Is a trip to the Cape tempting you this year? Table Mountain, the crushingly beautiful Atlantic, the city’s arts and culture… there is a lot to love about Cape Town. While many hotels and attractions are priced for tourists, follow our tips to find the best this city has to offer for free!
Get your art kick
Many of Cape Town’s major museums and art galleries are free on a selection of day throughout the year, usually public holidays. If you’re really on a budget, best to plan your holiday in Cape Town around these days to save on entry. These include the South African National Gallery & Museum, Koopmans-De Wet House, Bo-Kaap Museum and the Slave Lodge.
Lucky for travellers, there are also a few museums that are free (but a donation is very welcome) year-round. Pop into the Cape Town Holocaust Centre, the Old Town House or the Rust en Vreugd for your dose of art, culture and history. The gardens at the 18th century Dutch mansion, Rust en Vreugd, are worth the trip alone! For contemporary art, the Goodman Gallery and the Michael Stevenson Gallery are both free and have the best of South Africa’s modern art on display.
Landscape and scenery, coming right up!
Table Mountain National Park is a must. There are miles upon miles of hiking and walking trails up to the top. The walk will take between 2 and 3 hours depending on your pace so make sure you set out early. The most popular route up is the Platteklip Gorge. Did you bring your sweetheart with you to Cape Town? Hike up to Lion’s Head between Signal Hill and Table Mountain just as the sun sets and enjoy a picnic at the top under the light of the moon (swoon).
Let’s not forget about Cape Town’s stunning coastlines. The entire peninsula has amazing beaches. Close to the city, try Sea Point’s Promenade for a late-afternoon walk. Camps Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches in the city. If you’re willing to travel further afield, False Bay is a must to watch the surfers and comb the beach for treasures. Who knows, you may even befriend a penguin while you’re there!
Get your shop on
While the High Street will definitely serve up some new names that are only known in South Africa, you’ll find some very unique and exciting shopping in Cape Town. Hit the markets for those souvenirs everyone is waiting for. Greenmarket Square is in the heart of the city and is an equally great place just to people watch. Shop for tapestries, fabric, carved wooden figurines, jewellery and more. On Sundays head to the much less touristy Green Point Market. Bring your best bargaining skills with you!
A little South African tipple
Looking for a little tipple on your trip? Get a Cape Town car hire and head to the scenic vineyards just past Constantia. Buitenverwachting, Steenberg and Uistig offer visitors free wine tastings. The countryside is stunning so take the long route whenever possible.
No budget for a wine tour into the countryside? Head to Wine Concepts at the Lifestyle Centre on Kloof Street for free tastings of wines you won’t find at the local “off-licence.” &Union also offers complimentary wine and craft beer tastings on Thursday evenings. Call head to book a place at their Bree Street shop.
Been to South Africa before? What was your favourite place to visit? Any other free tips to share?