Zanzibar is an archipelago just off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa. These islands offer pristine waters and powder white sands, the perfect location and idyllic setting for relaxing and unwinding.
Many travel to Zanzibar for this alone, but these islands offer much more.
Here we breakdown the top attractions to see in Zanzibar.
Stone Town is the iconic capital of Zanzibar, steeped in history and local charm.
Get lost in the winding alleyways, amongst fabric stalls, the bright shining tanzanite jewelry counters, art galleries and cute little coffee shops. A real treat and a different cultural experience from the beaches.
House of Wonders (Beit el-Ajaib), Stone Town
The House of Wonders was the former ceremonial palace of Sultan Barghush. Now it is the National Museum of Culture.
This beautiful building was built in 1883 and was the first building in Zanzibar to have electricity and the first in East Africa to have an elevator!
A walk around this building is a must. Take in the carefully carved doors, the 16th Century Portuguese cannons and the immaculate views from the top story. By day you will also find a craft market on the veranda.
Slave Chambers and Old Fort
The slave chambers are located between the Anglican Cathedral and St Monica’s Hostel. They are a haunting but necessary reminder of the history of this town.
Close by is the Old Fort of Zanzibar. This grand structure was built in the 17th Century to stop attacks from the Portuguese on the Omanis.
The night market in Forodhani Gardens must not be missed. Here on the seafront you can expect to find every type of seafood imaginable, all cooked to complete perfection. This is a unique experience that you will not find anywhere else.
The Rock Restaurant
You may have seen the photos of this restaurant before, but did you know that not only is this restaurant on its own Rock island, the food really is out of this world? This restaurant is surprisingly better known for its food than its unique and idyllic setting.
Located on the East Coast of Zanzibar, it takes about an hour to reach from Stone Town, but it is well worth the trip. Make sure you make a reservation as it is often always full, especially in the high season.
Full Moon Party
Every month on the north beaches you can experience the Full Moon parties on Kendwa Rocks. Unlike its namesake in Thailand, full moon parties in Zanzibar are much smaller.
These parties are a much more local affair, with local singers, DJs and acts showcasing local talent.
Expect to find bars, a main stage, a dance floor and other acts including fire eaters and acrobats. This event is as popular with the locals as it is with tourists and backpackers.
This island is a diving paradise for those in the know, and surprisingly, not many are.
The underwater coral reef system make for a beautiful diving setting.
Whilst Zanzibar is a popular tourist destination, this island is largely unknown and there is limited accommodation on the island, making it really quite special to visit.
You can also go swimming with wale sharks or fishing on the boats.
We have only scratched the surface of what Zanzibar has to offer. There are many other sights to see on these islands away from the beaches. Come and explore it for yourself
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