Information / Shopping
On A Shopping Spree
No matter what your budget is, shopping in Zanzibar City is for everyone and should not be skipped. Zanzibar City is known for its relaxed shopping experiences and locally manufactured goods among the many other things. You are sure to find something for your loved ones from an array of items on display, ranging from Masai beaded jewels to kikoy bathrobes and local crafts including wooden cravings, doors and ornate frames.
There are a plethora of options for shoppers and thus where to shop in Zanzibar City can become tricky. Some tips, however, might come in handy.
Stone Town is the best souvenir shopping destination for travelers. There are a number of bazaars on its narrow streets to give you, a unique shopping experience. From beautiful textiles to handmade jewelry, from intricate wood and stone carvings to spices and knick-knacks, you are sure to find everything at these narrow lanes of the iconic Stone Town that would remind you of the beautiful city you have just left behind. It also has a wide array of local crafts like chess sets, batik, statues, and masks. If you are good at bargaining, you should definitely pay a visit to the extensive markets here.
Moto and Dada Shop
Moto and Dada Shop sells products from a handicraft cooperative named Moto that supports the rural economy of the island by selling hats, mats, baskets, bags, and goods made from palm leaves, Ukili.
Zanzibar Curio Shop
Zanzibar Curio Shop is a wonderland of crafts, souvenirs, and gifts. The term ‘Aladdin’s cave’ can never feel overused here. Some antiques will elate your heart and you will find yourself mesmerized by the number of items you browse and buy within a short span of time. For those with lesser developed skills of bargaining, visit this fair trade shop.
Cultural Arts Centre
With much focus on great quality and uniqueness, the Cultural Arts Centre in Zanzibar City is a systematized set up of Hamad and other dedicated local artists. It gives a little detour from a regular shopping experience in Zanzibar’s sale of tinga-tinga art and wooden figurines. The place is perfect for painting lovers of contemporary as well as traditional styles, soaps, candles, and craft wares produced by cooperatives of Zanzibar city.
Upendo means love
Zanzibar City is perhaps the only place in the world which can make the shopping experience fun with a twist of a social cause. The city is predominantly populated by the people of Muslim faith with Christians being the minority community. Upendo means love has understood the differences that this gap could create and has addressed this problem with its stylish boutiques and through its sewing schools. The result gives funky fabrics used in producing fashionable ladies’ and children’s summer wear, not to mention economic independence and friendships and harmony among different cultures and faith. The Danish students learning fashion ensure that the place stays trendy and chic according to the current styles. Though the shop has its store opposite the famous Zanzibar Coffee house, you can also order its products online.
The cushions and coverlets in Sasik are the exemplary work of Saada Abdullah Suleiman and her team of forty-five Zanzibari women adept in intricate vegetal designs, typical of Arabian and Swahili patterns. Many of these intricate styles have developed in the carved wooden doors around the iconic Stone and can either be purchased right off the shelf.
You can also start shopping in the Zanzibar City right after you get off the plane at the Airport Shops selling affordable items like oil, soaps, vanilla pods, and also textiles. Alternatively, those who do not have much time to explore the city can find these Airport Shops worth the visit.