What if I told you there was a city which has beautiful beaches, impressive mountains, gorgeous hiking trails, great vineyards, epic wildlife, amazing sea trips, excellent shopping possibilities, top-class food & cool hangouts… to name merely a few attractions. Now, what if I told you this city was in South Africa, and a majority of these awesome attractions were actually free things to do in Cape Town.
Would you believe me? Or are you still thinking that all this must cost quite a pretty penny?
It’s time to turn on your Cape Town beach vibe though and relax.
There are definitely things you’re going to want to pay for, but the mother city dishes out just as much, if not more, awesome for free!
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Let’s get straight to it, you know what they say, seeing is believing.
1. Hike up Lions Head
The peak found between Table Mountain & Signal Hill is often overlooked by casual tourists.
Table Mountain is of course far more impressive, but Lions Head offers some great views you’re not going to be able to get from atop of CT’s main mount. For one, a great view of Table Mountain!
The hike itself doesn’t require much of a fitness level… unless you’re Casey Neistat & you need to run it as fast as possible! You can make it easier on yourself if your fitness level could be described as ‘decent’ & you bring plenty of water.
If you’re up for a challenge you can tackle the hike under the moonlight, I would recommend going in a group then though.
The total distance up and down is about 5.5km and should take about an hour to one and a half hours, to go up and another hour on the way down.
The start of the route is on signal hill road and there’s usually plenty of parking right at the start.
2. Visit the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
With some of Cape Town’s greatest shopping options, & best restaurants, you’ll be forgiven for thinking the V&A waterfront is only a place to be spending. (It still is, but that’s not all it has to offer.)
The harbor offers great walks with interesting views of the various different ships, yachts & historic buildings.
You could come into contact with some seals (do not feed or touch), and there are also some great craft markets.
The clock tower near the Robben Island tours is also a real Cape Town attraction and there are free diamond tours at Shimansky.
I almost forgot to mention the best part; the regular concerts or live acts at the Amphitheatre, they’re free! (Tips would be gratuitous 😉)
3. Green Point Park
Next to the Cape Town Stadium in Green Point, you’ll find this awesome urban park.
Great for strolls, relaxing, and moving out from the hustle and bustle of the city.
This park is dog-friendly (except in the biodiversity area, as there is wildlife) and has a few adventurous play areas for the kids. It’s even got an outdoor gym area for the larger kids like myself. 😉
4. Signal Hill Sunset
Like Lions Head, Signal Hill gets overshadowed by Table Mountain very often, figuratively speaking.
Here you can enjoy great bay views over Green Point, Sea Point & the V&A waterfront, if you drive up in the late afternoon you can also experience one of the best sunsets in Southern Africa.
P.s. Do not attempt to drive up if the fog has rolled in. You’re just going to end up crawling your way up the mountain at 3km/h only to realize it’s best to turn around.
Unless of course, you love making a 3-point-turns on the side of a mountain with a fog thicker than the foam top of your morning cappuccino.
5. Go for a run along the Sea Point Promenade
Stretching all the way through Sea Point, you can run (or walk/jog) alongside the Atlantic Ocean.
You’ll definitely find plenty of activities if the weather is good, with some large patches of greenery and a public pool. You could even stop by the outdoor gym for a quick workout.
If you’re looking to spend some of the money you’ve saved so far, check out Kaskazi Kayaks for a kayaking adventure over the Atlantic as you’ve never experienced before.
6. The Company’s Garden
Found in the heart of the city, the Company’s Garden is more than a park.
Being established basically since the first European settlers arrived, the park is a haven to history. You’ll find many museums surrounding the park & statues situated throughout.
Locally, it’s best known for the squirrels. If you purchase a bag of nuts at the Gardens café you can even feed the squirrels. They eat right out of your hand and compared to our husky, they’re also slightly better behaved.
It’s not all squirrels though. There is also a well-stocked fish pond, an aviary & even a restaurant. Great for breakfast. 😉
7. Groot Constantia
The oldest wine estate in South Africa, founded in 1685. Groot Constantia, of course, offers wine tasting & tours at various costs.
Entry to the estate is free though, meaning you can enjoy walks through the beautiful grounds and even up to the Baths.
8. Photograph the houses of Bo-Kaap
The Bo-Kaap is one area of Cape Town that can compete with Table Mountain as the most photographed. The variety of color, architecture & shadows makes this area such a marvel to photograph, always providing new perspectives. Go on, you know you want to add this to your Instagram 😉
Share your photos with us on Instagram (@padkos.co), we’d love to see them!
It’s not just a great scene to photograph though, explore the area & learn about one of Cape Towns’ oldest residential areas & the Capes Malayan culture.
9. De Waal Park
This park is great to chill out and relax. It’s unofficially known as the dog park and if you’ve got a 4-legged friend with you, this is a great place to throw the frisbee & wind down.
In addition, it serves as a great start to a self-walking tour through some of historic Cape Town;
Starting at the De Waal Park, moving to the Company’s Garden and then down to the historic Greenmarket square (if you love African crafts & haggling, this is the place to be!), before heading down Darling street & past the Cape Town City Hall to the Castle of Good Hope.
Vice-versa works too though.
10. Beaches – Definitely one of the best free things to do in Cape Town!
We couldn’t finish this off without including Cape Towns’ beaches!
Whether you’re looking to lounge and relax on Camps Bays shoreline or take a long stroll down the long beach of Noordhoek.
You’ll find all sorts of beaches in Cape Town, and they’re free!
You see, there’s plenty of free things to do in Cape Town.
You can even mix and match some of these trips with some popular attractions. Like hiking up Table Mountain and going through the world-famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
Have you been to any of these awesome places yet? Let us know down below.
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