Cocktails with a view at Maru Maru hotel, Stone Town, Zanzibar

Laura’s Travel Notes: Rooftop Cocktails in Stone Town, Zanzibar

A stylish sundowner at locals’ favourite Maru Maru is the perfect way to end a long, hot day in Zanzibar’s ancient capital. Caipirinhas all round…

Cocktails on the terrace, Maru Maru

A bar with a view: Sunset cocktails overlooking Stone Town, Zanzibar, on Maru Maru hotel’s rooftop (Photo: Laura Mannering)

Laura Mannering, Editor, World Out There travel blogAbout the author: Hello! I’m Laura Mannering and I’m Editor of World Out There. Laura’s Travel Notes is the part of the blog where I put my briefer travel tips and thoughts – colourful snack-size travel bites to inspire you.



At the end of a hot day wandering the historic winding laneways of Zanzibar’s Stone Town, a cocktail is in order – and for a well-mixed drink with beautiful panoramic views, in-the-know locals head up to the rooftop bar at Maru Maru.

A 44-room boutique hotel, it lies a couple of minutes from the sturdy crenellated tower of the town’s fort, not far from the sea front, and attracts a good-looking international crowd to its open-air terrace as the sun goes down. Plenty of people from all over the world have made Stone Town their home and this is one of their favourite hang-outs.

Prices are hiked high for tourists in Zanzibar, so Maru Maru’s 5,000 shilling (GBP2.00) happy hour cocktails are a comparative snip – especially given the location. The rooftop is expansive with comfortable, large cushioned chairs, and the service is friendly and quick.

From above, Stone Town – the old quarter of the island’s capital, Zanzibar Town - is a jagged patchwork of tin roofs, minarets and spires with the Indian Ocean still and blue in the distance.


Cocktails, Maru Maru hotel, Stone Town, Zanzibar

That’ll do nicely: Enjoying my caipirinha at dusk on the terrace at Maru Maru (Photo: Laura Mannering)


Our mojitos and caipirinhas were cool, refreshing and slipped down far too easily. The margaritas looked better than they tasted, with over-generous amounts of salt encrusting the glass, but we needed to replace what we’d sweated out during the day in any case…

As happy hour ended and we made our way to dinner, a live band was starting up and the rooftop was full – a great place to start or spend an evening in Stone Town.

Maru Maru, Gizenga St, Stone Town, Tanzania. Tel: +255 24 223 8516. Happy hour 4pm-7pm.

If you liked this post, check out our guide to Sydney’s best cocktail bars.

One Response to Laura’s Travel Notes: Rooftop Cocktails in Stone Town, Zanzibar

  1. Just came across your story. Nice… We’ll be travelling to Zanzibar soon at the end of our African safari. Look forward to sipping rooftop cocktails in Stone Town too! And sharing our travel tales in magazines and on our site as well…

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Welcome to World Out There!
I'm Laura Mannering a journalist and dedicated travel blogger. I set up World Out There to share insider tips from my own travels, and from in-the-know local experts all over the world. No more goofy tourist. A little local knowledge goes a long way...
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