Wan­der around Stone Town

What's On (Abu Dhabi) - - TRAVEL // ZANZIBAR -

Nar­row, dusty al­ley­ways, rooftop tea houses, old palaces with or­nate wooden ve­ran­das – Stone Town isn’t Zanz­ibar’s busi­ness cen­tre, but it is the his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural heart of the is­land. It’s a pro­tected Unesco World Her­itage Site, too.

The 19th cen­tury neigh­bour­hood is fairly small so you can get around with­out a map (you’ll spit your­self out of an al­ley­way and on to the main coastal street if you wan­der around long enough any­way).

Pho­tog­ra­phers will love the worn yet ma­jes­tic mish­mash of ar­chi­tec­ture – the fact the Oma­nis ruled over the town for so long is clear from the dark wooden doors that welcome you into the white­washed and pas­tel build­ings.

Make sure to pick up some Tan­za­nian cho­co­late from one of the shops, as well as a piece of jew­ellery crafted from the light pur­ple stone that is Tan­zan­ite (you’ll pay a lot less in Stone Town than you will at the Gold & Di­a­mond Park in Dubai, even with­out hag­gling).

The other thing you’ll need to do to truly en­joy your time in Zanz­ibar, how­ever, is re­set your­self so that you’re on is­land time. Ser­vice here can be so re­laxed it’s per­plex­ing, so if you or­der an oc­to­pus curry for lunch from a Stone Town restau­rant, be pre­pared to wait a while. For a won­der­ful lunchtime spot, try Lazuli – an adorable lit­tle café in the heart of Stone Town that serves a mean smoothie and prop­erly fresh juices.

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