Let your hair down, feel the music, grab a drink and let Zanzibar’s nightlife take you on one of the most epic nights of your life! So bookmark this blog, book your ticket and let the fun begin.
See also: Where to stay in Zanzibar
The truth is that the bars in Zanzibar are not what you might know better from back home. Given British colonial influences and Muslim culture, most of Zanzibar’s nightlife centers around the sundowner tradition. You don’t have to wait until night falls before the fun begins.
The culture is very big once the sun goes down, the lights come on, the music is on and so is your mood! You’ll surprisingly find that things settle down a little after midnight, which makes sense as sundowners start fairly early. Don’t let that stop you from visiting this incredible island though, as there is still one great scene to dance to and drinks.
Stone Town, the island’s urban heart, offers the best options for a night on the town. Nungwi on the northern tip and Jambiani and Paje on the east coast also have popular bars and beach clubs.
Here are some of the perennial favorites among tourists and locals alike:
Stone Town nightlife
Some of Zanzibar’s most vibrant nightlife can be found in Stone Town! This is definitely one of the best places to have a few drinks, enjoy the view and unwind after a long day.
See also: The best markets in Stone Town, Zanzibar
6 degrees south
This Shanghai Street cafe gets high marks for its 5pm-7pm weekday and Friday night happy hour, which features live Afro-jazz and a themed disco. This way you get cheaper drinks and some of the best entertainment. What more do you want?
Address: Plot 60, Waterfront, Shangani St, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Located near the State University of Zanzibar, the Dharma Lounge is a natural focal point for college students and students younger international audience who are looking for a modern club where they can dance until the early hours on a large dance floor. Give the youth a race for their money and show them how it’s done!
Address: Mkunazini St, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Get ready for a little dancing at this eclectic (and air-conditioned!) disco featuring house, hip-hop, reggae and Afro-European pop; the club rocks on weekend evenings until sunrise and is therefore the most popular disco in Stone Town. Look for the black and white zebra striped walls across the street from Starehe Club.
Address: stone cityZanzibar, Tanzania
On those Saturdays that fall during or near a full moon, the Kendwa Rocks Beach Hotel hosts its famous full moon party, right on the white sandy beach, for music and dancing under the stars. The rest of the month, Monday through Saturday, partygoers can dance the night away at the hotel’s lounge bar, The Rocks.
Star Marriage Club
This chill nightclub is very popular among the Zanzibaris, which makes it a great place for visitors who want to meet and mingle chat with locals. Tranquil ambiance and a great location on the balcony overlooking the bay make Starehe Club the spot for a quiet evening on the town.
Address: Shangani StrZanzibar, Tanzania
Plenty of seating, a pool table, good food, and a well-stocked bar make this restaurant and lounge one popular meeting point in the evening for visitors and locals alike. Sweet Easy claims to have the best beer selection in town, with a wide selection of beers from around the world.
If you’re looking for after-dark fun but want to avoid the usual clubs and pubs, try a detour to Forodhani Gardens. The street market comes alive at night with artists, food stalls and vendors. Don’t forget to bring a picnic blanket and get there early to find a great spot on the grass. A lively scene for people watching, this coastal park is the ideal place for visitors and locals alike. Spending an evening at Fordhani Gardens really gives you a sense of the local community.
Address: stone cityZanzibar, Tanzania
On the beach, Gerry’s gets high marks for its friendly staff and relaxed atmosphere. Although it’s a bit further down the beach than other beach bars in Nungwi, visitors say it’s worth the trek. Described as an “excellent place to relax” by a TripAdvisor fan, Gerry’s enjoys a perfect waterfront location in Nungwi Beach. Be sure to arrive early to catch the sunset.
Cholos disco bar
Cholo’s is right on the sand party central on Nungwi beach which attracts a more mature crowd of over 30s drinking and dancing. If you are looking for great food, a fun atmosphere, good drinks, music and crashing waves in the background, go to Cholo’s; previous visitors say you’re in for a very entertaining evening.
Paje at night
The beach bar at Paje by Night Hotel is a fun place for tourists and is held regularly Theme parties for the brave, such as glow in the dark and bubble bath jacuzzi parties. With lots of dancing and cold beers, this is a come-as-you-are kind of bar, perfect after a day at the beach or kitesurfing.
Red Monkey Lodge
Typically a quiet bar on Jambiani beach, Red Monkey Lodge hosts a weekly Monday Blues big hit with locals and visitors alike.
From casual beach parties to nightclubs and performing arts to people watching, Zanzibar offers a wealth of nightly entertainment to suit all tastes.
The Star Hotel
This local hotspot has everything you need for a perfect night out. This spit has an impressive bar, a large common lounge area and a beautiful garden. There is also evening entertainment so you can dance the night away!
Apart from the great nightlife of Zanzibar…
Now that your evening plans are sorted, look forward to one action-packed quad tour through remote African villages and explore the beautiful countryside.
Or why not look into the planning a Sailing adventures on the spice island of Zanzibar During the day explore the islands, go parasailing, join a guided jet ski tour or go all out and book in Zanzibar full day excursion.
You can also go to Mafia Island in Tanzania, it is only a 30 minute flight south of Zanzibar. Also check out the other day trips from Zanzibar.