Cape Town’s Top Five Culture and Heritage Activities

A craft market in Gugulethu. Photo © Cape Town Tourism

Museums and Monuments

For a dose of Cape Town’s history and culture, head to the Museum Meander which takes you around the city centre on foot and includes most of the museums under the Iziko Museums banner, as well as others. The many museums and monuments trace Cape Town’s heritage from slavery to maritime warfare, apartheid and democracy.

Cape Town prides itself on its religious freedom and tolerance. As the meeting point of many cultures, there are mosques, kramats, churches, synagogues and temples to see, especially in the city centre, adjacent Bo-Kaap area, and throughout the Peninsula. Guided tours are available to places of interest and faith, but you can also visit these places independently.

Township Tours

Township tours to the heart of Cape Town’s informal settlements such as Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Kayamandi are popular with visitors. Interact with residents as they go about their business, stop for lunch at a local hangout, visit some of the many community projects, stay over in a B&B, and experience a shebeen (local pub). Tourism is a major source of income for many township residents. It is essential to book these tours with reputable and knowledgeable guides who have a respectful relationship with the community.

Niche Tours

Experience authentic local culture by going on a special interest tour such as a jazz safari, offered by various operators, where you journey through Cape Town's jazz scene for a day, possibly enjoying a home-cooked meal at an artist’s home or stopping at a jazz club for dinner.

Other special interest tours offered by Coffeebeans Routes include the Storytelling Route, the Cape Town Rootz Reggae Tour, the Secret Garden Route, and even dinner parties where tourists can enjoy traditional Cape Malay and Xhosa meals at the homes of Capetonians.


Cape Town is a hub for artists and deigners. There are several art galleries focusing on a variety of art forms, while some artists’ homes are now open museums. Increasingly, art is being absorbed into the cityscape through murals, sculptures, installations and performance art.

Opera and Theatre

Cape Town’s opera scene is well supported and driven largely by public support. Overseas companies are snapping up many of our talented opera singers.

A public drive is currently underway to recognise and nurture the Cape Town City Ballet.

The city also boasts several theatres offering the best home-grown and international talent. The Baxter Theatre Centre is situated on university grounds in Rondebosch, the Artscape Theatre Complex, which was built in the 1970s, is in the city centre, the Theatre on the Bay is in Camps Bay and On Broadway is in Long Street. The latest addition, the Fugard Theatre, can be found in the historical area of District Six.

Please do not hesitate to contact Cape Town Tourism for suggestions on what to see and do, where to eat, how to get around and where to stay. Contact or call +27 (0)21 487 6800.