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Travel Colours City Guide — Cape Town

Travel Colours City Guide — Cape Town

by Travel Colours

Stunning nature, a thriving art scene, world-class restaurants, exquisite wine estates, and a complex yet rich history—there is nothing quite like Cape Town. The second edition of this Cape Town guide ushers the reader through a personalized journey of the spots that best capture the zeitgeist of this South African hub of creativity. 

On   224 pages, this City Guide contains:

  • a curated selection of 62 places to “sleep, eat, drink, shop and explore”, all of which have been tried and tested by the Travel Colours team
  • an extensive special about the Cape Winelands and Paternoster
  • more than 130 beautiful photographs

This is the 2nd Edition of the Cape Town Travel Colours City Guide.  

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Cape Town City Guide for Design Lovers

Travel Colours

Cape Town City Guide for Design Lovers is a curated selection of Travel Colours' favourite places to 'sleep, eat, drink, shop and explore'. From serious coffee culture to farm markets, this guide will tempt you away from the tourist hubs to discover some of Cape Town's hidden gems.

Cape Town City Guide for Design Lovers is a curated selection of Travel Colours' favourite places to 'sleep, eat, drink, shop and explore'. Offering a blend of cultures, history, an exquisite wine and food scene, stunning nature and some of the most exciting wildlife in the world, Cape Town is also establishing itself internationally as a hub for art and design. Here is a curated selection of Travel Colours' favourite places to 'sleep, eat, drink, shop and explore.' * a full list of 62 fashionable places; * more than 130 high-quality photographs; *curated selection of the best places to "sleep, eat, drink, shop and explore", all of which have been personally tried and tested; * an extensive special about the Cape Winelands and Paternoster From serious coffee culture, farm markets and internationally acclaimed gourmet restaurants and award-winning wine estates to one of the oldest fishing villages along the West Coast, this guide shows travellers a curated selection of Travel Colours' favourite places to 'sleep, eat, drink, shop and explore' away from the tourist hubs. "Stefanie has a keen eye for detail and she only includes what really resonates with her. She personally reviews and carefully curates, so the guide book is a true collection of the very best" Helen Untiedt, Perfect Hideaways, South Africa About the series:- Introducing Travel Colours City Guides for lifestyle-oriented travellers, who are looking for the best places to 'sleep, eat, drink, shop, explore'. Working closely with a growing network of local trend scouts, Travel Colours presents a premium collection of exclusive highlights and the new hidden gems in each city. Compact and collectable, these city guides go beyond the tourist paths and invite travellers to experience the authentic soul of a city. We work closely with a family-run printing company that has been printing climate-neutral for years together with ClimatePartner. All our books are printed and bound on FSC certified uncoated paper.

Currently unavailable to Buy Local

RRP: £16.99

Format: Paperback / softback

ISBN: 9783982114842

Bo Kapp Colours of Capetown

The call to prayer echoes through the blazing afternoon Capetown heat as we wander the vibrant Bo Kapp colours. On these steep, cobbled South African streets may we suggest sunglasses as mandatory viewing equipment.

Bo Kapp Colours

Bo Kapp colours shining brightly in Capetown

The neighbourhood of Bo Kapp has a history stretching back 360 years.  Setting up a halfway stop between Europe and the East, the Dutch arrived to the Cape of Good Hope. The sad story of the colourful Bo Kapp area is that its roots originate as the designation of the slave quarter.

Home to the oldest mosque in the southern hemisphere, it is one of ten in the area in an around Bo Kapp. Previously known as the Cape Malay quarter, this rainbow expression of joy at the abolition of apartheid and slavery, is home to 10,000 people, of which 70 percent are Muslim.

Capetown Colorful houses

While the colours of BoKapp practically have our cameras clicking on their own at the pretty combinations, the spicy smells of traditional Cape Malay meals waft through the neighborhood.

Should you want even more sensory overload hike to the top of Signal Hill for the noon gun. You can join the multitudes of pigeons, who surely by now must be deaf, as one and a half kilograms of gunpowder is set off daily. Save for Sundays and public holidays when ears are given a rest from the brief but ever surprising blast.

Bo Kapp color houses

How to see the Bo Kapp colours

At the bottom of Signal Hill, just above city centre you will find colourful Bo Kapp. Local brochures suggest walking or taking a bicycle there. Be warned the streets are steep. As someone who has just cycled for more than a week in South Africa I can’t see tackling the Bo Kapp hills on two wheels.

If using the City Sight Seeing Cape Town Hop On Hop Off bus, take the red route. Get off at stop 6 and you will see the Bo Kapp colours across the street from the bus stop. The bus ticket includes a free walking tour of the area but you will need to get off at stop 5 to register for it.

Note the bus does not run year round and is not available May to September.

Another good option is using Uber in Capetown. We find the service to be prompt, friendly and economical. Tour companies also offer guided walks and we suggest doing some research on pricing and reputation.

Capetown colourful houses

Bo Kapp colours with Table Mountain in the background

The oldest house in the area in its original form serves as the Bo Kapp Museum. Open Mondays to Saturday the entrance fee is small with pensioners and students under 16 years of age free of charge.

What is the most colourful place you have visited?

102 Comments

Ha! There you are, Sue! 🙂 🙂 I was just thinking about your African adventures and that I’d have to come seek you out on Facebook, and there you are! I can tell it’s going well 🙂 Have a wonderful ‘rest of’…

Thanks so much Jo. The trip is wrapping up and what an adventure it has been. Looking forward to sharing stories of this incredible land.

One of my bucketlist. I am a Malaysian Malay and I really want to see that place since it root is connected to Malaysia. I heard that some can still speak in Malay or Cape Malay though it is kinda different from standard Malay.

Great article on the place!

Thanks kindly for the lovely feedback. I can see why visiting Bo Kapp would be so special for you. Sending best wishes your way and hoping you can see this community for yourself one day.

I pray hard thatI will get there someday! You have a great blog btw. Can’t wait to read more from you 🙂

That is so kind of you to say! Warmest welcome.

Wow, they really so bright and colorful 🙂

It was such a wonderful sight. Love the meaning behind all the vibrancy too.

How beautiful! What a pleasure it would be to live somewhere with such brightly coloured buildings. Reminds me of Tobermory in Scotland, do you know it? – https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7335/9515611055_19e0ea2bac_b.jpg

I don’t know it Vanessa and unfortunately I’m on my phone in an airport and the link isn’t working on the WP app. Weill check it out when I am able and thanks for sharing it.

The town was the setting for a children’s TV show that ran for a few years here called Balamory that my kids really liked when they were little.

I was just able to access the link and that is remarkable! I love it. I can see why it would be picked as a children’s show backdrop.

That last photo, with Table Mountain in the background, is fantastic. Great post, Sue.

Really appreciate your kind feedback Jim. We hiked up Table Mountain the other day. Why have a rest day after all that cycling right? 🙂

Exactly! We taper when we die. ??

Haha I often say I will sleep when I’m dead but I love your line even better. 🙂

Loving this post, very colorful with a history lesson I did not know much about. The last picture is my favourite. The most colorful place I have visited so far is Thailand 🙂

Oh I would love to go to Thailand Gilda. You did some fabulous posts that still have my wanderlust on overdrive. I appreciate the kind feedback on the photo. Thank you!

