Cape Town offers world class food, accommodation and activities that cater to every taste and even if you’re travelling on a budget, you can still get the full Cape Town experience. Here are some of our favourite things to do in the Mother-City that are as cheap as chips (literally if you are from Europe), leaving you with spare cash for a few cold ones at the Randy!
See the sights
With so much cultural and natural diversity and a rich, colourful history, Cape Town spoils its visitors with impressive sights and experiences. The popular Red City Site Seeing buses is one of the easiest and most inexpensive way to get a good overview of Cape Town in all its glory. They offer a number of lines that go through the CBD, Atlantic Seaboard and Peninsula, so you are able to cover a large amount of the Mother-City in a day or two. Once you’ve got your bearings, you can hit the streets by foot and take one of the many free walking tours on offer.
Go for a Bike Ride
Hang out at the Randy
Grabbing a drink or bite to eat at your hostel bar one won’t just save you a couple of bucks, it will also allow you to hang out with like minded travellers from all over the world. Most of which will be on a budget like you, so they will be ecstatic to join you at the Randy for Happy Hour or Braai Night where you can experience a South African BBQ like a local for a very small price.
Take a hike
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to hiking in Cape Town with a great spider’s web of trails spreading across the Peninsula, from Sea Point to Cape Point and few memorable routes that will take you up to the top of Table Mountain. Experiencing Table Mountain this way will not only save you from queues at the cable car a skip.
Ride the bus
It sounds a bit silly, but due to the layout of Cape Town, the red and blue MyCiTi busses often travel along some incredibly scenic routes – from spectacular views of Table Mountain, the Sea Point Promenade, Twelve Apostles and Hout Bay, to name but a view. Bus passes are relatively inexpensive and can be bought either at kiosks at main stops, or at various retailers.
Walk along the Sea Point Promenade
If a leisurely stroll is more your thing, a sunset walk along the Sea Point promenade is an absolute must.
A walk in the garden
Cape Town has a number of beautiful gardens, from the Company’s Gardens in the city centre to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on the other side of the mountain. While the Company’s Gardens are open to everyone to enjoy for free, the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens charge a small fee. One of the main attractions at Kirstenbosch is the Boomslang, a unique meander through the tree tops of the garden, which gives you a unique view of the gardens, as well as spectacular views of the back of Table Mountain and the Constantia Valley.
Explore the markets
Green Market Square is one of Cape Town’s most popular attractions – this outdoor market is the perfect place to find inexpensive souvenirs, as well as cheap food at the surrounding restaurants or the city’s popular Easten Food Bazaar. Take a look at this incredible list of Markets in Cape Town.
Hit the beach
Cape Town has some of the country’s magnificent beaches, from white sandy beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay, to the pebbles of Sea Point, and the seemingly never-ending stretches of sand in False Bay. With Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles mountain range as backdrops, Camps Bay and Clifton are also some of the most scenic beaches in the world. There are loads of activities on the beach, especially Camps Bay where you can catch a game of volleyball or beach soccer, or you can simply soak up the sun or swim in the crisp, clear water of the Atlantic.
On the first Thursday of every month, arts and culture in Cape Town has a late night, with dozens of art galleries and cultural events showcasing the wealth of talent that the Mother City has on offer. The event is completely free, with no structured tour, and no schedule to follow, you are free to absorb it all at your own leisure. To ensure your First Thursday can be catered to your own specific preferences, organisers provide a map and highlights of what is on show. From there it is all up to you.
The Labia Theatre
The Labia Theatre entices people with its old movie theatre charm. It was originally an Italian embassy ballroom and is widely recognised as the oldest independent art-repertory cinema in South Africa. The theatre screens art movies and hosts various interesting film festivals throughout the year. Go here for great movies that you won’t find in the mainstream movie houses.
Sea Point Pools
There are many public pools around the city but our favourite has to be the Sea Point Pavilion. This is a popular spot as it is situated right next to the ocean. So you get spectacular views along with a fun swim (and MUCH warmer than the ocean too!). The cost to enter is R21 for adults and R10.50 for children.