Having Fun with Less Money in Cape Town

 By: Rachel Hill
If you're lucky enough to be heading off on your holidays to Cape Town with a full wallet and an empty credit card, looking forward to treating yourself to a luxurious getaway and a few weeks of pampering - don't read on. If, however, you're like many people who save all year for your annual holidays and have to keep an eye on your spending whilst abroad, then this article is for you. Cape Town is an eclectic destination with the ubiquitous "something for everyone". It really is a place where you can splurge or save and, depending on your circumstances, you may find a few of these ideas suit your pocket perfectly.

Camps Bay Beach

In summer at least, the beaches are definitely the best place to be in Cape Town. With many to choose from, Camps Bay Beach is definitely rated amongst the best. The palm-fringed beaches create a picturesque contrast to the dramatic backdrop of Table Mountain. Whether you want to engage in some of the many water sports available, swim lazily in the shallows, sunbathe, or simply sit in a pavement cafe; Camps Bay Beach is a wonderful place to pass some time without having to spend a lot of money.


Greenmarket Square Flea Market

Whilst you certainly will have to pay for any purchases which tempt you, it doesn't cost anything to wander around these wonderful markets and soak up the history. Located centrally in Cape Town, Greenmarket Square has a long and chequered history, starting out as a slave market. Through incarnations as a fruit and vegetable market and a parking lot, in the 80's it was transformed into a small flea market. Today it has evolved into a thriving hub of craft and creativity. As well as the many stalls and shops which line the square, there is an abundance of cafes and restaurants ideal for watching the passing parade of Cape Town - all for the price of a coffee.

Breakfast in the Kirstenbosch Gardens

Surely one of the most relaxing places in Cape Town, the beautiful Kirstenbosch Gardens do have an entry fee but, at what is equivalent to the price of a cup of coffee in some cities around the world, you certainly get a lot more bang for your buck here. Treat yourself to a budget-busting breakfast in one of the most sublime settings you will ever find. Over 500 hectares are devoted to the propagation and maintenance of indigenous South African plants and flowers and, after a full English breakfast to give you strength, you can spend the rest of a lazy morning exploring the gardens at your leisure.

Enter the Dragons

If you head down to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront any Monday to Thursday evening, you can witness the practice sessions of Cape Town's Dragon Boat rowers. If you're even luckier, your visit will coincide with an official race. This spectacular sport commemorates the death of an ancient Chinese poet and the boats are beautifully decorated to represent a dragon. Each boat is crewed by 22 rowers, a steersman and a drummer to keep the beat of the stroke. Watching both the practice sessions and the actual races is free and it is easy to get swept up in the exciting atmosphere.

Cape Town is a wonderful place to visit for a few days or a few weeks. How much you spend is up to you but, for those with a small budget but a big imagination, the sky's the limit.
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