Markets

South Africa’s best markets to snag a bargain!

Markets in South Africa are a visual and sensory feast. There are handmade crafts and art, home-baked food, unique gift ideas and lots more suited for all budgets. It’s a great way to take a little bit of South Africa back home with you whilst supporting the local community!

The Greenmarket Square Market in the heart of Cape Town’s business district is one of South Africa’s most vibrant markets. Vendors from all over Africa come to show off their hand-painted fabric, clothing. footwear and African crafts.

A trip to Greenmarket Square is a feast for the senses with a number of local performers entertaining shoppers making for a great day out.

Surrounding the marketplace are a wonderful selection of coffee shops and restaurants whose pavement tables are a great place to soak up the atmosphere!

The Greenmarket Square market is open Monday to Saturday 9am – 4pm but the best time to visit is on Saturday morning when the vibe is unbeatable!

Greenmarket Square

The Bay Harbour Markets are located just outside of Cape Town in Hout Bay, a historic and functioning fishing village. Hout Bay has long been a popular tourist attraction among both local and international visitors because of its great surfing (Hout Bay is recognised as one of sixteen ‘big wave spots’ around the globe), local colour and beautiful scenery.

The markets are in a functioning fish factory and take place every Friday evening and on weekends.

Their mission is to celebrate the vibrancy, spirit and diversity of creativity and culture that make South Africa such a unique country, whilst developing the creative and business skills of the vendors to build an uplifted community.

Shoppers can focus on the art, craft and fashion stalls or can sample the fresh local produce and pre-made meals all whilst listening to amazing local musicians live on stage each evening.

There are also more informal local markets near the beach in Hout Bay where you will find fantastic handmade South African arts and crafts. At these informal markets, you can often bargain with the seller about the price of the items you are buying.

Hout Bay vendor

Sellers with their crafts in Hout Bay. Image courtesy of Khaled AL-Ajmi, aka Khaled100

Food lovers in Johannesburg are spoiled for choice when it comes to delicious local and organic food markets. The Jozi Food Market  offers a smorgasbord of quality products, handmade with care in the local community.  The markets are open every Saturday morning in the lovely suburb of Parkhurst

Expect to find everything from raw honey and flavourful, homemade sausages, decadent sweet treats and heavenly fresh-from-the-oven breads.

Jozi Food Market

Photo courtesy of fiverlocker

The Neighbourgoods Market in Johannesburg is another option to excite your taste-buds. Housed in a modernist building that has a spectacular 15-storey wall mural by the famed artist Eduardo Villa, the market has a great vibe and offers tasty food, including paella, bunny chow (hollowed-out half-loaves of bread filled with curry), Balkan burgers, oysters, gelato and massive pancakes . This market takes place every Saturday from 9am in a parking garage; it closes at 3pm and can get quite full on warm days. There is also a rooftop seating area and vintage clothing stores.

For a taste of what you will find at the Neighbourgoods Market check out this amazing video…

For something a little different, visitors to Durban should check out the Victoria Street Market which celebrates Durban’s long history with India (Durban has the highest population of Indians outside of Asia).  Built to resemble a Maharajah’s palace, the Victoria Street Market is essential for those who want to experience Durban’s relaxed Afro-Indian atmosphere and pick up some great bargains.

A great way to experience the Victoria Street Market and the nearby Zulu Muti (traditional African medicine) Market is to take a guided walking tour which explores Durban’s Indian community and ends up at the Victoria Street Market.  Here you will find dealers of traditional kurtas and saris as well as ornately embroidered fabrics, and barrels of aromatic spices.

Victoria Street Market

The popular Victoria Street Market
© Image courtesy Niall McNulty

No matter which market you choose, the beauty of South Africa has long been a source of inspiration to the country’s artists and craftsmen and women, who are well known for the beautiful work they produce in both the cities and the rural areas, working with diverse and creative materials to produce both traditional and contemporary artworks.

South Africa’s best markets to snag a bargain!

Markets in South Africa are a visual and sensory feast. There are handmade crafts and art, home-baked food, unique gift ideas and lots more suited for all budgets. It’s a great way to take a little bit of South Africa back home with you whilst supporting the local community!

