There are so many ways to enjoy what Cape Town has to offer without spending a fortune. Here are 50 ways to explore this gorgeous city for a mere R50 or less.
Original post from : Cape Town Tourism website http://www.capetown.travel/
1. TAKE A HOP-ON HOP-OFF TRAIN TRIP ALONG THE SOUTHERN LINE RAIL ROUTE
Cost: R30 for the hop-on, hop-off ticket
The Southern Line Rail Route stretches between Cape Town and Simon’s Town. Besides it being a great way of getting from A to B, it’s also a relaxing way of seeing Cape Town’s varied scenes. The part of the journey betweenMuizenberg and Simon’s Town winds along the edge of the ocean and the views are brilliant. Buy the hop-on, hop-off ticket and stop at Muizenberg for a surf; Kalky’s in Kalk Bay for some mouth-watering fish and chips; and Simonstown for a trip to Boulders Beach for a visit with the penguins.
2. GO HIPPO SPOTTING AND BIRD WATCHING IN RONDEVLEI NATURE RESERVE
Cost: R12 entry for adults and R5 for kids
Rondevlei is an unexpected treasure situated within the Cape Town suburb of Grassy Park, about 20 min drive from the city centre. Home to some 256 species of indigenous plants, it spans 290 hectares and has a museum, a network of footpaths, viewing towers, and several bird hides. It is also home to – wait for it – Hippopotami as well as 20 other mammal species, including the Cape Grysbok Porcupine, Cape Clawless Otter and Large-Spotted Genet. It makes for a really great family outing. Don’t forget to pack your picnic.
3. GO ON A GUIDED TOUR OF THE SLANGKOPPUNT LIGHTHOUSE
Cost: R16 for a guided tour
The bright white Slangkoppunt (Snake Head Point) Lighthouse, situated on the coast in the South Peninsula, is the tallest cast iron lighthouse in South Africa. The internal spiral staircase you will climb during the guided tour takes you up 100 feet from the bottom to the balcony. If the idea of climbing up all those steps gets you a bit nervous, rest assured that the views from the top are entirely worth it. The tour will leave you with all sorts of interesting facts including the reason for South Africa being one of the few remaining places to retain actual Light House Keepers.
Phone: +27 (21)789 2812
Physical address: Lighthouse Rd, Kommetjie, Cape Town
4. RIDE A CAMEL IN KOMMETJIE
Cost: R40 for kids for a courtyard ride
Imhoff Farm in Kommetjie is the only place in Cape Town where you’ll have the unique opportunity of riding a camel. Kids love sitting some two metres up on the camel’s hump and sauntering around the courtyard. Longer rides through a nearby forest area are also possible, but cost a bit more (R200 per person.) Once the kids have finished their rides, pay a visit to the interesting gathering of shops inside Imhoff Village, The Imhoff Farm Shop has a delicious range of fresh free-range foods, and be sure to visit the Higgledy-Piggledy Farmyard.
5. CHECK OUT THE SCULPTURE GARDEN IN KIRSTENBOSCH GARDEN
Cost: R50 entry for adults and R10 for kids
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is reputed to be the most beautiful in the world. The experience of rolling greens, splashes of floral colour, shaded streams and the multitude of paths can only really be done justice with a visit. Take a walk long the treetop “Boomslang” (Tree Snake) walkway, picnic under a shady tree and definitely pay a visit to the exquisite Sculpture Garden. The annual Summer Sunset Concerts between November and April are incredibly popular (a bit above the R50 mark, but well worth it.)
6. WHIZZ DOWN AFRICA’S ONLY TOBOGGAN TRACK AT COOL RUNNINGS
Cost: R40 for a ride
It’s hard to imagine tobogganing without snow, but Cool Runnings in Tygervalley offers exactly that. The stainless steel track has 17 s-bends, corners and a tunnel. Adrenaline junkies will love this experience, as you get to regulate your own speed and boy can things get speedy if you want! Sleds accommodate up to two people, so the little ones can go with Mum or Dad. It’s also a really popular venue for kiddies parties.
