Budget guide to Cape Town
Our mission at Moneybags is to ensure you live well without getting ripped off. Here’s our guide on the top things to do in Cape Town on a budget.
Picnic and braai
Braais and picnics are a great way to have fun on a budget. For braaing by the sea, try Little Bay or Oudekraal. Oudekraal costs R 15 for adults to enter and R 5 for children. If you’d rather spend the day under the trees, visit Tokai Forest – entrance is R10 per adult, R5 per child and R10 per car.
For picnics, try Signal Hill, Table Mountain or Greenpoint Park.
Get some friends together, pack a board game, a Frisbee and some snacks, and head to one of the many parks around the city. Kirstenbosch Gardens offers a huge variety of plant life and endless stretches of lawn. Entrance fee is R40 for adults, R25 for students and R10 for children ages 6-18. Children under 6 years are free.
On Sundays during the summer months from November to April, sunset concerts are held on the lawns. Prices vary from R80 – R 125 for adults, R 55 – R 95 for youth and R 80 – R 120 for Botanical Society members.
If you want to avoid paying an entrance fee, try the beautiful Maynardville Park in Wynberg. For exotic plant life, visit the Arderne Gardens in Claremont Main Street, or have tea at the Durbanville Rose Garden.
Go for a ride
Rent a bicycle for the day and explore the city. Cape Town Cycle Hire (Tel: +27 21 434 1270) offers a full day rental for R 125. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you could rent an off-road mountain bike for R200 per day.
Visit the penguins
People come from all over the world to view the penguins at Boulders Beach. Entrance costs R 45 for adults and R 20 for children under 12. You can save on the entrance fee by visiting the beaches nearby. For no cost at all, you get clear water, beautiful beaches and stray penguins hanging out on the rocks.
Take a hike
Cape Town has some extraordinary walks which vary from an hour through to full day hikes. Climb Lion’s Head for sunset, or tackle Table Mountain on one of the various routes to the top. Silvermine Nature Reserve has some easygoing trails amidst exquisite views. Join a hiking group on Facebook or take a look at Cape Town Magazine’s Top 10 Hiking Routes.
World of Birds is a magical experience. Entrance is R 75 for adults and R 40 for children. Pensioners and students pay only R55.
Explore Cape Point
For R 85, you can visit the lighthouse point for breath taking views, hike along one of the many coastal paths, picnic at the tidal pools or simply take a slow and scenic drive. Children under 11 years of age can enter for R30.
Art galleries & museums
Visit the South African National Gallery (Tel: +27 21 481 3970) for a display of local art. There is no cost to enter, and you can enjoy a stroll through the Company’s Gardens afterwards.
For a piece of local history, try the District 6 Museum for only R 20 per adult and R 5 for school children. Or spend some time exploring The Castle of Good Hope – the oldest surviving building in South Africa. Admission fee at the Main Entrance allows for free entry to both the Castle Military Museum and the William Fehr Collection. For more information, call +27-21-787 1249.
Table Mountain travels
Summer means a four month cableway special: half price return trips after 6pm. Tickets must be bought at the cableway station after 6pm. The Sunset Special rates cost R97.50 per adult and R47.50 per child. If it’s something you consider doing regularly, it’s worth getting the Cable Card.
If you’d like to treat yourself to something extra special, get the Ride and Dine package – a half-price return Cableway ticket and a voucher for the Table Mountain Café. The package costs R187.50 per adult return and R92.50 per child return if you buy online.
And remember – all locals get a free cable car ride on their birthdays.
If you’re keen to spend the day indoors, visit The Book Lounge in Roeland Street. Here, you can curl up with a book in the lounge area or browse through book reviews at the coffee shop. If you’ve got kids, make use of their children’s story time. Call them on +27 21 462 2425 for more information on upcoming events.
Chapman’s Peak drive
A slow scenic drive with spectacular views, and plenty of picnic areas along the way. To avoid paying the toll fee, enter from Hout Bay and obtain a day pass voucher. Make sure you come back along the same route or you will be charged.
Eat out on the cheap
Have a pub lunch at Barristers Grill Room & Cafe in Newlands (Tel: +27 21 671 7907) for only R 35. There are 12 pub lunches to choose from and 12 draft beers on tap.
On a sunny day, drive out to Blowfish in Blouberg (Tel: +27 21 556 5464) for sushi by the sea, and enjoy their Sunday special of all you can eat sushi for R169 from 5pm onwards.
Dunes in Hout Bay also has a Sunday special with sea views – smoked salmon, oysters and cooked breakfast for R100. Call +27 21 790 1876 to book (shuttle service offered in Hout Bay area).
Check out our Restaurant section for more specials on eating out in Cape Town.
Sevruga at the Waterfront run a half price sushi, cocktails and dim sum special from Mon to Sat, 2pm – 6pm (Tel: +27 21-4215134. The lovely Pepenero in Mouille Point is running a cocktail summer special – R 25 for cocktails all day, and they have a wonderful sunset view.
Sidewalk Café in Vredehoek offer half price cocktails between 4pm and 6pm, Monday to Saturday (Tel: +27 21 461 2839).
Café Extrablatt on Greenpoint Main road offer half price cocktails every Wed between 5pm – 7pm (Tel: +27 21 286 0460).
For more information on drinks and happy hour specials in Cape Town, browse our deals section.
Wine tasting on a budget
The restaurant at Clos Malverne in Stellenbosch offers Food and Wine Pairing Menu, including wine, for R178 per person. Call 021 865 2022 for more information.
Groot Constantia Estate run day time cellar tours and tasting for a mere R 40 per person, although you need to rent a glass for R 10. Students and pensioners receive discounts.
The Wine Shop at Constantia Uitsig charges R 30 for a tasting of 6 wines. They’re open from 10am-4:30pm on weekends.
Hit the beach
The best and easiest thing to do when you’re skint, and the reason we live in Cape Town…. the beach, of course!
*All prices and information correct at time of publication and subject to change thereafter.