The Greenmarket Square Market in the heart of Cape Town’s business district is one of South Africa’s most vibrant markets. Vendors from all over Africa come to show off their hand-painted fabric, clothing. footwear and African crafts.

A trip to Greenmarket Square is a feast for the senses with a number of local performers entertaining shoppers making for a great day out.

Surrounding the marketplace are a wonderful selection of coffee shops and restaurants whose pavement tables are a great place to soak up the atmosphere!

The Greenmarket Square market is open Monday to Saturday 9am – 4pm but the best time to visit is on Saturday morning when the vibe is unbeatable!

Greenmarket Square

The Bay Harbour Markets are located just outside of Cape Town in Hout Bay, a historic and functioning fishing village. Hout Bay has long been a popular tourist attraction among both local and international visitors because of its great surfing (Hout Bay is recognised as one of sixteen ‘big wave spots’ around the globe), local colour and beautiful scenery.

The markets are in a functioning fish factory and take place every Friday evening and on weekends.

Their mission is to celebrate the vibrancy, spirit and diversity of creativity and culture that make South Africa such a unique country, whilst developing the creative and business skills of the vendors to build an uplifted community.

Shoppers can focus on the art, craft and fashion stalls or can sample the fresh local produce and pre-made meals all whilst listening to amazing local musicians live on stage each evening.

There are also more informal local markets near the beach in Hout Bay where you will find fantastic handmade South African arts and crafts. At these informal markets, you can often bargain with the seller about the price of the items you are buying.

Hout Bay vendor

Sellers with their crafts in Hout Bay. Image courtesy of Khaled AL-Ajmi, aka Khaled100

Food lovers in Johannesburg are spoiled for choice when it comes to delicious local and organic food markets. The Jozi Food Market  offers a smorgasbord of quality products, handmade with care in the local community.  The markets are open every Saturday morning in the lovely suburb of Parkhurst

Expect to find everything from raw honey and flavourful, homemade sausages, decadent sweet treats and heavenly fresh-from-the-oven breads.

Jozi Food Market

Photo courtesy of fiverlocker

The Neighbourgoods Market in Johannesburg is another option to excite your taste-buds. Housed in a modernist building that has a spectacular 15-storey wall mural by the famed artist Eduardo Villa, the market has a great vibe and offers tasty food, including paella, bunny chow (hollowed-out half-loaves of bread filled with curry), Balkan burgers, oysters, gelato and massive pancakes . This market takes place every Saturday from 9am in a parking garage; it closes at 3pm and can get quite full on warm days. There is also a rooftop seating area and vintage clothing stores.

For a taste of what you will find at the Neighbourgoods Market check out this amazing video…

For something a little different, visitors to Durban should check out the Victoria Street Market which celebrates Durban’s long history with India (Durban has the highest population of Indians outside of Asia).  Built to resemble a Maharajah’s palace, the Victoria Street Market is essential for those who want to experience Durban’s relaxed Afro-Indian atmosphere and pick up some great bargains.

A great way to experience the Victoria Street Market and the nearby Zulu Muti (traditional African medicine) Market is to take a guided walking tour which explores Durban’s Indian community and ends up at the Victoria Street Market.  Here you will find dealers of traditional kurtas and saris as well as ornately embroidered fabrics, and barrels of aromatic spices.

Victoria Street Market

The popular Victoria Street Market
© Image courtesy Niall McNulty

No matter which market you choose, the beauty of South Africa has long been a source of inspiration to the country’s artists and craftsmen and women, who are well known for the beautiful work they produce in both the cities and the rural areas, working with diverse and creative materials to produce both traditional and contemporary artworks.

Five cool things to do in Durban
Durban is famous for its balmy weather, lush, subtropical feel and its links to the Orient. Here are five cool ways to experience South Africa’s most popular holiday destination.
Trainee life guards at Durban’s North Beach

Never been to Durban before? Here are a few must-dos when you’re there…

1. Dip your toes in the Indian Ocean

Durban’s claim to fame is the balmy waters of the Indian Ocean that make year-round swimming and surfing a pleasure, and it’s not unusual to see Durbanites nipping down to the water’s edge for a quick surf between business engagements. Take a stroll along the beachfront and spot the incredible sand sculptures that are a permanent fixture here, or chat to the lifeguards whose job it is to keep an eye on anyone who ventures into the water.

