20 Stunning Attractions in Zanzibar
Are you looking for a unique and unforgettable vacation destination? Look no further than Zanzibar! This beautiful island off the coast of Tanzania offers a unique combination of culture, history, and stunning natural beauty. From golden beaches and crystal-clear waters to historic sites and vibrant nightlife, there is something for everyone in Zanzibar.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the top 20 best attractions for an unforgettable vacation in Zanzibar. From ancient ruins to luxury places, you’ll find something to suit your needs and budget.
So come along with us as we discover the hidden gems of this incredible island!
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1. Jozani Forest – 20 Stunning Attractions in Zanzibar
A must-see attraction when visiting Zanzibar! Located on the east coast of the island, the Jozani Forest Reserve is home to over 40 species of exotic birds and mammals, including the endangered red colobus monkey. The dense jungle is filled with lush vegetation and offers great views of the Indian Ocean. This is an ideal spot for a peaceful and romantic stroll through the trees and ferns. It’s also a great place for bird watching, as you can find some rare species like the endemic Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkey. Additionally, guided tours are available for those who wish to learn more about this beautiful forest.
2. Forodhani Park, Zaznzibar
One of the most popular attractions for visitors to Zanzibar is Forodhani Park. Located in the old quarter of Stone Town, this park is a wonderful place to relax and soak up the atmosphere of the city. The park is located along the waterfront and has a wonderful view of the harbor.
At night, the park comes alive with the hustle and bustle of the local community. Street vendors line up and serve delicious food, while locals gather to chat and enjoy their evening. The night also marks the beginning of Zanzibar’s famed full-moon parties, where you can dance and mingle with other locals and travelers alike.
During the day, take a stroll through the park and enjoy its vibrant colors and picturesque views. Don’t forget to take a look at the statues of Sultan Seyyid Said and Princess Salme on either side of the entrance.
Forodhani Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for an unforgettable experience in Zanzibar. Its nightlife is unique and its day-time beauty is unparalleled. Whether you’re here for a vacation or just passing through, be sure to spend some time at Forodhani Park and take in all that this wonderful place has to offer.
3. Stone Town – 20 Stunning Attractions in Zanzibar
A historical city located in the heart of Zanzibar. It is full of many attractions for visitors to explore, such as its winding alleys, narrow streets, mosques, and other historical sites. The town is the cultural and spiritual center of the island, and it is here that you can find some of the best examples of Swahili architecture. One of the most interesting places to visit in Stone Town is the House of Wonders, a 19th-century palace built by Sultan Barghash bin Said.
The palace is an important landmark and has been carefully preserved to serve as a museum. Other attractions in Stone Town include the Old Slave Market, now known as the Anglican Cathedral, the St. Joseph’s Cathedral, and the Mtoni Palace Ruins. There are also many museums, including the People’s Palace Museum, the Freddie Mercury Museum, and the Princess Salme Museum. With so much to see and do in Stone Town, you can guarantee an unforgettable trip.
4. The Old Fort of Zanzibar
For a truly memorable experience, visit the Old Fort of Zanzibar, located in the heart of Stone Town. This old fortification was built by the Portuguese in 1535 and served as a base for their domination of the area. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has become one of the top attractions in the city.
The fort is home to many historical artifacts and documents, as well as a museum that details the history of Zanzibar and its role in the spice trade. Take a guided tour of the fort to learn more about its fascinating past and explore its impressive architecture. Be sure to take photos from the top of the fort for an unforgettable view of the city. After your visit, make sure to sample some of the local cuisines at one of the restaurants nearby.
The Old Fort of Zanzibar is a must-see attraction if you’re looking for a unique experience in Stone Town. With its rich history and beautiful architecture, it’s sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience.
5. People’s Palace Museum – 20 Stunning Attractions in Zanzibar
Located in Stone Town, the People’s Palace Museum is an architectural wonder. The palace was originally built by Sultan Barghash bin Said in 1883 and is now the home of the Zanzibar Cultural Centre. This museum is the perfect place to learn more about the history and culture of Zanzibar, as it houses a variety of artifacts and historical items. Visitors can explore the Palace’s different rooms, including the Throne Room, as well as visit Sultan’s former bedroom. You can also wander through the art gallery, which features a collection of traditional African paintings and sculptures. After exploring the museum, visitors can enjoy some traditional Zanzibari food at the on-site restaurant.
6. Old Slave Market/Anglican Cathedral
The Old Slave Market of Zanzibar is located near the Anglican Cathedral in the heart of Stone Town. It was once a place of dark commerce, where Africans were sold into slavery and shipped off to different parts of the world. Today, it serves as a reminder of Zanzibar’s history and its impact on the world. The Anglican Cathedral stands nearby and serves as a peaceful reminder of religious freedom in Zanzibar. Built-in the late 19th century, the cathedral offers beautiful stained glass windows that depict scenes from the Bible. Visitors can tour the church and learn more about its history, as well as its importance in the region. After exploring the church, visitors can visit the old slave market and get an understanding of Zanzibar’s past.
