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Free and fun places you can enjoy in the Mother City
Who said that travelling and visiting fun and cool places these holidays has to cost money? If you’re looking for fun things to do in and around the Mother City that won’t hit you hard in the pocket, then we have a few suggestions for you.
The attractions listed below are a great way to explore and immerse yourself in Cape Town. City Sightseeing’s hop-on, hop-off red bus takes locals and visitors to a number of attractions in and around the city. From 1 May to 8 October 2018, we have a 3-for-1 Kids’ Special – for the price of one adult, you can take two kids under the age of 18 on the red bus for free.
Here is a list of some activities you can do and attractions you can visit for free in Cape Town these holidays:
Free guided tours
City Sightseeing offers free walking tours in Cape Town. These happen in the city centre, where tourists will discover some of the hidden treasures of Cape Town and learn about its historic buildings and monuments. There is also an opportunity to do the Bo-Kaap walk which, among its highlights, includes the Auwal Masjid mosque, which is recognised as the first mosque established in the country. The area has distinct architecture and a close-up view of Lion’s Head.
In order to take part in the free walks, you need to make your way to stop 5 at 81 Long Street, where the guides will meet you. The first tour starts at 10.30am and the last tour is at 4pm. All guided tours start and end at this address.
Camps Bay beach
This stunning beach, with the backdrop of the Twelve Apostles mountain, offers some of the most gorgeous views of the houses in Camps Bay. Here, you can swim, picnic with the family, or enjoy a good surf in the waves. Camps Bay is also a great place to relax and watch the sunset while enjoying a cocktail at one of the trendy restaurants.
Entry to Camps Bay beach is free. Hop off the red bus at stop 8, Beach Road, opposite the Bay Hotel. Be sure to have cash if you’d like to rent an umbrella while relaxing on the beachfront. There is also a City Sightseeing office at the beachfront.
Hike up Table Mountain
Table Mountain, one of the New7Wonders of Nature, offers different hiking trails for those seeking an adventure. The views from the top of the mountain are spectacular and show the different sides of the city, including Clifton, the city centre, Woodstock and Bloubergstrand. Make sure you bring all the necessary hiking gear and carry enough water, and your phone should be fully charged in case of an emergency.
Always let people close to you know where you are, which hiking route you’re taking and be as informed as you can about hiking and the route you’re taking, and inform yourself about any relevant security precautions you should take.
Travellers on the red bus can hop off at stop 7, the Table Mountain Cableway Lower Station, at the foot of Table Mountain. Once you’ve hiked up, you can choose to pay and take the cable car back down or simply hike down again. At the top, keep an eye out for wildlife like dassies, squirrels and lizards. There are free audio tours you can listen to once at the top of Table Mountain, and there is also access to free Wi-Fi. You can do some retail therapy shopping or simply grab a bite to eat.
Sea Point Promenade
Cape Town is a melting pot of cultures and people, and the Sea Point Promenade is the one place in the Mother City where you get to experience all that for free. It starts at Mouille Point and runs along the water’s edge through to Sea Point.
The promenade is abuzz with life and people from different corners of the world who just want to enjoy some downtime. Whether you want to jog, take a stroll, cycle or walk your pets, the Sea Point Promenade is worth a visit. Hop off the bus at stop 10, St John’s Road.
Green Point Urban Park
Situated next to the Cape Town Stadium, Green Point Urban park is a safe and clean space for hosting picnics with friends or family. It is ideal for both power walking, as well as romantic walks with your partner. There are over 25 000 indigenous plants, trees and shrubs within the garden, as well as a diversified birdlife. The park is perfect for school outings, too. Hop off at stop 12, Beach Road – next to the lighthouse.
Make a stop at the Mount Nelson hotel red-bus stop right in the heart of the city centre. The Company’s Garden is the oldest garden in South Africa and a heritage park with a rich history. Surrounded by the busy Greenmarket Square and vibrant streets such as Long Street, here you can enjoy your time just reading a book on the wooden chairs or laying on the green lawns. There are great restaurants nearby should you want to grab a bite.
Here you may also see geese and squirrels. Other interesting attractions nearby the garden are the South African Museum, the Iziko planetarium and digital dome planetarium and the South African Art Gallery.
Visit the V&A Waterfront
Stop 1 at the The V&A Waterfront encompasses 22 landmarks, including the Chavonnes Battery Museum, dating back to 1725, which is the harbour’s oldest heritage site. Although there are activities at the V&A Waterfront that you will have to pay for, including shopping, boat cruises and museum visits, those that you won’t have to pay for include: visiting Nobel Square, which boasts bronze sculptures of South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize winners; walking around the waterfront, and watching international boats come into the harbour and depart back to sea; and, if you’re in luck, spotting the resident seals.
Depending on your travelling mood and time, there is also always the option of visiting the Two Oceans Aquarium (which you will have to pay for) – the aquarium has more than 3 000 marine life species to view, including sharks, turtles and penguins.
So, take advantage of the myriad free activities that Cape Town offers, and enjoy your holidays.