Things to do in Cape Town

It's the 19th World Congress and here are 19 more Arts and Culture Experiences to enjoy in Cape Town

1. Robben Island Museum

Located west of Cape Town, Robben Island is famously known for harbouring the prison where former president and Nobel Laureate Nelson Mandela served 18 of his 27 years detention during the apartheid regime. The Robben Island Museum was established in 1997 to commemorate the struggle endured by former political prisoners, and the island itself was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. The museum is Cape Town’s most important and popular attraction and tickets sell out fast, so order on the web well in advance.

2. South African National Gallery

South Africa's premier art museum houses outstanding collections of South African, African, British, French, Dutch and Flemish art.

Selections from the Permanent Collection change regularly to enable the museum to have a full programme of temporary exhibitions of paintings, works on paper, photography, sculpture, beadwork, textiles and architecture.

They provide insight into the extraordinary range of aesthetic production in this country, the African continent and further afield.

This programme is complemented by a range of temporary visiting exhibitions.

2. WhatiftheWorld

WHATIFTHEWORLD was founded in 2008 and is now situated in a decommissioned synagogue in Woodstock, which forms part of Cape Town’s recent renewal of Edwardian industria. Originally the gallery identified a group of young contemporary Southern African artists whose practice was underpinned by both global and local contemporary art movements. These artists have, to a large degree, gone on to transform the South African art landscape. Using their social and personal identities they have twisted the previous generation’s resistance and conceptual based practice into something beyond merely protest conceptualism, embracing both materiality and humour.

4. District Six Museum

During the 1970’s, South Africa’s apartheid regime forced the removal of over 60,000 residents of the District Six residential community in Cape Town. Since 1994, the District Six Museum has served to memorialize the community, its history and ex-residents’ struggles during the dark nationalist era. Its ground floor is completely overlaid in a map of the inner-city, detailed with notes drawn by ex-residents indicating where their homes had been. The building itself is an 170 year-old former church liberally adorned with vintage street signs and nationalist plaques airing the decrees of the time.

5. Tunnel Tours

Discover the Secret Tunnels below the City of Cape Town. Parts of the underground Canals and Rivers date back to 1652. They used to supply the Company Gardens and the passing ships with fresh water. Later these rivers flowing through the city became pleasant walk ways shaded by Oaks with bridges going over them. Cape Town had its own Gentleman’s Walk and was known as little Amsterdam. As the years passed and the City expanded the Canals were used to transport sewerage until 1895 by when they were all arched over and forgotten. Today these historic Canals with their impressive architecture convey the sweet waters of Table Mountain and some Spring Water into the ocean. Follow the river of our culture and heritage that runs of Table Mountain to the Castle of Good Hope. This educational and historic tour will inspire your imagination. A thrilling experience and adventure.

6. Coffeebean Routes

Coffeebeans Routes is a tour operator that prioritises creativity. We create travel experiences around South African stories. These are contemporary, urban, African experiences that provide nuanced insights and complexity. We offer scheduled day tours, private day tours, tailor made programmes, and multi-day programmes, to special events, as long as there are people and stories, we have a canvas.

We are creative and cultural travel specialists, recognised by the travel industry and international press as pioneers in this sector.

7. Kirstenbosch Gardens

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden lives up to its reputation as the most beautiful garden in Africa and one of the great botanic gardens of the world. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch, against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain.

Kirstenbosch was established in 1913 to promote, conserve and display the extraordinarily rich and diverse flora of southern Africa, and was the first botanic garden in the world to be devoted to a country's indigenous flora.

8. Hike up Lions Head

Lion’s Head is THE perfect walk for those who want to to squeeze in a short hike after or before work – with or without the children and the dog. The best thing about the Lion’s Head hike is obviously the view over Cape Town, Table Mountain, the Atlantic and Camps Bay. Although the walk can be a bit step at times, there is nothing too hectic about this hike. Along the path you will find a series of chains and ladders to assist you as you scramble up a particularly steep section of rocky faces. When walking with very young children, take the alternative route that goes around the chain- section.

Lions Head is a very popular spot among hikers when it is Full Moon and not without reason as the views over Cape Town are simply fantastic. When you decide to walk when it is full moon, please do not forget a head-torch and warm clothing as it can be chilly up there – even on a balmy summer’s eve.