7. BUGZ FAMILY PLAY PARK
Cost: R30 for adults, R35 for children and R15 for pensioners
This huge play park has both indoor and outdoor play areas suitable for children between the ages of 2 and 10 years. There is a wide variety of play areas and rides such as a choo-choo train, swing horses, water slide, horse rides, quad bikes, free play areas, a tree house and even castle. There is also a regular magic show and Bugz characters who often pay the park a visit. No shortage of fun here! Another popular spot for kiddies parties. More information here.
8. STROLL THROUGH THE COMPANY’S GARDEN
Cost: It’s free to visit
The Company’s Garden is situated right in the city centre of Cape Town. It was planted by the Dutch East India Company in 1652 to produce fresh fruit and vegetables for the ships that were sailing along the spice trade route between Europe and the East Indies, via Cape Town. Today it is home to the oldest cultivated pear tree in South Africa, said to have been planted in 1652; a rose garden built in 1929; an aviary with a variety of birds and many other interesting landmarks. It’s also well-known for the resident and perpetually hungry squirrels, so take along some peanuts to feed to them. What’s more the garden offers free wireless.
Tel: 021 426 1357/1218/1768
Physical address: 19 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town
9. FREE YOGA AT CAPE QUARTER EVERY TUESDAY
Every Tuesday between 18h30 and 19h30 there is a free yoga class at the Cape Quarter in Somerset Road. It’s definitely something to check out if you’re looking for a way to stay in shape, relax or enjoy a different way to hang out with friends.
10. EXPLORE THE V&A WATERFRONT ON A SELF-GUIDED HISTORICAL WALK
Cost: Free – just grab a map and go!
The V&A Waterfront, situated at the heart of Cape Town’s working harbour, has a rich and varied history that can be traced back as far as 1654. A great way to discover the stories of this iconic site’s past and its’ 22 landmarks is to do a self-guided historic walk. Simply grab a map at the Information Centre and off you go. And if you get hungry or thirsty along the way, there are plenty of food and drink places to choose from. A stop at The Creamery at the V&A Food Market for a scoop of their handmade peanut butter ice-cream is a must!
11. SURF THE MOTHER CITY
Cost: The waves are rad and free too
Cape Town is home to many great surf spots and offers something for every level of surfer. There are numerous well-known and easily accessible surf spots scattered about the peninsula and a few lesser-known secret spots. Get yourself to a reputable surf shop for the insider scoop for all your gear requirements. If you don’t know how to surf, there are many surfing schools in Cape Town willing to get you into the water.
12. VISIT THE SCRATCH PATCH
Cost: From R17 per bag
Did you know that almost half of the world’s gemstones can be found in South Africa? Did you know that you could scratch for these gems yourself right here in Cape Town? The Scratch Patch and Mineral World at both the V&A Waterfront and in Simonstown is a cool way to dig for your own beautiful gems. You get to emerge yourself in all the stones that quite literally cover the floor, then visit the gem exhibitions and shops afterwards.
Phone: (021) 786-2020.
Physical address: Dido Valley Rd , Simon’s Town
Phone: (021) 419-9429
Physical address: Dock Rd, Waterfront
13. INDULGE YOUR SWEET TOOTH AT HONEST CHOCOLATE
Cost: Almost everything on the menu is under R50
This Wale Street-based coffee and chocolate shop is where you can get handmade chocolate made from raw ingredients and organic Ecudorian cacao with no preservatives or artificial flavouring. It’s also dairy free. You can grab a good cup of coffee with a delectable slice of cake (gluten-free also available) or purchase some of the delicious chocolate products. Try the banana bread bunny chow – a banana bread mini loaf filled with macadamia chocolate spread and ice cream for R48. Click here for more information.
