1. Acrobatic, juggling, trapeze, comedy … family fun at the Zip Zap Dome
Cost: Enjoy a full 80-minute show with South Africa’s mind-blowing talent for R100.
From its iconic high-tech dome next to the CTICC in Cape Town, Zip Zap has been creating shows and discovering talent since 1992. So good are their performances that they were invited to perform for Mandela on his 77th birthday in 1995, at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006, at the International Circus Festival in Monte-Carlo in 2001, at the opening of the Cirque de Demain Festival in Paris in 2012 and had their own TV series called Life in the Circus on eTV; a 13-episode docu-reality series showing the behind-the-scenes of this social enterprise and their anything-is-possible approach to life. Visit them at their tent in town to watch some training or book a show on their website: www.zip-zap.co.za.
2. Live and eat cake at Charly’s Bakery
Cost: Enjoy coffee and a cupcake in South Africa’s most iconic bakery for as little as R50.
As the home of ‘mucking afazing’ cakes in Cape Town, Charly’s as it is affectionately known to most, have been cooking up a delicious combination of controversy and confectionary since 1989. A trip to Charly’s Bakery should definitely be on your list of things to do in Cape Town! Visit them at their shop in town for a cup of coffee and goodies galore.
Contact: 021 461 5181
3. City Sightseeing made easy with the Hop On, Hop Off Bus
Cost: A one-day open top bus tour costs R200 per adult or R180 if you buy online.
This is probably the best way to get acquainted with any city, in any season. The red City Sightseeing double-decker buses have built a reputation in many towns around the world for being the go-to vehicle for new introductions and bearing finding expeditions, and in Cape Town,it’s no different. Start day 1 with the red route – a seamless tour of the City Bowl and its surrounds, and then hop on the Blue Mini Peninsula Tour for sightseeing further afield to Hout Bay and the Constantia Wine Valley. Plugin your earphones and be your own tour guide in more than 16 languages.
Contact: 021 511 6000
4. Old school movie viewing at the Labia Theatre
Cost: All shows: R50 p/p.
You might have heard Gran & Gramps reminisce about back in the day trips to the bioscope and now you can relive their nostalgia in what is arguably the coolest, most unique and independent art-repertory cinema in South Africa. The curiously named Labia Theatre on Orange Street is where you can still sit on the terrace and sip a drink from the licensed bar or take it into the cinema and enjoy whilst watching your movie. The building on Orange Street was opened by Princess Labia in May 1949 as a theatre for the staging of live performances. Nowadays, it’s an old-fashioned movie house attracting love-birds and hipsters for its retro décor and the chance to take in a movie that’s slightly more affordable than the prices you’ll pay at the commercial cinemas. Visit their website for their popular movie ticket and meal combos. The best!
Contact: 021 424 5927
5. Release your inner Sherlock at HintHunt in Woodstock
Cost: R192 p/p for a group of 5.
For something different, try the group game craze that’s sweeping Cape Town. HintHunt, in South Africa since 2013, is situated at the vibrant Old Biscuit Mill and promises a competitive, fun and unique experience – the ultimate activity for families, friends and colleagues. Without giving the game away, you get 60 minutes to climb a mountain of puzzles and mysteries in a tiny room. The goal is simple yet challenging: get out in time!
Contact: 021 448 9864
6. Beerhouse – got 99 bottles and a barbie ain’t one!
Cost: Beers from R12 (for a 120ml taster) all the way to R130 for the Liefmans Yell’om with a fruity bite.
This contemporary beer hall in the heart of the Mother City’s famed Long Street precinct promises fans of the amber nectar a world of beers under one roof. Showcasing the best in meticulously selected local, international and micro-brewed beers, the aptly named Beerhouse has fast become a firm favourite among passive pint sippers and beer buffs alike.
Contact: 021 424 3370
7. Browse Bree Street, meet Cape Town cool
Bree Street lies in the centre of the city parallel to Loop Street and Long Street, and for a while now it has surpassed the status of up and coming, having grown into the hotbed of quintessential Cape Town culture it is today. Some say it’s Cape Town’s best-kept secret chock-a-block with bars, boutique restaurants, galleries and shops of the international designer and homegrown variety; oozing Mother City charm and heritage all the way. Highlights include schmoozing at Jason’s with a coffee and a croissant in the morning, lunch at The Birds or Clarke’s Dining Room, seeing what goods are on offer at SAM (South African Market), before heading downstairs to La Parada for some tapas and sundowners with the rest of Cape Town’s inner-city professionals.