9. Hike up Table Mountain (Skeleton Gorge or Platteklip Gorge)

The vast majority of visitors to Cape Town take the cable car up Table Mountain – perhaps as much as 99.5%. Of the remaining 0.5% who hike up, more or less 80% gain the summit via Platteklip Gorge and another 15% via Skeleton Gorge. These two routes are without doubt the most popular Table Mountain hiking routes, with Platteklip Gorge getting first place by a considerable margin…

10. Cable Way up Table Mountain

The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company has been providing visitors with a world-class experience since October 4, 1929. The company operates in a National Park and World Heritage Site.

The mountain’s magnetism has a way of drawing people in, compelling them to reach the summit. But getting to the top was not always the effortless trip it is today.

11 Citysightseeing South Africa (Red Bus Tour)

The City Sightseeing open-top bus tour is undoubtedly the best way to go sightseeing in Johannesburg or Cape Town.

Our red buses run in Cape Town and Johannesburg seven days a week, 365 days a year, come rain or shine, and arrive at each stop at regular scheduled intervals. Guests are encouraged to hop off the bus throughout the tour and explore the surrounding areas. 

Our open-top tours are a delight for anyone wanting a safe, fun and informative introduction to the city, whether you're a lone traveller to South Africa, a local couple, a mom with two kids or a grandad on a weekend outing with the grandkids. 

City Sightseeing South Africa also offers an array of community tours, from the free walking tours in and around the city to multicultural township experiences, sidecar adventures and even a chopper flip!

12. Game Reserves near Cape Town

Fairy Glen

At Fairy Glen as a Game Lodge you will experience a very intimate encounter. This doesn't mean you go up and pet the Animals – it means you will get close – so close that you will, without doubt, get great photos. The animals have stories – which you will hear – and this brings the experience closer to your heart. Although we have the Big 5 - please understand that the mountain Leopards roam free in the mountains at Fairy Glen, is rare to see, and usually only at night. 
Situated outside Worcester, with an awesome view of the mountains.

Aquila Safari Lodge

Aquila Safari Lodge is a 4 star establishment in the Southern Karoo. The reserve is a 10,000 hectare conservancy in the southern Karoo, and home to the big 5 legends of the wilderness - elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and rhino.

Aquila Game Reserve has two large swimming pools, each with a pool bar overlooking the reserve. There are large dining areas, and cosy cigar bars and lounges. Aquila has a library, curio shop and children’s entertainment area.


Sprawling across 10 000 hectares in the Ceres Karoo, Inverdoorn Game Reserve and Iziba Safari Lodge is situated two and a half hours from Cape Town. The reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife, including the Big Five and offers thrilling safaris and the best luxury accommodation.

As a conservation stronghold, Inverdoorn strives to save threatened species and return animals to their natural habitat. This is evident from the rescue stories of animals that now roam free on the reserve. In 2012, Inverdoorn introduced elephants into the reserve, marking it as a Big Five destination.

13. Wine Tasting

Wine tasting is an utterly charming way to pass the weekend. When paired with some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth, century old architecture and awe-inspiring food, it becomes one of Cape Town’s most beloved activities for visitors and locals alike.

But how to go about getting the absolute most out of your experience? Well, for starters, you can take a look at our insider’s guide to the Cape Winelands!

14. Experience Local Markets

Neighbour Goods Market (Salt River)


The Neighbourgoods Market is an independent initiative founded in 2006 by entrepreneurs Justin Rhodes and Cameron Munro, whose aim is to revive and reinvent the Public Market as a civic institution. This award-winning market features over 100 specialty traders every Saturday, creating a weekly platform for local farmers, fine-food purveyors, organic merchants, bakers and distributors, grocers, mongers, butchers, artisan producers, celebrated local chefs, and micro enterprises.


The OZCF Market Day is a community farmers-style market for independent local farmers and artisanal food producers. At the OZCF Market customers can do weekly food shopping (veg, fruit, bread, organic dairy, free-range eggs, honey, muesli etc), try out some delicious cooked and raw foods and be inspired about helping to build an alternative food system. Additionally, customers can buy edible plants and seedlings, compost and gardening supplies and equipment.

15. Graffiti South Africa

Established in 2011, this website showcases graffiti and street art in South Africa as well as the rest of Africa. It provides artists with a platform to display their work and promotes South African graffiti on the world stage.