Sand sculptures are a fixture on the beachfront

2. Go on a city walking tour

The sprawl of Durban can be confusing and a bit overwhelming for the first-timer, so one of the best ways to acclimatise yourself to the heady cultural mix of the city is to go on a walking tour. If you’re interested in Durban’s links with the Orient, or want to see some of the historical landmarks on foot, then book a tour with Durban Tourism. It costs only R100 for an adult and will keep you occupied for several hours. The Oriental Walkabout will take you past landmarks like the Juma Musjid Mosque and the Victoria Street Market, while the Historical Walkabout will see you visiting landmark buildings like the current City Hall.

Bookings: Call Durban Tourism on +27 (0)31 3224173 to arrange a tour so that they can line up a guide for you. Tours start at 9.30am or 1.30pm, but must be arranged in advance.

An organised walking tour is a good way to orientate yourself
Durban’s City Hall

3. Buy some masala for the folks back home

Thanks to Durban’s Indian population, this city is famous for its curries and so it is virtually mandatory to eat a spicy meal when you’re here. If you want to take that nice, warm feeling back home with you, then buy some masala (mixed, ground spices). Some traders make up frighteningly hot mixes with names like ‘Arson Fire: Mother-in-Law Exterminator’. If you’re not up for the hottest of hot curries, then request a milder version to be made up especially for you. A sachet should cost around R20.

Masala piled high at a trading store in the Victoria Street Market
Stall inside Victoria Street Market

4. Visit the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board

Based in Umhlanga, north of central Durban, is the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, whose job it is to protect bathers along the coastline of this province, where the warm waters attract some 14 species of shark inshore (only three of which are dangerous to bathers). Here there is an interesting display with more information about the sea life to be found in these waters and a curio shop. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, you can also attend an audio-visual presentation and watch a shark dissection. Sharks have been known to scavenge all manner of things (like Wellington boots and even human body parts), so you never quite know what might be inside that stomach!

Where? Follow the signs on Umhlanga Rocks Drive past the Umhlanga Hospital
Contact: +27 (0)31 566 0400

A dissection at the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board
This surfboard is on display at the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board head offices in Umhlanga

5. Have sundowners at a beachfront hotel

The Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani has a great Panorama Bar and Pool Deck on the second floor, with a commanding view over the beachfront where you can watch the surfers dropping into the water off a pier, or simply enjoy the balmy air and view of the glistening water. Remember that the sun rises in the East, so you won’t see it sink into the sea but it’s a still a great place for cocktails or to enjoy one of their trademark ice creams. Another popular spot is Joe Cool’s on the beachfront.

Durban beachfront as seen from the sea

 

Five cool things to do in Durban

Durban is famous for its balmy weather, lush, subtropical feel and its links to the Orient. Here are five cool ways to experience South Africa’s most popular holiday destination.
Trainee life guards at Durban’s North Beach

Never been to Durban before? Here are a few must-dos when you’re there…

1. Dip your toes in the Indian Ocean

Durban’s claim to fame is the balmy waters of the Indian Ocean that make year-round swimming and surfing a pleasure, and it’s not unusual to see Durbanites nipping down to the water’s edge for a quick surf between business engagements. Take a stroll along the beachfront and spot the incredible sand sculptures that are a permanent fixture here, or chat to the lifeguards whose job it is to keep an eye on anyone who ventures into the water.

Sand sculptures are a fixture on the beachfront

2. Go on a city walking tour

The sprawl of Durban can be confusing and a bit overwhelming for the first-timer, so one of the best ways to acclimatise yourself to the heady cultural mix of the city is to go on a walking tour. If you’re interested in Durban’s links with the Orient, or want to see some of the historical landmarks on foot, then book a tour with Durban Tourism. It costs only R100 for an adult and will keep you occupied for several hours. The Oriental Walkabout will take you past landmarks like the Juma Musjid Mosque and the Victoria Street Market, while the Historical Walkabout will see you visiting landmark buildings like the current City Hall.

Bookings: Call Durban Tourism on +27 (0)31 3224173 to arrange a tour so that they can line up a guide for you. Tours start at 9.30am or 1.30pm, but must be arranged in advance.

