This paper explores specific sites of leisure-swimming pools, movie theatres, hotels, and cafés that were built at the height of colonial tourist aspirations in Beira, Mozambique (1950s-1970s) and that were formally reserved for colonial elites, specifically in this case, Portuguese citizens, British Rhodesian sugar plantation managers who were stationed in Beira at the time, and visiting (white) tourists, and their families. What do these infrastructures tell us about colonial urban planning, including sites of leisure and their histories of racialized restrictions? What can they say about tourism in a (Portuguese) colonial city that was once the centre of the East African corridor and an access point to the ocean for neighbouring (British) Malawi and Rhodesia? That these same swimming pools, theatres, hotels, and cafés are very much in use today by a very different set of inhabitants says something about this „reluctant city“ (Forjaz 2007, 2) in the making. Through my ethnographic observations and impressions during two visits to the city in April 2009 and February 2016 I will attempt to think productively with „ruins of empire“ (Stoler 2008) in order to chart a set of ruminations on acts of renovation in present day Beira. These ruminations are intended to show a complex city in its daily habitus by way of relationships (both of materiality and affect) between people and certain build environments. My focus suggests that these particular sites (and by way of their features such as colours, tiles, fixtures) afford a window onto Beira‘s condition of postcoloniality (as well, the simultaneity of its conditions of colonialism, socialism and war) through the creative ability of its African inhabitants to take specific urban infrastructures left behind by its Portuguese colonial possessors in the wake of Mozambique‘s rapid decolonization in 1975, and adapt them to their own strategic and innovative purposes.