10 Day BUDGET Cape Town Itinerary

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by thecapetownblog

Looking to see the Mother City for less? I’ve got you covered. 

One of my favourite things about Cape Town is that you don’t have to spend a lot to have a good time here. If you’re bringing pounds, euros, or dollars, your money will go a long way! And with natural beauty in spades and tons of affordable restaurants and activities, this place is basically a budget traveller’s dream. 

This 10 day budget itinerary is designed to deliver you the full Cape Town experience, from just R510 per day – that’s £21 or $27! 

Obviously, the term budget-friendly is subjective so at certain points throughout this itinerary, I’ve provided a few different alternatives. You’ll spend more on some days and less on others, and of course if you want to cut costs further you can always swap out certain activities for more beach days or hikes! This post is here to give you a base from which you can tailor your trip according to your own preferences because everyone’s different, after all. 

Quick disclaimer: exchange rates change all the time. I’ve given prices in pounds sterling and US dollars as well as rand, but rates do fluctuate daily so these are only intended as general guidance!

Getting around Cape Town on a budget

Cape Town is very much a driving city, and hiring a car is the cheapest, safest, and easiest way to get around. You can hire a small car from R3,600 for 10 days, which is roughly £147 or $187 USD. 

Of course, you’ll have to factor in petrol, and I recommend opting for the full-coverage insurance, so the total cost will probably be around R5,700, which is roughly £237 or $300 USD, if you’re over 30. If you’re under 30 or want to add an extra driver, it will cost slightly more.

I always use DiscoverCars to find affordable and reputable cars in Cape Town and have only had good experiences. In fact, I even got a free upgrade last time, which was awesome! 

You can Uber around if you don’t want to drive. This is also pretty affordable, although the price of longer trips can add up pretty quickly.

10 Day Budget Cape Town Itinerary

Arrival

If you’re renting a car in Cape Town, you can pick up your rental car straight from the airport and drive to your accommodation, which should only take 25 minutes outside of rush hour. You’ll see Table Mountain welcoming you as you speed down the highway, which is a sight that always makes me happy. 

Otherwise, taking an Uber is the cheapest way to get from Cape Town airport to the city centre. You sometimes do have to wait a while, which is personally the last thing I ever feel like after a long flight, so you can also book a private transfer from R400 (£17/$21) per person.

Day 1 – Recover from Jet Lag

Day time – head to the beach 

Is there any better way to ease your jet lag than sunbathing on a beautiful beach?

The Clifton beaches are one of Cape Town’s most stunning natural attractions, so once you’ve grabbed your swimmers out of your suitcase, head on down. I recommend bringing some food with you, as there’s not really anywhere to eat within walking distance of the beaches. 

There are four Clifton beaches. In my opinion, Clifton 2nd is the most beautiful and Clifton 4th is the best for swimming. There are beach toilets at 4th which are open daily, and weekend-only ones between 1st and 2nd beach. There are also hawkers renting out umbrellas and selling drinks, and sometimes there’s a massage tent for the ultimate jet lag recovery treatment. 

Trust me, the cold water at Clifton will definitely shock you awake! 

Evening – Sunset Kloof Corner Hike

A long hike probably isn’t what you’ll feel like on your first day in Cape Town, but luckily it only takes 20 minutes to get up to the viewpoint at Kloof Corner

You can park up for free along Tafelberg Road and then head up the Kloof Corner steps, which are well-signposted. The path is easy to follow and only 0.9 kilometres (0.6 miles) each way, although it’s all uphill. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult and the views are 100% worth it. 

Once you get to the viewpoint, you’ll have panoramic views of the city, from the CBD and Lion’s Head to the Clifton Beaches and the magnificent Twelve Apostles. This is my favourite way to take in the epic beauty of Cape Town, and sunsets here are truly spectacular. 

