Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania. It is also nicknamed as Spice Islands or Paradise islands, it is famous of its long white sand beaches, unique culture and rich history. It is a home to one of World Heritage Sites, a historic center - Stone Town, known locally as “Mji mkongwe (Old Town)”.
It forms one part of the Union Republic of Tanzania (the other one being Tanganyika also known as Tanzania mainland). It is composed of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 kilometers (16–31 mil) off the coast of the mainland, and consists of many small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, referred to informally as Zanzibar) and Pemba Island. The capital is Zanzibar City, located on Unguja island.
The following areas are very crucial, important, appealing and memorable places to visit in Zanzibar.
1. The House of Wonders or Palace of Wonders ( Beit-al-Ajaib). Ever heard of the shortest war in history? Well, it’s not actually the reason for the name (House of wonders) but adds up to its wonders. That was back in 27th August 1896 when Zanzibar fought England for 38 to 45 minutes marking the shortest war in history. The war destroyed Beit al Hukum and severely damaged Beit al Sahel palace which were also connected to the house of wonders but House of wonders was lightly affected.
It was named a house of wonders due to being the first building in East Africa to have electricity, an elevator and somehow later on due to its war survival.
It is a landmark building in Stone Town, Zanzibar. It is the largest and tallest building of Stone Town and occupies a prominent place facing the Forodhani Gardens on the old town's seafront, in Mizingani Road. It is located between the Old Fort and the Palace Museum (and former Sultan's Palace). It is one of six palaces built by Barghash bin Said, second Sultan of Zanzibar, and it is said to be located on the site of the 17th-century palace of Zanzibari queen Fatuma. The House of Wonders currently houses the Museum of History and Culture of Zanzibar and the Swahili Coast.
2. The Sultan's Palace. Bait As-Sahel was destroyed in the Anglo Zanzibar war of 1896, is one of the main historical buildings of Stone Town, Zanzibar. It is a 3-story building with merlon-decorated white walls, located in Mizingani Road, on the seafront, between the House of Wonders and the Old Dispensary.
The palace was built in late 19th century to serve as a residence for the Sultan's family. After the Zanzibar Revolution, in 1964 it was formally renamed to People's Palace and used as a government seat. In 1994, it became a museum about the Zanzibari royal family and history.
The church is located in Mkunazini Road, in the centre of the old town, and occupies a large area where the biggest slave market of Zanzibar used to be; the construction of the cathedral was in fact intended to celebrate the end of slavery. The altar is said to be in the exact place where the main "whipping post" of the market used to be. In the square there is a well-known monument to the slaves (a few human figures in chains emerging from a pit) as well as a museum on slavery.
4. The Darajani Market (or Bazaar).Looking for nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon black pepper and their cousins?!. then this where you should go!. It is also where you can find a lot of sea food meat, groceries and of course mingle with the locals.