Some historians argue into the existence of marketplaces since humans started trading in ancient times. But independent of Babylonians, Phoenicians or Assyrians being the first to introduce the public get togethers for exchanging goods – one thing seems to be certain, the early bazaars often stretched across the whole city, from one gate of the city wall to the other.
Even up to now you find the astounding 1.5-kilometres-long street bazaar at Tabriz in Iran. It is considered the longest open market in the world and one of the most essential commercial midpoints along the Silk Road. Luckily, you decided on a car hire Cape Town – as it means you will not have to walk such extended distances but moreover get the chance of driving to a number of vivid and bustling markets across the whole of South Africa.
All the same but different
You can find food and craft markets all around the world, but that is no reason you would have to travel far. Now that you are in Cape Town, you find numerous markets in the Mother City and its surroundings alone, rounded off by even more such lively squares in the country.
In many aspects, they are all similar, taking place on weekends, featuring local fresh food and drinks, handmade arts and crafts, offering entertainment from live music to short performances by dancers, comedians or actors, captivating the visitors with relaxing and animated atmospheres.
At the same time, each one is unique and worthwhile to be explored. So, take the chance, take the keys from your car hire Cape Town vehicle, and take off. You had a long Friday night and were planning to sleep in? No problem. Your first stop is an exception to the rule, it takes place every day. In addition, it is not far and open to the late hours in the afternoon!
Summer In the City
No part of the old guard
So where do we go? To Greenmarket Square. Situated right in the heart of the city, the city’s heart would not beat as loud and cheerfully without it. Only the Grand Parade is an older public space but has never been a cheerful hub as the Greenmarket Square. Latter evolved from the Company Gardens, where the Dutch East Indian Company used to get their supply of fresh fruits and vegetables.
It did not take long before the variety of goods widened – nowadays including everything from canvasses to shoes and bags up to jewellery and textiles. Not to miss it, park your car hire Cape Town hatchback, limousine or 4×4 close to the old town house and walk on top of the historic cobbles along the kaleidoscopic stalls. Chat to the local tradespeople, bargain for some lovely curios and gifts to surprise your friends with and soak in the characteristic atmosphere of a busy day in the rainbow nation.
No matter how the answer, this time you will have to leave your bed on a Saturday or Sunday in the morning, in order to head towards the dynamic and creative Neighbourgoods Market. But don’t key this destination in the GPS you received from your car hire Cape Town. You will have to go for “Old Biscuit Mill”. Although – you might as well leave it at all and just follow the queue of cars, all driving to one of Cape Town’s places to be.
More than a century ago, the now old biscuit mill used to be a new one: It was founded in the early 1900s by the Pyott’s biscuit company and continued producing the scrumptious sweets up to 1946. It took another 60 years until Justin Rhodes and Cameron Munro opened the fashionable market in a vintage Victorian warehouse in the by then unfashionable area of Woodstock. They introduced their fellow South Africans to organic and fair-trade food, convincing them of the advantages of locally grown vegetables and handmade bread – for health reasons as well as supporting regional entrepreneurs.
With time, the farmers market became more and more a success, up to this day counting hundreds of visitors flocking to the cool hangout in order to indulge in delicious food specialities, tasting the newest wine purveyors’ grape juices, falling in love with clothes, accessories or artworks by ambitious young designers. Despite the enormous popularity, you will find parking. In other words: Make use of your great car hire Cape Town and head to Cape Town’s dog friendly must-see marketplace!
Oranjezicht in Green Point
The name is misleading – do not steer the wheel of your car hire Cape Town vehicle towards Oranjezicht. Instead, follow the way downhill to Granger Bay next to the Victoria and Alfred waterfront on any morning on the weekend or late afternoon on summer Wednesdays. In tribute to what used to be the largest farm in the Upper Table Valley for about 200 years from 1709, the chilled place with its amazing views onto the Atlantic is still called Oranjezicht City Farm Market up to toady.
Go there and find everything from organic fruits, herbs and vegetables to homemade bread and more in the artisanal food stalls. Forgot your long sleeve? Get a new one in a shabby chick style, and then wonder around and spoil yourself with a bunch of flowers before sitting down inside the while the South Easter does its best to blow everything away. Of course, on windless days there is hardly anything comparable to grabbing one of the chairs and treating yourself to a hearty salad in the outside area.
2 floors, 25 stalls, 2.000 square-metres
The Mojo Market is different. Open every day for the whole day, you find 25 food stalls and ten clothing outlets in the 2.000 square-metre, double-volume, vibrant market close to Cape Town’s promenade. Traders not only focus on high quality meals and accessories but also on sustainability: In most cases you get your snack served on bamboo plates, together with biodegradable cutlery. If you are not hungry, it still pays off to get there with your car hire Cape Town – especially if you are passionate about listening to live music or watching live sports on big screens, together with other fans.
