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Things to do for free in Cape Town

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Things to do for free in Cape Town

Toffee tasting, volleyball, duck parade & arcade gaming

Last updated: Friday, 12 January 2024 

Having fun in Cape Town doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag. In fact, there's a lot you can do for no price at all. Whether you're outdoorsy or the indoor type, here's a treasure trove of 24+ things you can do in and around the city for 2024.

PLAY BEACH VOLLEYBALL EVERY THURSDAY

Friends Who Volley is a weekly event on Clifton 1st beach with volleyball games, sunsets and live music. It’s a great way to end off an evening in the summer and make new friends. Players don’t need to be professional and spectators are welcome to dance to the DJs or dip in the water. Plus, playing volleyball is totally free.


Clifton 1st Beach | Clifton | Cape Town | @friendswhovolley | Image: @amarens 

WATCH A DUCK PARADE

Visit one of the oldest working farms in South Africa, where you and your kids can watch over 1 000 Indian Runner Ducks waddle across the farmhouse, doing natural pest and snail control in the vineyards. Kids can feed the ducks, too. If you’re willing to splurge a little, you can picnic, do a wine tasting or eat at the neighbouring restaurants.


Vergenoegd Löw The Wine Estate | Stellenbosch | @vergenoegd_low_wine_estate | Image: @saltysn0w

GO TO A TOFFEE TASTING

Darling Sweet offers an old-fashioned handmade toffee tasting where you can see how their toffee is made and taste new additions like Rooibos Chai and Ginger Snap. The entire process is done by hand and visitors get to watch as the toffee is produced, cut, and packaged. The tasting is free of charge and you can taste as many toffees as you want.


7A Lang Street | Darling | R315 | @_darling_sweet_ | Image: Darling Sweet

SEE OSTRICHES AND REPTILES

Feed and pet ostriches at Cape Point Ostrich Farm, found next to Cape Point National Park. The farm also has a range of reptiles, as well as a leather shop and ostrich egg shop. Guided tours are offered daily and focus on the life cycle of an ostrich from egg to adult bird. If you’re feeling peckish after, dine at the farm-style restaurant for breakfast or lunch options.


Plateau Road | Cape Point | Facebook | Image: @pixiprol

GET YOUR GAME (AND YOUR DRINK) ON

Barcadia is Cape Town’s first retro bar and arcade and they’ve got a collection of original arcade game machines, some going back as far as 20 years. Play the classics like Rave Racer, Mortal Kombat, and Street Fighter while enjoying soda on tap. It’s currently free to play the arcade games and there’s no entry fee.


62 Hout Street | Cape Town | @barcadiaza | Image: Barcadia

VISIT A NATURE RESERVE IN THE SUBURBS

Rondevlei Nature Reserve is a wetland wilderness in Grassy Park, known for its impressive birdlife. It’s also the only place in Cape Town where you can see a population of hippos. There are two viewing towers with spectacular scenery and several bird hides, allowing birdwatchers to sit in secrecy and observe the comings and goings of life in the wetlands. You could also go on a boat tour, picnic, and fish at the reserve.


Perth Road & Fishermans Walk, Pelikan Park, Zeekoevlei | Website | Image: @janispaulsen

GO TO AN AIRCRAFT MUSEUM

It’s like Top Gun in Cape Town. See everything from aircrafts and uniforms to aviation magazines free of charge, or join a Saturday tour. There's a cafe for refreshments on site. Find out more about The South African Air Force (SAAF) Museum at Satellite Ysterplaat


Piet Grobler Street | Ysterplaat Airbase | Cape Town | Image: @chloehuttonxx

JOIN A FREE WINE TASTING EXPERIENCE

Judd’s Local is a family-owned restaurant on Kloof Street, with a heavy focus on wine and good food. Every week they invite a different wine rep to provide tastings, while they chat with, and educate, the customers. The best part: the tasting itself is totally free. You can indulge in local wines from across the Western Cape, like Grootepost, Newton Johnson and wines from Vine & Co. Plus, stick around and try some small plates or share a charcuterie board


141 Kloof Street | Gardens | 064 527 1272 | @juddslocal | Image: Lara van Zyl

TOUR STREET ART

Skip Cape Town’s many  galleries and, instead, take a walk through  the bustling suburb of Woodstock to see some impressive street art. These colourful murals have become an integral part of the area and are a must-see when visiting the Mother City.


Various locations in the city | Image: Baz_Art

DISCOVER A HIDDEN PARK IN THE SUBURBS

Cape Town is full of small gardens that are easy to access, like this one, tucked away off Paradise Road, in Newlands. It’s home to a towering treehouse, and there are plenty of other things to set your child’s imagination alight in little-known Paradise Park.


Paradise Road | Newlands | Image: Jamie Cette

TAKE A DAY TRIP TO THE WEST COAST 

The West Coast has some of the most beautiful - and peaceful - beaches in Cape Town. You won’t have to drive too far: spots like Derdesteen and Melkbosstrand are only a 35 to 40 minute drive from central Cape Town. Many of the beaches along the West Coast are clean, have plenty of parking and are far less crowded than popular spots like Clifton, Camps Bay and Bloubergstrand.

 
Melkbosstrand beach | West Coast | Image: West Coast Way

GO ON A FREE WALKING TOUR IN STELLIES

Join Stellenbosch on Foot for a historical tour of the Eikestad. Stroll among the stunning art and architecture or learn about the history of the town, such as where Simon van der Stel set up camp in the Eerste Rivier. The tour includes prime examples of Cape Dutch architecture, and stories about the town’s colourful inhabitants over the past three centuries.


