Great venues, events and activities keep the Cape Town CBD hot and happening throughout the colder months – and it’s the perfect time of year to explore the treasures of South Africa’s oldest and most historic central city in relative peace and quiet.
Nobody knows the Mother City’s CBD better than the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID), which has several suggestions to discover (or rediscover) old CBD haunts and fall in love all over again.
Rediscover the Mother City’s museums
Often passed over for outdoor activities during summer, the proliferation of museums and galleries in the Cape Town CBD – many of them clustered around The Company’s Garden – offer respite from the winter elements and inspiration to boot.
· Bertram House Museum: Hiddingh Campus, 31 Orange St
· Bo-Kaap Museum: 71 Wale St, Bo-Kaap
· Iziko at the Castle of Good Hope: Buitenkant Street
· Koopmans-De Wet House: 35 Strand St
· Michaelis Collection: Old Town House, Greenmarket Square
· Slave Lodge: Cnr Adderley & Wale streets
· South African Museum and Planetarium: 25 Queen Victoria St
· South African National Gallery: Government Avenue
For more info, visit www.capetownccid.org/explore/visit
Peruse or purchase at a private gallery
What better time is there to explore the Central City’s art scene than during a quieter period of First Thursdays? Winter offers up some beautiful evenings, and there’s less of a crowd to negotiate to get where you want to be than during peak tourist season.
Listen to live music
From live originals at Aces ‘n’ Spades every Thursday to cheesy cover bands at The Dubliner on weekends, smooth jazz at The Crypt to the punk-rock thrash of Fokofpolisiekar at The Assembly (5 August), and classical music at City Hall, there’s something in the CBD for all tastes.
Laugh out loud on Long
As gleefully stated on the Comedy on Long website: Long Street is located “about three streets away from South Africa’s top comedy club – Parliament”. It also has burgeoning comedic scene of its own that has put on shows by the likes of Loyisa Gola and Nik Rabinowitz.
· Every Thursday at Iconic Lounge: 164 Long St
· Every last Tuesday of the month at The Dubliner, 251 Long St
· Every first and last Wednesday of the month at Beerhouse: 223 Long St
Stage a comeback to the theatre
The Broadway and West End smash comedy Clybourne Park is the main attraction at The Fugard Theatre this winter (starts 16 August); the Artscape has its usual array of world-class productions for all ages; and Alexander Bar, Café & Theatre provides an intimate setting for music, comedy, drama and readings.
· Alexander Bar, Café & Theatre: 76 Strand St
· Artscape Theatre Centre: DF Malan St
· The Fugard Theatre: Cnr Caledon & Buitenkant streets
Have story time at the Book Lounge
Every Saturday morning at 11h00 is story time for kids aged three to eight at the Book Lounge. It’s a great way to get the little ones excited about reading – and it’s free.
71 Roeland St | www.booklounge.co.za
CitySightseeing Cape Town has a three-for-one kids’ special that runs until 9 October. Two kids (under 18) can ride for free when you buy one adult one-day bus ticket or Harbour Cruise ticket.
81 Long St | www.citysightseeing.co.za/cape-town
Bonus winter tip: relax at Long Street Turkish Baths
There’s a sauna, a steam room, a warm room and a cold pool in addition to showers and other bathroom facilities at this City-run facility.
Per hour: R56.50
Per four-hour session: R107
For a list of restaurants with fireplaces in the CBD, visit www.capetownccid.org/news/restaurants-fireplaces-cbd