Top five museums in Cape Town

Apartheid museum

district 6 museum ©thomas_sly/Flickr

A city at the cross point of two oceans, Cape Town attracts more tourist than any other South-African destination. And the reasons to visit Cape Town are numerous: the city benefits not only from scenic surroundings and world-class beaches, but its architecture, monuments, shops and diverse culture appeal tourists from all over the world. Visiting Cape Town can be fun but also very educative: the city prides on its impressive number of museums. These museums have very different themes, from ancient history to art, but as a start, here come some brief introductions for each of these top five museums in Cape Town:

South African Museum

museum building

South African Museum ©pandrcutts/Flickr

No Cape Town visitor should exclude this museum from their itinerary: this is the oldest museum in the country, hosting an astronomical number of artifacts. You could think of it as an anthropological museum, but its collections extend far beyond anthropological discoveries, containing fossils, ancient ceramics, photographs, dioramas, and even an adjacent planetarium. And let’s not forget that South Africa is considered as the cradle of civilization, so what better place to learn about the dawns human kind?

South Africa National Gallery

If you were aver interested in African art, this museum is the place to go. The museum exhibits are not only very diverse in terms of media – they contain various works of art, from paintings and photos to elaborate bead-work jewelry – but also culturally diverse. Thus, the museum hosts together not only South African art, but also British, French or Flemish creations.

District Six Museum

The Apartheidrepresented a very dark chapter in the history of Africa. The racial segregation, persecutions and human suffering associated with this period were immortalized in pictures, personal objects, testimonies, which can all be found at the District Six Museum.

Apartheid museum

district 6 museum ©thomas_sly/Flickr

District Six is where the Apartheid took one of its worst forms, and where thousand of people were forced to live in very precarious conditions on the sole basis of their ethnicity. The museum might leave you sad, but nevertheless aware of these important historic truths.

Cape Town Diamond Museum

Diamonds are an important part of South Africa’s economy, so it’s understandable why they should have their own museum. This small museum offers a very comprehensible incursion into the history of diamonds and their exploitation by humans. One piece of advice though: don’t expect to see the Crown Jewels here, the museum focuses on history rather than diamonds themselves.

Diamond Museum

diamond cutting machine ©4nitsirk/Flickr

Irma Stern Museum

Art buffs will love this small museum administrated by the University of Cape Town. The museum hosts early works and objects that belonged to the famous South African artists Irma Stern. Also, the museum building is in fact a memorial house, as Irma Stern lived here for many years.

Leave a Reply