer to the foothills of the mountain gives you some peace and quiet since you are a little further from the city center. 

It’s also a great place to stay if you plan to climb Mount Meru while in Arusha. Here are some of the best lodging options. 

BudgetHomestay Malaika: This is one of the best places to stay near the mountain on a low budget. They have a beautiful garden where you can enjoy the view and lay in a hammock. The rooms are spacious and clean. Traditional Swahili breakfast is included in the price. 

Mid-RangeMount Meru Hotel: I’ve spent a good amount of time lying by the pool at this great hotel. They also have two nice restaurants and a cafe on site with nice local coffee. If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can book a treatment at the spa or spend an evening in the cigar lounge. 

LuxuryGran Melia: This is the place to be if you want luxury. They have full suites with kitchens and living rooms if you’re traveling in a large group. Make sure to check out the spa and outdoor pool. All five of the restaurants on-site are worth grabbing dinner at!

LodgeThe Milimani Lodge: This lodge is set on a huge acre of gardens. The setting is serene and relaxing away from the city center. They have a restaurant on-site and a lounge where you can grab a few drinks. They also have free Wi-Fi!

mount meru under the clouds, arusha hotels and lodges

Arusha City Center 

If you want to be within walking distance of most places, you can stay in Arusha City Center. The city is a little spread out, but staying in the city center will make your taxi trips much shorter. There are also nice cafes and bars downtown where you can walk for food or nightlife. 

Staying in the city center also lets you easily visit some of the best attractions, including the Masai Markets and the Arusha National Natural History Museum

BudgetVenus Premier Hotel: You can easily walk to many downtown destinations from here, including the Cultural Heritage Center. The rooms are basic but have all the necessary amenities, with Wi-Fi, TVs, and minibars. They also have an excellent free breakfast buffet!

Mid-RangePalace Hotel Arusha: Located right next to the Tanzanite Experience, the Palace Hotel Arusha is also just a few steps from the iconic Arusha clock tower. The rooms are huge with large beds and couches. They also offer free breakfast. Upgrade to a suite for a room with Mount Meru views!

LuxuryFour Points by Sheraton Arusha: I never stayed here but used to use the cafe for Wi-Fi. The food is also excellent! All rooms have terraces, WIFI, and minibars. Make sure to take advantage of the complimentary breakfast, where you can sit on the terrace that overlooks the gardens. 

arusha downtown vendors, hotels in arusha tanzania

Top Things to Do in Arusha

Whether you’re an ex-pat or visiting as a tourist, there are tons of things to see and do in Arusha. Here are my top recommendations:

  • Go on a safari in Arusha National Park. One of the main reasons people visit Tanzania is to visit the national parks. Arusha’s is smaller than some of the other ones but still worth visiting. It’s also more budget-friendly! You’ll see giraffes, lions, hippos, and tons of other animals!
  • Buy some Tanzanite. When in Tanzania, make sure to buy this rare gem as a souvenir for yourself or a present for someone else. I recommend checking out the Tanzanite Experience and Isle of Jewels to learn the history of the stone and find some nice jewelry. 
  • Visit the local markets. There are tons of markets throughout the city center of Arusha. They’re a great place to buy souvenirs and crafts and meet locals. You can also buy fresh produce and meat here if you’re staying where you plan to cook for yourself. 
  • Get a great view of Mount Meru. Mount Meru towers over Arusha and is stunning. There are tons of places around town to get a nice view, but my favorite is the rooftop bar at Gran Melia Hotel. Grab a drink and get some great pics of the mountain. 
  • Climb Mount Meru. If enjoying the view isn’t enough, you can climb to the top! It takes about four days to get to the top and one day to return to the bottom. Check out this website for more information and to find companies to book your climb. 
  • Meet locals and ex-pats at The Hub. I spent a lot of time at The Hub. It’s an outdoor bar and restaurant. During the day, you can eat and work on your laptop. You can party, listen to music, and meet fellow travelers in the evening. 
arusha national park, things to do in arusha
Arusha National Park

How to Get to Arusha

If you’re already in Tanzania, you can fly to the small regional Arusha Airport (ARK) with Precision Airlines. You can also take a bus from other parts of Tanzania. Ask your hotel or a friend in the city that you’re starting in to take you to the bus station and buy a ticket, as there are no online options for purchasing. 

They have nicer coach buses with reclining seats that you can take for longer overnight trips. I recommend this, especially if you’re coming from Dar Es Salaam or further away. 

If you’re traveling internationally, you can fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). From the airport, you can take a taxi to Arusha. It’s about an hour’s drive, depending on traffic. If you’ve booked a safari, the price usually includes airport pickups to bring you to Arusha.  

fire truck at arusha airport,

How to Get Around Arusha

The cheapest way to get around Arusha is by boda boda, which are small motorbikes. It’s always a good idea to bring your own helmet and wear it while riding. 

I love boda bodas because they are cheap and quick. I wouldn’t take them at night unless you have a driver you know and trust. 

You can also take the dala dalas (minibusses). Most of the locals use these for public transport. Ask your hotel or a friend to show you the routes. Most of the conductors don’t speak English, and it’s easy to get lost. 

You can also download the InDriver app. It’s basically Uber, but you have to pay in cash. This is how I got around at night or when leaving a bar or club, as it’s much safer. 

boda driving getting gas at arusha gas station

When to Visit Arusha

Arusha can get pretty cold since it’s mountainous. I loved the cold season because it was less crowded. It starts to get cold around April and will begin to warm back up in September. 

If you’re coming to Arusha to visit Arusha National Park, make sure to come during one of the dry seasons. Visiting in June through September or December to March makes driving in the park much easier, and it’s when most of the animals move around more. 

Where to stay in Arusha on a budget?

If you’re on a budget, you might want to check out the places I recommended for Njiro. It’s further from the city, so prices are lower. There are also tons of hostel choices to choose from if you don’t mind sharing a room and want to save money. 

Check out The White House of Tanzania or Arusha Jambo House for some budget-friendly choices. 

Where to stay in Arusha for the weekend?

If you’re only in Arusha for a few days, stay at a place in the city center. This allows you to save time because you can walk most places. These hotels can also arrange transportation for you on the days you want to go places a little further out. 

You can also walk to restaurants and bars quickly without wasting time trying to find nice places to eat. Staying in the city center also brings you closer to Mount Meru if you plan to climb or do activities closer to that part of town. 

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Where to stay in Arusha near the airport?

Arusha airport is not close to anything. There are a few hotels and hostels within around five miles of the hotel, which might be a nice choice if you have a super early or late flight. 

Check out A1 Hotel and Resort for a mid-range choice or On My Way Hostel for a cheaper option. 

Is Arusha Safe?

I always felt safe during the daytime alone. However, like in many larger cities in East Africa, there is always a chance of getting mugged or having electronics stolen if you’re not careful. Always make sure your wallet and phone are tucked away and not visible, especially on public transportation. 

I also wouldn’t walk around Arusha at night alone. Many of the areas downtown where bars and hotels are located are not well-lit. 

The Best Hotels in Arusha are Waiting For You!

I hope this hotels in Arusha accommodation guide gave you all the suggestions you needed for finding the best place to stay in Arusha. It’s one of my favorite cities, with endless activities and incredible people! 

No matter where you choose to stay, you’ll love this Tanzanian city. Arusha hotels are also nice places to end a Kilimanjaro climb or a week of safaris since they’re relaxing and peaceful. 

If you’re not too tired from your African adventures, Arusha has tons of choices for bars and nightlife. 

Are you traveling to Arusha? Where do you plan to stay? 

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