Stone Town Travel Guide
Stone Town, nestled within Zanzibar City, the largest city in Zanzibar (official name Unguja), is a fantastic place to visit and anybody visiting the island for the first time need not skip it. It’s recommended that you stay here for a day or two before you head out to the rest of the beaches and attractions that the island has to offer.
Here is a travel guide to Stone Town to enable you to enjoy your visit.
- Immerse yourself in the island’s culture
Stone Town is unlike any other place in the world. This is a melting pot of Arab, African, Indian and European cultures and a throbbing heartbeat of any imaginable lifestyle. You can immerse yourself in the island’s culture and encounter the textures and vibrant vibes of the seafront, the food courts, the fish market and museums.
- You’ll get lost, but remain safe
The city’s streets are narrow and winding, so it is easy to get hopelessly lost. But you won’t find crooks hidden in dark cavities ready to pounce on you as most streets are well-lit and entirely safe for strollers day and night.
- Get willing to spend
Zanzibar can be cheap or expensive and prices are almost comparable to the U.S. It’s according to your tastes for luxury and degrees of exclusivity. It’s not unusual to spend $25 on an average meal and pay $30 for a boat trip, to say Prison Island. Most vendors have a huge appetite for foreign money and will go to incredible lengths to hike prices. Avoid paying for anything in advance but pay on the spot while making any purchase after you’ve haggled for a lower price.
- Discover architectural gems
Discover the architectural treasures hidden inside the challenging labyrinth of narrow alleyways and narrow streets that wind in the city. Some of the buildings were built in the 15th century and have lasted to this day.
- Bargain for souvenirs
Meet the vendors at their commercial best and bargain for such souvenirs as Tingatinga paintings and myriad jewellery. Little has changed in free trade since the mid-19th century. Bargaining is allowed, and people do not find it offending if you bargain. You can also view the locals bargaining to understand the proper way of bargaining. If you are good at it you can go home with wonderful items at rock bottom prices.
- Check out Zanzibar’s amazing doors
Not to be found anywhere else in the world, the Zanzibar doors, which are carved with extraordinary imagery, serve as a valuable glimpse into the homeowner’s economic status, place of origin or profession.
- Visit the slave market
To understand and appreciate the island’s dark past, a visit to the former slave market is a must. The island has a more adverse claim to fame that has been cleansed once and for all by the erection of a Christian Church, The Anglican Cathedral.
- Visit Darajani market
Experience the noise locals make on this massive bazaar where vendors shout themselves hoarse selling everything from cooking pans to traditional khangas and raw meat.