This is the ultimate guide to student life in Cape Town - a spectacular city and a great place to study!

Cape Town is a spectacular city and a great place to study! Whether it’s the vibrant student lifestyle, wide range of academic institutions and courses, incredible views or rich culture - the Mother City has it all.

Whether it’s the vibrant student lifestyle, wide range of academic institutions and courses, incredible views or rich culture - the Mother City has it all.

Let’s jump into the reasons why you should be a student in Cape Town - look out for recommendations of awesome places to visit and extra helpful information for new students!

Aerial view of Cape Town

1. Cape Town Has Great Universities and Colleges

Cape Town has a variety of public universities, private universities and technical colleges offering courses that will stand you in good stead in a variety of different industries.

Some even feature courses with international accreditation and a few South African universities, including the University of Cape Town, are ranked in  the top few hundred universities around the world. Check out South Africa’s university system versus the world for more insight.

With a wide range of public universities and private institutions, Cape Town is home to a large number of courses that can help you find careers in a variety of industries. 

Whether you’d like to study a degree in finance, marketing, art, design, humanities, languages or become a qualified chef in the city’s thriving culinary industry.

Read on to find out more about the courses and expenses you might expect when studying in Cape Town.

Public Universities in Cape Town

University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town is based in Rondebosch, and is ranked in the top 200 universities across the world. 

The campus is large and picturesque, with views of table mountain and the Cape Town CityScape. 

The campus also offers a variety of degrees, short courses, part time studying opportunities and online learning facilities, including subjects such as law, higher education, commerce, engineering, health sciences and science. 

UCT also offers great facilities and services like the jammie shuttle bus service, high quality computing labs, sports facilities, on-site accommodation and off campus accommodation services, as well as coffee shops and restaurants for students. 

Learn more about studying at the University of Cape Town by visiting their website.

University of Cape Town Campus

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

CPUT, or the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, is based across the Western Cape with 6 campuses that offer a foundation for technical education in a variety of subjects. 

The campuses offer courses within 6 faculties: Applied Science, Business, Education, Engineering, Health and Wellness, Informatics and Design. Their work integration programme allows students to gain practical experience while working in real-life situations. 

The campuses also offer additional short courses as an opportunity for students to expand their life skills and pursue their interests. CPUT facilities also include an auditorium, education hall and pool clubhouse. 

Find out more about CPUT and enrol at one of their campuses by visiting their website.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology Cape Town Campus

University of the Western Cape

The University of the Western Cape is situated in Bellville, offering a wide range of learning opportunities across its faculties.

These faculties include Arts, Community and Health, Dentistry, Economic and Management Sciences, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Law, and the Faculty of Natural Science. UWC also offers its students online learning facilities as an asset for students.

Find out more about UWC and their courses by visiting their website.

university of the western cape

Private Universities in Cape Town

Cape Town is home to a host of private institutions providing an array of courses.

Some of these universities are tailored toward specific industries, but overall they have started to increase the number of courses they offer to compete with public universities.

Find the perfect fit for your future career with a private university in Cape Town. Check out our list below.

FEDISA

FEDISA is based in Cape Town City Centre and offers a variety of courses to set you up for success in the fashion industry.

The Cape Town campus provides courses including a Diploma in Fashion Merchandising Marketing and Media, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fashion, and a Bachelor of Honours in Fashion. 

The campus features a Mac Lab, an Event Deck for in-house fashion shows and functions, technology labs, studios and a research library. There is even a beautiful Barcelona Auditorium that seats 109 students, for interactive learning and presentations. The ORMs photographic studio is also an asset to have on campus. 

If you’re a fierce creative ready to take the fashion industry by storm, and want to study in Church Street in the heart of Cape Town’s City Centre, check out their courses and apply!

fedisa school of fashion cape town

Varsity College

Varsity College has campuses across South Africa, with their Cape Town campus located in Rondebosch. 

The curriculum and academic structure is run by the IIE, or the Independent Institute of Education, which also does the same at the Vega School of Brand Leadership and Rosebank College. 

Varsity College offers 4 main faculties: commerce, humanities, information and communications technology and social sciences. 

Each faculty offers a number of diplomas, degrees and higher certificates focused on subjects such as business, entrepreneurship, accounting, communication & psychology, research, education and law.

The campus also offers short courses which can be studied online using their learning platform to receive lecturers, complete assessments and ask for comprehensive support. 

