Museums in Cape Town

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Cape Town & Surrounds

Museums in Cape Town

The best museums in Cape Town and the Surrounds

Last Update:  11 September 2017

Did you know that you can find 350 West African Gold artefacts and over one and a half million specimens of scientific importance in Cape Town? Find out more about Cape Town’s rich heritage and beyond, by visiting some of its treasured museums.

La Motte Museum
Established in 1695, La Motte winery has a rich cultural history, which it enjoys sharing with visitors to this spectacular estate at the La Motte Museum on the property. The journey back in time starts in the foyer of the museum where the history of the farm has been exquisitely displayed. Leading off from the foyer are two large exhibition spaces where the curated art is rotated on an annual basis. The work of some of the country’s finest artists can be seen. This year, 2017, the space paid tribute to the life and work of one of South Africa’s most renowned painters, Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (1886 - 1957). The Pierneef exhibition features some of this pieces from La Motte’s permanent collection, as well as some of the artist’s personal artefacts from various collection held by collectors around the country. Entrance is free.
Opening times: Tuesday - Sunday: 9am to 5pm, closed on all Christian religious holidays.

R45 Main Road | Franschhoek Valley | | | +27 (0)21 876 8850

Iziko South African Museum
Founded in 1825, the museum moved to its present location in the historic Company Gardens in 1897. The museum houses over one million specimens of scientific importance including tools that are around 120,000 years old. Highlights are the recorded whale calls and the dinosaur dioramas.  
Opening times: Monday - Sunday: 10am to 5pm, closed on Christmas Day and Workers Day.

25 Queen Victoria Street | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 481 3800

Bo-Kaap Museum
The Bo-Kaap Museum is situated in a historical area and showcases local Islamic culture and heritage. The colourful houses, steep cobbled streets, the muezzin’s calls to prayer and children traditionally dressed for Madrassa, all add to this unique Cape experience.
Opening times: Monday - Saturday: 10am - 5pm, closed on Workers Day, Christmas Day, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha and the 2nd January.

71 Wale Street | Bo-Kaap | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 481 3939

Slave Lodge
Iziko Slave Lodge reflects the long and rich history of Cape Town which is highlighted by the many names it has had in the last three centuries– Slave Lodge, Government Offices Building, Old Supreme Court and SA Cultural History Museum. The museum is undergoing some changes but popular exhibitions, such as the Memory Centre, can still be visited. 
Opening times: Monday - Saturday: 10am - 5pm, closed on Christmas Day and Workers Day.

Corner Adderley and Wale Streets | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 460 8242

Koopmans-De Wet House
Koopmans-De Wet House is an 18th century family home and it houses some of the best pieces of Cape furniture and silver, as well as a priceless collection of ceramics. Opened in 1914, the museum is named after Marie Koopmans-De Wet, who is known for the work she did to help orphans and widows of Boer republics during the South African War. 
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 10am - 5pm, closed on Christmas Day and Workers Day.

35 Strand Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 481 3935

The South African Jewish Museum
Interactive and high tech, the museum offers visitors a truly unique experience with its bold architectural design and engaging accounts of South African Jewish history. The displays are divided between two buildings; one is general Jewish history while the other covers the Holocaust. The museum shop stocks African embroidered challah covers, ceramic Judaica, designer jewellery, beaded and ceramic mezuzahs, Jewish cookbooks, books on Jewish socio-political themes and a wide selection of children's books.  The restaurant is also worth a visit and there’s a jungle gym for children to play on.
Opening times: Sunday - Thursday: 10am - 5pm, Friday: 10am to 5pm, closed on Jewish holidays.

88 Hatfield Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)465 1546

District Six Museum
The District Six Museum was established in December 1994 and is committed to telling the stories of forced removals and assisting in the reconstitution of the community of District Six and Cape Town. The collection offers a glimpse into the lives of the residents and gives you a sense of the history of the place. Guided tours of the area are offered and they are conducted by an ex-resident.
Opening times: Monday: 9am - 2pm, Tuesday - Saturday: 9am - 4pm, Sunday: by appointment only.

25A Buitenkant Street | District Six | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 466 7200

Castle of Good Hope
Built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) as a maritime replenishment station, the Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa. Visit attractions like the Military Museum,   the William Fehr Collection and the Castle Forge or go on one of the guided horse and carriage tours that are held daily. 
Opening times: Monday - Sunday: 9am to 4pm, closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day.

