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Things to do for Free in Cape Town

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Things to do for Free in Cape Town

Short on cash? Here are a treasure trove of free things to do in the Mother City 

Update: 14 November 2018

Free birthday fun. Beautiful parks. Free poetry readings. And so many special discoveries to make of things you can for free in and around Cape Town.

VISIT THE AQUARIUM FOR FREE ON YOUR BIRTHDAY
The Two Oceans Aquarium att he V&A has just announced that you get free entry on your birthday. The aquarium is celebrating its 23rd birthday by giving you free access on yours. Get all the info on the Two Oceans Aquarium free birthday experience. Plus: Discover 15 exciting reasons to visit the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town.


Dock Road, V&A Waterfront | +27 (0)21 418 3823 | functions@aquarium.co.za

HIRE A CAR AND EXPERIENCE ALL THE HIDDEN GEMS CAPE TOWN HAS TO OFFER
The joy of free activities is best when you are on your own time and can discover as much as you want to. Hire a car from AroundAboutCars which offers unlimited kilometres without excess and take one of their suggested tours or simply drive around and explore the city as much as you can. You wouldn't want to miss this opportunity with AroundAboutCars.


20 Bloem Street | Cape Town | 8001| +27 21 422 4022 | info@aroundaboutcars.co.za


Take a full moon hike up Lion’s Head

A fan of hiking and outdoor activity? We’ve got the scoop on of Cape Town’s finest outdoor experiences. Between Table Mountain and Signal Hill you’ll find a mountain steeped in romance and tradition. Climb the mountain just before sunset and enjoy a picnic with a few good folks and the breathtaking view of Camps Bay and Cape Town, basking under the lighting of a majestic Cape Town full moon.


Lion’s Head & Signal Hill | Cape Town

Swing on the Sea Point Promenade
A visit to Sea Point is not complete without taking in the crisp ocean air along the stunning seaside promenade. The promenade is frequented by walkers, cyclists and skaters – a sunset jog is a fantastic idea. Can’t afford an outing to a theme park? Get in touch with your inner-child and swing high in the air at one of the grassy parks or flex those muscles at the innovative outdoor gym. Cape Town is characterised by its amazing sea views and Sea Point exhibits this by providing a perfect vantage point.


The Promenade | Sea Point | Cape Town

Drink in nature in Cecilia Forest
Cape Town’s vast natural beauty is something unmissable and all the serious hikers should head over to the Cecilia Forest to catch a glimpse of the legendary fairies and take a sip of fresh mountain water to revitalise their bodies, whilst opening their minds. Start your hike where Hohenort Drive meets Rhodes Drive in Newlands. The glades, streams, waterfall and mossy paths will soothe your soul and leave you in a state of equanimity.


Newlands to Table Mountain | Cape Town

Experience Cape biodiversity at Green Point Urban Park
Green Point Urban Park is an amazing sphere of natural beauty. It’s spacious and perfect for you to get to know the plant species around you. The setting is an immaculately landscaped greenway that is equally informative for children and adults. The cleverly designed biodiversity garden contains over 300 clearly labelled Cape plant species, making it a free alternative to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. Afterwards, unwind on the sprawling lawn and enjoy a packed picnic with your family or friends.


Green Point Urban Park |1 Fritz Sonnenberg Rd | Green Point | Cape Town | 8051

Feed the squirrels in Company’s Garden
Just as the Company’s Garden used to enchant ocean-weary travellers who’d arrived to a strange land years ago, today this green patch continues to charm tourists and locals alike. Hemmed in by the busy streets of the CBD, the winding avenues of oaks, the inviting carpet-like lawns and the mosaic of indigenous herbs and succulents are ideal for a few hours spent lazing away a spending-free day. Not to mention, who can resist the cute and fluffy squirrels climbing the trees and hopping right up to you? These bushy-tailed animals don’t want your money, just a few peanuts will do. Bring a picnic blanket and goods from home and come enjoy the idyllic setting with someone special or your loved ones.


