Shopping in Cape Town is the perfect place to find unique and interesting items for every budget. The city has a plethora of shopping options, from large malls to small boutiques, international brands, to local artists.
The Waterfront is the most vibrant and energetic destination for shopping. It is home to a number of stores ranging from upscale to more affordable. The Old Biscuit Mill is another unique shopping experience while in Cape Town. It features various artists, workshops, and craft stores.
On the other hand, some of the finest markets in the city are an integral part of Cape Town’s culture. Not only are they a great place to find bargains, but they are also a great place to strike up conversations with the locals. Shopping in Cape Town is an exciting experience and one of the best things to do when visiting the city.
The Best Places to Go Shopping in Cape Town
1. V&A Waterfront
The V&A Waterfront is the most visited site in South Africa. This beautifully designed mall is broken up into five segments and is located against the backdrop of Table Mountain. It is a destination loved by locals and visitors and is open daily.
A visit to the V&A Waterfront offers a variety of activities for shoppers, foodies, and families. Shoppers can find local chains like Truworths and upmarket Woolworths and labels on “Millionaire’s Mile” inside the main building. Foodies can enjoy freshly-trawled kingklip or prawns at Harbour House or sushi at Willoughby & Co. Families can experience a pleasure cruise from the harbor, a helicopter trip, or visit The Watershed design market, the food market, the museums, or the statues of local Nobel Peace Prize winners. Other noteworthy activities include the aquarium and the Cape Wheel for 360-degree views of the city.
2. Greenmarket Square
Greenmarket Square is a unique shopping destination in Cape Town, South Africa. Built in the late 1600s, this historical square is now home to a variety of flea markets all year round. Artisans display their crafted souvenirs, while vegetable markets and other vendors offer their goods. With its vibrant atmosphere, Greenmarket Square is a fantastic spot to explore and discover hidden treasures.
3. Cape Quarter
Cape Quarter is a popular shopping area in Cape Town. It offers a wide selection of unique items, such as traditional African souvenirs, leather articles, jewelry, and clothes. Prices are competitive, making it an ideal place for shoppers.
In addition, there are many restaurants and spas located in the area, providing the perfect opportunity to take a break between shopping excursions. Cape Quarter is open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm, and Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm.
4. Merchants on Long
Merchants on Long is an ode to the best of African design. Opened in 2010, it is housed in a historic building on Long Street in Cape Town. It is said to be the first concept store to showcase the breadth of African fashion and design. From Akina, based in Cape Town, to Lemlem from Ethiopia and Zuri from Kenya, the store offers a variety of exquisite items.
These include Zulu-inspired sandals, distinctive MaXhosa knits by Laduma, and beautiful woven baskets made by craftsmen, artisans, and fashion designers. Each of these items is made to exacting standards, making Merchants on Long a must-visit destination for those looking for unique and stylish African fashion.
5. Neighbourgoods Market
This is the Woodstock Exchange, a market located on the site of a former biscuit factory. It was the catalyst for Woodstock’s gentrification and is now a popular destination. The market is only open on Saturdays and consists of two covered warehouses housing the coolest food, drinks, and organic produce vendors.
Why go? The Woodstock Exchange has an unmistakable buzz and is considered the original “hipster” market in Cape Town. It’s a great place to try steak sandwiches, samoosas, and local beers. The parking lot is filled with selected clothes and craft designers, so you can munch and browse while people-watching.
6. Tyger Valley Shopping Centre
Tyger Valley Shopping Centre is a famous shopping mall in Cape Town, South Africa. It is a popular destination for fashion, food, entertainment, and events. Visitors can take part in competitions and even enjoy a bite at the many gaming centers and food joints. The mall is open from 9 AM to 7 PM Monday to Saturday and from 9 AM to 5 PM on Sundays.
7. Canal Walk Shopping Centre
Cape Town is famous for its great shopping experience, and Canal Walk Shopping Centre is the best place to shop for clothes. It is the largest shopping center in the area, with 1,41,000 square meters of space and housing both international and local apparel brands. It offers the most exquisite fashion designs. The shopping center is open from 9 AM to 9 PM every day.
