Capetonians love to shop, and expats will find that shopping malls are ubiquitous in the city.
Location often influences the kinds of stores that feature in each mall. For example, the V&A Waterfront and Cape Quarter are situated in prime tourist territory, so expats should expect to find luxury items with prices to match. On the other hand, Canal Walk offers more practical stores that align with local needs and budgets.
Shopping malls in Cape Town
The much-photographed V&A Waterfront wraps around the old Cape Town harbour and is set against the always-breathtaking Table Mountain. There is a huge choice of shops, including upmarket clothing shops, supermarkets such as Pick 'n Pay and Woolworths, and bookshops. There are also many restaurants, a cinema and entertainment options such as the aquarium, boat trips, bands and buskers.
Located in the Southern Suburbs, the upmarket Cavendish shopping centre is packed with a huge range of shops from supermarkets to boutiques, bookshops and home décor shops. There are also plenty of restaurants and coffee shops as well as a cinema.
Canal Walk is situated in the Northern Suburbs, just off the N1 highway. Canal Walk has hundreds of shops, including international brands, clothing shops, supermarkets, restaurants, fast food outlets, toy shops and a cinema. The shopping here might be slightly less upmarket than Cavendish or the Waterfront, but the choice at Cape Town's biggest shopping centre is vast.
With over 80 stores, Constantia Village is an ambient, opulent shopping experience set in the heart of the vineyard-peppered, old-world charm of Constantia. Here, expats will find a number of great eateries, jewellery stores and fashion boutiques as well as a large supermarket.
This petite shopping centre packs a punch, full of unique designer brands, upmarket artisans, fabulous florists and incredible restaurants.
Markets in Cape Town
Markets have become a mainstay for local fun in Cape Town. Expats won't find bustling souks or monstrous bazaars in the Mother City, but manageable niche markets have sprung up to offer everything from fresh produce and gourmet eats to collectable antiques and fantastic flea market finds. There are scores of weekly markets of all types dotted throughout the city.
The Bay Harbour Market
Situated in Hout Bay, this market is well worth the trip. It is open every weekend and is a must-visit for local curios, pottery, art and furniture.
Built in 1696, Greenmarket Square is one of Cape Town's oldest market locations. The market is open daily and tends to cater to the tourist market with a wide variety of stalls selling African curios, clothing and candles.
The Neighbourgoods Market
Delicious food stalls, local cheeses, wine, crêpes, fresh bread and organic food can be found at this famed Cape Town market. Situated at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, it's open every Saturday and Sunday.
►In need of a bit of pampering? See Beauty and Spas in Cape Town for some recommendations
Are you an expat living in Cape Town?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Cape Town. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
For anyone starting a new life abroad, ensuring access to good quality healthcare is essential. Cigna Global are specialists in providing international health plans for expats, ensuring you have access to quality care and support whenever you need it. Cigna’s health plans can be tailored exactly to meet the individual needs of you and your family.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.