Self-Guided Shopping Tour of Cape Town, Cape Town (Self Guided)

Cape Town is grand with quality shopping opportunities. Colorful African crafts are present here in almost every store. Shops such as Shine Shine and Imagenious, offer items entirely unique to Cape Town. Take this tour to explore the best shopping venues of Cape Town.
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Self-Guided Shopping Tour of Cape Town Map

Guide Name: Self-Guided Shopping Tour of Cape Town
Guide Location: South Africa » Cape Town (See other walking tours in Cape Town)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km
Author: JohnB
Diamond Works

1) Diamond Works

Diamond Works is one of the largest jewelry factories and stores in Cape Town. South Africa is a major diamond exporter, making it a perfect shopping destination for this precious stone. Here at Diamond Works you can see how diamonds are cut and assembled. You can then purchase high-quality finished products from the factory's shop.
Adderley Street

2) Adderley Street

If you want to do some up market shopping while you are on holiday, 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 centre 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.
Long Street

3) Long Street (must see)

If you want to get in touch with Cape Town’s day-and-night life, then Long Street in the City Bowl district is the place for you.

During the 1960s and early 70s this was the place to be if you had a bohemian outlook and if you were anti-apartheid. This area was the San Francisco of South Africa. Little has changed over the years, except for the political point of view. But we are not here for politics!

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.

If you are into arts & culture, perhaps "First Thursday" will fancy your boat (art galleries stay open – free of charge – until late on the first Thursday of the month).
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 in 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 that you can visit 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 bartering is the name of the day! Don’t look at the few price tags – if you want to buy a tribal mask or some authentic bead jewellery – the more you haggle with the stall holder, the happier he’ll be to lower the price!

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!
Greenmarket Square

5) 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 in the sun with a drink/snack and watch the activity.
It's also a good place to find all your souvenirs instead of buying them at a mall or airport.

As with most markets, prices vary wildly so always try low-balling 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
African Image

6) African Image

This specialty shop offers a wide range of authentic, traditional African art. The products are chosen by the shop owner from reputable dealers all over the city and the neighboring areas. This shop has played a significant role in establishing the commercial sustainability of the craft industry in Cape Town.

What to buy here: Shine Shine fabrics and accessories: Increasingly, young designers are making their mark on the city, often by incorporating local cultural symbols into colorful and bold textiles that are transformed into bags, pillows and so forth, waving the proudly South Africa flag in such a colorful way, people will notice you for miles down the street. Shine Shine is a popular example, and can be bought at a couple of interesting shops around the city. African Image on the corner of Church and Burg Street (open on Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 17:00 and Saturday from 09:00 to 15:00) stocks a range of Shine Shine products. A tray will set you back about R189, and fashionable handbags between R310 and R365. They describe themselves as an independent, tribal art dealership, but they are also known to be the first to offer many contemporary design products, including wire work, recycled craft, funky African print shirts, bags, baskets and numerous other examples of Africa's creativity. The Plush Bazaar at the Biscuit Mill in Albert Road (open from 09:00 to 16:30, Mondays to Friday and from 08:00 to 14:30 on Saturdays) also stocks Shine Shine products. If you can, go on a Saturday, when the Biscuit Mill is host to a local produce market with a selection of goods that will leave your mouth watering. Alternatively, you can also make an appointment with the designer by phoning +(27) 21 4242425.
Shine Shine

7) Shine Shine

Shine Shine presents itself as a chic African fashion shop. You will be pleasantly surprised by the multitude of colorful fabrics available. It is an ideal spot for finding some unique African bargains. Also be sure to check out the store's impressive selection of bags.
Select Books

