GRAND PARADE & CITY HALL
Grand Parade & City Hall is a landmark when it comes to South African history: one of the biggest multi-racial protests against apartheid culminated here on 14 September 1989, and the following year Nelson Mandela made his first public speech from the City Hall balcony, just hours after his release from prison.
Cnr Buitenkant & Darling streets, Cape Town
CASTLE OF GOOD HOPE
Castle of Good Hope is South Africa’s oldest surviving colonial building, completed in 1679. This moated, five-pointed fortress was initially built by Commander Zacharius Wagenaer of the Dutch East India Company to ward off possible attacks from the British, and later served as the hub of the Cape’s civilian and military activities. It’s still the seat of the Cape Town military today.
Tours 11am, noon, 2pm Mon-Sat. Key ceremony & cannon firing 10am, noon Mon-Fri. Open 9am-4pm daily.
Cnr Buitenkant & Darling Streets. | Tel: 021 787 1249
DISTRICT SIX MUSEUM
District Six Museum is an award-winning community museum showcasing the time in South African history when the ruling government declared District Six a ‘whites only’ area and over 60,000 of its residents were forcibly taken from their homes and shipped to the Cape Flats, before their houses were reduced to rubble.
Open 9am – 3pm Monday; 9am – 4pm Tuesday – Saturday; by appointment Sundays.
25A Buitenkant Street, Cape Town
Tel: 021 466 7200
THE HERITAGE MUSEUM
The Heritage Museum in Simon’s Town pays tribute to the region’s rich Cape Malay history and cultural influence, taking you back to 1743, when Simon’s Town became an anchorage for the Dutch East India Company and there was a steady influx of people of Dutch Batavian descent into the area.
Open Tuesday to Friday 11h00 to 16h00, Saturday 11h00 and 13h00, and on Sundays by appointment.
Amlay House, King George’s Way, Cape Town | Tel: 021 786 2302
BO-KAAP & DE WATERKANT
Bo-Kaap is the spiritual home of the Cape’s Muslim community, also known today as the Cape Malay Quarter. Follow Wale Street until you get to brightly painted Georgian terraces and narrow cobbled streets. The best place to discover the history of the area is the quaint Bo-Kaap Museum. which dates back to the 1760s and is the oldest house in the area, depicting a recreation of the life of a typical Malay family.
Open 10h00 to 17h00 from Monday to Saturday.
1 Loader Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town | Tel: 021 487 6800
THE AFRICAN EXPERIENCE
Eat, drink, dance and drum African style in Cape Town. Open 10h00 to 17h00 from Monday to Saturday. The Africa Café, on the corner of Buitengracht Street and Shortmarket Street, offers visitors a full African experience, complete with communal feasts. For those looking to dance Africa style, Club Africa, corner of Lower Main and Station Road in Observatory, is a lively spot which features African dance music punctuated by occasional live music.
Club Africa: 021 464 7126, open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 19h00.
The Africa Café: 021 422 0221
THE CAPE MINSTREL CARNIVAL
The Cape Minstrel Carnival is Cape Town’s longest-running street party, dating back ± 200 years. Taking place in the first week of January each year, it is commonly called Tweede Nuwe Jaar (Second New Year). The parade dates back to the mid-nineteenth century when the slaves in the Cape were given just one day off in the year (2 January). To celebrate, groups would dress up as minstrels, wave parasols, sing, dance and play music in a parade from the District Six area to the city centre. Nowadays, this dazzling show entails over 13 000 minstrels in more than 70 troupes march through the city streets in their colourful garb, celebrating life and the start of a new year.
From the 17th to the 20th centuries, Robben Island served as a place of banishment, isolation and imprisonment. Today it is a World Heritage Site and museum, a poignant reminder to the newly democratic South Africa of the price paid for freedom. Known as the place former South African president Nelson Mandela called home for 18 years, the island lies a few kilometers by boat from Cape Town.
Robben Island, Cape Town
Tel: 021 413 4220/1
THE SA AIR FORCE MUSEUM
The South African Air Force Museum, which records the history of aviation in this country, also has a branch at Ysterplaat Air Force Base. The museum collects records and articles of historical significance as well as preserving older aircraft. At Ysterplaat Air Force Base, the 22 Squadron operates Oryx and Lynx helicopters to support the army, navy and special forces.
Open 08h00 to 15h30 Mon to Fri; and 08h00 to 12h30 Sat; closed on Sun and holidays.
Ysterplaat Air Force Base, Between N1 and Koeberg Road | Tel: 021 508 6576
Hollow on the Square is a modern, trendy hotel situated in central Cape Town. The hotel is flanked on one side by the Cape Town Foreshore and on the other by the buzzing city centre and Signal Hill.