Positioned on a peninsula along the southwestern coast of South Africa, Cape Town is a magical port city that wows visitors from all over the globe.
From the majestic Table Mountain to the penguin-filled Boulder’s Beach, there is so much to see and do that deciding what to include in your Cape Town itinerary is a real challenge. Luckily, we’re about to reveal Cape Town’s top attractions, as well as information on eating, drinking, and getting around, so you can plan a memorable getaway to SA.
Top attractions in Cape Town
No visit to Cape Town is complete without taking a trip in a cable car up Table Mountain. At the top, you can marvel at sweeping views of the city, harbour and beyond.
An afternoon is well spent wandering the manicured grounds at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. The gardens are home to thousands of species of indigenous plants, a sculpture garden, as well as scenic hiking trails which lead up the mountains.
For an insight into South Africa’s rich cultural past, head over to the Iziko South African Museum. Originally founded in 1825, the museum displays over half a million artefacts including 700 million-year-old fossils and 120,000-year-old stone tools.
The Cape Peninsula has two stunning coastlines from which to take your pick, although the waters of the Atlantic Ocean can be pretty chilly all year round. The Clifton area boasts of four white-sandy beaches that are a firm favourite with tourists and locals alike. The most popular is the fourth beach, with its giant boulders that provide sheltered areas which are perfect for soaking up some rays.
For a beach experience like no other, check out Boulder Bay in Simon’s Town. This beach is where you’ll find hundreds of wild penguins eating, playing and enjoying the sunshine. You can even sit on the beach with them – just don’t get too close as they have been known to nibble some fingers!
Where to shop
Shopaholics are catered for at the newly renovated V&A Waterfront area. The waterfront has over 450 retail outlets that sell everything from haute couture to handcrafted homewares.
For a quirkier shopping experience, the small family run stalls at Woodstock will be sure to deliver. Here you’ll find trinkets and souvenirs that make perfect gifts to take back home.
Eating out in Cape Town
While there are many fancy gourmet restaurants in Cape Town, there are also a selection of eateries that serve up cheap eats for those travelling on a budget. You’ll find an array of affordable restaurants dotted along Darling Street that serve up everything from Indian cuisine to Turkish dishes.
If you’re visiting in the warm summer months, make a pit-stop at the Noordhoek Community Market to sample delicious foods and sip on a glass of local wine while enjoying incredible views of the vineyards.
Cape Town’s nightlife precincts are divided into four areas, each offering something for all budgets and music tastes. Gap year backpackers tend to frequent the many bars on Long Street that offer cheap beer and loud music. If you want to enjoy a handcrafted cocktail al fresco while watching the setting sunset, then wander over to Camps Bay, also known as Sunset Strip.
You’ll find everything from five-star luxury resorts to cheap and cheerful hostels in the city. A top tip is to check out AirBnb to search for short-term room or flat rentals which provide you with a more authentic place to stay.
Getting to and around Cape Town
Cape Town is served by Cape Town International Airport, which is located about a 20-minute drive away from the city centre. Much of Cape Town’s attractions are spread out over the city, so you’ll fare well by hiring a rental car so you have the freedom to travel around at your own pace. Public buses run throughout major destination in the city, while taxis are also readily available.
Where else can you spend your days soaking up the rays and hanging out with penguins, and your evening’s watching the sunset over the glittering waters of the Atlantic Ocean? Whatever you decide to include on your itinerary, you’ll be sure to have a wonderful adventure.