Kirstenbosch Gardens in a different way
Every last Sunday of each summer month, a visit to Newlands in your car hire Cape Town vehicle opens up the opportunity of combining warm weather with a diversity of indigenous plant species as well as exceptional handmade jewellery, pottery, clothing and more from one of the over 200 different traders. Relax in the beautiful stone cottage grounds with a craft beer or handpicked local wine in your hand, listening to the jazz-music by the Craft Market Quartet, enjoying the vibrant atmosphere at the Kirstenbosch Craft and Food Market.
Fish instead of biscuits
The Bay Harbour Market is also set inside an old factory – but the production was salty, not sweet: Fresh fish from the sea was processed, packed, and sold to supermarkets. Thanks to your car hire Cape Town, three times a week you can think anew about driving to the vibrant marketplace. Every Friday night and during daytime on Saturdays and Sundays, locals and tourists meet in this buzzling place, buying from local craftsmen, listening to South African musicians, enjoying delicious meals and healthy drinks. During hot summer days, the small patio invites you to get some shafts of sunlight in your face, in winter it is hot red wine and a fireplace that keep you warm.
Much more than simply grapes
Part of deciding on your car hire Cape Town were the winelands? I don’t blame you, in contrary: It is totally understandable to hire a comfortable vehicle of choice from Around About Cars to head to Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. Apart from the noble grapes, there are more reasons to pay the beautiful region a visit: Marketplaces, for instance…
Dancing into the weekend
Another time to say goodbye to the working week in another trendy bar in Camps Bay? Choose something different and have an evening to remember at the Boschendal’s Friday Night Market in Franschhoek. Not only the unique setting of this prominent estate with its magnificent mountain views is barely beatable. The historic Werf area is as fascinating – while indulging in an array of artisanal food and drink specialities you feel like taken back in time. Only, of course, up to the moment in which the rousing live-music gets you up and dancing. Just note that the rule is cashless payments only – including Zapper and Snapscan.
For partygoers and families
With the Lourensford Market in Somerset West you have got the choice between an enchanting Friday night atmosphere or an entertaining weekend day. All I can guarantee: Irrespective of your decision, you will be having a great time by strolling through the stalls before sitting down with your food in the communal eating area with its stunning views onto the Hottentots Holland mountain range. Enjoy a glass of excellent wine while the kids have fun with face-painting and other activities in the award-winning garden.
And the story goes on …
I have not even got to half of all the vibrant markets you find in and around the Mother City. To not leave you in the dark about markets further away, and to accommodate you with longer drives you certainly long for after your car hire Cape Town decision, here a few more. For more details, you can look the up or simply ask the competent and friendly Around About Cars staff for the best route to get their as well as their take on it.
Stay in the Western Cape
Every Saturday and Sunday you can step into a vast indoor market, at once stepping back in time: The Elgin Railway Market used to be an apple warehouse. It is worth a trip for the whole family as it offers numerous activities for the young ones while you can relax with some delicious organic food specialities in the beautiful landscape of the Overberg region.
On Saturdays, the Hermanus Cricket Club members make space for the community Country Market with local traders selling exclusively their own goods. Chat to them about their products, try everything from wheat-free pastries to handmade cheeses and homemade bakes while having your dog sitting next to you. The Wild Oats Market in Sedgefield takes place every Saturday morning. A perfect stop with your car hire Cape Town vehicle once you have set off for a tour along the world-famous Garden Route.
Don’t make the mistake to have breakfast before you leave the Mother City as plenty of healthy food items such as wraps or muffins await your appetite. A proud winner of multiple awards, the rustic market has been running for a good 15 years by now, attracting both farmers and individuals, uniting people from different cultures, bringing together urban and rural – all resulting in a blended community exploring food sources, experiencing awareness for sustainability as well as agricultural topics.
Go to Gauteng
For the last two marketplaces on my list, you have to drive a long way. Another reason to be aware of the perfect decision for a car hire Cape Town with Around About Cars! In the Boeremark up North you find a convivial atmosphere, a mixture of people of all ages and cultures as well as a surprising range of fresh produce. The market itself is less trendy but authentic and down to earth, attracting people from all over for more than 18 years by now.
The Bryanston Organic market in Johannesburg can only laugh about the young 18-year-old: It itself has existed for over three decades already, selling solely high quality, handmade goods from natural cosmetics to lactose free ice creams and vegan breads. At least as important as the products is getting together and socialise with likeminded creative people – accompanied with live piano music on every Thursday afternoon.