Company’s Garden | 19 Queen Victoria St | City Centre | Cape Town | 8000

Hang up your hammock in De Waal Park
De Waal Park is a community park situated in the heart of the City Bowl. Renowned for its wide variety of trees and its social doggiesphere, both adults and children can kick back, hang up a hammock and take a nap. This is also the perfect spot for some quality time with your family or a relaxing, romantic retreat for couples. Pack a picnic basket and a blanket and have a tranquil day surrounded by the beauty of nature under Cape Town’s sweet sun.For more outdoor options check out our overview of parks in Cape Town. Enjoy some of SA’s hottest local music acts at De Waal Park Summer Concerts

Music concerts are another big part of summers in Cape Town. You usually have to pay to see some of these local music acts, but during magnific summer days De Waal Park plays host to musicians, who get spectators dancing and singing along to some of their favourite local songs. The wonderful thing is that this musical journey is free of charge and the venue it is hosted at, is organic and conducive for a really chilled vibe, suitable for the entire family. For more on De Waal Park Summer concerts check out: Concerts In The Park.


De Waal Park | Molteno Rd | Oranjezicht | Cape Town | 8000

 Surf at Muizenberg beach
The surfing culture out at surfer’s corner in Muizenberg has been alive and well for generations now. This little coastal community is filled with friendly faces and awesome vibes. Come rain or shine, cold or hot – the waves are actually best in winter – one of the most legendary ways to reconnect with Cape Town’s majestic oceans is by riding the swells that ebb and flow at Muizenberg beach (or any of the Cape’s iconic surf spots). Get there early to miss the traffic jam! You won’t need a cent to make a day of it.


Surfer’s Corner | Beach Road | Muizenburg | +27(0) 21 788 2909

Take the family on a Muizenberg meander
This walk on the beach occurs every Saturday after that month’s full moon. The family-friendly event focuses on making the Muizenberg beach a safer space for all, but is a fun night out for all ages. The walk commences from Knead Bakery at 6:15pm and attendees are welcome to bring a group of people with – the more the merrier after all!


Surfer’s Corner | Beach Road | Muizenberg | +27(0) 21 788 2909

PUT ON YOUR THINKING CAP

Fall in love with books at the Centre for the Book
A unit of the National Library of South Africa, the Centre for the Book aims to promote a culture of reading, writing and publishing in all local languages. Look out for their reading–related activities and events such as poetry readings, writing groups and workshops. A visit to their soaring wood-panelled interior will inspire even the most reluctant bibliophobes.


62 Queen Victoria Street | City Bowl | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 423 2669

Borrow a book at the Kloof Street Library
Sunny day? The friendly staff at Kloof Street Library will help you choose the perfect novel, African heritage or children’s book, to enjoy in their delightful garden. This quaint library is situated in an old gabled house at the top of the CBD’s buzzy Kloof Street.


122B Kloof Street | Tamboerskloof | City Bowl | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 424 3308

Network at Creative Mornings
One Friday of every month a group of creatives get together at different locations to network and share ideas and insights. Started by Capetonian Catherine Henderson in May 2010, the regular 20- to 30-minute morning talks feature one creative speaker and free coffee and snacks. So, start the morning inspired and filled with new ideas.

 

Join in a Pub Quiz
If you have a thirst for knowledge and beer on tap then throw your hat into the ring for quiz night at your local pub. Most of them have a small fee, but luckily Aandklas in Stellenbosch is for FREE! Take a bunch of mates to their Thursday quiz, have a ball and enjoy seeing how good your general knowledge is!


43A Bird Street | Stellenbosch | Western Cape | +27 (0)21 883 3545

GET TO KNOW YOUR HERITAGE

Amble along Signal Hill
Signal Hill is located next to Lion’s Head, with stunning views of the Atlantic. It’s home to a number of historic features such as the Signal Hill cannon, which originally notified the public when a ship was in trouble. This old Capetonian tradition still takes place every day on Signal Hill, just below the mountaintop. At 12h00 exactly, the Noon Gun is fired – an opportunity for people to set their watches (and block their ears).


Signal Hill | Cape Town | 8001

Check out the Just Nuisance Monument
This monument in Simon’s Town commemorates Just Nuisance, a Great Dane who befriended the Royal Navy and made such an impression that he was enlisted, wore a sailor’s hat, turned up at functions and did much to boost the morale of sailors at sea. You can also visit the Simon’s Town Museum, which displays his papers, collar and photographs.


