Whenever you are exploring a brand new city, taking a step back in time and stopping off at a museum or two is one way to gain a whole new perspective of your destination while also having some more appreciation for what it took to build the area. This is an especially important thing to do when you are visiting any part of South Africa, because the history of this land and every city built on it is so complicated that it affects the layout of the city as well as the way of life of the city’s residents.
Cape Town is one of South Africa’s best known and most visited cities. Each year thousands of tourists, both locals and international visitors, will walk the streets, eat at Cape Town restaurants, explore the beaches and the natural attractions, and find themselves drawn into the history of the bustling urban and rural areas.
For those who are keen to learn more about the ins and outs of Cape Town as well as where this city started out, a stop at some of the city’s very best museums is going to be a must.
- The Heart of Cape Town
Africa is often overlooked as a developing continent, but some of the most advanced medical breakthroughs have happened on South African soil. The very first heart transplant was done in Cape Town, under the leadership of Professor Christiaan Barnard, on the 3rd of December 1967. It was one of the greatest achievements of the era, and you can experience part of the thrill by embarking on a guided 3 hour tour of the museum built in honour of the amazing feat.
- Iziko South African Museum
This is one of South Africa’s oldest museums, having been built in 1825. The museum is home to some 1.5 million specimens of ancient fossils, rocks and stone tools, among other things, and it gives guests a unique look into what life was like in the country thousands of years ago. Iziko operates in 12 national museums, and if you want to save on costs if you visit on certain commemorative days, you don’t have to pay.
- Warrior Toy Museum
A place that is dedicated to all sorts of toys, covering a variety of models and themes, the Warrior Toy Museum is a great place for children and for those adults wanting to relive the nostalgia of the past. There are toys of all shapes and sizes to look at when here and there is also a small shop on the grounds where you can take a commemorative item home.
- 18 Gangster Museum
This is one of the most innovative museums that you will ever visit and it was built to inspire those who visit it to choose an alternative way of life, rather than falling into gangsterism that has become such a huge problem in the Cape. The entrance fee that you pay to visit is what allows the museum to open its doors for free to local children who can then learn about the dangers of becoming a gangster.
There are plenty of museums all around Cape Town and so to make the most of your trip, be sure to do a little more research and plan ahead. Alternatively, when booking your Cape Town tour, ask for advice about which museums are the best to visit.