Cape Town is a favourite tourist destination and every year, the Mother City welcomes millions of visitors to its shores. Things can get a little busy at the most well-known attractions during peak visiting times, but luckily there are a few hidden gems away from the main tourist hot spots where you can experience a little piece of Cape Town, the way the locals do.

Dine like a local

There are many fantastic restaurants in Cape Town, so you’re spoilt for choice. Whether you’re on a budget or after some of the world’s best fine dining, there are many options to choose from. Browse through our top 50 restaurants that locals love, or opt for some traditional South African food. For a truly unique dining experience, call and book a spot at the Village House in Khayelitsha. The wall-to-wall trinkets, plants, and colourful posters give it an almost dizzying eclectic look, and it’s one of the best places in town to enjoy a traditional South African feast. Call Celesi on +27731938685 to book.

See a film Cape Town-style

Cape Town has a big film industry presence, with many ads and films being shot in the beautiful surrounds. It’s also a great destination for watching films. Try Cape Town’s grand old lady of film, The Labia. It’s one of the last independent movie theatres in South Africa, and there are daily screenings of art-house films, as well as regular film festivals, here. It also has traditional ticket stubs, popcorn in a bag and even a bar where you can buy a drink to enjoy while watching a film, adding to the charm of this lovely little theatre.

Another great option is the Galileo Open Air Cinema, which screens a variety of films (most of them cult classics) in several beautiful open-air venues around the city. It’s a summertime treat, with food trucks, craft beers, and comfy backrests.

The Galileo Open Air Cinema

Browse a Market

Capetonians love to spend their time browsing some of the amazing markets. There are also a few dedicated food markets, which makes for a great off the beaten track dining experience.

shopping for books at market cape town

Try your hand at shooting

It’s not often you get to handle an AK47. Visit Gun Fun or the False Bay Firearm Training Academy for a chance to end your day in Cape Town with a bang – literally.

Choose a quiet beach

When the crowds descend upon the beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay, the locals find shelter at Bakoven’s Beta Beach.  You’ll find it tucked away down a little side street, between large boulders. It offers a small sandy beach and cold water. This s where locals go to take a dip, read a book, or just bathe in the sun on a hot, clear, summer’s day.