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Walking Tours of Cape Town’s heritage inner city

by Sharon Sorour-Morris 19 Dec 2022
Walking Tour - City Hall

There’s no better way for visitors and locals to engage with the inner city than to walk its historic and cultured streets. Here’s a round-up of the most pleasing perambulations on offer.


The undisputed Queen of Cape Town’s walking tours scene is undoubtedly Kate Crane Briggs from Culture Connect. From art to architecture, Kate has curated a selection of fascinating and ever-evolving tours of the Mother City and its downtown. Whether it’s a sun-kissed tour of the historic trees of the Company’s Garden, or an exploration of the art deco buildings, the tours are mind-expanding events not to be missed. Kate conjures up tours that provide “an in-depth experience”, and which are often led by experts in their respective fields. As she puts it: “think artists, curators, designers, collectors and historians”. Her lively and fascinating tours often end with the participants sharing a meal together (which is optional, and not included in the price of the tour). 

In December and January, her scheduled tours include a curated tour of the Iziko South African National Gallery and an Art Décor architecture tour. She also ventures out of the Central City to do street art tours in Salt River. Her tours are often in places which are off the beaten track, or not open to the public. “This is a great way to get to know Cape Town, while getting a good feel of South African history and life,” she says. Check out her website for her scheduled tours. She’s also a dab hand at customised tours and will create a special experience, whether it is a general “get-to know the city” or a specific art or architecture tour combination. “I can arrange leisurely paced or lightning-speed tours.” 
072 377 8014

Kate Crane Briggs
Kate Crane Briggs of Culture Connect.


Lesley Cox has been at it for over 20 years. She believes that guided walks are “the best way to absorb the true spirit of Cape Town”. Her tailor-made walking tours centre around the city’s rich history and she currently offers the following walking tours: Historical City Centre, Historical Waterfront, Castle of Good Hope, Company’s Garden and Themed Walking Tours, which include the History of Judaism in South Africa, The History of Christianity in South Africa, Memorial Art in the City Centre and Architecture in the City Centre. 

Lesley’s knowledge and enthusiasm is buoyed by her interest in history and her love of Cape Town. “Every walking tour is special ... we have a rich tapestry of heritage, architecture, historical buildings and public art, all brought alive by stories of people and events that have contributed to where we are today. One of my goals on a walking tour is to entice people back into town to spend time in our museums or galleries, and in the multiple eateries ... the heritage city centre has a lot to offer.”
073 656 9496

Mutual Heights
The spectacular art décor building, Mutual Heights, features on many walking tours.


If you’re on a budget but still keen to gain insight into Cape Town’s historic downtown, Free Walking Tours of Cape Town is for you. The guided walk-abouts are free, but tips for the enthusiastic and hard-working guides are welcome. The tours leave from historic Church Square, corner of Parliament and Spin streets, every day – come rain or shine – at 11h00, 14h00 and 16h20.

It’s not necessary to book unless you’re in a group of more than 10 people or would like a private tour. Otherwise, pitch up and look out for the guide’s green umbrella. The tours in town are the Historic City Tour and the Apartheid to Freedom Tour, and there is also a Bo-Kaap Tour. 
076 636 9007


One of the more unique tours is this one, to be found on Airbnb experiences. This tour showcases Africa’s rich heritage and culinary traditions, and is led by Dennis Molewa, whose passion is giving African cuisine a platform. 

“We try to celebrate African cuisine and introduce people to a different side of Cape Town,” says Dennis, who co-hosts the tours with Langa street musician Sindile Kamlana. The tour also promotes African retailers in the CBD. To book a tour, go to Airbnb experiences.


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Touring the trees of The Company's Garden