STONE VILLAGE: Amazing Places To Visit In The Oldest City In Zanzibar • illuminaija
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STONE VILLAGE: Amazing Places To Visit In The Oldest City In Zanzibar

   
   

STONE VILLAGE: Amazing Places To Visit In The Oldest City In Zanzibar

Stone Town of Zanzibar, also known as Mji Mkongwe, is the oldest part of Zanzibar City, the main city of Zanzibar, in Tanzania.

The newer portion of the city is known as Ng’ambo, Swahili for ‘the other side’. Stone Town is located on the western coast of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago.

STONE VILLAGE: Amazing Places To Visit In The Oldest City In Zanzibar

Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, it is known for its rich cultural heritage of Arab, Persian, Indian, and European elements.

Here are the top 5 things to do and see in the area.

Forodhani Gardens

STONE VILLAGE: Amazing Places To Visit In The Oldest City In Zanzibar

Found on the coast of the Indian Ocean, this small park sits right across the street from some of Stone Town’s most famous buildings: the Arab Fort, the House of Wonders, and the Palace Museum. 

   
   

Sadly, the latter two structures have fallen into a state of total disrepair, but the 19th-century architectural details that remain still make these striking ruins worth a visit. 

The Arab Fort (Ngome Kongwe)

STONE VILLAGE: Amazing Places To Visit In The Oldest City In Zanzibar

The Arab Fort is in far better condition today than its two neighbours, and is especially notable for its impressive architecture and history. 

Built in the late 17th century, this fort was built on top of an even older Portuguese church as a means of defense against the occupying Portuguese forces.

The remains of the church can still be seen built into the inside wall of the fort. It was later turned into a prison in the 19th century and even turned into a ladies’ tennis club before the 1964 Revolution. 

Now, visitors may enter the fort for free and explore the battlements and towers for great views of the harbor and ocean. The amphitheater inside the fort still sees some use today, and if you’re lucky you may catch a live performance on this 400-year-old stage.

Darajani Bazaar

STONE VILLAGE: Amazing Places To Visit In The Oldest City In Zanzibar

Darjani Bazaar is the hub of Stone Town’s commerce, selling a wide range of groceries from meat and fish to spices and produce, as well as a variety of wares and crafts to enjoy. 

Several stands sell souvenirs that make perfect keepsakes to take home as mementos of your time in Stone Town. 

Some of the sights and smells are surely not for the faint of heart, but it is an amazing cultural experience that should not be missed if you want to experience an authentic East African market.

The Old Dispensary

STONE VILLAGE: Amazing Places To Visit In The Oldest City In Zanzibar

First built as a dispensary during colonial times, this impressive four-story building has a long and interesting history. 

After serving as a charitable institution as well as a series of apartments, it fell into a state of disrepair during the revolution but was successfully restored to become a respected, thriving cultural site. 

Located right on Zanzibar’s seafront, the Old Dispensary is now the town’s cultural center and houses its own restaurant along with several shops and offices. 

This symbol of multi-cultural Zanzibari architecture shouldn’t be missed.

Changuu Island

STONE VILLAGE: Amazing Places To Visit In The Oldest City In Zanzibar

   
   

Also known as ‘Prison Island,’ this island can be reached on a short 20-minute boat ride from Stone Town. 

Changuu is home to dozens of giant tortoises, some of which are over 200 years old, and its sandy white beaches and crystal clear water make for some great swimming and snorkeling. 

History lovers can also visit some of the former cells that housed prisoners in the 19th century. 

   
   

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