This evening (Thursday, February 26th), all museums in and around Company’s Gardens will open their doors to the public for the first ever Museum Night in South Africa. From 5-pm, you get the chance to explore all the participating museums and preview a variety of performances for FREE!

But if you cannot make it to this event, the museums on the route should still be enjoyed by day. For as little as R30 entrance, you can gain insight into the history of South Africa or browse classic masterpieces from artists around the world. Many of Cape Town’s museums are part of the Iziko network. ‘Iziko’ is an isiXhosa word, meaning ‘a hearth,’ symbolising both “a hub of cultural activity, and a central place for gathering together South Africa’s diverse heritage.”

Here is a snapshot of the six museums featured tonight:

1. Iziko South African National Gallery – This gallery is beautiful on the inside and out with its colonial architecture and manicured landscaping. It houses a variety of collections of South African, African and European photography, sculpture, beadwork, textiles and architecture – and a number of temporary visiting exhibits also rotate here.

  • Operating hours: Daily from 10h00 to 17h00
  • Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3970
  • Location: Government Avenue, Company’s Garden, Cape Town
  • Adults R30
South African National Gallery

South African National Gallery

 

2. Iziko South African Museum – Founded in 1825, the South African Museum has been collecting important artefacts and specimens since then. They display fossils that are 700-million years old along with insects and fish found yesterday. With everything from old stone tools to traditional clothes, there is something historically intriguing for everyone.

  • Operating hours: Daily from 10h00 to 17h00
  • Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3800
  • Location: 25 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens, Cape Town
  • Adults R30
Whale featured at the South African Museum

A whale featured at the South African Museum

 

3. Planetarium – The Planetarium provides an insight into the celestial heavens above in its domed theatre. The rotating shows not only transport you into another galaxy but also teach important lessons about the universe.

  • Shows Daily
  • Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3900
  • Location: 25 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town
  • Adults (19 years and older) R40
Starry skies at the Planetarium Museum

Starry skies at the Planetarium Museum

 

4. Iziko Slave Lodge – Still standing as one of the oldest’s buildings in Cape Town, the Slave Lodge used to enslave more than 9,000 men, women, children, convicts and mentally ill between 1679 and 1811. It was originally built as the slave lodge for the Dutch East India Company. Now you can walk through this historic building which features rotating exhibits and an audio guide of how the conditions were during the slave era.

  • Open from Monday to Saturday from 10h00 to 17h00
  • Tel: +27 (0)21 467 7229
  • Location: Corner Adderley and Wale Streets, Cape Town
  • Adults R30
An exhibit inside the Slave Lodge

An exhibit inside the Slave Lodge

 

5. Old Town House – The Old Town House (formerly City Hall) in Green Market Square exhibits the Michaelis Collection of art. The permanent collection, donated by Sir Max Michaelis in 1914, features a selection of Netherlandish pieces from the seventeenth century Golden Age.

  • Open daily from 10h00 to 17h00
  • Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3933
  • Location: Old Town House, Greenmarket Square, Cape Town
  • Adults R20
The Michaelis Collection at the Old Town House

The Michaelis Collection at the Old Town House

 

6. Jewish Museum – The South African Jewish Museum is a tribute to the Jewish immigrants who escaped persecution in Eastern Europe and created a large diaspora community in South Africa. The museum highlights their journey, their achievements and their hardships.

  • Open daily from 10h00 to 17h00
  • Tel: +27 (0)21 465 1546
  • Location: 88 Hatfield Street, Gardens, Cape Town
The South African Jewish Museum

The South African Jewish Museum

 

Cape Town is an epicentre of culture and history, and a great way to learn about this city is by browsing these interactive museums. There are countless others that should be featured as well, including the Bo-Kaap Museum, the Groot Constantia Manor House, the Maritime Centre, Koopmans-De Wet House, Rust En Vreugd, Sas Somerset, Social History Centre, Bertram House, Castle of Good Hope and the District Six Museum.