Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Greenmarket Square

Situated in the Central Business District, near the main station, is Greenmarket Square, the perfect spot to observe South Africa's 'rainbow nation' in all its hues. Once the scene of slave markets, this is now the site of one of the city's most vibrant flea markets, where clothing, jewellery, knick-knacks and souvenirs are on sale every day, and tourists and business people rub shoulders in the many sidewalk cafes that surround the busy cobbled square. Be prepared to haggle at the market to get the best prices and be warned, touts are prevalent. On the west side of the square is the Old Town House, dating from the mid-18th century, which is a wonderful example of Cape Dutch architecture and houses the Michaelis collection of Dutch and Flemish landscape paintings. Rain doesn't deter the stall-owners at Greenmarket Square and in bad weather the stalls tend to just be covered with waterproof tarpaulins. If at all possible try not to appear like a tourist - visible cameras, maps etc - as the merchants tend to target and overcharge foreigners much more than locals. As many stalls sell similar goods don't be shy to compare prices, not least of all because it will motivate the owners to lower costs.

Opening times: Greenmarket Square open daily till 3pm, closed Sundays. Old Town House open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm