Zanzibar resembles those island vacation dreams we all share. Coconut trees align the sandy white beaches, the blue waves breaking on the sand… Besides the great atmosphere of these islands, there are also fantastic hostels right on the beach perfect for digital nomads, traveling freelancers and students that can’t afford a five-star hotel.
Most of the hostels are walking distance from the restaurants and pubs that offer a vibrant nightlife. Here is a list of some of the best hostels in Zanzibar:
NEW Teddy’s Place
They always say you get what you pay for. And at New Teddy’s Place, for a small amount more than the other backpackers in Zanzibar, you do definitely get great value for your money. This hostel is located in Paje which is well known for its stunning beaches. It is an ideal spot for diving, surfing, snorkeling and fishing and the staff at New Teddy’s Place are always helpful in organizing tours and trips all over the island, including tours of the spice plantations, the slave trade posts and caves, the manjifiek beaches with its many coves and peaceful lagoons and many other places on the island.
New Teddy’s Place claims they have fast and reliable Wi-Fi so you can continue working or stay in touch with family and friends on the other side of the planet. Many different people come here to enjoy the beach and the free facilities this hostel has to offer, like beach volleyball and many others. The bungalows you will stay in are woven from palm leaves which is something you must experience at least once in your life. Besides the free Wi-Fi, games, great location and friendly staff, New Teddy’s Place also offers a yummy breakfast with every package deal. They do warn you though that Peja only has one ATM and it is sometimes out of order, so make sure to draw the money you need before you set off to the hostel – luckily they have card facilities available.
Drifters Backpackers is where you must go if you are looking for a vibrant party vibe. At Drifters Backpackers you will find travelers from around the world sitting in the beach-like bar, or swimming in the ocean-view swimming pool. This backpackers has a lot to offer including free Wi-Fi, games, fans for the humid heat during the night and much more. Located near Paje Beach, this is the perfect place to go if you want to take part in the many water activities found around this area like kite-surfing, snorkeling, diving, swimming in the warm Indian Ocean or just to relax on the golden beaches with its soft sands and African sun. The friendly staff will help organize these adventures for you and will be able to give you good advice on where to find the best deals with great value.
Drifters is not as expensive as other hostels with the same facilities because it is run by travelers for travelers. They understand your need for a safe, relaxing atmosphere on your travels. The staff will make you feel at home with their friendly smiles and tropical cocktails in the beach-like bar. Just a short walk from the backpackers, you will find a plethora of bars, restaurants and adventures just waiting to be explored.
10 to 10 Stone Town
Stone Town is probably the biggest attraction in Zanzibar with its windy streets and mixed architecture. 10 to 10 Stone Town is located in the center of Stone Town, walking distance from the beach, the ferry and many restaurants and pubs filled with vibrant people. The hostel is also near the ferry terminal which makes it easy to find if you are travelling on a budget from Dar es Salaam, or if you’d like to go visit Dar es Salaam in Tanzania for a day.
The rooms are spacious and they all have shared bathrooms with hot showers. There is Wi-Fi on the property which makes it ideal for travel writers and digital nomads. With its location so close to the beach, there is sure to be a great restaurant or two or even a jolting beach party in the area.
People from all over the world enjoy the free game facilities and the common room which is ideal if you want to meet new people and make friends on this tropical island. 10 to 10 Stone Town is also well-known for its safety with lockers and an enclosed common room area for its guests.
Lost & Found – Zanzibar Hostel
Close to the airport, and at the center of Stone Town, Lost & Found offers you great value for money. The hostel is walking distance from the ferry, easily accessible for travelers who would like to go to one of the other islands or a day trip to Dar es Salaam. Lost & Found is close to many historic places including the Shangani Post Office and the house where Freddie Mercury grew up. The friendly staff will point you in the direction of whatever you would like to go explore.
The rooms are clean and include a bathroom with hot showers. There is also AC in the rooms, which is a must-have on this tropical island. Perfect for freelancers and digital nomads, this hostel offers free internet access and Wi-Fi. Though the location is great once you are there, it is a bit of a walk from the airport, but luckily Lost & Found offers a cheap shuttle service that can pick you up from the airport at a low cost, lower than the local taxis.
Kipepeo Backpackers, Nungwi, Zanzibar
If your aim is to get away from the busy tourist spots and you are traveling on a tight budget, this is the perfect hostel for you. Nungwi is a small town on the North Eastern side of Zanzibar and is renowned for the best beaches in Zanzibar. This hostel might not be a five-star hotel, but the staff is friendly and look out for your best interest, and the rooms are cozy with warm showers.
Kipepeo Backpackers offers natural built huts to sleep in and free Wi-Fi. This backpackers is ideal for lone travelers trying to escape the busier areas of Zanzibar. A bit off the beaten track, you will enjoy the natural surroundings of this backpackers. With no bustling of busy crowds, streets filled with cars or confused tourists trying to communicate, you can relax safely here where the mornings are filled with birdsongs and all you hear at night are the rustling of leaves and crickets chirping away in the distance.
Amira’s Roomz is centrally located near Zanzibar airport which makes it perfect for short stays or a quick stop-over on your travels through these tropical islands. Amira’s has two options available as a hotel or a pleasant hostel with free Wi-Fi and other amenities that you might need on your travels. The accommodation is not too expensive, clean and has a great atmosphere for international travelers who would like to get to know the local communities in the area. It is a short distance away from Stone Town, but not in the tourist center of Zanzibar.
Amira’s Roomz has a great outdoors and indoors common area with a colorful mosaic floor and relaxing facilities where you can easily make friends and meet people with extraordinary stories and backgrounds. They offer a shuttle service to and from the airport if you arrange this with them. Their rooms are clean and safe and you can have a hot shower in their hygienic bathrooms.
So whether you are looking for cheap accommodation near the tourist hubs, or a quieter place on the East coast of Zanzibar Island, there is lots to choose from when it comes to affordable places to stay for traveling freelancers and digital nomads. The best hostels in Zanzibar all have free Wi-Fi, nice warm showers, friendly staff and access to great destinations like the Old Stone Town, historical buildings, excellent beaches and restaurants and pubs ideal for young travelers that want to meet like-minded people from all over the world.
Ask the staff or other travelers about great deals on adventures such as surfing, diving, snorkeling, best swimming spots or deep-sea fishing. Or find a friendly guide to show you the wonders of Stone Town, the tunnels where slaves escaped being sold off, or the tours of the spice plantations which Zanzibar is so well known for.
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