Top 9 Things To Do In Stone Town, Zanzibar In 2023-2024 : A light breeze will meet you as your driver drops you off in Stone Town, Zanzibar, as it tumbles down the winding streets. When you stroll through the bustle of the old Stone Town, you will also smell the aroma of freshly made coffee.
Peeling walls, high-reaching balconies, congested streets, and everything hugging the Indian Ocean add to the city’s feeling of mystery and romance. Stone Town is just as picturesque and has a similar vibe to Havana, Cuba.
ABOUT STONE TOWN
When Zanzibar was the hub of the spice trade in the 19th century, Stone Town was regarded as one of the region’s most significant capital cities. Stone Town has survived numerous invasions by foreign nations over the course of its history, including the Portuguese, Omani Arabs, and, of course, the British Empire, but has managed to maintain its prominence.
With its well-preserved colonial structures from the 19th century and distinctive culture, which is based on Swahili traditions but also incorporates elements from the Arab, Persian, Indian, and European cultures, Stone Town is still regarded as one of the most significant cities in East Africa in terms of history and artistry.
Nothing compares to Stone Town in Zanzibar, so if you’re going to travel to the idyllic island and want to stay there for a few days, you’ve come to the correct location. You can find a detailed list of the best place to visit and things to do in Stone Town, Zanzibar, along with all the necessary information, in this travel guide.
STONE TOWN TOUR
Take a stroll around the busy market and the congested streets of Zanzibar’s old Stone Town to see the intricately carved doors and the city’s otherworldly stone architecture. Visitors are drawn to the lively Central Market by its kaleidoscopic array of colors and its aromatic fragrances. The various kiosks in the Seyyidieh Market, which first opened in 1904, are crammed with exotic spices, tropical fruits, colorful khangas worn by local women, and exotic treats like pomegranates and red bananas, Top 9 Things To Do In Stone Town
Fishermen proudly display their haul of the day, a pungent assortment of fresh fish ranging from enormous marlins to salty sardines, as locals from the surrounding areas come daily to sell their produce. For a late-night snack, visit the most well-known street market in East Africa, which is hosted every evening by the water at Forodhani Gardens.
Due to the fact that you will have a knowledgeable and amiable local tour guide who will explain things in detail, the Stone Town Tour is the finest method to learn more about the people and culture of Zanzibar.
You can schedule a Stone Town tour whether you are staying in Stone Town or elsewhere. We will arrange private transportation from their hotel for travelers staying outside of Stone Town. The 2023-2024 Stone Town tour will take you to the following locations:
Forodhani Gardens, which is located directly on the Indian Ocean’s coast, serves as both a tourist and local community center. The gardens, which were first constructed in 1936 to celebrate Sultan Khalifa’s Silver Jubilee, now host a fantastic food market every evening, where a number of outdoor vendors serve up a delectable array of regional Zanzibar fare. The famed Zanzibar pizza, fresh fish, meat kebabs, chunky sweet potatoes, coconut bread, garlic Chapati, grilled cassava, and even great fresh fruit options are all available here for a few bucks. The magnificent coastal air gives off a relaxing ambiance, and there is even a children’s play park to enhance the fun. Don’t forget to visit after sundown to enjoy a lovely evening in these lovely gardens, Top 9 Things To Do In Stone Town
THE OLD FORT (NGOME KONGWE)
This building stands out for its stunning architecture and interesting past. The fort was built in the late 17th century on top of an even earlier structure and served as a barrier against the Portuguese occupiers. Its pale-orange ramparts overlook Forodhani Gardens and the ocean beyond. Before to the 1964 Revolution, it was a prison in the 19th century before changing to a ladies tennis club. The fortifications’ size is still stunning today, and if you’re lucky, you might see a live concert in the fort’s 400-year-old amphitheater. Free admission allows visitors to explore the fort’s towers and battlements, as well as its art museum, curio shop, and inviting cafe that transforms into a bar at night.
HOUSE OF WONDERS
The National Museum of Stone Town is situated directly on the seaside and is colloquially referred to as the House of Wonders. At Stone Town, it is the tallest and biggest structure, and Sultan Barghash erected it in 1883 for ceremonial purposes. This iconic building rises to spectacular levels with thin steel pillars and balconies that gaze out over the ocean. It contains a clock tower and three gigantic carved doors, which are considered to be the largest in East Africa as they were made so wide for the sultan to pass through on an elephant. Because it was the first home in Zanzibar to have electricity, running water, and an elevator, the House of Wonders was once compared to a David Copperfield chamber. Regrettably, a significant portion of the balcony collapsed in 2012; therefore, the building’s interior is currently off limits to visitors while renovations are being carried out. Still, the outside is a stunning sight in and of itself.