Bo Kapp sounds like a town where it has all the colour in the world, all the colour in the world to make you stop, stare and appreciate what you have around you. As bgddyjim said, that last shot is fantastic. So wonderfully framed: two parts of history still standing to this very day, one man-made, one nature 🙂

Sounds like you are being modest, Sue. And Dave. I am sure if you hop on your bike fresh from your last cycling trip, you would have made the cycling journey around Bo Kapp work 🙂

Mabel I think Dave could do it no problem but some of those streets are pretty steep. You are so observant to details Mabel. I had not thought about the man made and natural history together in one image. As always your thoughtful comments are very much valued.

The vibrant colors are in such contrast with the landscape! Reminds me of Burano. Sounds like you are having an incredible time!

It does indeed remind us of Burano! Loved that spot too. Yes an incredible adventure in Africa that we will always treasure.

Loved the colors! So vibrant! Are you having fun yet??

Such a fabulous trip it has been! Definitely so much fun.

Such an exciting narrative, brimming with colour and contours of Cape Town and its history. Great going, Sue. May it be rejuvenated by the Easter spirit…

You are so kind Raj. Delighted to share this special find in Capetown with you. Sending very best wishes your way.

Those colors are stunning. What an amazing time you must be having. I’m really enjoying following along with you guys. ?

Carrie the trip has been an adventure of a lifetime. So many unexpected discoveries and learnings. Thanks so much for following along on social media and here. I also finished your amazing book on the flight home. Wow! Congrats to you on a spectacular book. I not only enjoyed it but was glued to every word.

So nice to hear, Sue. Thank you so much! I’m honored it was your travel read.

Your posts have made me want to visit South Africa. Maybe some day. 🙂

We would definitely recommend it. The flights are one but as long as you have a good book all is well. 🙂

I agree the colours against the backgrounds.. a real pop!

Thanks ever so much. The colours were so vibrant.

Such a colourful community, isn’t it Sue? I hadn’t heard of the noon gun, perhaps we weren’t within ear shot when we were there!

I was so taken with the area Lynn.Our friends actually stayed at a B&B right in the area which was very cool. Maybe if you return next time you will hear the gun. It was pointed out to us when we on a walking tour of District 6 or I don’t think I would have known what it was either.

I love colourful places like this. There is a fishing village not too far from us called Villajoyosa (meaning happy village) which has a row of colourful houses like these. They make me happy every time we go there. Looks like you are having a wonderful time.

Darlene I would love to see it! Have you done a post by any chance? Feel free to leave a link here if you have. Yes the bright colours do lift the mood.

I did do a post but included it with a visit to the chocolate factory in the town so the coloured houses took a backseat. https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2015/10/10/villajoyosa-joy-and-chocolate/

Oh yes I remember that post. I was drooling all over the keyboard as I recall. The last photo shows the pretty houses very well.

I have never heard of Bo Kapp or the tradition of the gun firing at Signal Hill. Interesting post and facts, Sue, and the vibrancy of the colors, and your photos, are delightful. I send my fondest wishes and smiles to both you and Dave as your spectacular African adventures continue. Safe journeys to you….

Jet whenever I manage to find something you have not seen I am tickled. We have had the most astounding time in Africa and as you predicted we have loved it so much. Things are now wrapping up and we are heading home. More stories to follow. 🙂

Wow Sue, what an amazing place! I love multi-coloured towns, and for sure the two that stand out for me are Campeche in Mexico and Burano in Italy (it’s an island in the Venetian archipelago). Alison

Something about colour that is good for the eyes and the soul I think. We have been to Burano where i was equally in love with all of the vibrancy. I shall keep Campeche in my back pocket for future travels. 🙂

I love the colors! Not quite the same, but the riverfront of Willemstad in Curacao comes to mind when I think about a colorful neighborhood. Such a diverse and spectacular trip, Sue! Your and your camera’s memory cards must be close to full! 🙂

Liesbet we went with many memory cards that is for sure. I can’t even imagine how many photos and videos we have accumulated! It has been an astounding adventure. I have not been to Curacao but seeing photos I agree a very vibrant destination.

Hi Sue, When we were in Cape Town we stayed at the Hilton. Our room had a view over Bo Kapp. It was lovely to look across at the coloured houses. When we return this year, we’ll be hoping to get the same room.

Sounds like a fabulous location Lyn. Our friends stayed on the fourth floor of a guest house in the area and they too had a lovely view of the vibrant colours.

Beautiful, bright colors, love it! Thank you for taking us there, Sue! 🙂

My pleasure Amy! I appreciate you following along!

Beautiful. Seatyn’s father was born and raised in Capetown– Dutch ancestry. He always talked about how lovely (and hot) it was. So nice to see photos!

I didn’t know or had forgotten that Seatyn’s father was from South Africa. It is such a gorgeous place. Thank you for the kind feedback Wendy. Truly appreciate it.

I bet everyone that lives in this gorgeous little rainbow town is bubbly and super happy. I love it! Hmmm… I don’t know that I have ever visited a town that is as pretty as this, but I did find some of the asian temples and pagodas really amazing with gold and diamonds and bling.

Anna I can’t say how the people are as I didn’t meet any but I would think such happy colours have to help the mood. Bo Kapp is a community within the inner city of Capetown which perhaps makes it all the more wonderful a find. I hope you are doing well and that recovery from the cyclone is steady in progress. I was so sorry to hear about the devastation.

So interesting for me to see these beautiful photos and read about the Bo Kaap area today. I certainly did not realize that there were so many mosques there! This made me curious to check out the history and discover that in 1820 the area was inhabited by political exiles from Java and Ceylon ( Sri Lanka)!

When we were growing up as kids in Johannesburg, Cape Town was of course a very popular vacation spot for us. The Bo Kaap area looked pretty different back then so it is nice to see how great it is looking today. Restoration started in the 1970s.

Reminful of the colorful port area La Boca in Buenos Aires and Granada, Nicaragua!

Terrific post!

Peta thank so much for adding to the history of the post. Fascinating details. I can imagine it looked very different indeed those years ago. Now the area is quite trendy with restaurants near by. Our friends stayed at a guest house in the area.

I truly appreciate your enthusiastic feedback and encouragement. Wishing you a great day!

Sue, what a great post. I learnt so much about Bo Kaap, I didn’t know it existed. The colours of the houses are a delight. I tried to think of where the most colourful place I had visited was and I couldn’t think of a place that came even close to this, though some of the little towns on the Cinque Terra came to mind.

Thanks kindly Shannyn. I must say I learned so much myself. One of the best things about travel is the great big classroom it provides. I agree Cinque Terre is full of colour and the way the buildings hang on the cliffs is astounding.

Beautiful! St. John’s Newfoundland is the most colourful place I’ve visited – skinny little houses in brilliant paint marching up the same sort of steep hilly streets you’ve described. Maybe it’s something about the topography that makes people want to use bright colours: “Just a little farther uphill, to the red house. You can do it!”

Well that is a fascinating theory Diane. We have not been to Nfld but would love to one day. The photos and videos I have seen look amazing.

