Cape Town is quite an expensive place to live for an average South African. What many people don’t know is that there are quite alot of fun things to do for free here. I don’t know about you, but I love freebies! Here’s my list of free things in Cape Town. Check back from time to time for new discoveries.
Dear People, you wont believe your eyes! I’ve found this gem of a tour company from a brochure that my airbnb guests left behind. It was advertising free walking tours, by a company called Nielsen Tours ! Whoever offers this is brilliant! They offer walking tours daily rain or shine every day! For Free. Of course we are going to tip them nicely. There are still generous geniusses in this world. Check them out here and their Instagram page. The three daily tours are The historic tour, the Bo-Kaap tour, and the District Six tour which run consecutively from 8.50 am to about 6 pm. I’m so excited I can’t even contain myself. This is so brilliant. All schools, all South Africans, all people should know about this.
mobile +27 76 636 9007
– If you take your ID to one of the ticket booths at the lower cable station ON YOUR BIRTHDAY and ask them for your birthday special, they will issue you a return ticket completely free! Normally a return ticket costs about R200 (approximately 20 US dollars). Unfortunately for foreigners, this special is only free to South Africans over 18 years. The ticket is valid for a period of 7 days from the date of issue.
– If you’re a book person, then this is right up your alley. Even if you’re not a book person, you might still enjoy this place. The Book Lounge usually has a book launch weekly, and there are always lovely snacks to be had and interesting like minded people to be met. Here you get to rub shoulders with the who’s who on the literary scene in SA.
– While I would not advise anyone to do this without someone who is a seasoned hiker, there are plenty of free hiking groups to link up with. Facebook should be of assistance here. Here’s a generally active one that I’ve subscribed to: https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/125142032301/ they do hikes in the wider Western Cape.
University Freebies for the intellectual at heart
There are many many many beaches to explore around the Western Cape. Many of them are on public transport routes (so not having your own transport is no excuse). The water temperatures vary from toe numbing cold to a comfortable balance of warm and cold.
The free braai spots I know about are Wynberg park and Maiden’s cove. On the link above, these and another place called Little Bay which is on the Blaauwberg side. Wynberg park is a nice park with a lake, ducks, geese, lots of grass, trees for shade and a play park for kids. Get there early to secure a nice braai spot. Maiden’s Cove has 3 (or 4) tidal pools as well. Its a lovely place to spend the day. You have to get there early too (8am to 9am should be early enough) … this is how it goes with free things. There are many paid braai spots as well as you’ll see by clicking on the link above.
– There are several salsa classes running on a daily basis at various venues in and around Cape Town. Usually after class they would have a free social dancing which is open to anyone. The best dancing happens on a Friday and Sunday night though. Friday at The Grand Daddy Hotel in Long street and Sunday night at Buena Vista Social Cafe’ on Portswood Road near the V&A Waterfront. It starts from about 9.30 pm on both nights but starts buzzing from about 10.30pm. Its loads of fun! Just be aware though, at Grand Daddy, is free for regulars so you have to go a few times for a small cover charge. Then you can ask to get put on the guest list so that you never need to pay again. On the salsa scene you’ll get to meet lots of interesting people from all over the world.
Westend jazz club – Hosting Live bands every week, this is the place to be for any and every jazzy music lover. Here you’ll also be able to enjoy an evening of jazz and salsa dancing (which are in many ways the same). They also have an in-house Bistro with a full menu of delicious meals. The last Friday of every month is free entry, provided you get in before 7pm. Things start early and by 10 pm you might feel you’ve had enough entertainment for one night, and still manage to get a full night’s rest
– “Body fit” hosts free fitness classes which include zumba and bootcamp. They are based in Durbanville. See the link for their times and dates.
De Waal Park summer concerts – A lovely free place just to spend the day in general. During summer they host free concerts too. Featuring top notch artists.
|Head to Protea Hotel Fire&Ice! Cape Town on Friday and Saturdaynights for an awesome night on the town filled with great music, cocktails, dancing!
“Recently the recipient of a full-on makeover, the quirky hotel’s lounge-y foyer is the perfect place to get in a pre-jam state of mind, and it’s more than likely you’ll find it hard to pry yourself from the stylish furniture when it’s time to go: think retro chairs and loungers, gauzy white curtains strung up from light wooden frames, funky light boxes suspended from the ceiling and unconventional ottomans and side tables in between. The new look’s all about chilling – speaking of which, on a hot summer’s day the hotel sends around naughty (with booze) and nice (without booze) ice lollies.”
When is it?
Every Friday and Saturday from 19:00 till late
Where is it?
Protea Hotel Fire&Ice! Cape Town.
New Church Street, Tamboerskloof,
Cape Town 8018
+27 (0) 21 488 2555
GPS : -33.926472,18.411535
How much is it?
Entrance is free.
For one week in September, South African National parks allow free entry to South Africans in most national parks. For Capetonians, this includes Cape Point! The initiative started in 2006 and is aimed at linking the South African national parks system to the global national movement and to also showcase the best of South Africa’s national parks.The week grants free access to most of the 21 national parks for day visitors, especially people from the local communities. It should be noted that free access to parks does not in include free access to accommodation facilities and other tourist activities. Some of the parks will be extending the week to include the weekend. Check out exact details on when the event takes place visit this page. The exact dates are usually announced in late August and posted to their website. Note that the free entry is for South Africans. Don’t forget to take your ID along.
For the week containing Heritage day (24 September), Iziko offers free entry to all its museums, including the Planetarium (free on heritage day only). Visit their website close to heritage day to confirm the details and to get info on what special entertainment will be on offer in terms of Art, dance, and performance!
Swinger’s lounge is very very well known in the jazz community of Cape Town. From very humble beginnings. At some point it was informally known as ‘grab a granny’. That was before it was socially acceptable for women over the age of 30 to still be going out to night clubs. Swingers has survived and thrived through all kinds of times in Cape Town. Its does not have touristic fame … yet. But with a little help from my friends (you), perhaps we can take them up a level. The jazz/salsa dancing crowd there was always enjoyable. I used to go there often, and despite the not so glam appearance, they hosted the most incredible bands, locally and internationally. I remember once being there, early hours of the morning, listening to the most incredible flamenco band from somewhere in Latin America. It was surreal. I’m still waiting for someone to top that! It should be even better now because as their website says, they have since upgraded the place.
Their FREE SUNDAY JAZZ SOUNDOWNER is one hell of a good reason to check them out! Every Sunday at 5pm. Check out info on this and other events on their website!
Contact, address info: