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.
1. 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.
2. All the way up in Bo-Kaap – Youngsta raps about it. Influencers love it. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had to pay it a visit. Bo-Kaap is one of Cape Town’s oldest and most culturally rich neighbourhoods, nestled on the slopes of Signal Hill. It’s home to the first mosque in South Africa (the Auwal Mosque), iconic colourful homes and killer koesisters. If you don’t know the difference between your koeksisters and your koesisters, it’s time to find out!
Cost: Free (although koesisters will cost you between R2 and R5 each)
3. 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.
4. A walk in the park – The Green Point Urban Park is the perfect spot for a morning park run or for lazing around on a Sunday afternoon. What sets it apart from others like it is the sense of serenity you get in the middle of an urban area, surrounded by the Mother City’s unrivalled beauty.
5. 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.
“I wish I knew that 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
6. 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.
Cost: Per venue, but trawl your social media feeds for the free shows
7. Putt putt with a difference – There’s putt putt and then there’s putt putt in a cave at the V&A Waterfront. It’s fun and everyone can join in.
8. Rose picking – At Chart Farm in Wynberg (a stone’s throw from upper campus) you get to pick your own bunch of blooming roses for less than R10 a stem.
Cost: R6 per stem
9. 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. 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.
Cost: There’s usually an entrance fee of around R20
10. The real great Gatsby – If you’re new to Cape Town, trying out the famed gatsby is a must; it’s part of the fabric of the Mother City. You’ll find the best gatsby spots in Wynberg, Athlone and Grassy Park, but there are gems across the city. Get friends to chip in and enjoy sharing a mouth-watering Cape Town fave.
Cost: Varies per gatsby and place
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All photographs UCT, Je'nine May, Michael Hammond, Brenton Geach, Unsplash, Flickr, Pexels, Freepik.