Cape Town is a shopper’s dream with a wide range of luxury boutiques and shopping malls to choose from. However, a more fun and interesting shopping outing experience is to be found in the city's markets. Market shopping is popular with the locals, who love nothing more than to browse the selection of stalls, selling everything from curios and clothes, to delectable food and drinks. Here are just some of the fantastic markets you can visit …
ORANJEZICHT CITY FARM
Held every Saturday at the historic Granger Bay site of the V&A Waterfront, the Oranjezicht City Farm is a true farmer’s market, selling the products and produce of local urban farmers. Everything from seasonal fruit and veg, flowers and homemade goodies are on offer here. Vegans and vegetarians, this market is for you. The market is well-known for catering to all types of foodies, and customers who want wheat, gluten, sugar and dairy-free alternatives are well served.
Where: Granger Bay, V&A Waterfront
When: Every Saturday, 9am - 2pm
THE BAY HARBOUR MARKET
Situated on the water’s edge at the old Hout Bay Harbour, with more than 100 stalls, a fish factory, and a stage for live musical performances, is popular with locals and tourists alike. The KWV Sound Stage has been graced by some of SA’s best musicians and always draws a big crowd. You can also expect a wide range of 80 awesome weekly traders, 9 draught beers on tap, artisan food stalls, art and crafts.
Where: 31 Harbour Road, Hout Bay
When: Every Friday (9.30am - 4pm), Saturday & Sunday (9.30am - 4pm)
KIRSTENBOSCH CRAFT MARKET
The ever-popular market at Kirstenbosch consists of around 180 crafters who sell original, hand-crafted goods and there is plenty of food on offer as well! Proceeds from stall rentals go to the Development Fund for Kirstenbosch Gardens. Speaking of the gardens, the market is situated directly across the road at the Kirstenbosch Stone Cottages, meaning you can pop across for a stroll when you have finished shopping.
Where: Kirstenbosch Stone Cottages, corner Kirstenbosch Drive and Rhodes Avenue
When: Select days in December & January
WATERSHED AT THE V&A WATERFRONT
With over 150 stalls, selling more than 365 brands, look no further than the Watershed to satisfy all your purchasing needs. The Watershed sells a variety of products, ranging from furniture and textiles, to fashion and jewellery. It’s a perfect spot for gift-shopping or simply to treat yourself to something special. The space also includes the Jubilee Exhibition Hall and smaller spaces which play host to world famous exhibitions, live entertainment and workshops.
Where: Watershed, V&A Waterfront
When: Open Daily
DURBANVILLE CRAFT MARKET
Roam the gardens of Rust-en-Vrede under a blanket of stars. Christmas décor, confectionery, only the best handmade gifts, preserves, home décor, food and much more will be on offer.
Where: Rust-en-Vrede, Wellington Road, Durbanville
When: Selected Saturdays 8.30am - 2pm
AFFAIR ON THE HILL
Launched with great success during the recent Season of Sauvignon in Durbanville this year, Affair on the Hill celebrates wine, good food, shopping, live music and is perfect for the whole family.
Where: Durbanville Hills, Tygerberg Valley Road
When: Selected days throughout the year
RONDEBOSCH CRAFT MARKET
The perfect way to spend a relaxing Saturday afternoon, the Rondebosch Craft Market continues to be a popular port of call for market shoppers. Browse stalls of hand-made goods, have breakfast under the shade of the trees, or just do both.
Where: Rondebosch Park
When: Second Saturday of every month, 9am - 2pm
CITY BOWL MARKET
The place where Cape Town’s food lovers meet. Featuring tastes from across the globe, you’ll find huge pots of paella, famous Durban curries and more. If you go, plan to be on hand when the band arrives. Live performances start around 6pm. Fashionistas should check the market’s website for the fashion expo that runs once a month.
Where: 14 Hope Street, Gardens
When: Thursdays, 4.30pm - 8.30pm
One of the hippest markets in Cape Town is the weekly Neighbourgoods Market in Woodstock. Housed in the Old Biscuit Mill, a converted mill house, it offers a number of quirky shops selling crafts, clothing and jewellery. If you go – go hungry! The highlight here is the incredible food stalls tucked in the back of the market. Find everything from breakfast fare to dumplings and gyros with craft beers to wash it all down.
Where: The Old Biscuit Mill, 373 Albert Road
When: Saturdays, 9am - 2pm
Located opposite the giant strawberry on the R44, between Somerset West and Stellenbosch, the ROOT44 market is housed in a marquee, making sure you never miss out even when the weather’s not playing along. There is a natural wood play park and lawn area for the kids, keeping them entertained for hours at a time.