Daily activities cost: R0

Day 2 – Table Mountain and Museums

Morning – Hike Table Mountain 

Heading up Table Mountain is an absolute MUST while you’re in Cape Town. It’s the city’s most famous landmark and presides over the landscape like some sort of majestic guardian. 

There is a cable car that goes up the mountain, but when you’re balling on a budget, hiking is the way to go. It’s free, and boy does it feel good when you get to the top. 

I highly recommend the Kasteelspoort route instead. You get stunning views of Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles as you climb. Then, when you get to the top you can snap an epic photo on the “Diving Board” rock formation – but do be careful! 

The route is 2.9 miles (4.7 kilometres) out-and-back, with an elevation gain of 1889 ft (576 metres). It’s a decent workout but very doable, and the climb isn’t technical. Plus, this route is way less busy. It’s also not as popular as the Platteklip Gorge route because it doesn’t end near the cable car station, so it doesn’t tend to get overly crowded.

You need 3-4 hours to do Kasteelspoort if you make it all the way to the diving board. During summer, definitely go early to beat the heat. There’s not that much shade on the route, and none once you’re walking on top of the mountain. I once started at 8 am on a hot day, and got so sweaty that I turned back early! 

Afternoon – Museums

You’ll expend a fair bit of energy on the Kasteelspoort hike, so it’s understandable if you want to take the afternoon to veg out or lay on the beach. But if you’ve still got some energy, you can go and check out some of the museums in the CBD

The District 6 Museum is one of the most interesting, as it tells the story of the forced removals that the residents here underwent during apartheid. Tickets cost R63 including admission fees – £2.65 or $3.40 USD at the time of writing. It’s open from 9 am until 4 pm every day except Sunday. 

There’s also the Iziko Bo-Kaap museum, which is dedicated to Cape Malay culture and is a fantastic place to learn more about the cultural fabric of Cape Town. Admission costs R60 for all foreigners from outside of Africa, and it’s open daily from 9 am until 5 pm. 

Sunset – Saunders Rock Beach

Saunders Rock Beach in Sea Point is the place to be at sunset – for locals, anyway. It’s the perfect sunset viewpoint, and if you’re feeling brave you can take a dip in the icy cold rock pool. My friends and I often come here for sunset picnics, and there’s such a fun, friendly vibe. There’s free parking at Queens Beach lot and along the road, and we always manage to get a space.

Dinner – Mojo Market 

Mojo Market is a permanent indoor food market, and it’s only a 5-minute drive from Saunders. They’ve got every kind of food under the sun here, as well as live music every night at 9 pm. Personally, I love House of Nasi Goreng, where you can expect to pay around R180 for a big portion. There are also a few bars in here if you want to round off your day with a drink! 

Daily activities cost: R300 if you visit one museum, and then have dinner and a drink at Mojo Market. This is £12.50 or $16 USD at the time of writing.

Day 3 – Seals and Penguins 

Morning – Explore Hout Bay 

Hout Bay is a stunning seaside suburb, and it’s one of the best places in Cape Town to spot seals and dolphins! In fact, Hout Bay is actually home to its very own “Seal Island”, and there are tons of them in the water. 

It’s about half an hour from the city centre, and the drive there via Camps Bay is just beautiful.

I’ve been snorkelling with seals in Hout Bay and it was amazing, but going kayaking with them is a more affordable experience. You get two hours out on the water, and you’ll definitely see seals as you kayak around Hout Bay’s beautiful coast, but you can also spot penguins, whales, and dolphins! The kayaking tour costs R450 (£19 or $24 USD) per person, and you can cancel for free up to 24 hours in advance when you book through Viator.

Alternatively, you can do a seal cruise for even cheaper! You can book a 40-minute cruise to seal island in the morning so that you can view Duiker Island (aka Seal Island) from all angles. This experience only costs R110 (£4.60 or $5.90 USD), and there’s no effort involved, which is perfect if you’re still tired from yesterday’s hike. 

