From beaches to nightlife: All the best things to do in exotic Zanzibar

Seeker Editors

Imagine an island where the azure waves kiss powdery white sands, where the scent of spices lingers in the air, and the vibrant rhythm of local music beckons as the sun dips below the horizon. That's Zanzibar for you – an exotic slice of paradise off the coast of Tanzania, brimming with culture, beauty, and adventure. From soaking up the sun on postcard-perfect beaches to dancing the night away in buzzing beachfront bars, Zanzibar offers a treasure trove of experiences. Whether you're a history buff eager to explore the winding alleys of Stone Town, an ocean lover ready to dive into the crystal-clear waters, or a foodie looking to savor the fusion of flavors, this island has it all. Let's dive into the very best things to do in Zanzibar, where every moment is a chance to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Zanzibar Park, Darajani Bazaar, Peace Memorial Museum, Mwani Zanzibar (previous name Seaweed Center), Livingstone Beach Restaurant, Kichwele Forest Reserve, Cheetah's Rock, Baraza Resort and Spa Zanzibar, Park, Old Fort, Nungwi Marine Turtles Mnarani, Nakupenda island sandbank tours, Mtoni Palace Ruins, SISO SPICE FARM, The Rock Restaurant Zanzibar, Maruhubi Historical Sites, Kiwengwa Beach, Hamamni Persian Baths, Michamvi Sunset Bay, Uroa Bay Beach Resort

  • Zanzibar Park in Zanzibar, Tanzania

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  • Darajani Bazaar in Zanzibar, Tanzania

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      Darajani Bazaar offers a bustling and vibrant heart to Zanzibar's rich culture, drawing visitors away from the island's idyllic beaches to experience the local way of life. Amidst the maze of stalls, travelers can engage with friendly vendors, haggle over spices, textiles, and handcrafted items, and absorb the aromatic scents and lively sounds that define this authentic marketplace. This shopping haven is an essential stop to fully immerse oneself in the exotic allure of Zanzibar, complementing the tranquil beach days and lively nightlife.

  • Peace Memorial Museum in Zanzibar, Tanzania

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      Among the eclectic mix of experiences in exotic Zanzibar, the Peace Memorial Museum stands as a bastion of history and culture amidst the island's famed beaches and vibrant nightlife. This museum offers visitors a poignant glimpse into Zanzibar's past, from its colonial era to the birth of the nation — a stark and educational contrast to the island's more leisurely attractions. Exploring the Peace Memorial Museum is a must for those looking to enrich their understanding of Zanzibar's unique heritage while enjoying its stunning coastal and social delights.

  • Mwani Zanzibar (previous name Seaweed Center), Tanzania

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      Mwani Zanzibar, formerly known as Seaweed Center, offers a unique insight into the sustainable seaweed farming practices on the island, highlighting an important aspect of local industry and culture. Nestled in the village of Paje, it's a place for visitors to learn about seaweed's versatile uses and the empowering impact its trade has on the women in the community. Including a visit to Mwani Zanzibar in your itinerary adds an educational dimension to the exotic experiences of Zanzibar's picturesque beaches and vibrant nightlife.

  • Livingstone Beach Restaurant in Zanzibar, Tanzania

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  • Kichwele Forest Reserve, Tanzania

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  • Cheetah's Rock, Tanzania

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      Cheetah's Rock is a unique wildlife interaction experience that offers visitors to Zanzibar a chance to get up close with a variety of animals, including the namesake cheetahs, in an ethical and educational environment. Nestled within the island's lush landscapes, it's a must-visit for nature lovers and those interested in conservation. Adding to Zanzibar's exotic allure, Cheetah's Rock complements the serene beaches and vibrant nightlife, providing an insightful peek into the island's diverse offerings.

  • Baraza Resort and Spa Zanzibar, Tanzania

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  • Park in Zanzibar, Tanzania

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  • Old Fort in Zanzibar, Tanzania

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      The Old Fort, known locally as Ngome Kongwe, stands as a bastion of Zanzibar's rich history amidst the island's tropical allure. Located in Stone Town, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Zanzibar's historic center, this ancient edifice now hosts cultural events and markets, offering a unique glimpse into the past for visitors seeking more than just sun-soaked leisure. After a day lounging on Zanzibar's pristine beaches, exploring the Old Fort is an excellent way to dive into the island's diverse cultural tapestry before venturing into the vibrant nightlife scene.

