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Cape Town Culture & history

Our most recommended Cape Town Culture & history

Cape Town: Half-Day Guided Township Tour

1. Cape Town: Half-Day Guided Township Tour

Traveling is only as deep as the people you interact with, and on this half-day tour, you will get to discover Cape Town in an up-close and personal way through the eyes of the locals. During your time together, you will have a chance to dig deeper into the multicultural side of Cape Town, and hear their personal stories of forceful removals from District Six to the rich cultural landscape of township life. The day either begins at 08.00 or at 13.00, returning approximately four-and-a-half hours later. You will begin in District Six with the Museum (closed Sundays). Here you can educate yourself on the forceful removal of over 60,000 inhabitants in the 1970s by the apartheid regime. This once lively community of former slaves, artisans and merchants was once home to almost 1/10 of the city of Cape Town's population before the brutality that came. After your education, you will move to Langa, the oldest formal township in South Africa. This suburb was established in 1927, and was established specifically for Black Africans before the apartheid era. There is a history of violent uprisings here, and your visit will be benefited with the local's stories and perspectives. From here we move onto Shebeen (township pub) with the option to taste some traditional beer! How can you turn down a beer with the locals? Finally we move to Khayelitsha - the largest and fastest growing township in South Africa today. Its local name is Xhosa, which means New Home. Here you will get to meet with some of the township entrepreneurs who are breathing new life in to these historic towns. If you're fortunate enough to be with us on a Sunday, we'll even have the chance to visit a charismatic church service in the townships! It's truly an experience not to be missed!

Cape Town: Robben Island Ferry Ticket and Townships Tour

2. Cape Town: Robben Island Ferry Ticket and Townships Tour

Discover some of Cape Town's most famous townships on a guided tour in an air-conditioned minivan. Visit District Six, take a walking tour in Langa, and learn about Bonteheuwel as you drive through it. After, explore Robben Island on your own with an included ferry ticket. Explore District Six, where 60,000 inhabitants were forcibly removed during the 1970s by the apartheid regime. Drive to Langa and learn the history of the oldest township at sites like the Old Pass Office and the monument to Robert Sobukwe. Learn about life during apartheid on a walking tour of the hostels and shacks. Visit a shebeen (pub), try some homemade beer, and see a traditional healer in action Then, drive through the Bonteheuwel township, reserved for the "colored" community during the days of apartheid. Hear about the division of people and its impact on the communities today. See the Gugulethu 7 Memorial to the members of an anti-apartheid group killed by the South African Police in 1986, and the memorial to the American student Amy Biehl, murdered by PAC supporters in 1993. Afterward, get dropped off at the V&A Waterfront to take your ferry to Robben Island.

Cape Town: Table Mountain, Robben Island, and Aquarium Tour

3. Cape Town: Table Mountain, Robben Island, and Aquarium Tour

Join a guided tour and visit Cape Town's top attractions, including Table Mountain, Robben Island, the V&A Waterfront, and the Two Oceans Aquarium. Enjoy the convenience of a hotel pickup and travel in the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle. Start your day of exploring Cape Town with an early pickup directly from your accommodation and set out to see the city's most iconic attraction, Table Mountain. Purchase your tickets and hop into one of the cable cars to make your way to the top of the mountain. Spend some time soaking in the breathtaking views of the City of Cape Town, Signal Hill, and Lion's Head. Then, join your guide as you walk to another lookout point and be rewarded with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, Camps Bay, and the Twelve Apostles Mountains. Ride the cable car back down the mountain and head to the V&A Waterfront where you'll board a ferry to Robben Island. Disembark at Murray's Bay Harbor on the east coast of the island and board a bus that will take you to all the historic sites. Get a guided tour of the prison while learning about South Africa's history, the struggle against oppression, and the thousands of freedom fighters who were imprisoned on Robben Island, including former president Nelson Mandela. Return by ferry to the V&A Waterfront and enjoy some free time to do some shopping or grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants (cost not included). End your day with a visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium. Explore the wonders of the ocean up close as you visit the penguin exhibit, shark exhibit, ocean exhibit, and much more. Finally, hop back into your air-conditioned vehicle and enjoy a comfortable ride back to your accommodation.

Museum of Contemporary African Art: Fast-Track Zeitz MOCAA

4. Museum of Contemporary African Art: Fast-Track Zeitz MOCAA

Visit the world's largest museum for contemporary African art in the heart of the V&A Waterfront with skip-the-line access. This museum includes 6,500 square meters (about 69,965 square feet) of exhibition space in 100 galleries, a rooftop sculpture garden, state-of-the-art storage and conservation areas, a bookshop, a restaurant, a bar and various reading rooms. Explore the galleries and atrium space at the center of Zeitz MOCAA. Learn how they were carved from the silo's dense cellular structure of 42 tubes that pack the building. Discover why this museum is an important cultural landmark and how it contributes to a stronger appreciation of Africa's cultural heritage.

Cape Town: Half-Day City Tour

5. Cape Town: Half-Day City Tour

Cape Town, the Mother City, is a beautiful place steeped with history. This half-day tour will take you to all of the major points of interest and landmarks you need to see for your visit to be complete. The tour will be led by a registered guide who is an expert on all things Cape Town. You will visit all the major sights in the city, including the South African Museum and beautiful Company Gardens. See the Parliament buildings, City Hall, and the Castle of Good Hope. Before you reach the colorful streets of Bo-Kaap, the smells of Malay curry will be wafting your way. You will also visit the Green Market Square, Signal Hill, Camps Bay, and Clifton. If you are interested you will have the unique opportunity to be taken on a short diamond factory tour. At the end, choose from 2 options. You may opt for a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain (weather permitting). Otherwise, choose a trip up to Table View, for the postcard view of Table Mountain.