Just Nuisance Monument | Jubilee Square | Simon’s Town

Visit all the Iziko Museums
The Iziko Museums regularly have free entry days (usually on public holidays), which make for prime opportunities to explore the extensive art, social and natural history collections housed in these Cape Town institutions. Particularly interesting is the Bo-Kaap Museum, which showcases Islamic heritage  and culture in South Africa, and is set in the historic neighbourhood that is home to many Muslims and descendants of freed slaves. Additionally, The Planetarium, a celestial dome in the South African Museum Building in the Company’s Garden is an incredibly entertaining day out.


Rust en Vreugd | 78 Buitenkant St | City Centre | Cape Town | 8000

FILL UP WITH FREE FOOD AND WINE

Visit the Century City Natural Goods Market
For a free family-friendly outing in the Northern Suburbs, gather the kids and head over to the Century City Natural Goods Market on the last Sunday of each summer month (October to April). Set on the grassy expanse next to the large wetland and bird sanctuary of Intaka Island, this outdoor market is ideally located for a lazy weekend day spent soaking up the sun. No-charge entertainment, like jumping castles, train rides and magic tricks, is on offer; though the expansive green usually provides the little ones with room to engage in more than enough activity. For adults, a variety of artisan stalls are available for your browsing pleasure and live local music acts provide the backbeat to a leisurely day.


Park Lane | Central Park | Century City | +27 (0)21 531 2173

Taste some tipple at Wine Concepts on Kloof
This CBD-based wine store has free wine tastings, every single day! Yes, you read that right, you can sip ’n swirl some of the best wines around all for mahala. Tastings take place from 4pm until 7pm on Mondays to Fridays and on weekends from noon until 3pm. And what’s more, you get a cool 10% off any of the wines put up for tasting that day.


Lifestyle on Kloof | 50 Kloof Street | +27 21 426 4401

Show & Tell at The Drawing Room
This Observatory-based café and art gallery has a variety of exhibition openings and show & tell’s for the public. Known for the delish food and a good cuppa joe, art lovers can catch the work of up-and-coming artists or mingle with like-minded individuals. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for details about upcoming events.


87 Station Road | Observatory | Cape Town

Sample the fare at Neighbourgoods Market
Get a little gourmet Saturday treatment from 9am to 2pm. The bustling Neighbourgoods Market is every foodie’s dream, stocking items from over 100 speciality traders offering fine food, wine and local produce. There are plenty of chutneys, cheeses cakes and wines for you to sample here. A little forward planning for that pay-day picnic never hurt anyone.


The Old Biscuit Mill | 373-375 Albert Road | Woodstock | Cape Town

More wine tastings (hiccup) at Tjing Tjing
There's no reservation needed at Tjing Tjing for their free wine tastings on Wednesdays. Just stop by from 5pm onwards to sample some top-drawer blends and meet the winemakers.


165 Longmarket Street | City Bowl | Cape Town | +27 21 422 4920

Hang out at the City Bowl Market
Housed in a historic hall on Hope Street in the middle of the CBD, the City Bowl Market  is a wonderful collection of stalls featuring vintage clothing, great coffee, Nutella-filled crépes, wooden arts and crafts and so much more. Walking around and chatting to the warm and friendly locals will cost you absolutely nothing. The market is open every Saturday between 9am and 2pm and every Thursday evening between 4:30pm and 8:30pm.


City Bowl Market | Hope Street | Gardens | Cape Town

Keep it real at the Bay Harbour Market
Described as “a real place for real people”, the Bay Harbour Market (also informally called the Hout Bay Market) is the epitome of Cape Town’s relaxed atmosphere. Trading times are Friday 5pm to 9pm; and Saturday and Sunday 9:30am to 4pm. Keep it real, keep it free and head down to this original and interesting gathering to see what beautiful things people are creating. You might catch a clown entertaining the kids or a musician singing his heart out.


Bay Harbour Market | 31 Harbour Road | Hout Bay | Cape Town

GET INTO THE ARTS & CULTURE SCENE

Take a diamond tour at Shimansky
Embark on a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at experts delicately shaping platinum, learn about the factors that affect the value of a diamond and witness the result of human expertise in Shimansky sparkling showroom. Although the tour is free, you or your girlfriend/wife/partner may emerge doe-eyed for diamonds. Read about the Shimansky diamond tour.


