17 Spellbinding Things to Do in Stone Town, Zanzibar

Visit Stone Town, Zanzibar, and you’ll be gob-smacked by its twisted alleyways, crumbling limestone palaces, mosques and faded mansions. Stone Town is the historic old part of the capital of Zanzibar.

Stone Town is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a rich and storied past. There are many unique and fascinating things to do in Stone Town!

Get lost in Stone Town

See locals shopping, vendors selling food on the streets, the devout going to pray at mosques. Stone Town isn’t that large, and it can easily be explored on foot.


These are no ordinary doors  they’re marvelous wooden masterpieces! Some, reflecting an Indian influence, are decorated with rosettes or brass spikes.

Marvel at the Zanzibari doors


Weep at the old slave market

One of the saddest places to visit in Stone Town is the old slave market and whipping post. Zanzibar was once the center for the East African slave and ivory trade.


Meander through Darajani Market

We had to gingerly step across dirty wet floors – picking our way around toothless vendors squatting on the ground, weighing yellowfin tuna, ringed by local bidders.


Visit the Old Fort of Zanzibar

It was used as a prison, then a railway terminal and a ladies’ club. It’s the oldest building in Stone Town – and it’s free to wander in and look around.


Shop for souvenirs

Look for handmade cinnamon-scented soaps, colorful sarongs, palm-leaf bags and coasters, beaded jewelry, hand-crafted wooden animals and spices. Don’t forget to bargain!


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