55 Best Things to Do in Zanzibar Island – Top Attractions


The 55 Best Things to Do in Zanzibar Island – Top Attractions

Tanzania is a famous place for visitors looking to go on safari. The East African country has several world-famous wildlife parks where you can go view the Big Five (Leopard, Lion, elephant, rhino and buffalo). Anyway, the amazing wildlife Tanzania boasts is not just the only thing that attracts many visitors to the country each year. Zanzibar definitely is one of the favorite destination for people visiting Tanzania. This little charming island on the Indian Ocean is located off the coast of mainland Tanzania, and it is also very famous with visitors. The island was voted Africa’s leading beach destination at The 2021 World Travel Awards. So, discover some of the best things to do in Zanzibar Island:

Nakupenda Island Tour- Best Things to Do in Zanzibar Island

Here we highlight some of the best things to do in Zanzibar Island:

1) Nungwi Beach

These northern beach resorts are actually amazing, and the extremely definition of an idyllic beach holiday. Nungwi is the most famous beach resort in Zanzibar. This charming golden beach has continually been voted one of the top beaches in the planet. Nungwi resorts also provide a number of water sports choices for those who are adventurous enough including paragliding, jet skiing, scuba diving, and much more.

Meet the community and learn about the traditions and culture, observing the styles of clothes and talking life on the spice islands. Set on the northern tip of the island, Nungwi is a remarkable village of local zainzibaris complete with traditional schools, homes, bazaars, and playgrounds. Meet the community to learn about the traditions and culture, observing their styles of clothes. As you walk down the lanes, sample tasty tidbits and fresh juice straight from a coconut.

Nungwi beach is considered as one of the best beaches in the world

It is one of the top things to do in Zanzibar to spend your time on the beach. One of the best beaches in Zanzibar to relax while swimming and sunbathing in the Indian Ocean is Nungwi Beach. The beach is placed in Nungwi Village which is found in North Zanzibar West area. The beach is famous among visitors but you will rarely find it overcrowded like other island beaches. As the waters are shallow, nice and transparent, this is a remarkable location to go snorkeling.

2) Sunset Dhow Cruise

A sunset dhow cruise is a really romantic African experience, combining all the senses, you will view the charming Zanzibari scenery, listen to evocative tarrab music, and enjoy the flavor of the island typical cuisine – all whist enjoying the views of the wonderful sunset – it is one of the cheap top things to do in Zanzibar.

Zanzibar Dhow Cruise

3) Stone Town

Stone Town is Zanzibar historic center. It is the old part what is now the new Zanzibar city, and it is known as a vital UNESCO World Heritage place. Stone Town can trace its origins back 100s of years, but most of the present buildings date to the nineteen century when the British used the city as their base in the area.

The best thing to do in Stone Town is just to walk the veritable maze of buildings and streets, exploring the hidden shops and mosques, wandering the fort and visiting the House of Wonders, the national museum of islands. Read more about the top attractions in Stone Town.

4) House of Wonders / Stone Town

Zanzibar has a dynamic culture that is combination of Swahili and domestic Zanzibari culture. The top place for you to learn about is the House of Wonders, an amazing and historic building placed in Stone Town. It is pretty near to the Forodhani Gardens, and the Old Fort as well. The shows in the House of Wonders will provide you a lot of insight in both cultures.

5) Old Dispensary / Stone Town

The Old Dispensary is a big 4 story building with a set of decorative balconies. The Old Dispensary laid in 1887, the building was just done in 1984. Build by Tharia Thopen, one of the richest Zanzibar men to commemorate the Golden jubilee of Queen Victoria.

6) Jozani Forest

Another of the cheap top things to do in Zanzibar is travel around Jozani Forest. This wonderful rainforest placed in the eastern part of the island covers near to two-thousand hectares and it is Zanzibar only remaining indigenous forest with over hundred species of trees. It is the only location in the planet you can still use the endangered red colobus monkey.

Other animals you can view at Jozani Forest contain sykes monkeys, bush babies, Aders duiker, over forty bird species and fifty butterfly species. There are many natural trails in the forest you can explore to get to view these animals up close.

