With some planning, three days give you ample time to experience the best of Zanzibar City, from historical tours to street food stalls, rural spice farms to nature reserves. Here are our top tips for optimizing your time in and around the Zanzibari capital.
Day 1: Hit the Historical Highlights
On your first day, a tour of Stone Town is a must. The UNESCO-listed port town boasts a range of landmarks that spans centuries, including the Old Fort, Malindi Mosque, and St. Joseph’s Cathedral. For deeper insight into the town’s rich and diverse heritage, opt to explore with a guide: zip among attractions by bike, stroll the scenic streets on a walking tour, or take advantage of full-day packages with round-trip transport to save time. Day tours typically combine a wander through Stone Town with visits to rural or offshore attractions such as Changuu Island.
Day 2: Get Curious About Culture
Spend your second day widening your perspective of modern Zanzibar on a cultural tour. Learn about the island’s famous spice trade at a rural farm, get a taste of Zanzibari cuisine at a cooking class, or visit local villages for a glimpse of daily life outside the capital. Most half- and full-day tours offer round-trip transport, and some also include lunch. Later, take refuge from the daytime heat in a city museum, or admire city vistas from the Karume Monument tower while learning about the revolution. When evening falls, head to the waterfront night market at Forodhani Gardens to sample local specialties, such as samosas, sugarcane juice, and Zanzibar pizza.
Day 3: Unwind in Nature
After a busy couple of days, it’s time to immerse yourself in Zanzibar’s natural surroundings. Snorkel and swim off tropical beaches, cruise to secluded islets, or observe native flora and fauna in nature reserves, taking advantage of hassle-free tours with round-trip transport included. Once you’re back in town, head to a hotel terrace for a sunset aperitif overlooking the ocean, or enjoy dinner and drinks in a beachfront restaurant. If you’re flying out the same evening, private transfer services offer customizable departure times to suit your schedule, allowing you to make the most of your last hours in the capital.