Gardens is a vibrant and buzzing area close to Cape Town CBD, located beneath Table Mountain and Lions Head. It’s central position makes it an ideal hangout for young professionals, especially those in creative industries. There are a number of production and publishing companies located in the area. It is also a stone’s throw away from Cape Town’s various museums and galleries.
Gardens is named due to its close proximity to the Company Gardens in the CBD. Once used to grow fresh produce, the Company Gardens is now a park and heritage site.
Things to do
The Iziko South African Museum, situated in the Company Gardens, is home to more than one and a half million specimens of scientific importance. The collections range from fossils to ancient stone tools, as well as San rock paintings. Millions of people have wandered the halls of this museum marvelling at its fascinating finds.
Another exciting activity housed inside the South African Museum, is the Iziko Planetarium. Lay back and relax while you take in the sounds, lights and cutting edge technology of the Planetarium. A perfect outing for families who wanted to be transported straight into space.
Culture lovers will also be pleased to find the South African National Gallery in close proximity to the South African Museum. With collections of South African, British, French, Dutch and Flemish art the SA National Gallery is South Africa’s leading art gallery. The gallery also houses a variety of temporary visiting exhibitions.
Long Street, Cape Town’s liveliest street, is situated just a short distance away from the centre of Gardens. Long Street is brimming with interesting antiques, quirky vintage clothing and funky restaurants and bars.
Gardens Shopping Centre has everything on offer, from high end supermarkets and boutique clothing stores to arts and crafts stores. With its convenient location just uptown from the CBD, the Gardens Centre attracts locals and visitors with its bustling atmosphere.
Gardens is often referred to as 'Hipster Central'. This is thanks to the many quirky, hispter shops, restaurants, clothing stores and coffee shops found in Kloof Street. For anything speciality, whether it be food, coffee, clothes or art, Kloof Street is the place to go.
Where to eat
You will find the Company Gardens Restaurant nestled beneath the trees in the Company Gardens. The tranquil atmosphere makes it the perfect spot for a relaxing family lunch. The restaurant offers a selection of light meals and teatime snacks, from early morning until late afternoon.
For some real South African flavour, try Gourmet Boerie who create their one of a kind gourmet boerewors rolls. They specialise in local handcrafted artisanal boerewors, served up in a roll with a range of delicious toppings. Boerewors rolls are known as one of South Africa’s favourite street foods.
For candlelit dinners, try the trendy Kloof Street House, set in a magnificent Victorian House on Kloof Street. It is both a restaurant and bar. Kloof Street House has a homely feel and a bistro style menu, with a Mediterranean and Moroccan influence.
Well known for its delicious all day breakfasts, as well as their lunch and dinner specials, it’s no wonder Arnold’s on Kloof draws in the locals. Arnold's is also known for Game dishes, such as Crocodile Ribs, Warthog Ribs, Springbok and Gemsbok.
Set in Cape Town’s spectacular Mount Nelson Hotel, Planet Bar and Restaurant offers a magnificent fine dining experience. The venue is chic and contemporary, making it the ideal spot for elegant pre-dinner champagne or cocktails.
Pure Good is great for a quick and healthy meal when you're on the go. Wholewheat-herbed wraps, salads, smoothies and raw juices are just a few items on this fun, yet health conscious menu.
For truly artisinal coffee, as well as tasty freshly baked treats, pay a visit to Truth Coffee. Here you'll be transported into a SteamPunk world with both the decor and the staff bringing the theme to life. The coffee itself is considered some of the best in Cape Town!
Where to stay
This cosmopolitan neighbourhood has an abundance of delightful guesthouses and self catering accommodations where one can gain a great feel for the neighbourhood and take in the lively and vibrant atmosphere of the city.
Car Rental: The easiest way to travel around Gardens is by car. Car rentals can be booked online or organised at Cape Town International Airport.
Air: Gardens is situated approximately 20km away from Cape Town International Airport.
Taxis/Cabs: Taxi services are ideal for short trips around the area. Gardens is also just a short drive away from Cape Town CBD.
Bus: Gardens is situated along the MyCiti bus route, which is an easy and affordable way to get to other points in the city.
Did you know
The Company Gardens were created in 1652, by the Dutch East India Company, to farm fresh produce to supply passing ships.
During the time of Simon van der Stel, Government Avenue, running through the Gardens, was lined with oak trees which still stand today.
The Company Gardens are home to the oldest cultivated pear tree in South Africa, planted around 1652.
The Mount Nelson Hotel, opened in 1899, was the first hotel in Southern Africa to offer hot and cold running water.
South Africa's Houses of Parliament are located in Gardens as Cape Town is the legislative Capital of South Africa.