Discover the history of Stone Town

Walk the ancient streets of the spice city

The essence of the ‘Discover the history of Stone Town’ tour

Delve into the beauty and ancient history of Zanzibar on this fascinating Stone Town tour. Explore magnificent architecture, a labyrinth of bustling narrow alleys, and incredible sand and coral-stone houses, some over 200 years old, with intricately carved Arab and Indian doors. During this walking tour, your guide will recount Stone Town’s history (a mix of Indian, African, Arabic, and European influences) and provide a window onto Swahili culture and everyday life in Zanzibar.

Our tour begins at Darajani Market, the main city market, which was opened in 1904. Here an abundance of colourful tropical fruits, vegetables, aromatic spices, and fresh fish from the island are haggled over, bartered, and sold, while you can buy a host of other souvenirs and local specialties from the stalls surrounding the market area.

Other highlights on our historical Stone Town tour are visits to:

  • The Christ Church Anglican Cathedral, built by Bishop Edward Steere in 1873, on the site of the Old Slave Market
  • The Sultan’s Palace Museum (Beit al-Sahel), also known as the People’s Palace, built in the 1890’s for members of the Royal Sultan’s family
  • The House of Wonders (Beit-el-Ajaib), constructed in 1883 as a royal ceremonial function palace
  • The historic Africa House Hotel, the site of the English Club in 1888
  • The ocean-facing Jamituri (Forodhani) Gardens: a perfect spot for evening sundowners with a lively street-food market.

Note: It is advisable to dress conservatively when walking through Stone Town. Women should cover their shoulders, wear long skirts or trousers, and men should wear pants. Comfortable walking shoes are essential.

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