Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) is the largest airport in Tanznaia and the easiest route for getting to Dar es Salaam. The airport is located just outside Dar es Salaam and it offers flights to and from many major global destinations. Direct flights are served to Blantyre, Lilongwe, Arusha, Kigoma, Moroni, Mwanza, Tabora, Zanzibar, Entebbe, Juba, Nairobi, Harare, London, Johannesburg, Kilimanjaro, Addis Ababa, Anjouan, Cairo, Lusaka, Dubai, Amsterdam, Maputo, Pemba, Muscat, Musoma, Shinyanga, Doha, Kigali, Zurich, and Istanbul. Generally, its an easy airport to get a flight to.
From the airport, take a taxi to the city for about $20 minimum. It’s a good idea to know exactly where you need to go, and even have a map to show the driver. The drive into the city is about 20 minutes but during rush hours this can literally take hours. Unfortunately, Dar es Salaam’s rapid economic growth has created major traffic problems, so this extended drive time can happen anywhere in the day and should be taken into account if you’re under pressure for time.
However, if you plan on visiting Zanzibar first as many tourists do, there is a ferry option for getting to Dar es Salaam. This is cheaper ($35 single) than flying from Zanzibar but takes two hours whereas the plane takes 20 minutes. However, the ferry takes you right into the city centre while the road from the airport is almost constantly congested with traffic. So, the ferry is actually usually a wiser choice for getting to Dar es Salaam from Zanzibar unless you only need to reach the airport.
Another option for getting to Dar es Salaam is the train from Zambia. This is actually a great tourist attraction in itself where you get a chance to view the Tanzanian countryside in all its glory and diversity. Kapiri Mposhi, just North of Zambian capital Lusaka, begins a two-night train ride for getting to Dar es Salaam. This Zambia-Tanzania train is commonly referred to as TAZARA Railway. It operates scheduled services twice a week, leaving in both ends of the line on Tuesdays and Fridays around 4:00pm, arriving on Thursdays and Sundays at 9:30am in Zambia, but in the afternoon for Dar es Salaam.
Unlike Zanzibar, if you’re travelling from elsewhere within Tanzania, most areas of the country usually requires a number of Dala Dalas (public busses) for getting to Dar es Salaam which take a long time and are not very comfortable. However, there is a coach from Arusha and other major cities at a cost of about $15 that will take about 10 hours. Generally though, the fastest option for getting to Dar es Salaam is to get to the nearest regional airport (Mbeya, Arusha, Tabora) and take a one hour flight to Dar es Salaam.