The 10 Best Things To Do In Cape Town

10 things to do in Cape Town

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Cape Town is one of the most remarkable cities in South Africa, with diverse cultures that contribute to the artistic vibe of the city.

I’m always looking for inspiration, and there’s nothing better for my creativity than nature. The natural beauty of the Cape comes alive with a gorgeous ocean, an iconic mountain, and spectacular winelands. The lush greenery makes it a pleasure for all nature lovers; the ocean invites marine lovers; and nights come alive in the city, inviting everyone to join in the reverie.

However, with so much on offer, you may be at a loss on where to start! Not to fear though, as I’m going to share some of the best things to do in Cape Town.

1. Visit Table Mountain

Cape Town is synonymous with Table Mountain. From hiking trails to cable cars, this iconic mountain is the backdrop for everything in Cape Town. With its flat top, it’s unmistakable and quite remarkable. Tourists and locals alike love visiting Table Mountain.

Take a cable car ride up Table Mountain

Table Mountain Cable Car in Cape Town

Take a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain and get incredible views of the city and ocean. The stunning views are perfect if you’re planning a special occasion or are even just curious to see what Cape Town looks like from above.

The earliest cable car leaves at 08:30 a.m. and the latest goes up the mountain at 18:00 p.m. I suggest you try to go to watch the sunset – there’s something quite magical about watching the city come alive as the sun goes down.

Table Mountain also offers four dining options, so you can satisfy your craving for ice cream or enjoy a meal with your loved ones.

Hiking through Table Mountain National Park

Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town

If you are a nature enthusiast, you may want to visit Table Mountain National Park and take on one of the many hiking trails it has to offer. The more popular ones I recommend are hiking to Lion’s Head and hiking from Skeleton Gorge. If you’re up for a challenge and want to reach the highest point on the mountain, Maclear’s Beacon Walk is the trail for you. The views from the top are phenomenal!

2. Delicious Dining In Cape Town

Delicious Dining In Cape Town

Dining in Cape Town is an adventure on its own, with a fusion of flavours and influences from around the world. The eclectic flavours of the cuisine and the elegant charm of the restaurant are something not to be missed.

When dining in Cape Town, I highly recommend you look out for restaurants that offer the catch on the day, which is often a highlight on many menus. Little fishing villages dotted along the Western Coast are often the source of delicious seafood dishes.

While in Cape Town, you need to try some of the local dishes. My favourite is bobotie, and it’s best made in the Cape. Some of the best places to find local dishes are Biesmiellah Restaurant in Bo-Kaap and Karibu Restaurant in the V&A Waterfront.

If you’re looking for something on the fancier side, one of the most highly rated places to eat is Belly Of The Beast (located in Cape Town CBD), which features a fantastic tasting menu.

Alternatively, head over to Gardens and make your way to Kloof Street House. Set in a Victorian house with pressed ceilings, dining here is an experience, not just a meal.

3. Take A Wine Tour

Take A Wine Tour in Cape Town

With Stellenbosh and Franschhoek right on Cape Town’s doorstep, it would be a crime not to explore at least some of the many wineries! I suggest booking a wine tour for this to make sure you get as many ticked off your list as possible. You can book a full-day tour or a private tour of pre-selected wine estates.

If you opt for a private wine tour, I recommend adding one (or all) of these estates to your itinerary: Delaire Graff, Lanzerac, Tokara, and Haute Cabriere.

For one guest, your day’s experience will cost around R6,450 and for two guests, it will be only R3,950 per person. As you probably guessed, the bigger the group, the lower the cost per person.

If the winery you’re visiting offers a cheese and wine-tasting pairing, you have to do it! We all know how deliciously paired cheese and wine are.

In my opinion, wine tastings and wine tours are best during the spring and autumn, when the weather is not too cold or too warm. I find that this adds to the overall wine-tasting experience.

To book, call +27 82 229 8865 or email bookings@winetour.co.za.

