Stone Town Walking Tour in Zanzibar
Stone town is the historical and cultural heart of Zanzibar, and the only city on the entire island (Stone Town is the old part of Zanzibar City)! Its unique, 19th-century architecture represents a blend of Arab, Persian, Indian, and European elements, and the city hasn’t changed its look for almost 200 years. Once you are in town, you feel as if you were taken back through the past, back to the age of the Zanzibar Sultanate, slavery, and spice trade.
The Stone Town tour usually consists of a walking part where you get to explore the winding, narrow streets of the Old Town and the city’s main landmarks.
Darajani fish market is the main bazaar in Stone Town and the largest one on the whole island. I would like to be able to say that a visit was an enjoyable experience for me, but it wasn’t – the place smelled horrible and was extremely dirty. There were animal carcasses all around and everyone was squeezed as it was extremely crowded. Although I didn’t enjoy it myself, I find the Darajani market very local and authentic, and if you are planning to visit Stone Town – consider it a must-see place.
Another place of interest is the Stone Town Old Fort – the 18th-century fortress built by Arabs to defend the town from Portuguese siege, as well as Anglican Cathedral, built in the 19th century in the center of the old town, at the place where Stone Town slave market used to be. The cathedral represents a symbol of the end of slavery, and nowadays it’s the location of a museum and a monument dedicated to the slaves of Zanzibar.
Along your walk, you’ll learn about the island’s dark and sad history, and hear anecdotes about its most famous resident – a rockstar and Queen legend Freddy Mercury, whose house is located in the historical heart of the Old Town.
Queen legend Freddy Mercury was born and grew up in Stone Town
Another place you’ll visit is the House of Wonder, the tallest and largest structure in Stone Town, facing the Forodhani Park and the Old Town’s seafront. It is one of the most famous palaces in the city, built by the second Sultan of Zanzibar in the 19th century nowadays housing a part of the Swahili Museum.
The tour normally ends at Forodhani Garden (or Forodhani Park), where you can enjoy local specialties of Zanzibar and Swahili cuisines such as grilled seafood (I particularly enjoyed fresh tuna), samosas, sweet potatoes, Zanzibar pancakes, and much more!
The place becomes especially busy after sunset, and that’s definitely the best time to visit this place.
Stone Town Private Walking Tour – Zanzibar City