Jozani Forest - Things to Do in Zanzibar

7) Prison Island

Prison island, also called as Changuu, is a little, idyllic white sand island that is found just off the coast of Stone Town. It looks like a paradise, but for many escape slaves in the nineteen century, it became their prison if they were recaptured.

Today though, the island is excellent known as the home of a big population of big tortoises that were given as a gift to Zanzibar and have since flourished.

8) Spice Plantation Tour

Zanzibar is sometimes called as spice island and with best reason. For much of the area’s history, its initial industry has been export of flavorful spices such as cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pepper. Even today, with tourism being such huge business, spice farming remains a big part of the Zanzibar economy.

Taking a spice trip might not sound like everybody’s cup of tea, but trust us when we say it is a really fragrant, amazing and flavoursome experience.

You will be doing far more than just visiting a spice plantation and learning about the spices, you will also be smelling, tasting, and touching the spices that support to flavour cuisine from around the planet.

Spice Plantation Tour - Things to Do in Zanzibar

9) Old Fort / Stone Town

The old Fort is the oldest building. Built in the seventeen century, in order to save Stone Town from Portuguese invaders, the fort still stands tall, guarding the charming city and its people. The fort is placed right next to the Forodhani Gardens, and it has a number of attractions for guests. You can soak in the history of the fort, before going to the courtyard, where you can enjoy domestic items being sold by the citizens of Stone Town. The amphitheater inside the fort has Zanzibar is historically popular for its spices. It was amazing center for spice trade, which soon become its most earning industry. This is a matter of domestic significance and will actually help you learn a lot about Tanzania history as well.

Old Fort- Things to Do in Zanzibar

10) Chumbe Island Trip

The Chumbe Island Coral Park is a prize-winning private nature reserve and one of the last pristine coral island around. It is the house of many rare and endangered animals that are protected here. The park contains a completely protected coral reef sanctuary, a visitor and educational center, forest reserve, natural trails and historical ruins.

Chumbe island tour in Zanzibar is a complete day relaxation on the amazing beach of the wonderful and prestigious world protected island, the island is found about eight miles south-west of the Zanzibar Stone Town, it is famous as a marine conserved sea that is self-funded via an ecological hotel. This is the sweet location for beach relaxers and snorkeling-lovers.

Photo: Courtesy Of Lars Plougmann /Flickr

11) Forodhani Market

Forodhani market and gardens is probably one of the dynamic areas in stone town and once you visit the city, you not be sad. This is the part of the town where you will find the freshet domestic produce, all cooked and sold in real Zanzibari style. If you are a seafood lover, you will get a chance to flavor freshly grilled meat and fish, served with tasty potato balls and more.

Photo: Courtesy Of Midlife Leap / https://bit.ly/3KgvU5T

12) Pange Sandbank

Sail to the magnificent Pange Sandbank and enjoy snorkeling and delicious barbecued seafood.

13) Seaweed Center

This is one of the cheap best things to do in Zanzibar, where you can sample a seawed smoothie and view if you love it at the Seaweed Center placed in Paje. The center is a domestic enterprise where women in Zanzibar use the rich seaweed found on the island to make items such as scrubs, soaps, essentials oils, juices and smoothies.
You can support these ladies by purchasing their seaweed items which are known to have health advantages such as decreasing heart disease risk and helping in weight loss.

Seaweed Center
Photo: Courtesy Of Seaweed Center / https://bit.ly/39NMt6A

14) Jambiani Beach

If you want to stay away from busy beaches, Jambiani beach is one choice for you. Placed in the south-eastern coast of Zanzibar is one of the cheap and best things to do in Zanzibar, this village is devoid of underwater activities and visitors. You will find the domestic dhows that will take you to view the coral reefs adjoining the land. You can spot sea urchins, startfish, colorful fish or even octopuses if you are lucky. Stroll along the beach in the morning to catch the charming sunrise. The little waters here go extremely far and you can enjoy field games on the beach.