7. Kuza Cave – 20 Stunning Attractions in Zanzibar
A visit to Kuza Cave, one of the most spectacular sights in Zanzibar, is a must-see when visiting this tropical paradise. Located near Nungwi on the northern coast of the island, Kuza Cave is a stunning natural wonder. It is a network of limestone caverns filled with coral, stalactites and stalagmites, and fossils that have been estimated to be more than 100,000 years old. This is an amazing place to explore and experience some of the oldest geological histories in Zanzibar.
Visitors to Kuza Cave can also explore the nearby area, which includes a small fishing village and a beach full of colorful coral gardens. You can take a boat ride to explore the cave, or hike along the beach and enjoy breathtaking views of the nearby ocean. There are also plenty of local restaurants and markets where you can sample traditional Zanzibari cuisine. No matter how you choose to explore this incredible site, it will be an unforgettable experience that you won’t soon forget.
8. Freddie Mercury Museum
The Freddie Mercury Museum is a must-see for all music fans visiting Zanzibar. Located in Stone Town, it celebrates the life and legacy of one of the most famous musicians ever, Freddie Mercury. It showcases an impressive collection of artifacts from his life, including photos, costumes, awards, and music equipment. The museum also has interactive exhibits that allow you to listen to some of his greatest hits and learn about his childhood in Zanzibar. The museum also provides guided tours of Stone Town that focus on the stories of Mercury’s childhood home and other important places from his past. For music lovers and history buffs alike, a visit to the Freddie Mercury Museum is an unforgettable experience.
9. Zanzibar Butterfly Centre – 20 Stunning Attractions in Zanzibar
Located in the heart of Stone Town, the Zanzibar Butterfly Centre is a great place to learn about the local butterflies and other species. This center offers an educational tour to visitors of all ages, including a guided walk through the center’s butterfly garden. Along the way, you’ll learn about the life cycle of these delicate insects and also get to observe them up close. The center also offers an array of educational activities for children, such as interactive exhibits, crafts, and games. If you’re looking for a unique way to explore Stone Town and its wildlife, a visit to the Zanzibar Butterfly Centre is definitely worth your time.
10. Baraka Natural Aquarium – Nungwi
Located in the heart of Nungwi Village, the Baraka Natural Aquarium is a fantastic destination for those seeking an unforgettable vacation experience in Zanzibar. Visitors can explore the vibrant coral reef and observe hundreds of marine life species that live here. You can even participate in snorkeling activities to get a closer look at the coral and its inhabitants. The aquarium also has plenty of educational activities, including a fish-feeding session which is sure to be a hit with kids! Whether you’re interested in marine life or simply want to take in stunning views, the Baraka Natural Aquarium offers a unique and memorable experience.
11. Matemwe Beach House – 20 Stunning Attractions in Zanzibar
Located on the northeast coast of Zanzibar, Matemwe Beach House is one of the most beautiful beach attractions in the area. With powder-soft sand, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and plenty of opportunities for snorkeling and sunbathing, it is no surprise that this beach is a popular destination for travelers.
The beach house itself provides stunning views of the Indian Ocean and comfortable accommodations for visitors looking to experience a luxurious stay in Zanzibar. With breathtaking ocean views from almost every room, you will not be disappointed when visiting Matemwe Beach House. It is also the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious sunset dinner or a relaxing evening stroll.
For those looking for a more active day at the beach, there are plenty of activities to enjoy including swimming, snorkeling, and water sports. You can also take part in an excursion to nearby Mnemba Island, where you can find incredible marine life and explore the picturesque coral reefs.
If you are looking for an unforgettable beach experience in Zanzibar, then Matemwe Beach House should be at the top of your list!
12. Old Dispensary
The Old Dispensary is a historic building located in the Stone Town of Zanzibar. It was originally a hospital and dispensary built in 1871 by the local government to provide medical care for the island’s residents. Today, the building has been converted into a beautiful boutique hotel.
Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the town and the sea from the Old Dispensary’s rooftop terrace. Inside, the building features intricate Moorish designs, stone arches, and colorful tiles. Several pieces of artwork date back to the 19th century.
The Old Dispensary offers visitors a unique experience and insight into Zanzibar’s past. The hotel also hosts special events, such as music and dance performances, for guests to enjoy. If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience in Zanzibar, the Old Dispensary should be high on your list of must-see attractions.
13. Hamamni Persian Baths – 20 Stunning Attractions in Zanzibar
The Hamamni Persian Baths are one of the oldest and most interesting attractions in Zanzibar. Built-in the mid-19th century by Sultan Majid, the baths were once an important part of royal life. Today, the ruins of the bathhouse are open for visitors to explore and soak in the historic atmosphere of this beautiful building.
The Hamamni Persian Baths feature several distinct rooms, each with its unique architecture and purpose. The Main Room is a large and spacious chamber featuring many Moorish design elements, including intricate mosaics, colorful tiles, and intricate columns. There is also a Cold Room, which features a pool and a stone bathtub, and a Hot Room where guests can relax in heated waters and receive treatments from local masseuses.
Visitors to the Hamamni Persian Baths can learn about the history and culture of Zanzibar by exploring the various displays and exhibitions located within the building. There is also a souvenir shop selling traditional goods such as spices, jewelry, and clothing. Finally, visitors can enjoy traditional dishes in the café located in the building, which serves up both local favorites and international cuisine.
