Costs & spending

Is Zanzibar expensive?

If you want to travel to this exotic island off the coast of Tanzania, you must be wondering ‘Is Zanzibar expensive?’ Of course, we all know the stories of paradise islands’ prices skyrocketing. To reassure you right away: that is not the case on Zanzibar. However, make no mistake, it is certainly not a bargain destination either.

On this page you can see the approximate costs you can expect on Zanzibar. Then you can form your own idea of prices on the island based on this.

Prices Zanzibar

Over the past 10 years, the number of tourists on Zanzibar has increased exponentially. Unfortunately, this also means that prices have not stood still. Therefore, do not expect an extremely cheap holiday, but think of prices that are just a bit lower than in Western countries.

Hotel Zanzibar

According to a well-known hotel site, these are the average prices for hotels on Zanzibar: a three-star hotel will cost you on average £100 per night and a four-star hotel just over £150. This immediately makes prices on the island seem shockingly high.

However, there are already fine mid-range hotels on Zanzibar, with good reviews from travellers and at a distance from the beach available for around £50 per night. For a hostel you will pay around £20 per night .

Check out a breakdown of costs on Zanzibar by type of accommodation per night below. These are averages and outliers both up and down are not included.

Hostel£15 – 25
3 star hotel£40 – 100
4 star hotel£60 – 150
Resort£100 – €250

Tip: Book a fully inclusive 7-day trip to Zanzibar Town now from €963. Don’t miss out!

Cost of Food & drinks

Eating and drinking on Zanzibar is relatively expensive. You pay slightly less for a beer or a coffee than in the U.K. If you want to eat a western meal, in some cases you’ll spend about the same as here.

Beer (0.33 liter)£2.00
Western meal£8 – 14
Meal in McDonalds£5

Depending on whether you’re travelling low budget or have to watch your budget a little less, you could say you’ll spend between £12 and £35 on food and drinks in a day. If you have lunch and dinner out. Of course, you can go as crazy as you like. This is just an average.

Prices and cost of food

Costs for a fully organised trip to Zanzibar

To travel to Zanzibar, you should expect to pay between £500 and £650 per ticket. And as you can read above, a hotel will soon cost you £40 per night. So it is often much cheaper to book a fully organised trip. This costs between £700 and £1400 for a 9-day trip. This includes flight costs, a beautiful resort (which usually costs around £100 per night) and often your food as well. Check out the range of fully organised trips here.

Visa costs

Don’t forget that you’ll also need a visa for Zanzibar. This costs USD $50 (about 39,50 GBP)

Types of VisaCost in dollar (USD)
Ordinary Visa$ 50 (about 39,50 GBP)
Multiple entry Visa$ 100
Business Visa$ 250
Student Visa$ 50 (Single 3 months)
$ 250 (Multiple 1 year)
$ 300 (Research 6 months-multiple)
$ 250 (Phd Student 1 year-multiple)
Transit Visa$ 30

Want to know how to apply & more? Then read all about it in the page: visa Zanzibar.

In short: Is Zanzibar expensive?

So the answer to the question Is Zanzibar expensive: that depends on how you look at it. It is not as extremely expensive as tropical islands like … But at the same time, prices are not very much lower than here. And so you could say it’s not a cheap island either.

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3 thoughts on “Costs & spending”

  1. When was this written? The hotel prices quoted are very reasonable. Same for the food & beverage. $3.00 USD for beer, cheap.

    Furthermore, in the quote for 9 day trip, the writer mixes pounds with euros , what ?????

    • Thank you for your feedback. This was written about a year ago. Do you think it isn’t accurate? What are you experiences of prices and where on Zanzibar did you experience this?


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