You may already know the Big 7 is all about natural beauty, dramatic views, and fascinating history. But you may not know that each Big 7 destination gives you the chance to shop up a storm.
Not only can you pick up urgent essentials like snacks, batteries, and rain jackets, but you can also find unique Cape Town memories and gifts for friends and family back home.
Here’s our guide to shopping at the Big 7:
The V&A Waterfront
While there are dozens of reasons to visit the V&A Waterfront – from its views over the working harbour, to its engaging maritime history, year-round entertainment, and a range of fascinating museums and walks – shopping is undoubtedly still one of its biggest draw cards.
There are over 450 retail stores at the V&A Waterfront, and you can find everything from the latest fashion and technology, through to essential supplies and jewellery.
There are also three fantastic market areas to explore. The Watershed is home to more than 150 passionate tenants selling unique products such as ceramics, fashion, furniture, jewellery, and textiles.
The V&A Food Market offers a truly delectable street food experience with an energetic market feel, and the Barrow Court, in the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre, is the perfect place to pick up a selection of gifts.
If you want to reflect on your time spent at Robben Island, and the country’s turbulent history, pay a visit to the Robben Island Museum Shop. There you will find a selection of carefully curated books and memorabilia to take home as a reminder of how far we’ve come.
Table Mountain Cableway
Just because you’re standing at more than 1000 meters above sea level, with panoramic views of a buzzing city below, it doesn’t mean you can’t pick up some amazing mementos.
The Cableway’s Shop at the Top is a fantastic place to pick up a wide range of gifts, souvenirs and clothing during your time in Cape Town. You’ll find a selection of beautiful luxury items and affordable goods, as well as official Table Mountain Aerial Cableway merchandise that you won’t find anywhere else in Cape Town.
There are three other retail options located at Table Mountain as well – the Little Shop at the Top, in the Upper Cable Station Building, the Exit Shop, in the Lower Cable Station, and a shop at the Visitor Centre, where you can buy a last minute memento if you had been unable to do so earlier.
And the best part about shopping high above the bustling city is not necessarily the amazing goods and exclusive merchandise, but the knowledge that more than 90% of all goods sold on the mountain are locally produced.
You can’t go to Groot Constantia and not leave with a few bottles of award winning wine under your arm. Find out what tickles your taste buds in the on-site tasting room, and then purchase a selection of all commercially available Groot Constantia wines immediately after.
True aficionados can chat to the experienced staff about your wildest wine-related fantasies, and you may also pick up a few hard-to-find bottles of wine that you can’t locate in stores.
The Groot Constantia brand is also one of the oldest in South Africa, and you can also purchase a selection of branded clothing and gifts to share this remarkable history, and stories of your visit to the estate, with your friends and family back home.
The main appeal of Kirstenbosch is obviously the beautiful botanical gardens set against the slopes of Table Mountain, but the various stores and indigenous nursery are well worth a visit as well.
The large and diverse Kirstenbosch Shop at the main entrance stocks a wide range of souvenirs, gifts, home décor, and cosmetics, as does its smaller satellite shop located higher up at Gate 2.
If you are looking for plant-specific material, be sure to visit the Botanical Society Bookshop, as well as the Kirstenbosch Garden Centre. Both are beautiful places to brush up on your knowledge of the indigenous flora located throughout the Cape, and you can even take home a selection of plants for your own garden.
Cape Point has three fantastic stores located throughout the reserve that all, unsurprisingly, carry a fascinating nautical feel. They each offer a range of Cape Point merchandise to help you remember your time at the most South Western Corner of Africa, as well as a few essential items that you may have left behind.
Keep an eye out for the Cape Point Logo Shop, the Parks Shop, and LH5, adjacent to the lower and upper stations of the Flying Dutchman Funicular. Each store has a unique range of carefully selected products that will leave you captivated, and that will satisfy all members of the family not fortunate enough to visit this beautiful natural landmark.
The Cape Town City Centre is alive with a myriad of stores and restaurants that cater for everything from essential supplies, to fashion, gifts, and unique Cape Town and South African memorabilia.
A walk down any of the city’s bustling streets will leave you tempted to venture into the numerous fixed stores, where you will find international brands, luxury goods, or cost-effective essentials.
If you are looking for great gifts to take home with you, be sure to walk the length of St. George’s Mall to browse the goods offered by the engaging vendors. Then take a left on Longmarket or Shortmarket Streets to get to the ever-vibrant Green Market Square. This historical square in the centre of the Cape Town CBD is home to the city’s most eclectic range of souvenirs, gifts, and memorabilia that spans the length of the continent. Walk the narrow pathways between the crowded stalls ready to drive a hard bargain, and you may walk away with a superb gift with which to remember your time in the inimitable Cape Town.