Culture and History

Sultan’s palaces and mosques, bazaars and Hindu temples can be found next to each other in the tangled lanes of Stone Town, World Cultural Heritage site since 2000.


Zanzibar had a very central position for the main trade routes in the Indian Ocean. The meeting of cultures and promise of trade profits rarely went peacefully. As a result, the island can look back on a turbulent history. The Arabs, Portuguese and English have all left their mark here – in the architecture of Stone Town, in the language and cuisine.


Zanzibar has been a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania since 1964. The official languages are Swahili and English (Here a quick link to brush up your Swahili on the go). Almost all of the local inhabitants are Muslims.