Top Floor | The Clock Tower | V&A Waterfront | +27 (0)21 420 2788

Attend a poetry reading at A Touch of Madness
Situated in an old Victorian house, this Observatory-based restaurant and bar is well-known for its crazy delicious food and madcap atmosphere –the name says it all. If you’re strapped for cash, you can attend their weekly poetry evenings every Monday from 8pm until 10pm. The line-up changes from week to week so come with an open mind and hear from some of Cape Town’s budding poets.


12 Nutall Road | Observatory | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 447 1940

Catch contemporary South African art at Whatiftheworld Gallery
WhatiftheWorld Gallery provides a platform for established contemporary artists and gives collectors the opportunity to discover new artists. Plus you can peruse these works of art for free.  It’s run by one of the co-founders of the NeighbourGoods Market and was one of the first galleries to open in Woodstock. They also represent some of SA’s finest designers (not just artists) – check out their website for more info that you can include. Find more galleries here.


1 Argyle Street | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21447 2376

See edgy urban art at Worldart Gallery
Openings at this CBD-based gallery tend to spill out onto Church Street, a pedestrianised mall brimming with African art and craft. Worldart specialises in accessible urban art by young local talent, many of whom are illustrators and street artists.


54 Church Street | Cape Town | +27(0) 21 423 3075

LIFT THE BANK BALANCE BY LIFTING THE SPIRIT

Walk a dog and make a best friend
If you can’t lift the bank balance why not lift the spirits? TEARS, which is located just off Kommetjie Road on the M5, is a non-profit organisation that rescues abandoned dogs and cats. Donate your time and take part in their dog-walking programme. We guarantee that after a few hours with a furry friend, you’ll feel like a million bucks. Email tears@tears.org.co.za for more information.

 
TEARS Animal Rescue | 4 Lekkerwater Road | Sunnydale | Cape Town

Plant a tree and help Greenpop grow
Greenpop plants trees, runs educational programmes and hosts restoration festivals all in the name of a greener future. The NGO spearheads fun events aimed at raising environmental awareness: plant days at schools and football fields, jam sessions in Long Street’s car parks, bicycle rides in Cape Town and tree planting projects in Zambia. You can get involved for free by signing up on their volunteer database.

The Woodstock Street Art Walking Tour
The Woodstock Street Art Walking Tour Is a 60 to 90 minute walk that starts and ends at The Woodstock Exchange in Woodstock. The tour forms part of the Township Art Tours program run by Juma Tours and includes a tour of murals, installations, graffiti and a gallery visit in the greater Woodstock area. There are daily tours that run at 10am; 12pm; 14pm; and 16pm. Get in on this cultural experience. Bookings can be made on routestreetart@gmail.com. The tour is free but gratuities are welcome.

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By Cheréne Pienaar and Alyx Carolus

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If you know someone who likes a good story, check out The Book Lounge.

Locals and visitors can discover something new during free walking tours of Cape Town.

Take a look at all the free things you can do on your birthday.

Tick something off your bucket, head out to Killarney and get a free Harley Davidson Ride.

A new inclusive yoga studio, Holding Space reflective of local society at the black-owned yoga studio in Cape Town.

Get some fresh air and exercise, enjoy exquisite scenery and find some hidden gems in our collection of places worth hiking in Cape Town.

Got some cash and looking to tick something truly Capetonian off your bucket list? You’ve gotta try free diving with our friends at Ocean Experiences.

If you're celebrating, check out our collection of special party places.

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Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of what’s happening in the city, ‘burbs and dorpies. Join our newsletter and get quick access on the go by adding us to your mobile home screen for the ultimate guide to discoveries in Cape Town.

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Cape Town Events Calendar
October 2019
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statements_5Fugard Classic “Statements” ...

Catch this stellar performance about forbidden love

VaseWhat Could Be Prettier Than A Room Full ...

An exhibition full of flowers in vases created by Cape Town’s top ceramicists

sotano_lambIt’s (Lamb) Burger Wednesdays at ...

... and while you eat, chill out to reggae by locals The Rivertones

a4_arts_foundationZanele Muholi Wants You To See The ...

And it’s free at the A4 Arts Foundation

Land_RewovenSee This Fascinating Interpretation of ...

