42 Things To Do In Cape Town Under R200

We’re almost halfway through 2014 and Cape Town is still enjoying the spoils of the momentum she’s gathered from numerous international press mentions from the New York Times to TripAdvisor and The Telegraph. Cape Town is now firmly on the world map as a destination unmissable. Table Mountain now joins the likes of the Statue of Liberty, The Gherkin, the Eifel Tower, Burj Khalifa, Sydney Opera House and the Shanghai Tower; a newly tacked on natural edifice on the tapestry of the world’s iconic cities.

But what lies beyond its beautiful mountain, historical Robben Island, wine regions and most popular sights? With this comprehensive list of alternative things to do in Cape Town we encourage you to explore the other side of the city. Discover Cape Town’s unique culture, people and history through outdoor activities, restaurants and bars and museums. We help you uncover 42 places around Cape Town to eat, play, shop, celebrate and relax, as well as an attractive smattering of free things to do in Cape Town.

Read our brand new updated guide to budget-busting activities in Cape Town here:

Acrobatic, juggling, trapeze, comedy … family fun at the Zip Zap Dome

ZipZap Circus Cape Town

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.

Contact: 021 421 8622

Live and eat cake at Charly’s Bakery

Charlys Bakery

Cost: Enjoy coffee and a cupcake in South Africa’s most iconic bakery for as little as R35.

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. So good are their edible wares that they were even given their own TV show called Charly’s Cake Angels – a 2 season docu-reality series showing the behind-the-scenes of this family owned business and their anything-is-possible approach to baking. Visit them at their shop in town for a cup of coffee and goodies galore.

Contact: 021 461 5181  | View location

City Sightseeing made easy with the Hop On, Hop Off Bus

City Sightseeing Cape Town

Cost: A 1 day red route ticket costs R150 per adult or R130 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. Plugin your earphones and be your own tour guide in more than 16 languages.

Contact: 021 511 6000  | View location

Old school movie viewing at the Labia Theatre

The Labia Theatre

Cost: All shows: R40 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 independent art-repertory cinema in South Africa. The curiously named Labia Theatre on Orange Street 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. The best!

Contact: 021 424 5927  | View location

Release your inner Sherlock at HintHunt in Woodstock

HintHunt Cape Town

Cost: R129 p/p for a group of 6.

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:  | View location

Beerhouse – got 99 bottles and a barbie ain’t one!

Beerhouse Cape Town

Cost: Beers from R6 (for a 100ml taster) all the way to R450 for the Crazy Diamond by Triggerfish Brewery  – it’s a collector’s item.

This newly opened (August 2013) 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  | View location

Browse Bree Street, meet Cape Town cool

Bree Street Cape Town

Image by Andrew Brauteseth, Guy With Camera from: breestreet.co.za

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.

View location

Sweet & savoury indulgence at Earth Fair Market

Earth Fair Market Taking place every Thursday in the St Georges Mall thoroughfare (cnr St Georges Mall & Church Street) from 11am to 3pm, 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:  | View location (Earth Fair Food Market St Georges Mall)

Celebrate creativity and culture at Bay Harbour Market

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 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 and it’s housed in an old fish factory so it’s the perfect jaunt for those rainy Cape days.

Contact: 083 275 5586  | View location

First Thursdays – your (free) ticket to artsy emancipation

First Thursdays

Cost: Free!

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 9pm. 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

Clear with a chance of Kreef at Die Strandloper

Die Strandloper

Cost: R250 per adult for lunch.

There’s no better place to get acquainted with the salty, seadog fish braai culture of the west coast than Die Strandloper (The Beach Walker) in Langebaan. With its rustic maritime setting near the water, Die Strandloper makes for the ideal lunch or dinner mission from Cape Town where meals are served in individual courses extending over a leisurely three to four hour period. It is popular so book in advance.

Contact: 022 772 2490  | View location

Cape Town becomes Boktown at the Springbok Experience Museum

Springbok Experience Museum

Cost: Adults R50, Scholars/Pensioners R30, R140 for a family of four.

