Cape Town is a fantastic city offering plenty to see and do – even when it’s raining.
Perhaps you associate Cape Town with hiking on Table Mountain, visiting Cape Point and other classic sights, but Cape Town also has many wonderful indoor activities if the weather is not that great.
Find inspiration for five exciting indoor activities for a rainy day in Cape Town.
Cape Town offers a myriad of art and history museums that are ideal to visit when it’s raining.
South Africa’s National Museum gives you a fascinating insight into the country’s natural history.
The museum houses a collection of no fewer than 1.5 million species, which are of great importance to the research about nature. You can, for example, experience African dinosaurs, insect fossils and objects left behind by the first people in South Africa, which are many thousands of years old. But the museum has, for example, also exhibited fish caught the previous week.
Discover the fascinating nature, and leave the museum a whole lot wiser about our wonderful world.
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is worth a visit whether you’re interested in art or not.
The fantastic museum exhibits the best art Africa has to offer in the museum’s more than 6,000 m2, which is spread over nine floors. In fact, the museum is the world’s largest museum for African art, and has both permanent and changing exhibitions.
The museum itself is located in an old grain silo from 1921 on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
You can also learn a lot about South Africa’s slave history at Iziko Slave Lodge. And the museum building itself has a lot to do with the history of slavery in South Africa.
The building which is one of the oldest buildings in South Africa, dates back to 1660. The museum was once home to 1,000 slaves, around 20 % of whom died per year. It also housed a prison, a post office and a supreme court, among other things. The building was also conveniently located for the slave traders as the slave trading took place on Spin Street, just around the corner from the museum.
South Africa is world famous for its wine production, such as the signature variety Pinotage, a blend of the Pinot Noir and Hermitage varieties, and Cape Town’s wine regions are some of the best places to go wine tasting.
There are several wine regions in and outside Cape Town.
Cape Town’s wine traditions began in scenic Constantia, a suburb of Cape Town. Here you will find white wineries surrounded by vines and mountains.
You might like to visit the area’s oldest vineyard, Groot Constantia, where you can taste the exquisite wines perfected by the farm over the past 300 years.
In Stellenbosch, you will find more than 200 different wine producers.
On a wine tour here you can, for example, visit a vineyard that gives guided tours of their wine cellar and offers some delicious drops. Wine tasting is accompanied in some places by a selection of delicious cheeses for maximum cosiness.
You can also experience the scenic Paarl wine region and enrich your day with an exquisite wine tasting.
But besides its refined wine, the town also offers historical experiences. Paarl is the last place where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.
Cape Town is a mecca for those who love shopping.
You will find several shopping malls in the city and countless exciting markets offering a good chance of picking up a bargain.
Cape Town’s Canal Walk shopping centre is the third largest shopping mall in Africa.
Canal Walk has 400 shops and 50 eateries, offering virtually no end to the shopping opportunities.
You will find both international and local brands at the centre, and you can purchase everything from a cup of coffee to diamonds there.
Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre is located at Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, where you can explore more than 450 different shops selling everything between heaven and earth.
Buy, for example, traditional crafts made by local people or enjoy a well-deserved bite to eat. At the centre, you will also find the more common stores, where you can buy clothes from international brands.
Situated in an abandoned factory in Hout Bay is the Bay Harbour Market, where you can buy souvenirs, South African handicrafts, vintage clothing, antiques and much more besides. Not just anyone can get a stall at Bay Harbour Market, so you may find some very creative and innovative bits and pieces here.
The market is open on Friday afternoons and weekends.
In addition to lots of great restaurants, Cape Town offers numerous food markets where the food is fresh and made from local produce.
Visit the weekend market, Neighbourgoods Market, which is located in the heart of the Woodstock neighbourhood and one of the best food markets in Cape Town.
Every Saturday, local farmers go to the market to sell their produce. You can buy vegetables or a delicious lunch at one of the 100 stalls.
At Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, there is an old brick pump house which has been converted into a buzzing food market with more than 50 different food stalls.
The market is open every day, and here you can quell your hunger here with delicious vegetarian curries, tandoori chicken and much more besides. You can also sink your teeth into some more exotic specialities such as zebra, crocodile or warthog.
Every Thursday from 4.30–8.30 pm, you can buy your dinner at City Bowl Market’s 30+ different stalls selling food from different world cuisines.
How about a gourmet hot dog or Argentinian empanadas? If you have a sweet tooth, there are also different desserts and sweets to choose from.
The City Bowl Market focuses on the variety and quality of the food, so there will definitely be something for every taste!
If you’re not into the classic museums, there are a number of other sights that are perfect for a rainy day.
If you’re a bird lover, a visit to World of Birds is almost a must.
More than 3,000 birds – and other small animals – live here in the 4-hectare park. There are more than 400 different species, and you can see them on the 100 or so different walks around the park.
World of Birds is one of the biggest bird parks in the world and the largest in Africa. And they are open 365 days a year from 9 am – 5 pm.
Not far from Cape Town is Butterfly World, a 1,000 m2 greenhouse that houses thousands of fabulous, exotic butterflies from around the world.
Every week, the site imports 500–800 butterfly pupae from Malaysia, China, Costa Rica and the Philippines.
Butterfly World is also home to other exotic animals, including birds, reptiles and spiders, which live safely in a glass terrarium.
You can also go for a walk in Butterfly World’s garden, where ducks, goats, chickens and meerkats wander freely. If you are travelling with young children, a walk in the garden is ideal because the children get the chance to feed some of the animals.
If you love life under the ocean waves, you should visit Two Oceans Aquarium.
The tip of South Africa is adjacent to two oceans – the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean – which are home to some amazing creatures, which you can see at the aquarium. You can, for example, dive among southern stingray and rescued turtles, examine the underwater life in a microscope or see the lovely penguins.
You can also watch when, for example, the staff feed the penguins with shrimps or fish and tell you about their lives and habits.
In short, you can enjoy a wealth of amazing experiences at the aquarium.
Cape Town offers wonderful experiences rain or shine. So whatever the weather, there are unique experiences for every taste in the fascinating city.
If you have any questions or would like to hear more about our holidays to South Africa, please feel free to contact our travel consultants.
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