Whether you want to shop, dine or hike a mountain, you can choose your own adventure in Cape Town City Centre. Shop for souvenirs and listen to street performers at a bustling market, explore a centuries-old Dutch castle and ride the cable car to the summit of Table Mountain.
Things to do in City Centre
Every morning, dozens of stallholders set up in Greenmarket Square. The historic square is paved with cobblestones and framed by handsome colonial buildings. It’s a great place to shop for locally made arts, crafts, jewellery, leather goods and curios. Buskers playing traditional African instruments like the marimba add to the lively atmosphere. You’ll hear lots of different languages flying around, including Afrikaans, Xhosa and French.
Company’s Garden was laid out in the 1600s and is an oasis of calm. It’s one of the oldest gardens in South Africa and showcases plants from around the world, including fragrant frangipanis and vibrant African flame trees. Stroll around the rose garden and walk around a recreation of the vegetable garden planted by Dutch East India Company employees several centuries ago.
Learn about the city’s turbulent history at the District Six Museum. The museum recalls the apartheid that plagued Cape Town in the 1960s and displaced more than 60,000 residents. Photographs, recordings and testimonials bring the heartbreaking period to life.
The pentagon-shaped Castle of Good Hope was built in the 1600s to defend Cape Town. Guided tours take you behind the scenes of the Dutch stronghold, which remains an active military headquarters. Climb the bastions for sweeping views over the city.
Table Mountain soars over Cape Town City Centre and creates an epic backdrop. In less than 20 minutes you can be at the Platteklip Gorge Trailhead. If you don’t want to hike, the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway whisks you to the summit in five minutes.
Getting around City Centre
Cape Town City Centre is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. The hop on/hop off City Sightseeing bus is a fun way to get around. Cape Town International Airport is a 15-minute drive away.