Artist MJ Lourens pairs his modern landscapes with Pierneef’s, plus there’s cheese ...

gindulge1Get To Know Your Gins At This Mid-week ...

Make your October Wednesdays about food trucks, kids activities, desserts and gin at ...

sotano_lambTwo Lamb Burgers For the Price Of One

R110 gets you two fully stacked meals at both Sotanos

rodan_kane_hartRodan Kane Hart: Making the Most of ...

An expansive gallery and pristine outdoor landscape showcase a free exhibition by a young ...

William_Kentridge_2A Monumental Exhibition To Open At The ...

The iconic South African artist’s largest exhibition in Africa in over a decade

blowfish_new_4Half-Price Sushi Every Wednesday and ...

And drink in the sunset and view (and a cocktail)

Kinky BootsSmash-Hit Kinky Boots Extended To 2020 ...

With music by Cyndi Lauper, several Tonys and a Laurence Olivier Award

chicha4Get To Know Your Wine: Wednesdays are ...

Sample some fine wines and meet the makers behind your favourite tipple

Cherry_Glamping3Team Building is For Bonding, So Ditch ...

Hiking, biking, canopy tours and luxury glamping just 50 minutes outside of Cape Town

zingara_bombay5 Happy Hours, Every Day of The Week

And Cafe Paradiso has a weekend seafood platter special for two

vredenheim_2019_9Picnic Among The Golden Wildebeest on ...

A family game drive with a difference at Vredenheim

kaskaziBoost Your Week With A Hump Day Kayak ...

The chance to see ocean and bird life at sunrise and get to work on time

cocosafar_steak1From Rib Eye To Vegetarian – Here Are ...

Gourmet burgers and steak, as well as cocktails, are now on the menu at this all-day cafe ...

La Paris_Deli2Wednesday Delights at La Paris Deli in ...

A bakery and bistro experience at one of the most beautiful winelands wedding venues, now ...

cartelcafe6Lunch Sorted: A Midweek Buffet At The ...

Fill up your plate and tuck into a tasty lunch spread every Wednesday and Thursday: From ...

two_oceans_aquariumMake Memorable Moments at Cape Town’s ...

Throw a party unlike any other at the Mother City’s underwater wonderland

Comedyclub_new11End Hump Day With a Laugh At The ...

Share the experience at Cape Town Comedy Club in the Waterfront’s Pumphouse every ...

Om Revolution vinyasa poseHave an Outdoor Yoga Experience with ...

Embrace your inner yogi outdoors

asamisOverload On Asami’s Sushi And Noodles

Get sushi and noodle specials three days a week

galileo_kirstGet Comfy at Kirstenbosch Movie Nights ...

Great films, fabulous scenery, delicious food and cosy seats – look forward to a night ...

HaskellVineyards 6Save On A Meal and Wine For Two At This ...

Haskell Vineyards offers patrons a delicious meal and glass of wine at a discounted price

glam_barBeauty Special: Gelish or Shellac Nails ...

Book via Whatsapp: Workday-perfect nail treatments with free rinse and discounts on all ...

OX boat rides 110% Off: See The Marine Big 5 on an ...

Whales, dolphins, penguins, cape fur seals and mola mola (sunfish), an awesome boat trip ...

theatre and film costume hire25% Off Hollywood-Calibre Costume ...

Wednesdays only: Gorgeous vintage cocktail dresses to realistic historical costumes for ...

Strolla ChickenHalf-Price Rotisserie Chicken (& sides) ...

Warm at the fireplace inside or sip Corona on the Sunset Deck in shorts and slops (while ...

house of hLook Who's Serving a R50 Lunch Special ...

Loved by locals, House of H now does delicious new lunch specials – from boerie rolls ...

Park Inn_RGB_ItalianDinnerSpecial5All-You-Can-Eat Italian Dinner Special ...

Made fresh right in front of you, with your choice of sauces and toppings – this is one ...

beluga_whisylounge2-for-1 Whisky Wednesdays at Beluga

Your midweek escape just got a whole lot better with the 2-for-1 Wednesday whisky special ...

grub&vine_wineFree Wine Tasting Every Wednesday at ...

Grub & Vine’s #VineNight hosts a different wine farm

Vergenoegd_duckrun1Cheer On The Ducks At Vergenoegd Löw

Bring the kids along to experience the Duck Parade

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