The cobblestone plaza of Greenmarket Square is one of Cape Town’s liveliest public spaces. Originally home to a slave market and then a produce market, the square now fills up with vendors selling painted fabrics, handcrafted jewelry, and other trinkets while street performers keep shoppers entertained with music and dance.
In addition to vendors selling their wares, Greenmarket Square is home to the Old Town House (one of South Africa’s oldest buildings) and the Gothic-revival Central Methodist Mission. You may also want to visit some of the restaurants and cafés that spill out onto the cobblestone streets. If you book a comprehensive sightseeing tour of Cape Town, it will most likely include a visit to the square.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Greenmarket Square is a must-visit for those with an interest in Cape Town history and architecture.
- Though friendly, vendors can sometimes seem aggressive when selling their wares. If you're not interested, a polite but firm "No, thank you" should suffice.
- Bring cash if you think you may want to buy something: It’s a great spot for cheap souvenirs.
How to Get There
Greenmarket Square is in the heart of the city, within a short walk of many hotels and other attractions, including the District Six Museum and Bo-Kaap Museum. The closest train station is Cape Town Station, a 15-minute walk away.
When to Get There
The flea market takes place Monday through Saturday, 9am to 4pm. If you are in town on the first Thursday of the month, you’ll also find this is a hub for First Thursday festivities, with live music performances throughout the evening.
The Old Town House is home to the Michaelis Collection of art, named after the financier Max Michaelis, who donated his collection in 1914. There you can see a selection of 17th-century Netherlandish works by such artists as Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Jacob van Ruisdael, and Anthony van Dyck, as well as temporary exhibitions.