How to Explorer Cape Town on the Cheap

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Although Cape Town is a modern and cosmopolitan city, there’s much to see and do if visiting on a budget. By western standards, life in Cape Town is very affordable– this was a factor in why decided to live there briefly. Looking past cheap meals, coffee shops, and accommodations there much to see and do in Cape Town on the cheap. For example:

Get Around

The bus system in Cape Town is more than a little confusing. They rarely show up on time and don’t always get you where you need to go. Although taxis are affordable, Uber was my Cape Town on the cheap preferred method of travel. Great rates, friendly service, and even have a helicopter service if you want to splurge! Also, the City Sightseeing Cape Town tour bus is a very economical way to see all (and I mean ALL) of Cape Town on the cheap.

Take a Hike

Cape Town is an outdoor lovers paradise, as long as you can bear the elements. There is no shortage of easily accessible and free hiking trails for you to get outside Cape Town on the cheap. There are several trails up table Mountain if the cable car is too pricey for you or you want the exercise. Climbing Lions Head also offer stunning views and a rewarding challenge…just be in better shape than I was when doing it.

Hit the Beach(es)

Sticking with getting outside Cape Town on the cheap, why not visit one of the areas numerous beaches? Head to the cool waters on the Atlantic seaboard on a hot day or jaunt over to the west coast for some of the countries best surfing spots. In each of these areas you will find several stunning beaches for you to enjoy Cape Town on the cheap, just note the primitive yet effective shark warning system!

Historical Cape Town on the Cheap

With roots dating back to the late 1400s, Cape Town has some significant historical sites to explore. Thankfully many of these places fall under the Cape Town on the cheap category. For roughly $3 you can tour Castle of Good Hope. There you’ll find the Dutch East India Company’s original Fort which was used as a refreshment station for passing ships. Today it houses a collection of museums covering arts and historical events of South Africa’s past.

The District 6 Museum is also a must see Cape Town on the cheap sight. This church-turned museum documents the forced removal of 60,000 residents during the dark time of apartheid. This removal resulted in the complete demolition of a colourful and artistic neighbourhood. Letters from residents, artifacts, and segregation signs can be found here as well as plans for the area which still sits vacant to this day.

Although a visit to Robben Island costs money it shouldn’t be missed.  Those on a budget should visit Jetty 1, the departure point to Robben Island, which is free. Their visitors are presented with interactive and multimedia displays telling the sad stories of those that passed through its doors.

Cape Town on the Cheap - Inside Jetty 1
Cape Town on the Cheap – Inside Jetty 1

Take a Walk

Cape Town is a very compact and walkable city. To really enjoy Cape Town on the cheap you need to walk it. Head to Bo-Kaapp, Cape Town’s Muslim area, For a colourful stroll or enjoy the Waterfront scenery and entertainment.

Cape Town on the Cheap – Bo Kaap

For those looking for cheap trinkets and souvenirs head to the historical Green Market Square where vendors are hocking goods daily. From there take a stroll up Longstreet, the city’s entertainment and backpackers, home to many Cape Town on the cheap options.

And then there is the historic Company Gardens which offer plenty of space to relax and stroll!

Rugby Time!

Last up on the Cape Town on the cheap list is enjoying one of the city’s favourite sports – Rugby. A Stormers game at the historic Landsdown Stadium will only set you back a few dollars and is guaranteed to be an energetic time. Be sure to arrive early to secure seats and enjoy the pregame activities around the stadium!

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These are just a few examples of enjoying Cape Town on the cheap. From outdoor activities to strolling its walkable streets and exploring its diverse past, Cape Town has much to offer those visitors looking to stretch their rand.


What say you?
Thoughts on visiting Cape Town on the cheap?
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