8. Sweet & savoury indulgence at Earth Fair Market
Taking place every Thursday in the St Georges Mall thoroughfare (cnr St Georges Mall & Church Street) from 11:00 to 15:00, the Earth Fair Food Market attracts workers and tourists from all over the Cape Town CBD. While some opt for a Mexican snack, some delicious biltong or a piece of homemade fudge, others will fill up on their ‘second lunch’ and do some veggie grocery shopping. The market is one of those typically hidden Mother City gems that you’re likely to stumble on and subsequently fall in love with. You can also catch the Earth Fair Market merchants in Tokai on a Wednesday and Saturday.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Earth Fair Food Market St Georges Mall)
9. Celebrate creativity and culture at Bay Harbour Market
Cost: Free to visit!
Hout Bay’s Bay Harbour Market offers an eclectic stylish wonderland of exquisite art, craft, fashion, decor and live music complemented by the delicious aromas of food to tempt all the senses. With over 100 stalls, the Hout Bay market is great for kids, adults and couples’ outings. Housed in an old fish factory, so it’s the perfect jaunt for those rainy Cape days. Open Friday night to Sunday afternoon
Contact: 083 275 5586
10. First Thursdays – your (free) ticket to artsy emancipation
On the first Thursday of every month, explore the art galleries and shops of Cape Town’s central city until late when Cape Town’s CBD comes alive as dozens of stores keep their doors open until 21:00. Whether you’re an accomplished art buff or someone who has never stepped foot in a gallery, First Thursdays is an incredible way to experience the cultural wealth that this city has to offer.
Find out more: facebook.com/FirstThursdaysCT
11. Dine at Evita se Perron
Cost: Book a ticket for a Pieter-Dirk Uys show for R165.
Wine and dine while taking in the one-of-a-kind cabaret shows established by Evita Bezuidenhout aka Pieter-Dirk Uys, renowned South African satirist. His tongue-in-cheek performances will have you laughing and poking fun at the socio-political landscape of South Africa. Located in the heart of Darling, Evita se Perron provides a quaint look into the little town and has entertainment and a menu like no other.
Contact: 022 492 3930
12. Cape Town becomes Boktown at the Springbok Experience Museum
Cost: Adults R75 and Scholars/Pensioners R50.
Get a glimpse into South African rugby history at the Springbok Museum at the V&A Waterfront. The museum’s interior is a state-of-the-art shrine to the ‘green & gold’ and promises fans an epic South African story told from the perspective of one of the country’s most powerful sports, without shying away from the divisive force the game once represented. The Springbok Experience incorporates more than 60 audiovisual displays, historical displays and memorabilia, as well as games for children and adults alike where they can test their kicking, passing, fitness and reaction skills in the interactive ‘Springbok Trials’ games zone. A must for every rugby-loving family!
Contact: 021 418 4741
13. Market on the Wharf – dockside marketplace merriment at the V&A Waterfront
Cost: Free to visit!
It’s no secret Capetonians love all things relating to good food, good vibes and good times and Market on the Wharf at the V&A Waterfront won’t disappoint in any of these categories. All that goodness comes together under one roof where merchants introduce patrons to a diverse range of tastes.
Contact: 021 418 1605
14. Kick back with a cocktail at Café Caprice in Camps Bay
Cost: R95 for a Mojito.
Cape Town’s landmark beach bar and café, Café Caprice is the focal point of the famous Camps Bay strip – the Mother City’s most envied suburb where palm-tree-lined streets, white sands and azure ocean are just the beginning. Home to a cosmopolitan crowd of locals and internationals 7 days a week, it goes without saying you’ll be dining side-by-side with legends when you take your seat at Caprice. This is where the world’s elite come to party in the ‘Miami of the Southern Hemisphere’.
Contact: 021 438 8315
15. Indulge in some chocolate truffles in Wale Street
Cost: R32 for a hot chocolate and R16 for the chocolate truffles.
