Things to do in Cape Town
Cape Town’s nightlife spans everything from live theatre at the Baxter to cocktails at Planet bar at the Mount Nelson Hotel. For an equally unique experience a little off the beaten track, step outside the city to the Oude Libertas Ampitheatre, an open-air amphitheater in the Stellenbosch vineyards. Here you can see music, dance and theatre, all under South Africa’s bright starry skies, just under an hour outside of Cape Town.
If you’re looking for things to do in Cape Town proper, try the Cape Town Good Food & Wine Show. There, gourmet cuisine, fine wines, and top chefs, vintners and restaurateurs vie for your attention and delight, offering tastings, workshops, and one-on-one cooking lessons.
Whatever your plans for the day, get started with a champagne breakfast at Mount Nelson’s Oasis Restaurant, set amidst sparkling pools and lush gardens, before heading into Cape Town to explore. Go to Bo-Kaap, the old Malay Quarter, for spices from South-East Asia, or check out the independent bookshops along Kloof Street. With such an eclectic mix of cultures and experiences, it won’t be hard to find things to do in Cape Town – you may even plan a return visit to take it all in.
The water may be colder on the Atlantic side of the Cape peninsula, but the beaches are definitely hotter. An upmarket and well-toned crowd gathers here, for sun and sand during the day and sundowners by night at beachfront bars.
Colorful ceramics by local artists fill this small shop in the seaside village of Kalk Bay, a hub of South African creative culture. Dating back to 1901, the Victorian white-stucco building that now houses the store was originally built as a community washhouse.
Many of Cape Town’s best contemporary galleries are in easy walking distance of one another in the city center. Begin at the AVA Gallery, a nonprofit multimedia gallery in historic quarters that gives special attention to Western Cape artists.
Make sure to pick up a souvenir from their line of belts, bags, and clutches.
Housed inside the Old Biscuit Mill, a red brick building dating from the 19th century, this ceramics shop is the showroom of Clementina van der Walt, a local artist whose designs are inspired by the various landscapes of Africa.
This nonprofit multimedia gallery in historic quarters gives special attention to Western Cape artists.
You’ll want to defend your espresso from the sudden swipe of a passing baguette at this thriving Saturday morning community market (open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) in the easterly district of Woodstock.
The expansive modern space is geared toward serious collectors, representing both well-established and up-and-coming talents.
Whatiftheworld’s mandate is to cultivate a community among Cape Town’s young furniture-, product-, and fashion designers and aspiring collectors. It takes the form of shows held in Whatiftheworld’s gallery/work space in Woodstock.
Best known as the former prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 18 years, this island off the coast of Cape Town also served as a leper colony, mental institution, and military base over the past three centuries.
The venue has an extensive collection of mixed-media works divided between two gallery spaces.
This beer bar–charcuterie opened in January 2009 by the people behind Vida e Caffé, a slick, mini-chain coffee bar with a zealous fan base.
Unusual gifts made with spirited South African innovation can be found at this eclectic three-story housewares and apparel shop, set among the hipster clubs and backpackers’ haunts of Long Street.