Cape Town is a cosmopolitan city offering all manner of things from wooden carvings to handcrafted jewellery and designer clothing. There are trendy shopping malls, eclectic flea markets, street stalls and souvenir shops.
Cape Town has many shopping malls with chain stores, department stores, boutiques, designer stores, etc.
The biggest shopping malls in Cape Town are the V&A Waterfront, Cavendish Square, Bayside Centre, Canal Walk, Somerset Mall, Tygervalley, and Constantia Village.
The waterfront is one of the most popular amongst tourists and locals. It and Canal Walk are open until 9pm every day for some late night shopping. The restaurants and movie theatres close later though.
Markets are probably the best places to get souveniers and gifts though. This is because you will find locally made one of a kind items that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
Greenmarket Square in the middle of the city is a bustling outdoor market place on cobblestone streets. Here you can buy drums, masks, carvings, jewellery, beadwork, ceramics and leatherwork. The items are reasonably priced and some sellers are open to bargaining.
At the Waterfront there is the Red Shed Craft Workshop and the Waterfront Craft Market. These are indoor and are open every day of the week.
In Greenpoint, in the parking area of the Greenpoint stadium is the Greenpoint Market. It is a craft and flea market. The Cape Quarter, also in Greenpoint, has a wide variety of shops selling diverse items such as clothing, cosmetics, home décor, artefacts, antiques and art. There are also lifestyle and health stores. The Cape Quarter is worth a visit because of distinct Cape Malay architecture. During the day it is a great shopping place and at night the bars and restaurants become more vibrant.
Other outdoor markets can be found in Constantia, Rondebosch, Hout Bay and Kirstenbosch.
In Kalk Bay there is a main street with stores selling memorabilia and antiques at great bargains. There are also coffee shops linking the streets. Hout Bay not only has craft shops but also galleries.
For a full experience, below are some of the trendiest places in Cape Town:
- Moyo has a distinct African décor and ambience with its friendly staff. It is a restaurant located in Blouberg and serves interesting cuisine such as saffron spice and rose petals.
- Café Caprice is frequented by models, celebrities and young professionals in the trendy Camps Bay.
- Mzoli’s Meat is located in the township of Gugulethu. It has been visited by famous chef Jamie Oliver who loved it. It has a vibrant atmosphere and serves all kinds of local meat dishes.
- Neighbourhood is on Long Street and is a great place for people watching. It is a bar with a balcony overlooking the activities on the street. Happy hour is from 4pm to 7pm.
- Union used to be a church but has been turned into a restaurant and bar. It specialises in beers and has décor reminiscent of a German Brauhaus. The dishes are beer inspired; like the minestrone soup made with beer or the pulled pork sandwiches.
- The Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar is in a 181 year old house that has been restored. Downstairs there is a restaurant and upstairs there is a rooftop bar. This venue is located in the city’s trendiest street: Long Market Street.
- Soho is a Thai restaurant with the requisite Asian décor. It is on Napier Street in De Waterkant.
- The Old Biscuit Mill hosts the Neighbourgoods Markets which sells the finest from micro-breweries, boutique wine estates, gourmet products and delicious food. It is a foodie’s paradise. It has a gallery where upcoming artists showcase their work.
- The Power and the Glory is frequented by some of the city’s hipsters. It is a bar and bistro serving artisan wines and ciders and craft beers. It also serves sandwiches and other deli food. It is in the suburb of Tamboerskloof.
- On Long Street there is Yourstruly. It is a café serving designer coffees and delicious sandwiches. The walls are adorned with local artwork.
- Sotano is on Beach Road in Mouille Point. It is a restaurant serving delicious Spanish food like tapas. It is right next to the ocean, and naturally one can sample the freshest seafood. It serves other dishes like rabbit, duck and some Italian dishes. It is a full dining experience.