14. PROMENADE MONDAYS
This weekly event starts at Queens Beach Parking lot (the last parking lot along the Promenade before you get to Bantry Bay) at 6pm every Monday night and is a fun way to explore the Sea Point Promenade. You will need something that skates – skateboard, longboard, rollerblades, roller-skates or even a BMX – in order to get the most out of this. The event was created in celebration of the lifting of the ban on skateboarding and rollerblading along this area. Click herefor more information.
Physical address: Queens Beach Parking lot (the last parking lot along the Promenade before you get to Bantry Bay)
On every full moon, cyclists (both professional and social) gather under the Cape Town skies for a casual night ride starting at the Green Point Circle at around 9pm. This event started as a way of raising awareness for cycling safety and is now a must-do social activity in the Mother City.
Click here for more information.
16. MUIZENBERG MOONLIGHT MEANDER
In Cape Town, we make the most of the full moon. The Muizenberg Moonlight Meander happens at 6pm on the Saturday closest to the full moon and brings together family, friends and loved ones for a leisurely stroll along the beach by moonlight. The walk starts in front of Knead bakery.
More info here.
17. FIRST THURSDAYS
On the first Thursday of every month, arts and culture in Cape Town has a late night, with dozens of art galleries and cultural events showcasing the wealth of talent that the Mother City has on offer. The event is completely free, with no structured tour, and no schedule to follow, you are free to absorb it all at your own leisure. To ensure your First Thursday can be catered to your own specific preferences, organisers provide a map and highlights of what is on show. From there it is all up to you.
18. THURSDAY LATE
Similar to First Thursday, but mobile, this event moves between areas to showcase some of Cape Town’s best art galleries, open studios, retail stores, music performances, and incredible food.
More info here.
19. PLAY A ROUND OF PUTT-PUTT
Enjoy the views of Mouille Point while playing a round of putt-putt. It’s an entertaining way to get the competitive spirit going and to have some fun with friends and family. From here, you can take the kids on the mini Blue Train, to a maze and the oldest lighthouse in South Africa. The putt-putt course is located along Beach Road. There are two courses so queues will be short!
Phone: +27 (0) 21 434 680
Physical address: Beach Rd, Mouille Point
20. GREEN POINT URBAN PARK
A unique space in the middle of an urban environment, the Green Point Urban Park is a fantastic, family-friendly place for a picnic, walk, run or for simply lazing around. There is an outdoor gym, a play park, adventure park and outdoor labyrinth. There are different plant species within the area as well as information about them. Access to the park is via Bill Peters drive, Bay Road or Helen Suzman Boulevard.
Phone: 021 417 0111
Physical address: Bay Road, Green Point
Cost: R40 for adults and R20 for children
Silvermine Nature Reserve is within the gorgeous Table Mountain National Park and offers a variety of things to do. There are braai spots (only in winter), picnic areas and hiking trails that end in stunning views. Just 20 minutes’ drive away from the city centre, the reserve is an important conservation area for indigenous fynbos plants. It’s also a popular spot for bird-watching and mountain biking as well as having a number of sandstone cave systems and rock climbing routes that connect all the way to Muizenberg. You can access Silvermine from Ou Kaapse Weg drive.
Phone: 021 780 9002 (Gate), 021 789 2457 (Office)
Physical address: Ou Kaapse Weg road
22. GROOT CONSTANTIA
Cost: Free to enter, R50 for wine tasting
One of the oldest wine producing farms in the Cape, Groot Constantia is steeped in history. This farm boasts fine examples of Dutch architecture and has been producing wine on the estate without interruption since 1685 when Commander Simon van der Stel of the Dutch East Company (VOC) was originally granted the land on which Groot Constantia stands. You can amble around the leafy grounds, do some trail running or take in some wine tasting. There’s an Iziko Museum on site and if you get hungry, the farm has two restaurants to choose from.
