Price range, per nightmin R max R
*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
South African Museum and Planetarium, Table Mountain, South African National Gallery , Noon Gun, Heart of Cape Town Museum, The Company's Garden, Holocaust Centre, Rhodes Memorial, Two Oceans Aquarium, Chavonnes Battery Museum, Castle of Good Hope, District Six Museum, Groot Constantia, Signal Hill, Newlands Brewery, Long Street, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Orange Kloof, Lions Head, Two Oceans Marathon, Langa Township, Blue Train, Long Street Baths, Whisky Live Festival, Newlands Stadium, Koopmans-de Wet House, St George's Cathedral
The buzz around this Cape Town market starts early as traders arrive with their goods and begin to setup their stalls amid jibes and laughter. Greenmarket Square is an historic site laid down in 1696 and initially used as a gathering point from which to make public announcements. The cobbled stones have seen trading in various forms over the centuries, from the dealing in slaves to the selling of farmer’s produce to passing ships.
Today the square is a home for informal traders selling a range of goods from sinister wooden masks to beautiful Nguni cow hides and African art. Stall owners expect a hard bargain from buyers who mostly walk away with a well-priced find.
Greenmarket Square has a piazza style layout with pavement restaurants overlooking the busy trading. Buskers keep the patrons entertained with music and other street performances and there are a few benches scattered under old trees to stop and enjoy the scene.
Two magnificent buildings face north-eastwards from the square; the old Town House and the gothic-style Methodist church with spire that reaches into the heavens. The Town House holds important works of Dutch art donated by Sir Max Michaelis and is the centre for chamber music. Other buildings include art deco creations built for major corporates and a top hotel.
Greenmarket Square is central to Cape Town’s vibe; Long street’s café and bar scene and St George’s mall, a pedestrian walkway lined with shops, hotels and more informal traders, flank Greenmarket Square. Also within walking distance is the Company’s Garden, a green lung in the city housing several museums. Nearby is the city terminus for the Cape Town hop on-hop off tour buses.
Be on the lookout for the ‘Eggy Man’ who regularly frequents Greenmarket Square. Gregory da Silva of Benin wears outrageous headgear that includes dozens of eggs, masks, plastic items, feathers and other adornments. The headgear weighs around 50kg and Gregory is a popular photo opportunity in exchange for a few coins.