I hear it every day where I live, but I think the last thing I would expect to hear about Cape Town is the muezzin! Great tour, and just gorgeous shots…and colors.

Badfish we don’t hear it very often so what a beautiful sound that took us back to our time in Turkey. It was not something I expected in Africa. Thank you for the generous feedback. Between Dave and I we were photo hogs that’s for sure.

It usually takes me back to the first time I heard it…in the kasbah in Tangier. where are you now??

We are now home Badfish. Arrived a few days ago. Sigh. What an amazing trip it was.

Such a colorful and fascinating neighborhood! I wonder if I would feel at home if I visit this place with the call to prayer and everything else. Speaking of your question about the most colorful place I’ve been to, I would say Bali. The island is colorful in its own way with all those different kinds of flowers used for offering and as decoration.

Bama I imagine you would feel quite at home in that section of the city. It is a diverse city to be sure. Bali sounds and by your photos and others looks amazing. The flowers of offering always intrigue me. Asia is next on my wish list so we will see what happens. 🙂

This is so beautiful… It reminded me of Caminito in Buenos Aires… Also of Santiago de Chile, maybe Havanna?…. Could have been Latin America, to a certain extent… Maybe it is the immigration influence, which creates such beautiful colorful “blends”, special and different, in every single place…. Happy Easter my friend. Much love! 😀

Such a good point how immigration may be the key to the colourful influence. Happy Easter to you as well dear friend. Hugs and love back to you.

Gorgeous! How did I miss hearing about this area when I visited Cape Town?!? Love the photos, Sue.

Susan A Eames at Travel, Fiction and Photos

Susan isn’t that the way when one travels? So challenging to see it all. Thanks so much for the kind feedback.

What amazing bright colours, but so sad to read about the dark roots of this area. Love that shot of Table Mountain in the background. Had me laughing regarding the pigeons “who now must be deaf”. 🙂

Thank you Carl for the feedback. Definitely a great deal of sad history in South Africa. Things are improving but certainly many issues remain.

Improvements can often be so slow, and why raising awareness is so important. Wonderful you step up to do just that!

Thank you Carl. Yes we all need to keep talking about injustices in this world.

What a beautiful colorful spot!

Amy it was extraordinary to see and special knowing the meaning of the colours.

Your BLOG is certainly one of the most colorful places I have visited virtually. 🙂 I adore your travels, and how you share them. Now, a couple of questions. Why is that gunpowder blasted off once a day? Is that the call for prayer? And why does the bus at Bo Kapp not run from May to September? Is that the rainy season? I never heard of this town/community and am in awe of the colors, the scenery, and the history. Thank you!

I am humbled by your generous words. Many thanks for that kind feedback Always a pleasure to have you visit and travel along with us. As to the purpose of the Noon Gun here is an excerpt from the Capetown magazine: The History Behind the Boom Owing to the Cape of Storms’s bad weather – the high sea and big winds – many vessels travelling around Cape Town took refuge in the sheltered Table Bay. However, after staying for a couple days, the ships would experience a loss of time owing to their inaccurate time keeping methods. Thus, the British decided to fire a cannon at (more or less) noon everyday to act as a time signal for sailors enabling them to check that their marine chronometers were correct. A marine chronometer is a precision instrument used aboard ships to help calculate longitude – a rather vital component for ships navigating by sextant on the high seas.

In addition, the firing of the guns was also used as a mark of respect for the lives lost during the wars. Sir Harry Hands, the Mayor of Cape Town at the time introduced the daily Pause of Remembrance (a two-minutes of silence) to follow the 12pm gunshot on 14 May 1918. It was said that the first minute is a time of thanksgiving for those who have survived whereas the second minute is to remember the fallen. In 2008, a plaque was unveiled at the Battery to commemorate the two-minute pause.

As to the Capetown Hop on Hop Off bus my guess is that in low season , their winter, there isn’t enough business. One thinks of Africa as being hot but in actuality Capetown is surrounded by frigid water. Nothing like some wind, which there often is, blowing off that cold water.

Hope that helps to answer the questions and thanks again!

Excellent answer, Sue, and now I wish our town had a Noon Gun. I love the tradition and the reason behind it. Wow. <3

I appreciate you asking the question. I learned something too!

Sue, ever since our Khartoum days, and no matter where else I hear it, the call to prayers always puts me at peace. It an adult time-out for a bit of quiet and just taking a breath. Great photos btw. The colors are fab and it looks like you were there on the perfect, blue-sky day. ~James

We completely agree James. The moment we heard it a soothing feeling washed over us. The sun was shining brightly which unfortunately was not the case when we summiteers Table Mountain another day. Can’t have it all they say.

Sue I remember seeing this part of town when I went to Cape Town in 2005. I wasn’t a travel blogger then so didn’t know much about the history but I remember the beautiful colorful houses. Are you going to Stellenbausch? I remember loving it!

We are now home Nicole but yes we had some time in Stellenbausch. It was beautiful and lovely wine tasting too.

Yay! I can hardly wait to hear all about it Sue! You do the most inspiring things! 🙂 keep moving…

Thanks Nicole. Yes that’s the trick isn’t it? Keep moving and doing whatever you can.

Such pretty colours and the area looks so clean too. I haven’t heard of Bo Kapp before. So glad to see your posts on fb and to see what a wonderful time you’ve all had x

Thanks for following along Annie. Prior to planning our trip I had not heard of Bo Kapp either. Travel is such a good teacher. Hope you and Paul are doing well. Xo

The colors are absolutely fantastic. I love when houses are painted brightly like that. Adds so much character to them!

I had no idea that Capetown was so colorful. These buildings look like something you would see in Mexico or further south. Look forward to learning more.

It is just this one area in the middle of the city and it pops like a rainbow when you see it. So many amazing things to be discovered in travel.

Yes there are. 🙂

How surreal that must have seemed with such vibrant colors…beautiful…

Kirt I imagine you would have had such fun photographing the buildings. You are so skilled with unique ways to capture structures.

How delightful. I love those houses. I did not have any idea of finding so beautiful houses in Cape Town.

Happy to share the photos and information with you. Amazing what we learn as we travel.

Such gorgeous colours Sue! I’ve loved following your trip and am remembering our trip to South Africa a few years ago.

Thanks so much for following along. Did you have a similar route on your trip Deb?

We were on a sporting tour and visited a lot of similar places and a different safari reserve, I loved it all.

It is an amazing part of the world.

What a beautiful site. You two are really making the most of the life you have been given. I don’t envy many people, but….

Emilio there isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t express how grateful we are to have the opportunity to experience so much in life. It certainly was not always that way which perhaps now makes it all the more special. Yes we do our best to squeeze every drop out of life. 🙂

Pigeons on my balcony must be deaf as well. They never hear when I shout “shooo” at them 😀 ;). I am sure I will never get to South Africa and I never saw the street shots from Capetown. It is lovely, lovelier than I had imagined it. I love that street art, Sue. Thank you for sharing.