An organised walking tour is a good way to orientate yourself
Durban’s City Hall

3. Buy some masala for the folks back home

Thanks to Durban’s Indian population, this city is famous for its curries and so it is virtually mandatory to eat a spicy meal when you’re here. If you want to take that nice, warm feeling back home with you, then buy some masala (mixed, ground spices). Some traders make up frighteningly hot mixes with names like ‘Arson Fire: Mother-in-Law Exterminator’. If you’re not up for the hottest of hot curries, then request a milder version to be made up especially for you. A sachet should cost around R20.

Masala piled high at a trading store in the Victoria Street Market
Stall inside Victoria Street Market

4. Visit the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board

Based in Umhlanga, north of central Durban, is the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, whose job it is to protect bathers along the coastline of this province, where the warm waters attract some 14 species of shark inshore (only three of which are dangerous to bathers). Here there is an interesting display with more information about the sea life to be found in these waters and a curio shop. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, you can also attend an audio-visual presentation and watch a shark dissection. Sharks have been known to scavenge all manner of things (like Wellington boots and even human body parts), so you never quite know what might be inside that stomach!

Where? Follow the signs on Umhlanga Rocks Drive past the Umhlanga Hospital
Contact: +27 (0)31 566 0400

A dissection at the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board
This surfboard is on display at the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board head offices in Umhlanga

5. Have sundowners at a beachfront hotel

The Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani has a great Panorama Bar and Pool Deck on the second floor, with a commanding view over the beachfront where you can watch the surfers dropping into the water off a pier, or simply enjoy the balmy air and view of the glistening water. Remember that the sun rises in the East, so you won’t see it sink into the sea but it’s a still a great place for cocktails or to enjoy one of their trademark ice creams. Another popular spot is Joe Cool’s on the beachfront.

Durban beachfront as seen from the sea

 

Discover the unique spice trails of Durban

Buzzing, vibrant and exotic, Durban offers a South African experience that is uniquely its own. The coastal city in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal is the third largest in the country and brings together the best of city, sea and culture. More →

Discover the unique spice trails of Durban

Buzzing, vibrant and exotic, Durban offers a South African experience that is uniquely its own. The coastal city in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal is the third largest in the country and brings together the best of city, sea and culture. More →

Sunday Markets in and around Cape Town

Sunday is a day of rest, so grab the family and take a lazy drive and or walk to any of these Sunday Markets in and around Cape Town.

Sunday markets in Cape Town:

Spier’s Craft Market
Visit this market for contemporary and traditional artworks by local crafters. Open daily between 10:00 and 18:00 during summer and between 10:30 and 17:30 during winter, expect a selection of quality textiles, woodwork, ceramics, African bead work, crafted pottery and handmade Nguni-style tapestries woven by women from the Keiskamma Embroidery project (Eastern Cape).

The Red Shed Art and Craft Market
Visit South Africa’s largest indoor craft market for handmade merchandise and art. Open between 09:00 and 21:00 Monday to Friday and between 10:00 and 21:00 on Sundays and public holidays, the market offers a unique atmosphere that brings the shopper closer to the creator.

Victoria Wharf | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 408 7840

The Waterfront Craft Market
For a diverse assortment of innovative designs, traditional handcrafts, antiquities and holistic lifestyle accessories look no further than this charming market, open between 09:00 and 21:00 Monday to Friday and between 10:00 and 21:00 on Sundays and public holidays.

Adjacent to the Two Oceans Aquarium | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 408 7840

Constantia Craft Market
Set in environmental parkland in the heart of Constantia; this elite market offers goods which echo the beauty of the African continent. Visit during the first and last weekend of every month for 100 small shops selling individual work. The market has credit card, refreshment, wheelchair and restroom facilities, with parking next door.

Alphen Common | Constantia Road | Constantia (opposite Constantia Village Shopping Centre)

Green Point Flee Market
Are you not sure what you’re looking for? Visit the market that sells everything with over 400 stalls of cooking and electrical goods, antiques and bric-a-brac, books and magazines, and hardware. The market opens between 08:30 and 17:00 every Sunday and you can also get your chops around some tasty morsels at the Food Emporium including fish and chips, boerewors rolls and Cape Malay delicacies.

