Cape Town and Peninsula

When it comes to shopping, Cape Town has something for everyone—from sophisticated malls to trendy markets. Although African art and curios are obvious choices (and you will find some gems), South Africans have woken up to their own sense of style and creativity, and the results are fantastic and as diverse as the people who make up this rainbow nation. So in a morning you could bag some sophisticated tableware from Carrol Boyes, a funky wire-art object from a street vendor, and a beautifully designed handbag made by HIV-positive women working as part of a community development program.

Cape Town has great malls selling well-known international brands. The V&A Waterfront is an excellent place to start by virtue of its location at the harbor. Cavendish Square in Claremont and Canal Walk at Century City are also vast, the latter on the N1 heading out of town toward Paarl. But you could be anywhere in the world. Gardens Centre in the suburb of Gardens is small and manageable, offering a good selection of stores (Germans love it for the German deli). It's beyond the malls that you can get a richer shopping experience, one that will give you greater insight into the soul of the city and its people.

Shopping malls usually have extended shopping hours beyond the normal 9–5 on weekdays and 9–1 on Saturday. Most shops outside of malls (except for small grocery stores) are closed on Sunday.

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  • 1. Africa Nova

    Cape Town Central | Crafts

    If you aren't crazy about traditional African artifacts, you might want to visit this store, which stocks contemporary African art that's quirky...Read More

  • 2. African Image

    Cape Town Central | Crafts

    Look here for contemporary African art and township crafts, colorful cloth from Nigeria and Ghana, plus West African masks, Malian blankets...Read More

  • 3. African Music Store

    Cape Town Central | Books/Stationery

    The people who work here are passionate about African music and eager to pass on their love to anybody who lends them half an ear. You could...Read More

  • 4. Exclusive Books Waterfront


    This is the biggest chain of bookstores in the country. It carries a wide selection of local and international periodicals and coffee-table...Read More

  • 5. Greenmarket Square

    Cape Town Central | Market

    You can get good buys on clothing, T-shirts, and locally made leather shoes and sandals, and you can find a plethora of African jewelry, art...Read More

  • 6. Hout Bay Harbour Market


    Food, drink, clothing, crafts, and even good-quality live music performances: this is a great all-weekend shopping and chill spot—by day or...Read More

  • 7. Mnandi Textiles

    Observatory | Textiles/Sewing

    Here you'll find a range of African fabrics, including traditional West African prints and Dutch wax prints. The store sells ready-made African...Read More

  • 8. Oranjezicht City Farm

    Oranjezicht | Neighborhoods

    This has to be the most beautiful setting in the world for a fresh produce and food market—on the slopes of Table Mountain in the gorgeous suburb...Read More

  • 9. Pan-African Market

    Cape Town Central | Crafts

    You'll see some glorious cultural contradictions here. The lobby of this building is a gem of Victorian tiling, and the first and second floors...Read More

  • 10. Streetwires

    Cape Town Central | Crafts

    There must be some budding engineers among these artists. You'll see streetwire art everywhere in Cape Town, but this shop is a trove of the...Read More

  • 11. The Book Lounge

    Cape Town Central | Books/Stationery

    Cape Town's best independent bookstore has a fantastic selection of titles, with many classics and contemporary must-haves on all things African...Read More

  • 12. V&A Craft Market

    Victoria and Alfred Waterfront | Market

    This indoor market contains an assortment of handcrafted jewelry, rugs, glass, pottery, and leather sandals, the majority of which are made...Read More

  • 13. Vaughan Johnson Wine & Cigar Shop

    Victoria and Alfred Waterfront | Wine/Spirits

    This wine shop has a terrific selection and staff members who know their stuff. It has specially designed boxes to take a few cases home with...Read More

  • 14. Woodstock Neighbour Goods Market

    Woodstock | Market

    Also known as the Old Biscuit Mill market, Woodstock is aimed at Cape Town's hip, organic types on their Vespas looking for artisan breads,...Read More

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