Welcome to Zanzibar Town

Each twist and turn brings something new – a former palace, a Persian bathhouse, a tumbledown ruin, a coral-stone mansion with carved doors and latticework balconies, or a school full of children chanting verses from the Quran.

Today Zanzibar Town (sometimes designated Zanzibar City) is the capital of the state of Zanzibar, and by far the biggest settlement on Zanzibar Island. It's divided into two unequal parts, separated by Creek Rd: to the west is Stone Town, while to the east are the more recently built areas known as Ng’ambo (literally, 'The Other Side’), with other suburbs such as Amaani, Mazizini, Magomeni and Mwanakwerekwe, an urban sprawl of shops, markets, offices, apartment blocks, crowded slums and middle-class neighbourhoods.

Top experiences in Zanzibar Town

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Zanzibar Town activities

$41 Cultural & Theme Tours

Zanzibar Food and Spices Tour with Traditional Swahili Lunch

Zanzibar has long been known as ‘Spice Island.’ This 4-hour, multisensory tour explores the island’s history in the spice trade. Take in the heady aromas and scents of spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, chilis, vanilla, saffron and curry. The island also cultivates pineapples, jackfruits, lemons, limes, oranges, pomelos, durians and coconuts. The tour offers an off-the-beaten-path tour to see a part of Zanzibar many travelers don’t witness. Meet your local guide at your Stone Town hotel, and then travel by air-conditioned minivan to a rural farming village. At a spice farm, learn about the history of Zanzibar’s relationship to spices and the spice trade. Taste seasonal spices and a variety of fresh fruits — weather permitting, you’ll even get to taste coconut straight from the tree!Next, meet a cassava farmer, who will demonstrate typical African farming techniques. Then, learn how to prepare a traditional sauce with coconut milk and cassava leaves during a hands-on cooking lesson in the farmer’s outdoor kitchen. After the lesson, taste your sauce along with a traditional Swahili lunch including spiced rice, bananas and farm-fresh local vegetables. At the end of the tour, you’ll head back to Stone Town.

$25 Tours & Sightseeing

Stone Town Walking Tour in Zanzibar

Meet your guide either at your hotel or a central location to begin your walking tour of Stone Town, a lively place where you’ll find a mixture of Arabic, African, Indian, and European cultures. As you walk through the labyrinth of streets too narrow for vehicles, see mosques, churches, and temples side by side.While you walk, your guide takes you on a historical and cultural journey past sights such as Darajani Bazaar, the House of Wonders (Beit-el-Ajaib), and the Old Fort (Ngome Kongwe). The included visits on your tour are to the Anglican Cathedral built on the site of the Old Slave Market and the Sultan’s Palace (Beit al-Sahel), also known as the People's Palace and today a museum. During the tour, listen to your professional guide's commentary on Stone Town, its history, and Swahili culture.

$75 Tours & Sightseeing

Stone Town and Prison Island from Zanzibar

A half day trip dedicated to the discovery of ancient life of the city of the suspended weather, culture and their folklore. Walking around Zanzibar's famous Stone Town where various traditions from East Africa are meets, the local fashion of the dark cloths, colonial places that between them walls containing the history of the ancient dominion of Sultan, traditions, clothes, fragrance and the colors of the places clearly brings back the memories, more than about old fashion by the same time the poverty of ZanzibarPrison Island is just 20 mins riding by motorized boat to reach the wonderful west based historic island. Was originally owned by wealthy Arabian merchant who used it as detention Centre for disobedient slaves during slavery. Under the Leadership of the third Sultan of Zanzibar, just after the abolition of slave trade in 1873, the prison intending to keep recalcitrant prisoners was constructed and keep the standing name Prison Island. However, the Island was then used as the quarantine station of all of east African countries following the Outbreak of cholera disease along the coast of East African coast where the victims were collected in different parts before being sent to changuu Island for further treatment. The Island was also used as an accommodation site for those prisoners obtained from the Second World War. You will get in, 20mins on motorboat across the sea, the most interesting trip that brings you a foresight of the Zanzibar Port and the beautiful preview of the city of Stone Town far side while you are in the sea to Changuu to spot giants tortoises with its fantastic white sandy beach and spectacular natural forest teeming with variety of birds. 

$40 Tours & Sightseeing

Prison Island Half-Day Tour from Zanzibar

You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the excursion spot. The Aldabra Giant Tortoise sanctuary is a major tourist lure and the oldest tortoise is 192 years old. The turtles are not indigenous and are magisterial creatures, weighing in at an average of 200 kg some are as old as  over 100 years (4 turtles are 150 years). You can feed them at a fee paid at the Island, but watch out for their snapping beaks. Other marine life is also reasonably rich and Changuu provides good snorkelling. It is by no means the most extensive or varied snorkelling spot off the coast of Zanzibar, but being so close to Stone Town and so easily accessible makes it ideal for those who want to see ‘under the sea’ a little while on a city break. The island’s restaurant, Matthews, is good and well-renowned. This is especially so considering the restaurant’s charming atmosphere and good sea view.You will then be dropped off at the hotel after the excursion.

$70 Tours & Sightseeing

Spices and Stone Town Tour in Zanzibar

After hotel pickup by your guide, you'll begin your discovery of what hides in the land of Zanzibar, learning about the origins of local spices, grown on a shamba (plantation). In Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, get to know some of the culture and folklore of Zanzibar as you walk along the narrow streets where various traditions from East Africa come together. See the local fashion of dark fabrics and check out colonial sites that stand next to walls from the eras of sultans. Walk by landmarks such as the House of Wonders (Beit-el-Ajaib, a former palace of an early sultan), the Anglican Cathedral built on the site of the Old Slave Market, the Sultan’s Palace (Beit al-Sahel, now a museum), the Old Fort (Ngome Kongwe, built to defend against the Portuguese), the house where rock star Freddy Mercury was born, and a local market that sells fruit, vegetables, and fish. You'll also pass many shops, where you can purchase a variety of goods, from antiques and pictures to traditional clothing and crafts, if you wish. Your tour ends with return to your pickup location.

$74 Water Sports

Half Day Zanzibar Mnemba Atoll Marine Reserve Snorkeling Tour

Snorkeling in Zanzibar offers a stunning underwater world with schools of tropical reef fish, turtles, dolphins, nudibranchs and beautiful hard and soft coral formations. The snorkeling plan sometimes depends on the tides, weather and sea conditions so each trip might be different. The trip starts in the morning and ends around lunch time.Between the snorkeling trips on the boat, snacks, fruits, water, and soft drinks are served. All equipment is provided by an experienced guide who will ensure you are safe and comfortable.