The Mother City is an art lover’s paradise! Not only are there a wide variety of art galleries, you can also feast your eyes on the street art and sculptures tucked away within the cityscape. We’ve compiled a list of the best art galleries in Cape Town that should be on your to-do list.
#1 Zeitz MOCAA
Silo District, S Arm Road | V&A Waterfront
Monday to Sunday 10AM – 6PM (Last entry at 5:30PM)
It’s the biggest contemporary art gallery in Africa. Located in an old silo, the converted space now houses the private collection of Jochen Zeitz. Installations range from artworks, to visual arts, to sculptures. The contemporary African art represents Africa-based artists, as well as the African diaspora scattered across the globe. Every few weeks the collections are rotated, so every visit here will be unique. The museum also hosts short temporary exhibitions.
#2 Everard Read Gallery
Ulundi House, Portswood Square, Portswood Ridge | V&A Waterfront
Monday to Friday 9AM – 6PM | Saturday 9AM – 1PM | Sunday Closed
Located above the main shopping hub of the V&A Waterfront, the gallery has been operating since 1996. It aims to maintain a platform for local artists, including painters and sculptors. Since its initial foundational years, it has now grown to include an additional space at CIRCA, situated across from the original gallery. This space includes extra exhibition space, as well as a sculpture garden.
#3 Eclectica Contemporary
69 Burg Street | Cape Town City Centre
Monday to Friday 9:30AM – 5PM | Saturday 10AM – 1:30PM | Sunday Closed
This art and design gallery loves exhibiting thought-provoking contemporary African art. Oftentimes you can enjoy the latest experimental and project-based exhibitions of local artists. It’s situated close to the historic Bo-Kaap, serving as inspiration for the artists who exhibit here. If you want to find out more about the artworks on display, feel free to chat to the gallery staff to find out more about the context of the art.
#4 WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery
First Floor, 16 Buiten Street | Cape Town City Centre
Monday to Thursday 9AM – 5PM | Friday 9AM – 4PM | Saturday 9AM – 1PM | Sunday Closed
The gallery mostly focuses on innovative contemporary art, created by emerging South African artists. It’s located in a decommissioned synagogue. Exhibitions include a wide range of artworks – from sculptures, to drawings and installation art, as well as performance pieces.
54 Church Street | Cape Town City Centre
Monday to Friday 10AM – 5PM | Saturday 10AM – 1PM | Sunday Closed
The contemporary gallery strives to be a connector between local artists and art lovers. Not only do they exhibit art, they also provide a service of special commission requests, as well as art shipment worldwide.
The art on display include a wide range of mediums, from pencil work, to oils and acrylics.
#6 34 Fine Art
160 Sir Lowry Road | Woodstock
Monday Closed | Tuesday to Friday 10:30AM – 4PM | Saturday 10:30AM – 1:30PM | Sunday Closed
Situated in the Buchanan Square, this gallery enjoys creating a space for both local and international fine art and design artists to introduce the public to their cutting-edge works. The gallery’s artist repertoire include Asha Zero, Esther Mahlangu, Mr. Brainwash, Norman Catherine, and Jade Doreen Waller.
#7 Michael Stevenson Gallery
Ground, Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Road | Woodstock
Monday to Friday 9AM – 5PM | Saturday 10AM – 1PM | Sunday Closed
You can squeeze in two gallery visits while in Buchanan Square! This one has the reputation of being among the most respected contemporary galleries in South Africa. It boasts with impeccably curated international collections, housed in an industrial setting. You can also visit its sister space while in Johannesburg.
#8 Goodman Gallery Cape Town
3rd Floor, Fairweather House, 176 Sir Lowry Road | Woodstock
Monday Closed | Tuesday to Friday 9:30AM – 5:30PM | Saturday 9:30AM–4PM | Sunday Closed
The gallery’s sister is located in Johannesburg, and focuses on contemporary art that embodies the African context. Exhibiting artists include both local and international artists. The gallery brand has a long history of social commentary pieces, dating back to the resistance art of the apartheid era. It is one of the most well-known galleries in South Africa.
#9 Art It Is
76 Albert Road | Woodstock
Monday to Friday 10AM – 5PM | Saturday 10AM – 3PM | Sunday Closed
The gallery aims to create a welcoming space to experience art in a fresh new way. From viewing, to engaging with the artworks, to purchasing it. It proudly backs local printmakers, painters, photographers, and sculptors.
#10 Rust-en-Vrede Gallery & Clay Museum
10 Wellington Road | Durbanville
Monday to Friday 9AM – 4PM | Saturday 9AM – 1PM | Sunday Closed
Coffee Shop: Monday to Friday 7:30AM – 4PM | Saturdays 7:30AM – 2PM | Sunday Closed
The non-profit gallery is situated a little out of the artistic inner city hub, in the Northern Suburbs. Besides the gallery, there is also a clay museum you can visit. It is the only of its kind in the Western Cape, rich in history and culture. The original space was built in the 1840’s. It used to be a prison and police quarters, as well as the local magistrate’s court. Later on it also served as a private dwelling before being reclaimed by the municipality.
The space became a national monument in 1984. It includes a tranquil garden with a little restaurant, Yoco Eatery. You can also pop in at the design studio, jeweller, mosaic studio, and florist.