Lilongwe is the Capital and 2nd largest city in Malawi. It lies in the central part of Malawi close to the Malawian border and also the borders of Mozambique and Zambia. Recently, as part of political restructuring, the parliament has been shifted to Lilongwe and all parliament members are required to spend time in the new capital. Lilongwe is now the political centre of Malawi, but Blantyre remains as the Economic capital. As opposed to the largest city, Blantyre, Lilongwe is politically stable, safe, and quiet. Many coffee shops, cafes, bars, clubs, restaurants, and a large casino are located in Lilongwe, as a result many westerners will find the city to be accommodating and friendly. Despite the highly visible class differences, most of the city's residents go about their lives in relative harmony as opposed to Blantyre. Street crime is uncommon, but begging and street hustling are not.
As of 2006 the population stood just over 604,000. The city has many districts known as Areas. Areas are numbered, and range from one to fifty or more as the city grows - the City Centre is not numbered. The notable areas are;
City Centre- by far the most modern, developed area of Lilongwe. Many banks, diplomatic missions, exclusive hotels, airline offices and international corporate offices are located in City Centre.
Area 2: Old Town (North of A1) - Closest to the city centre; thriving commercial district, frequented primarily by locals; clothing, local food, western-style groceries, car parts, building supplies, vehicle repairs and accessories are available here; home to Lilongwe's main local market, three major mosques, and a sprawling mini-bus station.
Area 3 and Area 9: Old Town (West of A1) - West bank of the Lilongwe river; large, wealthy residential neighborhoods, expatriate bars, nice hotels, western style shopping and restaurants, private expatriate clinics.
Medium to low density residential areas are Areas 6, 12, 11, 43, 10, 44. There are also areas 15, and 18 which are medium to high density. Area 15 in particular has about 250 bangalows and houses the middle-class.
As of early 2007, Lilongwe has experienced a business boom as many businesses are relocating to Lilongwe, many of which were previously in Blantyre.
The city has 2 major football teams competing in the top division. These are Silver Strikers and Civo United, civo being the only lilongwe based team to win the super league title, the other being MDC United who are no longer in the top division.
Lilongwe is a beautiful city which is also very close to the country's top attraction, the Lake Malawi. So many tourists visiting the Lake mostly stop in Lilongwe for a couple of days before heading to the Lake side. There are 3 shopping malls and many grocery and accessory outlets throughout the city, mainly in area 3.
tourist- ey yo im goin to the lake next saturday, where you think i should go till then?
local boy- chill in lilongwe man, go to area 3 and check out the old town. Then check out the city centre, theres alot of clubs down there.
tourist- aight dawg ill check it out.