To find out more about Varsity College Cape Town you can visit their website.

varsity college concept new campus

AFDA

AFDA is a creative university based in Observatory, Cape Town.

They encourage applicants to be part of a network of highly talented artists, entrepreneurs and practitioners using their ideas to grow the creative economy, and offer 3 undergraduate degrees, 3 Higher Certificate programmes, as well as 4 postgraduate degrees.

AFDA can provide you with the right foundation for the film and performance space as well as radio, podcasting, and business.

Cape Town is a thriving hub for the film industry particularly, with beautiful weather and scenery, it’s the ideal backdrop for filmmakers. The Mother City has tons of stunning urban and scenic natural locations perfect to set any kind of scene, whether it’s a shoot in the city centre, the winelands or on a sun-kissed beach location along the coast.

Pave the way for a career in the film industry, and plenty more industries, so visit AFDA’s website today to find out more today and consider applying!

AFDA Film and media school Cape Town

The Vega School of Brand Leadership

Vega is a private university based in Strand Street in the Cape Town City Centre. The school focuses on branding and marketing, but has also added a variety of new courses to their offerings in recent years.

The campus is modern and secure, it features plenty of lecture rooms and computer labs, a lovely rooftop area and a patch called the Sunspot inside on their second floor. It’s lit by a skylight and populated with some bean bags for students to kick back and enjoy.

The rooftop area features stunning views of the surrounding city centre, plenty of tables, chairs, and a Fork and Food cafe for students to order coffees, teas, lunches, and plenty of snacks and cooldrinks in between classes and group work.

Vega offers marketing degrees for creatives and strategists, including courses such as multimedia design, copywriting, graphic design and digital marketing as well as brand building and strategic brand management . The campus also offers digital design, fashion design and game design.

There are a range of postgraduate and honours degrees available too! Find out more about Vega by visiting their website.

vega school of brand leadership cape town

Inscape

Inscape is a creative institution based in Salt River, just outside of the Cape Town City Centre.

The campus focuses on a variety of design fields, including environmental design, fashion design, interior design, architectural technology, jewellery design, audio visual design and even marketing degrees.

It’s a trendy campus, based in a creative suburb surrounded by coffee shops and studies. The institution offers a range of infrastructure and high quality education environments, including design studios and assets.

Find a course that suits your future career, by visiting Inscape’s website.

inscape cape town campus

The Creative Academy

The Creative Academy is located in the repurposed and refurbished Silo of/in The Old Biscuit Mill in creative hub – Woodstock.

The academy prides itself on providing an afrocentric institutional culture and approach to teaching that ensures authenticity and a meaningful impact on the African continent.

The campus offers 4 distinct degrees in 3 main spaces, contemporary art, visual communication and experience design. Namely, a Bachelor of Art is Contemporary Art, a Bachelor’s Degree in Interaction Design, as well as Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communication Design and Motion Design.

To find out more about their inspiring space, and excellent creative education visit the Cape Town Academy website and check out their courses.

Cape Town creative academy

TVET Campuses

False Bay TVET College

False Bay TVET College offers vocational, occupational and skills training programmes to provide students with critical skills and practical experience that will stand them in good stead for their future careers.

The fields of study on offer include business, engineering, hospitality & tourism, information technology, education studies, yacht & boat building, safety in security, and 2D animation.

False Bay TVET College offers 6 campuses in the Western Cape for you to choose from – so visit their website and find out more about False Bay College.

False Bay College Technical and Vocational Education and Training

Culinary schools

Silwood

Silwood School of Cookery is South Africa’s most acclaimed cookery school – the first step on the culinary journey of many well-known chefs, food producers and food writers around the world. 

Silwood is also SA’s longest established cookery school, with over 54 years of 3 generations of chefs, the culinary school has tailored their cookery courses to the highest levels, earning them an international reputation of excellence.

They offer both professional full-time courses, as well as part-time courses, that will enable you to hone your skills to the level you desire, and provide you with future opportunities. 

Visit the Silwood School of Cookery website to find out more today!

silwood school of cookery

Capsicum

Capsicum Culinary Studio is a place to pursue your culinary passion through hands-on training and internationally recognised qualifications. 