After your kayaking tour or seal cruise, I highly recommend grabbing fish and chips for lunch in Hout Bay. Fish on the Rocks has the best fish and chips I’ve ever had in Cape Town, and the seating area overlooks the water and the mountains, so you get beautiful views to boot. Plus, at R105 (£4.40 or $5.60) for a portion of hake and chips, you can’t go wrong! 

Afternoon – Visit Boulders Beach

Did you know that there are penguins in Cape Town?

Yup, an adorable African penguin colony lives at Boulders Beach. It’s a 45-minute drive from Hout Bay, but you get to go via the incredible Chapman’s Peak Scenic Drive, which is one of South Africa’s most beautiful roads. Driving along here is an experience in and of itself. You’ll need to pay a toll fee of R61 (£2.55 or $3.30 USD) to drive along this road but trust me, it’s more than worth it. 

When you get to Boulders Beach, you’ll also need to pay a R190 (£8 or $10 USD) conservation fee to enter. This goes towards protecting the penguins and their habitat, so it’s for a good cause. Then, you can walk along the boardwalks at a safe viewing distance from the penguins. There are tons of them here all year round, and the beach itself is absolutely beautiful. 

Late afternoon – Kalk Bay 

I recommend driving back to town via Kalk Bay, a hippie seaside village with cool restaurants and bars, art galleries, and funky boutique stores. There’s a nice atmosphere so it’s a good place for a chilled out mooch-around, and you can grab a coffee with a sea view at the Ohana Cafe, or take a dip in the Dalebrook Tidal Pool

Daily activities cost: R465 – R805, depending on whether you choose the seal cruise or the kayaking tour. This works out at between £19.50 and £33.50, or $25 and $43 USD.

Day 4 – Lion’s Head and the Waterfront

Morning: Hike Lion’s Head

Lion’s Head is another iconic feature of Cape Town’s beautiful skyline, and it’s easier to hike than Table Mountain. It’s a 5.3-kilometer (3.2-mile) round trip hike, and there are 400 metres of elevation gain. The first half of the hike is basically just uphill walking in a loop around the mountain, and then the second half is quite technical, with some scrambling involved. 

In total, it should take you around 3 hours to get up and down Lion’s Head. There’s free parking next to the trailhead. After you’ve parked up, you want to take the trail that’s on the left hand side when facing the mountain if you want to hike up to the summit. 

The views are beautiful the whole way up, and you get fantastic views of the city bowl, Table Mountain, and the Atlantic coast as you climb up. If you’re visiting Cape Town during the summer, I’d recommend heading out on this hike fairly early, and bringing plenty of water with you. 

Alternatively, if you’re not up to hiking all the way to the summit, you can follow the much gentler Lion’s Head Contour Loop trail instead. This takes 60-90 minutes to hike, and it takes you in one big loop around the edge of the mountain. It’s a 5.3-kilometer (3.3 mile) circuit but it’s much flatter, although the ground can be uneven so just watch your step. To do the contour loop, park in the same place and follow the trail on the right. 

Afternoon – Stroll around the Waterfront 

After a morning hike, take it easy in the afternoon with a stroll around the beautiful V&A Waterfront. This area is home to a huge shopping mall, markets, and plenty of restaurants with beautiful harbour views. 

There’s no shortage of places to reward yourself after your hike with a beer or a glass of wine, but Life Grand Cafe is my go-to, as it’s very reasonably priced and sits right on the harbour’s edge, so you can watch the boats go by. There are also a few places to go gin tasting, or you can check out locally made goods at the Watershed Market.

Obviously, you’ll probably want to use some of your spending money at the Waterfront, because there’s so much great food and shopping on offer, but wandering around is completely free. There’s such a nice, holiday atmosphere around here and you can often catch live music performances at the amphitheatre

Sunset – Ride the Cape Wheel

The Cape Wheel is a big ferris wheel just opposite the Victoria Wharf Mall, and you can catch a pretty epic sunset from up here. The ride is short, lasting around 12 minutes, but I found that it was a really fun experience and I was also very grateful for the air-con inside the cabin! The wheel doesn’t tend to get too busy, either, so often it’ll just be you and your group inside your pod. We didn’t have to wait to buy tickets or climb aboard.

