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

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Visitor rating
  • 37
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    Very good
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  • 32
Closed for Renovation

The place has a great History and it is a beautiful huge building. It is closed for renovation but you can enter if you bribe the guards , but they tend to break it down faster... read more

3 of 5 bubblesReviewed 9 January 2017

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480 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 302: English reviews
Bratislava, Slovakia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW 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!

Thank JMcDonnell
Multan, Pakistan
Level Contributor
163 reviews
156 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

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 

Thank Tassaduqhussain51
Maur, Switzerland
Level Contributor
120 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

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

Thank Joachim O
Cape Town, South Africa
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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 

Thank Mareli V
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
521 reviews
287 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 199 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

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.

Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
120 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

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.

Thank goldsb
Level Contributor
30 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago 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

Thank Loes M
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Suffering years of neglect. Its supposed to be closed but was open when we visited. Has potential but only if money is spent on it. Could be an amazing hotel. Was the first place in Tanz to have an elevator.

Thank TheTrailingSpouse
Level Contributor
50 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2017

The place has a great History and it is a beautiful huge building. It is closed for renovation but you can enter if you bribe the guards , but they tend to break it down faster than the people can renovate.

Thank Rudovh
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2017 via mobile

It's great they have tried to save this building, but the displays are poorly out together, covered in dust, have no working lights, etc. There is so much potential to display some of the amazing history this island has to offer, but it really wasn't worth the admission price.

Thank Sara H

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?