The historic area of Zanzibar known as Stone Town is the oldest part of the island and a popular destination for visitors to this East African gem. Each morning, travelers are greeted with the call to prayer, which rings out above the city streets well before the sun rises. Visitors can watch both men and women wind through the streets on their way to worship.
Because the streets of Stone Town are mostly narrow passes—too tight for cars, and in some cases, even motorcycles—it’s best to explore this historic district on foot. Travelers can head south from the Ferry Terminal and stop at the House of Wonders, a ceremonial palace that today houses an extensive collection of historic and cultural artifacts. The Old Fort is connected to this must-see stop and its information desk is full of helpful guides for travelers looking to explore.
It’s possible to catch local artists performing on the surrounding streets, but visitors agree it’s worthwhile to purchase tickets for a more formalized show at the open-air theater. Just beyond the fort lies the Forodhanie Gardens, which were planted as homage to Sultan Khalifa. While truly beautiful by day, they’re most popular after the sun goes down. That’s when energetic locals set up shop for a popular night market where travelers can find savory dishes, roasted meats and other freshly made foods to sample under the stars.