Things to do (on a budget)

03 March 2021
Baxter Back on Stage with Gregory Maqoma and Zolani Mahola celebrated the Baxter Theatre Centre’s return to live performances under lockdown Level&nbsp;1. <b>Photo</b> Lerato Maduna.
Baxter Back on Stage with Gregory Maqoma and Zolani Mahola celebrated the Baxter Theatre Centre’s return to live performances under lockdown Level 1. Photo Lerato Maduna.

We get that student budgets are almost always tight. So, to help you enjoy your time in and around the city, we’ve put together a list of affordable places to visit and things to do that will help you to stretch the Randelas.

On the prom – Sea Point’s famous promenade gives you ample opportunity for free fun. You can stroll, jog, rollerblade, skateboard or cycle along the 11 km promenade. Or you can pack a picnic, find a spot on the grass and take in the ocean breeze, try out the outdoor gym, kick a ball around or befriend one of the many four-legged visitors.

Know your country – Visit one (or all) of the Iziko Museums to learn more about our country’s rich cultural and historical background and pay half the usual price. The South African National Art Gallery in the Company’s Garden and The Slave Lodge in Wale Street are just two museums on Iziko’s list.

Beach around – The Mother City is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. From Camps Bay to Clifton and Muizenberg to Fish Hoek, we’re spoilt for choice. Get a group of friends together and head on down to catch some Vitamin Sea.


“I wish I knew there was absolutely no need to stay on campus all of the time and not explore the city. I missed out on so much.” – Meli

Table Mountain – For a trip up Table Mountain in the cable car, the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway has slashed rates for students. You’ll pay only R200 for a return ticket, or hike up and pay just R100 to get back down.

Take a hike – Since we’re almost entirely surrounded by mountains, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to hiking trails. You can choose from one of the many routes to the top of Table Mountain, climb up Lion’s Head to enjoy the sunset over Camps Bay, or explore the trails around Constantia Nek and Rhodes Memorial. If you’re looking for something a bit more chilled, hike the contour paths in Newlands Forest — there’s even a stream along the way for those who want to dip in.

Rivoningo Khosa, one of the Human Evolution Research Institute’s (HERI) inaugural 2020 Advancing Womxn fellows, takes time out to explore. Photo Lerato Maduna.

Sea life – Experience marine and sea life at the Two Oceans Aquarium. Students pay just R150 for an entry ticket or R358 for annual membership (unlimited visits). How’s that for a great catch!

The Baxter Theatre – Many productions at UCT’s Baxter Theatre Centre offer student discounts. Call the bookings office to find out what’s showing and have your student card ready when you buy tickets. The Baxter’s in-house restaurant also offers wholesome meals at reduced rates for students. 


“I wish I’d known that the Baxter Theatre was part of UCT and offers really great discounts to students on tickets.” – Jono

Work out – The UCT Gym (on lower campus) and the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA) offer special rates for UCT students. Get in contact to find out about student discounts and opening times. UCT Gym: 021 650 5197 | SSISA: 021 659 5600 |

Lekker in Langa – Visit Cape Town’s oldest township, Langa, with City Sightseeing Cape Town. You’ll also get to visit Gugulethu on this hop-on and hop-off walk and cycle tour. City Sightseeing also has many more tours on offer so be sure to get in contact.

Out and about – Spend the day at Kirstenbosch Gardens and enjoy the wonders of nature, or just take it easy on the rolling lawns. Students pay only R40 (R35 less than adults) to enter.

Hey hippos! Visit Rondevlei just outside Grassy Park to spot hippos, eland and plenty of birds. For next to nothing (R12) you’ll also see over 250 species of indigenous plants, a museum and other animals, like porcupines and the Cape Clawless Otter.

First Thursdays – The first Thursday of every month is when Cape Town’s hottest spots open their doors for fun after sunset. Gather your besties and visit Cape Town’s trendiest dining spots and art galleries or check out one of the many cultural events showcasing the incredible talent the city has to offer. There’s no structured tour and no schedule to follow; it’s all up to you.

Photo Getty Images.

Second chances – The Cape Town second-hand scene is booming and it’s the perfect place to purchase on the cheap. There are regular markets on weekends, a few monthly markets and ad hoc ones pop up at some of Cape Town’s favourite spots. There’s usually an entrance fee of around R20. Finding them is as easy as searching “second-hand” on Facebook or checking the posters on campus. Who knows, you could also make some extra money selling your own preloved goods.

Save our seabirds – There’s plenty of ways to help seabirds with the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds. You can take a tour of their Table View facility (R60 per adult), volunteer or adopt a penguin.

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