Cape Town Shopping Tour (Self Guided), Cape Town

Cape Town is grand with quality shopping opportunities. Greenmarket Square, once the heart of Cape Town's business district – started off as a a slave market, then turned a cattle market – is just one of them. Today it houses South Africa's best flea market where one can find a broad selection of merchandise, from tribal costumes to precious jewelry and more.

Pan African Market is yet another place to shop if you look for authentic goods from over a dozen of African countries, while Adderley Street is where you will find a plethora of upmarket stores.

Overall, if you are interested in bringing home something truly unique from Africa, follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the best shopping venues in Cape Town.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Cape Town Shopping Tour Map

Guide Name: Cape Town Shopping Tour
Guide Location: South Africa » Cape Town (See other walking tours in Cape Town)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 4
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.4 Km or 0.2 Miles
Author: JohnB
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Adderley Street
  • Greenmarket Square
  • Long Street
  • Pan African Market
1
Adderley Street

1) Adderley Street

If you want to do some up market shopping, you should go to Adderley Street, which is the main street in Cape Town’s downtown district.

The street runs from Heerengracht to the entrance of Company Gardens, after which it becomes Government Avenue. It was named after the British Member of Parliament, Charles Bowyer Adderley, who fought against the British Government’s plans to turn the Cape are into a penal colony like Australia.

The street is full of shops, restaurants and offices. At night markets flourish and during the day a permanent market in the square in front of Central Station sells leather goods and curios. You will also find the famous Flower Market where freshly cut flowers have been sold on this spot for over 100 years.

Along the street there is the entrance to the Golden Acre, which is the oldest shopping center in South Africa. Another building of note is the Groote Kerk on Church Square. At the end of the street you will discover the Slave Lodge Museum.

In front of the museum’s entrance is a statue of Jan Smuts, who was a member of the British War Cabinet and who helped create the Royal Air Force. From 1919 to 1924 and from 1939 to 1948 he was the Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa.
2
Greenmarket Square

2) Greenmarket Square (must see)

No trip to Cape Town is complete without a visit to Greenmarket Square, one of the key tourist attractions in the city. Built in the 18th century in the heart of Cape Town's business district, the square was initially used as a slave market, then a cattle market, until ultimately became a principal gathering place for merchants. Today it houses a flea market, one of the best in South Africa, where you can find anything – from European clothes to tribal costumes to precious jewellery and more.

There are also a number of restaurants and cafés surrounding the place, serving delicious local food and drink. For extra fun, there are numerous buskers, mime-artists, jugglers and magicians to keep you entertained. Other nearby attractions include The Old Town House, home to the Michaelis Collection of 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings; a Victorian Gothic church; and the Inn on the Square, last of the 19th century local townhouses still in place.

Why You Should Visit:
Not for people looking for peace and quiet – it's a fun place to sit outside under the sun with a drink/snack and watch the activity. It's also a good place to find your souvenirs.

Tip:
As with most markets, prices vary wildly so always bargain the price. Take cash and be prepared to haggle to get a good deal.
Don't forget to visit the small, pedestrian-only streets around the Greenmarket, but be cautious/aware of your surroundings after dark.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-5pm
3
Long Street

3) Long Street (must see)

If you want to get a taste of African cuisine and Cape Town’s nightlife, Long Street in the City Bowl District is the place to go.

During the 1960s and early 70s this was the place to be if you had a bohemian outlook and anti-apartheid. This area was the San Francisco of South Africa. Little has changed over the years.

This is one of the oldest streets in Cape Town and it is still surrounded by beautiful Victorian buildings that have balconies enclosed by ornately wrought iron grills. During the day bookshops, stands selling souvenirs and antique shops are happy to welcome visitors, but Long Street comes alive as soon as the sun sets.

If you have been longing to taste an ostrich steak or prawns from Mozambique, you can get both here in one of the many restaurants that serve African food. If you want to eat curry, don’t worry! On Long Street, you will find the spiciest Indian food that you have ever tasted.

If you want to dine and dance, several bar/restaurants offer a tasty meal and then put on a variety of music from local ethnic to heavy metal. If you want a calm night out, some bars feature poetry reading sessions with alcohol-free cocktails afterward.
4
Pan African Market

4) Pan African Market

One of the best places to visit in Cape Town is undoubtedly the Pan African Market which is lodged in a superb building on Long Street.

In 1997 five traders took over an abandoned building on Long Street and set up a market on the first floor. At first the town council decided to chase them out, but seeing that locals and tourists alike flocked to the area, they granted a long term lease on the building and renovated it so that the market could grow.

Today, the market holds over 35 stalls with permanent shops on the second and third floors. These shops and stalls represent goods from over 14 African countries including Kenya, Senegal, Mozambique and Cameroon.

This fabulous market offers a wide range of arts and crafts and bargain is the name of the day! Don’t look at the price tags – if you want to buy a tribal mask or a piece of authentic bead jewelry – the more you haggle with the stall holder, the happier he’ll be and the price will be lowered!

There are tailors who will run up a tribal costume in an hour, so while you are waiting you will have the time to browse through stands selling tribal drums or visit the numerous “witch doctors” where you can buy natural remedies for everything from in-growing toenails to hair loss!

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.
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 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
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...