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Cape Town Events

Cape Minstrels' Carnival

A celebration of music, parades, dancing and food, Cape Town’s longest-running street party is when the Cape Minstrels (Kaapse Klopse) celebrate the Second New Year (Tweede Nuwe Jaar). The tradition is believed to date back to the late 1800s when African-American musicians who docked in Cape Town entertained sailors with song-and-dance sets and the carnival marks the one day off given to slaves during the days of the Cape Colony.

Date: 02 January 2019 - 02 January 2019
Venue: Cape Town city centre to Green Point.
Cost:

Free to spectate.


Cape Town Gay Pride Parade

Celebrated since 2001, the festival’s 10 days of revelry include a gay film festival, comedy night, street fair and Red Party night in various bars across the city.

Date: 22 February 2019 - 03 March 2019
Venue: Various venues throughout Cape Town.
Website: http://www.capetownpride.org/
Cost:

Varies for different events.


Cape Town Carnival

Although still in relative infancy on the city's events calendar, the Cape Town Carnival gets more and more popular each year. It’s a fantastic affair with around 2,500 dancers in costume, colourful floats, DJs and live music throughout the day. The Stadium Forecourt hosts band performances and stalls in the afternoon before the main Carnival parade kicks off at 1900, culminating in a festive after party.

Date: 16 March 2019 - 16 March 2019
Venue: Fan Walk, Somerset Road, Green Point.
Website: http://www.capetowncarnival.com
Cost:

Free.


Human Rights Day

This public holiday remembers the Sharpeville massacre of 1960 when demonstrators were gunned down by police officers but also celebrates South Africa’s equal rights constitution. There are always lots of events across the city and top picks include the free all-day Human Rights Day Concert and Show at the V&A Waterfront amphitheatre, Cape Town Festival events in Company’s Gardens and live music at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

Date: 21 March 2019 - 21 March 2019
Venue: Various venues.
Cost:

Free.


Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Around 34,000 music lovers flock to Cape Town to enjoy over 40 international and local artists performing over two days on five stages.. Past performers include Cuban band Buena Vista Social Club, South African musician Zonke and US singer-songwriter Jill Scott. Concerts last all day and into the night, with queues forming for the bigger-name bands. The night before the festival, there’s a free community concert in Greenmarket Square.

Date: 29 March 2019 - 30 March 2019
Venue: Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Website: http://www.capetownjazzfest.com/

Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon

Race regulars call it the 'most beautiful marathon in the world' and it’s a great one to watch. Beginning at Newlands at the foot of Table Mountain, the scenic route passes Chapman's Peak, Hout Bay and Constantia Nek, with ascents rewarded by peninsula views. As well as Saturday’s full 56km (34.8 mile) Ultra Marathon, and 21.1km (13.1 mile) Half Marathon, there are Fun Runs and a Trail Run on Friday.

Date: 19 April 2019 - 20 April 2019
Venue: Newlands.
Website: http://www.twooceansmarathon.org.za
Cost:

Free to spectate.


Freedom Day

Celebrating South Africa’s first democratic elections which took place on 27 April 1994, Freedom Day is marked with cultural events and exhibitions in various venues across Cape Town and is a public holiday in South Africa. 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of this momentous event. Notable events include the rousing City Hall Sessions' Freedom Day Concert and the 4leaf Freedom Day FamFest in the Constantia wine region. Free concerts and other events are announced nearer the time.

Date: 27 April 2019 - 27 April 2019
Venue: Various venues.
Cost:

Free.


Jive Cape Town Funny Festival

Formerly the Vodacom Funny Festival, the month-long Jive Cape Town Funny Festival brings together both local and award-winning international comedians at the Baxter Theatre in Rondebosch. Past performers have included a former lead clown from circus troupe Cirque du Soleil, a jesting juggler and a highly acclaimed comedy pianist.

Date: 08 July 2019 - 04 August 2019
Venue: Baxter Theatre, Main Road, Rondebosch.
Cost:

Various.


National Women's Day

Each year at the V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre in Cape Town, people gather to celebrate National Women's Day, marking the role that women played in building South Africa but also the achievements of women from all over the world. With concerts and live performances, the amphitheatre is a great spot to enjoy the atmosphere on what’s a public holiday across the country.

