International Museum Day has been celebrated around the world every year since 1977 to raise awareness about the positive contribution museums make to society. It is usually celebrated on or around May 18 and this year’s theme is “Hyperconnected museums: New approaches, new publics”. Most museums around South Africa will be open to the public for free on the day itself or some point over the weekend. We’ve put together a list and some links for you to check out and enjoy the free access.

All of the Iziko museums in Cape Town will have free entrance on May 18

Many of the above will also be free on Africa Day, which is on May 25. Check the website for more free days.

Cape Town’s latest showcase art gallery, the Zeitz MOCAA Museum will offer free entry on the day. Usually the entrance is quite steep as they cater for international visitors, but fortunately there are lots of free days and times especially for South African citizens.

  • International Museum Day, 18 May: Free entry 10 am – 6 pm. Last entry: 5:30 pm.
  • Africa Day, 25 May: Free entry 10 am – 6 pm. Last entry: 5:30 pm.
  • HALF PRICE – First Fridays: Half-price 4 pm – 9 pm first Friday, monthly. Last entry: 8:30 pm. Check the website for more free days.

Please also check out the Western Cape Government page for more museums.


Entrance will be free on the day at the University of Pretoria Museums, but you will have to contact the offices to arrange for a tour.

Entrance is also free at the Wits Art Museum, which will be open from 10am to 4pm.

For more museums in the province, please check the Gauteng Tourism Authority site for historical museums and other museums and places of interest.

Port Elizabeth:

Bayworld Museum will celebrate International Museum Day on Sunday, May 20. Various activities will take place, including free entry, behind the scenes tours of the collections, seal and penguin presentations, snake interaction, food stalls, jumping castle, face painting and more. Starts at 9:30am. Contact number: 041 584 0650. Check the Nelson Mandala Bay Tourism Board site for more museums.