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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.

Like to make your visit to South African Museum and Planetarium even more memorable? Don't forget to try out one or two of these things to do:

Why not think about trying out a Best of the City & Surroundings Combo Tour and a City Centre & Table Mountain Morning Tour?

If you're after more options, peruse our Cape Town things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around South African Museum and Planetarium


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Best Lodging Options Near South African Museum and Planetarium

See all 3,131 Properties near South African Museum and Planetarium
Taj Cape Town ¥15,582
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, Greenmarket Square, and Long Street. South African National Gallery and Kloof Street are also within 10 minutes. Cape Town Station is 9 minutes by foot.

    Hilton Cape Town City Centre ¥13,602
    Hilton Cape Town City Centre

    Hilton Cape Town City Centre

    126 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town, Western Cape
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Cape Town hotel is located by the ocean, just steps from Bo Kaap Museum and Long Street. Greenmarket Square and Kloof Street are also within 10 minutes. Cape Town Station is 14 minutes by foot.

      The Onyx Apartment Hotel ¥11,441
      The Onyx Apartment Hotel

      The Onyx Apartment Hotel

      57 Heerengracht Street, Cape Town, Western Cape
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Cape Town City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Long Street and Cape Town International Convention Centre. Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and Greenmarket Square are also within 15 minutes. Cape Town Station is 9 minutes by foot.

        Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel ¥27,673
        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 in the mountains, 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.

          ONOMO Hotel Cape Town – Inn on the Square ¥6,596
          ONOMO Hotel Cape Town – Inn on the Square

          ONOMO Hotel Cape Town – Inn on the Square

          10 Greenmarket Square Road, Cape Town, Western Cape
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Cape Town City Centre, this hotel is steps from Pan African Market, Greenmarket Square, and Long Street. Castle of Good Hope and Cape Town International Convention Centre are also within 15 minutes. Cape Town Station is 8 minutes by foot.

            Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence, Cape Town ¥12,889
            Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence, Cape Town

            Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence, Cape Town

            22 Riebeek Street, Cape Town, Western Cape
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Cape Town City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Long Street, Greenmarket Square, and Cape Town International Convention Centre. Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and Castle of Good Hope are also within 15 minutes. Cape Town Station is 7 minutes by foot.

              Signature Lux Hotel by ONOMO Foreshore ¥4,285
              Signature Lux Hotel by ONOMO Foreshore

              Signature Lux Hotel by ONOMO Foreshore

              31 A Heerengraght Boulevard, Cape Town, Western Cape
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Cape Town City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Long Street, Cape Town International Convention Centre, and Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. Greenmarket Square and Castle of Good Hope are also within 15 minutes. Cape Town Station is 6 minutes by foot.

                Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore ¥7,996
                Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore

                Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore

                29 Heerengracht Street, Foreshore, Cape Town, Western Cape
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Cape Town City Centre, this hotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Artscape Theatre Centre and 1.6 mi (2.5 km) from Cape Town Stadium. Table Mountain Aerial Cableway and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens are also within 9 mi (15 km). Cape Town Station is 7 minutes by foot.