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Enter My Attic

The colours of Cape Town

Cape Town

It already feels like a long time ago, our holiday in South Africa. But it has just been a couple of weeks! Even better to go back in time with some holiday blogposts! Today I’m showing you more of the beautiful city Cape Town where we spend about 5 days. We did a lot of driving around which is such a pleasure because the surroundings are so amazing! When you’re driving around in and around Cape Town you will see a lot of impressive mountains, lots and lots of greens, beautiful bays, colourful houses and sometimes even a couple of baboons on the road! I had the luxury that Evert did all of the driving because he’s just a better driver than me, especially in foreign countries. So I had all the time to look around and enjoy the view! Oh and I must say, in South Africa, the people on the road are very kind, patient and attentive, we can learn a lot from them.

Cape Town

I made these pictures in the very cool and creative neighborhood Woodstock. You can find a lot of nice vintage shops there, lots of street art and fun events and markets. On Saturday we went to the famous Neighborgoods Market at The Old Biscuit Mill . A vibrant market with all kinds of yummie food, drinks, stalls where local designers sell their goods, small shops, live music and happy people chilling in the sun, shopping or enjoying a nice meal or drink. We spend a couple of hours at the market and I really loved the vibe there! After that we explored the neighborhood a little bit more and found some cool vintage shops! In Cape Town you can find colour everywhere, it’s so inspiring! I wish we had some more colour on the streets in Holland! Stay tuned for more holiday stories!

Cape Town

Photography: Marij Hessel

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Inside the Travel Lab

The Secrets Behind the Colourful Houses of Bo Kaap in Cape Town

December 29, 2023

What to do in Bo Kaap Cape Town South Africa - How to visit respectfully

With its colourful houses and Cape Malay cuisine, Bo Kaap is the pretty face of an ugly history . Here’s what to do in Bo Kaap.

See also: 19 unusual things to do in Cape Town. 

Bo Kaap Cape Town street with colourful houses

The Colourful Houses of Bo Kaap

When it comes to colour in South Africa, perhaps there’s no better place to start than Bo Kaap.

Along the cobbled slopes that tiptoe up towards Table Mountain, houses blaze in hues of lilac, canary yellow, cobalt blue and eye watering green as children play football around the nation’s oldest mosque.

Today, there’s peace. Cardamom pods change hands in the scented gloom of the local spice shop, golden-haired tots pose for photos with balloons and tourists stroll one after the other, mouths open, cameras ready.

But, as with almost everything in Cape Town, it wasn’t always this way.

Fandela in Bo Kaap Cape Town

Bo Kaap History and Importance

150 years ago, Bo Kaap’s population more or less told the story of the city in its racial and cultural diversity: European settlers and freed Asian and African slaves. Islam flourished, attracting many who rejected the Christianity of their former slave owners as well as those whose beliefs arrived with them from Indonesia and beyond.

Over time came the strangling legislation of Apartheid. In particular, the relocation laws.

Bo Kaap became part of the Malay Quarter and having a cup of tea with someone in a different racial category an imprisonable offence.  (Categories were Black, White, Indian and Coloured, with further sub-categories within each group. Racial profiling involved such highbrow methods as running a pencil through someone’s hair and seeing how easily or quickly it fell out. Families were torn apart, education restricted, and whole communities relocated out of town.)

Abi and Fandela in Bo Kaap

“Meeting Like This Would Be Illegal”

Fandela, a woman who calls Bo Kaap her home and who runs Cape Malay cooking classes, muses on it all.

“Twenty five years ago,” she says, “This would be illegal.”

She’s talking about the samosa I’m holding in my hand. The one she’s been teaching me how to make within the front room of her house.

It’s not my folding technique she means, nor the trail of flour dust I’ve created. Nor even, my propensity to leave hot oil on high heat indefinitely.

No, she means my existence. My being here. My veins that show through my skin and the pencil that would, no doubt, fall through my hair.

My imagination hears police footsteps at the door and the part of me that gets nervous under pressure wants to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. At the painful sum of wasted life thrown away in so many conflicts on the basis of such utter nonsense.

Still, that was years ago. The flour, the colour, the samosa. That’s now.

Cooking samosas in Bo Kaap Cape Town South Africa cooking Class

Why Colour Still Matters in Bo Kaap 

The “born free” generation are coming of age – and enthusiasm pulses through South Africa.

But there’s also disenchantment.

“Under Apartheid, the running order went White, Coloured, Black,” says Fandela. “While these days, it’s Black, White, Coloured.”

I fold another samosa and notice that one of the corners tears.

Bo Kaap itself is changing. The Rainbow Nation has introduced young professionals of all colours into the paintbox palette streets. Old animosities die. And new controversies flare as residents fight against drinking hole proposals in this predominantly Muslim area.

In the meantime, I move from samosas to roti, give thanks for my meal and sit down to eat with my hands in the beautiful streets of Bo Kaap.

It’s protected now, on account of that architectural beauty. Residents are free to change whatever they like on the inside but the outside must remain the same.

Except for the colour.

Residents can change that as much as they like. It’s the law.

Colours of Bo Kaap Cape Town montage of cars and painted houses

What To Do in Bo Kaap

Bo Kaap has become one of the top destinations in Cape Town. But please remember that it is also people’s homes. Visit respectfully, of course.

Where is Bo Kaap?

The colourful streets run along the lower side of Signal Hill right next to Cape Town’s CBD (Central Business District) or Cape Town city centre. It used to be part of the Cape Malay Quarter and it’s this “used to” status that leads to so many complexities.

It’s about ten minutes by Uber or taxi from the V&A Waterfront to help you get your bearings.

South Africa - Cape Town - Bo Kaap - man relaxing on colourful houses

Bo Kaap Museum

The Bo Kaap Museum, or Iziko Bo-Kaap Musueum or IBKM to give it its full name, forms a core part of a visit to the area. Housed in one of the earliest Dutch Cape houses in the region, it is mainly a social history museum, bringing to life a typical 19th century Muslim house here. 

The building itself dates back to 1768 but it wasn’t until 1978 that it became a museum (it’s now one of five satellite museums under the umbrella of the South Africa Cultural History Museum.)

Inside, spend between two hours and half a day reliving the cultural events, such as New Year carnival, to the beats of music and video clips. Learn about traditional Cape Malay food and festivals and add some context to your South African trip.

  • The Bo Kaap Museum hours are typically 9 – 16:00 Monday to Saturday but always check in advance.

Auwal Mosque

As the first mosque in South Africa, the Auwal Mosque stands as an understandable source of pride. Built in 1794 on the land of a freed formerly enslaved individual, it was the first place where enslaved people could publicly worship Islam.

The first imam, Qadi Abdussalam, known as Tuan Guru wrote the entire Quran from memory while a political prisoner. 

Atlas Trading Company Spice Store

Another Bo Kaap institution is the more accessible Atlas Trading Company. This family-owned spice shop on Wale Street welcomes visitors through an array of spices and smells and has done since 1946. It’s an easy walk from the mosque and museum and makes a fun spot to stop and chat. 

South Africa Cape Town Bo Kaap Coloured Street

Bo Kaap Neighbourhood Walking Tours

If you book or buy through these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Cheers!

Bo Kaap is small but a little steep and it’s easy to walk around yourself (although I’d suggest travelling here by taxi or Uber here.) 