Photo: Courtesy Of snowflakegirl /Flickr

15) Darajani Bazaar

Shopping at Darajani Bazaar is one of the cheap and best things to do in Zanzibar. This is the largest trading center in Stone Town. Here you can purchase anything from jewelry, food, art, clothes, wood, perfumes, carvings, etc. It is the best market to purchase something to take back home that will remind you of Stone Town once your what to do in Zanzibar is over.

16) The Old Slave Market / Stone Town

If you are interested in the darker side of the history of island, then visit Stone Town old slave market. This was one of the last slave market left in the planet before the British forced its closure when they got control of the island in the nineteen century.
Today, it is an intriguing and moving museum, that will support you learn about the sometimes war history of Zanzibar.

Memorial showing the old slave market Stonetown Zanzibar

Photo: Courtesy Of amanderson2 / Flickr

17) Zanzibar Butterfly Centre

Zanzibar tropical climate invokes the attendance of 100s of butterflies on the island. The top location to view is the Zanzibar Butterfly centre. The butterfly trip here will educate you about the different life-cycles of a caterpillar and its transformation. There are lots of flowers here to make a charming sight, not just for the butterflies but also the visitors. A general trip lasts around forty minutes, but you can spend as much time as you want. The farmers trip will take you to visit butterfly farmers and watch the intricacies of their craft. Profits earned from fees are used for the work of the community.

Zanzibar Butterfly Centre

18) Tazari caves

Tazari caves are the biggest limestone caves in Zanzibar. They are placed right off the coast in Nugwi and provides amazing views of the sea from some caves. Although they were discovered pretty recently, archaeologists say that the caves have existed for billions of years. Proof points out that they were used as hiding locations for slaves. Some proofs also advise that people lived in the caves long before they were used by the merchants. These artefacts make up a natural museum of ancient civilisation in Zanzibar.

Tazari caves
Photo: Courtesy Of Tazari Caves / Facebook

19) Marahubi Palace

Maharubi palace is another formation of the royal family when they were in residence in Zanzibar. It was build for Sultan Barghash to accommodate his big harem. At its peak, around hundred women from the royal harem and has been stationed in this palace. It was reportedly built with wood and coral stone and was one of the most charming buildings in Zanzibar. In a stroke of bad luck in 1899, big portions of the palace were damaged in a fire. Today you would view the big pillars which supported the castle and the wonderful gardens surrounding the former structure. The Persian bath home has also survived the test of time. If you go to the north from the pillar, you will view a set of steps and arches.

Marahubi Palace
Photo: Courtesy Of ErrolDeubel / https://bit.ly/39UKAFj

20) Paje Beach

Paje is a beach of the east coast of Zanzibar and one of the cheap and best things to do in Zanzibar. Called for its Swahili style of construction, Paje is a fishing village where time stops still. Walk along the lanes of village and note the little details of fishermen community. Most visitors opt for kitesurfing on the beach and there are instructors accessible if you do not know the place. Every evening, the men in the village combine for a game of football on the beach. Young boys participate in these matches too. Post the game, joins head out for drink together.

Stand Up Paddling (SUP), Zanzibar

Paje has a long stripe of white sand bordered by a small village on one side and can be summed up as Indian Ocean amazingness. Paje has a collection of beachfront accommodation services, eateries, and as well as turquoise water on the other. Besides the beautiful beach and a pleasant sea breeze, Paje beach is a delightfully peaceful and quiet place, so this is the right place if you want a relaxing holiday. Paje is also well known for its water sports activities. You can take the opportunities for scuba diving. The water is clear and warm, and the divers can see turtles, starfish, trumpet fish, moray eels among a heap of other beautiful sea creatures. Paje beach surely is heaven for scuba divers.

Photo: Courtesy Of Konstantin Zamkov /Flickr

21) Sauti za Busara Music Festival / Stone Town

The Sauti Za Busara music Zanzibar festival brings an explosion of East African culture and music to the shores of Zanzibar. Since 2003, this festival has grown to be one of the best five music festivals in Africa, according to CNN.

Sauti za Busara Music Festival, Zanzibar
Photo: Courtesy Of Sauti za Busara Swahili Music Festival / Facebook

22) The Zanzibar International Film Festival / Stone Town

The ZIFF is East Africa biggest film and arts festivals, exhibiting the new and top films and promoting movie talents from across the African continent and beyond.