Honest Chocolate Café, in Wale Street, is the first chocolate café in South Africa. Relax at the laidback café and enjoy delicious chocolate truffles, chocolate cakes and tarts. The Honest Chocolate Café has a lovely menu with organic hot chocolate, coffee and tea. For a chilled day in the city, go to Honest Chocolate Café and delight in all the chocolate there is to devour.
Contact: 076 765 8306
16. Weekend Morning Tea at the One & Only Resort
Cost: Morning tea R195 per person.
Get your weekend started on a great note with morning tea at the One & Only Resort’s Vista Bar & Lounge. Treat your taste buds to delicious savoury and delectable sweet bites all while soaking up epic views of Table Mountain through a floor-to-ceiling wall of glass! Book ahead, your details will be checked on arrival at the hotel entrance to be allowed into the car park.
Contact 021 431 4511
17. SUP Cape Town – Your Stand-Up Paddling dreams have never been closer
Cost: R220 for 1 hour. (Admittedly higher than the R200 budget but the experience is well worth it. A SUP board rental and lesson is included)
Guy and the SUP Cape Town crew invite you to come down and experience what getting healthy while having fun is all about. From their central clubhouse location at the V&A Waterfront, SUP Cape Town is all about getting on the glassy waters of the canal and getting familiar with one of the fastest growing water sports in the world.
18. Cycle your way through Cape Town
Cost: R70 for 1 hour. R100 for 2 hours. R200 for half day cycle.
Rent a bicycle from Up Cycles at the Sea Point Pavilion and explore Cape Town at your own pace. Pedal along the Promenade and make your way to the CBD or Camps Bay for a refreshing drink. You’ll get to have fun while exercising and take in the Mother City’s beautiful attractions, including Green Point Park and Cape Town stadium. You can return the bike to any Up Cycles station.
Contact: 074 100 9161
19. The undisputed Truth about Cape Town coffee culture
Cost: Only R38 to enjoy a latte in the best coffee shop in the world.
For a coffee roastery experience which has won worldwide acclaim, Truth Coffee is about more than just properly roasted beans. From their headquarters on Buitenkant Street, Truth Coffee draws on the Victorian “steampunk” aesthetic of old to create a one-of-a-kind ambience which leaves patrons with the unshakeable feeling that they’re sipping in a setting that is pioneering something special in coffee culture. All elements are drawn together to converge on the giant vintage roaster – the functioning, mechanical heart of Truth Coffee.
Contact: 021 200 0440
20. Two for the price of one at Sotano on a Wednesday night
Cost: R110 for a 2-for-1 lamb burger special, and it comes with a side of fries.
Every Wednesday, Sotano offers a delicious 2-for-1 lamb burger special from 5 pm. Located in Bree Street and Beach Road, Mouille Point, Sotano welcomes guests to dine in an exquisite Mediterranean themed ambience. Enjoy the delicious lamb burger special to the sounds of a live band playing reggae music.
21. Alcoholic alchemy at The Orphanage Cocktail Emporium
Cost: More Tea Vicar is Orphanage’s signature cocktail for R90.
Orphanage Cocktail Emporium is the city centre venue for tomfoolery and high-jinx: expect nights of rumbustious revelry in the quirky bar and restaurant. Orphanage, found in a converted tiered house on the corner of Orphan and Bree Streets is a rambling warren of hidey holes and cosy corners. The décor is elegant yet whimsical; think dark wood, opulent furnishings, and antiques. A multitude of details—from brass joinery to crystal glasses—have been cleverly stitched together to make you feel as if you’ve descended into the prohibition era of the roaring twenties.
Contact: 021 424 2004
22. Lions Head – Take a hike
The freely accessible Lions Head hike is a hit with locals and visitors. For the price of a bottle of water and a packet of chips, you can enjoy the unsurpassed, 360 views from the top of the city’s second most iconic mountain. It’s about an hour and a half to the top if you’re going at a steady slow pace. Go when there’s a full moon for excellent viewing and a naturally lit pathway to the top.
23. Browse and buy vinyl at Mabu
Cost: Vinyl – from R50 to R600. Shooting the breeze with Stephen – priceless.