4. Experience Rooftop Drinks And Late Night Fun

If you want great places to enjoy some drinks, then 14Stories Rooftop Bar has a rooftop bar and pool that make it the perfect setting for sundowners. From casual cocktails to an array of snacks to keep your fingers busy, this is one of my favourite spots. With endless views of Table Mountain and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, you will feel on top of the world.

Roxy Late Night, Cape Town

For night owls, Roxy Late Night is another popular hangout that you should check out. The great food here is just a bonus! If it’s a cold beer you are after, then Roxy’s (located in a historic building on Dunkley Square) is the place to be. They are unbeatable when it comes to vibe and atmosphere.

5. Go Shark Cage Diving in Gansbaai

Shark cage diving is for brave souls who love a touch of danger. I have yet to be this adventurous, but my friends say there is nothing quite like it. Safety does come first with shark cage diving, but it is hugely exciting.

Apart from sharks, you may also encounter dolphins, penguins, and a variety of other marine life during your experience. And if you have never been underwater before, don’t sweat it! The crew are all highly qualified and PADI-certified.

6. Shop Till You Drop

V&A Waterfront

V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is one of the most vibrant places to visit in Cape Town, with scores of shops and eateries. If you’re stumped on something to do in Cape Town, this is one of the best places to spend a day. There are over 450 outlets, including shops, restaurants, and entertainment for the whole family.

Book a charter on a catamaran, drink coffee at one of the coffee shops, buy traditional African art, visit the aquarium, or go for a ride on the Ferris wheel – the options are endless!

Canal Walk Shopping Centre

Canal Walk Shopping Centre in Cape Town

Canal Walk Shopping Centre is the largest shopping centre in Cape Town. If you’re looking for something, you are sure to find it here. From fashion to food, Canal Walk will have it. Restaurants cater to Halaal and vegetarian patrons as well. And you can shop from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., giving you ample time to fill your shopping bags.

Greenmarket Square

At Greenmarket Square, you will find a huge array of arts and crafts. This is the best place to hunt for souvenirs and African crafts. Set in one of the oldest parts of the Cape, you can pick up incredible deals on everything, from sandals to fabrics. And when you are done browsing through the local wares, head over to one of the many neighbouring restaurants for a well-deserved meal.

7. Step Back In Time

Castle of Good Hope

Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town

Built in the 1600s, the Castle of Good Hope is the oldest historical building in South Africa. You can visit the castle and watch cannon firing, which is a ceremony that happens on weekdays.

The castle also houses three different museums, so history buffs will enjoy this time-travel trip.

Robben Island

For those who don’t know, Robben Island was where Nelson Mandela, among many other anti-apartheid activists, was imprisoned for around 27 years. These days, Robben Island is a tourist attraction. To visit the island, you’ll need to book a tour, which involves taking a ferry across the waters. Once on the island, you’ll be guided around and even get to see Nelson Mandela’s former cell.

The lighthouse on Cape Point

A fun activity is visiting the lighthouse on Cape Point. To get there, you can take the Flying Dutchman Funicular, which is a cable-pulled railway. It’s the only one of its kind in Africa, making this a unique and memorable experience.

Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum

The Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum is a satellite museum that is situated just north of the city centre in Bo-Kaap. The area itself is fascinating and well-steeped in history. There are brightly coloured houses and cobbled streets, giving you an immersive cultural experience.

8. Get Back To Nature

The Two Oceans Aquarium

The Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town

The Two Oceans Aquarium is aptly named, recognising that the Cape is a meeting point for the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. This is a fun activity for the whole family. You’ll see everything from turtles, sharks and penguins to a myriad of beautiful fish and marine creatures, as well as kelp forests.

Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach is one of Cape Town’s most beautiful beaches, with soft white sand and (you guessed it) huge boulders. It’s also home to thousands of penguins – not something you might see every day roaming about on the beach!

