Stone Town: What to see and what do?

Stone Town is a vibrant capital of Zanzibar. It was our first time in Africa so we waited for some kind of culture shock to come. But it didn’t! Zanzibari people are friendly although they want to sell you stuff 🙂 We came in the evening and fell into bed. 40 h flight took its toll. We had a day in the beginning of our trip and a day in the end in Stone Town so we wanted to see as much as possible. We strolled the streets and couldn’t resist the big avocados and ripe tomatoes. For only 30c a piece.

Vibrant streets of Stone Town.

The only fear was cholera which had its outbreak just one month before. There was no street food in sight! You have probably heard of famous Forodhani markets? Well, we waited and waited and waited at Forodhani gardens and nothing. Well, now I’m not even sure if I should recommend it. Decide for yourselves.

Sea front of Stone Town, Forodhani gardens.

What to do and see in Stone Town?

  • As mentioned above, Forodhani gardens. Beautiful and calm gardens by the sea, where locals and cats meet up for talk. Every evening there is the Forodhani night market (but not at the time we were there due to cholera).
  • Dispensery with its beautiful ornamented facade.
  • Time for some history at the dusty National palace
  • House of wonders is a massive building worth a circle but is now closed. The guides there are waiting just for you and will offer you a city tour. We had a young guide who soon lost interest in explanations so we just walked in silence. Not really sure it was worth it 🙂 1.5 h for around 5-8$.
  • The old fort is really impressive and the slave house has its share of history.
  • The old hamam or spa is now not active but you can still see the inside for a small fee.
  • Prison island with beautiful beaches and mega turtles. If you take a trip with the agency it will cost you more (lunch included)  than if you go with the local transport (take lunch with you).
  • Walk around the city center with all the stalls with souvenirs, clothes and jewelry. No need to buy, you can just feel the atmosphere. Pole, pole, slowly, slowly, as locals would say.
  • Visit the market and the spice market but be careful of the people who want to be your guides. Some just start to walk close to you and randomly give you facts so you will feel guilty and pay them. Remember, it’s your right to say no.
  • Birth house of Freddie Mercury. This could be heaven! For everyoneeeee.
  • You can catch the sunset at Maru Maru’s rooftop bar (or any other)
  • Or you can have dinner at sunset in one of the rooftop restaurants, we tried Teahouse restaurant in one of the two Emerson hotels.

Cool kids in Stone Town.


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