South Africa's Mother City is a truly unique place to visit for any traveller, especially at Christmas. It may be summer in Cape Town, but there's still plenty of Christmas spirit to go around.
At this magical time of the year, there are so many things to do in South Africa. From the Festival of Lights to the annual Carols by Candlelight event or our personal favourite, having a delicious holiday lunch at one of the wine estates. To help you get into the festive spirit, we have put together some of our top tips on how to celebrate Christmas in Cape Town.
Explore the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden between 12th and 15th December, where they provide an annual carolling event by candlelight for the holiday celebrations. This tradition has gone on for almost 30 years and is one of the most popular Christmas events in Cape Town. Whilst the live performance proceeds, there are also plenty of activities to enjoy on the streets, which are vibrantly lit with glowsticks instead of candles. Make sure to book your tickets for this event early as it often attracts over 20,000 visitors every year.
Each December, Cape Town is decorated with festive lights, delicious food and Christmas gifts. Many live concerts start in the afternoon down Adderley Street during the Festival of Lights, whilst through the day there are stalls lining the streets selling everything from delicious food and drink to handcrafted Christmas gifts. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the tradition, so you can expect the organisers to truly pull out all the stops.
Rather than going through the daunting experience of being herded through gigantic shopping malls to find your Christmas gifts, explore Cape Town's wonderful pop-up Christmas markets. You'll love the amazing food, wine, and a festive vibe that is on offer while you shop for unique, artisanal gifts. Some of the most popular Christmas markets include Cape Gift Market at Sea Point City Hall, Stellenbosch Kersmark, Lourensford Christmas Market, and Pinelands Craft and Gift Fair.
If you are in search of an incredible dining experience in Cape Town during the festive season, make sure you explore the many wine estates offering special Christmas lunches and dinner around the city. Our personal favourite is Grand Provence, where you can embrace the Christmas spirit by singing along to carols by candlelight on Christmas Eve before tucking into a sumptuous dinner. The Restaurant at Grande Provence offers guests a lavish six-course festive menu on Christmas Day. The festive menu is available from Christmas Eve dinner, until Christmas Day and offers an exciting array of dishes that will satisfy every culinary desire.
For a truly unique Christmas Day experience, sit under the stars at the Galileo Open-Air Cinema. This Christmas they are offering a special screening of How The Grinch Stole Christmas for the whole family to enjoy. The gigantic screen is erected so moviegoers can relax on the picnic lawns whilst watching this Christmas classic. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. There are also beverages, games and other entertainment highlights to be enjoyed.
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