Zanzibar is a good sized Island and a popular tourist destination, so there is plenty to keep you busy. If you are looking for inspiration for your itinerary, here’s a list of things to do in Zanzibar and Stone Town.

Things to do in Stone Town:

Get lost in the old city

The capital of Zanzibar, Stone Town, has heaps of character. The narrow stone streets and colourful wooden doorways feels like it belongs more in Morocco than on an Island off Tanzania.

Craft in the market in Stone Town

Scratch a giant tortoise on Prison Island

Although there isn’t a huge amount to see on the island, the giant tortoise sanctuary makes a visit a must. These friendly creatures live up to 200 years old and especially enjoy a scratch on their long necks.

Visit Nakupenda Sandbank

Appearing for just a few hours a day, this white sandbank is surrounded by clear blue seas with reefs accessible from the shore. There is no shade, food or water available so bring everything you need.

Enjoy a Zanzibar pizza at the Night Market

Stone Towns night market has a great setting, right by the sea. There are lots of food options available, my favourite is the famous Zanzibar pizza.

Night market in Stone Town

Try different flavours on a Spice Tour

Zanzibar used to be a hub for spice trade. Join a tour to learn and try a variety of different spices.

Eat like a local at Darajani market

If you find the night market a little touristy, join the locals for dinner in Darajani Market. Busy and intimidating, you can find some great street food being served by women who cook the food at home and bring it with them in containers. I especially loved the coconut rice.

Learn some history at the Slave Market

It’s not a big museum and is very information heavy, but the history of Zanzibar is one of unimaginable cruelty and an important one to know.

Slave market in Stone Town, things to do on zanzibar island

Live like a local

The Blue House on Airbnb (click here for £25 off your first booking) is a basic but charming house sat right on the edge of the residential area. You will share the house with a friendly local. Living here will give you an insight into what life is like for the people of Zanzibar.

Drink amazing coffee

Head to Msumbi Coffee to try some of Tanzania’s finest coffee beans.

Eat amazing food at House of spices

The best restaurant on the Island is House of Spices. Serving Italian and Tanzanian fusion meals inspired by the spices on Zanzibar. 

House of Spices, Stone Town

Things to do on Zanzibar Island:

Go on a sunset dhow ride

It’s great fun taking a ride in a traditional dhow boat. There is no better time than as evening sets in when you can admire the island from afar and the guaranteed impressive african sunset.

Snorkel or dive in Mnemba Atoll

Around the tiny Island, Mneba Atoll, is Zanzibar best reefs. Although the reefs aren’t in great condition, the marine life is thriving.

Snorkelling in Zanzibar

Try your hand at kite surfing

The low tides and strong winds on the East side of the island make it ideal for kite surfing. There are lots of schools in the area offering beginner courses or equipment hire.

Join a local fisherman

Join one of the groups of fisherman that head out each day to see what you can catch. If you want deep sea fishing, this will need to be organised especially. Make sure you have life jackets, bring a hat and plenty of water (there will likely be no shade) and put back fish that you won’t eat or that are endangered.

Learn how to play Bao

Go to one of the local bars on the island where you will find a traditional Bao game. Although there are lots of advance variations, the simplest game is easy to pick up in a few minutes.

Relax on Kendwa beach

The north is considered to have the most beautiful beaches. Nungwi is one option, although I preferred the slightly quieter Kendwa beach. The north is a busy spot for tourists so you may want to consider just a day trip and staying somewhere else if you are after quiet.

Kendwa Beach

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Zanzibar on a budget
Mafia vs Zanzibar Island

If you are planning a visit to Mafia Island, check out: Mafia Island; visiting paradise on a budget and Top 10 Things to do on Mafia Island.