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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The area
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
852 reviews
Excellent
340
Very good
296
Average
146
Poor
45
Terrible
25

Chiara S
8 contributions
Couples
Walking through the narrow streets of stone town, different cultures, so much history to discover. It would not have been possible without Suleman. He was a complete guide, a lot of knowledge and sympathy. Thank you!
Written 25 September 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 States1,128 contributions
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 24 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stacie L
2 contributions
Couples
We went to Stone Town with Juma, he was amazing! If you’re in Zanzibar give him a shout to sort out your trips! We also did the spice tour that was great. He was so helpful and knowledgeable.
Written 9 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Elisa (Eli.ro.se)
15 contributions
Couples
Stonetown is definitely worth a visit. It is a very humble town in the sea side with lots of markets and great restaurants to have a nice lunch or dinner. It has lovely narrow streets with shops and very nice craftsmanship. One side note though, as Zanzibar is mostly Muslim I do suggest that you dress modestly and cover your shoulders just so you feel more comfortable with less people staring.

As per the visit, we decided to go with a guide, but you could certainly go on your own. Just keep in mind you may encounter lots of people trying to sell things to you and be a bit insistent. Going with a guide is quite convenient as they give you the background and historical context of Zanzibar and also arrange the pick up in your hotel. We found a guide in the reviews here called Suleiman but note that the number that is given in the other reviews is not his but a company called Star tours, they can send you Suleiman or any other guide.

Luckily they did send Suleiman, and we did the tour with him. We highly recommend reaching him directly, these are Suleiman details:
Phone: +255 776 588 147
Tripadvisor: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g616016-d19281687-Reviews-Antique_Tours_and_Safaris-Nungwi_Zanzibar_Island_Zanzibar_Archipelago.html?m=19905
Written 28 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Suzzie M
Minneapolis, MN3 contributions
Stone Town is undeniably the eyes of Zanzibar. The beautiful town is draped with immense history and cultural artefacts that leave you awed. My friends and I rebelled at the busy town with narrow winding streets and historical forts and cathedrals. We enjoyed local meals and interacted with the friendly locals. This tour would not have been a success without the input of our able guide, Eric. I totally recommend his services. Reach him on WhatsApp at +255756983368.
Written 15 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

StotheN
Stockholm, Sweden390 contributions
So many streets and historical buildings. You could spend hours here and still not get enough of it. There is construction going on with tourists and locals still walking everywhere. You can hear the mosque call for prayer and the christian mass going on nearby all at the same time. The smell of incense from the temple was intoxicating. Get something to eat from the nearby food stall. Walk through the fish, spice and veg market. It was all very good.
Written 7 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gail F
West Palm Beach, FL12 contributions
Interesting town with lots of history. We enjoyed our visit and our walking tour of the city guided by Imran Jape. He is an excellent guide. Highly recommend his tour.
Written 4 August 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
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 2 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Meg Hutchison
Port Elizabeth, South Africa12 contributions
Couples
I have been looking forward to visiting Stone Town for years, so I convinced my fiancé to add a night to our trip - a few days at Ngorongoro Crater and Paje in Zanzibar. I am pretty sure he will never let me live my very poor suggestion down. WHAT a disappointment!

People really romanticised this city, and I completely fell for it. Yes, from some angles it might look beautifully derelict - a variety of different architectural styles stemming from Zanzibar’s equally varied colonial history makes it interesting, without a doubt. More interesting than most African cities (I am from Africa, so believe me I’ve seen my fair share). But that’s where it ended for us.

Stone Town is extremely dirty. As some other reviewers have mentioned, it’s hard to believe Stone Town has retained its UNESCO World Heritage Site status, it doesn’t seem to uphold the standards associated with such an accolade. The sanitation/sewerage situation leaves a lot to be desired - some alleyways are simply glorified latrines/rubbish dumpsters.

Everyone on Tripadvisor RAVED about the tour guide Suleiman (who works for Babli/Erick’s company ‘Star Tours’) but we both found him rude and condescending. He only spoke to me, completely ignoring my fiancé - with very little consideration for my personal space. This made me really uncomfortable. He was fairly knowledgeable, but I could have learnt more reading up about the history of Stone Town online or in a book.

At the ‘end’ of the tour, once we had walked through the traditional market (which - apart from the spices - left a lot to be desired!), he literally just said “okay, this is where the tour ends…goodbye”! We were standing in a maze of tented stalls and had ZERO idea where to go or how
to get ourselves out of there and/or back to the water’s edge (we used this as a landmark to find our hotel on one of the little streets just up from the waterfront). He told us his ‘friend’ who owned one of the spice stalls we bought from, would direct us to where we wanted to go…again, leaving us to feel seriously uneasy and unsafe. It takes a lot to make a South African feel unsafe, but we both felt extremely vulnerable.

I would NOT recommend Suleiman for a Stone Town walking tour.

If you have a few hours to kill before you fly home, then sure - have a look around…but I don’t think it’s not worth spending a night there, or two full days as we did. Just my two cents. We have traveled to a lot of places - urban and rural - in our beloved Africa, and we know what to expect. But this was so far from the Africa we know - the beautiful culture and warm, friendly people who make you feel at home.

The only redeeming feature of our time in Stone Town was a beautiful dinner at The Secret Garden restaurant. An absolute must. And the perfect escape from the craziness of the streets and alleyways and people and noise.

I really hate being negative, but I have to be honest if it helps anyone else avoid the experience we had…after a wonderful few days on mainland Tanzania and at the lovely seaside village of Paje.
Written 29 July 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
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 25 July 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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