Looking for fun and inexpensive things to do in Cape Town? Look no further – every item on this list costs under R99 per person, and many are under R50!

Photo of Cape Town courtesy of Mandy Freeman
Photo of Cape Town courtesy of Mandy Freeman

Life can get expensive, even when you’re trying to stick to a budget, and often, the only way to cope is to cut back – way, way, back – on luxury items and unnecessary expenses like entertainment and days out. There’s no need to avoid enjoying everything that Cape Town has to offer due to lack of cash, however; if you choose from any of the items on this list, you won’t need to spend a big chunk of your hard-earned funds to have a great time. The fun experiences and entertainment options on this list make for a perfect day out for pretty much anyone, including couples, singles, family groups and friends, whether you’re looking to do something special, or just spend some time enjoying the sights and sounds of this fabulous city.

Get Back to Nature at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Easily one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world, Kirstenbosch is perfect for an afternoon picnic, to view the amazing sculpture garden, or just to walk and enjoy the scenery. Entry is R50 for adults, R25 for SA students (with card) and R10 for children (6 – 17 years old). There’s no charge for children under 6 years old and BOTSOC members.

See Wildlife at Rondevlei Nature Reserve

At R12 for adults and R6 for children, the 290 hectare Rondevlei Nature Reserve has trails, hides, and viewing platforms where visitors can see a wide variety of animals, including hippos, otters, and porcupines, making it great value for money.

Wine Tasting along the Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, and Constantia Wine Routes

Many of the world’s finest wines are produced in South Africa, so it’s no surprise that there’s plenty of opportunities to taste them around Cape Town. A typical wine-tasting session costs anywhere between R20 and R80 per person, and some estates offer wine-tasting sessions for free.

Enjoy Live Music at The Barleycorn

Every Monday night from 8pm, the Barleycorn Music Club in Claremont hosts a selection og great local music acts. A typical show will usually feature a mix of new and established talent. Genres include anything from folk and blues, to classical and traditional.  The show lasts around two hours and the cost is R20 for members and R30 for non-members. Visit www.barleycorn.org.za for upcoming line-ups.

Chocolate Tasting in Paarl

De Villiers Chocolate at Spice Route in Paarl host decadent chocolate tastings from 9am to 5pm daily. Taste single origin dark chocolates and learn all about the process of chocolate making. R25 per tasting.

Take a Train Trip

For just R30 per adult, you can take a hop-off/hop-on trip on the Southern Line Rail Route, which travels between Cape Town and Simon’s Town. The hop-off/on aspect means you can get off and on anywhere along the route, enjoying the scenery along the way.

Test your Ice-Skating Skills

Skate up a storm at the Olympic size ice rink at Grandwest in Goodwood. The Ice Station has various pricing options for individuals and groups, with or without skates, for under R50.

Hunt for Treasure at The Scratch Patch

A huge variety of gemstones can be found in South Africa, and visitors to The Scratch Patch can hunt for their own gems, filling a small bag from R17 or a large container for R95. There are Scratch Patch locations at the V&A Waterfront and Simon’s Town.

Visit the Planetarium

The night sky experience at the city planetarium is always an awe-inspiring sight, and the planetarium shows some interesting astronomy-themed films too. Tickets are R40 for adults and R20 for children, pensioners, and students.

Play Putt-Putt at Mouille Point

At R30 per person, a round of putt-putt is a fun and inexpensive way to spend an afternoon with friends or family. The course is located on Beach Road, and there are several other inexpensive attractions located nearby.

Learn about SA Rugby at the Springbok Experience

The Springbok Experience Rugby Museum at the V&A Waterfront showcases the incredible history of SA Rugby from the early years through to the latest endeavours of the Boks. Entry costs R50 for adults, R30 for scholars/pensioners and R140 for a family of four.

See a Movie at Galileo’s

Seeing a movie under the stars is an experience everyone should enjoy at least once, and at R70 to R95 per ticket, it’s good value too. Tickets can be booked online, and the higher-cost tickets include a blanket and/or chair.

Take a Submarine Tour

Of all the unusual things there are to do around the city, the hour-long submarine tour at the Naval Headquarters in Simon’s Town has to be near the top of the list. At R40 for adults and R20 for children, it’s definitely money well spent.

Simon’s Tour Naval Dockyard Tour

Take a slow cruise on the Spirit Of Just Nuisance around Simon’s Bay and learn about the history of the famous harbour. R50 for adults and R30 for kids under 12 years old.

See Comedy Shows at Jou Ma Se’s

Jou Ma Se’s is Cape Town’s only comedy venue (as of 2015) and it’s open every night of the week, Tickets are R95 during the week, just scraping under the R99 threshold, but on weekend nights entry is R120. Every night of the week, the club features professional top-class comedians.

Bonus: Three for Free

If you’re really stuck for cash, there are plenty of free things to do in Cape Town.

  • Take a free yoga class at Cape Quarter on Tuesday mornings
  • Check out the city art scene on ‘First Thursdays‘, an art appreciation night held in Bree Street on the first Thursday of every month, where dozens of the city’s galleries open their doors until late.
  • Head to Queen’s Beach on Monday evenings at 6pm for a fun group event. Participants explore the Sea Point Promenade via skateboard, rollerblades, bike, and similar modes of transport.

Prices mentioned above are subject to change without notice.

Article contributed by Gemma Clinton.