8. Bay Harbour Market
The Covered Market at the former fishing factory in Hout Boy is a great place to visit. It is renowned for its vibrant and family-friendly atmosphere. It is open on Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays.
The market offers a variety of unique clothing and craft items. There are also various food options, such as raw foods, kombucha, pizzas, and grilled seafood.
The highlight of the market is the live sound stage, which features top local musicians and attracts a lot of faithful visitors.
9. Kat van Duinen
Kat van Duinen is a luxury design house established in 2010 that focuses on fine clothes and exotic “ethical” leathers, such as ostrich and python, for its bespoke handbags. The brand is popular for its attention to detail and commitment to using only ethically sourced materials and compensating laborers and artisans fairly for their craftsmanship. This makes van Duinen one of the few places to find a sublime ostrich-skin bag, clutch, or tote and be sure that every step of the process has taken the environment and people involved into account.
10. Milnerton Flea Market
Cape Town’s best-loved flea market is a dream come true for magpies from across the province. Set against the breathtaking backdrop of Table Mountain, this flea market is open on Saturdays and Sundays and offers a variety of bric-à-brac and bargains.
Those who go to this flea market are in for a treat. They can find the usual array of items, including oil paintings, vintage cutlery, ceramics, and other collectibles, and even WWII gas masks. It’s the perfect spot for an exciting hunt, especially since many items are sold at a fraction of their worth.
The flea market also has a soft-serve stall, making it the ideal place to spend the day with friends or family. While indulging in a delicious treat, visitors can also marvel at the beauty of Table Mountain, creating a truly unique experience.
11. Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre
Visiting Cape Town as a tourist would not be complete without a stop at Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre. It is located on the waterfront amongst other stores and is a collection of the most sought-after brands and luxurious restaurants. Not only is it a great place to shop, but also to experience Cape Town’s nightlife and food.
12. Cavendish Square
Cavendish Square is the best shopping street in Cape Town. It has more than 180 stores selling everything from home decor to traditional goods, making it the perfect place for a shopping experience. It also features a cinema hall, coffee shops, and a food court to make the shopping experience even more exciting. The shopping street’s timings are from 9 AM to 7 PM from Monday to Saturday, and 10 AM to 5 PM on Sunday.
13. Oranjezicht City Farm Market
The OZCFM has found a home in Granger Bay near the Waterfront. It hosts a true organic farmers’ market experience and is open on Saturdays and Sundays.
If you visit the OZCFM, you can grab a straw basket and wander the rows of fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy, and meat from carefully curated growers and suppliers. Plenty of food stalls are also available, making it a great spot for home cooks.
The hungry will be pleased by the fresh juices, falafel-stuffed pitas, and pastéis de nata available at the OZCFM. So, for those looking for a unique shopping experience and delicious food, the OZCFM is the place to go.
14. Stefania Morland
Kloof Street is home to the fashion designer Stefania Morland. She is popular for creating beautiful, expertly constructed clothing with a high-end flair. Her clothing is neither loud nor outlandish, yet still chic and fashionable.
For those who are looking for something special, Stefania Morland is the go-to designer for bespoke wedding dresses, tuxedos, and bridal-party outfits. The South African prices may be an added incentive for couples looking to host a destination wedding.
15. Watershed at the V&A
This section of the popular shopping mall at the waterfront is modern, luxurious, and ultimately affordable. It is open daily and offers a gorgeous selection of South African-designed gifts, clothes, jewelry, homeware, and crafts.
This is the place to go if you are looking for keepsakes for loved ones with impeccable taste. You can find jewelry made from upcycled fynbos plants, vibrant hand-painted ceramic “friendship” bowls, and African-inspired couture here.
16. Adderley Street Flower Market
Trafalgar Place is home to a vibrant flower market operating since 1880. Every Monday to Saturday, locals flock to the covered canopy to purchase fragrant flowers from established vendors known for their friendly banter.
Prices are incredibly reasonable, and customers can find a variety of flowers, including roses, lilies, sunflowers, the national flower, protea, and other fynbos, like indigenous pincushions. This market is a testament to the resilience of black-owned businesses that have survived and thrived over the last century in spite of oppressive regimes.