Corner Darling and Buitenkant Streets | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 787 1260

The Springbok Experience
A late 2013 addition to Cape Town’s much-visited V&A Waterfront, The Springbok Experience rugby museum is a world-class visitor attraction that offers deep insight into South Africa’s most adored sport. Through a series of advanced audio-visual displays that use colour, music and movement to bring the game to life, the double-storey rugga shrine recounts the story of the development of both white and black rugby since the 1860s, and in so doing, tells the tale of our country’s own political journey. In addition to maps, touch-screens, animated paintings and sculptures, the space also houses a number of significant artefacts – think Francois Pienaar’s famous No. 6 jersey, signed fan paraphernalia, Joel Stransky’s iconic ’95 ‘drop goal’ boots and much more. Not to mention, there’s a flagship rugby store on site and a Springbok Trials zone, where guests can attempt various Wii-like kicking, passing, reaction and fitness tests to determine whether they’d make the national squad. In short, the museum is a great option for locals looking to learn more about an Mzansi cultural cornerstone and for tourists keen to get to grips with what makes our country tick. Entry is very affordable: between R50p/p and R65p/p for adults, between R30p/p and R40p/p for scholars and pensioners and free for pre-schoolers.
Opening times: Monday – Sunday:10am – 6pm

Portswood House | Cnr Dock and Portswood roads | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 418 4741

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa
This state-of-the-art addition to Cape Town’s already prestigious V&AWaterfront is scheduled to be completed in 2016, at which point it will assume its place as the largest museum of modern art on the continent. Under the leadership of renowned British architect Thomas Heatherwick, the area’s old grain silos are to be revamped and re-imagined as nine floors spanning 9,500sq m and featuring 80 separate gallery spaces, a rooftop sculpture garden, conservation vault, bookshop, a floor dedicated to art education, a restaurant, bar and café. And as Africa’s version of London’s Tate Gallery or New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), it goes without saying that the Zeitz will feature top installations by leading artists in the contemporary sphere.
Opening times: TBC

Grain Silo Complex | Silo District | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town

Shimansky Tour at the Cape Town Diamond Museum
This museum pays tribute to the sparkliest of rocks around. Learn about the three billion years it can take for the formation of a diamond to take place; from its journey in the ground to becoming a gem you’d want to wear. With beautiful illustrations and replicas of famous diamonds, the Cape Town Diamond Museum offers a fascinating look at the covetable gems and their history. Entrance to the Shimansky jewellery showroom will cost R50/p. 
Opening times:
Monday – Sunday: 9am – 9pm.

Level 1 | The Clock Tower
| Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 421 2488

Iziko Maritime Centre
Visit the Maritime Centre for an overview of shipping in Cape town as well as a collection of ship models and objects associated with shipping. The museum is made up of various collections, including archived photographs which depict 9200 ships, dating from the late 1930s to the early 1960s. 
Opening times: Monday to Sunday: 10am - 5pm, closed on Christmas Day and Workers Day.

1st Floor | Union-Castle House | Dock Road | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 405 2880

Chavonnes Cannon Battery Museum
This museum is partly outside with three great cannons in place on reconstructed garrison carriages. The inside section allows visitors a view of the ancient stones, graphic information boards, detailed models, a mixture of genuine artefacts, careful replicas and, one of the most popular sections, the gunnery display. 
Opening times: Monday - Sunday: 9am - 4pm.

Clock Tower | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 416 6230

The South African Naval Museum
This collection includes ship and submarine models, a life-size ship’s bridge and a submarine’s operations and control room, naval guns, sea mines, naval uniforms and torpedoes. It’s not just about ships, submarines and weapons, however, as the museum provides information on the people that have been involved in the Navy over the years too.
Opening times: Monday - Sunday: 9:30am - 3:30pm, closed on Good Friday, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Naval Dockyard  | St George’s Street | Simons Town | |+27 (0)21 787 4686

The History of the Police Museum
This museum is situated in the old Muizenberg Police Station and the adjoining old magistrate’s court. Antique furniture, uniforms and various police items are part of the exhibition. There are depictions of notorious criminal cases and a courtroom with cells below. Het Posthuys was originally used as a lookout post for enemy ships entering False Bay, and is also part of the museum complex. 
Opening times: Monday - Friday: 8am – 3:30pm, Saturday: 9am - 1pm, Sunday: 2pm - 5pm.

186 Main Road | Muizenberg | +27 (0)21 788 7035

Warrior Toy Museum
This toy museum has a permanent display of 4000 model cars, 500 dolls and teddy bears, miniature dolls houses and rooms, two fully operating railroads, lead soldier displays, Meccano, ships and many other miscellaneous toys and models.  
Opening times: Monday - Sunday: 10am - 4pm

St George’s Street (next to the Town Hall) | Simon’s Town | +27 (0)21 786 1395

Hout Bay Museum
Tucked away in a fynbos garden setting and behind the Shell Garage on Main Road, the Hout Bay Museum provides a wealth of memories and information about the town’s past and explains how it grew into a thriving fishing village. Opening times: Monday - Thursday: 8am – 4:30pm, Friday: 8am - 4pm.