You can simply join free walking tours of Bo Kaap twice a day or join one of the tours run by Coffee Bean Routes. I took several tours with them during my several trips to Cape Town and would highly recommend them.

In particular, I would strongly recommend a cooking class in Bo Kaap. This way, you can swap roles from voyeur to participant and really start to chat to people who live here, make friends and learn a new skill. It’s so much more satisfying than wandering around with a camera. 

Bo Kaap Cooking Classes: The Best Way to Learn

I’ll say it again: the best way to explore Bo Kaap is to take a cooking class and learn more about the Cape Malay culture through the best medium of all: food! Chat, learn and explore within one of Bo Kaap’s rainbow houses. 

My top pick is Faldela and her 3-hour Malay cooking class .

Did you enjoy this article on what to do in Bo Kaap, South Africa? Bookmark for later!

What to do in Bo Kaap Cape Town South Africa Pinterest cover image and montage

More About Cape Town

  • 23 Unusual Things to do in Cape Town

More About South Africa

  • Why you should visit Soweto in Joburg.
  • What I’ll Always Remember About South Africa.
  • Why South Africa is the Rainbow Nation.

More About Travel in Africa

  • The best places to visit in Africa: how to build your bucket list
  • Namibia and the oldest desert in the world
  • The best beaches in Madagascar
  • What safari guides really fear in Botswana’s Okavango Delta
  • How the red tsingy in Madagascar are the perfect antidote to travel overload.
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  • Why Ouirgane valley in Morocco deserves your time
  • The highs and lows of driving in Morocco
  • What you need to know about trekking Kilimanjaro
  • 10 reasons why The Gambia really is worth visiting

Disclosure –  I’ve travelled to Cape Town several times. This time, I was a guest of GoToSouthAfrica. As ever, as always, I am free to write what I like. 

12 thoughts on “The Secrets Behind the Colourful Houses of Bo Kaap in Cape Town”

Vibrant colors to represent a colorful history!

I’m originally from South Africa and its lovely to see the Bo Kaap highlighted like this. Depth and understanding, not just a place for Instagrams shots. Absolutely loved your recommendation of the cooking class. Such a wonderful way to integrate and understand the culture.

So sorry for the slow reply, Kaylini! Can we blame coronavirus for gobbling up the notifications?! Let’s try that! It means so much to hear those encouraging words from someone from South Africa – thank you so much. And, yes, I love a good, local cooking class. One of the best ways to travel.

Comments are closed.

Home > South Africa > Cape Town > Cape Town Travel Tips

Cape Town Travel Tips: 25 Dos and Don'ts to Know Before You Go

Cape Town travel tips - Marina and Kim on a rooftop in CBD with Lions Head in the background

Start Your Cape Town Travels on the Right Foot

Get prepared with these Cape Town travel tips, then continue on our Cape Town travel blog for our opinions on unique restaurants , unconventional must-dos , and the best neighborhoods .

The best way to express how much we loved Cape Town is to say that, even though we could go anywhere else in the world, we plan on moving back next year.

But our relationship didn't start out perfectly.

We had some ups and downs, especially early on. Had we known the following Cape Town travel tips from the get-go, our relationship with the Mother City could have blossomed even faster.

If they can do the same for you, maybe you'll enjoy Cape Town as much as we did. Maybe more…

We challenge you to try.

Viewing Table Mountain from the top of Lions Head.

✓  Do start your Cape Town trip on a high point

Make it a priority to get up on top of Table Mountain or Lions Head as soon as you can upon arrival in Cape Town.

We made the mistake of not doing so, piddling around the bottom of City Bowl for our first few days not understanding what all the "Cape Town is so stunning " hype was about.

But when we hiked Lions Head for the first time, it all made sense.

The views also gave us a better understanding of what's where around the Cape, which even lifelong residents find confusing. For example, when we were playing volleyball on Camps Bay and asked our Capetonian friend in which direction the surf beach of Muizenberg was, he pointed in the wrong direction.

✗ Don't ever count on the internet working

Never trust any claim that "we have WiFi," no matter what your Airbnb host or server or barista says.

We can't even say so about our home fiber internet, which mysteriously cuts off from time to time.

Some places are more reliable are others (any Bootlegger Café location is our go-to when all else fails), but to maintain sanity we advise hoping for the best and expecting the worst.

And to have ample data on your phone, just in case.

Speaking of which….

✓ Do get a local SIM card from MTN

Get a SIM card upon arrival at Cape Town's airport and go with MTN because they have cheaper packages than Vodacom and their network doesn't go down with load shedding (see the next tip).

Also, if you're traveling with others make sure they get MTN because MTN often offers free MTN-to-MTN minutes.

Tip Within a Tip

Counterintuitively, the cheapest data plans are the weekly ones so, to get the most gigabytes for your buck, buy a new package every seven days.

For instance, I re-load 1.25 GB for R55 every week rather than pay R300 for 5.5 GB over 30 days.

Eating in the dark in Cape Town because of load shedding

✗  Don't be in the dark about load shedding

"Load shedding" is the term they use here for rolling blackouts that plague not just Cape Town but all of South Africa for around two-and-a-half hours at a time, sometime multiple times a day.

It doesn't happen year-round. We only had to deal with it for a few weeks of our six months in Cape Town, so if you're lucky you won't experience load shedding at all. But double check, just in case, and plan accordingly.

Here's the load shed-ule .

African food.

✗  Don't expect too much from South African cuisine

Not a single traditional African or Cape Malay restaurant that we ate at had us eager to return for more.

Maybe we didn't go to the right places, but we gave up looking.

It's not worth it. The other Cape Town restaurants that serve modern or international cuisine, some with a South African twist, are too good.

See our favorite only-in-Cape Town restaurants and save the locations to Google Maps with our free Cape Town restaurant treasure map:

travel colours cape town

✓  Do try some South African dishes, though

Our favorite South African specialties to look out for during your Cape Town travels include:

  • Bobotie. A heavily-spiced minced meat pie with egg baked on top.
  • Malva pudding. A sweet and sticky bread pudding.
  • Gatsbys . Gigantic subway sandwiches stuffed with fries, cheeses, sauces, and various meats. As we share in our unique Cape Town restaurant guide (and on the free treasure map ), our favorite is from Cozy Corner.
  • Boerewors, droerwors, and biltong. Spiced meats. The latter two are dried.

This Eat Out post has an extended list of more South African foods.

Vendors and shoppers at Oranjezicht market.

✗  Don't withdraw too much cash

When we arrived in Cape Town, I withdrew R3,000 in cash.

That turned out to be overkill.

It lasted me over three months because I only needed cash to pay for our cleaning lady and our beach volleyball classes .

You won't need much cash either if you use Uber to get around town, pay with your credit card at restaurants and shops (ideally a foreign-exchange fee-free one ), and download a free app called SnapScan for paying vendors at markets like Neighbourgoods, Oranjezicht, and Bay Harbour.

Car with a smashed window and broken glass below it.

✓  Do always keep a few coins on hand

If you're renting a car, keep some coins on hand to tip gas station attendants (R10) and the guys who "look after" your car when you park on the streets (R2-10).

This prevents the predicament of having to choose between over-paying them with a bill or being a prick who tips nothing.