To make sure you catch the sunset, I recommend going to buy your tickets early. We went and bought ours about an hour before sunset, and just asked the lady at the ticket kiosk when we should come back for the best views. It was all very chilled out. You can also book online!

A ride on the Cape Wheel costs R250 (£10.50/$13.50) for foreign visitors, and there’s no need to book in advance. However, you can save money by booking in advance through Get Your Guide. This way, it only costs R235, saving you R15, but you will need to reserve your tickets at least one day in advance.

OR – Grab a drink at the Silo Rooftop 

To be honest, I do think that Cape Wheel is slightly overpriced for how long the ride lasts, although I personally really enjoyed it. But nonetheless, I wanted to offer an alternative, which is grabbing a sundowner at the Silo Rooftop. 

The Silo Rooftop is probably Cape Town’s most prestigious rooftop bar, and it offers fantastic views of Table Mountain and the Waterfront. Cocktails here are fairly expensive by local standards, although I have seen worse! You’re looking at R110 to R150 for one of their signature cocktails, which works out at £4.50 to £6.25, or $6 to $8 USD. Then, you can make it last as you enjoy the sunset. 

Make sure that you book a table at the Silo Rooftop in advance, because this place is super popular, especially at sunset. 

Daily activities cost: R110 – R250, which is roughly £4.50 – £10.50, or $6 to $14

Day 5 – Wine time! 

Wine tasting is a must while you’re in Cape Town, and it’s soooo much fun. So today, it’s time to get out of the city and hop between gorgeous wine farms as you get tipsy in the sunshine. 

Since this itinerary is designed to be budget-friendly, I’m going to give you two options. If you’ve got room in your budget, then I’d really recommend heading out for the day on the Franschhoek wine tram, but if not the Constantia wine bus is also a lot of fun, and works out cheaper.

The Franschhoek Wine Tram 

The Franschhoek wine tram takes you winery-hopping in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley. Since Franschhoek is an hour’s drive outside of Cape Town, the easiest way to do the wine tram is to book this tour, which includes tickets for the Navy route and return transport from the city. 

The Navy route visits gorgeous wine farms including Plaisir Platform and, my favourite, Bartinney. The trams and tram buses stop at the wineries roughly once an hour, so you can visit up to five over the course of the day. 

Tickets for the wine tram explorer tour costs R695, which is £29 or $37 USD at the time of writing. That includes your tram ticket and transport, but you’ll pay for your wine tastings and food on the day. When I did this tour recently, I spent R535 at the wineries (including tips), so the total cost of the day worked out at R1,230 – roughly £55 or $66. 

If you want to find out more about the Franschhoek wine tram, check out this guide, or you can book your spot here, with free cancellation! 

The Constantia Wine Bus 

Constantia is one of Cape Town’s wealthiest suburbs. It’s home to beautiful wine farms, which you can hop between using the sightseeing bus

It works like this: you can catch the Blue Route bus outside the Two Oceans Aquarium at the Waterfront, which will take you to Constantia Nek. There, you can visit the Beau Constantia and Silvermist wineries on foot, and catch the Purple bus to Groot Constantia, which is South Africa’s oldest wine estate! 

I’ve done the Constantia wine bus multiple times and it’s so much fun. I must say, I wasn’t terribly impressed with the tasting room at Silvermist, but the views more than made up for it. Beau Constantia is stunning and I love the wine at Groot. 

I actually think Constantia beats Franschhoek in terms of wine quality, but Franschhoek is so beautiful and the tram definitely has the novelty factor. 

So, what can you expect to pay for a day out on the Constantia wine bus? A single day bus ticket costs R295. The last time I went on the bus, I then spent R620 on wine tastings and a shared cheese board at Beau Constantia, including tips. So you’re looking at R915 for a full day out on the Constantia wine bus, which is around £38 or $49 USD. 

