Swapping freezing cold temperatures for getting your tan on this festive season by heading to South Africa?
Christmas in South Africa conjures up images of relaxing trips to the beach, pool parties, braais and outdoor picnics. If you’re staying with us over the holidays, you’re in good hands – we love getting in the festive spirit with guests and Cape Town has so much to offer at this time of year.
Whether you want to crack open an ice cold beer down at the V&A Waterfront, catch an outdoor Christmas movie in one of the world’s most incredible botanical gardens or just kick back by our pool with other travellers – the choice is yours. Just be sure to pack your sun cream and leave the winter woolies at home!
Here is our very own list of things to do in Cape Town this festive season…
IN THE RUN UP
SWAP NETFLIX AND CHILL FOR…
Each year, Kirstenbosch Gardens hosts the famous Galileo Open Air Cinema where screenings of classic Christmas movies can be seen throughout the festive season. As one of the most unique ways to spend your evenings in the city, it’s the perfect opportunity to round up a group of fellow backpackers and head there to watch some of your favourite movies under the stars. You can bring your own snacks or if you fancy treating yourself, there are a variety of food stalls to choose from – it is Christmas after all…
HIT THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS
If you’ve left gift-buying to the last minute (we feel ya…), don’t worry as there are a tonne of Christmas markets around the city to visit. The Bay Harbour Market is a local favourite all year round with live music, food and drink stalls as well as a variety of craft, wellness and antique traders. Running up until 23rd December, combine a trip to the open air cinema with a visit to the Kirstenbosch Craft Market where you’ll find a range of crafts, artisan foods, clothes and jewellery so there’ll be something for even the hardest person to buy for…
TAKE IN THE BRIGHT LIGHTS
Looking to get in the festive spirit? Well, every December hundreds of colourful Christmas-themed lights depicting some of the city’s history brightens up Adderley Street in the city centre. With stall upon stall selling hot food, drinks and gifts, you’ll struggle not to feel excited for the festive period after a stroll around this area.
SING ALONG AT CHRISTMAS
Warm up your vocal chords and join the crowds at one of the popular Christmas carol concerts in Cape Town. Head to ‘Christmas Carols in the Sculpture Garden’ on the 23rd December at the Norval Foundation or pop down to the V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre – just a 10 minute walk from our doorstep – who usually hosts a choir around Christmas time too. You could also have a go at creating your very own festive sing-a-long in our bar at happy hour – we’ve got the ice cold beers so the question is, who’s got the best playlist?
GET SOME ZEN
Relax this Christmas in Cape Town with the Om Revolution who have prepped an unforgettable experience next week that you don’t want to miss. Launching in 2014, the team at Om Revolution offer a Christmas Eve sunset yoga class on Clifton’s 3rd Beach and we want to sign up immediately. Grab a bottle of water and a yoga mat and perfect your downward dog pose in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. It sounds pretty perfect to us…
ON THE DAY
If you’re looking for a place serving up great food on Christmas day, popular Piano Bar – located on the streets of De Waterkant – is offering a three course meal as well as live music performances on both the 25th and Boxing Day. For a twist on what you’d usually be eating at home, Shimmy Beach Club – which offer amazing Insta-worthy sea views – put on an exciting buffet including dim sum and sushi. We’ve heard their Lindt chocolate mousse pudding is heaven too…
While we have a range of things happening at AP around the festive period, be sure to take advantage of the balmy Cape Town weather and head to one of the city’s beautiful beaches to make the most of Christmas Day in the sunshine too.
GET ACTIVE…OR NOT
Whether you want to get up and out to recover from Christmas Day feasting or simply have a chilled day out, we’ve got plenty of things to get up to on Boxing Day. Hiking is a great way to spend the 26th and hey, there’s quite a few trails you can choose from in Cape Town(!). Something a little less strenuous but equally appealing is a day on the beach so pack up a picnic, take a book and enjoy the summer sun at one of the Clifton Beaches, Camps Bay or maybe even Muizenberg. If you’re feeling particularly smug, we’re sure your family and friends back home in the cold would appreciate seeing a sea view snap, right?
GO BARGAIN HUNTING
Got some Christmas spending money? Make the most of the Boxing Day sales by tackling the crowds and heading to one of the many shopping areas across the city to grab a bargain or three. Buying presents for yourself when you’re away doesn’t even count, does it…
CELEBRATING THE NEW YEAR
WATCH THE FIREWORKS
Spending New Year’s Eve Mother City and not sure how to celebrate? Say hello to 2019 in style at this year’s ‘Mother Earth’ themed V&A Waterfront event where you can expect pop-up performances, delicious food, live music acts and the infamous fireworks at midnight as the clock strikes 12.
DANCE INTO 2019
If you’re looking to dance your way into the New Year, there are a variety of parties and festivals to choose. Grab your feathers and join in The Village Idiot’s masquerade themed soiree in the heart of the city, head to HQ’s annual bash with some of the best local DJs or get tickets to the Kinky Festival (as mentioned in our recent blog post).
Don’t forget about Long Street either which is a party in itself. Every year as midnight approaches, people stream into the area and dance the rest of the night away and you can rest assured it’s a lot of fun. Be sure to grab a drink or three in some of the best bars in the city including Beerhouse, Tjing Tjing and SGT Pepper with balconies that overlook the street (great if you need a break from the crowds).
NEW YEAR’S DAY
RECOVER AT THE FOOD MARKET
Get the New Year off to a delicious start and head to Mojo Market in Seapoint. With over 20 food vendors, 45 retail stalls, bars, live entertainment and a wellness zone, there’s a whole day of activities ready and waiting for you. The main dilemma you’ll have is, what do you want to eat first?
GET YOUR ADRENALINE PUMPING
For the adrenaline junkies reading this, how about spending the first day of the new year speeding down a tobogganing track at Cool Runnings? Cape Town is home to the only toboggan track on the continent and at 1.25km long, it’s certainly an activity that will get the heart race pumping.
Thinking about visiting Cape Town soon? Remember to use the code SUMMERDAZE when booking directly with us for a 15% discount!