With an exchange rate that continues to favour the international visitor, Cape Town shopping is clearly right up there on the ‘to do’ list of the vast majority of tourists. Fortunately, the Mother City has a host of shopping malls, craft markets and even a dedicated antique route that is one of the best kept secrets of this iconic South African city.
Shopping in Cape Town couldn’t be easier for the intrepid traveller with the vast majority of shops accepting international credit cards and traveller’s cheques.
Foreign exchange outlets and banks can be found at most of the busy shopping centres and malls, but if you can’t access one of these then make for an ATM machine where you can draw cash with your international bank or credit card.
The V&A Waterfront is the preferred destination of serious shoppers and is by far the busiest. Not only are there two shopping malls but it boasts the largest indoor craft market in Southern Africa, the internationally renowned Red Shed. Here visitors are assured of picking up authentic African curios at reasonable prices. The V&A is also home to some of the most exclusive marine accommodation in Cape Town, with waterfront apartments competing with mountain facing villas that enjoy sweeping views of Africa’s most recognised landmark, the awesomely powerful Table Mountain. Top flight clothing boutiques, supermarkets, pubs and restaurants abound and there is plenty of parking both outside and underground.
The ultra-trendy Cavendish Square is situated in the heart of Claremont and has recently been given a sumptuous face lift.
It was an instant hit with the younger generation when it first opened its doors and continues to attract the young-chic as the shops and boutiques reflect this youthful exuberance. The stylish Square consists of three different levels dedicated to restaurants, cinemas and boutiques – whatever your needs, Cavendish Square can meet them.
Said to be the largest shopping mall in Africa, Canal Walk at Century City opened its doors in 2000. There are in the region of 400 stores in this enormous shopping Mecca but it is arguably only for the young and fit as it takes quite a bit of time and energy to get around the complex.
It is definitely geared up for kids, with an innovative Science Centre and the Boogaloos Skate Park specifically designed to keep the younger set busy.
Kalk Bay & Surrounds
The area along the False Bay coast from Kalk Bay to Simon’s Town is a treasure trove of antique and bric-a-brac shops where collectibles range from Africana books to hand-crafted jewellery to wonderful bits of ancient porcelain.
It is one of jealously guarded secrets of this Tavern of the Seas but Cape Town shopping would not be complete without it.