Set in the heart and soul of the CBD this historical flea market is located on a cobbled square and surrounded by historical buildings. This is the ideal place to do your African curio shopping. Prices depend on how good your bargaining skills are so be prepared to barter if you are looking to pay a good price but remember this is how these people make a living so please be fair. It is always a good idea to have a walk around first before buying to see what is available and compare prices at different stalls.
At the market you will find African curios, beadwork, beautifully crafted bowl, sculptures, artwork and jewellery. There is a lively atmosphere with a range of entertainment from traditional African dancing to buskers, drummers, jugglers and mime artists.
This is one of Cape Town’s oldest markets with history dating back to 1696 when it was created. In 1716 the Burger Watch House was built on the square and is one of the finest examples of Cape Dutch architecture. The Old Town House then replaced it in 1761 and in 1840 it became the first City Hall. In 1961 it was declared a National Monument. Today it is an art gallery housing the world-renowned Michaelis Collection consisting of early Dutch and Flemish paintings.
It has also served as a fruit and vegetable market where slaves where used to sell the produce. Ships used this square to trade goods and stock up on produce.
On the square you will find Market House and the Protea Assurance Building, which are excellent examples of Art Deco architecture.
If you are not in a hurry I suggest having a coffee at one of the sidewalk cafes. This is a great place for people watching and to observe some eccentric characters and enjoy the vibrant buzz of the market.