You can check out my full guide to the Constantia wine bus, or book your bus tickets here

Daily activities cost: R915 to R1,230 – this is between £38 and £55, or $49 and $66 USD.

Day 6 – Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope 

After a day of drinking wine, you’ll probably want to sleep in for a bit, so don’t worry about starting out too early today. In fact, you’re better off waiting and missing the rush hour traffic. Even if you are awake early, why not treat yourself to breakfast or brunch at one of Cape Town’s top spots?

Then, when you are ready to hit the road, it’s time to drive to see Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope. This is best done with a rental car, but if you don’t have one then you can book the Cape Point Explorer Tour instead. I’ve done this tour before and it gives you plenty of time in each place, and our guide was wonderful. The only thing to note is that it also includes a visit to Boulders Beach, so you can skip that on day 3. You can read my full review here!

Cape Point

Cape Point is a gorgeous landform with rugged cliffs and beautiful bays, and it’s an hour’s drive south of Cape Town. It’s erroneously known as the point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. In reality, this is in Cape Agulhas, which is a 4-hour drive away. 

Nonetheless, Cape Point is beautiful and you can get fantastic views by walking to the top of the lighthouse. There’s also a funicular, but you have to pay to use it and the walk doesn’t take that long anyway. 

Cape of Good Hope

Then, you can either hike or drive from Cape Point to the Cape of Good Hope. If you want to hike, the trail is well marked and around 3.5 kilometres (2.1 miles) out-and-back, and only takes about half an hour each way. 

Alternatively, you can drive from Cape Point to the Cape of Good Hope, which only takes a few minutes. 

The Cape of Good Hope is the most southeast point in Africa, and its name is pretty ironic given that there are hundreds of shipwrecks dotted along the coastline. You can climb up on the rocks, spot baboons and ostriches strutting around, and enjoy some sea views before hiking back to Cape Point or jumping in the car and driving back to town. 

If you’ve got time, you could always stop in Muizenberg on the way back to see the colourful beach huts and stretch your legs along the Coastal Walk

Daily activities cost: the entry fee for international visitors is R400 at the Cape Point Nature Reserve, and this is payable by card only. This works out at roughly £17 or $22 USD at the time of writing. 

Day 7 – Secret Beaches and Culture

Morning – Visit a hidden beach 

Okay, so we’ve already checked out the popular Clifton beaches on this itinerary, but I also think it’s worth checking out one of the many hidden gems around. So why not spend the morning soaking up the sun at a secret beach, which usually tend to be quieter and better for swimming?

I like Bali Beach, which is along Victoria Road, just north of Camps Bay. It’s a pretty pebble beach that’s concealed by some long grass, and it’s protected by rocks so it’s ideal for swimming. Obviously, pebbles aren’t the comfiest to lay on so you wouldn’t want to spend hours and hours here, but it’s perfect for a little morning dose of sunshine. 

If you prefer sandy beaches, I really like Glen Beach. It’s nestled between the Camps Bay and Clifton Beaches but is much less popular. I spent so many happy beach days here during my first year in Cape Town! 

Beta Beach is a little further out, in Bakoven, about 10 minutes north of Camps Bay. It’s a chilled out beach and offers beautiful views of Lion’s Head across the water. However, it’s a tidal beach, so make sure to check the times before you go, otherwise you might find there’s no sand to sit on! 

Afternoon – Free walking tour of Bo Kaap 

Bo Kaap is a Cape Malay enclave that’s famous for its brightly painted houses. The area was originally built for freed slaves and even managed to survive Apartheid-era destruction, so safe to say it’s got a really interesting history. And if you’re on a budget, you can get to know Bo Kaap with a free walking tour

Well, I say free tour, but you probably already know that “free” actually means tip-based. Still, it works out as a pretty affordable way to discover an important part of Cape Town’s heritage. Plus, I’ve taken the free tour myself and I can confirm it’s 100% worth doing. 

