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Address: Mizingani Rd, Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
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USD 54.00*
and up
Stone Town and Prison Island Half-Day Tour from Zanzibar
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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    Terrible
Sad neglected building

The tour guide explained the history of the building but you weren't allowed iin, even though the doors were open. In desperate need of renovation. Some of the homeless were... read more

2 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago
Barb L
via mobile

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486 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 305: English reviews
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The tour guide explained the history of the building but you weren't allowed iin, even though the doors were open. In desperate need of renovation. Some of the homeless were sleeping on the verandah, so at least they had a roof over their head.

Helpful?
1 Thank Barb L
Belgrade, Serbia
Level Contributor
1,122 reviews
951 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 751 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This edifice is certainly the most imposing bldg of Zanzibar. It dominates the skyline and is easily seen from sea when returning from Prison island. It was the ceremonial palace of the second Omani sultan, son of the first one who built the palace which is now Palace museum (200 m ahead). It is called House of wonders because it... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank B1714D
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

It sounded very lavish for its day (1883) and amazing with interesting historic displays. "The grandest structure in Zanzibar" according to the latest Lonely Planet Tanzania. However, Lonely Planet also says it has been closed since 2012 until further notice. Because of neglect it is unsafe. It was certainly still closed when we there last month (Feb 2017)

Helpful?
Thank CarolynL23
Bratislava, Slovakia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We just walked in and wanted to take a look around. But the tour guide Ali Joseph made such a difference - he told us so many interesting stories about Zanzibar history. He was one of the best guides we've ever had anywhere. We really enjoyed it!

Helpful?
Thank JMcDonnell
Multan, Pakistan
Level Contributor
179 reviews
172 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2017

The House of Wonders, called Beit al-Ajaib in Arabic, is an old style magnificent and imposing building of 19th century, built around 1883 as ceremonial palace for Sultan Barghash bin Said, the second Sultan of Zanzibar (then called Zanjibar). It was called House of Wonders because it was the first building in East Africa to have electricity and an elevator.... More 

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Thank Tassaduqhussain51
Maur, Switzerland
Level Contributor
120 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2017

The building is very representative with its circaling balconies. It has a prominant posicion close to the shore. We visited only the exterior.

Helpful?
Thank Joachim O
Cape Town, South Africa
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2017

The House of Wonders is very badly dilapidated - it was raining the day we visited and the roof was leaking, creating big puddles of water inside the "museum" which is not being maintained at all! It was very sad to see how this historic building was being neglected. Our tour guide (the next day) also told us that parts... More 

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1 Thank Mareli V
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
521 reviews
287 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 205 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 February 2017

I wonder how it is still standing... Of the 3 wonders - electricity, water closets and an elevator only the electricity work these days, but back in the days it was the first of its kind in East Africa. Looking at it, I only see a building in need af remodeling.

Helpful?
1 Thank LPHDK
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
124 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 January 2017

Not allowed in or around the grounds our guide said. This House has a lot of history ( first electricity in Zanzibar). It's colonial style construction, on that scale, is in my travelling experience quite unique. It is certainly worth seeing from the outside. Like a lot of buildings in Zanzibar it needs urgent attention as the balconies are collapsing.

Helpful?
1 Thank goldsb
Level Contributor
30 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 January 2017 via mobile

Sorry didnt like this place. There's not much to see and the place is dusty and dirty. The entrance fee is way to much for what you get. I wouldnt recommend going

Helpful?
1 Thank Loes M

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