The Best 10 Shopping Attractions in South Africa

The Best 10 Shopping Attractions in South Africa
The Best 10 Shopping Attractions in South Africa

South Africa is rich in its cultural heritage, traditions, rituals and cuisine. When visiting South Africa you will obviously wish to enjoy some of the local culture, fashion, food and entertainment. With recent developments though some change in lifestyle can be experienced with opening of new shopping malls.

Shopping Attractions in South Africa

You can visit these malls for some exciting shopping experience that offers luxury and glamour. Here are the best and biggest shopping attractions in South Africa where you will love good dining, cinema, entertainment, fashion and much more.

1. Victoria and Alfred Waterfront

Waterfront Mall

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront has taken pride of place as the only South African destination amongst three nominated destinations in the world at the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) ‘Tourism for Tomorrow’ Destination Awards. Located at the foot of Table Mountain, a stone’s throw from the CBD and on the edge of the lapping waters of the Atlantic, the V&A Waterfront offers host of world-class shops, such as Nespresso coffee boutique and French couture label Etincelle Paris, Cinemas, coffee shops, museums, outdoor entertainment and chartered boat trips.

In this free wi fi zone you can enjoy to learn something in summer classes, have more than eateries to flavour at the  top-class restaurants or simply enjoy al fresco fish and chips while marvelling at the incredible ocean and mountain views that surround you.

Also there is upcoming Zeit Museum center and the Silo hotel as well as new luxury cruise terminal where you can easily witness the luxury ocean liners

2. Sandton City

Sandton City

Sandton City is a shopping center located in Sandton, Johannesburg which was opened in 1973. It is considered as one of the most luxurious and glamorous shopping malls in southern Africa; where one can enjoy fascinating cultures, beautiful clothing and high end couture. You will find a variety and large range of most desirable international and local fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Armani, Mont Blanc, Cartier, Fendi and Lacoste.
The food court in Sandton is a popular hangout for business lunch or social gathering and has top top restaurants and bars that provide ample food and drink choice to suit all tastes.

You will experience a mix of Afro-cosmopolitan atmosphere in this city which also has Nelson Mandela Square and in and around areas to explore.

3. Gateway Theatre of Shopping

Gateway Theatre Shopping

Gateway Theatre of Shopping has been voted the best  shopping centre in the Daily News Your Choice awards twice both in 2014 and 2015. Located on Umhlanga Ridge in Umhlang a, north of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal,  South Africa it was opened in the year 2001. Being the largest malls in Africa it has many major international retail stores. More than two million visitors come and visit this mall each month

The centre was modeled on the Mall of America and West Edmonton Mall centres, Gateway Theatre of Shopping is the ultimate fashion, entertainment and dining destination. With over 400 stores, 90 eateries and a host of exciting entertainment offering 18 movie theatres, 3D cinema houses with other playhouses like Ster Kinekor complex, IMAX Theatre, Funtubbles Funfair, Wavehouse, Electric Avenue bowling, Action Karting and much more!

You can shop some fashionable clothing at specialty boutiques like Pringle and Sissy Boy, or relax at the numerous coffee shops and restaurants that boast all manner of meals, snacks and delicious treats. Not only this also you can test your skills on the 24m indoor climbing wall one of the highest in the world or enjoy Skate Park and have fun.

4. Canal Walk

Canal Walk Mall

Canal Walk is the third largest shopping centre in Africa located in Cape Town, South Africa which was opened in 2000 built around a canal. The centre forms the heart of a mixed-use development known as Century City, which includes office blocks, residential areas and the Ratanga Junction theme park. This shopping centre hosts over 400 stores, 7,000 parking bays, numerous restaurants, 20 cinemas plus a game arcade

Canal Walk offers the most comprehensive and compelling lifestyle shopping experience in South Africa, including the widest selection of speciality stores in the Southern Hemisphere. Leading international retail brands such Puma, Pringle of Scotland, La Senza and Guess call Canal Walk home, and new brands that have joined the centre are the popular Baby Phat, Mango and Crabtree  and Evelyn.

At the epicentre of the mall is a large entertainment zone featuring a sophisticated promotions court as well as an in-house television station  CWTV  with two giant LED screens and 32 plasma screens. You will love the spectacular La Piazza dining experience featuring fabulous restaurants and cafes, surrounding a magnificent central fountain with spectacular views of the canal and Table Mountain.

5. Cape Quarter

Cape Quarter

The Cape Quarter shopping mall is situated in the heart of trendy De Waterkant in Cape Town. This charming shopping hub is your one-stop destination for fashion, beauty, food, restaurants, art, curios, books, furniture and interior décor in the city. The Cape Quarter is the most unique retail experience with over 100 unique stores and restaurants.

You can enjoy the delicious drinks and cocktails in numerous bars or explore the art galleries and find some ancient art piece of your choice. You can visit Emporio Leone offering  luxury food specializing in Italian-style biscuits, cakes and desserts, or for those who are more health conscious, relax at the Hilton Medi-Spa, a wellness and health destination of world-class standards. Wanna some entertainment then Artjamming is the place of your choice here full of creativity and fun.

6. Melrose Arch

Melrose shopping

Melrose Arch is located at Corner Corlett Drive and M1 Highway, Melrose, Johannesburg. It is the great modern shopping center full of activity and entertainment. It is a city within a city, an urban space where office, retail, residential and leisure opportunities co-exist. Residents can live, eat, work and play all within the confines of the ultra-contemporary Melrose Arch Precinct.

