10 things to do in Cape Town’s city centre, even if you’re on a budget

With the ever-increasing rise in the cost of living, Capetonians are looking for ways to entertain themselves without breaking the bank. Let’s not even mention the fact that we are in the month of Januworry after all: Tasso Evangelinos, CEO of the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID), says, “As Capetonians increasingly feel the pinch, there’s a lot to see and... Read more → The post 10 things to do in Cape Town’s city centre, even if you’re on a budget appeared first on CapeTown ETC.

10 things to do in Cape Town’s city centre, even if you’re on a budget

With the ever-increasing rise in the cost of living, Capetonians are looking for ways to entertain themselves without breaking the bank. Let’s not even mention the fact that we are in the month of Januworry after all:

Tasso Evangelinos, CEO of the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID), says, “As Capetonians increasingly feel the pinch, there’s a lot to see and do in the Cape Town CBD that is either free or budget-friendly. We invite you to come into town to enjoy our vibrant downtown, and to support the inner-city economy without breaking the bank.”

Here is the CCID’s guide to 10 budget-beating venues or experiences in downtown Cape Town:

1. The Company’s Garden

Beautiful, historic, child-friendly, and known for its resident pigeons, squirrels, and trees, the Company’s Garden is a wonderful space.

It was originally used by the Dutch East India Company as a refreshment station on its trade route from Europe to the east to replenish fleets that had been away for months at sea. Today, the Company’s Garden – a national monument and treasure – is the green lung of the Cape Town CBD, a favourite among residents and local and international visitors alike. Take yourself on a tour of the trees, some of which are 200 years old or more.

  • Location: Queen Victoria Street, CBD
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: capetown.gov.za

Picture: CCID

2. First Thursdays

Come into town on the first Thursday of every month when art galleries, retail spaces, restaurants, bars and clubs stay open to welcome visitors with open arms.

The monthly initiative started in Cape Town in 2012, inspired by similar initiatives around the world. The official organisers put out a programme that includes galleries and other cultural attractions, as well as retail stores, restaurants, and bars. Promote the CBD night-time economy and enjoy the unique downtown vibe.

  • Location: Cape Town CBD
  • Time: First Thursday of every month | 5.30pm until late
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: first-thursdays.co.za

Picture: @firstthursdays_za / Instagram

3. Sky-Hi Ride

Experience some of the best views of the city and a mighty adrenaline rush.

An eye-catching feature on the 28th floor of Hotel Sky, Sky-Hi Ride is a 35-metre thrill ride that takes you up in a chair lift, giving you a bird’s-eye view of Cape Town. Weather permitting, the Sky-Hi Ride is open to hotel guests and outside visitors from Tuesday to Sunday from 12pm – 8pm. You can purchase a ride or an observer ticket.

  • Location: 28th Floor, Hotel Sky, 9 Lower Long Street
  • Cost: R200 per person
  • Tickets: Webtickets
  • Website: sky-hiride.capetown

Picture: @skyhiride / Instagram

4. Iziko South African Museum

Since 1825, the Iziko South African Museum, located in the Company’s Garden, has captivated millions of visitors with its vast historical collections, ranging from fossils to ancient insects and historical tools.

Little ones will love the whale display, not to mention some of the temporary exhibitions currently showing, from JellyWorld where you can meet the Medusozoa, to an augmented reality experience of Ancient Egypt.

  • Location: 25 Queen Victoria Street, CBD
  • Cost: Adults: R30 | Children aged 6 to 18: R15 | Children aged 5 and under: Free
  • Website: iziko.org.za

Picture: @izikomuseumssa / Instagram

5. Nelson Mandela Legacy Exhibition

Cape Town’s majestic City Hall boasts a permanent Nelson Mandela Legacy Exhibition that’s accessible to the public on weekdays.

The installation, with interpretive panels, audio-visuals and interactive displays, honours Madiba’s history and the country’s long struggle for liberation. One can do a guided tour to see the various phases of Mandela’s life covered, including an early life timeline, the 1940s and 1950s in Cape Town, the 1960s events leading to his imprisonment, the years he spent in prison on Robben Island, the struggle protests, the 1980s negotiations, his release, the 1994 democratic elections, as well as his presidency and legacy.

To book a 45-minute viewing slot, email: Mandela.Legacy@capetown.gov.za.

  • Location: Darling Street, CBD
  • Time: 10am to 4pm | Tuesday to Friday
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: capetown.gov.za

Picture: screenshot / capetown.gov.za

6. Rethinking the William Fehr Collection

People should not take things at face value and instead challenge themselves to grow and see the world differently.

That’s the aim of this exhibition at the Castle of Good Hope, curated by Esther Esmyol. It has extensive historical art and decorative objects, including furniture, collected by Cape Town businessman Dr Williaam Fehr, which first went on public display in the 1950s. The core of the collection comprises artworks dating from the country’s colonial past. The collection’s custodian, Iziko Museums, encourages viewers to look at the stories behind what’s presented and see multiple meanings.

  • Location: Castle of Good Hope, CBD
  • Time: 9.30am to 3.30pm | Monday to Sunday
  • Cost: R25 for children, R50 for adults
  • Website: iziko.org.za

Picture: @izikomuseumssa / Instagram

7. Clay Cafe in the City

Creativity and cake – a match made in heaven!

This is a craft-focused space where you can paint pottery and enjoy tasty treats with friends. It’s also a renowned spot for kids’ birthday parties. When budgeted correctly, Clay Cafe in the City can come in under R250, which includes the studio fee of R40, painting a mug that starts at R55, and a small meal and drink.

  • Location: 199 Bree Street, CBD
  • Cost: Under R250 depending on painted item and meal
  • Website: claycafeinthecity.com

Picture: @claycafe_inthecity / Instagram

8. Friday Night Live at The Royal Oyster Bar

Catch live music at The Royal Oyster Bar on Friday Night Live.

Diarise it so you can ease yourself into the weekend with good music, a selection of oyster and cocktail specials, and good food.

To book, call 071 490 2834.

  • Location: 17 Bree Street, CBD
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: the-royal-oyster.com

Picture: @theroyal.oyster / Instagram

9. Storytime for children at the Book Lounge

This downtown gem is an all-time favourite with bookish people but did you know that you can treat your children to storytime every week and allow them to become part of the magical world of story-telling?

  • Location: 71 Roeland Street, CBD
  • Time: 11am
  • Cost: Free (all kids are welcome and there’s no need to RSVP)
  • Website: booklounge.co.za

Picture: @booklounge / Instagram

10. Fruit of the vine tastings

Let your weekend begin with a complimentary wine tasting at Divine Wine Boutique every Friday.

With a focus on small, family-owned vineyards, the aim is to alert customers to the interesting offerings on the boutique wine store’s shelves. The details are always posted on social media. It’s not necessary to book, and entry is on a first-come, first-served basis, but space fills up fast and you can reserve a table if you plan to linger longer and place a food (quality cheese and charcuterie boards, tapas, oysters, etc.) and drink order after the tasting.

  • Location: 35 Lower Long Street, CBD
  • Time: 5pm to 7pm | Every Friday
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: divinewineboutique.com

Picture: @divinewineboutique / Instagram

Also read:

Spots that will hug you with calmness in and around Cape Town CBD

Picture: Cape {town} Etc gallery

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