23. HELDERBERG NATURE RESERVE
Cost: R20 for adults, R10 for children (3 to 18 years), R10 for students, R10 for pensioners, R10 per vehicle
The beautiful Helderberg Nature Reserve is located in Somerset West and stretches as far as the cliff faces of the Helderberg Mountain. There is so much to do and enjoy here. There is a plant herbarium, Guinea Gift Shop, an environmental education centre, a picnic area, children’s play area and jungle gym, as well as bird watching, hiking trails and walking trails. Keep your eye on their Facebook page for information on amazing guided hikes.
Tel: 021 851 4060
Physical address: cnr. Helderberg Nature Reserve Road/Verster Avenue, Jeep Trail, Helderberg Rural
24. TOUR OF NEWLANDS BREWERY
Cost: R50 per person
A National Heritage site, the Newlands Brewery dates back to the early 1800s and has so much history to offer visitors. You can take this all in as well as learn about how the Newlands Brewery makes its eight famous beers on a fun tour of the establishment. The tour includes a beer tasting and two complimentary drinks.
25. SPIRIT OF JUST NUISANCE HARBOUR CRUISE
Cost: R50 for adults, R30 for children under 12
26. GET IN SOME PRACTISE AT THE RIVER CLUB DRIVING RANGE
Cost: R35 for 50 balls
The River Club Golf and Conference Centre is the perfect combination of leisure and business. Recently acquired by the innovative team who brought you The Old Biscuit Mill, The Woodstock Exchange and the Daddy Hotels, The River Club has had an exciting make-over. It’s the perfect place to practise your golfing swing. There are also restaurants on site should you get a bit nibbly or feel the need for a cool-down drink.
27. WALK OR RUN ALONG THE PIPE TRACK
One of the least strenuous walks in Cape Town is the Pipe Track. For this reason, it’s popular with families and can be done no matter what your hiking fitness level is. It leaves from the foot of Table Mountain Road and winds along a contour path above the outstanding Atlantic bays of Clifton and Camps Bay, with views right along the Twelve Apostles as far as Llandudno.
Phone: 021 712 0527 (Table Mountain National Park)
Physical Address: Table Mountain National Park (access via Tafelberg Road)
28. ALIVE CAFÉ IN MUIZENBERG – POETRY AND MUSIC
Cost: R20 for poetry nights (with a free glass of wine if you’re reading), free entry on market days, R20 entry for the mixed music nights
This café offers creative nights made up of poetry, storytelling and spoken word, and a fourth-Saturday-of-the-month market where you can grab local food, super juices, natural and organic products, hand-crafted gifts and much more. Alive Café also organises an evening of great music by a handful of local musicians once a month. You can grab a beverage in the coffee shop and stay connected in the WiFi zone.
29. PETER’S HOUSE – DAILY SPECIAL
Cost: Starting at R25
The first day of the week is a good time to console yourself with a nice big bowl of mac and cheese. At Peter’s House, you can get this for a mere R30 – add some extras for an extra R5 to R10. If you have a sweet tooth, they have R25 waffles on the weekend – plain waffles with maple syrup. You can add some bananas or Creamery ice-cream if you want more. If you’re a bit of a boffin, why not try quiz nights on Tuesdays for R40 per person? So much going on here – there is also free WiFi.
Phone: 021 424 3451
Physical Address: 14 Kloof Nek Rd, Cape Town, South Africa
30. YO MEATBALL
Cost: Starting at R32
This establishment is all about serving good comfort food at a low price. Their specialty is, of course, meatballs. The owner has taken meatball recipes from around the world and whipped up fabulous selection right here in Cape Town. They pride themselves on sourcing grain-fed meat and free-range poultry and on serving delicious food that everyone can enjoy.
31. COFFEE AT BEAN THERE
The first coffee roaster of Certified Fairtrade, Bean There is a coffee experience that everyone should indulge in. Just walking past the shop gives you the aromatic aroma of the responsibly sourced coffee that gets brewed there. Pop in for a delicious cup or buy a bag of your own to take home to enjoy.