47 Church Street | Stellenbosch | Instagram: @stellenboschonfoot | Image: Stellenbosch on Foot

HAVE A SUNSET PICNIC 

Cape Town is well-known for its stunning sunsets. Pack a picnic basket, bring a friend (or a date) and sort out your playlist. Popular places to watch the sunset include Lions Head and Signal Hill, but there are a few lesser-known spots that would be great too: the look-out cave on Chapman’s Peak Drive, the Clifton Ridge Rocks or the Sunset Rock in Fresnaye. 


Chapman’s Peak | Image: South Africa is Travel Ready 

WALK, PLAY + SKATE IN A NATURAL PARK

Spend the day at the Radloff Dog Park along the Lourensford river. The whole family (including the animals) will love this picturesque garden: Walk your dog, jog along the path, let the kids splash in the water or make use of the skate and bike park next door. This is not your typical manicured garden, which makes it the perfect environment to run and play.


Radloff Park | Somerset West | Image: @welnagilbert

STROLL ALONG THE PROMENADE

In the mood for some exercise or fresh sea air? The Sea Point promenade offers loads of fun outdoor activities for the whole family. Make use of the free outdoor gym, visit the art and photography exhibitions or take a scenic stroll to the lighthouse.


Promenade | Sea Point | Image: Lara van Zyl

VISIT ART GALLERIES ON FIRST THURSDAYS

On the first Thursday of every month, walk from art gallery to art gallery and the many cultural events happening in and around Cape Town city centre. Immerse yourself in the artistic scene and join the big after-party in some of the city’s finest bars and restaurants.


Various locations | Instagram: @firstthursdays_za | Image: The Plot Gallery

SEE ANTIQUES FOR FREE IN PAARL

If you love vintage, Toeka Stoor & Coffee Shop is a must-visit. You’ll find everything from old petrol pumps and road signs to clothing and sewing machines from the 1900s. You can view it for free, but we recommend that you support the coffee shop on site. Order South African favourites, such as bobotie pies, “ouma se kerrie vetkoek”, jaffels, and “moerkoffie” in a tin cup.


Toeka Stoor & Coffee Shop | Domaine Brahms Wines | Paarl | Image: Simone Strydom 

DISCOVER HIDDEN GEMS IN A PARK

There’s something for everyone at this urban park: Outdoor gyms, picnic spots, a coffee shop, water features, kids play areas and more. You can also  learn (or teach the kids) about biodiversity, explore an outdoor labyrinth or walk on a sundial at Green Point Urban Park.


1 Fritz Sonnenberg Road | Green Point | 021 444 4258 | Image: Lara van Zyl

SOAK UP THE MARKET VIBE

The city is home to many excellent markets that feature art, artisan wares, African crafts, foods and fresh produce. From Woodstock’s Neighbourgoods Market to the Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay, shop local at a host of markets in Cape Town.


Old Biscuit Mill | Woodstock | Instagram: @neighbourgoodsmarket | Image: Neighbourgoods Market

STROLL THROUGH AN ENCHANTING GARDEN

Visit a magical garden in the heart of Newlands. With a river that runs through it, picnic tables, chairs made out of tree stumps and meandering trails, the Upper Liesbeek River Garden is a great spot for a family outing.


Riverside Road | Newlands | info@rivergarden.org.za | Image: Jessie Leverzencie

HIKE TO A MYSTICAL WATERFALL

Hiking to Cecilia Waterfall is a priceless experience. There are many routes to choose from: through Cecilia Forest, Newlands Forest or Constantia Nek. These routes differ in duration and difficulty, but all lead to the breathtaking water gushing over hanging ferns and green mosses. Find out more about hiking to the waterfall.


Waterfall at Cecilia Ravina | Cecilia Forest | Constantia | Image: Carmen Lewis

ENTER A GATEWAY TO FUN AT THE V&A WATERFRONT

From basketball courts to kiddies' playgrounds, there’s loads to do at this gem at the V&A Waterfront. Skate or scoot around the skate park, take a scenic jog, relax with a picnic or opt for a yoga session, all with a view of Table Mountain at Battery Park.


19 Dock Rd | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | 021 408 7600 | Image: Slava Iljin

JOIN A FREE CITY WALKING TOUR

Cape Town Free Walking Tours does exactly what does exactly what its name suggests. Professional tour guides take groups of people on enlightening historical walks through the city. The walks are free, short, and happen twice a day (11am and 2pm), every day. See where you can find free walking tours.


Wale Street | George’s Mall | City Centre | 0766369007 | Instagram: @capetownfreewalkingtours  

EXPLORE CAPE TOWN’S URBAN OASIS

Pack a picnic and soak up nature in the heart of the city at the Company’s Garden. Feed some squirrels, stroll through the artworks and statues or just have a relaxing picnic amongst the beds of flowers. Tip: Bring your camera, it’s a great spot for photography.


Company’s Garden | 021 423 2919 | Image: Heritage Shop Company’s Garden (@heritageshop_companysgarden)

SPLASH AROUND IN A TIDAL POOL

If you’re looking for a way to cool down but don’t fancy paying entry to a public pool, spend the day outdoors at one of Cape Town’s many tidal pools, from Hermanus to Kalk Bay.


Various locations

JOIN THIS SKATING COMMUNITY IN SUMMER

Promenade Mondays are back in session, celebrating its 10th anniversary. Every Monday during the months of October to April, you can join this sunset social with a skateboard, scooter or rollerblades and shred down the Sea Point promenade. It’s a great way to kick off your week, experience the Atlantic Seaboard and to make new friends.

 
Queen’s Beach parking lot | Sea Point | @promenademonday | Image: Promenade Mondays

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