4 Andrews Road | Hout Bay | +27 (0)21 790 3270

Simon’s Town Museum
The museum is housed in ‘The Residency’, which was built in 1777 as the winter residence for the Dutch East India Company Governor at the Cape. Collections and exhibits feature the cultural history of the people of Simon’s Town and their connections with the Dutch East India Company and the Royal Navy. 
Opening times: Monday - Friday: 10am - 4pm, Saturday: 10am - 1pm, closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

The Residency | Court Road  | Simon’s Town | +27 (0)21 786 3046

The South African Air Force Museum
Visit the SAAF Museum to view their collection of articles, records and artefacts about their heritage and traditions. Learn about military aviation and its history in South Africa. 
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 6:30am – 3pm, Saturday: 8:30am – 12:30pm, closed on Sunday and public holidays.

Piet Grobler Road | Ysterplaat | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 508 6576 

The Heart Transplant Museum
This museum honours all those who played a major role in the world’s first heart transplant, which was lead by Professor Christiaan Neethling Barnard at the Groote Schuur Hospital, in 1967. The museum has eight rooms, which pay tribute to the process and those involved. 
Opening times: Monday - Sunday: 9am - 7pm, tours take place every two hours and need to be booked.

Groote Schuur Hospital  | Main Road  | Hospital Road | Observatory | +27 (0)21 404 1967

Groot Constantia Museum
Providing insight into the life of 18th to early 20th century successful Cape farmer, the displays include exhibitions of furniture, paintings, textiles, carriages, wine storage and drinking vessels. The Orientation Centre uses panel, object and archaeological displays to give an overview of past to present, including slavery on the estate. The building dates back to 1685, making it one of the oldest wine farms in the country.
Opening times: Monday - Sunday: 10am - 5pm, closed on Christmas Day and Worker’s Day.

Groot Constantia Estate | Constantia Main Road | +27 (0)21 795 5140

Irma Stern Museum
This museum was established in the house she lived in for almost 40 years with several of the rooms left as she had arranged them. The permanent collection displays her growth as an artist, whilst the lively temporary exhibition is held annually in the garden. The house is also used as an exhibition space for other local artists. 
Opening times: Tuesday - Friday: 10am - 5pm, Saturday: 10am - 2pm.

Cecil Road  | Rosebank | Southern Suburbs | +27 (0)21 685 5686

Franschhoek Motor Museum
Visitors are invited to look back at over 100 years of motoring history, with its unique collection of vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and memorabilia. The collection exceeds 220 vehicles, ranging from an 1898 Beeston motor tricycle to a 2003 Ferrari Enzo supercar. 
Opening times: Monday - Friday: 10am - 5pm, Saturday - Sunday: 10am - 4pm.  Bookings are advised.

Anthony Rupert Wines |  L'Ormarins | Off R45 |  Franschhoek | +27 (0)21 874 9000

The Afrikaans Language Museum
Once home to the Association for True Afrikaners (ATA), the Afrikaans Language Museum is set in a two-storey, Georgian style house. Visitors can trace the shaping, the story and the personalities of the language, as well as see an authentic printing machine. Test your knowledge, purchase a souvenir or enjoy the games, sound tracks and interactive displays.   
Opening times: Monday - Friday: 9am - 4pm, closed on weekends, public holidays, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

11 Pastorie Avenue | Paarl |  +27 (0)21 872 3441

If your kids are a bit too energetic for museums then let them burn off some of their excess energy with these adventure activities.

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Cape Town Events Calendar
September 2017
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Cafe CapriceAbsolut Winter Brunch at Cafe Caprice

Expect exotic themes, delectable brunch dishes and destination-inspired cocktails

The AfroFest - 7The AfroFest: An Ode to African Culture

1 continent, 3 days, 18 venues; From Congo to Cape Town

Swordfern Exterior by NightSwordfern Hair Emporium’s Bring A Bro Hair Special

Bring your bro and get a haircut on the house from Swordfern

Cape Town Fringe - 2017 - 1Cape Town Fringe Festival

Find out why Cape Town is SA’s capital of creativity at this popular arts fandango

La Motte ConcertsClassical Concerts at La Motte Wine Estate

La Motte's culture of excellence reaches far beyond wine-making, by embracing the wonder of classical music