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 audio visual 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  | View location

Market on the Wharf – dockside marketplace merriment at the V&A Waterfront

V&A Market on the Wharf

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: 021 276 0200 | View location

Kick back with a cocktail at Café Caprice in Camps Bay

Cafe Caprice

Cost: R48 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 oceans 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  | View location

Follow your nose on a Bo Kaap Cooking Tour

Bo Kaap Cooking Tours

Image by Rachelle Lucas from: flickr.com

Cost: R350 for a 2 hour tour and lunch (admittedly higher than the R200 budget but this tour is well worth it!).

There’s something cooking in the City Bowl and it’s leading guests on a taste discovery of Cape Town’s historical residents through tasty, traditional food.  Your Cape Malay culinary voyage starts and ends in the Bo Kaap (that’s where the colourful houses are), where you will be given the best possible introduction to the food and the people of Cape Town. Skilful guides demonstrate the step-by-step intricacies of old-style Cape Malay recipes teaching you how to how to fold a samoosa and mix masala in the process.

Contact: Zainie Misbach on 074 130 8124 | View location

Colonial confectionery occasions at the Mount Nelson High Tea

Mount Nelson High Tea

Cost: Morning tea R175. Afternoon tea R235.

The Mount Nelson’s high tea event is the stuff of legends and you don’t have to be a hotel guest to enjoy the colourful sweet and savoury spoils on offer. Their signature tea is blended from six infusions, and is accompanied by a mouthwatering selection of savoury finger canapés followed by dark chocolate cake, lemon meringue and freshly baked scones. Adding a special local flavour is a typical South African “melktert”. Call the Mount Nelson on 021 483 1948 for high tea reservations or book a table online.

Contact: 021 483 1948 | View location

SUP Cape Town – Your Stand Up Paddling dreams have never been closer

SUP Cape Town

Cost: R200 for 1 hour. Includes SUP board rental and lesson.

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.

Contact: 082 789 0411 (Guy) | View location

#MoonlightMass – the Mother City’s biggest social bike ride

DCIM100GOPRO

Image by Warrenski from: flickr.com

Cost: Free!

Moonlight Mass is SA’s fastest growing casual cycling event taking place when the moon is full. Unlike the commercial events on South Africa’s cycling calendar, Moonlight Mass requires zero time trials, registration, or expensive gear. Anyone with a helmet and respect for the road is invited to join the masses who meet once a month under the Green Point traffic circle to take over the city in an after dark, two-wheeled frenzy.

Find out more: facebook.com/moonlightmass

The undisputed Truth about Cape Town coffee culture

Truth Coffee

Image by Haldane Martin from: flickr.com

Cost: Only R25 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 | View location

Two for the price of one at HQ on a Monday night

HQ Cape Town

Cost: R175 for 2 on a Monday night. Sirloin, chips and salad.

HQ knows exactly what they do best and they stick to it with pride – the perfect steak in a modern French brasserie setting. The establishment is housed in Cape Town’s historical Heritage Square and offers the chance to dine side by side with glitzy locals and the odd international star. When it comes to good steaks in Cape Town, HQ is the place to see and be seen eating.

Contact: 021 424 6373 | View location

Alcoholic alchemy at The Orphanage Cocktail Emporium

Orphanage Cocktail Emporium

Cost: More Tea Vicar is Orphanages signature cocktail for R60.

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 | View location

Lions Head – Take a hike

Lions Head Hike

Cost: Free!

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 slow pace. Go when there’s a full moon for excellent viewing and a naturally lit path way to the top.

View location

Browse and buy vinyl at Mabu

Mabu Vinyl Cape Town

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  | View location

Perfectly located coffee in Khayelitsha

Department of Coffee

Cost: R10 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 has been specially roasted for them, as well as tea and hot chocolate, muffins and fresh fruit juices.

Contact: 0733009519 / 0780860093 / 0783162918 | View location

Marketplace meandering with the locals in the Mother City’s historic centre

Grand Parade Market Cape Town

Image by Ajay from: flickr.com

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.

