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January 23, 2014

Free things to do in #lovecapetown

Being able to spend hours on the beach is one of the great pleasures of being in Cape Town. Photo courtesy: Garybrembridge

Editor's Note: This article was first published on January 14,2013 and has since been updated.

So, it's a few days before the long-awaited January pay day and you're in need of something to do that won't break the bank...  save those cents, Mother City lovers, because Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, has much to offer, including a range of activities – for free.

Go outdoors:

It’s summer and the beach beckons. Spend a few hours relaxing on a white sandy beach, read a book, get a tan or dip into the ocean.

Take a walk along the Sea Point Promenade, sit on a bench, watch the ships in the distance and stay to watch the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean.

You can also pack a picnic basket and have lunch at the Green Point Urban Park. A relatively new addition to the city, the park has fast become a firm favourite with both visitors and locals. The park also has a free gym and loads of things for kids to do.

The Company’s Garden offers a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Stroll up Government Avenue, enjoy the myriad flowers, trees and plants, and you can feed the squirrels.

For the thrillseekers:

.If you are after an adrenalin rush, lace up your hiking boots, find your sun hat and head towards Table Mountain. There is a range of hikes and walks up the mountain. There is also a hike up Lion's Head during the full moon. Take a walk around Rhodes Memorial and enjoy the view.  

For the history lovers:

Book ahead to take a guided tour of Parliament. Cape Town is the legislative centre of South Africa and the Parliamentary precinct is a historian’s delight.

Iziko Museums, which includes the Slave Lodge, have free entry days on some public holidays.

For the culture vultures:

Visit Woodstock, an up-and-coming design hub. It is a fascinating place to do some window-shopping. If you happen to be there on a Saturday morning, pop over to the Biscuit Mill, home of the Neighbourgoods Market. Traders set out delectable morsels to sample.

A perennial favourite is the V&A Waterfront Summer Concerts, staged at the amphitheatre at weekends during January. Visit the Nobel Square, also at the Waterfront, and take a picture of the four South African Nobel Laureates.

Every Sunday afternoon, until March 16, there are free concerts in De Waal Park.

For the shopaholics:

Walk through the city centre and pop into iconic churches like the St George's Cathedral, a visit to Greenmarket Square will liven up your mood, chat to the vendors and hear their stories. Many of the traders are from across Africa and have chosen to make Cape Town their home.

Quaint little shops in Kalk Bay will keep you enthralled for hours, and a visit to the harbour is a must-do. There are plenty of photo opportunities as fishing vessels dock and offload their catch, a group of women meticulously clean freshly-caught fish for buyers to take home, seagulls swoop down to pick up discarded morsels and of course, rows and rows of fish are for sale.

Long Street is widely known as a party street, but it has a fascinating history and its personality has changed over the decades, which results in an eclectic mix of stores, including second-hand bookshops, jewellers and antique dealers. You could easily spend an entire day getting to know Long Street.

Take a walk to the Bo-Kaap and immerse yourself in the fascinating history of the area. Take your camera along to snap pictures of the quaint, brightly-painted cottages.

For more information on activities and things to do in Cape Town, contact Cape Town Tourism on +27 (0)861 322 223 or email info@capetown.travel


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