The art of record collecting is alive and well in Cape Town City Bowl where Mabu Vinyl is at the forefront of this niche sub-culture. Stephen Segerman of Searching for Sugar Man fame is co-owner of the store and is usually available for a spirited chat about the 2012 hit movie in which he featured. Mabu stocks a rare selection of classics with a catalogue including second-hand records, books, comics, CDs, DVDs and cassettes. The store in Gardens is open 7 days a week.
Contact: 021 423 7635
24. Perfectly located coffee in Khayelitsha
Cost: R15 for a Cappuccino.
Lolo, Vusi and Wongama are your hosts, baristas and coffee connoisseurs at the Department of Coffee in Khayelitsha. Founded in July 2012 and situated next to the Khayelitsha train station, these 3 passionate entrepreneurs have filled a much-needed gap in the morning cuppa routine in one of the busiest intersections of the Cape Flats. The Department of Coffee serves a blend of beans that have been specially roasted for them, as well as tea and hot chocolate, muffins and fresh fruit juices.
Contact: 0733009519 / 0780860093 / 0783162918
25. Marketplace meandering with the locals in the Mother City’s historic centre
Cost: Free to visit!
Every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning, the Parade with its grand old backdrop of the City Hall and Table Mountain looking on, comes alive with the sounds and sights of traditional marketplace activity where local merchants set up and sell a broad range of goods from plastic homeware to shoes, clothing and toys in the city’s historic centre.
26. A riotously good time at The Rumbullion in Camps Bay
Cost: R120 for a Margherita Pizza. R50 for a glass of Haystack Chardonnay.
Set on what is arguably one of Camps Bay’s loftiest viewpoints. The Rumbullion eases up on the fine dining atmosphere of the neighbouring Roundhouse and opts for a more relaxed picnic-style cuisine on the terraces and lawns. Come bask in the natural, leisurely atmosphere with friends and family, while enjoying The Rumbullion’s delicious pizzas and one of the most enviable views on Earth!
Contact: 021 438 4347
27. Sea Point Putt Putt – Sink a few balls on the Atlantic Seaboard
Cost: R28 per player.
Old school outdoor fun still has its place on the promenade and the Sea Point Putt-Putt course has certainly stood the test of time. Bring the kids, brings your buddies, you can be assured you’ll enjoy a good laugh or two trying to find a home for your ball. The 18-hole course itself needs some TLC though; wildly uneven surfaces and cracking paintwork add an interesting dimension to your game. The wind can also cause a problem on blustery days, although some might perceive it as a natural hazard. At least the views and the sea breeze are a nice trade-off.
Contact: 021 434 6805
28. Cinephilia under the stars with The Galileo Open Air Cinema
Cost: R100 for a movie ticket, R10 for blanket hire and R20 for chair hire.
Taking place at Bloemendal Wine Estate (Tuesday), Kirstenbosch Gardens (Wednesday) and the V&A Waterfront (Thursday) throughout the summer months, the Galileo Open Air Cinema concept brings a romantic al fresco movie viewing experience to 3 gorgeous corners of the Mother City. Doors open at 18:00 and movies start at sunset. Local food vendors selling delicious and fresh specialities add a market-feel to the evening so there is lots of socialising and mingling before the movie. Chairs and blankets are available for rent, a roaming photo booth adds a touch of fun and overall… it’s a great vibe! Ticket sales open three weeks before each show.
Find out more: thegalileo.co.za
29. Pedal yourself merry among the vineyards with a Bike and Wine tour
Cost: There is a range of bike and wine tours to suit all budgets, schedules and scene preferences.
There is no better way to combine the back and forth rhythm of pedaling with the hand to mouth movement of sipping than on a bike and wine tour of the vineyards. In true Cape style, bike and wine tours have fast become the preferred way of experiencing the beautiful winelands, as well as the estates which dot the landscape. Cycling wine tour operators offer a range of tours to suit all fitness levels. Now stop, oscillate and taste.
Contact: bikeandsaddle.com or bikesnwines.com
30. City Bowl Market – Cape Town’s “indulge and don’t feel bad” bazaar
Cost: Free to visit!