Date: 09 August 2019 - 09 August 2019
Venue: V&A Waterfront.
Website: http://www.waterfront.co.za
Cost:

Free.


Cape Town International Kite Festival

The annual Cape Town International Kite Festival is one of the city's most iconic family events. The festival takes place on the beautiful grounds of Zandvlei in Muizenberg where the skies will be filled with kites from around the world, creating a visual extravaganza not to be missed. It’s South Africa's biggest kite festival with competitions, kite-making workshops for children, and food and craft stalls. Bring a kite, buy one, or just watch and admire. The festival is hosted by Cape Mental Health with proceeds going to supporting persons living with disabilities in communities in need.

Date: 26 October 2019 - 27 October 2019
Venue: Zandvlei, Muizenberg.
Website: http://www.capementalhealth.co.za/kite/
Cost:

ZAR40 (adult); ZAR15 (under 12).


Day of Reconciliation

Under South Africa's apartheid segregation system, 16 December was known as 'Day of the Vow', harking back to the vow the Voortrekkers made to God before a now infamous bloody battle with the Zulus. When the apartheid system was finally abolished in 1994, 16 December remained as a public holiday throughout South Africa but was renamed as the Day of Reconciliation. The day is now used to celebrate South Africa's cultural diversity and national unity.

Date: 16 December 2019 - 16 December 2019
Venue: Various venues around Cape Town and other locations

New Year's Eve Bash

It’s hard to beat the location of Cape Town's V&A Waterfront especially around the festive period. Live music, street performers and a host of other entertainers add an extra-special buzz to the waterfront for the ever-popular New Year's Eve Bash, one of the biggest New Year parties in the city which always attracts thousands of visitors. At midnight, an impressive fireworks display lights up the spectacular harbour.

Date: 31 December 2019 - 31 December 2019
Venue: V&A Waterfront.
Cost:

Free to spectate.


Featured Hotels

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The Fritz Hotel

In a quiet spot near Kloof Street and just up the road from buzzing Long Street, this charming guesthouse proves that budget doesn’t have to mean bland or unstylish. Original art deco furniture and commissioned pieces give the rooms a quirky feel, and some have balconies with views of Table Mountain, Lions Head and Signal Hill.

One&Only

Exclusivity comes at a price at The One&Only set on the V&A Waterfront and with panoramic views of Table Mountain and the marina. The rooms are sophisticated and stylish and amenities include a swimming pool and a spa complete with vitality pools. Enjoy rare vintages from the Wine Loft and dine at Michelin-starred chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa's Nobu or the award-winning Reuben's.

Once in Cape Town

Situated in Kloof Street, conveniently close to many of Cape Town’s attractions, Once in Cape Town is the definition of a poshtel (basically, an upscale hostel). It’s clean, comfortable, funky and affordable, and accommodation ranges from mixed and single-sex dorms to double rooms. Yours Truly, the on-site restaurant, serves delicious, fresh food (breakfast is included).

Hippo Boutique Hotel

Just off Kloof Street, close to Cape Town’s CBD and within easy reach of many bars and restaurants, the Hippo Boutique Hotel has sleek, modern rooms with wooden floors and whitewashed ceilings. Facilities include kitchenettes, air-con and Wi-Fi, and there’s also a small rooftop pool. Although there’s a bar downstairs, double glazing keeps the noise out.

Cape Royale Luxury Hotel & Spa

This all-suite hotel is as big on space as it is on design and luxury. The Sky Bar with a rooftop pool deck is the perfect spot to enjoy ocean views before dinner; stay in and try one of their restaurants (which offer Italian Indian and Asian among others) or walk ten minutes to the V&A Waterfront. A complimentary shuttle will transport guests within a 5km (3 mile) radius.

The Grand Daddy Boutique Hotel

This hotel in the CBD offers funky rooms and suites, but it’s the Rooftop Trailer Park which everyone loves here. Seven Airstream trailers imported from the USA have been revamped and individually (and playfully) themed, and although they’re not cheap to stay in they’re certainly unique. There’s also a rooftop bar and cinema, a restaurant and an inside bar called The Daddy Cool that’s a local favourite.