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South African Museum and Planetarium

Learn about extinct and modern land and sea animals and ponder the mysteries of the universe at this popular Cape Town institution.

Enter the South African Museum and Planetarium for a scientific journey of discovery. Examine fossils that are hundreds of millions of years old, see skeletons of ocean mammals and other natural history specimens and watch fascinating projections of the night sky.

Allow at least 2 to 3 hours to wander through the museum’s corridors and exhibition halls. Go to the Wonders of Nature exhibit for the petrified skull of a 250-million-year-old mammal-like reptile. You will also see a fossilized freshwater fish from the Triassic period. At the African Dinosaurs exhibit, view dioramas of ancient landscapes and models of South African dinosaurs.

Study a cross-section of a Norfolk Island pine tree that was planted about 1850. Gather insights into Darwin's visit to the area in 1836 when you stop by the Darwin and the Cape exhibit. Observe casts of whales and dolphins and a large model of the jaw of a megatooth shark. This extinct species lived millions of years ago and was one of the largest predators the world has ever seen. Other marine exhibits include a life-size model of a giant squid.

After your museum visit, settle back for some starry action in the planetarium, housed in the same building.

The museum and planetarium are open every day except Christmas Day and Workers' Day, which is on May 1. The planetarium also closes on the first Monday of each month except school holidays. There is an admission fee, with reductions for children, senior citizens and family tickets. Children 5 years and under enter for free. Pay a separate charge for the planetarium and its celestial shows.

The South African Museum and Planetarium are in the Company’s Garden on Queen Victoria Street and are well served by buses and taxis. Drive and use the free parking. The museum is within a short drive of the shops, restaurants, aquarium and other attractions of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.


Guide to Exploring around South African Museum and Planetarium


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Best Lodging Options Near South African Museum and Planetarium

See all 3,390 Properties near South African Museum and Planetarium
Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel
Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

76 Orange Street, Cape Town, Western Cape
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly Cape Town hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of Company's Garden and South African Jewish Museum. Greenmarket Square and Iziko Social History Resource Centre are also within 1 mi (2 km). Cape Town Station is 25 minutes by foot.

    The Table Bay Hotel ¥22,214
    The Table Bay Hotel

    The Table Bay Hotel

    Quay 6 Victoria & Alfred, Cape Town, Western Cape
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Cape Town hotel is located on the boardwalk, within 1 mi (2 km) of Union Castle House, V&A Waterfront, and Two Oceans Aquarium. Cape Town Stadium and Long Street are also within 2 mi (3 km).

      15 On Orange Hotel, Autograph Collection
      15 On Orange Hotel, Autograph Collection

      15 On Orange Hotel, Autograph Collection

      Corner Of Greys Pass and, Orange Street, Cape Town, Western Cape
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly Cape Town hotel is located near the airport, within 1 mi (2 km) of Greenmarket Square and Castle of Good Hope. Cape Town International Convention Centre and Two Oceans Aquarium are also within 3 mi (5 km). Cape Town Station is 17 minutes by foot.

        Cape Town Hollow Boutique Hotel
        Cape Town Hollow Boutique Hotel

        Cape Town Hollow Boutique Hotel

        88 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, Western Cape
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Cape Town City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of South African Museum and Planetarium and Company's Garden. South African National Gallery and Western Cape High Court are also within 10 minutes. Cape Town Station is 16 minutes by foot.

          Pepperclub Hotel
          Pepperclub Hotel

          Pepperclub Hotel

          Cnr Loop and Pepper Street, Cape Town, Western Cape
             
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Cape Town City Centre, this luxury hotel is steps from Bree Street and Long Street. Kloof Street and Greenmarket Square are also within 10 minutes. Cape Town Station is 15 minutes by foot.

            Taj Cape Town
            Taj Cape Town

            Taj Cape Town

            1 Wale Street, corner St Georges Mall, Cape Town, Western Cape
               
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              This family-friendly Cape Town hotel is located near the airport, steps from St. Georges Mall, Long Street, and Greenmarket Square. Kloof Street and Castle of Good Hope are also within 15 minutes. Cape Town Station is 9 minutes by foot.

              Welgelegen Boutique Guest House
              Welgelegen Boutique Guest House

              Welgelegen Boutique Guest House

              6 Stephen Street, Cape Town, Western Cape
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Cape Town City Centre, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cape Town Medi Clinic and Kloof Street. Long Street and Greenmarket Square are also within 2 mi (3 km). Cape Town Station is 29 minutes by foot.

                Montreux 1
                Montreux 1

                Montreux 1

                90 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, Western Cape
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Cape Town City Centre, this apartment building is steps from South African Museum and Planetarium, Long Street, and Kloof Street. Greenmarket Square and Castle of Good Hope are also within 1 mi (2 km). Cape Town Station is 16 minutes by foot.