City Hall, Cape Town

City Hall, Cape Town (must see)

City Hall is a sizeable Edwardian-style building that was built in 1905. It is constructed from light-colored limestone imported from Bath, England.

One of the most impressive things about City Hall is its massive organ. The design for the organ was created by Saint Paul Catherdral's organist, Sir George Martin. The organ has an impressive 3,165 pipes, ranging in size from three-quarters of an inch to 32 feet.

The turret clock, or tower clock, dominates the center of the building. It's half the size of London's famous Big Ben clock and strikes the hour and chimes the quarters.

The carillon, a set of tower bells, was installed as a World War I memorial. An additional 22 bells were installed to celebrate the Prince of Wales's visit in 1925. The carillon has a total of 39 bells and is the only active carillon in South Africa. It is played by a complicated set of wooden levers and pedals.

On February 11, 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison. He gave his first public address from the balcony of City Hall. In 2018, a statue of Nelson Mandela was placed on the balcony as a memorial.

The city offices are now located in the Cape Town Civic Center. Today, City Hall is used for events, art exhibitions, and concerts. One of the most popular events is the annual holiday Festive Lights Switch On.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Cape Town. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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City Hall on Map

Sight Name: City Hall
Sight Location: Cape Town, South Africa (See walking tours in Cape Town)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Cape Town, South Africa

Create Your Own Walk in Cape Town

Create Your Own Walk in Cape Town

Creating your own self-guided walk in Cape Town is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Cape Town Introduction Walking Tour

Cape Town Introduction Walking Tour

Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias first mentioned the Cape of Storms in 1488, but it was soon renamed the Cape of Good Hope with an optimistic eye towards the trade routes it offered between Europe and the East.

In 1652, the Dutch East India Company settled a way-station here for ships traveling that route. Cape Town's natural harbor and strategic position made it the perfect location....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Historical Houses Walking Tour

Historical Houses Walking Tour

When Jan van Riebeeck arrived in Cape Town in 1652, his mission was to establish here a supply station for the ships of the Dutch East India Company sailing to East Africa, India, and the Far East. The oldest buildings in today's Cape Town, dating from the second half of the 17th century, are the remnants of that era.

Garden House, originally a shabby tool shed owned by the Dutch East...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Cape Town Shopping Tour

Cape Town Shopping Tour

Cape Town is grand with quality shopping. The available options here, such as South Africa's top flea market where you can find a wealth of merchandise, from tribal costumes to precious jewelry, offer a colorful experience for both locals and tourists.

Among the standout locations in Cape Town that shoppers particularly love to explore is Adderley Street. This bustling thoroughfare is...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.4 Km or 0.2 Miles
Bo-Kaap Quarter Walking Tour

Bo-Kaap Quarter Walking Tour

Bo-Kaap is Afrikaans for "above the Cape." The Bo-Kaap District is above Cape Town's city center, on the slopes of Signal Hill. It is the historical center of Cape Malay culture. In the 1760s, Jan de Waal bought land here and built houses he rented to his slaves.

Slaves came from Malaysia, Indonesia, and other parts of Africa. Many of these slaves were Muslim, and this area...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


16 Distinctively South African Things to Buy in Cape Town

16 Distinctively South African Things to Buy in Cape Town

The many hopes pinned on this place (Cape of Good Hope) by passing-by sailors over the centuries must have done a good job for Cape Town, seeing it become a colorful cultural hub and prominent metropolis (3rd largest) in South Africa. Overlooking the meeting point of the two oceans (Indian and...