The twenty-two edition of ZIFF will take place 6th -14th July 2019 in Stone Town, Zanzibar.

The Zanzibar International Film Festival, Zanzibar
Photo: Courtesy Of ZIFF / Facebook

23) The Zanzibar Beach and Watersports Festival

Zanzibar water sports and beach festival is a 3 day yearly festival celebrating culture, beach life and music. Main place is in Jambiani on Mfunbwi beach. The festival contains different sports including dhow racing, goat racing, beach run, beach soccer tournament, kite surfing and kayak racing.

The Zanzibar Beach and Watersports Festival, Zanzibar
Photo: Courtesy Of The Zanzibar Beach and Watersports Festival / Facebook

24) Full Moon Party at Kendwa Rocks

The full moon party of Zanzibar has been a best link of uniting combine different people of the different nations, this keeps them inseparably combine to enjoy full moon party, all people regardless their personal races, statues, colour, tribes and religion in particular unit combine in the dancing floor.

Full Moon Party at Kendwa Rocks, Zanzibar - Things to Do in Zanzibar
Photo: Courtesy Of Kendwarocks

25. Dhow Countries Music Academy

Hosting regular musical performances and art exhibits, Dhow Countries Music Academy is worth the visit for musically inclined tourists, thanks to it eclectic combination of concerts that create a vibrant and amazing ambiance in a wonderful setting.

Music at Dhow Countries Music Academy - Things to Do in Stone Town

Photo: Courtesy Of Dhow Countries Music Academy, Zanzibar

26) Eat Lunch at The Rock Restaurant

A restaurant, on its own island, famous worldwide. And food as best as the place. The world popular restaurant is famous for its amazing food menu, which is inspired by the natural resources, and their love for Zanzibar and Italy is one of the most popular things to do in Zanzibar.

Eat Lunch at The Rock Restaurant - Things to Do in Zanzibar

27) Horse Riding

Horse riding is one of the most famous game of the cheap and top things to do in Zanzibar. There is a big number of horse riding academies. They can teach you how to ride a horse, so you can enjoy the Zanzibar best sport. On the other hand, pony and Zanzibar horse ride are best for younger children and make a best photo opportunity.

Horse Riding, Zanzibar

28) Dar es Salaam city tour / day trip from Zanzibar

Enjoy day trip to Dar es Salaam from Zanzibar is a private or with little group. While accompanied by an English-speaking guide, explore the biggest city in Tanzania – East Africa’s largest and fastest growing capital city and lern the history this city has to offer. Take a trip to Sinda Island Marine Reserve and enjoy lunch while visiting. Transfer back to Zanzibar at the finish of your day.

Dar es Salaam city tour / day trip from Zanzibar

29) Get a relaxing massage at a spa

Zanzibar has lots of resort that provide spa services like massages. It is best idea to get yourself a massage to unwind after all the traveling. Many spas and resorts also provide couples massage services.

Get a relaxing massage at a spa

30) Safari Blue Tour

The real Safari Blue Tour is one of the most famous day trips from Stone Town. Though not affordable it provides a full and amazing day including all transport, food and drinks, snorkelling etc.

Safari Blue tour - Water activities in Zanzibar

31) The Anglican Cathedral of Christ Church / Stone Town

Cherish Church Anglican cathedral in stone town as a sign of remembrance to the women, men and children taken from East Africa and sold into slavery. A big stone structure just outside the historic city narrow corridors and streets, the cathedral also serves as a reminder of the Anglican church.

The Anglican Cathedral of Christ Church, Zanzibar

32) Discover Zanzibari Doors

The city streets of Stone town were calling. Zanzibar charming port city looked like a location frozen in time – many streets were so narrow that vehicles could not squeeze through, and they were rarely built in straight lines, making this city a real labyrinth. But something in particular was magnetize our eye.

33) Malindi Mosque / Stone Town

As among Stone Town’s oldest mosques, Malindi Mosque is a true beauty in all its glory in a simple yet stunning way that your visit will never be complete without dropping by.

