Shopping in Cape Town

Cape Town is an affordable shopping destination with a wide variety of goods on offer. From hand-crafted jewellery, intricate beadwork and traditional African art to designer labels, diamonds and precious stones, Cape Town has a shopping experience for everyone. Visit one of the trendy shopping malls or scour the local flea markets and streetside stalls for gifts, souveniers and a piece of Cape Town to take home.

African Art Shop
Shop for African artwork and decor items

Shopping Malls

Cape Town is home to many upmarket shopping malls most of which include big chain stores and smaller boutiques as well as banking facilities, restaurants and coffee shops and movie theatres. Depending on their locations, some malls also offer curio shops. Most malls offer safe pay-per-hour parking.

The major shopping malls are:

V&A Waterfront


Cavendish Square

Claremont, Southern Suburbs

Constantia Village

Constantia, Southern Suburbs

Bayside Centre


Canal Walk

N1, outside city centre


Northern Suburbs

Somerset Mall

Somerset West


Most shopping centres are open for shopping Monday - Saturday from 9am - 5pm and Sundays 10am - 1pm. Some offer later shopping hours on Friday nights and the Waterfront and Canal Walk are open for shopping until 9pm every evening. Movie theatres and restaurants stay open later.

Markets & Unique Shopping Experiences

A visit to one of Cape Towns markets is a great way to pick-up gifts and souveniers from a wide variety of local designers, artists and entrepreneurs.

The cobble-stoned Greenmarket Square in the centre of town is a vibrant craft market where you will experience the pulse of Cape Town. African carvings, masks and drums, beadwork and jewellery are displayed alongside clothing, leatherwork and ceramics. Items are generally well-priced and at some stores bargaining is acceptable. The Red Shed Craft Workshop and the Waterfront Craft Market - both at the Waterfront - are indoor markets open 7-days a week. Clothing, jewellery and an array of crafts and artwork are available. Sunday is the time to head to the Greenpoint Market in the parking area of Greenpoint stadium. The market is a a flea-market and craft-market combined with goods from CD's and sunglasses to African art and beads on sale.

Open-air craft markets are held on most weekends in various areas including Hout Bay, Constantia, Kirstenbosch and Rondebosch. Look out for posters for details.

The quaint main street in Kalk Bay is great for antiques, memorabilia and bargains - enjoy a coffee at one of the steetside cafe's while you're there. Hout Bay also offers an array of craft shops and galleries - all set in beautiful surroundings.

Carved Crafts
Take home a selection of wooden carvings such as bowls and animal figures.

Set in the heart of trendy Green Point, the Cape Quarter offers home décor, art and artefacts, fashion, beauty, health and lifestyle related stores all housed in a unique Cape Malay architecture. Shops, boutiques and cafes are abuzz by day and restaurants and bars bring the piazza alive by night.

Cape Quarter
The vibrant piazza of the Cape Quarter in Green Point



 Shopping Tips


 >  With the favourable exchange rate, shopping is sure to be a pleasure for tourists. However, its still worth shopping around - especially at markets and steet side stalls.

 >  There are some good chain stores in South Africa offering good quality clothing, shoes and accessories. And, they are relatively 'cheap' compared to international prices.

 >  Cape Town is also home to many talented designers offering great fashion. Visit stores such as YDE (Young Designers Emporium), Hilton Weiner, Naartjie and Hip Hop for funky South African designs.


 Good To Know

 >  VAT (Value Added Tax) is set at 14% . Visitors to South Africa are not exempted from paying tax on purchases, but you can claim it back if the total value of the item exceeds R250. This can be claimed back at airports, various harbours & customs offices. The tax invoice and your passport is required. The items that were purchased must also be presented.

 >  Take care of your belongings when shopping, especially in the city centre. Try not to carry large sums of cash with you and be careful not to 'flaunt' expensive cameras etc.  

 >  Try to avoid giving money to street children and beggars. Instead, rather offer food if you feel you would like to help. 


 Gift Ideas

 >  Some ideas for gifts to take home include beautiful coffee table books, Carrol Boyce designer pewter-ware, handmade wire work such as keyrings and photo frames. Also, hand-painted cushion covers and table-cloths, woven baskets, local artwork or black & white prints of Cape Town scenery. And of course jewelery- diamonds, diamonds, diamonds! On the edible side, rooibos tea is a favourite, as is biltong (although it may not be allowed through customs) or some wonderful Cape jams and preserves.

 >  Something personalised? If you're in Cape Town for a reasonable length of time why not commission something personal. The many wire artists are happy to make items to order, or visit one of the many exclusive jewellers for a custom made item.