South African Jewish Museum (SAJM)
Featuring a life-sized recreation of a shtetl, the museum traces the cultural history of South Africa’s Jewish diaspora, with a heritage rooted in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, and illuminates Jewish people’s impact on South African history and contributions to contemporary society. The museum is also the surprising home to one of the world’s finest collections of netsuke (small-scale Japanese carvings).
For extra convenience, you can pre-book admission and skip the line, or purchase a Cape Town-wide city pass that includes access to multiple attractions. Guided tours can be booked directly with the museum.
Things to know before you go
- The museum is wheelchair accessible.
- The South African Jewish Museum Shop offers a wide range of Judaica.
- The museum’s Café Riteve serves kosher breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
- Admission is free for children under 12.
- Photo ID is required to enter the secure compound that houses the museum.
How to get there
The South African Jewish Museum is just outside of the City Centre and within walking distance of the South African National Gallery, Iziko South African Museum, and the Company’s Garden. The SAJM (paid) parking lot is a short stroll up the road from the museum.
When to get there
The museum is open from Sunday through Thursday from mid-morning to early evening, and on Friday from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. The museum is closed on Saturdays and on Jewish holidays—check the website for a schedule of the current year’s holidays.
Cape Town Holocaust Centre
Upstairs from the SAJM, the Cape Town Holocaust Centre commemorates the victims and survivors of the Nazi regime, as well as other genocides throughout history. Through archival photographs and film footage, documents, and multimedia displays, as well as rotating temporary exhibits, it examines anti-Semitism from a South African viewpoint and highlights the impact of prejudice and racism.