Cape Town is, without a doubt, one of my favorite cities in the world, it is cosmopolitan, colorful and vibrant. The beauty of nature is everywhere, from Table Mountain, one of the New Seven Wonders, to Clifton Beaches, top-ranked in the world.
Also, history is present in Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years, in the streets of the City Center where you can still find a “whites only” bench reminding us the apartheid era; and on the rainbow colored houses of Bo Kaap, one of the most photographed places of this city.
Furthermore, you can have a culinary experience on a wine tour over Stellenbosch and Franschoek, or taste world-class cuisine on one of the restaurants in Waterfront. And if you get adventurous, you can do paragliding, skydiving, bungee jumping or shark cage diving.
In this post I’m going to show you which are the 10 places you should definitely visit and will also give you some information about their costs (if any) and opening times.
1. Table Mountain
Table Mountain is Cape Town’s most famous attraction, is one of the world’s New 7 Wonders of Nature and hiking it up should definitely be done by every local and visitor of the city.
If you are not in the mood for hiking you can also take the cable car both ways (up and down) but if you are more energetic and want to sweat some calories you should definitely follow one of the several hiking trails to get to the top.
- Table Mountain: is opened every day.
- Cable Car: from 8:00 to 21:30 hrs (depending on the season).
- Table Mountain: if you are going to hike you can enter free.
- Cable Car: one way 150 ZAR = 13 USD and return up to 290 ZAR = 25 USD (depending on hour).
a. Lion’s Head
Your trip to Cape Town would not be complete without hiking Lion’s Head (you have to hike it, there is no cable car). It is a spectacular hike to the top and although it can be quite steep sometimes, the breathtaking 360⁰ view of Cape Town is definitely worth the effort. You can read my experience hiking Lion’s Head here.
2. Cape Winelands (Stellenbosch and Franschoek)
About 40 km to the east of Cape Town, lies a series of valleys known as the Cape Winelands. Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Tulbagh, and Wellington form their backbone. These valleys are the largest winemaking region in the country.
There are several companies offering wine tours and I completely recommend to have one. You are going to spend a relaxing and fun day tasting wine and its fabulous pairings and at the same time learn about the history of Cape Town.
You can read my experience on a wine tour here.
3. Bo Kaap
Bo-Kaap is one of the most photographed places in Cape Town. But besides that it’s a place with a history dating back more than 360 years when the Dutch arrived in Cape of Good Hope. This historic area that became home to many Muslims and freed slaves after the abolition of slavery, shows Islamic culture and heritage. Read more about Bo Kaap here.
a. City Centre
Bo Kaap is just some steps away from Cape Town’s CBD. It has a diverse range of historical buildings, parks, coffee shops, restaurants, bars, theaters, museums, craft markets, nightclubs, and shopping malls. You can read more information about Cape Town’s City Centre here.
b. First Thursdays
Make sure you plan your visit to Cape Town covering the First Thursday of the month. On these dates art galleries and other cultural attractions stay open till late for free cultural experiences. It starts at 5:00 pm and ends around 9:00 pm but the streets, bars and clubs are always busy late into the night. You can read my experience on a First Thursday here.
4. Robben Island
There are ferries departing to Robben Island, the island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned and that today works as a museum.
These busy tours depart four times a day from the station next to Clock Tower. It is good to buy online in advance because if you buy at the ticket office it is difficult to find availability on the same day.
- Prices: Adults $340 ZAR = $28 USD and children $190 ZAR = $ 16 USD.
- Opening times: ferris depart at 9:00, 11:00, 13:00, and 15:00 hrs.
Read more information on Robben Island official website.
5. Cape Point
At the tip of the Cape Peninsula 60 km south-west of Cape Town, lies Cape Point, a nature reserve within the Table Mountain National Park; a declared Natural World Heritage Site. There’s a lot of things to see and do at Cape Point, from the most spectacular viewpoints to the most isolated and serene beaches, but in my opinion you cannot miss Cape of Good Hope and the Lighthouse.
Learn how to get there and all the activities you can do on Cape Point official website.
6. Boulders Beach
Tourists go to Boulders Beach to watch the African penguins which settled there in 1982. It is a sheltered beach made between granite boulders, from which the name originated.
Also, you can have great views of tons of penguins from Foxy Beach, where boardwalks take visitors to within a few meters of the birds.