Unlike many Cape Town markets, you won’t leave this one feeling overstuffed. Vendors largely focus on fresh produce and tasty, organic goods. Don’t get me wrong though … there is the odd cup/pancake stand should the craving come from the depths of your belly. The cheerful, charming City Bowl Market takes place every Thursday evening and Saturday morning and is another rainy day favourite as it’s housed in an old school hall.
Contact: 073 270 8043
31. Catch a free concert in the park
Capetonians have found a new way to ease the foreboding of Monday mornings with free concerts in De Waal Park on a Sunday afternoon. All you have to do is pack a picnic and something comfortable to laze on … the rest is free! There has never been a better excuse to ditch the couch, telly and Carte Blanche music for a live music extravaganza that has featured the likes of Freshly Ground, Saudiq Khan, Arno Carstens and Karen Zoid. Summer only.
Contact: 021 423 4526
32. Pub quiz, hotshot. What do you do?
Cost: R20 to R60.
We accept that answering hard questions hammered is usually the domain of irresponsible drunk drivers. We just hope that next time you find yourself on the receiving end of some tough questions while you’re feeling a little under the weather it’s at quiz night. These evenings present a spirited way to spend time with friends and colleagues and always turn your nearest watering hole into a competitive arena of general knowledge wizardry or general stumbling. Just make sure Designated Dave hasn’t lost the plot and is in suitable condition to drive you home safely and remember … Mobile phone Google consulters will be disqualified!
One of the most popular pub quizzes in Cape Town is the Thursday night one at Fireman’s Arms and it starts at 20:00 sharp.
Beerhouse on Long Street offers beer lovers the chance to exercise their brains with guaranteed fun quiz nights, once a month, every second Thursday of the month.
OMG Quiz Night at Alexander Bar in Strand Street is a fun way to test your general knowledge while having bundles of fun. Every Wednesday night, starting at 19:30 sharp, the battle of the minds begin.
Contact: 021 419 1513
33. Turn a chop against the best backdrop in the Cape
Cost: R41 per person, R26 per child and free entrance for WILD Card and TMNP My Green Card holders.
Set in what is arguably one of the most epic picnic/braai spots in the country, Oudekraal forms part of Table Mountain National Park and is a protected marine area. As such there’s a small fee of R41 p/p to enter but the nominal amount is well worth it for the chance to braai South African style next to the sea. Oudekraal features parking, toilets and built-in braais for the whole family, not to mention the epic views and swimming area if you can brave the icy Atlantic water.
Contact: 021 428 9111
34. Learn the significance of District Six in South African history
Cost: R40 per person for self-guided visits. R55 with an ex-resident/guide.
When the apartheid government swooped on District Six in 1965, forcibly removing its residents and declaring the area a “whites-only” zone, the rich fabric of a disadvantaged but vibrant community was torn apart. In an effort to preserve the memories of District Six and create a monument to the thousands of people around the country forcibly relocated under apartheid, the District Six Museum Foundation was established in 1989. In 1994, the District Six Museum came into being. The museum is open from 09:00 to 13:00 on Mondays and 09:00 to 16:00 from Tuesdays to Saturdays.
Contact: 021 466 7200
35. Experience a new and improved Kirstenbosch Gardens with the Boomslang Aerial Walkway
Cost: Adults R65. Scholars R15. Children under 6 go for free!
Situated on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens is internationally acclaimed as one of the seven most magnificent botanical gardens in the world. Home to Moyo restaurant, the ever-popular Summer Concerts and an aerial walkway called the Boomslang, there’s even more reason to visit Kirstenbosch this season. Kirstenbosch’s aerial walkway offers a fresh perspective over the lush gardens – it’s a 128m long, 12m tall walkway which allows visitors to experience the Botanical Gardens from the treetops of about 450 of South Africa’s 1000 indigenous species.
Contact: 021 799 8800
36. Oranjezicht City Farm – small-scale organic agriculture in the heart of the city
Cost: Free to visit!
With education and promoting healthier lifestyles at the forefront of what they do, the Oranjezicht City Farm invites you to visit them on a Saturday between 09:00 and 14:00 to come and experience what low-impact, sustainable community living is all about. In addition to experiencing the wholesome way of life the OZCF has brought to the city, you can also do your weekly food shopping (fresh produce, home-baked bread, organic dairy, free-range eggs, honey, muesli etc.), and try out some delicious cooked and raw foods. Be inspired about helping to build an alternative food system. They even have adoption days if you’re looking to add a furry friend to your family.
