Stone Town: What to See, What to Love
The best way to arrive to Zanzibar is by ferry from Dar Es Salaam. Why? Because you step off the ferry just in the promenade of the heart of the island. Zanzibar City can be the formal capital. But Stone Town, the historical centre… that’s the soul of our society. And you’ll get hooked by it at first glance.
Put yourself in position. At your back, the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. In front of you, begins a labyrinth of narrow streets, lively coloured markets, and faded buildings dating from colonial age. In the air, the voices of thousands of people speaking Swahili, Arab or any other language, and, eventually, the call to prayer echoing above the alleys.
Then you get the smell: the scent of tea, of the spice markets, of fish and fruit.
Then you get the colours: orange and blue and green and yellow and red and sooo many other shades and grades…
That’s the first impression of Stone Town. Now, you’ve got to dive in it. What to see & do up there?
Places to see in Stone Town
- The Palace Museum. It’s good to make it one of the firsts visits, because you’ll get a guided tour inside Zanzibar history, and all its Sultans. It’s not just interesting: it’s useful to embrace and enjoy better everything you’ll see from now on.
- The Old Fort. Not much to do inside (there’s a little market and, lately, an art gallery), but just wandering for free amidst the ruins is worth the experience.
- The Slave Market. It’s a museum funded by UNESCO, where you will learn all about the cruel reality about slavery age, in a breath-taking visit of nearly two hours.
- House of Wonders and the Old Dispensary. Just for the buildings. They’re impressive!
- The mixture of cultures and religions. Try to visit Mosques, Anglican churches and Hindu Temples, and you’ll get amazed by the richness of our culture.
- The carved doors. While strolling by the streets of Stone Town, pay attention to the carved door you’ll find here and there. They’re ancient pieces, with unique patterns and motives, and one of the top-features of the place.
- Eating at the Forodhani Gardens Food Market. Every evening, at the seafront of the city, the air fills with the smell of Zanzibar’s best gastronomical presents: from local pizza to kebabs and local meat & fresh fish. Roasted corn or the famous “chapatti”. Just go there, eat and enjoy the night breeze.
- Dive into the spices. Spice markets will catch your eye. Spiced Tea will catch your soul.
- Try the coffee. It’s one of our most famous products, and at the Zanzibar Coffee House you’ll experience the roasting itself.
There’s a lot more to visit, feel and live in Stone Town, of course. But we’re sure you’ll find your own special places while visiting these points we share with you.
Hope you have a wonderful visit to the city… and remember that if you stay at the Dhow Inn Resort, at Paje Beach, we can arrange the trip to Stone Town for you!