8) Select Books

What to buy here: “Cape Town” photography book: Any visitor to Cape Town would agree that much of the city’s appeal is locked in its extraordinary natural beauty. Almost impossible to capture on film, why not let the professionals do it for you? A couple of books offer a collection of the best images available from well-know photographers, like “Cape Town – The peninsula and beyond”. Usually on offer for around R200, it is available at a couple of bookstores around the city. Select Books in Long Street is a good option, not only because it is situation in vibey Long Street, but because the rest of selection of books on offer are also extraordinary. They specialize in both out-of-print and new books. The shop is open roughly according to its hours, but David (the shop owner) recommends calling the shop first, as he is often on the hunt for more interesting books. You can call him on +27(0)21 4246955. It’s also available at Wordsworth Books in Main Road, Sea Point (open from 09:00 to 18:00 on weekdays and 09:00 to 16:00 on Saturdays) as well as Ulrich Naumann Booksellers at 17 Burg Street (behind the Cape Sun Hotel). The latter is open from 08:30 to 17:30 on weekdays, and Sundays from 08:30 to 13:00.

Operation hours: Monday - Friday 9.30 am - 5.30 pm, Saturday 9.30 am - 1 pm.
Wellness Warehouse

9) Wellness Warehouse

What to buy here: Sea-salt products: Nestled where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, the ocean is a much part of the city as the iconic Table Mountain. Not surprisingly, sea-salt products are available. At selected spots you can find salt harvested of the shores of St Helene Bay on the West Coast, or Nature’s gift for curing, soaking, marinating, pickling and much more. Another brand is the Oryx Dessert Sal products (from R24) available at the Wellness Centers in Kloof Street and Cavendish Mall (Mondays to Saturday 9 am - 7 pm and Saturday 10 am - 5 pm). Pick ‘n Pay also stocks a product range of plain, fine and course salts, as well as seaweed, tomato and olive and garlic and herb flavors. These are stocked at, among others, the Camps Bay Pick ’n Pay in Victoria Street (open Monday to Friday 8 am - 7 pm, Saturday 7:30 am - 7 pm and Sundays 8 am - 5 pm). You can also visit the Food Lovers Market at the corner of Loop Street and Hans Strijdom Avenue (open Monday to Friday 7 am - 6:30 pm and Saturday from 9 am - 3 pm) for the Khoisan range of plain, flavored and African range of products.

Operation hours: Monday - Friday 8 am - 7 pm (Wednesday 9 am), Saturday 9 am - 5 pm, Sunday 10 am - 3 pm, Public Holidays 9 am - 5 pm.

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.
Self-Guided Museums Tour of Cape Town

Self-Guided Museums Tour of Cape Town

It's not difficult to dive into Cape Town history, since the most notable museums are almost all located in or close to the city center. Take this tour and immerse yourself in Cape Town's history and culture.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 km
Self-Guided Tour of Cape Town's Garden District

Self-Guided Tour of Cape Town's Garden District

This green inner-city suburb of Cape Town is very popular with tourists. It dates back to 1652 when the first garden was opened. A number of cultural and architectural sights are located within this district. Take this tour to enjoy a picturesque and artsy walk through the gardens of Cape Town.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Self-Guided Art Galleries Tour of Cape Town

Self-Guided Art Galleries Tour of Cape Town

The art scene in the western Cape must be experienced by art lovers, as Cape Town is home to many artists and galleries that provide an inside look into African art. Each of these galleries on the tour offer unique masterpieces both on display and for sale. Take this tour to see the most important art galleries of Cape Town.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Set against the backdrop of the majestic Table Mountain on the southwest coast of South Africa, Cape Town is a busy destination, much popular with tourists. Other than the good climate, picturesque surroundings and well-developed infrastructure, the city is noted for a multitude of historic and cultural attractions. To see the most prominent of them, follow this orientation walk and enjoy your...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 km
Self-Guided Kid's Entertainment Tour of Cape Town

Self-Guided Kid's Entertainment Tour of Cape Town

Cape Town provides a lot of entertaining activities for kids. Some of the attractions are interactive and inspire creativity, while others such as the Book Lounge, the Planetarium, and the African Museum provide enriching knowledge in fun and exciting ways. Take this tour to explore the best places for kids in Cape Town.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km

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...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Cape Town for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Cape Town has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Cape Town, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.