25 Of The Best Free Things To Do In Cape Town


Visiting a new city is an exciting experience, but it’s not always easy on the wallet. Luckily, there are many budget-friendly ways to explore a new location and many of them involve spending no money at all.

So, here are 30 of the best free things to do in Cape Town so that you can spend both your time and your money wisely.

Walk through De Waal Park

De Waal Park is situated in the middle of City Bowl, just under Table Mountain, and this scenic location accommodates everyone from children and dog walkers to runners and nature lovers, along with all of those in between.

This park is the perfect setting for a relaxing walk or a picnic and entry is completely free of charge.

Go on the diamond tour at Shimansky

Shimansky offers you a fully complementary Diamond Experience tour - the only one of its kind. On the tour, you’ll find out all about the history of diamonds, how they’re cut, and how every diamond is unique.

Explore the V&A Waterfront

The V&A Waterfront attracts more visitors per year than Cairo’s Pyramids, and it’s hardly surprising due to the spectacular views and entertainment which can be found at the location.

Both adults and children can delight in the goings on at the V&A Waterfront, as this bustling location always has an activity or an event for you to take part in, such as the self-guided tour and performances from the Cape Town Comedy Club.

Read at Centre for the Book

Centre for the Book is a section of The National Library of South Africa which prides itself on promoting the notion that books should be easily accessible to everyone, in a variety of languages.

The Centre organises activities such as readings and discussions, all with the purpose of promoting a love of literature.

Explore Table Mountain

One of Cape Town’s most famous landmarks, Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain which towers over the city. You don’t have to pay to explore the grounds and you’ll be graced with phenomenal views the higher up you get.

Browse Whatiftheworld Gallery

What better way is there to while away a day or an afternoon than looking at art? At the Whatiftheworld Gallery, you can spend time deciphering innovative artwork from artists such as Simphiwe Ndzube and Mia Chaplin.

Go to Bay Harbour Market

You’ll find Bay Harbour Market sat in an old fish factory and you’ll discover a great many items on sale such as art, food, and fashion.

The lively atmosphere and creative spirit of this market are what gives it its appeal, so it’s worth spending an hour our so browsing the produce and engaging in bartering exchanges with the sellers.

Picnic at the Century City Natural Goods Market

Century City Natural Goods Market is an exciting place to visit at the best of times, but especially if you have children.

This seasonal market isn’t just about selling goods, it also features live music, an art trail exhibition, and a petting zoo, along with an array of other children's’ activities and it’s free to attend.

Go wine tasting at Wine Concepts

Wine concepts is a lovely little boutique winery which not only hosts daily wine tasting free of charge, but also offers you frequent opportunities to meet the winemakers.

You can either go along to sample the wines or to browse the extensive selection on offer which also includes an impressive range of whiskeys.

Go to an event at The Drawing Room

The Drawing Room is a cafe which hosts an array of free creative events, such as Show & Tell and Poetry & Conversation. The cafe space doubles up as a place to engage with music, art, and exhibitions so it’s a great place to get your creative mind bubbling. 

Visit Just Nuisance

Just Nuisance was the name of a well-known and well-loved dog who, after a period of service and shenanigans, became enlisted into the Navy. There is now a statue of Just Nuisance in Jubilee Square which is visited by locals and tourists alike.

Got to a poetry reading at A Touch of Madness

A Touch of Madness is an innovative bar which hosts poetry readings titled ‘Off the Wall’ on a Thursday evening. This free entry event is wholly eclectic and features poems being read, recited, and performed by well known and lesser known people alike.

Get cultured at the Iziko Museums

The Iziko Museums are spread across 14 venues, with highlights including the Planetarium, the Maritime Centre, and the Bo-Kaap Museum. With exciting exhibitions throughout the year, these museums are great to explore if you have little ones in tow.

Sample at the Neighbourgoods Market

The Neighbourgoods Market has been running for over ten years and is only gaining popularity, which is unsurprising as it’s a hipster and foodie paradise. Here you can find an array of free food and drink samples, so fill your boots and enjoy the lively atmosphere!

Try wines at Tjing Tjing

Every Wednesday from 5 pm - 7 pm, the stylish Tjing Tjing rooftop bar - which specialises in cocktails and wine - offers free wine tasting sessions. Even if you’re a wine connoisseur, you’ll find yourself schooled by these experts!

Spend time at City Bowl Market

Regardless of your palette, or even your dietary requirements, City Bowl Market will be sure to delight your taste buds. Not only does this weekly market sell great food, but once a month it throws fashion into the mix, bringing you clobber to turn heads.

Browsing the City Bowl Market and taking in the atmosphere is an activity in itself, and you might even be able to get your hands on a few free samples whilst you’re there.

Visit the Worldart Gallery

This art gallery has a focus on urban contemporary art and has featured work from artists such as Haidee Nel and Gavin Rain.

The gallery frequently changes its exhibitions, keeping its visitors on their toes. With free entry, you can peruse the artwork to your heart’s content, spending a morning, an afternoon, or even a whole day at Worldart.

Explore Camps Bay

Camps Bay is situated on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Africa.

If you’re interested in catching some rays and relaxing on the beach, this is the location of your dreams and, with stunning views of Table Mountain and Twelves Apostles Mountain, you won’t be short of some eye candy whilst you’re there.

See the work of Faith 47

Cape Town is a street art heaven and many of the walls and buildings in Woodstock and District Six are graced by the work of artists.

One of the most notable works of street art in Cape Town is by Faith 47, whose image of a mother and baby is emblazoned across an eight-storey building in Keizersgracht.

Go to The Oranjezicht City Farm

This non-profit project celebrates the urban farming community, along with local food and culture. You can opt to have a guided tour or simply meander through the farm on your own and take in the scenic views of Table Mountain.

Visit The Constantia Valley

The Constantia Valley is a vineyard which has been going strong since 1685. The area itself boasts stunning landscapes and is the ideal location for a walk or a picnic.

Throughout the year, a variety of events are put on in The Constantia Valley, such as festivals, live music, and wine tasting.

Pay your respects at Cape Town Holocaust Centre

The Cape Town Holocaust Centre was the first Holocaust Centre in Africa and opened in 1999. A combination of text, photographs, films, recreated environments, and multimedia displays form the permanent exhibition the Centre.

At the exhibition, which is both sobering and informative, you can hear the stories of Holocaust survivors and learn of the pseudoscience of race which is one of the causes of anti-Semitism.

Browse The Stevenson Gallery

The Stevenson Gallery is a contemporary art gallery which has been going strong since 2003 and is home to a number of both group and solo exhibitions. Entry to the gallery is free and there will always be intriguing artwork on which for you to feast your eyes.

Take a tour of Parliament

During weekdays, the public are able to take a free tour of the South African Parliament where they will get to see where laws are made and gain a better understanding of the country and how it is run.

The building itself is surrounded by tranquil gardens for you to admire, but don’t forget to book your tour in advance.

Ride The Moonlight Mass

The Moonlight Mass is a relaxed group bike ride which starts at Green Point Circle. The ride takes place once a month at full moon and, if you can get your hands on a bike, is an exciting and safe way to explore Cape Town by night.

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