View location

A riotously good time at the Rumbullion in Camps Bay

Rumbullion Camps Bay

Cost: R60 for a Margherita Pizza. R45 for a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Set on what is arguably one of Camps Bay’s loftiest viewpoints; the Rumbullion eases up on the fine dining atmosphere of 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 | View location

Sea Point Putt Putt – Sink a few balls on the Atlantic Seaboard

Sea Point Putt Putt

Image by Bernard de Clerk from: flickr.com

Cost: R20.

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 paint work 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 sea breeze is a nice trade off.

Contact: 021 434 6805 | View location

Cinephilia under the stars with The Galileo Open Air Cinema

Galileo Open Air Cinema Hillcrest Quarry

Cost: R80 for a movie ticket, R10 for blanket hire and R20 for chair hire.

Taking place at Hillcrest Wine Estate Quarry (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 6pm and movies start at sunset. Local food vendors selling delicious & 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

Pedal yourself merry among the vineyards with a Bike and Wine tour

Bike and Wine Tours

Cost: There are 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

City Bowl Market – Cape Town’s “indulge and don’t feel bad” bazaar

City Bowl Market

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 | View location

Catch a free concert in the park

De Waal Park Concerts

Cost: Free!

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 | View location

Pub quiz, hotshot. What do you do?

Firemans Arms Cape Town

Image by Warrenski from: flickr.com

Cost: R20.

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 8pm sharp.

Contact: 021 419 1513  | View location

Turn a chop against the best backdrop in the Cape

Braai at Oudekraal

Image by Damien du Toit from: flickr.com

Cost: R30 per person, R15 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 conutry, Oudekraal forms part of Table Mountain National Park and is a protected marine area. As such there’s a small fee of R30 p/p to enter but the nominal amount is well worth it for the chance to braai South African 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: 021 438 9555 | View location

Learn the significance of District Six in South African history

District Six Musuem

Image by Hannah Swithinbank from: flickr.com

Cost: R30 per person for self-guided visits. R45 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 9am to 1pm on Mondays and 9am to 4pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays.

Contact: 021 466 7200 | View location

Experience a new and improved Kirstenbosch Gardens with the Boomslang Aerial Walkway

Kirstenbosch Boomslang Aerial Walkway

Cost: Adults R45. Children R10. 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 a Moyo restaurant, the ever popular Summer Concerts and soon an aerial walkway called the Boomslang, there’s even more reason to visit Kirstenbosch this season. Kirstenbosch’s new aerial walkway will offer 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 tree tops of about  450 of South Africa’s 1000 indigenous species.

Contact: 021 799 8783 | View location

Oranjezicht City Farm – small scale organic agriculture in the heart of the city

Oranjezicht City Farm

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 9am and 2pm 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 bought 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. Click here to donate to the OZCF.

Contact: 083 628 3426 | View location

Explore the Winelands on the Franschhoek Wine Tram

Franschhoek Wine Tram

Cost: Adult – R170, Child (2 – 17 years of age) – R85.

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 | View location

Kiss and cuddle creatures at DARG in Hout Bay

DARG

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 9am – 4pm.

Contact: 021 790 0383 / 021 790 2050 | View location

Step into the most magical garden at Babylonstoren

Glaskas Babylonstoren

Cost: R10 per person entrance fee at the gate. Proceeds go 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 which linger a little longer.

Contact: 021 863 3852 | View location

Blue Peter, Bloubergstrand – Where the locals go

Blue Peter Bloubergstrand

Cost: Fish and chips for R69. Bottle of Two Oceans for R85.

Experience life like Cape Town locals at the Blue Peter in Bloubergstrand. This popular beachside bistro takes its name from the nautical flag rasied 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 | View location

Visit Africa’s largest Bird Park in Hout Bay

World of Birds Hout Bay

Image by Damien du Toit from: flickr.com

Cost: Adults R85, Children R40.

