Cape Town is widely known for its rich history and culture, and the city boasts various museums encapsulating its diversity.

Whether you’re a history buff, art enthusiast or someone seeking a deeper understanding of the city’s heritage, Cape Town’s museums offer experiences that go beyond conventional sightseeing.

Here are some Cape Town museums you need to check off your bucket list:

District Six Museum

Picture: District Six Museum

Established in 1994, the District Six Museum exists as a testimony to the community that once thrived in District Six, a neighbourhood tragically dismantled during apartheid.

Before finding its permanent home in the historic Methodist Church building, the museum operated as a wandering movement from 1989 to 1994.

Now, the church hosts the permanent exhibition ‘Digging Deeper,’ while the Sacks Futeran building at 15A Buitenkant Street serves as The District Six Museum Homecoming Centre.

  • Location: 25A Buitenkant St, District Six
  • Times: Monday to Saturday, 9am to 4pm
  • Website:

Iziko South African Museum

Picture: Iziko South African Museum

Founded in 1825, the South African Museum is an institution that has captivated millions of visitors with its rich historical collection. From ancient fossils dating back almost 700 million years to contemporary insects and fish, the museum’s exhibits provide a fascinating journey through time.

Beyond the natural wonders, visitors can marvel at stone tools crafted by humans 120 000 years ago, traditional attire from the last century and more. The museum, housed in its current location since 1897, is an iconic Cape Town spot for cultural and scientific exploration.

  • Location: 25 Queen Victoria St, Gardens
  • Times: Every day 9am to 5pm
  • Website:

Cape Medical Museum

Picture: Cape Town Medical Museum

Established as a provincial museum in 1986, the Cape Medical Museum presents the intertwined history of the New Somerset Hospital and the City Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Green Point.

Housed within the residence of the Medical Superintendent, a structure dating back to 1904, the museum offers a unique perspective on the city’s medical heritage.

Although currently closed for renovations, exciting changes are underway, promising new exhibitions that delve into Cape Town’s medical history and the evolution of the medical field. Displays will cover topics such as the history of biomedical medicine, indigenous healing practices, the nursing legacy and the impact of diseases and pandemics.

  • Location: Old City Hospital Complex, Portswood Road, Green Point
  • Times: Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm
  • Website:

Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum

Picture: Iziko Museums

The Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum occupies one of the earliest homes constructed in the Bo-Kaap district during the mid-18th century. This historic house, granted National Monument status in 1965, underwent meticulous restoration in the 1970s.

Established in 1978 as part of the SA Cultural History Museum, the Bo-Kaap Museum immerses visitors in the lifestyle of a nineteenth-century Muslim family. Managed by Iziko Museums, the institution is part of a collective overseeing national museums, reflecting the cultural, political and social narratives that define the region.

  • Location: 71 Wale St, Schotsche Kloof
  • Times: Monday to Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm
  • Website:

Cape Town Holocaust & Genocide Centre

Picture: Cape Town Holocaust & Genocide Centre

The Cape Town Holocaust & Genocide Centre uses impactful exhibitions, events and workshops to honour the victims and survivors of historical atrocities, including the Holocaust and various genocides.

The centre’s overarching goal is to shed light on the consequences of prejudice and racism in all their manifestations.

  • Location: 88 Hatfield St, Cape Town City Centre
  • Times: Sunday to Thursday, 10am to 5pm
  • Website:


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This article was originally written and published by Jules Keohane for Cape Etc.

Feature image: Iziko Museums