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10 things to see absolutely in Zanzibar

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Martí Micolau
@martímicolau
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Stone Town, better known as Zanzibar, is the main city of Unguja Island. Its historic center is small but rich in culture and traditions and it is a real pleasure to stroll through its narrow streets where it seems to have stepped back in time. In addition, the lush forests, the long typically tropical beaches and the myriad of islets and atolls in the immediate vicinity, make Zanzibar a place to be discovered, so we have compiled a list of 10 things to see absolutely in Zanzibar.



Index

  1. Arab fort
  2. Old Dispensary
  3. Butterfly Center
  4. Peace Memorial Museum
  5. Freddie Mercury House
  6. Hamamni Persian Baths
  7. Jozani Forest
  8. Masingini Forest
  9. Prison Island and Turtle Sanctuary
  10. Nakupenda beach
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Arab Fort

The Arab Fort, also called the Old Fort, is the main monument of the city center of Zanzibar. It is a stone fortification built by the Arabs to defend themselves from the Portuguese and also used as a prison. Today, however, the building houses various shops and a theater that offers various shows.

  • It is located in the historic center of Zanzibar so it can be easily reached on foot from any point - Get directions
  • 8 pm (CET)
  • Free

2 - Old Dispensary

It is a historic building located on the seafront and is the most beautiful in the whole city, in fact it is also called the Palace of Wonders, and owes its splendor to mosaics and carved balconies. Today it houses a museum that tells the story of Zanzibar.



  • From the historic center of Zanzibar it can be reached by going north along Mizingani Road - Get directions
  • 9 pm (CET)
  • Free

3 - Butterfly Center

Il center dedicated to butterflies it is an unmissable and beautiful experience for those who love these little colored wonders. In the center you can observe, as well as the different specimens with the most disparate colors, also their birth and life.

  • It is a 50 minute drive from the city and can be reached via Karume Road heading south to your destination - Get Directions
  • 8 pm (CET)
  • 10.000 TSh (€ 3,78)

4 - Peace Memorial Museum

This museum, as the name suggests, is dedicated to memory and peace. Inside there are coins, stamps, antiques and various relics that tell the story of Zanziba and the entire archipelago, from the period of slavery to today, passing through the various royal families that have reigned.

  • It is a 10 minute walk from the center of Zanzibar following Soko Muhogo Street - Get directions
  • 8 pm (CET)
  • Free

5 - Freddie Mercury House

Walking through Zanzibar you will pass in front of the birthplace of the great artist Freddie Mercury, in which he was born and lived his first years of life. Unfortunately, however, contrary to what you think, the building today is not home to a museum, but has given life to new apartments, so you will have to be content to take a picture from the outside and continue.



  • It is located right in the center of Zanzibar, precisely on Kenyatta Road, so it is also easily reachable on foot - Get directions
  • 8 pm (CET)
  • Free

6 - Hamamni Persian Baths

They are a historical construction of Zanzibar built by the Persians, precisely by the Sultan Said. They were referred to as "public baths" but in reality they were only accessible by paying a fee. They were used as hot and cold water baths and hair removal centers, with bars and restaurants inside.

  • They are located in the center of Zanzibar, on Hamamni Road, and are easily accessible on foot - Get directions
  • 8 pm (CET)
  • Free

7 - Jozani Forest

The Jozani forest is a very extensive protected area of ​​the Unguja Island, so if you are in Zanzibar you cannot miss an excursion among dense vegetation and various animal species, including the Red Colobi, typical monkeys of Zanzibar.

  • It is about an hour's drive from the city and can be reached by following Karume Road to your destination - Get Directions
  • Always accessible
  • 20.000 TSh (€ 7,54), but it is recommended to purchase a full guided tour to explore the forest in greater safety.

8 - Masingini Forest

This forest is just as wide but definitely closer to the city than the previous one, ideal for those who don't want to travel too much but don't want to miss an excursion among baboons, red monkeys and other inhabitants of this natural environment.



  • It can be reached in 20 minutes by car following Karume Road north to your destination - Get Directions
  • Always accessible
  • Free, but it is recommended to purchase a complete guided tour to explore the forest in greater safety.

9 - Prison Island and Turtle Sanctuary

Its real name is Changuu Island, but it was renamed as Prison Island due to its use in antiquity. This island was in fact used as a prison for undisciplined slaves. Today it is instead the perfect place for snorkeling and the home of a colony of centuries-old giant turtles.

  • It can be reached by ferry departing from the port of Zanzibar heading towards the island - Get directions
  • Always accessible
  • Free

10 - Nakupenda Beach

Nakupenda beach is located on an atoll among the many islets of Zanzibar. The atoll is defined as the island that does not exist and in fact you can only go there during low tide as it is a strip of white sand bathed by the wonderful Tanzanese sea that is submerged and disappears during high tide .

  • It can be reached by ferry departing from the port of Zanzibar. - Get directions
  • Always accessible
  • Free, but it is recommended to purchase a guided and complete tour.

Plan your stay in Zanzibar: Flights, hotels and tours

Zanzibar has its own airport which connects it well to many countriesFurthermore, there are frequent boats that leave from Dar es Salaam and reach the port of the island. However, moving around Zanzibar is not as easy if you want to rely on local transport. It is preferable to choose taxis to move around the city and to buy guided tours to make the various excursions. Where to stay will not be a problem at all! Zanzibar is teeming with resorts, residences, guest houses and hostels, all at affordable prices that vary according to the category chosen.

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