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 3000 birds and 400 species. Open from Monday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm, this is an affordable family day out allowing you the most intimate closeness with nature. They need your help to stay open – click here to see how you can support this wildlife sanctuary 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  | View location

Go strawberry picking at Polkadraai Farm

Strawberry Picking Polkadraai Farm

Cost: Strawberry picking prices range from R25 to R170

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 9am to 5pm daily.

Contact: 021 881 3854 | View location


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.

Also see our maps to help you make sense of Cape Town and the 50 photos of Cape Town that will make you want to move here.

‘I hate weekends!’, said no-one ever! Check out www.helloweekend.capetown for loads of ideas of what to do on weekends in the Mother City where there is always something on.

Our Readers Comments

  1. This is nice Capetown

  2. God I miss South Africa, specially Cape Town

    • So what is stopping you from coming home Athol ?(tic)

    • My mum always tells me never to come back because the country is going backwards. It’s a lovely place to visit for a few weeks, but I would never go back to live there if you have to live in constant fear for your life.

    • At please ‘Bubbles’. I live in Cape Town. I sleep with my doors open (no secutrity gates) or alarm and my wife goes jogging around the neighborhood at night. We walk wherever we want, down the road to a restaurant or up the mountain for a sunset. I don’t need to carry any kind of weapon and have always felt totally safe. Most of Cape Town enjoys the outdoors every day of the year. It’s beautiful and it’s safe. You walk down a dark alley at night…well the outcome will be the same in most places on earth.

  3. Babylonstoren correction – it is R10 per person. We just went there today and they charged a per person entry fee

  4. OR……
    Come visit Simonstown. R40 per adult and R20 for a child you can do a Submarine tour with HGTS Tours and the SAS Assegaai. The only place where you can do Submarine tours in Africa.

    021703802

    • Awesome!! Which days are they open, and do we have to book in advance?

    • where anout in simonstown are u situated?

    • Wow that sounds exciting. Ofcourse not as exciting as going out to sea in one I’m sure, but it would be nice to see. Thank you Enrico. Nice One !

  5. Very informative!

    • would you like some carrot cake

  6. more to do in Cape town….

  7. See much more to be seen and done in Cape Town if more active persons….

  8. Very nice.Cape Town from a different side.

  9. Please note! Boomslang walk in Kirstenbosch gardens is still under construction and not open to the public. Was disappointed to find this out today.

    • It is open and really a must to do. The views are spectacular.

  10. “Kaapse Stories from the Mother City” at Richard’s – a wonderful way to celbrate Cape Town!

  11. Hoorray for promoting Domestic Tourism. Wonderful reference for the locals to enjoy there city. Well done!!!!

  12. I didn’t know most of these events existed! will definitely start getting the family out more. Thank you!

  13. I’m sorry — Cape Town “shines like a bright light at the foot of the Dark Continent”? Bigoted, tired tropes are a pretty poor way of encouraging African tourism.

    • Why Is Africa Called the Dark Continent?
      Contrary to what people might think, the name ‘Dark Continent’ was not given to Africa because of the colour of the people living there, but because of the mystery that surrounded the place back when the Europeans visited there. Not much was known of the African lands, but they were known to be harsh and dangerous places and only brave explorers dared to go there.

    • Hi Kristen. Thanks so much for your comment. I believe the author wasn’t intending any offence. I believe he was trying to highlight that Cape Town has been in the spotlight so much recently in comparison to the rest of Africa which is not getting as much airtime at present. That being said, in retrospect the line was probably an inappropriate choice of words and we can see now how it could be offensive and non-constructive. We have now removed it from the article. Thank you so much for taking the time to highlight your point of view, every bit of feedback, however critical is helpful to us in improving the pieces we publish here. Please accept our apologies for any offence caused.