Extra Rental Car Tip:

Car break-ins are so rampant in Cape Town that rarely a day passes that we don't walk past broken car window glass on a sidewalk.

To save your car's windows from the same fate, don't leave anything in your car when you park on the street.

We really mean ANYTHING. Someone broke into our friend Cailyn's car for nothing more than her stinky yoga mat.

✗  Don't forget to add a tip

You're expected to tip around 10% on top of your bill at restaurants.

The tricky part is, unlike in North America, the credit card machines don't give you the "add a tip" option before you enter your pin. You have to calculate the tip yourself, add it to your bill, then tell your server how much to charge.

Ok, it's not that tricky, but it's worth letting you know because we've seen enough Cape Town newcomers screw it up one way or another.

✓  Do ask for tap water

Cape Town's tap water is perfectly fine to drink, but you have to ask for it specifically at restaurants.

Your servers won't offer it to you—because of the "water shortage" and all—and they will bring you bottled stuff if you don't specify.

✗  Don't bother waiting for the "robots"

"Robot" is the South African word for traffic lights. Only cars obey them here (…most of the time).

Pedestrians definitely don't and you shouldn't either when you're walking around Cape Town. If you did, you'd be stranded on a street corner your entire trip because the traffic lights are as undecipherable and unpredictable as a drunk elephant.

Be just as cautious crossing the street as you would be around a drunk elephant, too, especially if, like us, you're used to cars that drive on the right side of the road.

Locked off wine at Cape Town supermarket

✓  Do keep in mind supermarkets' restricted hours for selling alcohol

You can't buy wine from supermarkets after 8 p.m. (and after 6 p.m. on Sundays).

This restriction may not seem like a big deal to you. We didn't think so either until the first, second, and third time we forgot, popped into a supermarket in the evening for a bottle, and slapped our foreheads upon seeing that the wines were locked-up.

✗  Don't make plans before checking opening hours

Wine farms close as early as 3 p.m, many microbreweries inexplicably close at 5 p.m and on weekends, cafés' hours are all over the place, and restaurants seem to always be closed on the days we want to go to them here in South Africa, so always check opening hours in advance.

✓  Do try these general tips and tricks to change the way you travel

You're sure to find at least one idea that will change the way you travel in our list of our best travel tips and tricks .

It has everything from advanced, experimental travel tips and tricks to practical but oft-overlooked ones to dumb advice we hear others give too often (and what to do instead).

✗  Don't get stuck in rush hour traffic

If you can, avoid coming into the city between about 6:30 and 9 a.m. and going out of the city between 4 and 6 pm on weekdays.

Disregard this Cape Town travel tip and you may end up here longer than you'd like. Quite a few Uber drivers have lamented to us about times the normally 20-minute drive from downtown to the airport has taken them close to two hours because of rush hour traffic.

✓  Do check if you can BYOB to restaurants

If you're on a budget like us but still want to drink wine with dinner when eating out, check if you can bring your own wine.

Most Cape Town restaurants allow it for only a modest corkage fee of thirty to sixty rands. Some, like Hussar Grill, one of our favorite Cape Town restaurants , don't charge anything.

View from Bo Kaap of clouds over Table Mountain at sunset.

✗  Don't go anywhere without a warm layer

The Mother City, as Cape Town is nicknamed, is a hormonal, temperamental beauty. No matter how pleasant her weather currently appears to be, never ever count in it staying that way because it changes fast and can differ enormously depending on which side of Table Mountain you're on.

So bring a warm layer with you wherever you go, just in case.

More Fashion Advice:

Cape Town may have a European vibe, but fashion-wise it's much more casually American or Australian. Shorts and sandals are fine in all but the swankiest establishments.

Sorbet and wine to be tasted at Koelenhof.

✗  Don't just do wine tastings

In addition to wine tastings, which by all means we recommend indulging in in great abundance while in South Africa (these are our top 10 ), be on the lookout for tastings of locally-made vinegar, rooibos tea, cheese, sorbets, chocolate, and biltong.

✓  Do grab a copy of the free Cape Town Guidebook

Us smarty pants bloggers didn't pick up a copy of the free Cape Town travel guide until three months into our time here. And that was only because Kim's mom showed it to us when she visited.

The thing turned out to be surprisingly useful!

Unlike other city's free guidebooks, which are paper-wasting hotel, restaurant, and attraction directories, the Cape Town one offers plenty of interesting tidbits of info.

For us, the most helpful pages are the neighborhood overviews, which include tips and recommendations for literally every one in the city, not just the most touristy ones.

Flat shot of delicious-looking Nonna pasta.

✓  Do get the Entertainer App to save money if you're staying for a week or more

The Entertainer App is a mobile coupon booklet of 2-for-1 specials at hundreds of restaurants and attractions all around Cape Town and the Western Cape.

It costs roughly R400, so you only need to use it about three times to break even. And that's easy to do because quite a few of our favorite Cape Town restaurants have offers on it.

We have the Entertainer and have used it…. let's see… 46 times (!) and saved thousands of rands by doing so.

Read our Cape Town Entertainer App Review: Too Good to Be True? for our favorite deals on the app, tips and warnings for using it, and a special 10%-off coupon.

lord milner hotel reading books in Matjiesfontein

✓  Do read some South African books

Speaking of 2-for-1 deals, the following books have had the two-in-one benefit of being entertaining reads while at the same time adding perspective and understanding to what I've seen and experienced in South Africa:

  • The Covenant, by James Michener . I'm so glad I started (and finished) this 1,4000-page behemoth. It quadrupled my excitement to visit South Africa and gave me a foundational understanding of the country's history that enhanced my appreciation of everything I saw and experienced while here.
  • Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah. Just about every Cape Town visitor I meet seems to have read this one. So should you to get a light-hearted insight into what it was like growing up under apartheid.
  • 13 Hours, by Deon Meyer . A Cape Town-based page-turner about an American tourist on the run from a mysterious gang and the cops who're trying to save her. Once you're in Cape Town, you'll recognize many of the locations from the book.
  • The Power of One. My favorite book when I was a kid turned out to be just as entertaining to Kim and I as we listened through the audio version during our two-week Johannesburg to Cape Town road trip , a.k.a. the Hectic Route.

People having a great time at Rands in Khayelitsha.

✗  Don't just hang out among white people and tourists

Do a Khayelitsha tour with the guys from 18 Gangster Museum, make new friends at Rands , enjoy a gourmet township meal at 4roomed eKasi Culture , get a Gatsby at Cosy Corner in Wynberg, and laugh along with the mostly coloured * crowd at the Cape Town Comedy Club .

All of the above make up a big chunk of our favorite Cape Town travel memories. Our time here wouldn't have been the same without them.

Note: Mzansi's, the #1 Cape Town restaurant on TripAdvisor as I write this, doesn't count. The food's good, but it's about as "authentic" as a buffet dinner at an all-inclusive Mexican resort while a mariachi band is playing.

* "Coloured" in South Africa has a different meaning than in the US. It's a demographic. From Wikipedia , "Coloureds are a multiracial ethnic group native to Southern Africa who have ancestry from more than one of the various populations inhabiting the region, including Khoisan, Bantu, European, Austronesian, South Asian, or East Asian." According to a survey from back in 2016, in Cape Town 42.6% of people identified as Black African, 39.9% as Coloured, 16.5% as White and 1.1% as Asian.