Their Cape Town campus, located just outside the CBD in trendy Woodstock, features a creative space for students to develop and grow their passion for cooking offering a Hot, Cold, and Pastry kitchen, theory lecture rooms, Wi-Fi facilities, easy access to public transport, and nearby parking areas.

It also features a magnificent view of Table Mountain and an array of courses to choose from to develop the foundation for your career in the culinary industry. 

Visit the Capsicum Culinary Studio website to find out more about their courses today!

capsicum cooking school

2. Cape Town offers an exciting student lifestyle

Cape Town is known for its vibrant student lifestyle and nightlife.

It’s a young city, with a median age of 26, and the city caters for it’s younger demographic with loads of things to do and places to see. .

It’s also home amazing entertainment featuring quality local and international artists, including sought-after festivals.

While out and about, keep an eye out for student discounts offered by many vendors in the student friendly city!

Read on to find out more about the exciting things to see and do in Cape Town.

Markets

Cape Town is market crazy! There is something for everyone, in the city, in the suburbs, and even further out. We have listed a few of our favourite markets in Cape Town, but if you are looking for something specific you will find many more markets than the ones we have listed below. Read on to find out more.

The Bay Harbour Market

The Bay Harbour Market is open every Friday 5 – 9pm and Saturday/Sunday 9.30am – 4pm for the happiest shopping in Cape Town!

From delicious food and drinks to eye-catching artworks, local crafts, fashion, jewellery, decor, and products for health and wellness.

There’s also great local live music to enjoy which makes for a great atmosphere, and you’ll definitely leave with some interesting items.

Have a look at The Bay Harbour Market website to find out more and keep up to date with weekly live events & specials.

bay harbour market hout bay eating area

Mojo Market

Mojo Market is open 7 days a week, and based on Sea Point’s bustling main road. 

The market features live music, fine wines, crisp beers on tap, a range of high quality cuisine covered by 30 stalls, and even screens for the sport lovers to keep up to date with the latest matches.

You can also browse the retail stores in the market to purchase goods proudly produced in South Africa. 

The venue is also known for covering sport comprehensively, so if you’re looking for somewhere with an atmosphere to watch the big game – Mojo Market may be perfect for you. 

To find out more about this amazing market and all that it has to offer, visit Mojo Market’s website today.

Mojo Market Sea Point Cape Town

Oranjezicht City Farm Market

The Oranjezicht City Farm Market provides a community farmers-style market for independent local farmers and artisanal food producers.

The market provides a platform for consumers to find organically grown fruit and vegetables, as well as dairy products, honey, bread, muesli and more, and the low stallholder costs allow startups to get their name out there. 

The market runs every Saturday and Sunday and entrance is free. So go on! Stock your kitchen with organically produced essentials at the Oranjezicht City Farm Market. Visit their website to find out more.

oranjezicht market cape town

Festivals & Events

Cape Town is home to a variety of amazing festivals and events that attract incredible international acts and local stars.

The Mother City’s festivals also provide a platform to experience culture and celebrate your free time as a student with your closest friends.

Rocking the Daisies

Rocking the Daisies Cape Town is hosted at Cloof Wine Estate in Darling, around an hour outside of Cape Town.

The festival is known for encouraging the arrival of incredible international artists that haven’t performed in South Africa before – as well as an array of amazing local artists and bands. 

It launched in 2006, with only 700 visitors, but by its 3rd year had a turnout of around 10 000 visitors. Since then, it’s grown to be one of the most well-known festivals in South Africa.

Get to see incredible local artists and international acts! Visit the Rocking The Daisies website for more information and live dates.

rocking the daisies festival

Afrikaburn

Afrikaburn is hosted at Tankwa Karoo National Park in the Northern Cape and is the official African form of the popular festival, Burning Man.

The event is about creative expression, and getting together to create a temporary city of art, themed camps, costumes, performances and music.

The gifting culture and community is one of a kind, and provides an incredible experience for burn veterans or newbies.

Find out more about this incredible experience by visiting Afrika Burn’s website today.

afrikaburn festival

Bazique

Bazique takes place as Ruitersvlei Estate featuring 7 stages and a variety of local and international artists and brilliant stage design. One of the performance stages is a floating stage in the middle of their lake. 

The festival takes place over 3 days with various camping options available, including car side camping and glamping options (if you have the extra  budget).

Bazique also includes bars (with a boutique Belgravia gin bar), a food market, and themed stages with a variety of acts for everyone to enjoy. 