Understandably, there is controlled access to the beach, and you need to book before you visit the penguins. The best time to visit Boulder Beach is in January when the babies are moulting on the beach.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are a stunning place to visit in Cape Town. These gardens often host a variety of events, including an outdoor cinema experience and music concerts! Keep your eye on the Webtickets page to make sure you don’t miss out on the festivities.

But even when no particular events are happening, you can walk around the beautiful gardens and marvel at the luscious greenery and sculptures. You can also visit any of the restaurants or tea rooms for a light meal.

I love sitting in the Botanical Gardens, surrounded by the tranquillity of nature. While birds are singing and the breeze is blowing, I find my greatest inspiration.

9. Hit One Of Cape Town’s Beaches

Beach lovers, scuba divers, and outdoor enthusiasts will love the summer months between December and February. There are loads of things to do in Cape Town during the warmer months, especially if you love to spend a day on the beach.

Surfing at Muizenberg Beach is highly popular, especially with newbie surfers. There are also many diving clubs around Cape Town to accommodate the adventurous. If you prefer to just catch a tan, Clifton Beach is amazing! Fair warning though, Cape Town’s waters aren’t the warmest but they are great for a dip when the sun gets too hot.

10. Get Cultural

Cape Town has a very creative and cultural environment. Whether you love theatre or music, there is always something happening on a stage, or on a street in Cape Town. These are two of my favourite occurrences.

Theatre On The Bay in Camps Bay

Theatre On The Bay in Camps Bay

From musicals to theatrics, there is no lack of fun at the Theatre On The Bay. And you can even make a full night of it with dinner at Ovations Cafe. To check out the local talent and enjoy a night of entertainment, you’ll need to book your theatre tickets online.

Cape Town Carnival and the International Jazz Festival

During March, the Cape Town Carnival and the International Jazz Festival take place. These annual events fill the town and streets with jazz beats and colourful costumes. Cape Town comes alive with festivities, and revellers can enjoy the show.

FAQs

Where can I find unusual or upbeat things to do in Cape Town?

Visit Bo-Kaap for an unusual neighbourhood, or the Zeitz MOCAA for local and international contemporary art. For arts, crafts, and great market food, visit the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock.

What budget-friendly activities are there to do in Cape Town?

There are always loads of things to do in Cape Town, and many of them are free or have very low prices. Visiting museums like the Castle of Good Hope and taking a trip to Cape Point are quite affordable. Visit local markets for low-priced crafts. Alternatively, spend the day on the beach, enjoying the waters of the ocean and the views of Table Mountain.

Why should I Visit Cape Town?

With the Atlantic Ocean lapping on the shores of the Cape and the iconic Table Mountain as a backdrop, Cape Town is beautiful. Not to mention it has some of the finest wines in the world. It’s also renowned for its markets and displays of arts and crafts. Anyone who visits Cape Town is bound to be drawn to the city’s delights. From relaxation to exciting adventures, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

How do I get around in Cape Town?

Getting around in Cape Town is fairly easy. If you’re hiring a car from the airport, you can find your way with apps such as Google Maps or Waze. However, there are public transportation systems in place to get you to your destination easily. The MyCiTi Bus is one of the most popular rides in town.

There are also buses, public taxis, private taxis and ride-hailing services available. Uber is one of the best options for a quick ride around the city. And if you don’t mind the exercise, you can walk or cycle in a few places to explore local areas without any rush.

When is the best time to visit Cape Town?

The warm summer months invite tourists from all over the globe to enjoy the stunning beaches, vibes, and views of Cape Town. However, there are also many things to do in Cape Town during the cooler winter months, like exploring the culinary diversity of the city and its nightlife.

During the winter, from June to August, the cultural and artistic vibes of the city resonate strongly. This is the best time to visit art and craft markets, or the V&A Waterfront. It’s also the perfect time to go hiking up Table Mountain and on nature trails. If you’re looking to do some whale watching, it’s usually best from July to September.


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