Robben Island & Table Mountain Tickets & Pick up & Drop off

6. Robben Island & Table Mountain Tickets & Pick up & Drop off

We will start this amazing experience with a pick up from your hotel at approximately 08H00 en route to the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island for a 3 to 4-hour experience to see where Nelson Mandela and so many other civilians, politicians were incarcerated during the Apartheid regime. Skip the line of buying the tickets as this tour will have your pre-booked ticket ahead of time. Please take note that Robben Island Museum reserved the right to cancel any given tour at their own discretion. In the case of cancellation, you will be entitled to a full refund or an option to reschedule. Your guide-driver will not escort you to the Island as they have their own guides. You will be on the boat with other people. You will be given a full tour by an ex-prisoner. Soon after returning from your Robben Island Tour experience, we will allow you to grab a sandwich or light lunch at own account at a nearby restaurant. Our next stop before we arrive at Table Mountain, we will allow you a 15 minutes stop for a photo opportunity in the Bo-Kaap ( The Colourful houses). From here, we will drive to the Cable Car station, where you will be given your return ticket by your guide. The guide will escort you for maximum experience. From here, we will drop you off at your accommodation in Cape Town.

Cape Town: Private Guided Tour of Cape Town Diamond Museum

7. Cape Town: Private Guided Tour of Cape Town Diamond Museum

Take a private guided tour of the Cape Town Diamond Museum, located at the V&A Waterfront. Tour the museum for 45 minutes with your guide, who will give fascinating commentary and answer any questions that come to mind. Start with some welcome drinks on arrival, either soft drinks or some South African wine, that are also available throughout the tour.  Discover about South Africa’s 3-billion year diamond history; how Shimansky hand selects and ethically sources their diamonds; and how they are cut and polished to their aesthetically pleasing final state. See over 3000 pieces in the diamond cutting factory and jewelry workshop. Best of all, have the opportunity to buy and design your own diamond with your own personal designer on-site and GIA certificate.

Cape Town: Half-Day Walking City Tour and African Lunch

8. Cape Town: Half-Day Walking City Tour and African Lunch

Meet your local guide and get ready to hear interesting stories about the city's rich history and heritage. Make your way to the Bartolomeu Dias monument in Cape Town Central. Learn about important figures in South Africa's history. Discover the Castle of Good Hope. Explore this pentagonal fortress considered the oldest colonial building in South Africa. Then, immerse in the history of Nelson Mandela. Visit the City Hall where he made his first speech as a free man. Also take a walk past the Parliament, the Slave Lodge, Company Gardens, Cathedral, St. Georges Mall and Greenmarket Square. Finally, take some photos of the brightly coloured houses of Bo-Kaap. The tour culminates with lunch at AfroDeli Eatery in Long Street. Experience the authentic African cuisine from Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

Cape Town: District Six Coffee & Culture Guided Walking Tour

9. Cape Town: District Six Coffee & Culture Guided Walking Tour

Visit District Six and discover the remnants of what was once a mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, immigrants, and laborers. Learn how over 60,000 of its non-white residents were forcibly removed during the 1970s under South Africa's Apartheid regime. Modern coffee culture meets poignant storytelling on this guided tour. Kick-start your experience with a cup of coffee at one of Cape Town's quirkiest coffee houses known for its futuristic steampunk outfits and industrial vibe. Take part in a mini barista workshop and tour the roastery before heading out to discover the history of District Six. Enter the District Six Museum to learn about the residents that were forcibly removed, and their homes destroyed by bulldozers. Next, make your way to the famous Table Mountain Frame and take photos with the mural of former South African president Nelson Mandela in the background. Enjoy a sweet treat from a nearby bakery to keep you energized for the next leg of the tour, a street art walk. Learn about the artist who paints the walls of District Six with powerful messages. Mak1One is one of Cape Town's most famous self-taught graffiti art pioneers and pursued graffiti as a platform to express his thoughts and inspire others to question the governance of that time. End your tour in true local style by catching a local taxi for the short ride back to the city center.

Cape Town: Heart of Cape Town Medical Museum Entrance Ticket

10. Cape Town: Heart of Cape Town Medical Museum Entrance Ticket

Discover the Heart of Cape Town Museum which honors all those who played a major role in the world’s first successful heart transplant. Celebrate this surgical feat that pushed the boundaries of science into the dawn of a new medical era. Experience the drama of the operation, led by Professor Christiaan Neethling Barnard, played out within the walls of the Charles Saint Theatre, at Groote Schuur Hospital on the 3rd December 1967. This museum offers an insightful look into the day this medical wonder took place.

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What people are saying about Cape Town

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,677 reviews

Learned a ton, must do if you want to go beyond drinking champagne at the Waterfront and really learn about local history and a side of South Africa you may not know. We felt very safe throughout. Note that robben island itself has tour guides on the island so you just take the ferry and get a guided tour once you arrive there.

The exhibits were masterful and the facility is amazing. There were many mediums represented and pieces from SA and around the world. It was just enough. Something exciting around every corner but not so long that you felt drained and overwhelmed.

Our informative guide explained Township life very well. It was interesting, thought provoking and fascinating all at the same time.

It was really a nice experience…..tour guides were super friendly

Great guide and driver! I highly recommend this tour.