Find out more about Bazique’s Festivals by visiting their website.

bazique festival south africa

Cape Town Jazz Festival

The Mother City is also home to the fourth largest jazz festival in the world – the Cape Town Jazz Festival, which takes place towards the end of March at the CTICC (Cape Town International Convention Centre).

The festival features a diverse line-up of performers and jazz virtuosos who will grace the stages of “Africa’s Grandest Gathering” over the two show days. The festival hosts more than 40 international and local performers across its five stages.

It’s a brilliant festival enjoyed by locals and international guests, and is definitely worth checking out during your studies in Cape Town.

Find out more about the festival by visiting the Cape Town Jazz Festival’s website.

cape town jazz festival

Cape Town Comedy Festival

The Cape Town Comedy Festival took a 8 year hiatus but will be relaunching in October 2020 – a much anticipated return for local and international visitors!

It’s the largest stand-alone comedy festival in South Africa, featuring 15 international artists from comedy capitals.

It’s also a great networking event for local comics and artists, as they expand their craft,
make connections and grow a following that can catapult their careers.

CTCF will return to the ArtScape, to the delight of everyone who desperately needs a laugh.

Find out more about the Cape Town Comedy Festival by visiting their facebook page today.

cape town comedy festival

Franschhoek Art Festival

Franschhoek is home to a thriving art community, with well-known galleries and local artists dominating the scene.

The area showcases its array of amazing artists by setting aside a weekend where galleries will open their doors to visitors and host events to celebrate local artists.

Franschhoek is picturesque, with great food, fine wine and lovely art – making it the perfect place to spend a weekend visiting galleries and soaking up creativity and inspiration.

If you’re an aspiring artist that wants to learn more, visit FranschhoekArt for more information.

franschhoek art festival

Cheap entertainment and student specials

Cheap entertainment is plentiful in Cape Town and there’s so much to do that doesn’t need to be funded by a chunk of your savings.

We do cover some more premium entertainment options later – but we’d like to give you some inexpensive ideas for your student entertainment in Cape Town.

With a median age of 26, Cape Town caters to its younger population with plenty of specials on food, drinks, technology, and other items.

Apps and websites like Varsity Vibe, the Entertainer and even the iStore, which allows students to purchase their products with a significant discount for having a student card.

You can find places in the Mother City that offer discounts on everything from food to tours, fashion, fitness, and essentials like laundry. Museums also offer special prices for students and the city is alive on First Thursday when galleries are open and free (mostly) often with free snacks, and maybe a glass of beer or wine

Check out our list below to find out more about student specials and entertainment options in Cape Town.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden student special

Kirstenbosch is home to one of the most diverse floral kingdoms in the world, and it’s a great place to go to experience nature and enjoy picnics, and chatting with friends in the garden and taking walks to enjoy the magnificent views the gardens have to offer. 

For students, Kirstenbosch is particularly appealing. It offers an entrance fee of only R40, which allows you to explore the gardens, partake in the canopy walk and a host of hikes up Table Mountain.

Have a look at the Kirstenbosch website to find out more about the beautiful botanical gardens and what you can get up to.

kirstenbosch gardens newlands cape town

Sea Point Cycling (R80 one hour)

A good idea for some outdoor entertainment with lovely sea views and plenty of places to stop and enjoy along the way – is cycling on the Sea Point Promenade.

This part of Cape Town is worth exploring, and the promenade provides sea views and plenty of space to cycle without having to worry about traffic and it’s a great place to soak up some sun and grab an ice cream when you find yourself getting too hot and bothered.

Upcycle has a few stations along the Sea Point Promenade, and you can rent a bicycle and cycle away for only R80 an hour.

Enjoy stunning views and exercise on Sunny Cape Town days and learn more by visiting the Upcycle website today.

sea point promenade cycling

First Thursdays Cape Town

First Thursday is an evening based around celebrating arts and culture in Cape Town. 

As the name suggests, it takes place on the First Thursday evening of every month in central Cape Town. Art galleries open their doors, offering loads of interesting exhibitions often accompanies by free drinks and snacks.

Restaurants, bars and nightclubs also have specials lined up for you and your friends to enjoy. 

It’s a great evening, where the city streets have an amazing atmosphere. It’s something not to miss out on, especially if you enjoy art. Visit your favourite galleries for free, and you may even be treated to a complimentary drink or snack. 