    • @kirsten van Schie How sad and pathetic to try to make something as simple as a tour description controversial. Get a life. Well done to whoever compiled this list it is excellent

    • What does that statement shine bright on the dark continent mean? There is nothing wrong with the Dark continent and we are by all means happy to be Dark mxm!!!!! #racist

  14. a Must visit

  15. Thank you for a stimulating and very well-presented blog. Hoping you will add to this in the near future. Will you include more ‘family-friendly’ events that are also less expensive, or free. Would like to see other local Museums featured, eg The Holocaust Museum; the Milnerton Flea Market every Saturday; Museums a bit further afield such as the Motor Museum at Franschhoek; and more physical activity events. All the best.

  16. Lame about the “bright light at the foot of the dark continent”…very colonial.

    You also forgot to mention CAVE GOLF at the V&A Waterfront- R15 per person for hours of cheesy, nostalgic fun for the whole family.

  17. Made a special trip to kirstenbosch today to visit the boomslang arial walk way which is not yet open. Very disappointing as the only reason I went was because it was listed here.

    • I wish all of you moaning about the “Boomslang” would learn to read properly. It says “COMING SOON”.

  18. Kristen yes it does, have you seen the rest of Africa? And to the author congratulations this is by far the best todo article i have read in … well ever!

    • An excellent blog in the main for Cape Town and its Southern Suburbs. I would add Toboganning at Cool Runnings near Tygervalley if you were roaming slightly further afield. I like the volunteering opportunity mentioned above, so this blog is perhaps achieving what it intended. We are all interested and stimulated to enjoy our city, in addition to giving visitors a quick guide to what they can do around here.

      Covie, I agree with Kristen and Maya that the “Dark Continent” comment is very colonialist and therefore unfortunate. And yes, I HAVE visited a number of other African countries across our beautiful continent – they are different to SA, but beautiful in their own way. We have a truly rich continent.

  19. When I tried to take my up country visitors to Babylonstoren the guard at the gate wanted to charge R10 per person entrance fee. He told me it was for the Babylonstoren Fund. We didn’t go in. You have quoted R10 per car which makes a visit much more affordable. I hope you are correct.

    • You travelled all the way there and didn’t want to pay R10 per person… ridiculous if I must say

    • I have to agree, absolutely ridiculous. But you would probably spend a lot more on a take away meal.

    • WOW a whole 1 Euro 50, please how cheap can you be.

  20. Awesome!!! Nothing like Cape Town

  21. Come on people R10 per person is nothing compare to what you pay for torus over seas believe me!!

  22. Karen,you should be disappointed in your reading skills… And worseyet, you’re blaming the blog for specially making a trip there. Could have saved you the trouble had you read the article properly… “and SOON an aerial walkway called the Boomslang, there’s even more reason to visit Kirstenbosch this season. Kirstenbosch’s new aerial walkway WILL offer 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 tree tops of about 450 of South Africa’s 1000 indigenous species.”

  23. Nothing like the Mother City….. Awesomeness!!!

  24. Love this! Love visiting this city! No wonder it’s ranked as most liveable city in Africa – africa.com/blog/the_top_10_most_liveable_cities_in_africa/

  25. Why not spend a day, working / coaching young people in Mitchells Plain or Atlantis The MITS Program trains local unemployed young people as coaches making the employable. the young coaches work at our partner schools and provide valuable physical education and life skills to the kids. we also have international volunteers living and working alongside our local coaches in the community We are always grateful for new volunteers – whether you would like to assist with the physical education or lend a hand with teaching the kids to read, or whether you could offer your help at one of our events. Simply phone MITS on 079 597 0012, MAIL: kpmeyer@absamail.co.za and checkout our FB page facebook/mitsprogram

  26. Insightful, have shared on our page and will definitely be sharing with our volunteers!

  27. The topic is a bit misleading. I think there is a couple of great things to do for less than R200. Wish you stuck to the original idea.

  28. Thank you so much for sharing what is happening right on my door step – Great! will be visiting some places as from today!

  29. Well compiled.. It makes you fall in love with kaapstad.. Stellenbosch is not included

  30. Why Is Africa Called the Dark Continent?
    Contrary to what people might think, the name ‘Dark Continent’ was not given to Africa because of the colour of the people living there, but because of the mystery that surrounded the place back when the Europeans visited there. Not much was known of the African lands, but they were known to be harsh and dangerous places and only brave explorers dared to go there.

