24 Hours In Stone Town, Zanzibar

Known globally as the spice islands, Zanzibar boasts of food markets, ancient alleyways beaming with life and unspoiled beaches. Here’s how to make the most of the day in Stone Town, Zanzibar’s capital.


Kofi Dotse

8/15/20232 min read

man in white long sleeve shirt and brown pants standing in front of store during daytime
man in white long sleeve shirt and brown pants standing in front of store during daytime

9: 00 AM

Wake up to the smell of brewing cardamom tea and enjoy the view of the Stone Town harbour, whilst listening to the sounds of bustling street life. Take a walk on the beach and you’ll see the majestic dhows and fishing boats sitting calmly on fine beach sand. Whilst strolling back from your mini excursion, you’ll hear some soothing music coming from the cultural centre, a few blocks away from Mizingani Seafront Hotel. Sit down to a delicious East African breakfast spread of spiced tea, sausages, omelettes, and some samosas.

11:00 AM

Immerse yourself in the history and spirit of Zanzibar as you explore the Prison island. Known as Changuu (Swahili word for fish) , Prison Island is located 5.6Km NorthWest of Stone Town. The island was deserted in 1860 and was used to keep rebellious slaves. Prison island is accessible by boat and it takes 25 minutes to travel from Stone Town. A trip to the island costs between $30 - $45. The boats are operated by local boat owners and you can bargain that price.

12:30 PM

Take a lunch break and indulge your taste buds. Stone Town boasts of a variety of food spots owing to its rich multicultural history. Visit Sunset Bar and restaurant at the Africa House and have a delicious lunch at the terrace while you savour the views. Visit the lush and verdant Emerson Secret Garden, which is an ideal spot to have a quiet romantic dinner or lunch. The garden is tucked away in a rustic building which was used as an Indian merchant palace

2:30 PM

Time for some shopping? There are so many souvenir shops scattered across Stone Town. Walk through the ancient alleyways and you could find something worth buying. Visit the Darajani market or Bazaar which is the central market in Stone Town. You will find spices, teas, figurines, art and many other souvenirs.


Head for a dhow cruise in one of the majestic dhows of Stone Town and enjoy traditional drumming and dancing whilst watching the legendary sunset. Finally, head to the Forodhani Gardens, which is Stone Town’s biggest night market. Bring on your bargaining spirit and taste buds as you embark on a food adventure. With a budget of $10, you can enjoy a variety of delicious food from Pizzas, Pilau (spiced rice), meat barbecue and try cold pressed Stone Town sugar cane juice.

While there are a ton of things to do in Zanzibar, Stone Town serves as the center of everything on the island. Check out my instagram for other exciting things to do in Zanzibar. I curate and plan travel experiences for couples and individuals looking to explore Africa. Send me an email if you're planning to visit.