Join local culture vultures for a unique artistic and cultural experience on the first Thursday of every month.
Cape Town’s foremost cultural experience
Art galleries and cultural happenings around Cape Town’s city centre stay open until 21:00 (or some even later) on the first Thursday of every month. The idea is that anyone who is interested can explore the city on foot and experience the cultural wealth this city has to offer.
There is no tour, schedule, or guided walk – you decide your own itinerary and where you want to linger. However, printed maps are available at most of the listed venues for the convenience of participants. The First Thursdays Cape Town organisation simply helps the public to figure out what is available to see and where they can go. First Thursdays is a free public event.
When it first started late in 2012, First Thursdays Cape Town had just six participating art galleries. It has become one of the most popular items on Capetonian’s calendar and it is also finding its rightful place on visitors’ “must do” itineraries, attracting thousands of people every month.
First Thursdays is as much about experiencing art and culture as it is about leaving your Cape Town apartment to explore the city on foot. The First Thursdays Cape Town organisation suggests that planning is key to make the most of your First Thursdays experience.
How to plan your First Thursdays experience
- Familiarise yourself with locations using First Thursdays Cape Town’s Google map (link in the navigation)
- Decide where you’d like to start
- Invite friends along, or go solo
- Grab a printed map at your first stop
You can browse exhibitions, performances and other events on First Thursdays Cape Town’s website and select the exhibitions and attractions you don’t want to miss. However, don’t be too rigid. Be prepared to get side-tracked or change your plans during the course of the evening while exploring Cape Town and its unique offerings.
If you are staying in one of the plenty Cape Town apartments available to holidaymakers, you will probably be within easy walking distance. First Thursdays is spread throughout the city centre, but primarily between Bree and Church Streets. First Thursdays Cape Town recommends taking the MyCiTi Bus.
If you’re driving yourself, park near to where you think your last venue of the evening will be. Parking is available on Riebeeck Square or park in one of the plenty street parking bays in the area. Another tip: don’t stress yourself out trying to find parking on the doorstep of where you want to go. It is recommend to park a little bit further away and enjoy the walk.
What about the weather?
First Thursdays takes place throughout the year (except for January), regardless of the weather. Cape Town’s cold and rainy season is usually in the winter months between July and September, when you should wear warm layers and bring along a rainproof coat and an umbrella.
Cape Town’s city centre is generally safe to walk around thanks to the presence of so many pedestrians. However, it still is a big city and like all other cities in the world, there may be criminals on the prowl to relieve unsuspecting tourists of their valuables.
When you leave your apartment, make sure you’re not careless and don’t casually carry handbags, sling bags, backpacks, cameras, cell phones and other electronic devices within easy view. No valuables should be left visible inside cars, either.