Cape Town, South Africa

by Jaclyn Abergas | March 18th, 2010 | Travel Shopping

Usually when people (myself included) talk about South Africa, they think of safaris, animals, outdoor adventures, and nature. Rarely do they think about shopping. But, yes, shopping can be done here.

There are basically three kinds of places you can spend your money in Cape Town: malls, markets and factory shops.

Shopping Malls

There are seven major shopping malls in Cape Town, and this list includes: Cavendish Square, Constantia Village, Bayside Centre, Tygervalley, Somerset Mall, Canal Walk and, probably the best mall here, V&A Waterfront.

The best thing about these malls is you can buy almost anything South Africa offers here. From original and handmade artwork to designer clothes and cosmetics, V&A Waterfront is the place to go. Canal Walk is home to Mr. Price, a South African favorite. Mr. Price sells fashionable clothes at a bargain price, and customers have been known to inspect every square inch of the store to make sure they did not miss any bargains.


Open-air and craft markets also can be found in the streets of Cape Town. Greenmarket Square is the most popular market in Cape Town. You’ll find all sorts of African arts and crafts here, including jewelry, painting and kitchenware.

Another one is called the Pan American Market, which sources different African artifacts from all over the continent. If you want authentic tribal masks, be sure to visit this market.

Another market you can visit is the Woodstock Market. You won’t find a lot of African arts and crafts here. Instead, you’ll find different kinds of local African food and dishes.

They may sell different items but one thing is for sure: do not forget to barter for prices.

Factory Shops

There are a lot of factory shops in South Africa but a lot more situated in and near Cape Town. There really are too many to mention, and it also depends on the item you’re looking for. Just do a quick search and a list will pop up.

Because of its lower conversion rate, it’s easy to shop in Cape Town. And although they do charge a 14% VAT (Value-Added Tax), you’ll be able to refund this at the airport. Just be sure to bring your passport, receipt and the item.

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