Stone Town: The Heart of Zanzibar
You have plenty of things to do and enjoy in Zanzibar: visiting its forests, snorkelling in the Blue Lagoon, or practising kitesurfing, among many other activities. Maybe you can or cannot practise all them during your stay, but a must should be Stone Town, the astonishing capital of Zanzibar.
UNESCO declared this city a World Heritage Site in 2000. Deservedly. Since Stone Town is a melting pot full of a mixture of Swahili, Arab, Persian, Indian, English and Portuguese cultures that whirl before your eyes, let’s dive into this coloured and aromatic whirlwind!
Top Things to Do and See in Stone Town
1 – Get lost
No, seriously. You should get lost in the Stone Town historic centre. It is a fantastic maze of alleyways and winding passages where no rule can tell you what to see, capture with your camera, or get you shocked. Just go and let Stone Town surprise you. The delicious smell of spices will escort you wherever you go, as well as the smile of the locals, and you will enjoy the particular architecture of the island, with the bouncy bazaars and the buildings made of coralline rock and wooden balustrades, as if they were built almost two centuries ago.
However, do not worry: the centre is not that big, and sooner or later you will get yourself out to the sea.
2 – Check out the doors
This point is directly related to the previous one, but it deserves to be highlighted. When the locals built their dwellings, they competed with each other in peculiarity and extravagance, and the result is more than 500 fantastic and different carved wooden doors. You can spend as many hours as you want to find and admire all of them.
3 – Meet the celebrities
Did you know Farrokh Bulsara, best known as Freddy Mercury, was born in Stone Town and that you can visit his birth house? The same for the famous explorer Dr Livingstone, who lived in a classy residence firstly built for the Sultan Majid bin Said.
You can visit both houses on your trip to Stone Town. An opportunity that you cannot miss.
4 – Visit the historic buildings
So much history behind had to produce so many historic buildings to admire. Among them, the House of Wonders, a palace built on the seafront for the sultan, and now a museum on Swahili culture. There is also the Old Fort, a heavy stone fortress built in the 1600s to protect the city against European invaders and, finally, the Old Dispensary, the most finely decorated building in the town, born as a charity hospital.
Obviously, there are so many others that we would need another article to explain them all.
However, there is a very much easier solution to such trouble: just ask us!
At Dhow Inn, we will be happy to help you with your visit to Stone Town, and we will show you all the places you can visit and experiences to find in this fine city, such as an open-air dinner at the Forodhani Gardens.
Surely, you will fall in love with Stone Town!