The free walking tours of Bo Kaap leave outside Motherland Coffee at 2 pm and 4:20 pm every day. It’s easy to spot the guides because they’ll be wearing green t-shirts and holding big green umbrellas. And best of all, you don’t even need to book, you can just turn up! 

The tour lasts for around 1.5 hours, and you get a really interesting insight into Bo Kaap and why it’s so unique. Our guide also shared some great recommendations on where to try Cape Malay cuisine in the area, so after the tour we went to Faeza’s Home Kitchen and enjoyed a delicious meal. 

After the tour, you’re invited to tip your guide. This is at your own discretion, but I would say around R100 per person is a good amount – roughly £4.20 or $5.35 USD. 

My former housemate, Marianne, is a regular guide on these free tours, so if she’s your guide, please send her my love! 

Evening: Sunset champagne cruise (optional) 

One of the most memorable ways to catch the sunset in Cape Town is on a sunset champagne cruise from the Waterfront. This 1.5 hour boat ride takes you cruising along the coast to give you excellent views of the city as the sky changes colour. And better still, you get a bottle of bubbles to share between two! 

I had so much fun on the sunset champagne cruise, and felt like it was worth the R580 (£24 or $31 USD). However, you can also book a pre-sunset version of the cruise and get those beautiful golden hour pics for just R360 (£15 or $20 USD). 

OR: Grab a drink at the 12 Apostles 

The 12 Apostles is hands down one of the best sunset spots in Cape Town – maybe even THE best. The Leopard bar balcony looks out over Oudekraal Nature reserve and the winding coastline, with views of Camps Bay and Lion’s Head in the distance. I don’t know what it is, but sunsets here always look super dramatic, and you can enjoy it with one of their delicious cocktails in hand. 

You’re looking at around R150 (£6.50 or $8 USD) for a cocktail here. I always get the Bloody Mary, but my friend Sophie always raves about the Piña Coladas. 

Daily activities cost: Between R250 and R680, depending on what you choose to do in the evening. This works out at between around £10 and £29, or $13 and $37 USD. 

Day 8 – Robben Island and Signal Hill 

Morning – Robben Island 

Robben Island is where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years of his 27-year sentence, so it’s one of the most historically significant places to visit in Cape Town. It sits just off of the Atlantic coast, and you can catch a boat here from the waterfront as part of the official tour

During the tour, your guide will also take you to see Mandela’s former prison cell, the lime quarry where prisoners endured hard labour, and the island church where they worshipped on Sundays. Perhaps the most interesting part, though, is a talk at the end of the tour by a former inmate at Robben Island, who can share first-hand accounts of what life was like here. 

The tour departs from the Nelson Mandela Gateway every 2 hours, and the tour itself takes 3.5 hours, so for the sake of this itinerary I recommend that you choose the 9 am tour. It costs R600 for foreign adults, which is £25 or $32, and it’s best to book in advance

Afternoon: Lunch and drinks on Kloof Street

The Robben Island tour, while incredibly interesting, is quite political and heavy, so once you get back, lighten the mood with a fun afternoon on Kloof Street

I recommend heading to the Gatsby-esque Kloof Street House to take advantage of their lunch special. It’s usually pretty expensive to dine here (although you pay for what you get) but with the lunch special you can get two courses for R250 (£10 or $13.50). I got the beetroot salad and the ostrich fillet, and both were absolutely divine. 

Alternatively, Feast on Flavour is a no-frills spot that offers fantastic Cape Malay-style lunch specials every day. The menu changes regularly to keep it fresh and interesting, but I love the roti wrap for R45 and the chickpea curry was absolutely divine, and only R60!

