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Stone Town

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Earth : Africa : East Africa : Tanzania : Zanzibar : Stone Town
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Stone Town

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Stone Town is the main city on Zanzibar. It 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, with a unique mixture of Moorish, Arab, Persian, Indian and European elements. For this reason, the town has been included in UNESCO's World Heritage Sites in 2000


Get in

By plane

Zanzibar International Airport [8] is the only airport on the island. It is accessible via Dar es Salaam.

By boat

Boats to Stone Town can be boarded from Dar es Salaam or Pemba.

Get around


  • Old Fort. adjacent to the House of Wonders, is a heavy stone fortress that was built in the 17th century by the Omani. It has a roughly square shape; the internal courtyard is now a cultural centre with shops, workshops, and a small arena where live dance and music shows are held daily.
  • Palace Museum (Former Sultan's Palace). (also known as the "Sultan's Palace", "Beit el-Sahel" in Arab) is another former sultan's palace, also located on the seafront, to the north of the House of Wonders.[5] It was built in late 19th century, and now hosts a museum about the daily life of the Zanzibari royal family, including items that belonged to Sayyida Salme, a former Zanzibar princess that fled to relocate in Europe with her husband
  • House of Wonders. (or "Palace of Wonders", also known as "Beit-al-Ajaib"), in Mizingani Road on the seafront, is probably the most well-known landmarks of Stone Town. It was built in 1883 and restored after the Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896. Former Sultan's residence, it became the seat of the Afro-Shirazi Party after the revolution. It was the first building in Zanzibar to have electricity as well as the first building in East Africa to have a lift. Since 2000, its interior has been dedicated to a museum on Swahili and Zanzibar culture.
  • Livingstone's House. is a small palace that was originally built for Sultan Majid bin Said but later used by European missionaries. David Livingstone lived in the house while preparing his last expedition to the interior of Tanganyika.
  • Old Dispensary. was built from 1887 to 1894 to serve as a charity hospital for the poor, but was later used as a dispensary. It is one of the most finely decorated buildings of Stone Town, with large carved wooden balconies, stained-glass windows, and neo-classical stucco adornments. After falling into decay in the 1970s and 1980s, the building was later accurately restored by the AKTC
  • Anglican Cathedral. Purchased by missionaries, the church sits atop the world's last slave market. The altar is said to be built over the market's whipping post. $3.
  • Hamamni Persian Baths. are a complex of public baths built at the end of the 19th century by Shirazi architects for Sultan Barghash bin Said. These baths are not open anymore but are open to visitors.Visits are limited to some areas of the original complex because part of it (e.g., the restaurant) has since been adapted for private residences
  • Forodhani Gardens. are a small park located in the main seawalk of Stone Town, right in front of the Old Fort and the House of Wonders. They have been recently restored by the AKTC. Every evening after sunset the gardens host a popular, tourist-oriented market selling grilled seafood and other Zanzibari recipes.


  • Roam around Stone town appreciating the Historical buildings



  • Mercury's Restaurant. Is a restaurant just opposite the "Big Tree" and near the ferry port. The place's name and theme is dedicated to Freddy Mercury,who used to be the lead singer of the band Queen (was born in Stone Town)
  • House of Spices, +255242231264. $8-$15.
  • Beyt al Chai Restaurant.
  • The Silk Route.
  • Mtoni Marine Restaurant.


Mercury's Restaurant. A really nice Bar which also serves a good variety of cocktails

Tatu, [2].


  • Tembo House Hotel, [3]. checkout: 10:00 AM.
  • Dhow Palace Hotel, [4]. checkout: 10:00 AM. Slow internet connection (wifi) available. Non-resident prices are given in US dollars, started at $75 for a single.
  • Clove Hotel Zanzibar, +255 (0)777 - 484567, [5]. A Dutch-owned hotel
  • Serena Inn, [6].
  • Manch Lodge Zanzibar, [7]. Cheap place to stay with big dorm. Breakfast included. Watch out your stuff when you put it in the luggage room (lock it) - there are trousers disappearing on a regular base.


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