The Mother City is a gorgeous place to explore any time of the year, and it’s no wonder that Cape Town‘s popularity has skyrocketed amongst international travelers.

Just to prove that you don’t need to be a millionaire, tighten up your budget and explore the countryside and cosmopolitan of Cape Town because there are so many great things to do without having to spend a fortune.

Table Mountain

When visiting Cape Town, Table Mountain is a must!  Take the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway to the top of South Africa‘s favourite mountain and enjoy the fantastic views.

Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa

Standard rates can be quite pricey (Adult R255, Children R125) but there are ways to get to the top without paying full fees:

  • Go on your birthday: If you can prove that it’s your birthday, you can go on the cableway for free! (This is only for South African citizens)
  • Sunset Special: If you take the cable car after 18:00, you only pay half price (Adults R127.50, Children R62.50)
  • Hike up the mountain: Platteklip Gorge takes you to the top of Table Mountain. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not climb to the top for free.  Once there, you have a choice to pay for a one-way ticket down (Adults R150, Children R70) or you can make your own way down again.

Take a hike

Lions Head (Free)

You will discover spectacular free hiking spots in and around Cape Town. Lion’s Head is among the most popular ones and, while it can get slightly challenging, it rewards you with an incredible view at the top. It’s also possible to do this in the light of the full moon.

Silvermine (Adults R40, Children R20)

Experience the best of nature conservation and take a hike through the mountainous trails and rock climbing routes of the Silvermine Nature Reserve. Popular for bird-watching and mountain biking, you can also explore some sandstone cave systems.

Newlands Forest (Free)

Newlands Forest is green and leafy, with most of the path shaded by trees. This is a shorter, less intense hike, and there’s a lovely stream along the way if you want to cool down.

Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa

Have a picknick

Greenpoint Park (Free)

A unique area in the centre of an urban environment, the Green Point Urban Park is an excellent, family-friendly spot for a picnic, walk, run or for simply lounging around. It comes with an outdoor gym, a play park, adventure park and outdoor maze. There are various plant species within the area along with information about them.

Company Gardens (Free)

The Company’s Garden is located right in the city centre of Cape Town. There you will find the oldest cultivated pear tree in South Africa, believed to have been planted in 1652; a rose garden planted 1929; an aviary with an assortment of bird species and several other impressive landmarks. It’s also famous for the resident and always hungry squirrels, so bring some peanuts to feed to them. What’s more, the garden offers free wifi.

De Waal Park (Free)

In the heart of the City Bowl, underneath the magnificent Table Mountain, lies an oasis of greenery. On a daily basis, this gorgeous space acts as a meeting ground for dogs and their walkers, children, tree and bird enthusiasts, runners and everybody in between.

Explore on foot

Long Street (Free)

From interesting second-hand shops to unique antique stores, Long Street is a fusion of different cultures around the world. You will also find some of the finest restaurants on Long  Street as well as epic nightlife.

Promenade (Free)

The Sea Point promenade is a winding pathway along the Atlantic coastline that is 11 km long. Perfect for people-watching, the promenade is a great spot for a picnic, reading on a bench or just lounging on the grass.

Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa

First Thursdays (Free)

Showcasing the abundance of talent that Cape Town has to offer, the first Thursday of every month hosts a free cultural experience where many of the city’s galleries (and other cultural attractions) leave their doors open late, so you get to experience art and culture while walking around the beautiful Mother City.

Lounge on the beach (Free)

Spend some time at one of Cape Towns spectacular beaches.  Get a tan and catch a wave or just take a long walk to take in the beauty Cape Town has to offer.

On the Atlantic Ocean side, you’ll find Clifton, Camps Bay and the beautiful Llandudno beach.

You can’t get a better view of Table Mountain than the one from Blouberg Beach, also known as Kitesurfing Paradise. So pack some snacks and head to the beach for some vitamin D.

Wine Tasting

We have fantastic wines in Cape Town and many wine routes to choose from. Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, Constantia and Durbanville all have excellent Wine Estates. Why not drive along one of these routes and pick one of the charming local farms for a wine tasting? Or check out the Wine Tram in Franschhoek for great views and an easy way to get around the region. There are several to choose from so you might have to go back a few times to experience it all. Wine tastings can start as low as R20 per tasting (3 or more wines).

Visit a market

Root 44 Market

This market is always open for trading, come rain or shine. It’s also one of the more child-friendly markets around, offering a selection of children’s entertainment and activities. Surrounded by idyllic vineyards and trees, this all-weather market delivers live entertainment, craft and homeware stalls ideal for leisurely browsing, along with a wide variety of exceptional foods and drinks.

V&A Food Market

A selection of street food served in an authentic market atmosphere, with over 40 vendors located in the historic Pumphouse building. Live music,  craft beer and fabulous food. You can also head over to the Waterfront and take a stroll to get some breathtaking views of Cape Town Harbour.

Free Walking Tours

Discover more about the city, its history, fascinating facts and take in the stunning sights with Cape Town Free Walking Tours. There are numerous tours on offer – a historical tour, Bo-Kaap tour, street art tour, District Six tour, promenade bicycle tour and a Taste of Cape Town tour. Each one of these delivers a distinct perspective on Cape Town and what this unique city has to offer.

Getting around in Cape Town

Public Transport

When travelling on the MyCity Bus, you will be billed for the distance in km’s travelled, grouped into distance groups of 0-5km, 5-10km, 10-20km, 20-30km ect.

If your journey begins in the Peak fare period (weekdays between 06:45-08:00 and 16:15-17:30), you will pay 30% more. All trips that start outside peak hours on weekdays, in addition to all day on weekends and public holidays, fall within the Saver fare period, in which case you pay less.

Rent a Car for the day

When renting a car you can save up to 40%, by renting a private car, with a variety of car rental options. You will also get  access to comprehensive insurance coverage and 24/7 Roadside assistance & support.

Your trip to South Africa doesn’t have to be an expensive one, with so many free and cheap things to do, you are guaranteed to have a fabulous time!

And for accommodation options, check out the best hostels in Cape Town.

Author: Adele Kruger

Adele Kruger is the owner of GoEatExplore.com where she writes about Immigration, Travel and Food.

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