International Museum Day is celebrated on 18 May each year. The objective of International Museum Day is to raise awareness of the fact that, “ Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.”

18 May each year, the events and activities planned to celebrate International Museum Day can last a day, a weekend or a whole week. The theme chosen for 2018 is “Hyperconnected museums: New approaches, new publics“.

The Cape Town Big 7 Attractions boast many interesting and diverse Museums and Galleries:

V&A Waterfront

Zeitz MOCAA 

Zeitz MOCAA collects, preserves, researches, and exhibits twenty-first-century art from Africa and its Diaspora in over 100 galleries; hosts international exhibitions; develops supporting educational and enrichment programmes; encourages intercultural understanding; and guarantees access for all. Learn more about our most recent visit to see cutting-edge art from Africa and the Diaspora.

Over one-hundred galleries are dedicated to a permanent collection; temporary exhibitions; and Centres for Art Education, Curatorial Excellence, Performative Practice, Photography, the Moving Image, and the Costume Institute.

Zeitz MOCAA will grant FREE access on these dates to all: International Museum Day (Friday 18 May), Africa Day (Friday 25 May) and Museum Night (Thurs 28 June)

The Springbok Experience

The Springbok Experience is a world-class, modern interactive museum telling South Africa’s story through the eyes of Rugby. It offers a fun and entertaining experience for the whole family and is a ‘must-do’ attraction at the heart of the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. The museum features more than 60 audiovisual displays where visitors can watch the history of South African rugby unfold, set among cases displaying historic objects such as famous trophies, jerseys, boots and other memorabilia. And there are games for children and adults alike where they can test their kicking, passing, fitness and reaction skills in the interactive ‘Springbok Trials’ games zone. There’s even a flagship Springbok shop. The Springbok Experience is a museum– but much more than that – offering fun for all the family.

Cape Town Diamond Museum Guided Tour

As a visitor to the Cape Town Diamond Museum you can expect a guided tour where you will learn about the diamond industry, history of diamonds in South Africa, how diamonds form, see amazing replicas of the world’s most famous diamonds and much more.

Tour Details:
A diamond professional will provide a guided tour of the museum. Duration: 25 – 40 minutes.
Maximum of 10 adults per tour at a time. Please ensure to book a guided tour in advance to avoid disappointment.

Chavonnes Battery Museum

You are invited to don an 18th Century Tricorn hat and step below sea level to the sand of the original Cape Town shoreline to explore the Archaeology ruins of this Dutch East India Company (VOC) fortification that has been buried for 140 years.

Time travel to relive the early history of Cape Town through fascinating artifacts, detailed displays, exhibits, models and large graphic information boards.

On the upper level, enjoy the Underwater Photographer of the Year photo exhibition which is an annual competition held in London. Ten categories, 3 of which is life in British waters. On show are fifty large and remarkable images from the oceans, rivers and seas of 27 countries.

Table Mountain Cableway

In operation since 1929, and over 26 million visitors later, Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company celebrates its 88th birthday and the 20th anniversary of the current cable cars this year.

On display is the original steel and wood cable cars dating from 1929, 1958 and 1974.

Robben Island

The Nelson Mandela Gateway, which is located in the V&A Waterfront is an experience in itself. Take some time to explore this triple-story glass museum – a stark reminder of this place of banishment and imprisonment. The exhibition space is great for taking in more Robben Island information before heading on the tour as it has a timeline dedicated to modern South African political history which you can take in at your leisure.

The entire island is a museum and a World Heritage Site and on the tour, you will visit

  • The prison house where Robert Sobukwe, leader of the Pan African Congress, was held in isolation
  • The Lime Quarry
  • The Male Leper Church
  • The 19th-century lighthouse
  • Second World War fortifications, including big gun emplacements
  • The Garrison Church
  • The Commissioner’s Residence
  • Several shipwrecks

 

Cape Point

Lighthouse Five, one of 3 Cape Point Stores, reflects maritime history and has a distinctly nautical feel with rich dark wood fittings and polished brass. Visitors can buy ship wheels or brass bells; or take home an intricate replica of an old sailing ship or an ostrich egg decorated with old maps.

Walk the shipwreck trail to learn more about the 26 recorded shipwrecks around Cape Point.

Discover cultural and historical spots, including monuments to explorers such as Vasco da Gama and Bartolomeu Dias.

Groot Constantia

Groot Constantia is South Africa’s oldest wine producing estate and is a certified national monument. The dramatic oak-lined avenue takes you directly into the Historical core of the estate, where you’ll find the 17th century Manor House, arguably the finest surviving example of Cape Dutch architecture in South Africa

Groot Constantia has launched a new Visitors Route Experience. It allows for a multi-level experience encompassing a visit to the original Cape Dutch homestead and the very informative and atmospheric Wine Museum in the famed and recently restored Cloete Cellar- both fall under Iziko Museums of South Africa – as well as admiring art at the Constantia Gallery and doing a cellar tour.

