Stone Town

Like in a time machine


About Stone Town

The “House of Wonders” was the first building in Zanzibar to have electric lights (even before London!) and running water. Wonders are what we now call commodities.

Freddie Mercury was born in 1946 in Stone Town where he spent his childhood. There is nothing more than a touristic restaurant to remember the Queen’s leader . The birth house has been transformed into a warehouse. Freddie was reneged from his homeland – predominantly Muslim – for his homosexuality and the shame of AIDS.

The buildings of the Stone Town, executed principally in coralline ragstone and mangrove timber, reflect a complex fusion of Swahili, Indian, Arab and European influences.

The elaborate artwork of the beautiful carved doors typically signified the aspirations or social status of their owners.


Tips for you

Explore the town with a 2 hours tour with a local guide: you will not regret it. You will get a lot of info you cannot find in the books.

If walking in the night be aware that in most of the alleys there is no light. Being in the dark can be a bit scaring: use your mobile phone torch and watch out your steps. Stone Town is a safe city.

Get ready to negotiate prices for everything but restaurants. It’s a bit frustrating but it’s part of their culture.


A step towards freedom

Today the location of the former slave market is one of the most popular sites in Stone Town, receiving over 100,000 visitors per year.
The market was closed on the orders of the sultan in 1873 and in 1879 the nearby Anglican Cathedral was built. The cathedral is notable for its Saracenic design, which created a quintessentially Zanzibari eclecticism by fusing elements from Zanzibar and the Middle East with late Victorian Gothic and Arts and Crafts decorative motifs.

Visiting the market is an opportunity to reaffirm the principles behind the abolition of slavery and to celebrate diversity and tolerance.

House of Wonders (Baital Ajaib)
The Old Dispensery
The former Slave Market
Old Fort
Forodhani park
Freddy Mercury’s house
Slave Chambers
Hamamni Persian Baths

Ocean Grill $
Stone Town Cafe $
Taperia (The Post) $$
Monsoon Restaurant $$
House of Spices $$
Hakuna Majiwe $$
Lukmaan Restaurant $$$
Emerson Tea House Restaurant $$$
Street food and local markets!

Travellers Cafe $
6 degrees south $$
Africa House Hotel $$
Emerson Spice $$$


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