Stone Town is the heart and soul of the island. The old part of Zanzibar City, the main city of Zanzibar is an incredible mash-up of winding alleys and old Arabic-style buildings, you can temporarily lose yourself ,both physically and mentally, in the town’s magic.
Stone Town is located on the western coast of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago. Former capital of the Zanzibar Sultanate, and flourishing center of the spice trade as well as the slave trade in the 19th century, it retained its importance as the main city of Zanzibar during the period of the British protectorate. When Tanganyika and Zanzibar joined each other to form the United Republic of Tanzania, Zanzibar kept a semi-autonomous status, with Stone Town as its local government seat.
Stone Town is a city of prominent historical and artistic importance in East Africa. Its architecture, mostly dating back to the 19th century, reflects the diverse influences underlying the Swahili culture, giving a unique mixture of Arab, Persian, Indian and European elements. For this reason, the town was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Due to its heritage, Stone Town is also a major visitor attraction in Tanzania, and a large part of its economy depends on tourism-related activities.
It is a place of winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses whose original owners vied with each other over the extravagance of their dwellings. This one-upmanship is particularly reflected in the brass-studded, carved, wooden doors.
Our team recommendation:
Respect the locals and the local tradition , dress modest to avoid discomfort

Things to do in stone Town:

Forodhani Gardens & Food Market

A small park sits right across the street from some of Stone Town’s most famous buildings: the Arab Fort, the House of Wonders, and the Palace Museum.

A wonderful food market takes place in the garden itself every night at 6PM, be sure to stop by and spend a charmed evening sampling Swahili and Zanzibari cuisine.

The Arab Fort (Ngome Kongwe)

Constructed in the late 17th century, this fort was built on top of an even older Portuguese church as a means of defense against the occupying Portuguese forces., The remains of the church can still be seen built into the inside wall of the fort. It was later a prison in the 19th century, and even turned into a ladies’ tennis club before the 1964 Revolution. Now, visitors may enter the fort for free and explore the battlements and towers for great views of the harbor and ocean.

Darajani Bazaar

Darjani Bazaar is the hub of Stone Town’s commerce, selling a wide range of groceries from meat and fish to spices and produce, as well as a variety of wares and crafts to enjoy. Several stands sell souvenirs that make perfect keepsakes to take home as mementos of your time in Stone Town. Some of the sights and smells are surely not for the faint of heart, but it is an amazing cultural experience that should not be missed if you want to experience an authentic East African market.

Palace Museum

An imposing white-washed building, the once residence of the Zanzibari royalty is now a museum dedicated to archiving the history of Zanzibar’s Sultans. Climb the central staircase and peel off into rooms archiving the sultanate era (1828-1964) with an eclectic mix of leftover furniture, paintings and such like. Each floor represents a different period but make sure to spend time in Princess Salme’s room, who eloped with a German to Hamburg, excerpts from her autobiography Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar provide a fascinating glimpse into regal Stone Town life.

Malindi Mosque

Malindi Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Stone Town. Built by the Sunni sect in a simple style, this is one of three mosques that exhibit cone-shaped minarets, which sit on a square platform. To see them, you need to stand on a baraza (benches found on the side of most Swahili-style buildings) of a neighboring building, which is a beautiful structure worth exploring in its own right.

St. Joseph’s Catholic Cathedral

St. Joseph’s Cathedral was built between 1893 and 1897 by French missionaries in the Romanesque style, and the plans were drawn by the same architect who designed the cathedral in Marseilles. Its twin spires can be spotted from anywhere in town, and make up a distinctive feature of Stone Town’s skyline. St. Joseph’s main doors are only opened during mass, but when those are closed, it is possible to enter through the back.

Freddie Mercury’s House

Freddie Mercury, the former lead singer of Queen, was born in Zanzibar in 1946 where his name was Farrokh Bulsara. His father worked for the British colonial service and the family lived in various locations in Stone Town, including this house which, for romantics, appears disappointingly modern. It’s not open to the public but notices outside tell the story.