32. DIM SUM AT I LOVE MY LAUNDRY
Yep, this laundry (and alterations, ironing and dyeing) establishment also offers up a mean dim sum and other foods at the built-in JOGA JOGA café. You can dine while you wait for your laundry or simply show up with no laundry at all. It’s a great little place to hang with friends.
Phone: 074 992 1481 (Heritage Square), 073 939 7619 (Bree Street), 078 105 6280 (Buitenkant)
Physical Address: 59 Buitengracht Street, Heritage Square / 14Bree Street, Cape Town / 50 Buitenkant Street
33. BELLY DANCING CLASS AT RHYTHM NOUVEAU
Cost: R50 for a trial
This tribal fusion belly dancing studio offers a variety of classes and is a fun and energetic way to spend time with friends, whilst getting in a good workout. Before you commit, take the trial and have fun! Tribal Fusion Bellydance is a modern form of belly dance which has evolved from American Tribal Style (ATS) that blends many forms of dance, including hip-hop, breakdance, Egyptian and cabaret. Click here for more information.
34. CHECK OUT THE TOY MUSEUM
Cost: R10 per adult and R5 per child
The Warrior Toy Museum in Simon’s Town is lined with dinky toys, dolls, Maccano, model cars, boats, trains, aeroplanes and other miscellaneous toys that all make up a collection of thousands. This is a must-see for all toy-lovers.
35. FAMILY FUN AT BLUE ROCK
Cost: R50 for adults, R40 for children under 16 years, R30 for children under 6
Blue Rock in Somerset West is a great spot for a day out with the family. Your entry fee gets you access to the amazing picnic spots, swimming in the lagoon and the rock jumping facilities. Pack your picnic basket or you can buy food from the restaurant on site. If you are the adventurous type, you can rent some of the sporting equipment or do some cable skiing or participate in a paintball game at an extra cost.
36. HAPPY HOUR AT THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE BAR
Cost: Starts at R25
The Foreign Exchange Bar in Observatory is a place where locals and internationals hang out for drinks and lots of fun times. There is everything from beer pong nights to salsa classes. The famed happy hour runs from 17h00 to 19h00 (happy two hours) where you can pick up a refreshing drink from as little as R25.
Phone: 021 4480 083
Physical Address: 92-96 Station road, Observatory
Cost: Mostly free
There are some magnificent free hiking spots in and around Cape Town. Lion’s Head is one of the more popular ones and, although it can get slightly strenuous, it rewards you with an amazing view at the top. You can also do this in the light of the full moon (head torch is still advisable). Platteklip Gorge takes you to the top of Table Mountain and you can either head left towards Kirstenbosch or right to the Cable Station. Newlands Forest is leafy and most of the way is shaded by the trees. This is a shorter hike and there’s a pretty stream along the way if you want to cool down. The hike to Elephants Eye is accessed via Silvermine and will cost an entry fee (but still under R50) and you will be able to take in the amazing False Bay views. Always follow mountain safety rules.
38. MOUNTAIN BIKING IN MEERENDAL
Great for beginners and group rides, the tracks at Meerendal are flat and easy to navigate. You start with a bit of an uphill, but then it takes you to the first stretch of single track and onto a zig-zagging uphill that can prove tough on novices. There are spectacular views to take in along the way.
39. TRAIL RUNNING
Cost: Mostly free
There are so many places to do trail runs in Cape Town that it’s tough to list them all. You can run the hiking trails we mentioned before as well as try the 5,3 km Devil’s Peak route where you start at the top of Devil’s Peak Estate and run the gravel paths to Rhodes Memorial. Also try the Silvermine routes and Constantia Nek ones (some fees apply). Trail running is excellent for fitness and endurance.
40. VISIT RHODES COTTAGE
Cost: Free, but a donation of R10 is encouraged
Cecil John Rhodes is well-known world-wide and was a South African politician and mining magnate in Southern Africa in the late-1800s. At some point, he contributed to shaping both South Africa and Zimbabwe’s political landscape. Once his residence, you can visit the cottage in Muizenberg that is now a museum.
