There’s plenty to see and do at Cape Town CBD-whether you’re a foodie, art extraordinaire or history fan. Steeped in rich culture and hidden gems, Cape Town’s CBD features colourful murals, cobblestone streets, quaint cafes and historical attractions.
Here are some pocket-friendly options to try:
What to see and do
Iziko Slave Lodge
Iziko Slave Lodge, once known as Slave Lodge, Government Offices Building, Old Supreme Court and South African Cultural History Museum, is teeming with a rich history. One of the oldest buildings in Cape Town, guests here can stroll through the exhibitions and wander the ceramics and silver galleries. The attraction is open from Monday to Saturday, from 9am to 5pm.
Where: Corner Adderley and Wale Street, Cape Town
Price: Adults: R30, children aged 6 to 18: R15, children aged 5 and under: free, and South African pensioners and students with valid cards: R15 (they also can enter for free on Fridays.)
Take a historical walking city tour
Hear insightful stories about Cape Town’s history, its people and architecture during a 90-minute walking tour. Choose between the Apartheid to Freedom, Bo-Kaap or Historic City tours, which introduce guests to the vibrant culture and history of some of the most iconic spots in the city. Tours take place three times a day at 11am, 2pm and 4:20pm.
Where: Church Square, Cape Town
Price: Free, but tips are welcome.
…or an audio tour in Bo-Kaap
Bo-Kaap is famed for its colourful houses, museums and rich heritage. From the hustle and bustle of food stalls, spice shops and fascinating architecture, this part of Cape Town is worth uncovering. If you prefer to tour solo, join an audio tour hosted by a local named Shereen Habib. The audio tour starts at the Bo-Kaap museum at 71 Wale Street and will lead you to Auwal Mosque, dubbed the oldest mosque
in South Africa. Other spots you will see along the way include the first Dutch House of Jan de Waal and the Bo-Kaap Heritage mural. End your tour with a koesister at Rose Corner Superette.
Where: The tour starts at the Bo-Kaap museum at 71 Wale Street.
Cost: R68.06 via VoiceMap
Discover a new world at the Castle of Good Hope
Step into a world of history and architectural splendour at the Castle of Good Hope. Dubbed by locals as “The Castle”, this 17th-century bastion fort was originally on the Table Bay coastline. The Castle, declared a historical monument (now a provincial heritage site) in 1936, is the perfect way to delve into the history while feasting your eyes on some of the city’s most incredible architectural masterpieces.
Where: Darling St & Buitenkant St, Cape Town
Cost: Adults: R50, South African pensioners and children: R25
South African National Gallery
The Iziko South African National Gallery is the Mother City’s premier public art museum. Here, you will discover a vast and critically engaging collection of historical, modern and contemporary artworks from South Africa and abroad.
Where: Government Ave, Gardens, Cape Town
Cost: Adults: R30, children aged 6 to 18: R15, South African pensioners and students (with valid cards): R15.00 (They can enter for free on Fridays), and children aged 5 and under: Free. Free entry on commemorative days
Undoubtedly one of Cape Town’s most famed attractions in the Mother City, the Company’s Garden makes for an excellent spot to unwind and relax. The oldest garden in South Africa showcases some of the most stunning trees and plants, not to mention the cute squirrels that love to make an appearance. Pack a picnic, lay a blanket and soak in the picturesque views on offer.
Where: 15 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town City Centre
Go shopping at Greenmarket Square
If you want to shop for unique trinkets, clothes and art, then a trip to Greenmarket Square is highly recommended. Known as one of the oldest public spaces in Cape Town, Greenmarket Square offers curious travellers some affordable deals on items like hand-crafted jewellery, ornaments and other Cape Town inspired goodies.
Where: Burg St and Longmarket St, Cape Town City Centre
Where to eat and drink
Craving food packed with flavour and love? Well, Mariam’s Kitchen offers a range of food, including their famous salomies, curries and gatsby. People from far and wide come here to sample their food.
Where: 31 Heerengracht St, Foreshore, Cape Town and
101 St Georges Mall, Cape Town City Centre
Call: 021 423 0772
Butter dubs itself a “happy place” where visitors can hang out, work or recharge. The menu celebrates butter- from Butter Benedict, Buttered BLT and Buttered Banana Bread.
Where: 70 Loop St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
The Station on Bree
For something trendier, head to Station on Bree. The eatery promises “a little taste of the London Underground” in the heart of the Cape Town CBD. Visitors can indulge in tapas, burgers, London-inspired fish and chips and other tasty treats.
Where: 207 Bree St, Cape Town City Centre
For those who do not want to travel far for a wine tasting, head to Dorrance Wines. The establishment offers fabulous tastings for city explorers from Monday to Friday between 10.30am to 2pm.
Beerhouse on Long Street
If beer is more your thing, head to Beerhouse on Long Street. Find a seat in their contemporary beer hall and indulge in international and local beers. It makes for an excellent spot to chill with friends.
Cost: Tastings start from R105.
Tuck into some sumptuous Eastern delights at Food Inn. With an expansive menu featuring the likes of tandoori, burgers, salomies and bunny chow, this eatery has won the hearts of many local and international travellers alike.
Where: 156 Long St, Cape Town City Centre