After lunch, you can grab a drink at one (or three) of Kloof Street’s many bars. Blondie is super popular, and where all of the Cape Town cool kids hang out, and you actually stand a chance at getting a table in the afternoon before it gets too busy. Yours Truly, which is right next door, is also popular, or the Saggy Stone Brewery has some great craft beers on offer. Budget around R250 (£10.50 or $13.40) here to have a few drinks. 

Evening: Sunset tour

Enjoying a sunset picnic at Signal Hill is a super popular thing to do in Cape Town during the summer, but there is one downside: it gets very busy up there, and the parking situation can be a nightmare. However, by taking this tour you can avoid worrying about that, and enjoy a cheeky bottle of wine while you’re up there because, hey, you’re not driving! 

The tour departs from outside the Aquarium and takes you on an open-top bus ride through Sea Point and Camps Bay, so you’ll enjoy stunning ocean views on your way to Signal Hill. Then, when you get up there, you’ll watch a magnificent sunset and end your day on a high note. 

This tour costs R195 per person, which is around £7.30 or $10 USD. This is similar to what you’d spend on an Uber to and from Signal Hill, and it’s also much safer because you won’t be waiting by yourself at the top of the hill in the dark while you try to find a ride. 

You can book this tour here, with free cancellation up to a day in advance!

Daily activities cost: around R1,090 or R1,295, depending on where you eat lunch. This works out at £45 to £54, or $59 to $70. 

Day 9 – Outdoor Activities and African Cuisine 

Morning – Explore the Waterfront canal

The Waterfront canal takes you on a scenic loop around Battery Park, past palm trees and luxury homes, with Table Mountain towering over you in the background. I love getting out on the canal on a sunny day, and there are two ways of doing it: by cruise or by SUP board. 

I LOVED paddleboarding on the canal. The water is calm, so it’s not too difficult, but do keep an eye out for the resident otter who might try to climb aboard. You can rent a board from SUP Cape Town for R280 per hour (£11 or $15), which is plenty of time to complete the canal loop, and they’ve got lockers in their offices where you can store your belongings. 

Alternatively, you can book the 30-minute canal cruise for just R75 (£3 or $4). This way, you get to just sit back and relax as you take in the views and enjoy a bit of commentary. It’s perfect if you end up getting a little too boozy the night before. 

Afternoon – Outdoor escape room 

Escape rooms are so much fun, and HintHunt allows you to make the most of the South African sunshine with their outdoor escape games. From saving Cape Town from dangerous hackers to stopping the spread of a mind-control virus, you can unlock your inner superhero for just R265 (£11 or $14) per person.

You should book your escape game online at least a day in advance. I’ve struggled with the payment portal on their website so it may be a good idea to give them a call instead! 

Evening – Dinner at Marco’s African Place 

If you want to try traditional African cuisine in Cape Town, Marco’s African Place in Bo Kaap is the place to go. The chef and owner, Marco, was the first black restaurateur in Cape Town, so you could say that this place is a bit of an institution. 

With inviting decor and live entertainment every night, Marco’s is a fantastic place to spend an evening in Cape Town, but it’s popular so make sure that you book a table

With everything from springbok and ostrich to crocodile and lots of Xhosa dishes on the menu, a night at Marco’s is sure to be memorable! There’s a cover charge of R25 per diner for the live entertainment, and then most main dishes range between R165 to R210, although some items, like crocodile tail, are based on weight. 

One thing I like about Marco’s is that they also offer home-brewed African beer! They’ve also got a wine menu, or you can bring your own bottle and pay R100 corkage. 

If you’re drinking wine, you can probably expect to spend around R450 to R650 per person at Marco’s, which is roughly £18 to £27, or $25 to $35. 

Daily activities cost: R790 to R1195, which is £33 to £50, or $42 to $64. 

Day 10 – Beaches and Sunsets 

Daytime – Camps Bay or Clifton Beach

It’s your last day in Cape Town – noooo! So I think it’s only right to soak up the last of the holiday vibes with a beach day. Grab some snacks, hide your wine in a Stanley cup, and head down to Camps Bay or Clifton Beach for a glorious day on the sand. After all, you can never have too much beach time! 

