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.


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 city 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 $46, while the average daily cost in Arusha is $155. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Zanzibar and Arusha in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Zanzibar $22
    Arusha $113
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Zanzibar $44
    Arusha $226

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Zanzibar $10
    Arusha $12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Zanzibar

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Zanzibar:

  • Stone Town to Airport Private Transfer: $20
  • Airport to Stone Town Private Transfer: $16
  • Airport to Hotel Transfer: $60
  • Zanzibar Ferry Terminal Arrival Transfers.: $90
  • Zanzibar Airport: Transfer to Stone Town: $30
  • Zanzibar Airport: Transfer to East, North, South Zanzibar: $60
  • Zanzibar Airport Arrival Transfer: $21
  • Transfer from Zanzibar Port to any Hotel in Zanzibar: $55
  • Transfer from Zanzibar Airport to Nungwi: $65
  • Transfer from Airport to all Zanzibar (Private) Beach Hotels: $65
  • Transfer: $80
  • Stone town to Nungwi Transfer: $35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arusha

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

  • 3 Days 2 Nights Safari to Mikumi National Parks by bus transfer: $350
  • Airport transfer: $47
  • Arusha Airport Transfers: $25
  • Arusha Taxi Transfer Around the City: $120
  • Kilimanjaro Airport Return Transfers to and From Arusha Hotels: $147
  • Kilimanjaro Airport Transfer: $50
  • Kilimanjaro Airport Transfer to Moshi: $65
  • Moshi - Arusha Transfer: $100
  • Moshi Hot Springs Half Day Transfer: $99
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Arusha Airport to Arusha City: $37
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Kilimanjaro Airport to Arusha City: $51
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Kilimanjaro Airport to Moshi City: $37

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 $15
    Arusha $21

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Zanzibar

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

  • Authentic African Virtual Cooking Class: $26
  • Local Cooking Class with Spice Tour: $38
  • Zesty Food Tour and Cooking Class: $41
  • Zanzibar food tour in Stone town: $47
  • Zanzibar Traditional Cooking Class: $49
  • Spice Farm Tour with Traditional Cooking Lesson: $50
  • Spice Tour & Cooking Class: $51
  • Spice Farm Tour with Traditional Cooking Lesson: $52
  • Zanzibar Cooking Class & Spice Tour: $54
  • Traditional Zanzibar Cooking Class including Spice Tour: $56
  • Cooking Class Tour: $62
  • Zanzibar sunset cruise with dinner: $71

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:

  • Swahili Cooking Classes and Cultural experience (Group): $35
  • Day Trip to Materuni Falls ( coffee & Food tour ) featuring Kikuletwa Hot Spring: $136
  • Local food Cooking in Arusha Community: $144

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Zanzibar $11
    Arusha $40

Tours and Activities in Zanzibar

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

  • "Cheap Excursion in Zanzibar, pay one tour get one free!!!": $120
  • 3 Days Zanzibar Tour & Excursion: $498
  • 3 days full Zanzibar Experience. Top 6 tours in three days: $348
  • 4 Days/ 3 Night Zanzibar Tours: $800
  • 8 Days Zanzibar Exploration Tour: $1,337
  • Aquana 3 Island Tour/Excursion: $51
  • Bicycle Tour in Stone Town Zanzibar: $40
  • Bike Tour: $25
  • Cheap Stone Town Tour: $46
  • City Tour: $31
  • Cultural Walking Tour through Stonetown, a UNESCO World Heritage Site: $26
  • Dolphin Tour: $80

Tours and Activities in Arusha

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

  • Arusha Nightlife Tour: $12
  • Arusha City Walking Tour: $23
  • Arusha Town Tour: $30
  • Coffee tour: $40
  • Arusha African Shopping Tour: $53
  • Materuni Waterfalls & Coffee Tour from Moshi: $54
  • Amazing Arusha City Tour: $55
  • Arusha Town Day Tour: $63
  • Maasai Village Tour Arusha: $71
  • Arusha City Tour: $72
  • Materuni Waterfalls & Chaga Lifestyle Tour Moshi- Day Trip: $75
  • Materuni Waterfall & Coffee tour.: $77

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Zanzibar $6.10
    Arusha $9.48

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.

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Zanzibar vs. Arusha Travel Comparison

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