The Big 6 are well known for being among the most-visited attractions in Cape Town. Not many people know that between the beautiful views and amazing experiences, lie amazing deals for anyone wishing to explore them. Here’s our pick of the best value for money you can get.
The V&A Waterfront is a haven for both free and budget friendly activities. With a strong emphasis on family-orientated activities, they offer visitors a real opportunity to explore the working harbour and its surroundings on foot.
The Amphitheatre is the epicentre of entertainment at the V&A Waterfront and is home to free entertainment on a regular basis. A walk through the rest of the V&A Waterfront also reveals amazing street performances around almost every corner. Stop along the way and listen to the sounds of Ikhamva, watch the acrobatics of Mambo Jumbo or have your portrait painted by Jadeja Ikoli.
The recently launched running routes offer an amazing way to catch a great view from various vantage points around the property. You may be lucky enough to spot a seal or dolphin along you way. With choices of a 2.5km route or 5km route, this is a free and safe activity to enjoy with the family.
While you’re on foot, the self-guided historical tour, with a stop at Nobel Square, is fascinating and insightful; and is only one of 22 heritage sights that you will discover.
Cave Golf and Scratch Patch offer value for money activities for the kids and a 30 minute harbour cruise at R50 per person, will get you closer to the working harbour. For a fun night under the stars, visit the Galileo Open Air Cinema situated on the croquet lawn. Ticket prices start at R70 and include the chance for you to get two tickets for the price of one at the Cape Wheel.
Groot Constantia offers unbeatable prices on wine tastings, with a selection of 5 wines available. Considering the calibre of the wines, the expertise of the staff and the sublime tasting room, it’s a great deal for wine-lovers and newbies alike.
And with summer in full swing, the beautiful wine estate grounds are a haven for walkers and joggers. There’s no charge to enter the estate and explore the vineyards and gardens, and it’s a great way to reconnect with the outdoors in a unique wine estate setting.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, which was declared one of the top 10 picnic spots in the world by National Geographic, offers arguably the best value for money picnic location in the city. There is no charge to bring your own food and drinks into the Garden, and there are few better, budget-friendly ways to spend a sunny afternoon than tucking into a home-prepared picnic in the shade of grand indigenous Kirstenbosch tree. Picnics are also allowed in to the Kirstenbosch concerts,, so feel free to bring your basket including a bottle of wine.
Entry fees into Kirstenbosch are kept as low as possible to keep a family visit affordable to as many people as possible. Children aged 6 to 17 only pay R10, and children under 6 enter free of charge.
Every Tuesday is pensioners’ day at Kirstenbosch, which means entry is free for South Africans over 60 and restaurant specials are available for all qualifying visitors with a relevant identity document.
If you can’t get enough of Cape Point, then the My Green Card is the best way to go. These cards, which can be bought from Cape Town Tourism Visitor Centres, are just R105 each, and they give you 12 entries into the park. At R8.75 per entry, it’s unbeatable value for local residents.
The Two Oceans Restaurant is an award-winning restaurant that offers superb food at very reasonable prices, but if you’re in a rush, on a tight budget or just want a quick meal, grab a small pizza or quick snack in the adjacent Foodshop. Or pack a picnic to enjoy at one of the many vantage points throughout the Cape of Good Hope reserve – taking in the sunrise with a flask of coffee with rusks is also a popular, wallet-friendly option.
Once inside the park you’re free to explore on foot as much as you like. Come prepared with water, sunblock, a hat and comfortable walking shoes to take full advantage of the numerous walking trails and beaches. A visit to the old Cape Point lighthouse is a must. If the walk up is a little daunting, purchase a one-way ticket for the Flying Dutchman Funicular to assist with the steep uphill journey, and walk back down to save money and take in dramatic views from a new perspective.
Table Mountain Cableway
Table Mountain Cableway’s Sunset Special is famous for a reason – it offers unbeatable value to get to the top of our natural wonder, at the most dramatic time of the day. It’s on offer until the end of February, and offers visitors to the Cableway half price tickets from 6pm, when bought from the ticket office.
If you’re feeling energetic, a hike to the top is always an exhilarating option, and combined with a rewarding Cableway ride down it’s a great budget friendly option to explore the top of the mountain. If you’re a regular visitor, the Cable Card offers unbeatable value – for a one-off payment of R510, you’re entitled to one return trip per day for an entire year, along with discounts on selected items at the Shop at the Top and the Table Mountain Café.
If you’re over 60, still studying, or celebrating your birthday, then be sure to visit the Table Mountain Cableway at the relevant time. Students and senior citizens receive discounted tickets on Fridays, and the famous Birthday Special also allows any guest celebrating their birthday a free return ticket to the top, provided the relevant ID is provided.
Kidz Season is also just around the corner, and it gives families an amazing opportunity to explore Table Mountain. From May to the end of October, two children can ride for free with an adult who has purchased a return ticket from the Lower Cable Station, over weekends, public and school holidays. It’s a great way to introduce the youngsters to the magic of the mountain, who’ll no doubt want to return for more throughout the year.