The ambiance of a big city, sea, mountains and wonderful nature: Cape Town has it all. This beautiful city in South Africa stole my heart and there are plenty of things to do. Hereby I’ll share 9 absolute must do’s when you’re in Cape Town.
Visit Table Mountain
You can’t leave Cape Town without climbing Table Mountain. This mountain gives you a fantastic view. You can choose to go up with the cable car or climb yourself. I recommend if you’re able to do it, to go climbing all the way up. There are several routes. We choose the shortest one and it took us 2,5 hours to go all the way up. Make sure you bring enough water and food. Also, good shoes and comfortable clothing are a must. It can be tough, but definitely worth it. The view is incredible. We choose to go back down with the cable car, but you can also walk if you prefer that.
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Waterfront is the historical heart of the harbor of Cape Town. It is a quit touristic place, but worth a visit. You can go shopping in one of the shopping centers or have a glass of wine or beer at one of the nice restaurants while you’re enjoying live music. From Waterfront you can also take the boat to Robben Island. The thing I like the most was the V&A Food Market. At this indoor food hall, you can taste various food and drinks. Here I ate the best bobotie balls in town. Near to Waterfront you’ll find Battery park. This park connects Waterfront with the city. Via some scenic walking routes, recreation and shopping activities, you walk straight to the center.
Walk through the old center of Cape Town
Cape Town has a beautiful and cozy old city center. Bring a visit to the green market square where you can buy several African souvenirs. Don’t forget to bring a visit to the parliament building and the city hall. This city hall is famous because Nelson Mandela gave his first speech here as a free man. Near to green market square you’ll find Hokey Poke. At this place, you can have a delicious lunch where you can choose from several poke bowls.
Explore Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is the biggest garden of Africa. You can walk for hours within the wonderful nature. This garden has so many different plants, flowers and trees. Walk over the canopy walk, have a picknick and enjoy the view of the hills and Cape Town. Free tours are organized every Monday to Saturday at 10.00 and 14.00.
From the end of November until the beginning of March you can enjoy every week an outdoor performance from South African artists, in the wide open and surrounded by the beautiful flora and fauna. Sounds great right?! More a film lover? In the summer you can enjoy their outdoor cinema and watch movies on a big screen every Wednesday.
Take a picture at Bo Kaap
Bo Kaap is famous because of the colorful houses. The inhabitants paint their houses several within different colors. They like to paint their houses and maintain the colorful ambiance. The neighborhood is quite small, but it is nice to have a short walk and take some pictures.
Road trip at Chapman’s Peak Drive
About 30 minutes from Cape Town you’ll find one of the most beautiful car routes in the world. The Chapman’s Peak Drive is about 15 kilometers and takes you along an incredible landscape with mountains, cliffs and fierce waves. The drive has 114 turns, is narrow and partially cut out of the mountains what makes it even more pretty. This beautiful coast route connects Noordhoek and Hout Bay and fits perfectly in the route for the cape peninsula and a visit to Cape the Good Hope.
Cape Peninsula loop
The drive around the Cape Peninsula near Cape Town is a must do while you’re in Cape Town. There are several ways to explore the Cape Penisula loop, but we chose the following route: Cape Town – Muizenberg – Simon’s Town – Boulders Beach – Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope – Chapman’s Peak Drive – Hout Bay – Cape Town.
From Cape Town you quickly take the highway to Muizenberg. Muizenberg is famous because of the colorful houses at the beach. From Muizenberg we went to Simon’s while you pass small villages like Kalk Bay and Fish Hoek. Simon’s Town has stunning white beaches and when it’s whale season you have a big change of seeing a whale. Simon’s Town is a cozy town with beautiful architecture. Near to Simon’s Town you’ll find Boulders Beach which is famous for its penguins.
From Boulders beach we drove along the coast towards Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. These points are both located within a large nature reserve. We continued our trip to Chapman’s Peak Drive (see paragraph above). When you’re heading back to Cape town you’ll pass Hout Bay and the trip continues as Victoria Drive along the Atlantic Ocean. From here you can see a mountain called the Twelve Apostles, where you can see 12 tops of the mountain.
Nice restaurants and coffee spots
Cape Town offers various restaurants and hotspots. I can recommend having dinner at Asoka. They encourage to share food, so you’ll experience various tastes and dishes from the menu. And of course, they serve delicious South African wine. Every Tuesday night they have live jazz music. Make sure you make a reservation.
Another great restaurant, near to Asoka is Kloof Street House. The ambiance is excellent, the wines are delicious and they serve typical food which is only available in South Africa. Try the King Lip fish. Also here a reservation is recommended. At Dapper you can drink a coffee, surrounded by old cars. This must make your man happy 😉
Paragliding at Signal Hill and Lion’s Head
In Cape Town you can go paragliding from Lion’s Head and Signal Hill. It depends on the wind throughout the day from which place you can go paragliding. This flight will give you a great view over Cape Town.
Ways to explore Cape Town
Cape Town has excellent roads, so you can easily explore Cape Town by car. You can also take the Hop On Hop Off bus, quite touristic but it takes you to the highlights of the city and neighborhood. During the day you can easily walk, but during the nights I recommend taking an Uber. It is fast, affordable and safe.