✓  Do talk to your Uber drivers

This especially applies if you choose to disregard our previous Cape Town travel tip.

Uber drivers come from all over Cape Town, South Africa, and the African continent. About 90% of them have something interesting to say and they are more than happy to share it with you if you ask. Your challenge is to figure out what it is and get it out of them.

Through our Uber drivers, we heard funny stories about pro athletes and Samuel L. Jackson, fine-tuned our limited knowledge about African geography and culture, found out about some of our favorite local Cape Town eateries , and became somewhat knowledgeable about South African politics.

Other quick Uber tips:

  • Sit in the front seat. Most of our drivers say they don't care whether you sit in the front or back, but A) the front's more comfortable and B) you'll have a friendlier chat that way.
  • At the very least always greet your driver and wish them farewell after your ride.
  • If you're coming from the beach, have the courtesy to not get in the car wearing a wet swimsuit and to wipe off all the sand from your body and feet before getting in the car. You're guaranteed a 1-star rating if you don't.

✗  Don't be careless on Long Street

Long Street is Cape Town's grimy but go-to downtown party street.

They should rename it "Your Stuff Is Not Yours for Long Street" because pretty much everyone we know who's gotten mugged or had something stolen from them in Cape Town had it happen to them there.

In every instance it was partly their fault. They were either walking along it alone at night, acting stupid or drunk, or carelessly flaunting their phone. Don't do any of the above and you'll be fine.

Either that or avoid Y.S.I.N.Y.F. Long Street entirely.

Colorful facades of houses in De Waterkant.

✓  Do stay in De Waterkant or Green Point

We tried staying in the CBD (downtown) and Sea Point, and know lots of people who stayed at Gardens and Camps Bay but, in our opinion, De Waterkant and Green Point are best neighborhoods in Cape Town for tourists.

They're safe and relaxed, yet close to all the action and attractions.

For a whole lot more specifics, see our guide on where to stay in Cape Town , where we share our top neighborhoods and score them across various criteria so you can find the perfect match for your trip.

Driving out of Cape Town early in the morning with beautiful light.

✗ Don't stay too long in Cape Town

Spend two days in Cape Town, then get out of the city to explore and experience more of South Africa's amazing variety.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Hermanus or its next-door neighbor Stanford for wine tasting , whale watching, and walking or running along the cliff path.
  • Cederberg for extraordinary wine tasting, star gazing, rock pool jumping, hiking, and climbing.
  • The Garden Route for wine tasting, seaside hikes, and good food
  • Barrydale for wine tasting (do you see a trend?), waterfall walking, milkshake drinking, and quirkiness appreciating.
  • The Drakensberg for world class hiking and scenery (…and wine tasting).

I could go on.

The point is you may find it hard to leave Cape Town so soon, but you'll be grateful you did, no matter where you go.

✓  Do get your 15% VAT refund when you leave South Africa

Ask for tax invoices on whatever you buy to bring home from South Africa, show them along with the items to custom officials when you leave the country, and if they add up to R250 or more you’re entitled to a 15% VAT refund. Full details  here .

✗  Don't miss more Cape Town travel tips

  • Cape Town Travel Blog
  • Cape Town Destination Guide: Mysthbusting, F.A.Q, and Fun Facts
  • Cape Town Must-Dos, Maybe-Dos, and Maybe-Don’t-Dos
  • Where to Stay in Cape Tow: Grading the Top Neighborhoods
  • The Best Cape Town Restaurants for 25 Unique Occasions

Heading Out Of Town?

  • Unearthing the Garden Route Series
  • South Africa Road Trip Tips
  • Top Wine Tastings in Cape Town and Beyond
  • 16 Kruger Safari Tips to See More Animals and Have a Better Trip
  • Travel Tips and Tricks: 50+ Ideas to Change the Way You Travel

Disclosure: Whenever possible, we use links that earn us a cut if you pay for stuff we recommend. It costs you nothing, so we'd be crazy not to. Read our affiliate policy .

10 thoughts on “Cape Town Travel Tips: 25 Dos and Don'ts to Know Before You Go”

This is such an informative and great post! Cape Town is on my travel list and I hope I can visit it next year 🙂 I would love to try the local cuisine and explore South Africa. I'm saving your tips for the future.

Thanks Cristina. We hope to be back living there next year, so if you go, let us know and maybe we can meet up to talk blogging and CT.

Just here to say that acceptable tips for petrol station people and car guards should be at least R10. Anything less than that should be accompanied with an apology if you wanna be polite. R10 is the new R5, and R2 is definitely not a thing.

Thanks Annchen. I'll update this, now.

As an African American/Native American I was surprised you used the term ‘colored’ ( a throw back apartheid term for East Indians) & the Tip “don’t spend all your time with White ppl”. Do you assume only White ppl are interested in visiting South Africa??Time with White ppl would be last on my list when I finally go ancestral home,

Hi Chahta. Yeah, it's not only white people at the major tourist attractions in Cape Town and South Africa. Mostly, though. And "coloured" is more than just a skin color in South Africa. It's a culture. Definitely do come here to learn more about it!

I’m a coloured South African born and bread in Cape Town. The lady is right, we don’t take offence to the term coloured. In fact, we embrace it whole heartedly. Come visit us, talk with the locals the way they did and you’ll get a whole new perspective. Call me anything other than coloured and trust me, as a South African, I will be offended.

Respect to the poster for doing her homework. Awesome blog. Proudly Cape Town

Honestly my carrier will begin flying to CPT next year, I’ll work the trip but now I’m apprehensive about visiting when I’m not working. I didn’t see any pictures of Black ppl on your feed. Maybe Morocco w/b better on my own dime. Shame we can even enjoy our own country

Why not go to both Morocco and SA? Every country is 100% worth visiting if you go without preconceived notions of what it'll be like. I'd be keen to hear about your experiences and what you learned from them.

Coloured is the preferred term by a very specific demographic of people in South Africa. It is not the term for the black African people indigenous to the area. Taking offense to that term on the behalf of the people who choose the term isn't really effective allyship. As for the rest, they probably should not have even had to point this out. South Africa has incredible diversity and hanging out with only the minority would definitely be a mistake. I am sorry you feel that way about visiting your heritage. It is such an incredible experience for anyone and I would imagine it would be even more incredible for you.

What do you think? (Leave a Comment.) Cancel reply

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AFRICA , CAPE TOWN , HOTEL GUIDES , HOTEL REVIEWS , LUXURY TRAVEL , SOUTH AFRICA · June 17, 2024 Last Updated on June 17, 2024

WHERE TO STAY IN CAPE TOWN: THE BEST NEIGHBORHOODS & HOTELS

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. We may receive a small commission when you make a purchase using our link.

 With almost five million people calling the Cape Town home, it’s easy to see why tourists arrive and often decide to stay. Situated on South Africa’s western cape, Cape Town is a stunning port city offering much to do and see.

Cape Town boasts a mesmerizing coastline dotted with striking mountain ranges that jet into the sea. The city is also known for being a vibrant, modern metropolis that is home to a variety of trendy, upscale restaurants, bars, boutiques, hotels and vacation rentals.