Take a journey back in time and explore the grand Manor House museum, which houses displays portraying early years on the estate

A five hundred meter walk up the slope of Table Mountain along an oak-lined path leads you to the ornamental bath. It is an early version of a secluded swimming pool, oval in shape and about 12 x 8m in size, certainly deep enough for a swim in.

The Oaks trees planted by Simon van der Stell although not suitable for the warm climate here are still standing some 330 years later. One of them is completely hollow from the base to about 3 meters up.

 

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden

Van Riebeeck’s Hedge, The Dell and the Cycad Amphitheatre

Sections of  Van Riebeeck’s Hedge and the Dell area dating from the early 1900 still survive. Visit the cycads in the Cycad Amphitheatre, the rock work along the Bath stream and stone work in the Dell, Col. Bird’s Bath, Main Pond, and the living plant collections.

City Walk

The District Six Museum

The District Six Museum, established in December 1994, works with the memories of the District Six experience and with that of forced removals more generally.

In addition to being a community space for ex-residents to gather and meet, the Museum has also become a site that tells the story of District Six to visitors from near and far. It has been designed in such a way that a visitor can wander in off the street and go on a self-guided tour, and if preferred, can have the privilege of experiencing of having a tour with a former resident of the destroyed District Six

Guided tours are available at the following times from Monday to Friday (and on Saturdays by pre-arrangement) Please note that if a tour is fully booked then you will have to wait for the next available opening or guide.

Iziko Museums

Iziko Museums of South Africa (Iziko) operates 11 national museums, each with its own history and character. The name Iziko, an isiXhosa word, meaning ‘hearth’, embodies the spirit of a transformed institution and our vision of African museums of excellence.

Bo-Kaap Museum: 

The Bo-Kaap Museum, situated in the historic area that became home to many Muslims and freed slaves after the abolition of slavery, showcases local Islamic culture and heritage. The Bo-Kaap itself is well worth a visit. Colourful houses, steep cobbled streets, the muezzin’s calls to prayer, and children traditionally dressed for Madrassa, add to this unique Cape experience.

The Museum was established in 1978 as a satellite of the SA Cultural History Museum. It was furnished as a house that depicts the lifestyle of a nineteenth-century Muslim family.

Planetarium and Digital Dome

The new Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome is the most advanced digital planetarium on the African continent. This multi-functional, world class facility brings digital technology to Cape Town – creating a space of innovation and discovery; where art, science and entertainment meet.

The Slave Lodge

The Slave Lodge is one of the oldest buildings in Cape Town. The many names of the building over three centuries – Slave Lodge, Government Offices Building, Old Supreme Court, and SA Cultural History Museum – reflect the long and rich history of the building.

The South African Museum

The South African Museum houses more than one and a half million specimens of scientific importance. The collections now range from fossils almost 700-million years old to insects and fish caught last week. There are also stone tools made by people 120 000 years ago, traditional clothes from the last century, and T-shirts printed yesterday.

The South African National Gallery

South Africa’s premier art museum houses outstanding collections of South African, African, British, French, Dutch and Flemish art.

Selections from the Permanent Collection change regularly to enable the museum to have a full programme of temporary exhibitions of paintings, works on paper, photography, sculpture, beadwork, textiles and architecture.

They provide insight into the extraordinary range of aesthetic production in this country, the African continent and further afield.

William Fehr Collection at the Castle of Good Hope

Fine and interesting examples of paintings and decorative arts of special relevance to the Cape are to be found in the William Fehr Collection. Contained in the collection is a wealth of historical information concerning the peoples and landscapes of early colonial South Africa. It is one of the most important public collections of artefacts of the period.

Rust en Vreugd

Rust en Vreugd was built as a home for Willem Cornelis Boers, a high-ranking official of the VOC (Dutch East India Company) known as a fiscal, around 1777–1778.

The house was built on Cape Town’s outer limits (thus the name of the street – buitenkant or outer edge) in the transitional area between town and the larger market garden farms of the upper part of the city. After Boers, the property passed to several other private citizens.

Koopmans de-Wet House

This house museum is furnished as a home for a well-to-do Cape family during the late 18th Century. It houses some of the best pieces of Cape furniture and silver in the country, in addition to a priceless collection of ceramics. A household such as this would only have been able to function with its share of servants and slaves, and recent research has brought to light the names and professions of some who lived in the house at the time, as well as the kinds of activities they would have pursued.

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Connect with us via our Cape Town Big 7 Facebook or Twitter page. Better yet, snap an Instagram shot of your favourite outdoor moment and tag @CapeTownBig7 #CTBig7 #InternationalMuseumDay

One Destination, 7 Unbelievable Experiences

There is no one way to explore all of the Cape Town Big 7, and much of what makes each of them so special is the variety of things to see and do at each. So if possible, take your time to explore each of the city’s most visited tourist attractions in as much depth as possible – as any local will tell you, you can spend a lifetime at each of the Big 7 and still not tire of them. Find the 3 and 4 day itineraries and tips here.

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