Have a look at the First Thursdays website for more information on this brilliant monthly event that’s ideal for students.

first thursdays exhibition at a gallery

3. Cape Town offers incredible attractions

Cape Floral Region – One of the eight wonders of the world

Out of the world’s 6 floral kingdoms, the Cape Floral Region has the highest concentration of different and unique plant species of them all. 

It is home to over 8500 species of fynbos, and 1700 endangered species. The region also features The King Protea – the country’s national flower.

It’s a region that’s home to plenty of national parks and nature reserves that are worth exploring, such as Kirstenbosch Gardens (which we’ve mentioned), the Cederberg Wilderness Area, Table Mountain National Park and many more!

cape floral kingdom 900x500

Table mountain

Table mountain is one of the seven wonders of the world. 

Its beautiful views, incredible flora, and flat top make it a hotspot for hiking, exploring and taking the perfect pictures. 

Students are offered a special rate for cable car rides and once you reach the top, you can enjoy the stunning views plus some drinks and snacks from the Table Mountain Cafe.

You can check out the Table Mountain website to find out more about the beautiful cable car journey and mountain.

Aerial view of Cape Town from the harbour

Lions head

Lions Head is a hiking hotspot and an eye-catching mountain with a height of 669 metres. 

It’s an attraction for locals and tourists, and is a beautiful way to spend a weekend morning when the weather is on your side. 

Take a picnic so you can have some tea or coffee once you reach the peak. It’s about an hour and a half hike, which isn’t too long and the view is completely worth it! 

It’s based between Table Mountain and Signal Hill(two other great spots you should visit) and once you’re at the top, you can enjoy the backdrop of the city of Cape Town – perfect for Instagram shots. 

Have a look at Hike Lion’s Head to find out more!

lions head cape town

4. Cape Town offers some of the world’s finest wine, food and distilleries

Cape town is home to a thriving spirit and culinary industry, and features amazing cuisine, fine wines and spirits – crafted from vineyards in eye-catching natural locations and historic distilleries.

You can find good food in Cape Town for cheaper than elsewhere in the world, and if you’re a fan of fine wines, you might have already had a glass of white, red or rose from a wine estate in Cape Town or it’s nearby surrounds.

Check out where you can find fantastic food and drinks in the Mother City, with our list below.

Fantastic Food

As we’ve mentioned, SA is known for great food! We even have 12 restaurants that are on the list of 1000 of the world’s best restaurants. 

While these are more fine dining style restaurants, some offer specials and are ideal for those that are really enthusiastic about food and quality cuisine. 

You can also find plenty of lovely restaurants in the city centre that have more student orientated experience and cheaper specials with fan-favourites, such as burgers, pizzas and more. 

Have a look at our list below, starting with some premium options for our foodies!

Fine dining in Cape Town

Table Seven

Table Seven is based just outside the Cape Town City Centre, in the Salt River/Woodstock neighbourhood.

It’s tucked away in an up and coming pocket of Salt River which is home to institutions like Red and Yellow, Inscape design studio and BHC design nearby.

The restaurant offers a tasteful interior layout and atmosphere, accentuated by their amazing food, and a menu that offers a variety of more expensive and more affordable options as well as weekly specials.

It’s definitely the place to go for fine dining and to experience some great food in a quiet, relaxed atmosphere, with an open view of the kitchen so you can see your mouth watering meals cooked right in front of you.

Have a look at the Table Seven website to find out more about their menu and dining room today!

table seven fine dining salt river cape town

Black Sheep

The Black Sheep is an affordable fine dining restaurant based in Tamboerskloof in Central Cape Town.

The menu features a variety of mouth watering mains as well as scrumptious sides to accompany your meal.

The courses can be paired with exquisite wines from their extensive wine list, and the atmosphere is cozy and friendly, a result of the 20 years of hard work two families put into making this restaurant a must-visit.

Find out more about the Black Sheep by visiting their website today.

black sheep fine dining cape town

Great restaurants with student specials

Trenchtown

Trenchtown is a trendy venue for food and drinks, and is based in the heart of Observatory – a neighbourhood that’s known as a hub for students and features a vibrant nightlife.

The venue has a laid back island style theme and plenty of student specials including pizzas, burgers and on specific days, bottomless drinks too!

