Zanzibar Travel Guide / Top 10 things to do in Zanzibar

Zanzibar is not only heavenly beautiful, there is also a lot to discover there! We have found the 10 most impressive sights of the archipelago for you!

Paradisiacally beautiful beaches, fantastic weather, green, shady palm trees – you can find all of this in Zanzibar off the coast of East Africa. It doesn’t matter whether you combine a safari trip in Tanzania with a beach holiday in Zanzibar, or simply explore the island, you won’t get bored here. But the archipelago also has a lot to offer in terms of culture and history. We will show you which 10 places you should definitely visit during your vacation there!

1. The Old Fort

The Old Fort, also called Arab Fort or Ngome Kongwe, is a fort in Stone Town in the capital of Zanzibar. The fort is the oldest structure in the region and one of the archipelago’s most popular attractions. Located directly on the coast, it not only offers all guests interested in history and architecture a lot of sights, but also invites you to admire the unique view.

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💡Tip: Combine your trip to the Old Fort with a visit to two other nearby attractions of the city: the House of Wonders and the Forodhani Gardens.

2. House of Wonders

The Palace or House of Wonders on the harbor promenade is directly attached to the Old Fort and was originally built in 1883 as one of the six palaces of the Sultan of Zanzibar, Barghash ibn Said. It is one of the city’s landmarks and was the first building in East Africa to have an electric elevator. For over ten years it has been home to the House of Wonders Museum, a permanent exhibition dedicated to Zanzibar and Swahili culture. The House of Wonders has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000.

3. The Forodhani Gardens

The Forodhani or Jubilee Gardens enclose the Palace of Wonders and is one of the most beautiful green oases of Zanzibar City. Although the park is quite small, it is an extremely popular destination for both locals and tourists. Especially at sunset, young and old come together to enjoy delicious Swahili or Zanzibar street food while watching the sunset. Then the park itself will be converted into a huge food market and you can taste a wide variety of local specialties!

4. Stone Town

Stone Town, also known as Swahili Mj Kongwe, is the heart of Zanzibar City and its oldest district. In the historic part of the capital of the archipelago, you can experience the culture of the Swahili and life in Zanzibar more unadulterated than anywhere else. Winding streets, traditional markets and the unforgettable charm of the locals inspire visitors here. You should definitely try the local delicacies that are offered here!

5. The Darajani Market

If you want to experience one of the traditional markets live during your visit to Zanzibar, you should definitely go to the Darajani market. From countless spices and types of fruit and vegetables to fresh fish and cattle to clothing, everyday items, jewelry and souvenirs, you will find everything your heart desires here. However, it is not the goods on offer that are the real spectacle, but rather the unique atmosphere that you cannot feel anywhere else in the world.

6. The beaches

As an island state, Zanzibar naturally has a lot of coasts to offer and a large part of it knows how to convince with paradisiacal beaches and fine sand, turquoise blue water and green, sprouting palm trees. If you not only want to experience lots of adventures on your holiday, but also just want to switch off and relax while sunbathing and splashing around in the sea, you have come to the right place! We can particularly recommend the paradisiacal Kendwa Beach and Nungwi Beach in the north, or the water sports Mecca in the southeast: Paje Beach. There is something for everyone in Zanzibar!

7. The underwater world

Not only is it wonderful to lie on the beach in Zanzibar, diving is also highly recommended here – literally. The fabulous scuba diving areas along the east coast of Africa are guaranteed to delight any underwater fanatic. And if you’re lucky, you might even encounter a few dolphins while swimming. You will feel like you are in a huge aquarium, because the underwater world of Zanzibar is not only extremely colorful, but the visibility is also excellent! So, on your snorkels, get set, go!

8. The Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park

We stay in nature and this time we go to the lush green Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park. This bursting with life park or forest is home to numerous rare and fascinating animals. Various species of monkeys, colorful butterflies, as well as the exotic galagos or tree hyrax live here. Anyone who feels really at home in nature will spend some unforgettable hours here.

9. Spice Tours

Strictly speaking not a specific place, but something you should definitely do in Zanzibar is a spice tour. It is not for nothing that the island is also called the Spice Island, as numerous delicacies that refine our food every day are grown and processed here. From cardamom to turmeric and cinnamon, the spice tours will take you into the world of traditional delicacies and teach you everything you need to know about them – including a sample or two, of course.

10. “The Rock” in Pingwe

If you travel to the paradise island of Tanzania, you should definitely make a detour to one of the most extraordinary restaurants in the world: “The Rock”. This is a restaurant perched on a proud rock in the Indian Ocean in front of Pingwe Beach. Of course, the menu mainly features seafood that is caught in the immediate vicinity. The prices are moderate, but it’s worth it because the view is incomparable! At low tide you can walk through the knee-high water to the steps of the rock, but at high tide guests are taken over by boat. An absolute highlight of every Zanzibar holiday!

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