12 Things You Didn’t Know About Christmas In Cape Town

Christmas time in the Mother City truly is a glorious celebration filled with all of the Christmas cheer and jolly festive spirit you can wish for! If you haven’t experienced a Cape Town Christmas yet you are surely in for quite a treat, because no one quite does Christmas like Cape Town! Here are 12 things you didn’t know about Christmas in Cape Town but will love that much more once you experience it all first hand:

Christmas in Cape Town

Image: capetown.travel

1) Cape Town Christmas + Mother City summer season = 1 GLORIOUS celebration


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by cometocapetown.com (@cometocapetown) on

Festive season in Cape Town also happens to be during the Mother City’s magnificent summer, and this means celebrations all around! Summer in Cape Town means long warm sunny days, stunning sunsets and an electric summer vibe as people flock from far and near to experience just a second of that Cape Town summer bliss. This combined with a hefty dose of Cape Town Christmas spirit makes for a stunning festive season and a truly memorable Christmas day. You may even opt to spend your Christmas on the beach, because why not? This is one summer Christmas celebration you won’t soon forget!

2) Your Christmas meal might look slightly different to the traditional roast, but it will taste just as good!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Thulani (@thulani_maxaku06) on

While the traditional Christmas roast will forever be a cherished, and incredibly delicious, festive feast pick, don’t be surprised if your Christmas lunch takes on a slightly different form in Cape Town. Many Cape Town locals opt to enjoy a festive family braai, some local fish and chips, a delightful picnic or a range of other Cape delicacies on Christmas day, and while it may not be the traditional choice, it tastes just as good! Christmas is about celebrating family, friends and togetherness, so whether you’re enjoying a tasty roast, celebrating over a braai or enjoying a picnic feast on the lawns of Kirstenbosch Gardens, you’ll still be doing it with the people you love an cherish, and that’s all that matters!

3) The Mother City is at the top of her Christmas game & you’ll be sure to enjoy every festive second of it!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by V&A Waterfront (@vandawaterfront) on

No one quite does Christmas like Cape Town! From the iconic Santa’s Village and Moet and Chandon Golden Christmas Tree at the V&A Waterfront to the Adderley Street Festival of Lights and Carols by Candlelight at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town festive season is jam-packed with a variety of incredible festive events and glorious displays of Christmas spirit. Make sure you don’t miss a second of the festive season action in the Mother City, it’s certainly worth every second!

4) In Cape Town we love to give ‘experiences’ as gifts too – because life is all about experiences!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ocean Experiences (@oceanexperiencesct) on

The Mother City is filled with an endless amount of adventures to take, gems to discover and beauty to explore, and she encourages you to experience as much of it as possible. It’s therefore not at all uncommon to gift someone a unique ‘Cape Town experience’ as a Christmas present. Imagine receiving a seal snorkelling ocean adventure, Table Mountain sky dive or African Penguin kayak trip gift card under your Christmas tree. Now that’s one Christmas gift that certainly is tough to beat!

5) Don’t be surprised if you see a Christmas market pop up around just about every corner


View this post on Instagram


Bright Christmas colour popping at #edgemeadchristmasmarket #yuletide #christmasvibes #christmastime #christmasmarket #craftmarket

A post shared by Des Theunissen (@d10sn) on

The Mother City loves Christmas markets! So much so that you’ll see one pop up around just about every street corner or open parking lot space, and it truly is quite a treat to explore, because who doesn’t love a good Christmas market over the festive season? The Bay Harbour Christmas Market, Simply Sough Gift & Craft Fair, Edgemead Christmas Market, Kirstenbosch Craft Market. The Neighbourgoods Holiday Night Market and Fab Ideas Christmas Gift Fair are just some of the amazing Cape Town Christmas markets you should visit!

6) The Mother City embraces both the traditional and the ‘not-so-traditional’


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by cometocapetown.com (@cometocapetown) on

While many people opt to spend Christmas day at home with friends and family, others like to enjoy a refreshing Christmas dip in the Atlantic, a scenic hike up Table Mountain, a chill session on the beach or even to go paragliding off of Signal Hill – the point is the Mother City encourages it all! Christmas day should be celebrated and enjoyed with the people you love most in whichever way you choose, and in the Mother City we do just that!

7) Cape Town has various post-Christmas-meal walks


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by cometocapetown.com (@cometocapetown) on

What’s better than a scenic walk after enjoying a delicious festive family meal together? And there certainly is no better place to do it than in Cape Town. A post-meal family Christmas walk is considered as a beloved past-time and cherished family tradition by many, and now you can enjoy it along one of Cape Town’s stunning beachfronts, nature trails and scenic hikes.

