15 places you must visit in Cape Town, South Africa

15 places you must visit in Cape Town, South Africa

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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.

Day 1  – City Center

1. City Center

2. Bo Kaap

3. The Company’s Garden

4. Table Mountain

5. Lion’s Head

6. Signal Hill

Day 2 – Robben Island

7. V&A Waterfront

8. Robben Island

Day 3 – Peninsula

9. Beaches

10. Hout Bay

11. Boulder’s Beach

12. Cape Point (Cape of Good Hope)

13. Groot Constantia

14. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Day 4 – Winelands

15. Stellenbosch & Franschhoek

Day 1 – City Center

1. City Centre

Cape Town’s City Centre 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.

*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.

Cape Town City Centre - South Africa

2. 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.

boo-kaap cape town south africa
Bo-Kaap

3. 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.

Delville Wood Memorial - Companys Garden - Cape Town - South Africa

4. 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.

Opening hours

  • Table Mountain: is opened every day.
  • Cable Car: from 8:00 to 20:00 hrs (depending on the season).

Entrance Fee

  • Table Mountain: if you are going to hike you can enter free.
  • Cable Car: one way 200 ZAR = 14 USD and return up to 360 ZAR = 24.5 USD (depending on the hour – if you go after 13:00 hrs. is 300 ZAR = 20 USD).

More information on the Cable Car opening hours and fees here, and more information on Table Mountain and my experience hiking India Venster here.

Lions head - table mountain - cape town - south africa
Table Mountain

5. 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.

Signal Hill - lions head - Cape Town - south africa

6. Signal Hill

Signal Hill is probably the most popular place to watch the sunset and it is really worth it! On the 350 meters high hill you will see the sun setting over the Atlantic and the sky becoming pink, orange and purple before the dark.

This beautiful place has a big tent (used for paragliding during the morning) where you can sit around all the other people who will also see the sunset.

Read more about Signal Hill here.

Signal Hill - Cape Town - south africa

Day 2 – Robben Island

7. 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.

Waterfront - Cape Town - South Africa
V&A Waterfront

8. 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 550 ZAR = 37 USD and children 300 ZAR =  20 USD. *South African Adults pay only 380 26 ZAR and children 200 ZAR = 14 USD
  • Opening times: ferris depart at 9:00, 11:00, 13:00, and 15:00 hrs.

Read more information on  Robben Island official website

Robben Island Ticket Office

Day 3 – Peninsula

9. Beaches

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.

clifton beaches - cape town - south africa

10. Hout Bay

The Hout Bay Harbour is one of the busiest harbours in the Western Cape. Next to the harbour is a long white stretch of beach that is popular with tourists, locals (and their dogs) as well as horse riders. One of the most famous attractions are the seal island cruises that will take you to see these cute animals.

Opened over the weekends, the Hout Bay Harbour market is used by both tourists and locals alike. Here handmade arts and crafts can be bought and a range of foods is available.

11. 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.

Opening hours

  • 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.

Entrance Fees

  • Adults: $75 ZAR = $6 USD
  • Children: $40 ZAR = $4 USD

Read more about my visit to Boulder’s Beach here.

Boulders beach - cape town - south africa
Boulders Beach

12. Cape Point (Cape of Good Hope)

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.

Read more about my Cape Point tour here.

Cape of good hope Cape Xtreme Tour-Cape Town-South Africa
Cape of Good Hope

13. 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.

Constantia Wine Valley Cape Xtreme Tour-Cape Town-South Africa
Groot Constantia

14. 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 here more about my visit to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

Entrance Fees

  • 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

Opening Hours

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.
Kirstenbosch - Cape Town - South Africa
Kristenbosch Botanical Garden

Day 4

15. 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.

Wine flies tour - Cape Town - South Africa
Wine Tour

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!

Are you interested in traveling around the world? In the Travel Section you can find detailed travel guides for different cities, touristic activities, recommendations, tips, and much more!

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Cape Town - South Africa

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4 Comments

  1. 31/03/2018 / 8:13 PM

    What a lovely place! Stunning views and wonderful attractions for the whole family! I am loving that garden route and waterfront!

  2. Elizabeth O
    31/03/2018 / 4:33 AM

    There looks like so many great places to explore in South Africa, it looks like a truly stunning place to visit.

  3. 31/03/2018 / 2:10 AM

    The place is indeed heavenly I would bookmark this for future reference as it was such a helpful guide to explore the city!

  4. 30/03/2018 / 9:46 PM

    The scenery in South Africa is absolutely stunning! I went to Cape Hope there with my family and the scenery of the mountain and waters there were amazing! 🙂

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