Attractions and Highlights
Cape Town is a traveler’s paradise. The city and its surrounds have an abundance of things for visitors to see and do. From exploring beaches and mountains, to experiencing the cape culture and heritage, there is something for everyone in Cape Town.
An obvious stop for any visitor to the city. The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is a hub of activity. World-class shopping, restaurants, and hotels line the harbor. Take a stroll through the nearby Watershed full of artwork and curios, explore marine life at the Two Oceans Aquarium, or take your taste buds on a trip through the food market.
No trip to Cape Town would be complete without a trip up Table Mountain. Catch a cable car to the top and witness the amazing 360 degree views of the city. For the adventurous traveler, hiking to the top is an option. Neighboring Lion’s Head is also offers a fantastic hike for nature lovers.
Visit the place where former South African president Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. Visiting Robben Island is a historical and deeply moving experience. Former inmates host guided tours through the prison and give some insight into the day-to-day lives of the prisoners. Busses take visitors on tours across the island which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. Boats travel from the V&A Waterfront to Robben Island almost daily.
For visitors looking for more South African heritage experiences, visit Cape Town’s District Six and Iziko South African Museum.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
The best-known of South Africa’s nine botanical gardens is cradled at the base of the eastern slopes of Table Mountain and is a definite stop for nature-loving visitors to the city. Kirstenbosch is falls within the Cape Floristic Region Protected Area which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The gardens are brimming with indigenous flora and fauna. Visitors can take the stunning scenery with a walk through and picnic on the grounds, or take to the skies and experience Kirstenbosch from the Tree Canopy Walkway.
Travel south from the city center to reach the rocky outcrops of Cape Point and see where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans are rumoured to meet. Cape Point offers up stunning views of the surrounding landscape; removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. Trekking up to the Cape Point lighthouse is one of the most popular activities. Visitors can either undertake the medium-grade hike (it takes about 15 minutes) or ride up on the Flying Dutchman Furnicular. Be sure to bring a camera!
Cape Town is well known for quite a few things; one of which is wine. The Cape is the oldest wine producing region in South Africa with the first vines being planted and harvested as far back as 1685. An hour or so north of the city center are Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Paarl. All are home to a number of renowned wine farms. Spending a day touring the farms or even jumping on the Franschhoek Wine Tram would be a day well spent. Closer to the center of Cape Town is the Constantia Wine Route. Also full of beautiful wine farms and delicious wines, Constantia is home to the oldest wine farm in the country- Groot Constantia.
From June to November each year, the cape welcomes some rather large visitors. The annual southern right whale migration brings the beautiful creatures into waters along the Cape’s south coast. The quaint town of Hermanus is two hours from Cape Town and is one of the best places to take in this incredible feat of nature.
Tucked away next to Simon’s Town is a haven for any penguin lover. Boulders Beach is made up of huge granite boulders which shelter the shore and make it an ideal spot for swimming. This also makes an ideal home to its colony of African Jackass Penguins. For a small fee, visitors to Boulders Beach can relax on the sand and get familiar with the beach’s famous black and white inhabitants.
During the warm months, Cape Town’s Mediterranean climate teamed up with the white, sandy beaches that border the coastline make it a dream vacation destination for any beach lover.
From Muizenberg’s jauntily coloured beach huts and the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean, to the hustle and bustle of glamorous Camps Bay and Clifton beaches on the Atlantic Seaboard, Cape Town beaches offer something to every beach goer.
For those looking for a quieter beach day, head to beautiful Llandudno or Noordhoek beach (where going on a sunset horse ride along the shore is a beautiful way to end off the day). For those looking for incredible views, beaches along the Atlantic Seaboard offer exceptional sunset views. Make your way to Table View beach for breathtaking vistas of the iconic Table Mountain.
For an unforgettable – and adrenaline pumping- experience of Cape Town, take to the skies. There are a number of companies across the city offering a variety of helicopter tours across Cape Town and its surrounds. Short trips that explore the city center area and longer trips that take passengers down to cape point and back. Discover the epic scenery of the Cape from a bird’s eye view.
City Sightseeing Bus
If you’re looking for a way to fit all of your Cape Town sightseeing highlights into one day, a City Sightseeing bus is the most convenient, option.
The route has 11 stops, runs regularly, and the busses are fully “hop on hop off” allowing riders to use the service at their leisure. Taking the tour without any stops would take approximately 90 minutes but there are many destinations that visitors are bound to want to get off of the bus to explore including the Table Mountain Cableway. City Sightseeing also offers tours such as the Cape Point Explorer and the Cape Town Purple Wine Tour for visitors looking a more interest
Another option for those looking to get their adrenaline pumping. Ziplining involves travelling through tree-tops and canopies using aerial lines and a pully system. Zipliners travel through copses of trees, stopping on platforms to admire the views before heading to the next line. The activity is becoming increasingly popular as a memorable way to experience the city.