Cape Town is one of the best tourist destinations in the world. There is so much to do in Cape Town and the surrounding areas that 3 days just isn’t enough to see it all.

Unfortunately, with Cape Town being such a popular destination, it can also be pricey. With a staple tour like a ferry to Robben Island costing anything between R360-R1050 per adult.

That is why we decided to put together this blog of free things to do in Cape Town. So that you can enjoy your holiday in the mother city, without breaking the bank.

Spend a day at the beach

One of the free things to do in Cape Town is to spend a day at the beach.

There are plenty of free things to do in Cape Town and one of the most easily accessible is a day at the beach. With Cape town being a coastal city there are many beaches to choose from, with most of them allowing you to swim in the surf to your heart’s content, and some having unique attractions.

One of the best beaches to enjoy is Hout Bay beach. This sandy stretch of coastline is perfect for an idyllic beach day. Build sandcastles, frolic in the surf, or just take a stroll along this scenic Atlantic coastline.

If you are hoping to see a bit of the local marine wildlife, then you can always go to Kalk Bay Harbour. This fishing village’s coastline is peaceful, and you can often see seals resting on the shoreline. This offers a great outing for any wildlife enthusiast, and while you’re there you can stop by the historic Kalk Bay lighthouse built in 1919.

Many of Cape Town’s beaches also have tidal pools. These can be a great way to cool down on a hot summer’s day. They are also perfect for the little ones who aren’t quite strong enough to face the waves on the beaches. 

The beaches offer many free things to do in Cape Town that will keep you busy, and provide a great escape from the summer’s heat.


Hiking in Cape Town is one of the free things to do in Cape Town.

If you are a bit more adventurous and are looking for free things to do in Cape Town, a hike may be just the thing you’re looking for. There are many great hiking trails in and around Cape Town that offer stunning views and unique scenery.

You can hike up the iconic Table Mountain. This flat-topped mountain is the defining landmark of the mother city, located in the Table Mountain National Park. Once you reach the top you will be greeted by breathtaking panoramic views of the city. No trip to Cape Town would be complete without going up Table Mountain and the views from the top are not easily forgotten.

Just like you can’t see the forest for the trees, you can’t see Table Mountain from it. Therefore, if you want a hike to enjoy the natural majesty of Table Mountain, then take a hike up Lion’s Head or Signal Hill. These hiking trails provide stunning views of the city with Table Mountain looming in the background. These are the perfect trails to catch a beautiful sunset, or for a romantic picnic.

If you prefer a more lush scenic hike, then take a hike to Cecilia Waterfall. Multiple trails leading to the waterfall give you the option of going through Cecilia Forest, Newlands Forest, or Constantia Nek. These trails differ in difficulty and duration, so you can customise your hike to your abilities and available time. All of them end at the magnificent waterfall that cascades through the mosses and ferns, for a picturesque natural sanctuary.


If it happens to be your birthday one of the best free things to do in Cape Town is to visit the Two Oceans Aquarium. They offer free entry if it is your special day, you just have to show your South African ID to prove it. The aquarium is filled with spectacular aquatic animals, with knowledgeable staff willing to teach you about every one of their exhibits. The aquarium is a great place to spend your special day, and learn about our planet’s beautiful aquatic life.

V&A Waterfront

The V&A Waterfront has lots of free things to do in Cape Town.

Battery park at the V&A Waterfront offers many free things to do in Cape Town that will keep you active. There are basketball courts if you want to practice your ball skills in a pick-up game, or a one-on-one. You can bring your skateboard or scooter and take it for a spin in the skate park, practice tricks, or just watch others.

There are even kiddies’ playgrounds that are sure to keep the little ones busy, while you take a jog or walk along the pedestrian paths You can even learn some history with the Amsterdam Battery on display in the park, or pack a picnic and enjoy it with a great view of Table Mountain. There is plenty to do at the V&A Waterfront that is completely free.

Free walking tours

One of the best free things to do in Cape Town if you want to learn the local history is a walking tour. There are two free guided walking tours in and around Cape town.

The first is offered by Cape Town Free Walking Tours who do exactly what their name suggests. Their professional tour guides will walk you through the city while teaching you about its rich history. They offer two free tours a day, one at 11:00 and the other at 14:00. This is a great way to see the city and learn its history.

The other free guided walking tour is offered by Stellenbosh on Foot. They offer tours through Stellenbosch teaching the history of the town and showing off its stunning art and architecture. Though a little outside of Cape Town it is a great way to learn the history of the area and see some classic Cape Dutch architecture.

That is our list of free things to do in Cape town. So if you ever find yourself short on cash, with time to kill in the mother city. These activities are a great way to spend your time, without spending money.

Other things to do in Cape Town

Boat cruise in Cape Town

Kayaking in Cape Town

Whale watching in Hermanus

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