Many visitors come to Cape Town to witness its spectacular scenery and dramatic coastline first hand but the city also has a rich cultural life to boot. Whether you’re interested in seeing contemporary African art at a ground-breaking museum, learning about the poignant history of the city or trying your hand at some Cape Malay cooking, guests at The 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa will have plenty of opportunity to explore the cultural attractions of Cape Town.
The Silo Precinct & MOCAA Museum
Opened in late 2017, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, otherwise known as the Zeitz-Mocaa, is Africa’s largest museum dedicated to contemporary art. Part of the popular Victoria & Albert waterfront, the magnificent museum is housed within what was once a grain silo and was designed by architect Thomas Heatherwick. The incredible space houses over 100 galleries across nine floors and celebrates African artwork produced in the 21st century. With a collection that includes photography, film and performing arts, expect a multi-sensory experience and a unique insight into contemporary African culture.
District Six & Bo Kaap
Some of the most historic areas of Cape Town, a visit to District Six Museum which chronicles the history of this vibrant area, which started out as a mixed community of freed slaves, immigrants and crafts people but became a focal point for segregation during Apartheid. From there, head to Bo Kaap, another area of historic interest, which was once the home of the Cape Malay people, those who had been brought from Malaysia, Indonesia and other parts of Africa to work in Cape Town. Today visitors can learn about Cape Malay cuisine, which has had a huge influence on South African dishes,
courtesy a Bo-Kaap Cooking Tour. The experience involves a cooking lesson in a local house followed by la traditional meal.
The Irma Stern Museum
Once home to Irma Stern, the South African artist known for her Expressionist paintings, the Irma Stern Museum now showcases work by the artist, ranging from drawings to ceramics, as well as Stern’s collection of African and Oriental art. The house itself is a fitting representation of the artist, with its cheerfully painted furniture and bright colour scheme, and there’s also a regular changing programme of exhibitions.
Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome
Cover two very different but equally intriguing cultural topics when you visit the Iziko South African Museum and the adjacent Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome. Situated in the beautiful Company’s Garden, the South African Museum was the country’s very first museum, opened in 1825, and its exhibits include more than one and a half million important scientific specimens. Expect 700 million year old fossils alongside traditional clothes and exhibitions on marine life and African dinosaurs. Head over to the most digitally advanced planetarium in Africa for an out of this world experience courtesy of the impressive dome theatre. Guaranteed to please both grown ups and children, this audio visual centre combines education with creativity.
The 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa is ideally located for exploring Cape Town’s cultural life.
Image Credits: Lead image © Irma Stern Museum, Zeitz MOCAA exterior © Wianelle Briers. Traditional Cape Malay meal © Bo-Kaap Cooking Tour. Irma Stern's studio © Irma Stern Museum.