If you embrace everything that Cape Town has to offer, you can literally be kept busy 24/7. But trying to soak up all the awesome things the city has to offer, can chew a big hole in your wallet. So, we’ve collected a few activities that you can do that won’t cost you a cent!
The sheer natural beauty of the Mother City is always available, but not everyone thinks that hiking up Lion’s Head makes for a fun outing. We’ve gathered a mix of activities for you. From outdoor fun, to cultured fun, to a bit of education mixed in.
Free Activities in Cape Town
Whether you are an outdoor junkie, or rather prefer indoor fun, there’s free things to do in Cape Town for everyone.
#1 Green Point Urban Park
The stunning community park is situated close to the Cape Town Stadium. It includes a wetlands area, attracting many bird species. Expansive pathways meander past the lush green lawns and little bushy nooks. A perfect space to escape city life for a moment of nature infusion. Read our other post Top 10 Parks in Cape Town for other ideas as well.
#2 Sea Point Promenade
There’s a wide pathway that enfolds the side of the Atlantic Ocean, starting in Sea Point and ending close to the Waterfront. Almost any time of day you’ll see people using this nifty path to get some fresh air while appreciating the ocean views. Walkers, joggers, cyclists – it’s a favourite of both locals and tourists. At the beginning of the promenade there is a little hub of food stalls, close to the public swimming pool. Grab an ice cream and start enjoying the vibe. You could even stop at the outdoor gym if you feel guilty about the extra calories. Another fun activity along the way, is the putt-putt. It’s not free, but still very affordable at R28 per person.
#3 Cecilia Forest
It’s not often that you find a forest hidden in a city neighbourhood. This magical place is tucked away in Constantia, at the Constantia Nek. There are clear paths winding through the trees, suitable for all levels of fitness. It is also a dog-friendly area, as long as you keep your four-footed friend on a leash.
#4 The Company’s Garden
Another great nature spot to escape from the busy city life. The gardens date back to the days of the early Cape Settlers. It was used as a big veggie garden, stocking up the ships before their next voyage. You won’t find any carrots growing anymore, but the beautiful garden has been transformed into a lovely park.
There are also a few museums that you could pop in to while you stroll among the trees. The SA Museum offers free entrance on public holidays.
#5 Centre for the Book
After you’ve soaked up all the fresh air of the Company’s Garden, pop in at this section of the South African National Library, situated on Queen Victoria street. It houses a big collection of books by local and foreign authors. The little reading rooms offer you a perfect spot to lose yourself in a good book for a few hours, in complete silence. Events are hosted regularly, check with the front desk to find out what’s coming up in the near future. Or check in on Facebook for upcoming events.
#6 De Waal Park
Situated in Oranjezicht, on Camp street, you can get another quick nature fix. As the sun goes down, you can also get some extra free entertainment, watching the city dogs enjoy their moment of outdoor fun.
There’s a big fountain in the middle, with great old-world charm, as well as great jungle gyms to keep the kids busy. In the summer time free music concerts are hosted in the park. Keep an eye on the upcoming show on the Concerts in the Park Facebook page.
#7 Do a Free VoiceMap Tour
VoiceMap is an innovative audio tour app, that turns your phone into your own personal tour guide. It makes use of your phone’s navigation services to guide you step by step through an area. They have a variety of free tours available, scattered across the city. These include the V&A Waterfront, Blouberg Strand, Constantia Winelands, and Woodstock. Read more about them in our post here.
#8 First Thursdays
Book out the first Thursday of every month for your dose of art and culture. The inner city art galleries remain open after hours, with special exhibitions (and of course a free glass of wine) Other businesses in the area host live music events and special activities for the evening. You can pick and choose what you want to see and do. The event creates a great vibe in the CBD. Check out the First Thursdays website to see what is happening at the next event.
#9 Take in The Sights with A Free Walking Tour
If you prefer a tour guide showing you around, you can join one of the city’s free walking tours. The tour options include the Bo-Kaap, District Six, a historic or street art tour, as well as exploring the promenade on a bicycle. The tours will offer you unique perspectives of the Mother City. Check the Nielsen Tours website to find out where each tour starts.
P.S although the tours are free, you can offer your tour guide a tip as a thank you for the great experience.
#10 A Sunset on the Beach
An outing on the beach is another great freebie outdoor outing you can enjoy. And sunset in Cape Town is an event on its own! Pack a picnic basket and wait for the sun to slowly sink down over the horizon. There are a variety of beach options to choose from. We’ve hunted down the best secret beaches in the Cape for you.
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