Photo: Courtesy Of https://tinyurl.com/jcvjaeyy

34) The Arab Fort / Stone Town

The Arab Fort (also known as the old fort, and by its local name Ngome Kongwe) is the next to the home of wonders. It is a big building with dark, high brown walls topped by castellated battlements. The fort was used as a defence against the Portuguese and against a rival Omani group, the Mazuri.

The Arab Fort, Zanzibar - Things to Do in Zanzibar
Photo: Courtesy Of Muhammad Mahdi Karim / https://bit.ly/3dGn2aN

35) Freddie Mercury Museum / Stone Town

Visit the Freddie Mercury museum and enjoy focusing on the details of this amazing iconic legend. Freddie Mercury became one of the most popular singers of the rock era. The lead singer of Queen was born Farrokh Bulsara on the East African island of Zanzibar on Sept. 5, 1946. Discover the first ever Museum dedicated to the world legend Freddie Mercury, located in Shangani, in the heart of Zanzibar, Stone Town.

Photo: Courtesy Of Insandale https://bit.ly/3vLVcEO

36) St. Joseph’s Catholic Cathedral / Stone Town

It is vital historical building placed in the Baghani area of Stone Town, Zanzibar. It was built by French missionaries between 1893 and 1898, and the plans were drawn by the same architect of French who designed the cathedral in Marseilles, France. The cathedral interior is painted with murals from the Old Testament. The stained and tiles glass windows were all imported from France.

Photo: Courtesy Of David Berkowitz / https://bit.ly/3sDrU9E

37) Palace Museum / Stone Town

Zanzibar was the house of the royal family of Oman for several years and king have done their bit to leave behind the inheritance on the island. The Sultan Palace is the erstwhile house of the royal family but has now been changed into a museum. Visitors visiting the place will catch glimpses of the royal life in the three storey building placed right next to the sea. The ground floor deals with the early years of the sultanate, and as you climb up the building, you will view the subsequent years unfold. This palace was also the house of Princess Salme before she fled the island.

Palace Museum

Photo: Courtesy Of David Stanley / Flickr

38) Emerson on Hurumzi Restaurant

This must-try best restaurants in Zanzibar is placed on the rooftop of the second tallest building in Stone Town after sultan palace, the House of Wonders. Providing special panoramic sights to the Indian Ocean and the neighboring mosques, the House of Hurumzi has its share of legends and mystery. Restored to its past glory after decades of oblivion, Hurumzi House workers today as a little hotel, its rooftop restaurant being one of the top places in town the unforgettable and exotic view of Stone Town and a fresh seafood-based menu. More restaurants…

Photo: Courtesy Of Emerson on Hurumzi Restaurant

39) Mnemba Atoll

There are no 2 ways about snorkeling at the Mnemba Atoll. If you find the best boat captain to match your needs and spend approximately USD 50, but this tour is a best value for money. You will travel into the turquoise waters in a old Dhow boat, with your domestic crew. The Mnemba Atoll is a private island, but the boat will prevent near to the shore, so you can walk on the edge, and explore the colorful and rich coral surrounding the island. You will get the chance to view eels, barracuda, dolphins, and many colorful schools of fish.

Reef Fishes @ Mnemba Atoll

Photo: Courtesy Of Kamal Karim / Flickr

40) Kendwa Beach

Located a few kilometers south of the fishing village and Nungwi party beach, Kendwa beach is one of the tourists paradise in Zanzibar. You can find a dazzling white sand beach with rustic sunbeds under the straggled parasol. There is hammock between swaying palms tree and small beach bars with cold drinks and lounge music. Along the coast, you can find luxurious resorts, hotels, charming bungalows, and many various restaurants to see a gorgeous sunsets view. Tourists can walk along the zanzibar beaches strip connecting Kendwa and Nungwi during the low tides. Kendwa Rocks host Full Moon Parties that last throughout the night and tourists are allowed to attend this parties. This place offers you a peaceful holiday and Zanzibar’s exotic settings.

Photo: Courtesy Of TravelingOtter/Flickr

41 – 55) Water activities in Zanzibar

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