Wander around Stone Town
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.