My City Guide

{Explore} What to do in Cape Town on your birthday…on a budget.

Two weeks back I celebrated my 25th birthday and for some reason I didn’t feel like making a big fuss about it even though I am now a quarter century old. Usually on my birthday I prefer doing touristy things and of course this year I wanted to stick with the theme. The V&A Waterfront is always my destination of choice because it is close to everything and there’s always things to do in the V&A. Oh and on your birthday, if you sign up on their site you get free parking!

My day kicked off bright and early and I headed out to the V&A so that I could catch the first cruise out on the harbour. I have been on the City Sightseeing bus and canal cruise quite a few times but this time around I wanted to spoil my nieces (you know…aunt duties) and decided to take them. The cruise costs R40 for adults and R20 for kids. I have to say that I am kind of bummed that the route changed as I really enjoyed the previous route that gave you a “looksee” into the lives of the rich and famous in the restricted parts of the V&A that you don’t usually get to see. The kids however enjoyed the whole experience because they got see seals and cruise the harbour for 25-30mins.

After our last stop back in the harbour, we decided to go to Two Oceans Aquarium as the last time I’ve been there I was probably 8 years old. You might think that the aquarium is kid like but it was definitely such a fun experience and I would go back in a heart beat. At the aquarium there is so much to see so I suggest wearing a pair of comfy shoes because you kind of get sucked into the fascinating marine life that you want to ensure that you explore the entire aquarium. As a student I got a discount on my ticket and ended up paying only R100.

After the aquarium I decided to take a walk through the Watershed at the V&A as I always draw inspiration from all of the local designers and craft stores that sells their goods. Of course I had to pick up a bubble tea at the Bubble Tea Company when passing through. We all know the saying about time flying when you’re having fun, before we knew it -it was late afternoon. For my birthday I wanted a little staycation at an hotel but we all know how expensive accommodation is in Cape Town. Luckily City Lodge Hotels are a great option. I have stayed at  a City Lodge Hotel before so I know I am always in for a treat and great service.

I checked in a few minutes after 4pm and was so Thankful that they didn’t give my room away as the rules specifically states that check-in is at 4. I was greeted with the warmest hello and complimentary lemonade when I walked through the doors. Within 5 minutes I was in my beautiful natural lit room where I quickly settled in and fell asleep – with my plans for a sunset cruise with my sisters totally out of the window. The beds were super comfy with crisp white sheets, a little area where you can make your own coffee/tea in your room and the much needed aircon to cool you down after a scorcher of a day. As night time approached we decided to head out to dinner and got an Uber which was literally two minutes away because of course I was too lazy to drive

Out of the many places that we could’ve chosen, we went with Eastern Food Bazaar which is situated in Long Market Street. Eastern Bazaar definitely caters for the masses in terms of the array of foods at the most affordable prices…EVER! The options are endless with food choices from all around the world like the Punjabi menu, Nizami, Madras, Istanbul, China Town to name a few – and also an extensive vegetarian menu. I went with a butter chicken and rice with dhal (I don’t like dhal so I passed it on to someone that wanted it) and it cost me only R55! Eastern Bazaar really is one of those hidden gems in Cape Town and is so worth the visit.

The following day we checked out at round about 9am and headed home. It was definitely a fuss free birthday weekend that I wouldn’t mind having a “do over”. Thanks to everybody for the birthday wishes and making my day extra special. Sorry for the bad pictures, I decided to leave my camera at home as I really wanted to enjoy my birthday and just be in the moment without having to document everything but my sister was such a lifesaver capturing everything. I hope my post can spark some ideas on things to do on your birthday or even just a chilled weekend exploring the city.. while on a budget.

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