Shopping in Cape Town
Shopping in Cape Town is nothing short of eclectic from designer fashions and high-end art to local craft markets and independent stores.
The best shops lie in different pockets of Cape Town. Long Street sells surfer gear, funky fashion, old books, music, African crafts and antiques while nearby Church Street does a fine trade in antiques, vintage clothes and books. Interesting shops abound along Kloof Street and in De Waterkant and Green Point while the Old Biscuit Mill complex in Woodstock is big on independent stores. Other shopping spots include St George’s Mall by Greenmarket Square, Waterfront, Bree Street and Heritage Square.
Historic Greenmarket Square in the city centre has an African arts and crafts market while nearby, the Pan African Market (76 Long Street), offers wall-to-wall curios in a labyrinth of leathersmiths, hair-braiders and tailors. The Waterfront Craft Market is hot on curios, fashion and art, and there's more at the nearby Red Shed Craft Workshop. Join Cape Town foodies at City Bowl Market (Hope Street) on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings or enjoy the sounds of a township guitarist as you browse Hout Bay's weekend market (Harbour Road). Don't miss Adderley Street's flower market.
It's hard to beat the V&A Waterfront for location although shops can be pricey. Cape Quarter in the De Waterkant neighbourhood is a small mall with mainly independent stores while Canal Walk at Century City has over 400 stores including brand-name boutiques.
Standard hours are Monday to Saturday 0900-1800, although many open until late in the evenings and on Sundays until mid-afternoon.
It's easy to come home with carvings and jewellery that's not from South Africa, let alone local to the Cape. Shop smart though and you'll find African art, township crafts, local-design clothes and Afro-European-inspired jewellery.
VAT stands at 14%, although this is largely ignored in the markets. Visitors can reclaim it at the airport for purchases over R250, if receipts are retained. Ask for a tax invoice at the time of purchase (Tax Refunds for Tourists; www.taxrefunds.co.za).