  31. Hi

    Thanks for the nice work you have put together. I however find the following statement disturbing
    “Now firmly on the world map as a destination unmissable; despite her long-haul geographical position Cape Town shines like a bright light at the foot of the Dark Continent”

    When you say dark continent, you mean? Because as far as I know Africa is one of the brightest continents in the world due to the sunny and bright weather there is there.

    Can you explain?

  32. Kirstenbosch boombslang walkway is not there yet. They are still building it!

  33. I live in Cape Town, and I know things can get costly but its funny that you couldn’t find 40 things that are actually below R200.00

  34. Welcome to Cape Town…… Enjoy the party!!!

  35. Sounds great, and I can’ t wait to get started. It’s good to be reminded of some different ways to enjoy Cape Town. I am so glad to get ideas. Thank you travel start

    To those who want to nitpick here, go do it elsewhere.

  36. Love to get more information!

  37. This is such an awesome list.
    I’m heading to CT this week and this list has just helped me become a real tourist in my own country.
    Thank you :)

  38. Cape Town is the best place to be… ANYTIME!!!!

  39. its great to know that we have so many places on our doorstep to visit, thank you. Had this not been posted we would not have known about it.

  40. Looking for something to do in Cape Town at night?

    Every 2nd & last Thursday, we will keep you entertained with premier classic burlesque, live music and good vibes. Bringing you nothing but the best burlesque artistes, musicians, and variety acts; Harlem Shakes gives you a chance to let your hair down and shake off those work blues!

    Think New Orleans, Gatsby, Prohibition, Blues and Jazz all shaken up with some hot, hot, HOT LIVE burlesque and cabaret!

    Admission is just R40 at the door!

    Next event is 24 April 2014.
    https://www.facebook.com/events/212339895642802/

    TO keep to date with events and who’s performing etc. follow us on facebook.

    https://www.facebook.com/HarlemShakesBurlesque

  41. …. and the Cape Town Science Centre

  42. send me information…..

  43. Keep me posted with more places to visit in cape town. It is very welcoming. Thank you.

  44. fantastic !!!! some new info as to where to go and do apart from the obvious. it would be obvious though if you could include something in the townships as well especially the projects

  45. Now I have an idea of what to do when I get to the Mother City…Most definitely coming…..Thank you for INFO

  46. This is amazing and so many things to put on our list for next time we visit. It’s a wonderful city and we love it. We live in UK but visit our daughter who lives in Cape Town regularly. Will be great to share some of these places together.

  47. World of Birds is amazing value for money. You can spend the entire day there and never get enough. We enjoy every minute of our visits.

  48. This is very useful for a joburg visitor – please keep updated as you find more activities to do.

  49. Thanks for an awesome blog, Travelstart. I am moving to the US soon and decided to set myself a challenge, to do as many of these 40 things as possible. I will do blog posts on all the activities I complete :) I’m happy to share the posts with you guys, since you inspired it (thewanderingcapetonian on wordpress), if you’d be interested in reading.

  50. Thanks for keeping us in the loop of things to do in Cape town.

  51. I go to South Africa every year, and always find new things to do. This list is great. Love that blue peter is on the list as that is where I got married 15 years ago, May 1, 1999.

  52. wonder world by so far Cape Town is thee most entertaining city in South Africa not to mention beautiful nature and culturist as well

  53. Happy anniversary for tomorrow, John!

  54. Not a mention of Kalk Bay, Muizenberg or Simon’s Town.

  55. Wow – It’s like seeing Cape Town for the first time – thank you

  56. Besoek bietjie Salty Sea Dog Restaurant in Simonstad!!You won’t be dissappointed.Allways fresh fish Hake,Kingklip and Snoek.Chips wat ons self maak nie Mc Cain of ander voorafbereide chips nie
    To make bookings 021 7861918

  57. What about the hop on hop off False Bay coastal train trip from Muizenberg to Simonstown for R10.50

  58. What about Kalk Bay, Muizenberg, Simonstown?? There are some awesome places there and it’s probably the most beautiful part of CT. This list includes some very nice places and showcases the beauty and vibrancy of our beautiful city, but the majority of the venues seems to be about spending lots of time with hoards of other people all trying to do the same thing at the same time. A better list would have included some places where you can simply “get away” from it all and thus present visitors with a better balance of what CT has to offer.