You will find top-class shops and fabulous restaurants surrounding a central piazza. The piazza invites alfresco dining, open-air opera, theatre and music festivals as well as events with celebrities, sports stars and world-class chefs. The area is also home to the 5 star Melrose Arch Hotel, which attracts discerning visitors from South Africa and abroad.

7. Cavendish Square

Cavendish Square

The award-winning Cavendish Square is located  in Claremont and is one of Cape Town’s most upmarket shopping centres. It is home to more than 250 stores including shops specializing in clothing, outdoor and camping paraphernalia, computers, homeware, shoes, accessories and much more. The centre boasts 16 state-of-the-art cinemas as well as about 20 restaurants and coffee shops serving a wide range from fast food to exclusive cuisine and catering for all appetites.

The mall is particularly abuzz in December, when it boasts an enormous, multi-storey Christmas tree in its centre that’s worth seeing. After shopping you can relax at one of the many coffee shops, such as the popular Mugg  and Bean, or catch a movie at Cinema Nouveau  the leading independent cinema in South Africa specialising in foreign and art house films.

The most recent development to the centre is Cavendish Connect, a redevelopment that has transformed The Link centre next door via a sky bridge into Cavendish Connect. This clever move has added fashion boutiques, trend-setting lifestyle emporiums and a range of mouth-watering restaurants and cafes to the centre. Find some craft items at the stores that you will love about South African culture or visit the  Dreyer Street market and enjoy.

8. Fourways Mall


Fourways Mall shopping centre in Johannesburg is home to 170 shops, with 50 of them focusing exclusively on fashion. Located in the prestigious suburb of Fourways, close to the world-famous Montecasino entertainment complex, this mall is popular with local and international visitors alike. Famous for fashion this mall boasts over 50 exclusive fashion stores including shoe boutiques, high quality clothing stores and a good selection of local and international brand name outlets.

This prestigious Johannesburg shopping centre also offers a number of elite jewellers with a choice of selected diamond and gold jewellery to satisfy even the most discerning international traveller. Along with its fantastic selection of fashion stores, this shopping centre in Johannesburg, is also home to branches of all the country’s best chain stores like Woolworths, Edgars, Checkers Hyper, Foschini, Truworths, and CNA for books and stationary. Along with these, you will find a wide array of exquisite specialty stores. The centre boasts ample banking and foreign exchange facilities, travel agencies, a pharmacy, optometrists, hair stylists, beauty therapists and a couple of curio shops.

Entertainment for the whole family includes cinemas, The Magic Company amusement centre and a miniature golf course. The centre also hosts regular displays and exhibitions. You can enjoy a game of Adventure Golf in tranquil surroundings of thick vegetation and multi-level putting greens or visit the casino nearby for more betting games if you like.

9. Riverside Mall

Riverside Mall

The Riverside Mall shopping centre in Mbombela (Nelspruit) is the biggest shopping and entertainment mall in Mpumalanga province. Located on the road to White River, it provides a perfect ‘one stop shop’ for visitors who are on their way to Kruger National Park or to one of the many game reserves in the area. Riverside Mall has also been awarded the PMR Africa-Mpumalanga “Leaders and Achievers” award for four consecutive years. This award recognises the centre as one of the institutions doing the most in their sectors to stimulate economic growth and development.

You will find that more than 630, 000 people visit this mall each month as it is a major attraction for retail tourists from all over Mpumalanga, Mozambique and Swaziland. The mall is home to more than 140 stores and 15 restaurants and coffee shops and a movie cinema, the only movie theatre in a 200 km radius.
You will find virtually all the shops that the mega-malls in big cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town offer, from Pick ‘n Pay supermarket to the clothes and exclusive foodstuffs on sale at Woolworths, a favourite for many South Africans. You will also find clothing shops, souvenir stores, restaurants and fast food outlets at Riverside Mall shopping centre.

This shopping mall is cool and atmospheric inside, offering a merciful retreat from the hot African sun. This makes shopping here even more of a pleasure. Visitors who are staying over in or around the area can also watch movies at the mall, have a bit of fun in the gaming arcade, or enjoy a leisurely meal. You can also visit the Emnotweni Casino, the only gambling facility in the area for some games to enjoy as this is the first legal casino to open its doors in South Africa

10. The Pavilion

Pavilion Mall

The Pavilion is a large shopping centre located in Westville, Durban. It is one of the biggest malls in the Durban area, and the biggest in Westville. The mall attracts 1.8 million visitors each month. The mall contains 230 retail outlets, 40 restaurants,14 jewellery outlets, an amusement area with the revolution skatepark and ten pin bowling games. The mall also boost of 12 cinemas that host some great film festivals and also showing the latest movies.

Popular South African restaurants such as the Ocean Basket and Primi Piatti cater for casual meals, while finer confectionary can be found at Le Petit Cafe and Cafe Gitano. You can visit  the popular Build-A-Bear workshop and create a loving new addition to the family. So whether you just want a cool retreat from Durban’s hot summer sun or you must see that Hollywood blockbuster, the Pavilion should be your shopping destination of choice in the greater Durban area.

About the author

Kamal Kaur