10 Best Things To Do In Zanzibar

Zanzibar, an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanzania, is probably one of the most popular beach destinations in Africa, and for great reasons.

Due to its location being in the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar is surrounded by magnificent beaches with long strips of white sand, soft to the touch, as well as warm, clear blue water, perfect for tourism.

Despite its postcard-perfect beaches, Zanzibar also has a rich culture and history that not many know about. Due to its strategic location, the island has attracted all kinds of people from the Omanis to the Arabs and eventually the Europeans, bringing in vast amount trade opportunities and wealth to the island.

The island is so diverse, you can see it in everything from its unique Indian/Arabic cuisine like biryani and shawarma to the beautiful old colonial architecture that blends the European architectural style with Indian/Arab/African decors.

With such diverse cultures, Zanzibar also has its fair share of violence and dark history that every tourist should learn about. Zanzibar used to be the central slave trading post of the region back in the days and you can learn just how treacherous it must have been for people living on this paradise island back then.

As you can see, there is a lot to uncover in Zanzibar and if you are planning to visit the paradise island, you are going to need this travel guide. I spent 4 days in Zanzibar and I have decided to compile a complete list of the best things to do in Zanzibar as well as all the information you need to plan a great trip there.

Without further ado, here are the 10 best things to do in Zanzibar. Let's first take a look at all the points of interest on the map below:Exploring the crisscrossing streets of Stone Town surrounded by colonial buildings is probably one of the highlights of visiting Zanzibar. Due to its strategic importance as the capital of spice and slave trade back in the days, Stone Town had been through many rulers from the Portuguese Empire to the Sultanate of Oman to the British Empire and eventually independence.

It was because of these jugglings of power throughout its existence that allowed Stone Town to be built and developed in a way that is unlike any place you have seen before.

From one corner, you might find a little Arab/Persian influence and from another, a bit of Portuguese/British influences as well as some Indians all scattered throughout Stone Town, waiting for you to explore.

An entire town is all crammed into a small area where you will be able to navigate through these narrow pathways connecting and sometimes even hiding all sorts of hidden gems in plain sight like the 17th Century Old Fort built by the Omani Arabs, St Joseph's Cathedral, a catholic church built by the French based on that of the Marseille Cathedral in France, and many more.

Not to mention all the beautiful and unique architectures you can find here from the elegant Old Dispensary, a 19th Century building ornated with Indian and European elements, to all the elaborately designed wooden doors dubbed the Zanzibar Doors.