5 Best Places to Stay in Zanzibar

Widely known as one of the best destinations in the world, Zanzibar is gradually becoming the favorite of many tourists. Zanzibar island on the Indian Ocean is known for its exotic beaches and spice plantations, as well as its rich culture and history.

Even though Zanzibar is an island of its own, it is considered a part of Tanzania and shares in the history and cultural spice of the Tanzanian people. This breathtaking spot could be one of the most exciting places to spend your upcoming holiday.

Of course, you might decide to escape from the world on your own and enjoy the tranquility and peace the island offers or organize a getaway with your immediate family. If you wish, you can invite other family members and, of course, friends.

However, these are only a few of the many vacations that bring people to this spicy island. According to previous stats, most people who have visited Zanzibar are couples or lovers who crave quality and private time to grow feelings for one another.

Since the numbers keep increasing, it can only tell how perfect the island is, irrespective of what brings you there. However, your experience at Zanzibar largely depends on the quality of where you stay during your vacation. Do you need help with the best place to stay in Zanzibar? Kindly read on.

List of Best Places and Hotels to stay in Zanzibar

1. Stone Town

Also known as Mji Mkongwe (Swahili for “Old Town”), Stone Town is one of the most popular places in Zanzibar. This part of the island is rich in the history and culture of the Tanzanian people dating back many years. You’d find old mosques, bazaars, colonial buildings, and other historical attractions here.

Stone Town’s history as a trading post explains its European, Arabic, Indian and Swahili influences, which are evident upon arrival. Some of the popular landmarks at Stone Town include the St Joseph’s Cathedral, dating back to the late 19th century, said to be built by French missionaries on the island.

Other ancient attractions include the Palace of Wonders and the Art Deco Style of the Cine Afrique, to mention a few. There is also the Old Fort, which stands as the oldest building in this part of Zanzibar, constructed in 1699. Just like I said, Stone Town is rich in history and culture.

In addition, Stone Town offers easy access in and out of the region, thanks to the ferry port to Dar el Salaam. Another thing to enjoy during your stay at Stone Town is the range of low- to high-budget exotic hotels. Let’s see some of them.

Hotels in Stone Town

  • Park Hyatt Zanzibar
  • Tembo House Hotel
  • Al-Minar Hotel
  • Mizingani Seafront Hotel


2. Nungwi

Nungwi is probably one of the largest villages in Zanzibar by land mass and population. It is home to many Tanzanians who reside on the island and is also a popular destination for tourists worldwide. Located on the northernmost tip of the Unguja, there’s a lot to see here too.

Firstly, Nungwi is appreciated and sought mostly by tourists who crave bustling areas, especially vibrant nightlife. Trust me, Nungwi offers this and is well known for it. The village, which also qualifies as a tourist resort in Zanzibar, features one of the best beaches in the world.

Formerly, Nungwi was primarily known as a fishing village but has developed over the years, which is also a reason for its increasing visits and improved tourism. Aside from the main beach at the resort, there are many other amenities besides the beach for guests to explore. Let’s see some of them.

Tourists can visit the Baraka Aquarium for sightseeing, kitesurfing at Ras Nungwi Beach, or check out some of the best scuba diving spots in the village. In addition, Nungwi offers several accommodation options, from beach bungalows to luxurious resorts. Time to check a few of them out.

Hotels in Nungwi

  • Z Hotel Zanzibar
  • Hotel Riu Palace Zanzibar
  • Hotel Riu Jambo


3. Jambiani

Unlike the other areas mentioned previously, Jambiani is located on the main island of Zanzibar, Unguja. Its location offers quite several benefits, especially the ease of accessibility to other parts of the island. Also, its central location makes it very popular in Zanzibar.

However, Jambiani is close to the southeast coast and is well known for its turquoise blue waters and white beach sands. This old fishing village is ideal for relaxation, especially for travelers who enjoy being alone. If you also wish to get along with the locals, Jambiani is perfect for you too.

Jambiani wasn’t so popular until recently when it started seeing developments and the provision of tourist amenities. There is something unique about this portion of Zanzibar, which you easily detect even from its atmosphere. Trust me; you should get to witness this yourself.

Furthermore, Jambiani offers a wide range of accommodation options, from basic to luxury. The village features several restaurants serving a variety of delicacies; make sure to try one on your visit to Jambiani. Let’s see some of the popular hotels in the village.

Hotels in Jambiani

  • Ifa Beach Resort
  • Blue Moon Resort
  • Nur Beach Hotel
  • Sharazad Boutique Hotel


4. Paje

Don’t be surprised when you find out that most of Zanzibar’s settlements are somehow affiliated with fishing. Well, Paje is another popular fishing village in Zanzibar but is smaller than the previously mentioned on this list. It is located on the southeast coast of Zanzibar.

Paje is famous for its gently swaying palm trees, picturesque turquoise waters, and soft white sands, perfect for a tranquil day on the beach. In short, if you are particular about spending quality time on the beach, you should weigh Paje among your many options in Zanzibar, thanks to its long stretch of sand.

In addition, this small fishing village offers several restaurants where you can get different kinds of delicacies. Of course, you’d always find something for yourself and whoever comes on this trip with you. The restaurants are places on the beach, allowing you to eat with your toes dug into the fine sands.

What are other things to enjoy in Paje? Scuba diving! Scuba diving is one of the many attractions in Paje and brings people from different parts of the island, allowing you to explore eels, turtles, starfish, and other endangered marine life in the depths of the sea.

Hotels in Paje

  • Kisiwa On The Beach
  • Hakuna Majiwe Beach Lodge
  • Paje by Night Hotel
  • Dhow Inn Boutique Hotel Zanzibar


5. Matemwe

Who else loves the feeling solitude brings? I bet I’m not the only one. For tourists and guests who crave private time, either alone or with that one special person, Matemwe is probably the best place to be in Zanzibar. Of course, there are other reasons for you to be here. Let’s find out.

Matemwe is located on the east coast of Zanzibar’s main island, Ugunja, and is known for its seclusion even with its appealing expansive coastline. The lack of tourists here makes it an ideal place to spend precious moments like weddings, vacations, honeymoons, etc.

In addition, the village of Matemwe is popular for its wide range of accommodation. There are luxurious lodges, beach bungalows, and other options from which you can choose. If you are on a strict budget, Matemwe is probably the best place in Zanzibar to be for your vacation.

In as much as there are various accommodation options to help you save, there is also a handful of luxury resorts, too. Furthermore, the village boasts an attraction, Mnemba Island, which is quite popular for its breathtaking undersea landscape.

Hotels in Matemwe

  • Zanzibar Queen Hotel
  • Kena Beach Hotel
  • Zanzibar Pearl Boutique Hotel & Villas
  • Villa Kiva Boutique Hotel
  • Mambo Beach Villas


Final Words

After reading all of these, I believe you are getting your bags and tickets ready for your next vacation to Zanzibar. If you visit the island for the first time, be assured you wouldn’t have any problem getting around. Locals are quite friendly and will help you when you need one.

While you stay at any of the places in this article, you can take your time to check out a few tourist attractions around the area. Most of these attractions are just a few minutes away, so you don’t have to go far away. I hope this piece helps plan the best location for you in Zanzibar.