Zanzibar Town

Travel Guide
House of Wonders

Take trips to the surrounding islets and learn about the former slave markets and prisons in the impressive old Stone Town.

Zanzibar City is a historic cultural hub on the island of Unguja. It is the capital city of its namesake archipelago, with most of its exceptional structural treasures in the Stone Town historic district. Learn about the island culture and former slave trade in the museums and ecclesiastical buildings here.

The oldest structure in the historic center is the Old Fort, which dates back to the late 17th century. Marvel at the tall, brown walls and enter the courtyard for the artisanal market. Attend a film festival here and learn about the fort’s use over the years as a prison and tennis club.

Adjacent is Forodhani Gardens, a pretty park overlooking the Indian Ocean. Visit at night for stalls selling a range of Zanzibar culinary specialties. Try the local crepe-like version of pizza alongside potato ball soup and omelets.

Among the Stone Town highlights is Christ Church Cathedral. Snap photos of the intriguing coral stone design and visit the museum to learn about slavery. The church was built to commemorate the abolition of slavery on the location of the old slave market. For a more modern side of the city, explore the Ng’ambo district.

Visit from June through September for the driest months. Be ready for immense tropical rainfall in April and May. Temperatures are warm to hot year-round, providing ideal sunbathing conditions on Shangani Beach. Take a ferry to one of the surroundings islets, such as Chapwani Island, Chumbe Island and Kwale Island. Prison Island is a former slave prison and quarantine station.

The city is on the western coast of the main island in the Zanzibar archipelago. Fly to Zanzibar’s international airport or arrive at Dar es Salaam Airport on the Tanzania mainland and take the 90-minute ferry to Zanzibar. Get around by rental car or taxi. Nearby landmarks include Kichwele Forest Reserve, Tumbatu Island and Tele Island.

Zanzibar City has a fascinating blend of historical artifacts and cultures in its exceptional Stone Town district.

Where to stay in Zanzibar Town

Tembo B&B Apartments
Tembo B&B Apartments
4 out of 5
Shangani St., Stone Town, Zanzibar Town, Mjini Magharibi
The price is $48 per night from Dec 20 to Dec 20
Located in Stone Town, this guesthouse is steps from Shangani Beach and Old Fort. Forodhani Gardens and House of Wonders are also within 10 minutes.
4.5/5 Wonderful! (39 reviews)
"Staff were very helpful and the rooms were very clean clean, spacious and quiet. I struggled with internet connectivity however which was possible due to me not staying in the main house. If you need internet connectivity in your room, I recommend you let the staff know so you are not put into a ..."

Reviewed on Oct 11, 2021

Tembo B&B Apartments
Park Hyatt Zanzibar
Park Hyatt Zanzibar
5 out of 5
Shangani Street, Stone Town, Zanzibar Town
The price is $369 per night from Jan 4 to Jan 4
Located in Stone Town, this beachfront hotel is in the historical district and within a 10-minute walk of Old Fort, Forodhani Gardens, and House of Wonders. ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (160 reviews)
The place to stay in Stonetown, and maybe Zanzibar
"We had a very nice stay at the Park Hyatt. The restaurant was excellent; the beach activity and boats were entertaining; and all of the staff were super helpful and friendly. Very convenient to stroll around Stonetown."

Reviewed on Aug 16, 2021

Park Hyatt Zanzibar
Tembo House Hotel & Apartments
Tembo House Hotel & Apartments
4 out of 5
Forodhani Street, Zanzibar Town
The price is $82 per night from Dec 16 to Dec 16
Located in Stone Town, this beachfront hotel is in the city center and within a 5-minute walk of Old Fort and Forodhani Gardens. House of Wonders and Christ ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (419 reviews)
"I love this elegant, exotic historic hotel. The staff is very responsive and friendly. I've stayed here six times since 2013, and I'll be back with another group of friends in a few months."

Reviewed on Nov 4, 2021

Tembo House Hotel & Apartments
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Top view villa
Top view villa
2.5 out of 5
Kilimani, Zanzibar Town, Mjini Magharibi Region
The price is $29 per night from Dec 8 to Dec 8
Situated in Zanzibar Town, this villa is within 3 mi (5 km) of Christ Church Cathedral, Livingstone's House, and Old Fort. Shangani Beach and Forodhani Gardens ...
Top view villa
Antonio Garden Hotel
Antonio Garden Hotel
3.5 out of 5
Kajificheni St, Zanzibar Town
The price is $62 per night from Dec 11 to Dec 11
Located in Stone Town, this spa aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Christ Church Cathedral, Old Fort, and House of Wonders. Shangani Beach and Forodhani ...
4/5 Very Good! (36 reviews)
Fire, coconuts & bed bugs
"I could overlook the kitchen explosion and the crashing coconuts at the pool. I cannot forgive that my room had bed bugs. The inital response by staff was lackluster at best. As it turned out, i was moved to another room but my room was immediately rented again (that is my understanding. I should ..."

Reviewed on Dec 12, 2020

Antonio Garden Hotel
Freddie Mercury Apartments
Freddie Mercury Apartments
3.5 out of 5
Shaghani Street and Kenyatta Road, Zanzibar Town, Zanzibar
The price is $161 per night from Dec 8 to Dec 8
Located in Stone Town, this apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of Shangani Beach, Old Fort, and Forodhani Gardens. House of Wonders and Christ Church ...
Freddie Mercury Apartments
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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