41. RIETVLEI WETLANDS RESERVE
Cost: R13 for adults, R6 for children
This freshwater wetland is located on the floodplain of the Diep River and has extensive reed beds, a tidal lagoon and flourishing flora and fauna. You can find a wide variety of birds here at any time with over 10 000 individual birds having been counted during the water bird censuses. The Friends of Rietvlei organisation often host holiday programs such as fishing and other activities that start at around R5. There are various walking trails and places for wet water sports enthusiasts to enjoy themselves – as well as braai spots. Click here for more information.
42. FISH AND CHIPS AT KALKY’S
Cost: R48 for hake/snoek and chips
One of the best ways to enjoy fish and chips in Cape Town is at Kalky’s. Locals flock back all the time for the deliciously battered fish and, of course, the amazing location right next to the harbour in Kalk Bay! You can even take your own wine along! Call +27 (0)21 788 1726 for more information.
Phone: 021 788 1726
Physical Address: Kalk Bay Harbour, Kalk Bay, Cape Town
Cost: Between R30 and R50
SANCCOB is a non-profit organisation that aims to preserve and conserve seabirds and other sea life. SANCCOB allows visitors in for a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility where you can get a look at how a seabird hospital works and see how the penguins are treated and fed. If you love what you see and want to to get involved, there are various ways to give back to them too.
44. WINE TASTING IN DURBANVILLE
Cost: From R20
We have amazing wines in Cape Town and Durbanville has a fantastic wine route. Why not drive along the route and choose one of the lovely local farms for a wine tasting and some pairing? There are so many to choose from that you may have to go back a few times to experience all of it!
45. PRINS & PRINS DIAMOND MUSEUM
Based in the stunning Huguenot House in Loop Street, Prins & Prins offers visitors a glimpse into South Africa’s mineral wealth. This independent company is renowned for its distinct selection of engagement and diamond rings, tanzanite and precious stones, and custom designs. The proterty used to be owned by wine merchants and sometimes clients and visitors are still given a glass of great South African wine while enjoying the museum.
46. TRADITIONAL ETHIOPIAN COFFEE CEREMONY
Cost: R30 for a mini ceremony
Participate in a traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony at Addis in Cape. The experience gives you a glimpse into Ethiopian tradition and feels authentic amongst the traditional Ethiopian furnishings.
47. THE LABIA THEATRE
Cost: R40 per person
The Labia Theatre entices people with its old movie theatre charm. It was originally an Italian embassy ballroom and is widely recognised as the oldest independent art-repertory cinema in South Africa. The theatre screens art movies and hosts various interesting film festivals throughout the year. Go here for great movies that you won’t find in the mainstream movie houses.
48. BRAAI AT OUDEKRAAL
Cost: R35 per adult and R15 per child
Nestled between Llandudno and Camp’s Bay, you’ll find cosy coves and blissful white beaches peeking from between the huge boulders. Oudekraal has over 40 braai areas, although most don’t have grids, so be sure to bring your own with you! Get there early, as Oudekraal is immensely popular. Call 021 438 9555 for more information.
49. IZIKO MUSEUMS
Cost: Between R20 and R50
There are many Iziko Museums in Cape Town and all offer insight into South Africa’s natural and cultural history. The exhibits range from 700-million-year-old fossils to insects and fish, dinosaurs and wildlife menageries as well as everything space-related at the Planetarium. There are also stone tools dating from 120 000 years ago, traditional clothes from the last century and authentic beadwork.
50. PLAY A GAME OF PETANQUE – CAPETOWN/GLENCAIRN
For something unique, visit the 100-year-old Southern Right Hotel in Glencairn and enjoy a drink while playing petanque with an amazing view of the ocean. There is no charge to play on one of the three pentanque pistes. Call Andrew Weeks on 082 8848504 or 021 7820314 for more information.
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