Pierneef food and wine pairing 3Food and Wine Pairing at La Motte

Discover a match made in the divine tasting room of this Franschhoek estate

Native YoungNative Young at Dizzys Live Music Fridays in Camps Bay

Rock out with Native Young at a popular Camps Bays hotspot

La MotteHistoric Walk at La Motte in Franschhoek

Discover interesting history and heritage of the Franschhoek area on the La Motte estate in the Cape Winelands

La MotteSip and Swirl the Nectar of Yesteryear at La Motte

You had me at Merlot

Shakespeare - 1The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

Something is rotten in the state of Denm… Cape Town

Bay Harbour MarketSoothe Your Soul with Live Music at Bay Harbour Market Every Saturday

Celebrate our unique South African spirit with live music at one of Cape Town’s most vibrant markets every Saturday

SwordfernSwordfern Hair Emporium’s Gender-Neutral Cuts

Cutting costs, and saving water, with gender-neutral haircuts at Swordfern

African Soul Surfer BackpackersYoga and Surf Specials with African Soul Surfer

Ride the wave of surf and yoga camps with African Soul Surfer!

SANParks Tankwa NPFree Week of Entry to SANParks in September

Get up close and personal with Mother Nature for mahala at Mzansi’s breathtaking national parks!

EclecticaEclectica Design and Art Presents ‘Dream Rift’

Brush away all the facts, and journey to a world connected by dreams and realities

Painterly Group Exhibition‘Painterly’ Group Exhibition at the Grande Provence Gallery

The beauty of oil paint steals the show at this art showcase

PSL Soccer FixturesABSA PSL: Cape Town City vs Polokwane City

The Citizens will want to take the shine off of Polokwane City's season

best winter dishes ricks cafe americainRick’s Café Américain’s Weekly Lunch Specials

Pop over to the charming Casablanca-themed restaurant for a hearty meal that won’t break the bank

We Cannot Be Silent Exhibition launch 2017Exhibition: We Cannot Be Silent at the Castle of Good Hope

A dynamic multimedia exhibition seeks to challenge ideas around gender violence in Cape Town. We Cannot Be Silent – it’s time to take action.

African Soul Surfer BackpackersSurf Lessons with African Soul Surfer

Learn to surf with the kiffest surf school in Cape Town!

MAReSOLMAReSOL’s Mouth-Watering Winter Menu

This authentically Portuguese restaurant brings the heat this winter

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Children's Events Cape TownKids’ Party Special with Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag

Treat your little one to the ultimate military-style birthday bash and save R500

Primal Eatery The Primal Hour at Primal Eatery

Get the best wine, pairings, and cocktails at the Primal Hour

HQ-web-ready-259.jpgFriday Night DJ and Dancing at HQ Restaurant

#AfterDark with DJ Rene: start the weekend with a steak dinner, stylish cocktails and suave tunes by The Frenchman

Villains Ale House Logo 2DJ nights at Villain’s Ale House

Kick start your weekend with DJ nights every Thursday, Friday and Saturday

The Queen and PeasantThe Queen and Peasant Weekend Meet and Greets

Treat yourself to a tasting of fine wines, beers and spirits this weekend

Jack BlackBeers and Bands at Jack Black Brewery and Taproom

Every Friday night the Jack Black stage is lit up with local talent

Glowing Rooms 3Glowing Rooms SA offers a special opening price!

Pay a special rate for entrance into SA’s first 3D space-themed glow-in-the-dark mini-golf adventure

Fun Car Hire Red and Black BeetleFun Car: Cheap Car Hire in Cape Town

Buzz through the Mother City in a budget Beetle, Citi Golf, Jeep Cherokee, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and more

Camissa Township Tours Formal HousesCamissa Township Tour and Robben Island Visit

Embark on a cultural journey and experience the Mother City’s townships with Camissa

Om Revolution sunsetOutdoor Yoga Classes with The Om Revolution in Cape Town

Bend, stretch and meditate with this affordable mobile yoga studio in and around our pretty city

Rush glow in the dark dodge ballCosmic Rush at Rush Indoor Trampoline Park

Teens get your blood pumping inside with a glow-in-the-dark indoor trampoline park

Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel & Spa ReceptionSpa and Sparkling Wine Special at Luxe Laser & Spa in Tamboerskloof

Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay Cape TownFriday Night at The Bay Harbour Market

Ring in the weekend with live music, craft beer, hearty fare and happy shopping in Hout Bay

marianne wine estate 6Dinner and Jazz Special at Marianne Wine Estate

Wind down with some great food and free live music every Friday evening

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