Did you know?
During the apartheid era, Greenmarket Square was often the focus of political protests.
At various times in history, Greenmarket square flea market has been a slave market, a fruit and vegetable market and even a humble parking lot. Today this flea market in Cape Town is where a wide range of informal traders sell batiks, beadwork, sculptures and more.
Greenmarket Square shopping is always an adventure. Situated in the heart of Cape Town’s Central Business District, its ancient cobbles compliment the vibrant, cosmopolitan feel of the city.
Many of the vendors trade in a blend of cross-continental merchandise, combining the many traditions of Africa, from the Masai to the Xhosa, the Zulu to the Bade tribe from the West African country of Senegal. Other typical arts and crafts that you will find at the market, at reasonable prices, are glassware, jewellery, clothing, footwear, music CD's, sunglasses and paintings.
Along with the unique bargains you will pick up, Greenmarket Square shopping excursions are also an opportunity to meet with the friendly, vibrant, vendors, who represent the many faces of Cape Town. You will also be entertained by buskers, drummers, jugglers and mime artists, many of whom earn their living from this market.
As the market has grown in stature it has attracted many other businesses to the area, including intimate coffee shops, restaurants and hotels, convenient for stops for exhausted shoppers!
The square is also a short walk from the Company Gardens, Houses of Parliament, South African Museum and the Pan African market. It is also close to the Castle of Good Hope, the oldest surviving building in South Africa and the Old Town House situated on the border of the square. This is one of the city’s most famous examples of early Cape Dutch architecture and houses a significant collection of art works by 16th to 18th century Dutch and Flemish Masters.
Travel tips & Planning info
Best time to visit
The market is vibrant all year round, but may be particularly busy at peak holday times.
Around the area
The trip through the centre of Cape Town makes a fascinating day of exploration and discovery. South Africa’s rich cultural history can be explored within a few blocks of Greenmarket Square.
Greenmarket square is an easy walk from many of Cape Town's accommodation facilities. You can also hire a car, or use the city's public transport, which includes buses and taxis.
Length of stay
You can happily spend a couple of hours browsing through the market before continuing your walking tour of the city centre.
What to eat
The city centre is full of restaurants, coffee-shops and take-away eateries.