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December 17, 2013

Top 5 shopping experiences in Cape Town

‘Tis the season to give, and if you haven’t done your Christmas shopping yet, what are you waiting for? With the holidays less than a week away, we thought we’d wrap up (pun intended) our top five shopping experiences in Cape Town to give all you last minute shoppers some ideas for gifting – but also to give our holiday-makers a comprehensive guide to shopping in the Mother City.

1. The V & A Waterfront

If you’re a mall rat, you’ll love shopping at the Waterfront with trendy mannequins peeking out of every store window. With over 450 retail outlets to choose from - fashion and jewellery, home-ware and curios, and audio-visual equipment - this shopping centre offers a little something for every member of your family. Stores are open till 9pm so you can even make a late night dash for gift wrap and Christmas crackers. And if you’re not into the indoor shopping vibe, there is an organic market as well as the Red Shed Craft Workshop that offers an alternative range of gifts. The Waterfront is known to host many of the international retail outlets and definitely a popular shopping stop for tourists. End your shopping off with a scoop of Gelato at the famous Gelato Mania, or an ice coffee at the range of coffee bars in the mall. Check out their Digimag for festive shopping ideas this season.

2. Stellenbosch Slow Market

This Christmas night market is set up every year under the trees at Oude Libertas in the lush Stellenbosch region. Why not take your entire family here for some bonding time while shopping for festive decorations? The market is well known for their unique vintage style and is a popular spot for the locals to get their hands on some traditional Christmas treats such as: gingerbread houses, Christmas fruit cakes, mince pies, organic nuts, gammon rolls, German bratwurst, champagne, fynbos topiaries, décor and handmade goods.

Aerial view of Stellenbosch Slow Market, photo courtesy of urban sprout

3. Long Street

Long Street holds a truly spirited shopping experience with its vintage retail and design stores dotted along the street. Strolling leisurely in and out of the stores on Long on a hot summer’s day is reminiscent of old bohemia. Here you can find all sorts of hidden gems that you won’t necessary find in a conventional shopping centre so be sure to stop by So You, Me Me Me and Imagenius if you're looking for something a little different to fill your Christmas stockings with. Fashionistas and trend-setters, Long Street is quite synonymous with fashion and is the creative hub for up-and-coming local designers - if you're shopping for the quirky stylista in the family, Long Street will not disappoint.

4. Access Park Factory Shops

Hidden in the midst of southern suburbia, lies a retail heaven at discounted prices. Access Park is renowned amongst bargain hunters in Cape Town as the one stop shopping experience where you'll find all of your favourite brands for less-than-store prices. Take your pick at local designer outlets such as Urban; Vertigo, Hilton Weiner and Jahaan as well as international favourites such as Puma, Adidas, Cotton On and Factorie - the catch though, is that only their last season stock is on sale. So if there's a printed jumper you've had your eye on earlier this year but it didn't quite make the budget, the good news is that you can bag it at Access Park - 81 Chicester Road, Kenilworth.

5. Online Shopping

If your goal of visiting Cape Town is purely for the scenic natural beauty and lazing on the beach for hours, then online shopping may be your best option. In addiiton to the international online shopping giants such as Amazon and Macy's, the Mother City and South Africa boast an array of homegrown cyber shopping portals for you to shop till you drop while sipping cocktails on the beach. Stores such as Hello Pretty, Take-a-lot, Kalahari, Zando, Style36, 5rooms and Spree are just a few online shopping portals that have opened up over the last few years giving shoppers a more convenient way to buy gifts (or in my case, spoil yourself). These portals have also given South African entrepeneurs a platform to sell their goods and have created a number of new employment opportunities in the country.

So there you have it - a comprehensive list of must-do shopping experiences in Cape Town for every type of shopper. For more awesome experiences, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Happy shopping in Cape Town!

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