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Cape Town City Guide
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Shopping in Cape Town
Page Contents
Introduction Shopping Malls Markets
African Crafts (curios) Art etc Jewellery
Cape Town is best known for its wine and African crafts from all over the continent. Visitors often enjoy local art and ceramics too.

Since the days of the Kimberley Diamond Rush, Cape TownDiamonds has been a major centre for diamonds. People find that gem stones and jewellery are of a high quality and excellent prices are to be found.

Cape Town also has a large textile industry and the children's clothes, in particular, are worth finding in the shopping centres and factory shops in Hout Bay (shops like 'Naartjie' and 'Bug Zoo').

The relative weakness of the Rand makes shopping in Cape Town attractive. All credit cards are accepted and curio shops are used to mailing overseas. VAT is reclaimable at the airport, currently at 12.5%

Cape Town shopping is concentrated in three major shopping malls, all of a very high standard - the V&A Waterfront, Cavendish Square in Claremont, and Canal Walk located at Century City on the N1 highway.

The Gardens Centre, Constantia Village and Tygervalley Centre are smaller, but up-market.

All these centres are dominated by franchises and it is hard to find shops of real character. There are some exclusive shops but most focus on the mass market.

Especially at the weekend and in the evenings these centres can be overly busy. On the plus side they are well designed and fitted, and they feature leisure facilities such as cinemas, coffee shops and restaurants.

These malls are very much part of Cape Town life - take some time to sit, drink coffee and watch the diverse population go by.

V&A Waterfront

There are some markets of note. Greenmarket Square is the quintessential Cape Town market, and by far the oldest. Once it was a market for farm produce, today it features mainly African crafts and textiles. Catch the vibe Monday to Saturday.

There are two markets in the Waterfront complex, the Red and Green sheds, which are inevitably aimed at tourists, but worth a look.

On Sundays there are excellent markets selling a variety of goods in Hout Bay but th elargest is at Greenpoint, alothough not as high quality. Some weekends there is a market opposite Kirstenbosch Gardens' entrance; one in Constantia near the shopping centre; and an antiques fair at Groot Constantia.

Interesting local craft centres well worth a visit include Kalk Bay, the Montebello on Newlands Avenue; the Red Herring in Noordhoek and Noordhoek Farm Village. Some curio shops also have local crafts and ceramics.

Greenmarket Square


Market in Noordhoek

The outstanding shop to see and buy genuine African artifacts and contemporary crafts is Tribal Trends on the corner of Long Street and Shortmarket Street.

Next door is the enormous Pan-African market. Others can be found on St George's Mall and Church Street, close to Greenmarket Square.

Curios are available at several points along the roadside on the route to Cape Point, inlcuding sculptures at Redhill.

There are invariably curio shops at tourist attractions and shopping centres, especially the Waterfront. Here you will find everything from tourist trinkets and T-shirts to genuine masks, drums and skins.

Curio Shop

Art, Sculpture, Book and Antique shops can be found in and around Church Street, near Greenmarket Square. For books alone go to upper Long Street. You will find other art dealers in the shopping malls.

On the way to Cape Point, the Main Road in Kalk Bay and St James is well known for antique and art shops.

Also, the Kirstenbosch Gardens shop has superb Shona sculptures from Zimbabwe, and there are often art exhibitions too.

If you are in the Winelands, Stellenbosch has several galleries, often with coffee shops.

Art in Cape Town

Gold and platinum jewellery are widely available in Cape Town. Diamonds are also cut to a very high standard and well priced . Beware of tourist traps - particularly the Waterfront. The quality will probably be good, but the price will certainly be inflated. A highly reputable, very well priced supplier of gems is Prins and Prins, on the corner of Hout and Loop Streets. They also cut diamonds and manufacture jewellery on site.

Jewellery

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