It’s an ideal place to kick back and relax, while enjoying some great food and a lively atmosphere, as a midweek escape, or at your leisure when you have more time over the weekend.

If you’re planning on becoming an AFDA student in Observatory, you may also get the chance to pick the specials for a specific day during the week for Trenchtown via their Facebook page

Find out more about this student-orientated and laidback island style restaurant, and their latest specials by visiting Trenchtown’s website.

trenchtown observatory cape town

Davinci’s

Davinci’s offers great food and a 10% discount on most menu items during any day of the week. 

The restaurant is based in the Cape Town City Centre, in Kloof Street, which makes it ideal for a meal before spending an evening exploring the Mother City’s events toward the end of the week.

Enjoy everything from crisp calamari and chicken strips, to burgers, thin crust pizzas and South African favourites. 

Find out more about Davinci’s by visiting their website and get in touch to book a reservation.

davinci's on kloof

Fine Wine Farms and Estates

The Cape town surrounds are home to a variety of wine farms with stunning views and delicious wines that are enjoyed around the world.

Taking a trip just outside of Cape Town to experience some of these incredible estates, and sample fine wines, and accompanying snacks, with beautiful views, is a must-do for young people living in Cape Town.

You can enjoy strolls through the vineyards, leafy mountain views plus great food and wine – making them extremely popular choices as wedding venues in Cape Town.

Check out our list below.

Welmoed Wine Estate

Enjoy the picturesque views of the Helderberg mountains whilst exploring the award-winning range of Welmoed wines through a selection of tastings available at their tasting room.

The estate is based in Stellenbosch, just outside the Mother City, and the plot was first commissioned for use in producing wine all the way back in 1690.

It’s an ideal spot to take a trip to with friends, if you’re looking to experience fine South African wine and enjoy a glass of your favourite wine by their cozy fire inside, or while you’re outside soaking up the sun and enjoying stunning views.

Find out more about Welmoed Wine Estate by visiting the Stellenbosch vineyards website.

welmoed wine estate

Simonsig Wine Estate

Simonsig Wine Estate is a family owned wine farm, which is based along, and pioneered the growth of, the Stellenbosch wine route.

The estate is known for creating Kaapse Vonkel, South Africa’s first Methode Cap Classic wine, and plenty of other award winning wines.

You can taste their stunning wine selected in tasting rooms with relaxed atmospheres, outside with beautiful views or you can immerse yourself in an exclusive cellar tour and learn about the estate’s rich history.

Visit the Simonsig Wine Estate website to find out more about this beautiful estate.

simonsig wine estate western cape

Thelema Mountain Vineyards

Thelema is also based in Stellenbosch, with the backdrop of the Simonsberg mountain range, and was started by a Durban winemaker in 1983. Since then it has become one of the most sought-after estates in South Africa.

Thelema offers tastings for only R80 per person, and you can book via email or phone, and you’ll have access to both the Thelema and Sutherland wine ranges produced on the estate.

Find out more about the Thelema Mountain Vineyards by visiting their website.

thelema wine estate stellenbosch

Great Craft Distilleries

Cape Town has seen the explosion of craft gin brands and a variety of premium distilleries that produce delicious gins.

Some also provide tasting experiences so you can experience their full ranges and distillery tours so you can experience the brand in an immersive and in a unique way.

Find out more about some famous distilleries in Cape Town.

Hope on Hopkins

Hope Distillery produces small batch spirits including agave, vodka and their well-known for the Hope on Hopkins gin range.

The distillery was one of the first producers of gins in Cape Town, and retains the first stills ever licensed by the city for use in spirit crafting.

The distillery offers tastings on-site, with their standard tasting providing tastings for 3 of their flagship Hope Gins, or you can opt for their Four Gin Tasting which will include a gin from their limited-edition small batches.

Find out more about the distillery or organising a tasting by visiting the Hope Distillery website.

hope on hopkins distillery woodstock

Woodstock Gin Company

Woodstock Gin Company is an authentic, historic distillery based just outside the Cape Town City Centre, in the vibrant Woodstock area.

The distillery produces a range of 4 small batch gins, inspired by remarkable stories and a purist approach to crafting gin, using hand selected botanicals and cherished recipes passed down from generations of distillers.

You can book a tasting at this beautiful distillery to learn more about their signature botanicals and rich history. Being based is also a plus for you, as it’s a vibrant area worth exploring before and after your tasting.