  59. Great things to do and see but include the False Bay area as well. Great tourist spots, restaurants, boat trips, lighthouses, game parks, mountain walks, waterfalls, scenic views, steam train, surfing, warm water beaches, whale and shark watching,sailing, fish harbours, quaint bubs, penguins, vineyards. In the end there is more to do down South than up North and far few people and all very relaxed

  60. It really makes one appreciative of the Cape, with all the fun things to do in absolute beautiful surroundings for practically free… there is no place like home :)

  61. It is amazing how easy it is to have fun for under R200.00 in our beautiful city, i have renewed appreciation.

  62. Lovely list and great reminders, thank you. Please add The Meeting Place in Simons Town. It’s on a balcony above a decor shop and overlooks the harbor area. Perfect post-penguin hangout! Also Alexander Bar on the corner of Strand and Loop. Great welcoming, very relaxed ambience with quirky character and wonderful tiny theatre upstairs, where some of SA’s most exciting new theatre talent is on display.

  63. Do not forget the best “Pastries – NATAS” in Cape Town, at Broadway Bakery, 109 Voortrekker Road in Maitland

  64. As usual you ignore Stellenbosch, The Helderberg and surrounds. Helderberg Nature reserve – cost R20.00. R44 between Gordon’s Bay and Kleinmond – beautiful and free; nuch nicer than Chapmans peak. Penguin Reserve in Betty’s Bay R10.00.

  65. Most of the places still not affordable for normal Cape Town families. Maybe next time focus on places to take a family of 4 for under R200

  66. It looks like I need to visit Cape Town (South Africa)!! I have never been to sub-Saharan Africa, let a lone South Africa. Do you think I can self-guide with a good map? Are car rentals easy? and is road signage adequate? I want to experience Cape Town and not the usual tourist activities. Thank you.

  67. Great ideas, THANKS !

  68. know I am a bit late with looking at this list, but I guess I’m a true Capetonian with aaaall the time in the world :-)
    Awesome list! Thank you Travelstart!!! You guys ROCK!
    I am looking forward to doing most of these activities. The only thing wrong with this list, is a few negative comments below it, ag but that’s mos maar the way.
    Keep up the good work!

  69. And how about joining a drum circle hosted by AfroBeat Drumming every Thursday evening @ The Palms, 145 Sir Lowry Rd, Cape Town. Cost R100.00

  70. Oh My Word…haha…I’m absolutely thankful for the blogger who took his/her time in compiling this list of awesome ideas (for a lack of better words).These activities were and are right under my nose. Every weekend my partner and try but can’t seem to think of any good things to do, What makes it even worse than that is the fact the we live in the CBD but prefer being indoors as nothing seems adventurous. However, thanks once again to this article that I, by chance stabled across due to a small case of insomnia.
    Any ways, Enough said as “procrastination is a crime”.

    P.S – The will always be some forms of ” Darkness ” (negative responses) in place of Light …” Some people ” feel the need to judge others of their doings . However,” They never take time to reflect on what consequences their actions has consist of. In most case they are the one’s whom will suffer will it’s all over.

    However, on that note I would like to thank people like that .As they make me who I am today,

    God bless, Cape Town & South Africa
    We Need More Love In The World. . .
    One Love. One Nation.

  71. Thank you the compilor of this totally awesome list. I am planning a couples’ outing for 14 Feb but the budgets are rather on the low side. Would love to do take the navy museum option.