Main parking area | Cape Town Stadium | Bill Peters Drive | Green Point | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 439 4805

The Barrow Court
For unique, exciting and novel wares in intriguing colours, this market is not to be missed. Visit between 09:00 and 21:00 Monday to Sunday and you’ll meet inspiring entrepreneurs with big dreams and bright ideas.

Victoria Wharf | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 408 7840

Millstone Eco-friendly Farm Stall and Cafe
Head to one of Cape Town’s best kept secrets for homely food in a relaxed setting with tables and chairs made from reclaimed timber. Visit between 09:00 and 17:00 from Tuesday to Sunday to enjoy lazy breakfasts or lunches, vegetables delivered via horse and cart and homemade preserves and jams.

Oude Molen Eco Village | Alexandra Street | Pinelands | +27 (0)21 447 8226

Kirstenbosch Craft Market
Join 190 crafters offering a variety of hand crafted goods, refreshments and even pony rides. Visit between 09:00 and 13:00 on the last Sunday of every month, from January to May, from September to November and the second and third Saturday of every month during December for gifts, curios, clothing and home ware. Why not take a stroll through Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens afterwards?

Rhodes Drive | Newlands (opposite main gates of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens | +27 (0)21 799 8800

Khayelitsha Craft Market
Head to this market for a chance to interact with locals, buy crafts and souvenirs and enjoy refreshments and traditional African meals. The market operates between 09:00 and 14:00 on weekdays and between 09:00 and 12:00 every Sunday.

St. Michaels and All Angels Anglican Church | Khayelitsha | +27 (0)21 361 5246

Milnerton Flea Market
Visit an excellent junk and second-hand flea market where you can find t-shirts, car parts, computers, Tupperware, telephones, exercise machines, kitchen sets, CD’s, pancakes and ginger beer. The market with everything is open between 07:00 and 16:00 on Saturday and Sunday.

Otto du Plessis Drive | Paarden Island | Cape Town

Century City Natural Goods Market
Are you looking for a unique gift or a handmade treasure? Head to an outdoor market with 40 traders stalls selling quality products and produce. Open from between 09:00 and 15:00 on the first Sunday of every month the market is a relaxed environment where you can also enjoy a good cup of coffee and a bite to eat.

Central Park | Park Lane | Century City | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 531 2173

The Sunday Island Market
If you’re thinking of decorating your house look no further than Cape Town’s first dedicated indoor home and lifestyle market. Open between 10:00 and 15:00 every Sunday a host of shopping and lifestyle booths include delectable food, wine tasting, home and decor products and free and supervised children’s activities. It’s a day out for the whole family with free entry and parking.

1st & 2nd Floor | Northgate Island Shopping Centre | Section Street | Milnerton | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 511 4909

Family Farmers Market at Lourensford Wine Estate
Nominated in Eat In Magazines ‘Best Market’ catergory of its Produce Awards for 2011 this market is home to delicious foods including breads, pastries, trout, cakes, vegetables and Bratwurst as well as a variety of wine, jewellery, plants and clothing. Visit between 09:00and 16:00 on the first Saturday and Sunday of every month to relax in their stunning gardens with an alfresco lunch whilst listening to live music. There’s also plenty of kids entertainment. Read more about A One Day Holiday at Lourensford Wine Estate.

Lourensford Road | Somerset West | +27 (0)21 847 2259

Obs Holistic Lifestyle Fair
One of Cape Town’s oldest markets this market will satisfy those with a holistic and healthy appetite with therapist and life readers, vegan, halal, organic and slow food, green, eco, recycled, health and healing products and much more. Open between 10:00 and 16:00 on the first Sunday of every month the market is both dog and child friendly and offers patrolled parking.

Observatory Community Centre | Observatory (off Station and lower Main roads and Drake Street) +27 (0)21 788 8088

Don’t let the sunset on a Sunday be a sad thing – plan your week and following weekend by taking time to visit a market. Monday markets, Tuesday markets, Wednesday markets, Thursday markets, Friday markets, Saturday markets Part 1, Saturday markets part 2 and Saturday markets part 3 that happen throughout Cape Town and surrounds throughout the year.

Website: wwwcapetownmagazine.com