Cape Town is often touted as an expensive city, and although it certainly has its overpriced flairs and flourishes, there is still plenty to see and do around and about the city that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. Take a look at these things to do in Cape Town
A trip to Cape Town invariably includes a tour through the Winelands.
Whether you pick Paarl, Hermanus, Constantia, Durbanville, Robertson or Franschhoek, you can be sure of tasting some of the best wines in the world.
The harbour in Hout Bay is a great place to hop on board and take in the magnificence of Chapman’s Peak and Duiker Island.
The Hout Bay boat trips are also cheaper than the likes of the V&A Harbour tours,and you’ll see far more seals, as Duiker Island is home to a large host of Cape fur seals that duck and dive through the water and pile onto the rocks to bask in the sun.
Two Oceans Aquarium
If it’s marine life you’re after, then head to the Two Oceans Aquarium, which is situated at the V&A Waterfront. It is open all year round . Your ticket is valid for the whole day, giving you the option of popping out for lunch, a bit of shopping or a boat trip before returning again.
You can easily spend the whole day in the aquarium, observing and learning about the different species, including mole snakes, green sea turtles, blue rays, clown triggerfish, needle urchins, the common octopus, box jellyfish – and, of course, penguins and sharks.
Although you can see penguins at the aquarium, you’ll also have the chance of seeing them in a more natural environment by visiting Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town. Boulders is home to more than 2,000 African penguins that nest, breed and waddle about the beach. The penguin beaches are protected and managed by SANParks (South African National Parks), ensuring the safety and conservation of the endangered, flightless birds.
District Six Museum
Take in a bit of history by visiting the District Six Museum.
Situated in the heart of the city, the museum takes you through the vibrant and diverse life of the community established in 1867, before its gradual collapse during the Apartheid years when more than 60,000 people were forcibly removed from their homes. It is an enduring and emotional tour, capturing the joy, the passion and the heartache of a community.
Winding your way through the Cape Peninsula, and stopping off at Cape Point to clamber up to the lighthouse, is a must-do when visiting Cape Town, bear in mind that the drive out of Cape Town will take you about an hour. It is well worth it, as you will realise when you take in the awe-inspiring scenery around you. However, don’t let anyone fill your head with the nonsense that it is the southernmost tip of Africa. This honor goes to Cape Agulhas, about three hours from Cape Town, which is also the point where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet.
Grab a beer
If you want to watch an important rugby or football match, Mitchell’s at the V&A Waterfront is a good bet and a great place to couple your cold beer with a delicious pizza. If you want to try something beyond the usual selection of Windhoeks, Castles and Black Labels, try the Beerhouse on Long Street. Never will the song 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall pop into your head quicker…
Support local music
On that musical note, there are various places you can visit to support the local music scene.
On the fringes of the city you’ll find Mercury, which regularly feature bands from across South Africa. Their drinks are also better-priced than in other parts of the city. If you want to spend even less, or nothing for that matter, you can go to De Waal Park in the summer, where free concerts featuring local bands are hosted on late Sunday afternoons.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
Set against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens is home to an abundant variety of Cape flora. Once inside you can enjoy a cool, calm walk or throw out a picnic blanket and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. The ‘Boomslang’ was recently erected – a 130m long timber and galvanised steel walkway – letting you take a walk above the ground and through the treetops while admiring the incredible views of the gardens and the city beyond.
Old Biscuit Mill
You can easily spend more than R200 at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock.
Taking place every Saturday, entry into the market is free, but there is so much on offer – from coffee, smoothies, paella, cupcakes, macaroons, cheese, olives and honey to clothing, crafts, plants and jewellery, you can shop (and eat) ’til you drop. But if you’re just after an easy morning enjoying a cold beer or a hot breakfast while chilling with friends, you need get there early, because by mid-morning it is overflowing with people.
Is that trip to Cape Town seeming more realistic now?