8) The Mother City takes her Christmas gift shopping seriously!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Canal Walk Shopping Centre (@canalwalk) on

Extended shopping hours, festive season special deals, exciting offers and an abundance of potential gifts to choose form, Christmas shopping in Cape Town is everything you can hope for and more! Cape Town goes all out on Christmas and certainly encourages you to do the same. You are therefore guaranteed to find the perfect gift for every family member, business colleague and friend. And if you opt to do your Christmas shopping at the V&A Waterfront you’ll be sure to enjoy a range of other festive treats and celebrations, including the iconic Moet & Chandon interactive Christmas tree!

9) Cape Town knows a thing or 2 about colourful Christmas lights!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Rene Nortje (@renenortje) on

Christmas time in Cape Town means it’s time to light up the Mother City skyline with colourful Christmas lights, and Cape Town surely knowns how to do it just right! So much so that it is home to one of the most iconic Christmas light celebrations in South Africa, the famous Adderley Street Cape Town Festival of Lights. And it invites people from all corners of the globe, locals and tourists alike, to share in its magic! It’s free and open to the public every night of the festive season, so grab the kids, friends and family and go see Adderley street decked out in thousands of Christmas lights, it truly is one incredible festive season celebration for all!

10) There is no feast quite like a Cape Town Christmas feast!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Roast & Co. (@roastandco) on

Restaurants and eateries in Cape Town certainly knows how to celebrate Christmas the right way as they pull out ALL the stops to provide you with a Christmas feast fit for a king and queen. So if you’re not in the mood to slog away behind the stove, you should definitely consider enjoying a sensational buffet at one of the Moher City’s incredible restaurants. Roast and Co, AC Hotel by Marriot, Moyo Blouberg, Grill at Park Inn, Radisson RED, The Pumphouse, La Paris Estate and The Wild Fig are just some of the restaurants offering a glorious Christmas lunch.

11) Capetonians love any excuse to be festive & this certainly is no different on Christmas!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by V&A Waterfront (@vandawaterfront) on

Capetonians love any excuse to be festive, so don’t be surprised if they go all out on Christmas day! You can expect an extra-large dose of jolly Christmas spirit and holiday cheer as Christmas time rolls around, but in the very BEST way! So smile and join in on the vibe, because Cape Town and its people likes to celebrate Christmas on a GRAND scale and wants you to join in on all the fun!

12) Christmas is all about giving back & the Mother City certainly celebrates that!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Santa Cause For Paws (@santacauseforpaws) on

At the end of the day when the grand Christmas meal is prepped, the table is set and everyone has come together from far and wide to celebrate this special day, it’s important to remember those that might not be able to do the same. Giving back on Christmas, or any day of the year in fact, is not only welcomed, it is greatly appreciated. So why not spread some extra Christmas cheer this year by giving back to people (and pets) that need it the most, no matter how small it may be. Here are just a few Cape Town charities to consider: Nazareth House, Santa Cause for Paws, Santa Shoe Box Project, African Tails and Baphumelele, but there truly are so many charitable causes that would greatly appreciate anything. The Mother City encourages anyone and everyone to spread the Cape Town Christmas love!

Whether you’re enjoying a home cooked roast, spending the day on the beach or celebrating Christmas over some hot coals and a delicious braai, we hope your Cape Town Christmas is filled with love, joy and the people you cherish most. Because at the end of the day that is what it is really all about! Have a Merry Christmas Cape Town!

Planning on spending this holiday season in Cape Town? Learn more about the Mother City, how to get around, things to do in Cape Town, and more from our blog. We can help you find the perfect place to stay. Get in touch if you’d like help finding accommodation or Cape Town tours to indulge in when you are around.

About The Author: Bianca Bunge

I am a Cape Town based Travel Blogger & aspiring writer. Travelling is the ULTIMATE joy, it allows us to lose ourselves & find ourselves all at the same time, is there anything better than that? PURE BLISS!! And being a Travel Blogger allows me to share my love of travelling, especially my LOVE of Cape Town, with all of you. The Mother City truly did steal my heart, and perhaps she'll steal yours too! I also love the ocean, going on adventures & wine, I REALLY love wine! Join me on my mission to discover EVERY little bit of Cape Town, and what a glorious adventure it will be!
Wedding Destination