Darajani & Forodhani Markets, Stone town Zanzibar
Zanzibar is a fascinating island featuring an exotic blend of Indo-European architecture. With its crumbling buildings, stately palaces and busy markets- it is truly a melting pot of rich cultural milieu. This island is famous for its tropical adventures, spectacular galleries, beach activities, and most importantly, its bustling markets. Yes! The markets here are probably one of the best places to experience the local life of Zanzibar. In case you’re wondering where to start out, here’s a complete scoop on two leading markets of this beautiful tropical island- Darajani and Forodhani. Both these markets are incredibly popular for their lip smacking food, authentic spices and local night life.
Taste the Authentic Tanzanian Flavors at Darajani Market
Nestled in the heart of Stone town, the Darajani market is one of the biggest food markets of Zanzibar. Also known as Estella Market (Countess Estalla’s brother, Lloyd Matthews was a former Zanzibar President) or by its local name Marikiti Kuu (‘Main market’ in Swahili). The market commenced in 1904, and over time, it gained immense popularity for its authentic spices and local delicacies.
When you head to this market for the first time, you’ll be truly amazed to find hundreds of local Zanzibari tradesmen selling exotic vegetables, fresh meat, seafood items and a wide array of spices all under some small, thatched roofs. And food isn’t the only thing this place is famous for. The Darajani market in Zanzibar is also known for its beautiful and truly exquisite local fabric. So if you’re looking to witness the local life of the island unfold, you’ll find no better spot than Darajani. Teeming with people, this market will give you the much-needed chance to delve into the rich cultural milieu of Zanzibar. For freshest foods, visit in the mornings and be part of the multitude of shoppers.
The Darajani market is located right next to the Anglican Cathedral Courtyard, and it opens between 0600 and 2100 daily. If you plan to visit this market, don’t miss out on the inexpensive fruits and authentic spices.
Witness the Festive Fervor of Forodhani market
Your visit to Zanzibar will be absolutely incomplete without visiting the Forodhani Night Food Market. Located near the Forodhani Gardens, this waterfront market is truly a food lovers’ paradise. If you arrive before dusk, you’ll find the space filling up with local chefs and food vendors. Dressed in white and decked with tall hats, these chefs will be busy managing their grills and skewers. Within a couple of minutes, you’ll be astounded to find several rows of skewers filled with squids, fresh fish, lobsters, and crab claws. With the air wafting with the lip smacking fragrance of seafood kebabs, and tourists flocking near seafood stalls, you won’t be able to resist the festive fervor of Forodhani Market.
In addition to the classic, authentic kebabs, you’ll also find a couple of other local delicacies like chapatis, chicken skewers, grilled beef, local Zanzibari pizza, beef falafel and fried potatoes here. Once you’re done gorging on the food, wash it down with some sugarcane juice and cassava.
Both Darajani and Forodhani markets are widely frequented by locals, so finding families having their small picnics, is a common sight here. All you need to do is ditch your hesitation, and head to these markets to be a part of the real, authentic experience that Zanzibar offers.
Do have a look at our previous article Night Market In Zanzibar.