So you’ve visited some of the top restaurants on Long Street and experienced Long Street’s epic nightlife, now it’s time to explore the street’s most iconic and cultural institutions. From great second-hand shops to rare antique stores, Long Street is a melting pot for culture across the globe. Here is a list of a few places on the street that are worth a visit:
Afraid of Mice
- Afraid of Mice is home to priceless vintage shoes, dresses and coats.
Image from miss milli b
In 2010, after quiting their jobs and travelling the world, sisters Bianca and Simone created a tiny vintage store in Woodstock. Little did they know the place they named Afraid of Mice would balloon into a household name when it comes to. Today, the place is a source of clothing and item from a bygone era. The shop boasts threads from Chanel, Oscar De La Renta, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney, all the cool stuff mom’s preserve and give to their kids.
Merchants on Long
Brown leather handmade shoes, colourful African clothing and beautiful beadwork cover Merchants on Long from wall-wall. Founded by Hanneli Rupert in 2009, the store has managed to maintain its strictly African look. When explaining the thinking behind Merchants on Long to Chris von Ulmenstein at Whale Cottage Portfolio, Rupert said ‘I wanted to create an environment that has the ability to transport you, it is meant to remind our visitors why the world’s bravest explorers and pioneers of the arts and sciences came to Africa in the first place.’ The place certainly does have that effect.
Long Street Antique Arcade
Long Street Antique Arcade houses several antique shops and adds a touch of history to the street. Originally created as a sanctuary for antique-seekers, the place houses an eclectic range of antique stores. From old maps to jewellery and precious china that’s been passed down through generations, the centre is a gold mine for collectors. If you are looking anything from AD 1300 relics from Southern Africa’s mysterious Mapungubwe kingdom or simple pre-2013 stuff, this is the place to visit.
Pan African Market
Deep in cosmopolitan Cape Town is shade for all things African. Known as the Pan African Market, this cultural hub houses a restaurant (Cafe Timbuktu), a few hairdressing salons, clothing, arts and crafts. The market also provides a venue for drumming, storytelling and poetry sessions. The cool thing about the place is the fact that it empowers people to improve their entrepreneurship skills, so a visit goes a long way.
Tel 021-426-4478, www.thepanafricanmarket.com
Photo courtesy Ben Oswest
Established in 1976, Clarke’s Bookshop on 199 Long Street, has come to be seen as an oasis of knowledge in city centre by avid readers. As well as literature on many African destinations such as Mozambique and Zimbabwe, the bookshop has books has a diverse collection of books to quench your thirst for knowledge. Whether you are looking for a book on the history of the Masai, art in East in Africa or anything south of the Sahara, Clarke’s Bookshop has it for you.
Long Street Baths
Image from City of Cape Town
From the outside Long Street Baths appears like an archaic building , but what lies inside is much more interesting. Built in 1908, the building has been transformed to house a 25 m-long heated indoor pool. Although the interior has been give a 21st century face-lift, the original Turkish baths, with steam and dry facilities, are still found within the premises.
Baths: R70 adults, Pool: R11
South African Slaves Church Museum
Photo from Simon Van Der Stel Foundation
In 1804, in an effort to convert slaves to Christianity, the Protestant Church opened a slave church on Long Street. The church has since been converted into a tiny museum which displays the church as it was during dark times in South African history. The South African Slave Church Museum is a perfect place to visit for a lesson in the history of the street and Cape Town in general.
African Dance Theatre
Photo by Antonella Ragazzoni
A vibrant street like Long Street wouldn’t be complete without a theatre of its own. The African Dance Theatre on 144 is a place where artists and performers gather to share the modern stories of the Mother City. The venue was used by the original Space Theatre (South Africa’s first non-racial theatre) in 1976 with the likes of John Kani, Pieter Dirk Uys (read: The darling of Darling) and Athol Fugard staging some of their shows there. Nowadays, the building houses a 174 seat theatre, a restaurant, art gallery and coffee shop.
Pink Flamingo Cinema
The Pink Flamingo Cinema brings a completely different element to the busy street. Housed in the middle of the trailer park on the rooftop of the Grand Daddy Hotel (read: A night in a trailer: Cape Town’s Grand Daddy Hotel), the cinema screens the latest and classic movies. With free popcorn and welcome drinks, the 35-seater cinema is a great way to experience the silver screen under the stars.
Beerhouse on Long
Image from everindex.co.za
Picture 16 taps and 99 of the finest craft beer from South Africa and across the globe under one roof. Add awesome food for a good foundation before you go beer-tasting. To spice it all up, add hundreds of craft-beer enthusiasts sharing their experiences. Sound perfect? The Beerhouse on Long, the latest addition to Long Street is set to create a strong craft beer culture on the street. If you feeling thirsty, step into the spot for a few thirst quenchers.
Have we missed a cool spot on Long Street? Tell us in the comment box below and we’ll add it to the list.
Main image by coda
Looking for accommodation in Cape Town? Find affordable Cape Town accommmodation here