Stone Town
Historic Walking Areas
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12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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Top ways to experience Stone Town
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
865 reviews
Excellent
348
Very good
298
Average
149
Poor
45
Terrible
25

Muhsin C
Sandnes, Norway53 contributions
Oct 2022 • Family
Busy town with a lot of impressions. Cultural must see is Old Slave market , with church. Continue through all kind of market to the spice market and make shopping for vanilla ( price range between 10-20 dollar for 10 pieces) , Cinnamon ( 10 dollar for 10-15 pieces) , muscat nuts (price range 5-10 dollars for a few nuts). Depending on how much total amount is. Anyhow, many people selling same stuff for different price.
The old fort with local art is a must see. Support local art by buying handcraft/ painting or a key snap… think twice and do not get fooled…..
Written October 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

FPSuisse
Canton of Vaud, Switzerland178 contributions
Oct 2021 • Couples
Stone Town is one of the highlights of the island. The best is to tour it on foot with a personal guide : you’ll learn lots, avoid missing out on memorable places, and street vendors will leave you alone. Good for a half-day tour and to watch the sunset at the waterfront. The evening open air street food stalls attract big crowds. To move around anywhere on the island it is practical and more economical to stick to one driver during your stay. Omar is a trustworthy driver and we found his safe driving and enjoyable company a nice plus (+255 777 423 246).
Written October 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Francois T
Johannesburg, South Africa919 contributions
Dec 2021
It was our second visit to Stone Town and our experience very different to first visit. We did a "walking tour" and found that if you seen one ally you seen them all. The shop owners (understandably) are desperate for business and some can come across a bit aggressive and do not leave you alone to walk and enjoy the architecture and and history. For first time visitors would recommend the local market and slave history sight (it is very sad but we found it interesting to understand the history). From Stone Town you can do various tours by boat as well and would recommend a combination. Most shops and restaurants price in USD and things can be very expensive.
Written December 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

JohnL
Sweden26 contributions
May 2022
I am basing this review on my own experience from walking around with my wife and 1 year-old child.

The small streets and alleys in Stone town is a little worn down but is still a charming place to be with all its little shops and old buildings although crazy hard to navigate! (DO NOT TRUST GOOGLE MAPS!)
You can also walk along the water to the harbor which has some scenic views and even more and bigger old buildings.
Some really amazing restaurants are around every corner as well.

Unfortunately all of this is spoiled by an endless wave of locals trying to sell excursions, souvenirs etc. or just trying to trick you.
You can say no but another one will always come after you.
We got tricked so many times the first day when believing people were nice and just wanted to talk (they are really good actors) just to eventually beg for money for some sick parent or for charital purpose. Eventually you just wanna stay inside the hotel or just run for your destination when going out.

These years has been really tough for all destinations dependent on tourism and this was low season. I don't think that is an excuse though to trick people and not take "no" twenty times as an answer. On top of that trying to manipulate you by being really sweet with your child. Of course we also met some amazing people that was not tricking us.

We've been to many "touristy" places with lots of bargaining but unlike Zanzibar (we went to Kiwengwa as well and met horrible beach boys) we could go back to those places. Maybe some other part of the island is completely different but I will not recommend Zanzibar to anyone except for a hotel with a private beach.
Written May 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rose M
Johannesburg, South Africa2 contributions
Jul 2022
Stone town is undeniably a historical masterpiece. The place is rightfully a UNESCO World Heritage town for great reasons. The Swahili and Arabian culture is visible in the town's architecture and magnificent cathedrals. The narrow winding streets add to the city's uniqueness and splendor. However, I agree that the town's popularity has attracted numerous people making it significantly crowded. As such, I would advise you acquire the services of a trusted guide like Suleiman ( 255756983368) to navigate the crowds. I assure you that Stine Town is the culture capital of Zanzibar and you'll be thrilled.
Written August 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Marc
Johannesburg, South Africa15 contributions
Dec 2019
You can't really get lost in Stone Town. Once you have oriented your self a bit, just pick a cool time of day - I suggest early morning 7am when the town is still waking up - and go wander around. Even without mobile data you can download an "Offline Map" on Google maps, and still see where you are when you switch on "Location" on your phone. Support local entrepreneurs and get some coffee from a street seller for Tsh500, rather than at a touristy cafe for Tsh3,000.
Written January 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Max P
Idaho Falls, ID3 contributions
Jul 2022
Stone Town is full of rich history such as the majestic cathedral. We were also Informed that the legendary Singer Freddie Mercury was born in this beautiful town. I was amazed by the rich local culture and even got a taste of the local delicacies. Erick's team did a great job showing us around and narrating the historical facts about Stone Town. I totally recommend his services. You can reach him via WhatsApp at +255756983368
Written July 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MARYAM K
Dubai, United Arab Emirates22 contributions
Jul 2022 • Family
Stone Town is good place for walking around. Just don’t trust the taxi drivers as they will cheat you. They will take you to places that could be closed or requires booking and they will ask for payment either ways. I’m sharing this in order to help us tourist community. Please do your research before visiting few places such as Cheetah Rock, they have their own taxis that will pick and drop you. You have to book way in advance in order to secure your tour.
Written July 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sammy O
Accra, Ghana2 contributions
Jul 2022
Stone Town provides a rare chance to experience the nexus between history and modernity. We reveled seeing the slave town and the majestic cathedral. The narrow winding streets were filled with local merchandise and Swahili culture. There were also modern buildings that remind you of current times and advanced Swahili and Arabian architecture. Erick of phone +255756983368 was instrumental in making the visitation a success. You can book with him for great prices.
Written July 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Locococomama
Evergreen, Colorado, United States1,130 contributions
Sep 2022 • Couples
A dirty town, worse than the poorest Caribbean towns I have seen. Trash could be found piled up everywhere. The character I was expecting was just not there. The market (food and spices and such) was huge, but disgusting. I’ve been to a ton of these around the world and have always enjoyed them. The stench was nauseating at times. Even though I was desperate to buy spices, I just wanted to leave.

It was not all bad, the slave market history is of interest and the memorial and church there is nice. The beach is pretty, though there are far better ones on the island. There is a cool market with art and handmade crafts that is worth the visit for sure.

In the end, we spent 2 hours here and it was an ok investment of our time (any longer and I would have hated it to a ridiculous level, but we had no travel time since we came from the airport and left from there to our resort, which helped making the time not as huge of a loss, as travel to get there can be 60-90 minutes each way depending on traffic from most of the resorts). but far from great. Our guide was not wonderful on story telling, so that added to the negative experience, so if you go, get a spectacular guide (our safari tour company did most of our on a level beyond excellence, but failed us here), try to visit on the way in or out from the airport and 2-4 hours max. So happy we did not book any nights here, I would have loathed it no matter how nice the room was (though the hotels leave a ton to be desired as they really are in the beginning stages of hospitality inside the town).
Written September 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Stone Town (Zanzibar City) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Stone Town

Stone Town is open:
  • Sun - Sat 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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