Cape Town Guide for Rainy Days
Winters in Cape Town are known to be wet and grey, but what most locals try to hide is that in between the rainy days there are blue-skied, sunny ones. That’s why winter is also known as the “Secret Season”. Not many people know about the good days, which means less tourists and crowds. Although winter may bring some very good days, on some days the weather is just ‘meh’. That’s why we wrote down 10 things to do on rainy days. There’s really no need to stay home in Cape Town because there’s enough to do!
Eye to eye with a shark
The Southern tip of Africa is the meeting point of two mighty and beautiful oceans, the Indian and the Atlantic. The Two Oceans Aquarium at V&A Waterfront is the perfect place to discover the incredible diversity of marine life found in these two oceans. This indoor underwater treasure trove is home to over 8000 living sea animals, including sharks, turtles, anemones, clownfish and much more. Highlights of the aquarium are their epic predator exhibit with ragged tooth sharks (feeds are on Sundays at 15h00), a penguin ecosystem (feeds at 11h30 and 14h30) and the gorgeous Kelp Forest (feeds at 13h00 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays). But of course there are many other sea wonders to see. Perfect for a rainy day!
Movies in the oldest cinema of Cape Town
Let’s be honest, on some days you just want to chill out and watch a movie. Let the rain be your perfect excuse. We know the best cinema for a winter evening: The Labia Theatre. This is the oldest independent cinema in Africa and it shows a variety of contemporary blockbusters and smaller independent films. The cinema still looks very authentic and it feels like you stepped back in time. It has a fully-stocked bar with delicious wine, beer and on cold wintery evenings they even serve warm glasses of gluehwein. Grab your popcorn and forget all about the bad weather.
Get cultural in a museum
Cape Town is home to a series of great museums and galleries that will keep you busy (and dry) when it’s raining. South Africa has a very rich past and several museums deal with those matters of historical importance. Take a look at the District Six Museum, Slave Lodge, Robben Island Museum, Jewish Museum and the Bo-Kaap Museum. Another museum that is definitely worth visiting is the South African Museum. Here you can learn more about how people lived hundreds of years ago. Just next door, the Planetarium will show you all the wonders of the universe while you sit comfortably and warm. History is not your cup of tea? Cape Town now has Zeitz MOCAA which showcases one of the largest collections of contemporary African art. The museum is based in a former grain silo and this building really is a reason for a visit in itself.
Warm up with a cuppa tea
There are few things that warm you up more than a cup of tea; it warms you from the inside out. Combine that with scones, sandwiches and cakes and you have your perfect rainy day activity. Cape Town offers a variety of amazing High Tea options. The most well-known ones are at The Mount Nelson (a very cute pink hotel) for R255, at the Cape Grace for R75, at the One & Only for R195 and lastly the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa offers ‘Tea by the Sea’ for R295.
Pamper yourself at the spa
There are few better times to pamper yourself than when it’s pouring outside. Whether you’re in the mood for a massage, mani-pedi, facial or sauna treatment to suit your mood, you are sure to spend a very relaxing day at the spa. One of our all-time favourite places to enjoy pampering in a warm, cosy environment is the luxurious Twelve Apostles Spa. Looking for something more budget friendly? Try Heavenly Spa on the 19th floor of the Westin - they have some affordable special offers. We also love Ways of Wellness Spa, the first organic beauty salon in Cape Town. They use environmentally friendly, organic products. Another great thing about this spa is that they work on a walk-in basis, so it’s easy to go if the weather takes an unexpected turn.
Beat your friends at a game
Round up your friends for a day of playing games! The Big Box Cafe in Gardens is the perfect place to make the most of a rainy day in Cape Town. They have a big collection of dice games, wooden games, strategy games and a lot more. Have a drink and some bites while you beat your friends at all of them. They have good coffee, delicious nutella crepes and even a vegan menu to choose from.
Crappy weather? Time for a drink! South African craft beer is growing in popularity and breweries are popping up all over the city. Go on a beer tour and enjoy a full day of cruising around the city visiting different breweries that have shaped the craft beer culture. The day kicks off with a lunch, a craft beer and food pairing at a brewery that has been dubbed one of South Africa’s best. Then you make your way to a craft beer mecca. Followed up by a place where you’ll learn about “ocean aged beer” – a true Capetonian process where the beer has aged in barrels on a ship in the harbour. The final brewery is in a sleepy beachside town, where you will be sure to meet colourful and friendly locals at their popular taproom. Book this beer tour adventure with us now!
Climb to the top
Love climbing up Table Mountain? Don’t let the rain stop you from doing what you do best and head straight over to an indoor climbing gym! For example CityROCK in Observatory or the Hang Time Gym. They offer climbing experiences for both beginners and experts. And the best thing – the rock won’t be all wet and slippery because the climbing happens inside!
A great way to spend a rainy day during the weekend is by browsing one of Cape Town’s indoor markets. There are many great options where you’ll find anything from locally grown vegetables to homemade cheese and cured meats, to vintage clothing and beautiful souvenirs. Some of the markets also have performances by local bands which creates a fun and cosy atmosphere. Our favourite markets are The Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay, Oranjezicht City Farm Market next to V&A Waterfront and Market at The Palms in Woodstock.
If you feel like being active (but don’t want to get wet) we have a very fun place for you to get that work out done. A jump park! There is one in Cape Town with huge trampolines, performance trampolines for experienced jumpers, big bags to launch yourself into and even a dodgeball game. Be Up Park is open every day of the week and it costs around R100.
I really hope this blog post convinced you to leave your house and experience Cape Town even when its pouring outside!