Evening – Dinner and drinks

I always love to celebrate the last night of a holiday, rather than think about how sad I am to leave. So kick off the evening by heading to 14 Stories for a sunset cocktail overlooking the Waterfront and Lion’s Head. You can expect to pay around R120 for a cocktail here, or R50 for a beer, and try to get there between 5 and 7 pm to take advantage of their happy hour deals! 

After that, head to dinner! I love Cousin’s Trattoria, where you can get their infamous cheesy pasta, and some boutique local wines. You’re looking at around R500 including tip (£21/$27) per person for a main meal, dessert, and wine here, and you’ll definitely need to book. 

Alternatively, you could grab some dinner at the Waterfront’s Time Out Market, as they have tons of local favourites here. I was SO excited when I found out the market is home to Stellenbosch’s famous De Vrije Burger, but you can also find ramen, sushi, pizza, pasta, and more, and they have live music every night. You can expect to pay around R250 (£10 or $14) for a meal here, although it can vary a lot depending on what you have. 

And if you want to head on for more drinks, you can treat yourself to crazy cocktails at Cause & Effect for around R150 each (£6 or $8), or try a signature G&T at the Secret Gin Bar for around R90 (£3.75 or $5). The Power and the Glory is also an expensive spot that’s always pumping, and there’s usually a big party going on at The Moveable Feast upstairs! 

Daily activities cost: you’re looking at around R800 (£33 or $43) for dinner and a few nice cocktails. 

So there you have it…

An awesome budget itinerary for Cape Town! If you opt for all of the cheapest options in this post, you’ll end up spending an average of R512 per day on the activities listed, which is £21 or $27 at the time of writing. 

Alternatively, if you go for all of the more expensive choices, you’ll end up spending around R696 per day on activities, which is about £29 or $37. 

Where to Stay in Cape Town on a Budget

Solo travellers – never@home 

Never@home hostel is one of the most popular backpacker hostels in Cape Town, and it’s ideally located along Main Road in Green Point. You can snag a room in a 12-bed mixed dorm for R390 per night (£16.30 or $21). The hostel has a fun bar, a small pool, good WiFi and modern facilities, and is rated “superb” on Hostelworld

Couples – Home Suites Hotel De Waterkant

This aparthotel is ideal for couples, and you can find rooms for R2,100 (£87 or $111) per night on Booking.com if you apply the Genius discount. This is during peak summer, too! So if you’re a couple who are splitting the cost, this works out to be pretty affordable for a luxury serviced apartment.

I stayed at Home Suites in De Waterkant and had a fantastic time. The bed was HUGE and super comfortable, the bathroom was gorgeous, and the whole place was spick and span. I actually wish I had stayed a little longer! 

Big groups – Shared villa

Sharing an Airbnb can often be the most affordable option for big groups travelling together. If you book in advance, you can snag awesome homes like this Mediterranean villa in Green Point, which is a super central neighbourhood. In December (aka peak season) this would cost R1,210 (£51 or $65) per person per night for a group of six.

That’s actually a pretty luxurious option – there are definitely cheaper ones available if you get in there early enough – like this one, which starts from R561 (£24 or $30) per night for the same sized group!

Other Costs to Consider

  • Tipping: leaving a 10% tip is standard practice in restaurants AND bars in Cape Town
  • Parking: you’ll usually pay R10 to R20 per hour for parking 
  • Car guards: there’s plenty of free parking around Cape Town, but it’s customary to tip the car guards with small change
  • Sim card and data: the cost of a SIM card is negligible, while you can expect to pay around R499 (£21 or $27) for 10 GB of data. I do highly recommend getting a local SIM card, as it makes life so much easier, and I find that Vodacom is the most reliable network. 

As a tourist, you really don’t have to spend a ton on activities to get the most out of Cape Town! For more money-saving tips, check out: 

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