The Ancient Doors & Alleyways of Zanzibar

Zanzibar is a top destination for many reasons. With its turquoise warm lagoons and soft sandy beaches, it offers a romantic tropical getaway as well as a relaxing post-safari experience. But more than that, Zanzibar is a cultural melting pot with a rich history and heritage which are heavily reflected in Stone Town, the historic section of the capital Zanzibar City, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walking through this ancient part of Zanzibar feels like stepping back in time to centuries ago when merchants were trading spices. The sharp contrast of experiences that Zanzibar offers, from the gorgeous beaches to the labyrinth of alleyways and intricate door carvings in Stone Town, makes the luxury of booking Zanzibar holiday packages worth every penny.

Stone Town was given its name due to the use of coral stone as construction material. The design and architecture of the buildings in Stone Town reflect the fusion of Arab, Persian, Indian, European, and African influences. Most of the historical buildings such as sultans’ palaces, religious buildings, and fortifications, are located closer to the seafront, while other traditional houses are found further inland along the winding small streets. A characteristic of a traditional building is the veranda or balcony, which is protected and decorated by wooden balustrades. Another typical feature is the long stone bench along the outside wall of the house, called a baraza, which until today serves two main purposes: a place for men to socialize, and an elevated sidewalk during rainy days.

Another distinct feature of a traditional building in Stone Town is the carved teak door. There are two main types of doors, one is rounded at the top and is of Indian origin, while the other is designed in a rectangular Omani-Arab style. The brass studs on the doors are purely decorative, unlike their original purpose in India, which was to protect against elephants. The carvings on the doors are all subtly different; some include Arabic verses and words, while others include designs that are symbolic representations, such as a lotus flower representing prosperity. Additionally, the doors helped to distinguish between social status, business identity of the owner and their profession, and religious affiliations.

Walk through the small alleyways and get lost in the maze of winding streets and old buildings as you discover Stone Town. It is easy to get distracted by the lineup of tourist shops and stalls selling arts and crafts, among herds of locals and visitors walking through. It can get chaotic and busy. However, Stone Town can also be charming and inspiring when one focuses on its history and cultural heritage, paying close attention to the intricate details of its buildings and houses. After navigating the labyrinth of small streets, head to Darajani Market for local food, crafts, spices, and other artefacts.

Tel Aviv Itinerary: Places You Shouldn’t Miss in Your Tel Aviv Visit

Israel continues to grow in prominence within the international market of tourist destinations. As of 2017 data, the country has already had a 21.6% increase in the number of tourist arrivals in the country.

Coupled this with the increasing trend of engagements with intercontinental travels from all over the world, Israel is consistently working its way on top. Tel Aviv, is one of its biggest tickets towards cultural and social eminence in the tourism industry. This small paradise in Israel has lots of exciting destinations any tourist should never miss. Here are five of the most popular destinations in Tel Aviv:

  1. Yitzhak Rabin Center

Haim Levanon 8, Tel Aviv, Israel.

The famous Yitzhak Rabin Center is one of the highlights of Tel Aviv that was built to commemorate the legacy of the Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin. This center has a very contemporary twist to what is supposed to be a typical heritage museum. Also, it features displays of the historical and social developments of Tel Aviv. This is definitely a must-see given its very unique architectural design and its display of panoramic features of the city. If one seeks to witness the merging of the historical Tel Aviv with its contemporary counterpart, this is the place to be!

  1. Yarkon River and Park Hayarkon

Yarkon River- Ganei Yehoshua, Tel Aviv, Israel

Park Hayarkon – Rokach Blvd, Tel Aviv, Israel

For nature enthusiasts who simply want to let themselves be absorbed by the serenity of Tel Aviv, this is the perfect destination. Yarkon River and Park Hayarkon are both known to be the epitome of relaxation as their natural ambience seems to be a real life depiction of how a paradise looks like. Yarkon River is a perfect spot for strolling where visitors are privileged to enjoy the sweet aura of the trees and the breeze of the river. On the other hand, Park Haryarkon is famous for its natural rock formations, perfect for picture-taking. Yarkon River and Park Hayarkon are located in Ganei Yehoshua and Rokach Blvd, Tel Aviv, Israel respectively.

  1. Tel Aviv Port

Northern Tel Aviv

Tourist sites will never be perfect without entertainment areas. The Tel Aviv Port is a very famous spot that comes along with stores, playgrounds, and even splash parks, host for the faultless family bonding experience. Certainly, this is a suitable place for people who seek to enjoy the nightlife in Tel Aviv as it is known for its very accommodating pubs.

  1. Nachlat Binyamin Pedestrian Mall

2 Nahalat Binyamin, Tel Aviv, Israel.

For shopaholics and collectors, this is the place to be. Nachlat Binyamin Pedestrian Mall is one of the most bulbous and the largest flea markets in Israel. It is home to various souvenirs, clothing, and even some of the famous foods in Tel Aviv. Plus, products sold in this flea market are highly affordable. This makes it a picture-perfect place to give in to your cravings without burning your pockets.

  1. Clock Tower

Yeffet Street, Tel Aviv

Finally, the Clock Tower is the most suitable place to experience the massive sense of culture, history, and nostalgia Tel Aviv has to offer. It is a famous landmark in Yeffet Street, perfect for cultural immersion as it used to be a site for simultaneous prayers by Jews and Arabs.

Tel Aviv is definitely a center of attraction that one shouldn’t miss in their visit in Israel. Packed with numerous worthwhile destinations, it’s a no brainer why there are more and more Flights to Tel Aviv.