Despite having about 6 months of cold, wet weather, Cape Town really is a year-round destination. There are just so many things to do in Cape Town when it rains, and even more if you aren’t afraid to get a little (or a lot) wet. The streets, markets, malls and hiking trails and even the mountains are almost always abuzz with locals and tourists alike. Cape Town-ians just don’t believe in letting the weather spoil the fun.
Here are some of my favourite things to do in Cape Town when it rains.
1 Indoor markets
Cape Town-ians just LOVE indoor markets, but I’m not talking about a simple flea market with a tarp to (just barely) keep out the rain. No no, that’s not good enough for Cape Town, we have to out do that!
When it comes to things to do in Cape Town, weekly indoor markets are an experience in itself and they go far above and beyond the humble flea market. Cape Town has some of the best weekly markets in South Africa. You will find food vendors from every part of Cape Town, eager to fill your belly and tickle your taste buds while they do that. You will find everything from gourmet burgers to mouth-watering pancakes and everything in between. It’s like they are trying to show off and make you fat all at the same time (it can be tricky to keep your figure with all the delicious food around you) and you can even find local craft beer here. No matter how strict your food requirements, you’re bound to find something made just for you at one of these food stalls.
But, apart from the food stalls, the indoor markets in Cape Town are also packed with unique and often hand-made goodies ranging from jewellery and clothes to shoes and just too cute stuff for your home.
Cape Town’s indoor markets also often have live music to keep the vibe going. These indoor markets do everything they can to tickle every sense you own.
My favourite markets are:
2 Watch a movie
I know this may seem like an odd thing to put under ‘things to do in Cape Town’ since you can do this in every other city in the world too, but again, Cape Town takes it to a whole different level. I guess we have a lot of movie goers in Cape Town, I know I am guilty of this myself, and in true Cape Town-ian style, we have turned this into an art.
If it’s art movies you are interested in and you want to make an experience out of it, you can visit The Labia theater in town. This little independently owned theater shows only art movies, but what makes it even more unique is that they have a little coffee shop attached to the theatre so you can wait for your movie while having a cup of coffee and cake, as well as the fact that you allowed to take in a glass of wine or beer into the theatre. They are the only theatre in SA with a liquor license to do so. The V & A Waterfront’s nouveau cinema also shows art movies, and they have a small coffee shop where you can wait for your movie(but they don’t have a liquor license)..
The waterfront also has another movie theatre, the Numetro cinema (upstairs from the art movie one) where you can watch a movie in 4D. I haven’t tried it yet, so I’ll let you know what I think when I have.
If it’s an I-Max movie you are after you can go to the Cape Gate shopping centre to get your fill of I-Max movies.
If Indian movies are more your thing, the cinema at the Cavendish Mall often has Indian movies too. There’s just something for every taste.
And if it’s a simple Hollywood movie you want then almost every mall in Cape Town has a cinema dedicated to that.
3 Visit the fish
A visit to the waterfront just isn’t complete without a visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium, named for the two oceans that meet at the tip of Africa. I love watching the penguins and sharks getting fed. I also enjoy watching the sharks and other marine life swimming around in the massive tank watching the tourists watching them.
If you want a bit more adventure then you can take a dive into the shark tank too. There are also load of smaller tanks housing clown fish, star fish, crabs and even sea horses and much more. There is so much to see and learn here that it’s worth it to make a whole day out of the outing. His is a real treat for kids and adults alike. I never get bored of this amazing place
The Two Oceans Aquarium is one of the most magical places in Cape Town, indoors anyway.
4 Visit the Wine estatesvineyards on a wine estate
If it’s a nice cosy fire place, a delicious meal, a glass of exquisite wine and a fantastic view you are after, then the wine estates in and around Cape Town were just made just for you.
Cape Town produces some of the best wines in the world and it’s no surprise that there are so many wine estates in and around Cape Town that it’s hard to keep track of my favorite ones. You’ll find most of the wine estates in Stellenbosch , and a few in Cape Town itself, though a little further out from the CBD, like the Groot Constantia wine estate. This really is the ultimate of the ‘things to do in Cape Town’ as most of the wine estates hire talented chefs to prepare their meals. It can be a totally new experience for your taste buds. Some of the best meals I’ve had was at some of Cape Town’s wine estates.
5 Go Hiking around Cape Town
If you are not at all phased by the idea of getting a little wet (or a LOT wet) you could try hiking in the rain. Provided you have the right gear this should be an adventure worth having. I highly recommend exploring the Cape Point Nature Reserve as there are hiking trails aplenty, with dramatic views wherever you look and whatever the weather. Since the reserve is quite massive, you are very likely to have a hiking trail all to yourself, just remember to go in groups in case someone twists and ankle or something.
6 Indoor rock climbing
If I’m not in the mood for markets, movies or wine estates or hiking, but I still want to do something fun and keep moving, I take a day and visit one of Cape Town’s climbing gyms. This is always good fun and if you have kids this is an excellent way to let them burn off all that energy in a safe, warm environment. You could visit City Rock or Hang Time .
7 Visit the Iziko museums and galleriesThe South African National Gallery
No matter where you go in Cape Town, there is bound to be some piece of art installed to capture your attention and imagination and there are always fun things to do in Cape Town. Cape Town is totally in love with art – it’s no secret. There are so many small art galleries in and around Cape Town CBD that I’ve simply lost count.
The Iziko museums are a must visit if you want to get a feel for the culture and history of South Africa. There are quite a few Iziko museums in Cape Town and the themes vary from a planetarium to a maritime centre. My favourite though is the South African National Gallery.
I’m always inspired to take up art whenever I visit the National Gallery.
Apart from all the exciting things there are to see and do in Cape Town, there are also many quaint destinations around Cape Town that you can visit for the weekend.
There are just so many things to do in and around Cape Town that there is never a dull moment, unless you want there to be. I sometimes find myself resting up so that I have enough energy for all the fun that there is to be had in Cape Town.
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