Cape Town Heritage Tour: Exploring The Bo Kaap

Cape Town has a plethora of unique and exciting activities to offer both visitors and locals alike. There are Winelands tours for those who enjoy the quaint, historical scenery; hikes up Table Mountain, and there are Cape Town heritage tours of the Bo-Kaap for people who want to learn more about Cape Town’s unique past.

When you are booking a Cape Town heritage tour, you should look out for things to do and see in the area. You could opt for a free walking tour of the area, a visit to the Bo-Kaap Museum, or even a day spent walking around the food and craft market.

Not sure where to start? Below we take a look at how to make the most of exploring the Bo-Kaap on your Cape Town heritage tour. 

Take A Free Walking Tour

One of the most popular activities for any Bo-Kaap Cape Town heritage tour is a free walking tour. Visitors are able to see the area on foot while also gaining interesting insights into the history and culture of the Bo-Kaap itself. There are several tour companies which offer this option, with tours departing three times a day at different intervals.

The walking tours start at Green Market Square on Shortmarket Street. You will be shown the hidden gems of the area while also discovering the rich history of what was formerly known as the Malay Quarter. There are historical areas and shops to explore, as well as tucked-away restaurants serving sumptuous Cape Malay cuisine.

Visit The Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum

If you would like a more in-depth look at the history of the Bo-Kaap, opt to visit the Bo-Kaap museum on your next Cape Town heritage tour. It was established in 1976 as an extension of the South African Cultural History Museum. The Museum showcases local Islamic culture and heritage from the nineteenth century.  The Bo-Kaap itself is well worth a visit for its colourful houses, steep cobbled streets, calls to prayer, and children in traditional dress for Madrassa. Today it stands as a symbol of a nineteenth-century Muslim family.

The past, culture, and political climate of the Bo-Kaap is explored in this tiny museum, making it the ideal stop-off for those who enjoy learning about history. No Cape Town tour is complete without visiting this heritage site.

Explore The Food And Craft Market

For those who enjoy soaking up the culture of the area by way of food, your Cape Town tour should include a visit to the Bo-Kaap Food And Craft Market. Entry to this market is free, but be sure to bring along some money so you can try the delicious food on offer or snap up a souvenir or two. The market is held on the first Saturday of every month.

Food-wise, you will find a variety of delectable offerings, including home-made cakes, samoosas and koeksisters. Some of the crafts you are able to buy include hand-made jewellery, fun beaded souvenirs, and other unique items. This market is hosted by the Bo-Kaap Cultural and Heritage Gateway, a Women Empowerment Group who aim to uplift local women with the help of skills-development efforts. 

Surround Yourself With Spices

One of the main attractions of visiting the Bo-Kaap is a trip to the Atlas Trading Company. It is better known as the Bo-Kaap Spice Market and is a truly magical place for those who enjoy using spices in their cooking. The market was established in 1946, making it a unique stop off for both food and cultural enthusiasts.

There are many local delights to be found at the Atlas Trading company, including swad and local chutney, henna, mango powder, and local Cape Malay spices. For those visiting from another country who want to take home a little slice of South Africa, this spice mecca should be at the top of your to-visit-list.

Beautiful Bo-Kaap

On your next Cape Town heritage tour, be sure to add the beautiful Bo-Kaap to your list. You can learn more about the area by taking a free walking tour and visiting the local museum or you can immerse yourself in the rich food culture by exploring the spice and food markets on offer.

If you would like to explore the Bo-Kaap or book a unique Cape Town tour, look no further – contact T&R Transfers today and let us take care of the rest.

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