What to do in Zanzibar

I visited Zanzibar back in 2013. In fact it was my first solo trip ever. Since then I’ve been wanting to go back and see more of Zanzibar. It really was one of the peaceful places I’ve been to. While this little island attracted a lot of tourism buzz from all over the world in the last few years. Ultimately many 5 star resorts have opened.  I remember back in the days of prepping for my trip I had limited accommodation options but nowadays it is a different story. 

Here are some must do experiences if you’re planning to visit Zanzibar soon (because you should go there!).

Try famous Zanzibari  food like:

  • Zanzibari pizza
  • Mandazi (What we call in Bahrain “Zanjibari”) my favorite for breakfast and all day really!
  • Catch of the day Sea food. You can try all these delicious meals and more at the daily night food market Forodhani Food Festival 
  • Have some Ginger coffee, fresh Ginger soda or anything with ginger.
  • Fresh sweet Sugar cane juice


Jaws corner for coffee. 

One of the best experiences is sitting with the locals and having coffee at Jaws corner. It is located in the middle of Stone town, near cathedral. They have the best traditional coffee that will keep your brain cells alerted for the rest of the day.

I really enjoyed chatting with the locals at Jaws corner and I actually made a slide show here.


Where to stay ? (Boutique hotels)

The Seyyida hotel. This is the hotel I stayed in. I was looking for affordable hotel in the middle of the old town. I was really cozy and quiet. Moreover the restaurant was really good. In addition to delicious food, the view is really beautiful I would recommend going around sunset or earlier to see Stone town from the rooftop restaurant.

Emerson Spice

Here you can find the best views in stone town. Arguably the best place to view sunset in Stone-Town. The food and coffee are really good as well.

Zanzibar Coffee House Café

It’s a must visit. Really the best coffee in Zanzibar. I’m still dreaming about their spice coffee it is really good. You can also buy the coffee bean from there.

Zanzibar Coffee House
Zanzibar Coffee House


The Rock restaurant.

This is really famous restaurant in the middle of sea. It is really famous but it’s 45 minutes from Stone Town You can ask the hotel for directions.

The rock restaurant Zanzibar
Photo Credit: Dan Turdean

Worth visiting

Prison Island – Changu Private Island

Your kids will enjoy this. Prison Island is 20 minute boat ride from Stone town you will take boats to reach the island and there are giant turtles in the island! I didn’t have time to visit but it’s on my list for next visit.

Spice Tour

Book for a tour through the hotel or ask the driver to take you when you are going to the next hotel. The spices and coffee are really cheap I got some for my friends and they loved it!

Darajani market. 

The main bazaar where the locals shop for anything from grocery to cloths and electronics. It is a vert good place for street photography.

Forodhani gardens.

The daily food market in Stone town where a lot of locals and tourists go to eat. The food is fresh and cheap. If you want to order food choose the stall with many buyers to ensure the food is fresh and safe. Read about it at my blog post here.

The former Slave market.

It’s worth visiting the chambers where the slaves were kept and auctioned. The place is small but good to know . You can have a quick tour in 15 minutes. I wrote about my visit here Old Slave Market

Zanzibar old slave market
Zanzibar old slave market


Old Arab Ruins.

  • House of Wonders (Beit-el-Ajaib), Mtoni palace ruins. If you read Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar. This house is where Princess Salama story was set.
  • Palace Museum (Beit al-Sahel) – (Princess Salama old palace).
  • Maruhubi palace



  • I went to a concert they call “Taraab” it was nice and entertaining. Check with the hotel or your guide about these concerts.
Photo credit: World Music Central
  • Book a walking tour with The Beautiful Eyes. I booked two tours with them. One in Stone Town and another tour around the villages outside of Stone Town.
  • Visit Bwejuu beach village. East coast of Unguja island where you can enjoy watching locals do Fishing and harvesting seaweed.