Cultural Connections in Cape Town
Collected by Marie Frei , AFAR Local Expert
Because Cape Town is such a mix of people, the following highlights are a great way to dig a bit deeper and gain a better appreciation of local culture. From wandering to live music events and museums, to simply riding public transit, these experiences are all about mingling with locals. The warmth you'll experience from strangers is the common denominator across all cultures in Cape Town.
Masiphumelele, Cape Town, 7975, South Africa
In the 1950's, Apartheid laws forced non-white residents of Cape Town into government-built townships or informal settlements in the Cape Flats region. While it's still not advisable for tourists to self-drive around the townships, there are a...
Rhodes Ave, Devil's Peak, Cape Town, 7700, South Africa
Rhodes Memorial sits on the foothills of Devil’s Peak and is a beautiful monument to one of Cape Town’s most famous businessmen, Cecil John Rhodes. The view of the city and sprawling suburbs from the Grecian temple-like monument is simply...
71 Wale St, Schotsche Kloof, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
The Bo-Kaap was one of the few Cape Town neighborhoods to escape apartheid's bulldozers—the cluster of bright buildings, once known as the Malay Quarter, housed many of the slaves who worked for the 17th-century Dutch colonialists. In this...
Victoria Wharf, V&A Waterfront Shop No. 153, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8002, South Africa
To the untrained eye, Jetty 1 is just another nondescript building on the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Look more closely, however, and you’ll see a small board next to the entrance, explaining that the building served as a passageway for...
136 Adderley St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
At the beginning of every December, the City of Cape Town holds a large festival to celebrate the holiday season. This open-air event includes an afternoon concert at the Grand Parade (with live music for all ages) followed by the official...
Robben Island, Cape Town, 7400, South Africa
One of South Africa’s most famous sights, Robben Island is located four miles to the west of Cape Town. Its history as a prison is almost as old as the first Dutch settlement on the cape, dating all the way back to the 17th century. Today,...
25A Buitenkant St, Zonnebloem, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
District Six was originally a mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, laborers, and immigrants. Marginalization and forced removal of the residents began early in the last century and, in 1966, the neighborhood was declared a white...
Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
Little Ethiopia Cafe in the central business district of Cape Town has fantastic Ethiopian food. It's a tiny place with low tables. We ordered several things to share and everything was delicious. They don't serve beer or wine but bring your own...
Ny 115, Guguletu, Cape Town, 7751, South Africa
Mzoli’s began life in 2003 as a humble butchery serving the community of Gugs (as Gugulethu is affectionately known) where it’s owner, Mr Mzoli Ngcawuzele himself, was born and raised. Mzoli prides himself on his choice cuts, so it wasn’t long...
Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Looking for a unique way to travel down the scenic, historic route from Cape Town to Simon's Town? Look no further than the antique steam train. Atlantic Rail is a private nonprofit and operates most weekends (see the full schedule online) down...
5 Wale St, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
A talented team with a love of good food and jazz, have led to this year’s opening of The Crypt Jazz Restaurant. Situated in Cape Town’s landmark St. George’s Cathedral, The Crypt offers a unique dining and music experience. The...
Andrews Rd, Scott Estate, Cape Town, 7806, South Africa
no matter how much housing is built in South Africa there is always more needed. due to a large influx from Zimbabwe, and other neighboring countries it appears that there will be "unofficial settlements" for a while longer. not all housing in...
Fritz Sonnenberg Rd, Green Point, Cape Town, 8051, South Africa
“At night, the Cape Town Stadium looks like a glowing shell. Coldplay, Lady Gaga, and U2 have all performed here," says resident Rashiq Fataar. "This is also the home field of the Ajax Cape Town football club.” Fritz Sonnenberg Road, Green Point,...
15 Brickfield Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7925, South Africa
A colorful working-class neighborhood near downtown that had fallen on hard times, Woodstock has been revitalized with a mix of galleries, artists’ studios, boutiques, and restaurants. Much of the area’s original vibe remains, however,...
31 Heerengracht St, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Here in Cape Town, a Gatsby is far more than an iconic literary figure—you’ve read the book, you’ve seen the movie, but have you eaten the sandwich? While the character Gatsby was elusive and somewhat mysterious, his sandwich alter-ego puts it all...
76 Orange St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Cape Town's Mount Nelson Hotel is a city icon. And who better to preside over the entrance than another icon? Mahatma Gandhi, who had a strong connection to South Africa (he worked in the country as a young man, and developed his political views...
70, 72 Bree St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Located on trendy Bree Street, Youngblood is an art gallery and cultural event space. It's the best place in Cape Town to view emerging artist's work. The Youngblood Arts & Culture Development Foundation was created to help organize funding and...
Corner Adderley Street and, Wale St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
History buffs and those who are curious about the slave trade and its impact on South African development (specifically the Western Cape colony) will find a visit to the Slave Lodge very insightful. The theme of the museum is "from human wrongs to...
The Adderley Street Flower Market is a lively place to walk through in downtown Cape Town. The market has been in its current location—tucked in an alleyway called Trafalgar Place—for at least 100 years. Passing through is not only an interesting...
Darling St & Buitenkant St, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Fearing a British takeover of its ill-gotten trading post, the Dutch East India Company built this star-shaped castle (known as Kasteel de Goede Hoop) between 1666 and 1679 to defend its territory. Now the oldest building in South Africa, the...
Fritz Sonnenberg Rd, Green Point, Cape Town, 8051, South Africa
On the second Sunday of every March, Capetonians (and visitors) of all ages and ability levels partake in the Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Cycle Tour. The 109 kilometer route loops from the city center, down south to the Cape Peninsula, then traces the...
Kayamandi, Stellenbosch, 7600, South Africa
When ever I travel I try to connect with the local community whenever possible and luckily for me this was easily done in Stellenbosch thanks to the Bites and Sites food tour company. One of there most popular tours is an afternoon in the local...
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