Museum Night in Cape Town

A visit to the museum can sound very boring. But somehow under the cover of the night everything becomes more exciting. The Museum Night project aims to offer more people access to the cultural gems hidden in our city.

It is an initiative of the Thursdays Projects and a collaboration with the Iziko Museums of South Africa. Twice a year entrance to 11 participating museums and institutions are free from 5PM to 10PM.

Remember to bring your ID along to ensure free entrance.


Participating Museums

With the free access you can enjoy the various permanent exhibitions at the museums, plus special curated programs with music performances and food.

Iziko South African National Gallery

The museum showcases collections of both South African and international artists. The permanent collections change regularly and temporary exhibitions pop up as well. If you are passionate about art, why not consider joining the Friends of the Iziko South African National Gallery to gain free access throughout the year.

Iziko South African Museum

The museum dates back to 1825, it is South Africa’s primary natural history museum. Highlights include the Whale Well and Wonders of Nature exhibitions. There is also an exciting Courtyard Project to expand the museum.

Iziko Planetarium & Digital Dome

It is the most advanced digital planetarium of Africa. The multi-functional, state-of-the-art facility brings digital technology to the city. Most shows are during the day, but there are also special evening shows on Wednesdays.

South African Jewish Museum

It was officially opened by Madiba himself in December 2000. The museum is in the first South African synagogue, called the Old Shul, built in 1863. It features a variety of permanent exhibitions that relates to the history of Judaism. Temporary exhibitions are also hosted throughout the year.

District Six Museum

The museum was established in December 1994, to commemorate the memories of the people that suffered forced removal from their homes. District Six used to be a mixed community of freed slaves, local merchants and artisans, labourers and immigrants. It was perfect with its location near the city centre and the port.

But then on 11 February 1966 it was declared a Whites-only area. The Group Areas Act of 1950 allowed forced removal of over 60 000 residents. The District Six residence moved to the Cape Flats and the area was demolished.

Museum Night in Cape Town

Related: The Iziko Museum Mile

Iziko Slave Lodge

It is one of the oldest Capetonian buildings. The museum offers a glipse into the volatile history of slavery in South Africa. It explores themes of human rights and human wrongdoings. The temporary exhibitions aim to create more awareness of human rights in the country and the world in general.

Cape Town Holocaust Centre

The Cape Town Holocaust and Genocide Centre aims to create a more just and caring society, with an emphasis on valuing human rights and respecting diversity. The main exhibition places emphasis on the consequences of racism and prejudice, in all its various forms. It points to the dangers of apathy, indifference, and silence.

The Old Granary Building

The building dates back to 1808 and is rich in history. The GAPP Architects recently restored it to its former glory. Now it is the home of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. It showcases exhibitions that honour Desmond Tutu while also sharing more of the building’s history.

SA Sendinggestig Museum

The museum is in an old mission church building, built in 1801. Originally it wasn’t used for worship services, hence not being called a church. The Dutch word “gestig” translates into meaning a “meeting house”. At one stage it did turn into a church with Khoikhoi and other slaves that converted to Christianity.

But then in 1975 the Group Areas Act forced the congregation to move to a new gathering spot in Belhar.

A4 Arts Foundation

This is a not-for-profit organisation that supports artists of Southern Africa. The gallery is in a three-story warehouse and it also features a projects space and multimedia library.

Muller’s Museum

The Muller’s Building has a reputation of being an Art Deco architecture icon. And so Muller’s decided to create an optometry museum on the third floor. Travel up in the “time machine” and view the exhibition of Muller’s record books, memorabilia, spectacle frames, artifacts, and clocks. The pieces date back to 1890.

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