With its Mediterranean-style architecture, waterside setting and wide avenues lined with jacaranda and flame trees, Maputo is easily one of Africa's most attractive capitals. It's also the most developed place in Mozambique, with a wide selection of hotels and restaurants, well-stocked supermarkets, shady sidewalk cafes and a lively cultural scene. The heart of the city is the bustling, low-lying baixa (old town), spreading out north and east from the port. A few kilometres away, the seaside Avenida Marginal is lined with new developments on its inland side, while on the sea side life moves at a more leisurely pace.
Maputo is pricier than elsewhere in the country. Yet prices are reasonable and there's enough selection to make it a good destination no matter what your budget. Getting to know the city is a highlight of visiting Mozambique and essential to understanding the country. Don't miss spending time here before heading north.