The graffiti scene in South Africa is still relatively young, but it is growing rapidly. Graffiti only really started after the abolition of apartheid and the rise of the hip hop culture in the early 1980s. Cape Town is regarded as the ‘mecca’ and the movement soon spread to other cities like Johannesburg. Today, some of the pioneers continue to paint their names while a new wave of writers take to the streets.

16. Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach near Simon’s Town has a lot going for it: the ancient granite boulders protect it from the wind and large waves, making it an ideal swimming spot for kids. Because it falls under the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area, the beach is always clean and safe, and it is rarely crowded. Sure, this comes at the cost of a small conservation fee, but who wouldn’t be willing to part ways with R65 for a day in this paradise?

Did I mention the penguins? The soft white sand and warm(ish) waters are not the only reasons why 60 000 visitors a year make their way along the coast, past Simon’s Town, to Boulders Beach. The local inhabitants – and I’m talking about the little tuxedoed chaps here – know how to pull the crowds.

17. Cape Point

Cape Point is in the Cape of Good Hope nature reserve within Table Mountain National Park,  which forms part of the Cape Floral Region, a World Heritage Site. It includes the majestic Table Mountain chain, which stretches from Signal Hill to Cape Point, and the coastlines of the Cape Peninsula. This narrow stretch of land, dotted with beautiful valleys, bays and beaches, contains a mix of extraordinarily diverse and unique fauna and flora.

18. Cape Aghulas

The Southernmost Tip of Africa. The old lighthouse is now a museum and National Monument. 

Portuguese seafarers found this a strange place as 500 years ago the compass showed no variation between true and magnetic north. They named Africa's southern-most tip, "Needle Cape". An alternative opinion says that the name stems from the ragged and pointed reefs offshore. Nowadays there is a 24º variation west, as the magnetic poles are constantly moving. 

Cape Agulhas is an often windy and desolate place that really does feel like the end of the earth.

19. More theatre

Alexander Bar Upstairs

Looking for things to do in Cape Town? Alexander Upstairs is an intimate performance space completely separate from the bar area with a festival-style programming model featuring drama, comedy, cabaret, jazz, acoustic sessions, readings and more. We often schedule more than one performance per night so please check times carefully when booking.

Fugard Theatre

The 320-seater Fugard Theatre is located within the historic Sacks Futeran building in Cape Town’s District Six, with the renovated Congregational Church Hall in Caledon Street as its entrance. Construction of The Fugard Theatre was underwritten by its founding producer Eric Abraham, who continues to underwrite the operational costs

Kalk Bay Theatre

The Kalk Bay Theatre (KBT) is a 78-seater theatre located at 52 Main Road, Kalk Bay in the old Kalk Bay DR church, built in 1876 and is a heritage protected building. The building has been lovingly converted into an intimate theatre with a bar area serving light meals, snacks and drinks on the upper floor. KBT offers a unique night of entertainment. Theatre, sustenance and quality time with friends all under the same roof.

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Rosebank Theatre

Opened by renowned theatre director, actor and producer Nicholas Ellenbogen in July 2013 with the support of acclaimed writer Alexander McCall Smith, the Rosebank Theatre strives to bring quality entertainment to the Southern Suburbs.

It’s a platform where upcoming artists can showcase their talent and established artists can delight audiences in an intimate, 50-seater setting.

The Rosebank Theatre – previously the Actors College of Theatrical Arts – was refurbished by Ellenbogen and his family, and opened to a sold-out season of Raiders: The Whiskey Trader, the 2013 instalment of Ellenbogen’s ever-popular Raiders franchise.

Since then, it has hosted several successful productions, including the magical Live With Ivy and the hilarious Silly Mid On.

Theatre on the Bay

Theatre on the Bay is located in the beautiful beach suburb of Camps Bay. A mere 10 minutes drive from the centre of Cape Town, Camps Bay plays host to a number of excuisite beaches, luxurious hotels, fashionable night clubs and bars, and of course our theatre! This prime location offers our patrons stunning surroundings to their theatrical experience at Theatre on the Bay.

Local stage legend, Pieter Toerien established this intimate stage as a home to world class entertainment for drama, comedy, dance, musicals and cabarets. Our 264 seater venue serves as a platform for magic captivating an audience of all ages.

Please see our Website for the latest shows and booking information