Find out more by visiting the Woodstock Gin Company website today!

woodstock gin company woodstock cape town

5. The climate and beaches

Cape Town is a hotspot for tourists due to its great weather.

Living in Cape Town, you’re prone to a Mediterranean style climate with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters accompanied by the infamous South Easterly wind.

In the summer, the Mother City is perfect for beach days, hiking to enjoy incredible views, watersports, fishing and plenty of other activities that are best when the sun’s out!

Find some great beaches to enjoy for surfing or sunbathing below.

Muizenberg

Muizenberg is a popular beach destination for surfers and bodyboarders of all skill levels, and is also home to a variety of bakeries and cafes nearby if you’re feeling peckish for a snack after your session in the water.

If you’re looking to learn, or rent a board, there are a few surf schools on-site to assist.

Don’t forget to make sure to check the weather and surf report a day or two before you plan your day at the beach.

Visit the Muizenberg website to find out more about the beach, keep up to date with events and learn more about its history!

muizenberg beach cape town

Llandudno

Llandudno is home to a few popular beaches for surfers and sun bathers alike.

Surfers may be slightly more content at Llandudno in comparison to Muizenberg, which features larger waves and more intense conditions than Muizenberg beach.

Consider taking the drive to Llandudno and enjoy the picturesque coastal views along the way!

llandudno beach western cape

Clifton’s beaches

Clifton 1st beach is another good choice for those that may enjoy going for a surf after a long day of studying, and it’s relatively close to Cape Town which is a plus.

It’s known for its larger swells and is better for surfers, whereas Clifton’s 2nd 3rd and 4th beaches offer better sunbathing conditions, as well as Beta Beach in Bakoven.

Don’t forget to check them out while you’re studying in Cape Town!

clifton beach cape town

6. A rich culture and history

South Africa has a rich culture and long history that’s so interesting to learn about during your studies in Cape Town.

You’re also probably looking for spots you might want to visit, that are historical or exciting landmarks in Cape Town.

We’ve curated some museums and tours to check out if you’re keen on getting around the Mother City and gaining insight into our country’s history and diverse cultural landscape.

Check out our list below!

Museums

Iziko Museums, Exhibits and Galleries

The Iziko South Africa Museum has thousands of incredible collections, ranging from fossils, to ancient insects, historical tools and cultural pieces.

It’s been in existence since 1825, and has since collected over 1.5 million specimens of scientific importance within various collections.

The Iziko South Africa Museum is a great place to go to learn about creatures that we share our planet with, and explore a range of themes present across their collections.

Students are encouraged to join in, with a discounted fee of only R15, which could make this the perfect place to visit on a weekend or day-off from your studies.

You can also visit the Iziko South African National Gallery nearby, a short walk away in Company’s Gardens, after your trip to the museum. Slave lodge is also based nearby, on the corner of Adderly and Wale Street in the Cape Town City Centre.

Find out more about these magnificent museums and more, by visiting the Iziko website today!

iziko museum cape town city centre

District Six Museum

District Six Museum was founded in 1994, as a memorial to the force removals of 60 000 inhabitants in District Six during the Apartheid Era in South Africa during the 1970s.

It’s a worthwhile place to visit to learn more about South Africa’s past and understand our present growing social and economic landscape, and the museum is based in Buitenkant street in Central Cape Town’s Foreshore – which makes it easy to explore other parts of the city after your museum visit.

Check out the District Six Museum Facebook page to keep up to date (and have a look at the District Six Museum on Trip Advisor to see their rave reviews too!).

district six museum

Tours

Sightseeing Hop on Hop Off tour

Sightseeing Cape Town offers Hop on Hop Off Tours to help you explore the Mother City.

This city-wide double decker tour offers over 30 stops and visits 50 of Cape Town’s top attractions, with the bus allowing you to hop-on and hop-off at your leisure.

Visit the Sightseeing Cape Town website to find out more about the Hop on Hop Off Tour today!

city sightseeing bus tour

Cape Point and Penguin Explorer Full-day Tour from Cape Town

The Cape Point Explorer is a guided day tour to Cape Point in a luxury air-conditioned double deck coach, operated by City Sightseeing South Africa. 

You will explore this spectacular nature reserve (part of the Cape Floral Kingdom World Heritage Site), with a stop at Boulders Beach, home to a colony of African penguins. This day tour to the Cape of Good Hope is a must-see for students on the weekend or an off-day from campus.