Where: Audacia Wines, Corner of R44 & Annandale Road, Stellenbosch
When: Every Saturday and Sunday, 10am - 4pm
EARTH FAIR MARKET
A favourite with the working crowd based in the CBD, the market pops up to sell delicious food made locally. The vibe is great and it makes for the perfect city centre lunch hangout.
Where: St George’s Mall, Cape Town CBD & South Palms Centre, Tokai
When: Every Saturday, 9am - 2pm in Tokai, Every Wednesday, 3pm - 8.30pm in Tokai, Every Thursday, 11am - 3pm in Cape Town CBD
Going for a Platteland atmosphere within the urban part of Cape Town, there is a great variety of food (think homemade pies, marmalades, gourmet mushrooms, gourmet sandwiches and much more) and often some live music taking to the stage. The kids will love the unpretentious, relaxed set-up of everything while the older ones will enjoy the variety on offer.
Where: 145 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock
When: Every Saturday, 9am - 3pm
OLD BISCUIT MILL
It may be known for the Saturday Neighbourgoods Market, but the Old Biscuit Mill is a shopping gem in its own right. Noteworthy shops include the acclaimed Imiso Ceramics, Continuum wood furniture and quirky kids shop Mu & Me. If shopping makes you hungry, definitely come here. The mill is home to some of Cape Town’s best restaurants including Italian at Burrata, sharing plates at Potluck Club and French at Saucisse.
Where: The Old Biscuit Mill, 373 Albert Road
When: Mon-Fri 10am - 4pm, Saturdays 9am - 2pm
The Bluebird market is in an old warehouse. Here you can get amazing homemade and heart-warming food, great entertainment and fun for the whole family.
Where: Cnr of Albertyn & Milner road, Muizenberg
When: Every Friday, 4pm - 10pm
TOKAI FOREST MARKET
The Tokai Forest Market is set in a large open space where visitors have the opportunity to have coffee, breakfast and brunch while doing some early morning browsing at this unique home industry market. There is plenty on offer, from delicious baked breads and pies to jewellery, handcrafted décor items for the home and even children’s clothes.
Where: Orpen Road, Tokai
When: Every Saturday, 9am - 3pm
KALK BAY FRESH ETC MARKET
Another beautiful old building hosts a culinary adventure in a warm and feel-good setting in the quaint town of Kalk Bay. Go and say hello to the seals afterwards!
Where: Kalk Bay Community Centre, Kalk Bay
When: 3rd Sunday of every month, 10am - 3pm
COUNTRY CRAFT MARKET
Operating since 1983, the Country Craft Market has grown from just 17 crafters to 180 stalls promotinga wide variety of high-quality handicrafts. The Country Kitchen provides the sustenance needed to scoop up as many wares as possible, while Country Kids keeps the little ones occupied with a jumping castle, face painting and more.
Where: Southey’s Vines, 186 Main Road, Somerset West
When: Selected Saturdays in summer, 9am - 2pm
WILLOWBRIDGE SLOW FOOD MARKET
Priding itself on its homemade organic food, award-winning cheeses, Karoo meat, pastries and more, the slow food market harks back to the ancient festivities of fresh food markets done the natural way.
Where: Willowbridge Lifestyle Centre, 39 Carl Cronjé Drive, Tyger Valley
When: Saturdays 9am - 2pm
V&A FOOD MARKET
Set in Cape Town’s crown jewel of tourist locations, The V&A Waterfront, this culinary market has tantalising fresh produce as well as designer appliances and a food bookshop.
Where: V&A Waterfront
When: Open daily, 10am - 7pm
BO-KAAP FOOD AND CRAFT MARKET
Famous for quirky culture and specialty foods, the Bo-Kaap brings koeksisters and samoosas, dried fruit, smoked snoek, pecan nut pie and melktert into the equation – it’s a perfect way to explore South Africa’s vibrant Cape sub-cultures.
Where: Haas Coffee, 67 Rose Street
When: Last Saturday of every month, 10am - 4pm
You cannot visit Cape Town and not visit one of its oldest markets, set on a cobbled square between Short and Longmarket Streets. A Cape Town institution, this fleamarket is where informal traders from all corners of the African continent now come to sell their fabrics, sculpture, art and beadwork. Visitors to the square are sure to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and pick up great souvenir bargains.
Where: Greenmarket Square, Cape Town city centre
When: Monday to Saturday, 9am - 4pm
Source: Cape Tourism