You are on a tight budget and plan to spend your next trip in Cape Town? You don’t need wads of cash to enjoy yourself in the Mother City. You are sure to find interesting free things to do in this marvellous city with its striking natural beauty, incredible diverse cultures, and welcoming locals.
Here is your list of the TOP FREE THINGS to do in Cape Town!
THE FAMOUS TABLE MOUNTAIN HIKING
The famous Table Mountain National Park is a Natural World Heritage Site, which provides an excellent hundreds of miles of trails both for hiking and biking.
If you are up to for the Table Mountain’s trails, you need to be relatively fit. The trails encompass breath-taking views of the City Bowl, coastline, and the Cape Peninsula. You can always check one of the visitor information centres, which can be found at the base of Platteklip Gorge, or at the Tafelburg road for a detailed trail map. It is wise to check the weather conditions at the top since they can change quickly. Most of the hiking enthusiasts opt for the Platteklip Gorge path which is straightforward. Normally, it takes around 2-3 hours, depending on your pace to reach up to the mountain. It is important to follow safety guidelines when walking or hiking the region.
ST JAMES BEACH- CAPE TOWN’S COLOURFUL BEACH HOUSES
St James, is one of the smallest suburbs in Cape Town situated on the False Bay coast between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay. It offers a well-sheltered beach spot from the westerly wind for beach enthusiasts. It derives its name from the early St James Catholic Church built in 1880.
It is one of the popular beach destinations for both locals and tourists who like to get tanned in summer. It is frequently visited by families with young children because of its many tide pools, safe swimming temperate waters, and colourful Victorian bathing boxes.
St James is also known for its historical heritage as houses built from stone, limestone, and plaster were passed down from generation to generation that still exists today. The St James Cottage, built in 1853 provides such an example. One interesting fact is that during the Anglo-Boer War, prisoners were hidden in the loft by the owner, Abraham Auret. He also helped to stage their escape across the bay.
SURFING IN MUIZENBERG- CAPE TOWN
Grab your board and head out to conquer the Muizenberg’s long lines of waves! Muizenberg beach is one of the best spots in the Mother city to learn surfing. It has 200 metres of sandy shoreline with approximately 200 parking bays.
It takes you around 30 minutes’ drive from the Cape Town city centre to reach the beach. With the northwesterly wind that comes from the direction of the beach onto the sea causing perfect waves for surfing.
The beachfront is a most liked family spot, with restaurants and coffee shops in the surroundings that offer you a perfect respite after a chilly surf. You can also see local beach vendors who sell a variety of snacks, cold drinks, fast food and ice-cream. It’s wise to go there early to skip the traffic jam.
FREE EXHIBITION-IZIKO SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL GALLERY
If you’re an art lover, you can’t skip the Iziko South African National Gallery. It is found in the Company’s Garden, opposite the South African Museum on Government Avenue. It operates on a daily basis from 10 am to 5 pm and closed on Workers’ Day and Christmas.
It houses an impressive collection of South African, Dutch, French, British and Flemish artworks from the 17th to the 19th century. The National Gallery also displays Lithographs, etchings, some 20th-century British paintings and a selective contemporary artwork from many South African’s communities. You can also find an authoritative collection of indigenous sculpture and beadwork from the gallery houses. The National Gallery has grown into one of the international stature with its exquisite South African, African and Western European art.
You can also visit the South African Museum, which features around one and a half million artefacts of the natural and human sciences. Do not miss the interesting exhibitions of indigenous peoples of the Southern Africa.
FREE VISIT TO THE CAPE TOWN HOLOCAUST CENTRE
Get a little bit of history by visiting the Cape Town Holocaust Centre, which commemorates the death of six million Jews during the Holocaust. It is located in the Albow Centre in Gardens, central Cape Town.
This museum aims to give insights into racial discrimination, in parallels to the injustices of the apartheid. It caters to a permanent exhibition that combines text, archival photographs, film footage, documents, multimedia displays and recreated environments. It also provides survivors’ testimony and portrait gallery.
It opens from 10 am to 5 pm from Sunday to Thursday and from 10 am to 2 pm on Friday.
FREE MUSIC CONCERT-CAPE TOWN INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL
Get ready to groove with a free concert at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. This annual music festival provides a six-hour performance with national and international artists. It is recognised as the fourth largest jazz festival in the world and the largest jazz festival on the African continent. It also forms part of the festival’s eight-day community programme.
You can get access to the free outdoor concert, which allows its audience to catch a glimpse of what’s to come at the weekend-long fiesta. It’s a chance to grab a drink and savour the musical talents of the performers!
FREE CULTURAL CELEBRATION-THE CAPE TOWN CARNIVAL
Get into this glamorous celebration of African identity, diverse communities, and cultures with the power of creativity. A fully electrifying experience you simply can’t miss!
The Cape Town Carnival is an annual cultural celebration held at the Green Points Famous FanWalk, with an eye-popping and astounding parade of over 2000 costumed performers and musicians, with a huge and colourful moving crowd.
Enjoy the freedom of the city streets as the FanWalk turns into a pedestrian walkway filled with fun, food and thrilled folks. It’s an opportunity to get close with the Capetonian culture, and to enjoy a shared celebration on the city’s streets. Get into this festive atmosphere in the market area or swing to the music mixed by reputed DJs at the Carnival after-party night!
FREE ACTIVITIES AT THE CENTURY CITY NATURAL GOODS MARKET
The Century City Natural Goods Market is situated in the Park Lane, Central Park next to the Intaka Island (a 16-hectare wetland and bird sanctuary), is an outdoor market which offers a free family-friendly outing in the Northern Suburbs.
It opens on the last Sunday of each summer month (from October to April), providing a leisurely fun atmosphere for shopping, picnic, free activities for adults and kids such as jumping castles, train rides, pony rides and magic tricks.
You’ll find artisan stalls for your browsing pleasure, plenty of picnic tables set up on both the sun and shade and free entertainment with the live local music in the summer season. Families can take a boat ride around the Intaka Island for some bird watching.
The market offers a wide range of quality products such as artisan food, home bakes, coffee, preserves, cheese, wine, handcrafted jewellery, books, furniture, plants, art, locally made clothing, and the list goes on!
FREE WINE TASTING AT WINE CONCEPTS
Established since 1998, the Wine Concept at lifestyle in Kloof street, offers free daily tastings of wine. It opens from Monday to Friday at 10 am till 7 pm, and at 9 am till 5 pm on Saturdays and Public Holidays.
They are the well-known wine boutique in South Africa, providing not only the finest wine but stocks of a diverse range of craft beers, brandy whiskey and other liqueurs. Their wines are sourced from top wine estates such as Cederberg and Noble Hill.
Each of their store, host daily complimentary tastings, giving customers the chance to try before they can buy. They also organise an annual Burgundy Lover’s Festival, Seductive Sauvignon Festival and French Champagne Festival throughout the year.