The opening hours and fees are the same for both beaches. If you pay a ticket to Boulders Beach, you can get in Foxy Beach for free.
- December – January: 7:00 – 19:30 hrs.
- February – March: 8:00 – 18:30 hrs.
- April – September: 8:00 – 17:00 hrs.
- October – November: 8:00 – 18:30 hrs.
- Adults: $75 ZAR = $6 USD
- Children: $40 ZAR = $4 USD
Read more about my visit to Boulder’s Beach here.
a. Clifton Beaches
Clifton is an exclusive residential area, home to the most expensive real estate in South Africa. It has 4 beaches (Clifton 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th) that provide locals and tourists with amazing spots to sunbath, do a picnic, and play sports as volleyball and football. These beaches have are top-ranked and have received Blue Flag Status. Read more about Clifton Beaches here.
b. Camps Bay Beach
If you want to spend a fun and relaxed day in Cape Town, going to Camps Bay Beach is definitely your best option! It’s known for its fine white sand, beautiful people, delicious restaurants and views of the Twelve Apostles mountains. Read more about Camps Bay Beach here.
c. Llandudno Beach
Llandudno Beach is definitely a must-see. It’s located on an exclusive neighborhood, one of the most expensive in South Africa. Famous for surfing, you can also find children running, family picnics, and dogs playing. Read more about Llandudno Beach here.
d. Sandy Bay
Sandy Bay is a nudist beach in Cape Town, it’s very pretty and secluded from everything. You will feel comfortable to take your clothes off because there is almost no people there and you can also leave your clothes on if you are shy. Read more about Sandy Bay here.
7. Groot Constantia
Groot Constantia Wine Estate is the oldest wine-producing farm in South Africa. You can go wine tasting, see the wine museum and cultural history museum, be inspired by South African Art, enjoy world-class cuisine, experience chocolate & wine pairing and see the original Cape Dutch Manor House.
Read more information on Groot Constantia official website.
8. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Kristenbosch is internationally acclaimed as one of the great botanical gardens of the world. It was established in 1913 to conserve and promote the indigenous flora of southern Africa. During the summer months (late November until early April) the popular Summer Sunset Concerts bring a very nice and relaxed atmosphere and many people take blankets and picnic baskets to enjoy them. Read more information on Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens official website.
- Adults: $65 ZAR = $ 5.54 USD
- SA Students (with card): $35 ZAR = $ 2.98 USD
- Children (6 – 17 years): $15 ZAR = $ 1.28 USD
- Buy online: www.webtickets.co.za
Kirstenbosch Garden is opened every day of the year at the following hours.
- April to August: 8:00 to 18:00 hrs.
- September to March: 8:00 to 19:00 hrs.
The Company’s Garden
Situated right in the city center of Cape Town, you cannot miss a visit to The Company´s Garden. It is a beautiful public park that holds a botanical garden, rose garden, an aviary, a restaurant and other beautiful sites. Read more about The Company’s Garden here.
9. The Garden Route
The Garden Route is a popular and scenic stretch of the south-eastern coast of South Africa, which extends from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River in the Eastern Cape. The name comes from the verdant and ecologically diverse vegetation encountered here and the numerous lagoons and lakes dotted along the coast.
It includes towns such as Mossel Bay, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley; with George, the Garden Route’s largest city and main administrative centre.
Read more information on the Garden Route website.
10. Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
In the heart of Cape Town, besides having a big shopping mall, V&A Waterfront is the perfect place to find outdoor attractions, do tourist activities, go shopping, eat in delicious restaurants, visit museums and much more. You can read more information on V&A Waterfront here.
If you are searching for nice clothes, bags, jewelry, swimsuits, homeware, flowers, or much more, you’ll be able to find them here. Also, you can come to hang out with friends eating delicious food or enjoying a drink while listening to a cool band playing on the stage. Read more about Mojo Market here.
Extra: Do paragliding or other activity
You will never feel bored, wine tours, safaris, sunset cruises, sky diving, bungy jumping, paragliding, kloofing, shark cage diving, seal snorkeling, beach horse riding, rock climbing, abseiling, hiking, helicopter flights, surfing, nightclubs and festivals are come of the activities that you can do here!
Read more about it on the 3rd section of this post.
Are you interested in knowing more travel advice all around the world? In the Travel Section you can find the best travel hacks for different cities!
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