Stone Town Travel Guide
After rushing from Safari to Safari and spending our time in chillier places, I couldn’t wait for tropical temperatures and ocean and stuff. Especially after Timo and I both have had a cold during Safari time. So, Zanzibar was the place to go. And of course, we started in Stone Town, the capital of the island.
If you are planning to go to Zanzibar, then time to stay a little longer in Stone Town. There is so much to do and to see, it is amazing.
Accommodation in Stone Town
Because Stone Town is the Old City of Zanzibar City (which is actually the capital) all the tourists stay there. Well, no, you won’t be the only tourist, who is there. But there are not as many as it would bother. It is not the Ballermann at Mallorca. Where the tourists, there are the hotels. So, you have a wide range of prices and categories. There is the Hilton Hotel but also some basic B&B Places.
We decided to stay at an Air BnB, which was recommended by a friend. And it was a good recommendation! If anybody is interested in further information, please let me know. I can give you the contact information. The rooms are really nice!
There are a lot advantages of staying with a local person. Our host was a young and nice guy, who offered us to help with anything. So, he went with us to the night market and showed us what to eat. More about this later. He also arranged a lot of tours for a good price and brought us to a bus station and organized shuttles for us. There are a lot of things local people can help you with and you also get more in touch with the culture.
Food & Drink
The food in Zanzibar is really good! Like amazing. There are a lot of restaurants around Stone Town, but we always went to the same ones. Because we are lazy. Dumb.
This is the night market I was talking about before. I am pretty sure, that most of the stuff is fresh, but our host told us, to never eat fresh fish or seafood there without him. He himself worked at the market for over 3 years and he knows, that the fish is not always as fresh as it seems. But as a tourist you will never see the difference. So, we didn’t have the courage to eat sea food without him. It was tasty tough. But there is also the famous Zanzibar Pizza and we ate every evening at the stall from Mr. Lecker Lecker. You HAVE TO try Zanzibar Pizza, when you are there. It is not like the Italian pizza, more like a crêpe.
Maru Maru Hotel
It is not cheap but reasonable and you have a wonderful roof top terrace. The breakfast is good and also the Zanzibar Coffee, which you also should try. Don’t try the Cocktails, they are better than at the Freddy Mercury Bar at the harbor (worst! Cocktails I ever tried), but still bad. Stick with beer or something and you will be happy. It is in the Gizenga St. directly behind the Old Fort (coming from the ocean).
Mistress of Spices Swahili Restaurant
This one is a little more difficult to find: you must follow the Gizenga St. further from the Maru Maru Hotel. On the right side there is after 100 meters the restaurant. Ask to sit on the roof top terrace. No lift, but such a nice location. Prettier than Maru Maru Hotel and cheaper, too. The steak I ate there was one of the best I ever ate. And the view is as incredible as from Maru Maru. I honestly don’t know, why we didn’t go there more often.
They serve ethopian food, which is d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. The funny thing, that you eat with your fingers. But it tastes so good and right now, while typing this, I wish I could have there food right now! It is located at the roundabout at Kenyatha Road.
Activities in Stone Town
Old Town Tour
Stone Town has a rich history and of course it is worth to delve into it. We had a nice guide, who showed us the city and we learned a lot. We spent a bunch of time at the museum of slavery, tasted weird food and walked through the streets and markets of Stone Town. Doors are a big deal! But I won’t spoiler. If you like to have the same guide, you can also contact me and I give you more information. But I think every single Hotel can organize a guide for you. In the end there is always a friend of the cousin’s neighbor, who is a guide ?
Another big deal are the Spice Tours. You will drive to a spice farm and then learn about the different spices. Didn’t sound that interesting to me, but in the end, it was. Did you know, that black, red and green pepper is all the same pepper but in different degrees of ripeness? Now you know! You can also taste different plants and you get fresh coconut. Two advices: Frist, bring money for tips with you and second don’t buy anything at the market at the farms, you get it sooooo much cheaper on the local market in town (for example a “Spice-House” where 15$ instead of 3$ at the market).
Sorry guys! But Stone Town is amazing for shopping. There are, like in every touristic city, a lot of stores, which sell exact the same stuff. But besides that, there are unbelievable nice ones. Some have handmade things (and sometimes support local projects with it), others have great art, designer’s fashion or antiques. And there are also tailor stores, if you have enough money with you and of course all the jewelry stores which sell the famous Tanzanite. For every price range and in every case, you can find something super individual.
There are hundreds of different activities in and around Stone Town, but these are, which I did. I hope it was a little inspiration. Don’t hesitate to contact me, if you need more information or also if you have some secret tip for me ?
Love ♥ Dorie