Cape Town Museums

There are so many interesting Cape Town Museums to visit, you can spend years in the Mother City to learn about the history and culture of the Cape! The museums listed below are a great start and a good opportunity to learn about Cape Town's rich cultural and natural history. Even when the sun is shining, check out some of the cities great exhibitions and believe us, the museums in Cape Town are great places to visit whatever the weather! 

The Best Cape Town Museums

South African Museum

Iziko South African Museum

Address: 25 Queen Victoria St, Cape Town. Tel: 021-481-3800

Opening Times: 10h00-17h00.

Rates: R15/30. Under 5s free. Website.

Parking: Street Parking around Company Gardens or at the small public parking at the museum.

This is Cape Town's natural history museum where several natural history collections as well as some social history collections are exhibited. Especially the African Dinosaur exhibition and the Whale Well, where there are life-size casts of whales to see, is worth a visit. Several permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Cape Town Planetarium

Cape Town Planetarium

Address: 25 Queen Victoria St, Cape Town, in the South African Museum. Tel: 021-481 3900

Shows:  Currently closed due to refurbishment! Re-Opening early 2017- Kids shows on weekends and weekday afternoons. Closed every first monday of the months, except during school holidays.

Rates: R20/R40. Website.

Accessed through the South African Museum, the planetarium offers unique audio-visual experience for kids and adults. The children's shows for the 5-10 year old are renowned for their superb introduction to astronomy and are great fun not only for the little ones. 

South African National Gallery

Iziko National Gallery

Address: Company Gardens, Government Avenue, Cape Town. Tel: 021 481-3970

Opening Hours: Daily from 10h00 to 17h00. Currently the shop is closed.

Rates: R15/R30. Website.

The National Gallery in Cape Town is a South Africa's foremost art museum and houses various exhibitions of South African, African, British, French, Dutch and Flemish art.

Parking: Street Parking around Company Gardens or at the small public parking at the museum.

Slave Lodge

Cape Town Slave Lodge

Address: Corner Adderley and Whale Streets. Tel: 021-467-7229

Shows: Kids shows on weekends and weekday afternoons. Closed on Sundays.

Rates: R15/R30. Website.

The Slave Lodge, formerly called the SA Cultural History Museum, explores the long history of slavery in South Africa. With audio-visual displays. Highly recommended.

Parking: Street Parking around Company Gardens or at the small public parking at the museum.

Martin Melck House

Martin Melck House

Address: 96 Strand Street, Cape Town. Tel: 021-405-1540

Opening Times: 9h30-16h30 except Sundays and some public holidays

Rates: R40 adults/R30 students/R25 children. Various Tours also for school groups available.

This museum is located in one of Cape Town’s best restored historic buildings from 1783, the Martin Melck House. Formerly housing the 'Gold of Africa' Museum shows currently an exhibition about Nelson Mandela's life: From Prisoner to President. 

Parking: Picbel Parcade Strand Street or Street Parking

Bo-Kaap Museum

Bo-Kaap Museum

Address: 71 Wale Street, bo-Kaap, Cape Town. Tel: 021-481-3938

Opening Times: 10h00 – 17h00, closed on Sundays and 2 January. Please contact them for opening times.

Rates: R10/R20, entrance for children under 5 free. Website. 

This museum is a treat regarding all the authentic info material on display. There is currently an excellent exhibition on the Cape Town New Year Carnival which gives great insights into the Cape Malay community.

Parking: Street Parking in Wale Street or in the nearby streets

District Six Museum

District Six Museum

Address: 25A Buitenkant Street, Cape Town. Tel: 021-466-7200

Opening Times: 9h00 – 16h00 Mondays to Saturdays.

Rates: R5 (pupils)-R45 (adults). Website.

The museum is a living memorial giving real insights into the life of the people in the District Six. The District Six, an innercity Cape Town suburb, was demolished during Apartheid. So you will see the reconstruction of a typical barber shop, see numerous photographs and old street signs as well as benches from the apartheid times. 

Parking: Street Parking or Parkades in Harrington or Canterbury Streets

South African Maritime Center

Maritime Museum

Address: Dock Road, Union Castle Building, V&A Waterfront Cape Town. Tel: 021-405 2884

Opening Times: 10h00-17h00

Rates: R10/20, Under 6 years free. Website.

The Maritime Centre houses on of the world's biggest ship model collections and also showcases memorabilia of the early shipping days in Cape Town. Here you can see the earliest existing model of the Cape Town harbour, built in 1885. There is also the Marsh collection of more than 19,000 photographs on maritime history.

Parking: V&A Waterfront Parking Garages or Clocktower Parking

Chavonnes Battery Museum

Chavonnes Battery Museum

Address: Clocktower Precinct, V&A Waterfront Cape Town. Tel: 021-416-6230

Opening Times: 9h00-17h00

Rates: R100 adults/R50 children (6-16 years) for 40 - 60 minutes heritage tour. Website.

At the Chavonnes Museum adjacent to the Clocktower, the early history of Cape Town comes alive. The museum is located on the ruins of the re-discovered Chavonnes Battery which was build in 1724. Parts of the old fort can still be admired. Excellent travelling exhibitions such as the '1%: Privilege in a Time of Global Inequality' photographic exhibition. Various tours offered.

Parking: V&A Waterfront Parking Garages or Clocktower Parking

Zeitz Museum of Modern Art Africa - Pavillion

MOCAA - opening 2016

Address: Alfred Basin, across the Bascule Bridge, V&A Waterfront Cape Town. 

Opening Times: 12h00-20h00. Wednesdays to Sundays only.

Rates: Entrance free. More info.

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Modern Art Africa, MOCAA, is currently being built in the old silo district at Cape Town's V&A Waterfront. The new museum is expected to open in 2016. However, there is already a small  but very popular museum pavilion with changing exhibitions located in the Alfred Basin at the Waterfront. Small shop with books on contemporary art.

Parking: V&A Waterfront Parking Garages or Clocktower Parking

SA Rugby Museum

Springbok Experience

Address: Portswood House, V&A Waterfront Cape Town. Tel: 021-418 4741

Opening Times: 10h00-18h00. Last entrance at 17h30

Rates: R75/50 entrance fee. Pre-schoolers free. Website.

The 'Springbok Experience' is an interactive exhibition with lots of audio-visual displays and fun games. A must-visit for every rugby fan.

Parking: Portswood or other V&A Waterfront Parking 

Heart of Cape Town Museum

Christiaan Barnard - Heart of Cape Town Museum

Address: Groote Schuur Hospital, Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town. Tel: 021-404-1967

Opening Times: Various tours are offered. Please enquire directly.

Rates: Please enquire with Museum. Website.


Site of the first human heart transplant by Dr Christiaan Barnard in 1967, this museum at the Groote Schuur Hospital has many interactive displays and the tours are highly recommended.



Disclaimer for the Cape Town Museums page: In general, museums in Cape Town are open all year round, except Christmas Day. Please check opening times, exhibitions and ticket prices with the museum as opening hours and entrance fees might have changed without notice.


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Living in South Africa - Expat Guide Book by Regina Graeff and Derryn Campbell

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