  72. Gr8 site

  73. After seeing Charly’s bakery right at the top of this list I stopped reading, disgusting service, disgusting cake, disgusting owners. Overrated is putting it mildly!

  74. A hike up the beautiful Bainskloof is also awesome and I’m pretty sure the permit is less than R200.00. Only 30mins and you are in heaven!

  75. Awesome list! Thanks for giving my ideas for a holiday to look forward to!

  76. Wonderful list – and a lot of things I have not seen on other lists to plan for my upcoming trip 😀 Thanks!

  77. Such a gr8 list. Wish I found it b4 my holiday began. Don’t forget to check out Oude Molen for child friendly activities that include horse rides for kids, a lovely market & petting zoo that’s definitely under R50 – R100 (depending on the number of horse rides & purchases from the various market stalls). Bring along a picnic & blanket to sit on the river bank while the kids enjoy the horse rides.

  78. Fantastic list! Welldone guys! As a old Capetonian now living in George, you just opened a whole new world of exciting things to do and see when heading that way! Cant wait!!
    Keep up the good stuff :-)

    • Hi Rochelle, great to hear from you! Thanks for the amazing feedback. It always puts a smile on our face when we know our hard work pays off, and know our fans are happy with what we have put out there for them! Have a great day 😀

  79. Thanks for a great site . So much to do and see ,

    • Hi Avail,

      Thanks for the awesome feedback! We always happy to hear that our fans enjoy what we put out there for them 😀

  80. I´ve spent 4 months in there in 2007 and i steel remember the city, i`m going back there at the end of march to do what i didn’t. I`ll visit all the amazing places and find a place to permanently live.
    This is what i really want

  81. I miss South Africa :(, especially Cape Town

  82. Don’t forget an unforgettable visit to The Heart of Cape Town Museum, the home of the world’s FIRST heart transplant by Chris Barnard (at Groote Schuur Hospital). Two hour guided tours, seven days a weeks, 9.00 – 11.00 – 13h00 – 15h00. Bookings, preferable but not strongly advisable. Camera’s are welcome.
    Tour prices as follows:
    SA visitor R100, scholar & students R50, children under 10, free.
    SA Seniors R50
    International visitors R200.
    Guides relives the gut wrenching story of the worlds first heart transplant. An absolute must see and well worth the price. Go and be inspired !!!!!!

  83. Very Nice article I,ll come back again and again.

  84. Looking forward to my visit to Cape Town in mid August 2015. I will definitely visit some of these locations. I will be traveling with my daughter and spending some quality time exploring the area. Suggestions are welcome.

  85. It has been sometime I haven’t been to CT. Refreshed myself what to do next time around. Thanks for the info

  86. I’m traveling to Cape town late September and was wondering if this is the best time and being alone i was wondering if it is difficult to meet other travelers there?

    • Hey Giovanni, thanks for reaching out. Late September is a wonderful time to visit Cape Town! It’s spring and all the flowers will be blooming. It can be cool on some days, warm on others but in general the climate is mild during this time. You’ll find a lot of travellers around at that time, even though it’s not peak season, so it shouldn’t be difficult to meet people. I’m sure you will love Cape Town!

  87. Hi
    Ground zero paintball is situated 15 minutes from Canal walk down the n7 situated in morningstar and will only cost you R100 for the day and you receive 100 paintballs and your kit, gas is free for the day and braai facilities are available a no extra cost.

    Thanks for posting all these awesome venues.

    Regards
    Adam

  88. Thank you for this most informative list. We have been to CT often & I was surprised by the number of places we have never visited. If you are interested in matters spiritual & historic, we can recommend the Jewish Museum & synagogue in Gardens.

    • Hi there,

      Yes very true. My mom and friends visited it last week, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

  89. I didn’t really see anything I would’ve liked to do because I like exciting & adventurous activities 😩so I think I’ll check a different website 👍🏽deuces

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      I’m afraid all the adventurous activities like sky diving or zip lining are all over R200

      But should be be up for a chilled day out, try some of these activities they are pretty awesome :)

Have something to say...