  • Nungwi Marine Turtles Mnarani in Nungwi, Tanzania

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      The Nungwi Marine Turtles Mnarani offers a unique opportunity to engage with Zanzibar’s marine life, particularly its indigenous sea turtle population. As an important conservation effort, visitors can experience the beauty and diversity of the island's ecosystem by visiting this sanctuary, where they can learn about the preservation of these majestic creatures and even participate in turtle releases during certain times of the year. This initiative not only provides an educational excursion but also contributes to Zanzibar's appeal, complementing its scenic beaches and vibrant nightlife with meaningful ecological tourism.

  • Nakupenda island sandbank tours in Zanzibar, Tanzania

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      Nakupenda Island, a pristine sandbank just off Stone Town, offers a unique experience that adds to the allure of Zanzibar's exotic charms. Visitors can embark on a tour to revel in the sun-soaked, clear blue waters, where snorkeling amidst vibrant marine life becomes a memory to cherish. As part of Zanzibar's rich palette of attractions, Nakupenda provides a tranquil escape from the more bustling beach spots and a peaceful contrast to the island's lively nightlife.

  • Mtoni Palace Ruins in Zanzibar, Tanzania

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      While exploring the enticing island of Zanzibar, a visit to the Mtoni Palace Ruins offers a unique glimpse into the island's rich cultural history. Once a palatial residence in the 19th century, these remnants are a testament to the era of Sultan Seyyid Said, inviting travelers to contemplate the grandeur of the past amidst their vacation. This historical site adds depth to Zanzibar's diverse attractions, ranging from the idyllic beaches to the vibrant nightlife, making it a must-see for those interested in the island's royal heritage and Swahili architecture.

  • SISO SPICE FARM in Zanzibar, Tanzania

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  • The Rock Restaurant Zanzibar, Tanzania

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      The Rock Restaurant in Zanzibar is an iconic dining spot perched atop a rock in the Indian Ocean, offering mesmerizing 360-degree views of the surrounding turquoise waters. This unique location is not only a culinary journey, serving fresh seafood with a Swahili twist, but also a highlight of the island's offerings that blends perfectly with the exotic charm of Zanzibar. A visit to The Rock is a must-do to experience the fusion of breathtaking scenery and exquisite cuisine, adding to the diverse tapestry of activities ranging from sun-soaked beaches to vibrant nightlife that the island is celebrated for.

  • Maruhubi Historical Sites in Zanzibar, Tanzania

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      While exploring the exotic island of Zanzibar, beyond its stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife, don't miss the chance to delve into the island's rich history at the Maruhubi Historical Sites. Here lies the evocative remains of a 19th-century palace built by Sultan Barghash for his harem, offering a unique glimpse into Zanzibar's past Omani Sultanate era. The site, set against a backdrop of lush gardens and the azure Indian Ocean, provides a serene break from the buzz of beach activities and the island's energetic evening scenes.

  • Kiwengwa Beach in Kiwengwa, Tanzania

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      Kiwengwa Beach stands out as one of Zanzibar's quintessential destinations, offering visitors a chance to indulge in its powdery white sands and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Lined with swaying palms and resorts, it provides the perfect backdrop for sunbathing, water sports, or simply unwinding with the mesmerizing views of the Indian Ocean. After a day on this idyllic coast, travelers can explore the vibrant local nightlife, immersing themselves in the island's unique blend of African, Arabian, and Indian cultures.

  • Hamamni Persian Baths, Tanzania

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      Nestled within the winding alleys of Stone Town, the Hamamni Persian Baths are a historical treasure dating back to the 19th century, offering a glimpse into Zanzibar's rich cultural past. When exploring the eclectic mix of activities Zanzibar has to offer, from sun-soaked beaches to vibrant nightlife, these ancient baths provide a unique experience for those interested in the island's historical allure and an opportunity to imagine the indulgent lifestyle once enjoyed by its Swahili residents.

  • Michamvi Sunset Bay, Tanzania

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  • Uroa Bay Beach Resort, Tanzania

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      Uroa Bay Beach Resort is an ideal getaway for travelers looking to experience the serene beauty of Zanzibar's coastline. Set on the picturesque east coast of the island, the resort offers guests direct access to a stunning white sand beach and a tranquil turquoise sea. This tropical paradise is not just for beach lovers; after soaking up the sun, guests can explore the vibrant nightlife of Zanzibar, where they can immerse themselves in the local culture, music, and dance.