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Things to do for free in Cape Town
From urban parks and hidden beaches to walking tours and street art – check out these free things
Last updated: Monday, 15 August 2023
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 19 things you can do in and around the city for free.
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 | email@example.com | 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.
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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