Set within one of the world’s most naturally beautiful locations, and boasting cosmopolitan culture and attractive architecture, Cape Town is a fantastic city to explore. It is the most visited destination in Africa, and with its stunning mountains, abundant beaches, rustic vineyards, and lively art scene it is easy to see why.
Do you dream of exploring the beautiful South African city of Cape Town, but have only a small travel budget to work with? Don’t worry, because there are more than enough adventures to be had in the “Mother City” which will not cost you a single rand.
Here are some of the experiences that you can enjoy for free in Cape Town:
- Relax on the beach. Cape Town has many beautiful beaches where you can spend the day lounging in the sunshine and dipping your feet in the water. Clifton Beach is the trendiest beach to see and be seen at, and Camps Bay is one of the most scenic. If you are brave enough to let it all hang out, Sandy Bay is the official nudist beach of Cape Town.
- You can see some excellent collections of artworks by old masters at the Michaelis Collection in Greenmarket Square and the Rust en Vreugd, an 18th century mansion. Both of these art galleries are free to enter, although you can give a small donation. You can also window shop at some of the finest commercial art galleries in South Africa, such as the AVA, Everard Read, and Michael Stevenson, which are free to the public.
- Hike up Table Mountain. This amazing flat-topped mountain is one of the most recognizable icons of Cape Town, and if you want to avoid paying for the cable car you can make it up the mountain on your own steam. Remember to take good hiking boots, a map, and weather-proof clothes because the climate can change dramatically on the mountain.
- Listen to buskers on the Victoria and Albert Waterfront. This lively pedestrian area is always filled with performers from lone guitarists to full jazz bands who will provide the perfect background music to your leisurely strolls along the waterfront. They are free to listen to, but if you enjoy the tunes it is nice to throw a few coins in their hat to show appreciation.
- Visit the Groot Constantina, which is the oldest wine-producing estate in South Africa. There are free tours through the ornate Manor House, which is fitted with period furniture, paintings, ceramics, brass, textiles, and so much more, showing what life was like for a wealthy farming family in the late 18th century. You can also see some beautiful wine drinking vessels from antiquity in the old wine cellar.
- The Cape Town Holocaust Centre is free to visit, and tells the harrowing tale of the six million Jews killed during this terrible time in history. The museum aims to teach about the dangers of racial discrimination, and links the injustices of the Holocaust to apartheid. The gallery of local survivors and their testimonies is particularly powerful and moving.
- Take the trip out to Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town, where you can see African penguins waddling about in their natural habitat and go for a hike among the gigantic boulders that give the beach its name.
With so many free things to do in Cape Town; you can have a great time in this thriving city even on a shoestring budget!