Princess Salme Museum, in Zanzibar, is very close to  Emerson Hotel on Hurumzi Street. It is in fact a detached part of it. Princess Salme was the daughter of the sultan of Oman who used to rule his homeland from his palace on Zanzibar island. She ran away from her family’s palace in 1866. She wanted  to marry her lover, the German merchant Rudolf Ruete. After her husband’s death, princess Salme – now called Emily Ruete – started her autobiography which will be completed in 1886.

This book is precious because it gives us an idea of how life was like in Zanzibar, then, which was the social situation of the time. She underlined the differences between Europe (Germany) and Zanzibar. Part of these memories are  now kept in the museum that bears her name. The people of the island had never stopped loving their princess. The memories they keep now give precious information about her family, descendants but also Country.  Princess Salme died in 1924.



What to see at the museum

At the museum you will learn about the princess’ life, her clothes, photos, memories. If you ask the curator and guide mister Said Al Gheity to organize your tour over there you will have the possibility to discover much more. He is a great local historian. Mr Al Gheity also organizes scenic representations in order to tell tourists the story of Salme. Actors, scenes and events all around you will let you feel as if you are a part of the tale.

princess salme 1
a picture of princess Salme

Entrance ticket for Princess Salme Museum


Usually you shall pay 5 US Dollars for a tour on your own. If you want the guided tour with the curator mister Al Gheity you better ask for more information about the ticket at the Facebook Page of the Museum. The price for the guided tour is usually 10 US Dollars.

How to get to Princess Salme Museum

It is very easy to find Princess Salme Museum, or  Emerson Hotel, on Hurumzi Street 236-239, Zanzibar. If you arrive on the island by boat, it is just a nice 11 minute walk from the port. If you land at Zanzibar International Airport (8 km from the town) you shall drive for 16 minutes, or take a bus or taxi, along Nyerere Road and Salimini Road. At the airport you can rent a car and drive on your own.

More information

In order to call the museum, the telephone number is  255-242232784.

A complete visit to the museum can last 1.30 to 2 hours.

You can stay at the Emerson Hotel, one of the most important in Zanzibar, which is connected with the museum itself.

Not far from the museum, you can visit the Anglican Cathedral, the Malindi Mosque of Zanzibar and some of the most beautiful beaches of the island. Shops and restaurants are all around. If you take a nice walk in the streets nearby you will also admire the typical colonial style architectures the princess also admired when she used to live here.