A visit to the Hamamni Persian Baths is sure to be an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re interested in learning about Zanzibar’s past or simply soaking in its rich cultural heritage, you’ll find plenty to explore in this fascinating attraction.
14. House of Wonders
The House of Wonders is a historical landmark situated in Stone Town, Zanzibar. It is also known as the Palace of Wonders or Beit-al-Ajaib and was once the largest and tallest building in the area. It was built in 1883 by Sultan Barghash bin Said and served as his residence until he died in 1888. The palace was an important center for ceremonial activities and hosted important visitors from around the world.
The building is rich in symbolic meaning, with its grand central staircase, pointed arches, and intricate stone carvings on the exterior. Inside, visitors will find a variety of exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of Zanzibar’s past. There are also numerous collections of old photographs and documents that highlight the history of the country and its people. The House of Wonders is open to the public daily and offers guided tours of its exhibits and artifacts. Visitors will have the chance to explore the palace’s many rooms and halls, which showcase the country’s rich culture and traditions.
15. Mtoni Palace Ruins – 20 Stunning Attractions in Zanzibar
Located in the city of Zanzibar, Mtoni Palace Ruins is a must-see attraction for any visitor. The ruins are an important part of the city’s history and culture, having been built by a local sultan in the 19th century. The palace is located in a large compound with beautiful gardens, walls, and columns that reflect its former grandeur. Visitors can explore the ruins and marvel at the architecture. Many people come to take photos of the ruins, which is a popular activity for tourists. In addition, the palace also serves as a popular spot for weddings and other special events. Mtoni Palace Ruins is a great way to get a glimpse into the past and experience a part of Zanzibar’s rich cultural heritage.
16. St Joseph’s Cathedral
Located in Stone Town, the St Joseph’s Cathedral is an architectural marvel of Zanzibar. Built in the late 19th century, it is an old Roman Catholic Church and one of the most important religious sites in the city. Its white walls, tall spires, and intricate interiors make for a breathtaking sight. Inside the cathedral, you can admire an array of artifacts, sculptures, paintings, and other Christian-related items. The ceiling and walls are decorated with stunning frescoes. The church also has a large bell tower which can be seen from a distance. Visitors can explore the church, attend services or just relax in its serene atmosphere. Whatever you choose to do, St Joseph’s Cathedral will be an unforgettable experience on your visit to Zanzibar.
17. Mangapwani Coral Cave – 20 Stunning Attractions in Zanzibar
One of the lesser-known attractions in Zanzibar is the Mangapwani Coral Cave. It is located in the northwest part of the island and is known for its historic significance. During the 19th century, it was used as a secret hideaway where slaves were traded. Today, it is a protected area that visitors can explore and learn about its interesting past. The cave is set in an exotic garden and has a diverse range of plants and flowers that attract different species of birds. There is also a lagoon in the cave where you can see colorful fish swimming around. While exploring this unique attraction, you can take a dip in the natural pool or take a guided tour to learn more about the history of this hidden spot.
18. Princess Salme Museum
Located in Stone Town, the Princess Salme Museum is dedicated to the memory of Princess Salme. Born in 1844, she was the daughter of Sayyid Said, the first Sultan of Zanzibar. The museum tells the story of her life and that of her half-brothers who were part of Sultan’s court. Inside the museum, you can find photographs, paintings, and manuscripts related to the royal family and other memorabilia from their time in Zanzibar. You can also learn about how Zanzibar was once a major trading port for slaves and spices and how the island’s culture has changed over time. Visiting this museum will give you a unique insight into the history of Zanzibar.
19. Cultural Arts Centre Zanzibar – 20 Stunning Attractions in Zanzibar
If you’re looking for a unique cultural experience while in Zanzibar, be sure to visit the Cultural Arts Centre. This center is dedicated to celebrating and preserving the traditional music, dance, and art of the island. The Centre offers a variety of performances and workshops that are sure to leave you captivated. From dancing to drumming, the traditional music and dancing of Zanzibar will transport you to a different world. If you’re looking to take home a souvenir, the Centre also offers workshops and classes where you can learn how to create traditional crafts such as baskets, mats, and pottery. Whether you’re looking for an evening of entertainment or a chance to learn something new, the Cultural Arts Centre Zanzibar is an experience not to be missed.
20. Said Mahmoud Mosque
Located in the heart of Zanzibar, the Said Muhoud Mosque is an architectural marvel that stands as one of the oldest mosques on the island. Built-in 1888, this historic site is still in use today and continues to be a focal point for the local Islamic community. The exterior of the mosque is made of white coral limestone and decorated with intricate carvings, while the interior of the building contains a variety of Islamic artwork, calligraphy, and designs. Visitors are allowed to explore this beautiful structure and admire its unique architecture.
Don’t you think these places to visit in Zanzibar are really interesting? Are you excited about visiting these places in one of the happiest archipelagos in the world?
If yes, plan a trip to Zanzibar, head to your favorite destination, and spend some wonderful time with your family or friends!
There’s a whole world out there for you to explore!
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