A Travel Price Comparison for Tanzania Zanzibar vs. Arusha for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Zanzibar or Arusha?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Zanzibar and Arusha can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Zanzibar or Arusha?


Just off the coast of Tanzania lies an entrancing archipelago known as Zanzibar. This gorgeous string of islands is the land of sultans, palaces beaches and spice-filled markets. Once an important trading center, many restorations have been done in recent years to restore Zanzibar to its ancient grandeur - earning its capital city UNESCO World Heritage status in 2000.


Arusha is a city in East Africa's Tanzania, located at the base of volcanic Mt. Meru. It’s a gateway to safari destinations and to Africa’s highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro, lying some 100 kilometers northeast. To the west lies Serengeti National Park, home to wildlife including lions, rhinoceros, giraffes and leopards. Annual migrations feature huge herds of wildebeests crossing its plains. Arusha is Tanzania’s gateway to the northern circuit of stellar national parks and the starting point of many a memorable safari. It’s also a large, sprawling city which offers a nice break from the rigors of life on the African road – it has excellent places to stay and eat and, for the most part, it’s lush and green and enjoys a temperate climate throughout the year. Arusha is a great destination, and you're sure to enjoy your time here, no matter what your interests are.

Which place is cheaper, Arusha or Zanzibar?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Zanzibar is $53, while the average daily cost in Arusha is $182. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Zanzibar and Arusha in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Zanzibar $25
    Arusha $133
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Zanzibar $50
    Arusha $266
Compare Hotels in Zanzibar and Arusha

Looking for a hotel in Zanzibar or Arusha? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Zanzibar

Hotels in Arusha

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Zanzibar Hotel Prices and Arusha Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Zanzibar $12
    Arusha $14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Zanzibar

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Zanzibar:

  • Transfer from the airport to your Hotel or House: $75
  • Stone Town to Airport Private Transfer: $23
  • Fishing Boat Tour with Transfer: $109
  • Airport to Stone Town Private Transfer: $22
  • Airport to Hotel Transfer: $62
  • Airport Transfers: $22
  • Airport Transfer: $23
  • Zanzibar transfers and Taxi: $35
  • Zanzibar Sunset Dhow Cruise with Transfers.: $149
  • Zanzibar Shared Departure Transfer: $73
  • Zanzibar Riu Jambo To the Airport Transfer: $49
  • Zanzibar Private Transfer from Michamvi Beach to the Airport: $44

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arusha

Also for Arusha, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Airport transfer: $45
  • Arusha Airport & Hotel Transfers: $40
  • Arusha Airport Transfer to Arusha City: $40
  • Arusha Nairobi Moshi Private ImpalaShuttles Transfer: $35
  • Tanzanite Museum and Shopping Tour with Transfer: $40
  • Kilimanjaro Airport Return Transfers to and From Arusha Hotels: $147
  • Kilimanjaro Airport Transfer to Moshi: $65
  • Kilimanjaro Airport Transfer | Pick Up & Drop up | With BURIGI CHATO SAFARIS LTD: $100
  • Moshi - Arusha Transfer: $100
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Kilimanjaro Airport to Moshi City: $35
  • Private Transfer from Arusha to Jomo Kenyatta Airport (NBO): $859
  • Private Transfer from Arusha to Kilimanjaro Airport (KIA): $131

Is it cheaper to fly into Zanzibar or Arusha?

Prices for flights to both Arusha and Zanzibar change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Zanzibar $17
    Arusha $25

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Zanzibar

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Zanzibar.

  • Half-Day Kuza Cave Swimming Adventure and Cooking Class: $13
  • Spice Farm Tour with Traditional Cooking Lesson: $35
  • Authentic Street Food Tours in Stone Town, Zanzibar: $40
  • Zanzibar Traditional Cooking Class: $49
  • Spice Farm Tour with Traditional Cooking Lesson: $50
  • Local Cooking Class with Spice Tour in Zanzibar: $52
  • Private Zanzibar Spices Tour with Traditional Swahili Cooking Lesson: $55
  • Zanzibar Cooking Class & Spice Tour : $59
  • Zanzibar Cooking Class [Swahili food test ] and Spice farm Private tour: $59
  • Walking Spice Farm with Local Cooking Class: $60
  • Spice Tour & Cooking Class in Zanzibar: $60
  • Zanzibar Spice farm and Cooking Class: $60

Typical Food prices in Arusha

For Arusha, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:

  • A Quick Lunch (for 2)

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Arusha

For Arusha, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Cooking and Sewing & Jewelry Workshops in Arusha: $27
  • NGO Lifted Strong - Traditional Tanzanian Cooking Class: $40
  • Evening Hiking to Oljoro Hills Hunting the Sunset & Maasai Lamb Berbeque Dinner: $70
  • Africa health cuisine food tour: $108

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Zanzibar $13
    Arusha $46

Tours and Activities in Zanzibar

Here are a few actual costs in Zanzibar for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 4 hours Spice Tour in Tanzania: $80
  • City Tour in Zanzibar : $33
  • Fair Tourism In Paje: $27
  • Full Day Spice Tour, Prison Island and City Tours: $140
  • Half-Day Walking Tour in Zanzibar City's Spice Island: $63
  • Private Maalum Cave, Spice Farm and Stone Town City Day Tour: $148
  • Sea Turtles Tour ( Nungwi Aquarium): $40
  • Spice Farm & Prison Island Tour in Zanzibar: $87
  • Spice Tour & Mangapwani Cave Tour: $80
  • Stone City, Spice Farm and Prison Island Full Day Tour: $130
  • Stonetown Private Half-day Walking tour: $35
  • 'Intangible Cultural Heritage of Stone Town' Walking Tour: $30

Tours and Activities in Arusha

For Arusha, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Visit MAMAS CRAFT COOPERATIVE IN MOSHI before 2 Days Tanzania Safari Tour : $10
  • 5 Hours Malindi Live Band Nightlife Experience before 5 days Serengeti Safari : $10
  • 2 Hours Arusha Cultural Heritage Tour after 4 days Serengeti Safari Tour: $10
  • Vising Arusha Shanga and Shanga Foundation before 5 days Serengeti Safari Tour: $10
  • Visit the Maasai Women Fair Trade Centre after 3 Tanzania Safari tour: $10
  • Sunset Tour in Arusha: $20
  • Coffee Tourism & Banana Farms Experience: $20
  • Street Food and Community Walking Tour: $25
  • Arusha Nightlife Tour : $30
  • Arusha Town Tour: $30
  • Mountain Bike Tour of the Foothills of Mount Meru: $30
  • Full-Day Sightseeing Tour in Arusha : $35

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Zanzibar $7.14
    Arusha $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Zanzibar

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Zanzibar:

  • Thrilling Pub Crawl In Zanzibar. Visit 3 Unique Bars: $26

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Zanzibar and Arusha, we can see that Arusha is more expensive. And not only is Zanzibar much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Zanzibar would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Zanzibar and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Arusha would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Arusha than you might in Zanzibar.

Which is Bigger, Zanzibar or Arusha?

Zanzibar is bigger, and its population is about 18% larger than the population of Arusha. When comparing the population of Zanzibar vs. Arusha, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit and the activities that interest you.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Zanzibar vs. Arusha Travel Comparison

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