Splashed out a little too vigorously on Cape Town’s famed nightlife? Worried that your bank balance won’t let you experience all that the area has to offer? Fear not! Cape Town is fantastic at providing things for you to do and see completely free of charge! Here are just a few suggestions:
Take In The Scenery
If you’re feeling fit, and love a good view, then you’re spoiled for choice in Cape Town. Best of all, you can experience most of Cape Town’s famed beauty spots free of charge! All you’ll need to fork out for are a pair of stout hiking boots, and perhaps transport costs for getting to your starting point. If sunsets are your thing, head up the Lion’s Head – an outcrop between Table Mountain and Signal Hill. It’s a beautiful (and very romantic!) spot for taking in a sunset and admiring the stunning view! Alternatively, you could go for a stroll in the lush beauty of Cecilia Forest. Fresh mountain streams, waterfalls, and even (if the folklore is to be believed) fairies abound in this enchanting place! It’s a great place for hiking, sheltered from the heat of the South African sun. If you’d prefer to take in some nature a bit closer to the city, then you could wander round the delightful Company’s Garden. If you’re lucky, you may even encounter Frosti, the famed albino squirrel!
Cape Town has lots of culture going completely for free! Take the Centre For The Book, for example. Much more than just a library, this is a celebration of all things book, with regular events and exhibitions – although it’s worth going to just to gaze in awe at the wood-panelled, book-lined interior. A must for bibliophiles! There are also plenty of free artistic events and presentations going on in Cape Town. Keep an eye on the Kalk Bay Bookstore, which holds regular poetry events. Then there’s PechaKucha – a kind of forum in which speakers give presentations upon a wide range of subjects at The Assembly at certain times of the month. It’s always an interesting (if sometimes eclectic) way to spend an evening!
Learn Some History
Cape Town is littered with historical artifacts which you can see during the course of a wander around the city. Just walking up Signal Hill will reveal to you an ancient cannon (fired at noon each day) along with many other historical points. Or there’s the quirky Just Nuisance monument – a statue in tribute to ‘Able Seaman Just Nuisance’ located in Simon’s Town. Just Nuisance was a great dane who became so beloved of the Royal Navy that they enlisted him, gave him a sailor’s cap, and took part in official functions. If you’re more of a museum person, then it’s worth noting that you can visit all of the Iziko Museums for free on most public holidays. These contain a wealth of artifacts, art, and history covering a variety of South Africa’s cultural and historical aspects.
Stuff Your Face
On the last Sunday of each month (October-April), the Century City Natural Goods Market runs. This is located in the northern suburbs, and offers a lot of free entertainment (often including a bouncy castle for the kids). You can sample a lot of the produce on offer as well, making this the perfect way to enjoy some local culture and cuisine! If you prefer your calories in liquid form, head to Wine Concepts on Kloof. Here, they offer daily wine tasting sessions completely for free! A must for any fan of South African wine!If you find Wine Concepts too busy, try Tjing Tjing on a Wednesday, where free wine tastings are also on offer from 5pm onwards.
Enjoy Some Art
The Whatiftheworld Gallery and the Worldart Gallery are both free, making them ideal for cash-strapped art lovers. You can see works by established and up-and-coming contemporary artists – the quality of which truly is astonishing. Exhibitions at Worldart often ooze out into the pedestrianized Church Street mall, making the whole area quite special! If you prefer to take in your art through your ears, Cape Town is well known for staging frequent and spectacular concerts – often for free! Keep an ear open, and you’ll be surprised at the music you’ll find!
Article contributed by Gemma Hunt.