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Cape Town Art Tour

Explore Cape Town's emerging grassroots art and design movement with a tour of the city's galleries.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: Full day

Overview:  Unlike the world’s established design capitals—Amsterdam, Copenhagen, or London—Cape Town, and by extension South Africa, lacks almost... more »

Tips:  Many Capetonians use cheap minibus taxis to get around—it’s a more informal means of transportation, with frequent stops and... more »

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Points of Interest

Charming chef/owner Giorgio Nava is everywhere at this svelte Italian restaurant set in a 17th-century former stable house. You’ll find him tableside, graciously switching between Italian and English to recite the day’s specials; bustling through the dining room to fulfill special requests; and—thankfully—in the kitchen, where he oversees the... More

2. Africa Nova

Modern African design is showcased beautifully at this high-end gallery, which fills its well-lit split-level space with an eclectic collection of fine jewelry, artwork, ceramics, textiles, and crafts. Most unusual are color-rich potato-printed fabrics from Zambane and quirky ceramics from Gemma Orkin.

Address:
72 Waterkant St., Green Point
Cape ... More

Stop into this favorite spot for coffee or a quick lunch: the Namibian owners, a mother and her two daughters, prepare all-organic baked goods; the younger daughter, Frauke Stegmann, one of Cape Town’s emerging graphic designers, creates the whimsically decorated ceramics on which the food is served.

Address:
127 Bree St.
Cape Town
South Africa

... More

4. Brewers & Union

This beer bar-charcuterie opened in January 2009 by the people behind Vida e Caffé, a slick, mini-chain coffee bar with a zealous fan base. Brewers & Union’s terrace out front fills quickly in the after-work hours with small tribes of hipsters who pair the microbrewed ambers and ales with Madeira-wine salami wrapped in butterfish... More

Two movable pedestrian bascule bridges provide access from the bustling waterfront to this quiet, mansard-roofed hotel on its own private quay. The sumptuous interiors here (all redone in 2008) include dark-wood antiques, blue-and-white Dutch crockery, and richly patterned fabrics that evoke the region’s raw, exotic blooms. The 120 large and... More

6. Caveau Wine Bar & Deli

Caveau’s wine list is an enjoyable departure from the red, white, and sparkling norm; it’s divided into Easy Drinkers (try the superb Pierre Jourdan Brut), Discoveries, Food Friendlies, Vintage Reserves, Rarities (like small lots from inner city winery Signal Hill), and Giants. This friendly approach takes the snobbery out of wine tasting, and the... More

Thirteen artists were each given the same budget to decorate the rooms at Daddy Long Legs. Guests are taken on a tour of the unoccupied “exhibitions” and then invited to select their favorite. On weekends, ad hoc Drama Night parties (with open-mike sessions and free concerts) are held in the lounge. Every couple of months, the contemporary art in ... More

Asian-inspired tapas restaurant.

Address:
33 Church St.
Cape Town
South Africa

Phone:
27-21-424-7000

9. Missibaba Workshop

Make sure to pick up a souvenir from their line of belts, bags, and clutches.

Address:
145 Sir Lowry Rd., Unit 3 Selwyn Street Studios
Cape Town
South Africa

Phone:
27-21-461-1083

10. Neighbourgoods Market

You’ll want to defend your espresso from the sudden swipe of a passing baguette at this thriving Saturday morning community market (open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) in the easterly district of Woodstock. Here, in an 8,600-square-foot, glass-covered warehouse, hipsters, foodies, and families gather to peruse the wares of some 120 vendors. There are... More

The latest property from One&Only, features a waterfront resort with 131 large, high-tech rooms. The knockout first impression as you walk in the door is the hotel’s 40-foot-tall picture window framing Table Mountain. But then outsize luxury is trumpeted everywhere here, from the tri-level "wine loft" at Rueben’s, and a outpost of... More

Opt for alfresco dining in the front yard garden.

Address:
50 Orange St., Gardens
Cape Town
South Africa

Phone:
27-21-424-2100

13. Whatiftheworld Gallery

Whatiftheworld’s mandate is to cultivate a community among Cape Town’s young furniture-, product-, and fashion designers and aspiring collectors. It takes the form of shows held in Whatiftheworld’s gallery/work space in Woodstock. There’s also the Whatiftheworld Design Studio, a small retail space in the nearby East City area that showcases a... More