This is where merchants from all around Zanzibar sell a variety of foodstuffs, cookware, and traditional kangas in addition to fresh fish, pork, and other regional products. Every afternoon, a number of stands also sell goods that are ideal keepsakes to bring home as reminders of your time in Stone Town. If you’re up for it, visiting the fish aisle is a fantastic local experience that always draws a lot of action as the locals haggle and barter for the best fish prices in a competitive environment of banter and bravado! While there are numerous vendors selling some of Zanzibar’s finest spices, freshly baked bread, fruits, and vegetables, all elegantly presented in neatly stacked stacks, you can also buy plenty of food here for only a few dollars. The best time to head there is around 5 p.m., when the evening dealers begin setting up for the hectic night ahead at the same time as the daytime merchants are closing for the day, resulting in an amazing riot of noise and color.
THE OLD DISPENSARY
During colonial times in the 19th century, this spectacular four-story structure with green elaborate balconies and a sculpted clock tower was initially constructed as a dispensary. It has a pretty lengthy and intriguing history and is one of the most beautiful landmarks on the waterfront. Tharia Topan, an opulent Ismaili Indian who served as the sultan’s financial adviser at the time, commissioned The Old Dispensary. After housing a few apartments and acting as a benevolent shelter for the needy, it is now the town’s cultural hub, complete with a restaurant, offices, and stores. For those who want to enjoy the town’s nightlife while taking in the stunning panorama emerging from the ferry terminal and the waterfront, there is really a hookah bar on the second level. In your journey to Stone Town, make sure not to miss this representation of the multiethnic Zanzibari architecture because entry is free , Top 9 Things To Do In Stone Town
Changuu, often known as Prison Island, is located 20 to 30 minutes by boat from Stone Town. It is home to a large number of endangered Aldabra giant tortoises, some of which are over 150 years old and said to have been transferred to Zanzibar from the Seychelles. The lovely peacock colony that lives on the island, as well as the tortoises, can be touched and photographed. The prison was first constructed to house dangerous inmates and sick mainland residents. Nowadays, however, Changuu’s pristine sand beaches, clear waters, and the nearby reefs offer an excellent snorkeling experience. A few of the former prisoner cells from the 19th century are still available for viewing by visitors. If you don’t want to take the tours, you may simply enjoy the breathtaking view of the island while basking in the sun until it’s time to return to Stone Town.
HAMAMN PERSIAN BATH
The first public baths in Zanzibar were the Hamamni Persian Baths, which Sultan Barghash bin Said ordered between 1870 and 1888. The name Hamamni, which means “the place of baths,” was given because Shirazi (Persian) architects designed it. The baths, however, were exclusively available to the elite due to the hefty entrance prices, and they remained that way until 1920. You may still gaze through their gates and attempt to imagine the social elite talking and bathing in a steamy atmosphere hundreds of years ago, even if they are no longer in use because the baths are all dried up and could use some serious restoration work, Top 9 Things To Do In Stone Town
ZANZIBAR COFFEE HOUSE
Your daily dose of caffeine is necessary for any expedition, and the Zanzibar Coffee House provides it superbly. This is an actual African brewed coffee produced from roasted coffee beans that come directly from the plantations in Tanzania’s Southern Highlands, not some instant coffee flavoring that is hurriedly blended with boiling water. The Zanzibar Coffee House, located in the center of Stone Town and serving the best coffee in Zanzibar, gives off a reminiscence of bygone Arabian Nights. The Coffee House employs its own in-house, professionally trained baristas who serve an array of delectable sandwiches, as well as outstanding coffee choices. If your pocketbook is on board, make your way up to the roof terrace to have a delectable brunch or breakfast while taking in the view of the city.
OTHER NOTABLE MENTIONS INCLUDES:
- Joseph’s Catholic Cathedral
- Malindi Mosque
- Palace Museum
- Princess Salme Museum
There’s nothing like some R&R in Zanzibar to round off a trip to Tanzania. Hence, if you plan to spend many days exploring the beaches, schedule time in your itinerary to visit Stone Town, the islands bustling capital, Top 9 Things To Do In Stone Town
All things come together in this place to create the most sensory of urban wonders, and it’s sure to give you some experiences you won’t soon forget. To give you historical background and make sure you don’t miss anything, Focus East Africa Tours arranges educational cultural tours of Stone Town. Call us right now.
Getting You There: Interested in coming along on our cultural tour of Stone Town? We have activities for the entire family, from a tour of the spice fields to the beaches of Zanzibar. Call us right away!