Visit the Sightseeing Cape Town website to find out more about Cape Point and Penguin Tours in Cape Town.

cape point boulders beach penguins

Landmarks

The Company’s Garden

The Company’s Garden is based in Gardens Cape Town, around the corner from popular Long St, and next to the Iziko Museum.

It’s a beautiful place to enjoy a walk in the sunshine, with grass spaces to enjoy picnics and mingle with friends.

If you do plan to enjoy a picnic in The Company’s Gardens, just remember to keep your food away from the squirrels (the garden is known for them). You can also find night markets from time to time during Cape Town’s summer.

Don’t forget to visit The Company’s Garden during your studies in Cape Town.

the company gardens cape town

King’s Blockhouse

King’s blockhouse is based on the slopes of Devil’s Peak, which was the first line of defence in 1975 when the British occupied the Cape.

The King’s Blockhouse was built alongside two other blockhouses which are in worse condition, whereas the King’s Blockhouse is in better condition and sports views of Table Bay and False Bay.

You can check out SA History’s website to find out more about King’s Blockhouse.

kings blockhouse

Castle of Good Hope

The Castle of Good Hope is based in the CBD in Cape Town, and has been in existence since the 17th century.

It was declared a provincial heritage site in 1936 and was once used as a bastion fort and defence point for the Dutch East India Company and part of it was used as prison premises during the Second Boer War.

it is considered the best preserved example of a 17th century architectural structure in the entire world, making it a must-see feat in Cape Town and it’s a place you have to learn more about and experience for yourself!

Find out all about the castle by visiting the Castle of Good Hope website and reading their news board for plenty of insight into the exhibits included within the castle.

castle of good hope cape town city centre

7. Affordable for international students

Cape Town is relatively affordable for international students, as the exchange rate favours you.

We’re not saying your tuition fees may not be costly, but your cost of living on a day-to-day basis in the Mother City may be far cheaper than what you’re used to back home.

For even conservative budgets, you can find a place to stay and have enough money leftover for food and other living expenses quite easily – and we can also help you choose the right kind of accommodation, or construct the perfectly weekly meal plan to alleviate even more stress from your monthly budget.

Cost of public and private universities in Cape Town

The cost of South African universities is relatively affordable while offering a quality and comparable standard of education to other countries around the world.

We cover the cost of public universities and courses, as well as the tuition fees for private institutions, in our post What can I expect to pay as a student living in Cape Town?

This will give you an idea of what to expect to pay for your tuition and accommodation in Cape Town.

moving into university apartment or residence

Cost of living expenses for students in Cape Town

Your living expenses as a student in Cape Town are surprisingly affordable.

Rates for rent, and basics such as water, electricity and WIFI could be quite competitive, but you have a look at our guide on what you can expect to pay as a student living in Cape Town to help give you an idea of living costs in Cape Town.

Check out The Cape Town Student’s Guide to Meal Preparation and 13 Ways To Save Money as a Student in Cape Town for all the steps you’ll need to save money on food while living on a student budget in the Mother City.

It’s important to note that public university accommodation is not always easily available, and like other places in South Africa – students may struggle to get accommodation within their institutions.

However, private accommodation is quite plentiful, including student accommodation facilities, as well as digs and other shared accommodation. It can also be really affordable if you’re an overseas student with a strong currency.

You can find out more about the differences between Student Digs vs Residence vs Private Accommodation by reading our post.

student expenses cape town
View Student Accommodation

Have we convinced you to choose to study in Cape Town? It really is a great place to be a student and if you are looking for accommodation for your time as a student, look no further.

NEST offers quality student accommodation with views of Table Mountain and rooms with a clean, modern design. Fit with sleek furnishings, our spacious living environments are perfect for sharing with a friend or a fun new roommate. 

Our blocks feature 24/7 security, undercover parking, a rooftop gym and braai area, WiFi and vending machines snacking on-the-go. 

We’re also a stone’s throw away from the Jammie Shuttle stop – perfect for UCT students! Plus Damelin is positioned across the road and nearby campuses like Varsity College and AFDA are only a few minutes drive away. 

Find out more about staying at NEST by visiting our Student Accommodation page to check out our rooms, and when you’re ready get in touch by visiting our contact page.

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