January 02, 2009
Some of the best things in life – and Cape Town – are free
This time of year, despite all its festive charms, can be a tight time financially.
Everyone seems to have a claim on your hard-earned income – kids, family, friends, the tax man – and even if you’re lucky enough to get an end-of-year bonus, once you’ve fulfilled all your financial commitments there never seems enough left over to spread around.
But even if you’re saving your last few coins, you don’t have to lock yourself away in the no-fun zone.
Here are our top 10 free (mahala, nada, gratis) things to do in Cape Town:
- Take your towel and sunscreen and go chill on the nearest beach. Cape Town is gloriously sunny (well, mostly!) at this time of the year, so head to the fantastic beaches – and there are so many to choose from, including Clifton, Camps Bay and Muizenberg.
- Hang out at the Waterfront and try to catch the free live music performances that sometimes happen at the amphitheatre. You can also enjoy window-shopping, or people-watching from a comfy perch.
- Enjoy the longish walk across Noordhoek beach and beyond to Kommetjie. A hike up the scenic Chapman’s Peak is another option, though you’ll need to be fairly fit.
- Take a stroll around the city centre. Cape Town’s central area is quite compact when compared to other great cities of the world – and taking in its urban culture on foot is a fantastic way to experience the city.
- Head up to Signal Hill for gorgeous views of the city and Table Bay. Aim to be there at 12h00 for the firing of the noon gun.
- Go and watch the squirrels in the Company Gardens. The leafy gardens are a lovely spot for a stroll.
- In the mood for something really wacky and different? Join a Cape Town “flash mob” group on Facebook and be part of the crowd for some well-planned loony behaviour.
- The Sea Point promenade is great whether you want to walk it, sit and watch the sea and people, play putt-putt, swim in one of the most scenic swimming pools in the world, or play in the nearby park.
- Be creatively inspired – visit one of Cape Town Central’s many art galleries, like the Irma Stern gallery at the University of Cape Town, the South African National Gallery in the Company Gardens, the Bell-Roberts Contemporary, the Linda Goodman Gallery in Woodstock or 34 On Long in Long Street. Kloof Street also features a number of small galleries displaying work by local artists. (See our extensive list of things to do relating to culture and heritage for more.)
- Take a drive around the peninsula, from the city centre or southern suburbs to Muizenberg and Simon’s Town and on towards Cape Point. Or go the other way, from the city centre along the Atlantic Seaboard past Clifton, Camps Bay, Llandudno and on to Hout Bay. Stop and take pictures of the spectacular views along the way, and maybe take a picnic.