Contact: 083 628 3426
37. Explore the Winelands on the Franschhoek Wine Tram
Cost: Wine tasting fees are between R20 and R50 per person at each estate. Not included in the tour price. Tour price is R220 (adults) and R90 (children 3 -17 years).
This has to be one of the most unique ways to experience some of the French corners most loved wine estates. Modelled on the 1890 Brill Trams, this old-fashioned locomotive clacks through the vineyards stopping at the Huguenot Museum, Haute Cabrière, Dieu Donnè, Chamonix, Rickety Bridge and Grande Provence – you’re free to hop on or off at any of these stops. There are few better ways to explore the beautiful Franschhoek Valley than by hopping onto an open-sided tram for an unforgettable guided tour.
Contact: 021 300 0338
38. Kiss and cuddle creatures at DARG in Hout Bay
Cost: Donate to DARG, Hout Bay.
DARG (Domestic Animal Rescue Group) is a pro-life organisation that rescues, cares for, sterilizes and finds good homes for abused, neglected and abandoned cats and dogs. The organisation is always grateful for new volunteers – whether you would like to assist at the adoption centre with dog walking, feeding and cleaning, or whether you could offer your help at one of their fundraising events. Simply phone DARG on 021 790 0383/2050, or pop into the DARG Centre at Main Road, Hout Bay and have a chat with them about how you can help. The shelter is open 7 days a week from 09:00 – 16:00.
Contact: 021 790 0383 / 021 790 2050
39. Step into the most magical garden at Babylonstoren
Cost: R10 per person entrance fee at the gate. Proceeds go to the upliftment of the community.
No matter your taste in interior design and landscaping, you’ll find that Babylonstoren has the Midas touch. With its perfectly appointed less is more approach, the estate incorporates a huge working farm, winery, a farm shop, boutique hotel and spa as well as an award-winning restaurant called Babel – at the heart of this is the immaculate garden. Every care has been taken to create a Winelands sanctuary that welcomes day visitors as warmly as it does its guests who linger a little longer.
Contact: 021 863 3852
40. Blue Peter, Bloubergstrand – Where the locals go
Cost: Fish and chips for R97. Wine by the bottle from R105-R155.
Experience life like Cape Town locals at the Blue Peter in Bloubergstrand. This popular beachside bistro takes its name from the nautical flag raised by ship when leaving port. It’s a true Cape Town institution offering uninterrupted views of the ocean, Table Mountain and across to Robben Island. The restaurant serves up excellent seafood, meat dishes, pizzas and ice-cold beers. The Blue Peter is known as an excellent place to enjoy a cold one after work and is extremely popular on the weekend when many patrons spill out on to the lawn in front of the bistro on sunny afternoons.
Contact: 021 554 1956
41. Visit Africa’s largest Bird Park in Hout Bay
Cost: Adults R120, Children R45.
Set on 4 hectares of tropical landscape in the Hout Bay valley, a mere 15 minutes from Cape Town city centre, World of Birds is Africa’s largest bird park with 3,000 birds and 400 species. Open from Monday to Sunday from 09:00 to 17:00, this is an affordable family day out allowing you the most intimate experience with nature. They need your help to stay open that is doing a sterling job of supporting conservation on a global scale by propagating rare birds and mammals in a protective environment.
Contact: 021 790 2730
42. Go strawberry picking at Polkadraai Farm
Cost: Strawberry picking prices range from R40 to R190.
Enjoy the fruits of your own labour by going strawberry picking at Polkadraai Farm near Stellenbosch. Fun for all ages, Polkadraai Farm invites you to come and “pick your own” from October to December annually when the strawberries are ripe for plucking. Individuals and families do not need to make a booking, however, if your group is larger than 15 you should contact Polkadraai Farm. The farmstall at Polkadraai is open year-round from 09:00 to 17:00 daily.
Contact: 021 881 3303
Whether you’re a first-time tourist or repeat visitor, the vibrant South African city has plenty on offer. We hope our guide of things to do in Cape Town helps you find your way to the city’s most enticing attractions, best bars, most innovative restaurants and much more.