The city’s population is young, with an average age of 29, making it a thriving party and nightlife destination. With excellent hiking and a gorgeous beaches , it’s also an ideal city to visit for a an active escape or a relaxing seaside getaway.

Here’s my guide to where to stay in Cape Town sharing all the best neighborhoods, hotels and vacation rentals to help you plan an unforgettable trip to South Africa’s “mother city.”

Where I Stayed In Cape Town

What is your favorite country? As a travel blogger, this is a question that I am asked often.

It’s hard to pick just one favorite country, but South Africa has made it to the very top of my list after visiting Cape Town. My first trip to Cape Town was in December 2023, and I loved it so much that I returned for another two week visit in April. 

I love Cape Town for a multitude of reasons: it is strikingly beautiful it is, it’s affordable, the people are friendly, the food is excellent, and there are impressive luxury accommodations. 

On my recent trip these are the two Cape Town hotels I stayed at and loved . 

21 Nettleton

21 Nettleton is one of Cape Town’s most exclusive luxury boutique hotels. Perched at the top of a hillside, looking out over Clifton Bay Beach, 21 Nettleton offers six individually decorated rooms and suites with sweeping views of the coastline.

This incredible property boats unparalleled views of The Twelve Apostles Mountain Range and Lion’s Head Peak which sits directly behind the hotel. I stayed here in the Queen’s Suite  for three nights and fell in love with the location, the intimate accommodations and the mesmerizing views. 

During my stay I enjoyed decadent ocean view breakfasts on my balcony, leisurely baths overlooking Clifton Bay Beach, a hike up to Lion’s Head (the trail can be accessed directly behind the hotel), and a sunset party just down the hill on Clifton Beach.

When I think of my time in South Africa the first thing that fills my mind is the mesmerizing views from 21 Nettleton . I can’t wait to stay here again on my next visit to Cape Town. 

Pod Camps Bay

POD Camps Bay is a 5-star boutique hotel ideally situated in the heart of Camps Bay. This small, chic hotel has just 17 rooms, creating a special, intimate setting.

The modern design, clean lines and green architecture of POD Camps Bay compliment the natural surroundings of the nearby ocean and striking mountain backdrop. 

I love that this tranquil, luxury property sits right across from the beach, and is a short stroll from the Camps Bay promenade where there are a handful of great seafood restaurants, bars and boutiques. 

Hotel facilities include a cocktail bar, ocean view lap pool, gym with cardio and weight training equipment, late departure lounge / shower room, same day laundry service, 24 hour dry cleaning service and 24 hour security.

Everything about my stay at POD Camps Bay was wonderful. The breakfasts were excellent and the service was top notch. I appreciated being able to use the departure lounge to shower after my post check out workout in the gym.

I also love that this hotel strives to be eco-friendly and runs on solar energy.

Best Cape Town Neighborhoods 

Cape Town has an array of beautiful neighborhoods to explore, which can also make it challenging to choose the perfect area to stay in.

Many of the good hotels and vacation rentals can be found along the coastline. Sea Point, Camps Bay, Clifton, the V&A Waterfront, Green Point are all great neighborhoods to stay in while visiting Cape Town.

Depending on your budget and preferred amenities, you’ll can find lots of hotel options in Cape Town. From boutique hotels to luxury chain resorts, one of the big draws of Cape Town is that is has excellent  accommodations.

Here are the best neighborhoods to stay at in Cape Town along with suggestions for luxury, mid-range and budget hotels in each area. 

Sea Point is centrally located, making it ideal for first-time visitors. This affluent suburb boasts stunning beaches with tidal pools and children’s playgrounds, making it perfect for families.

The Sea Point Promenade, a popular walking route that runs along the coastline, is a must-visit. Additionally, Sea Point offers a diverse selection of top-notch restaurants, lively bars, and charming shops. During the summer months (December to March), the area often hosts lively street festivals, adding to its vibrant character.

Pros & Cons Of Staying In Sea Point

  • More affordable than other areas
  • Centrally located
  • Urban 
  • Beaches aren’t swimming-friendly

Luxury Hotels In Sea Point

  • Modern 2 Bedroom Condo – You can’t beat this place’s location. It is stylish, spacious, and spotlessly clean. The check-in process was also easy, and the host was very communicative and helpful.
  • The Winchester Hotel by Newmark – Located in the Cape Town neighborhood of Sea Point, this hotel has various room types, including rooms with two twin or a king bed, separate seating areas, balconies and sea views.
  • The Clarendon, Fresnaye – This luxury boutique guesthouse is located in Sea Point and offers a variety of villas and room options. There are premium double or king rooms, two-bedroom villas, and a large villa that can sleep up to eight people.

Mid-Range Hotels In Sea Point

  • Pineapple House Boutique – This brightly decorated boutique hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and a free breakfast. Each room is decorated in a bright color and can sleep between one and four people, depending on the room configuration.
  • The Hyde All-Suite Hotel – Close to Milton Beach and Sea Point Pavillion, this hotel has a poolside bar, a free daily manager’s reception and a rooftop terrace. There is also a swimming pool and an on-site restaurant. Each of the rooms has a different configuration, but they all have kitchen areas and separate dining and seating areas.
  • Newkings Boutique Hotel – Located in Seapoint close to the boardwalk, this hotel has an on-site spa, a cooked-to-order breakfast and a shopping mall.

Budget Hotels In Sea Point

  • Mountainview Guest House – This upscale guesthouse is located near Greenmarket Square. The guest house has a mix of guestrooms with standard rooms, double rooms and single rooms.
  • Protea Hotel By Marriott – Located in Seapoint, close to the metro and the beach, this hotel is a great option for exploring the surrounding area and city. The hotel has 124 rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, a full breakfast, and two on-site restaurants.
  • Rosedene Lodge – This guesthouse is located near the Cape Town Stadium and features a swimming pool, free self-parking, a terrace and a garden.

Camps Bay is another ideal spot to stay during a trip to Cape Town. This area is peaceful and feels slightly removed from the city while having access to everything close by. 

Camps Bay attracts many visitors to its beach, which is famous for its beautiful white sand, natural rock swimming pool, and stunning views of the Twelve Apostles mountains. Alongside the beach, there’s a small promenade mall selling fashion and beachwear, as well as upscale seafood restaurants, charming cafes, and terraced cocktail bars with ocean views.

Pros & Cons Of Staying In Camps Bay

  • Beautiful beach
  • Feels like a getaway from the city
  • More expensive than other locations
  • Lots of tourists in high season

Luxury Hotels In Camps Bay

  • Pod Camps Bay – The hotel has 17 rooms with mountain and ocean views. It offers premium comforts such as bedding and heated floors and is located close to Camps Bay Beach and Clifton Bay Beach.
  • Camps Bay Retreat – Ideally situated overlooking Camps Bay, Camps Bay Retreat is an eclectic and charming four-star hotel that offers a mix of traditional ocean-view rooms and small jungle bungalows tucked away in the forest but still overlooking the sea. I stayed here during my first Cape Town visit, and loved the beautiful property and it’s convenient location. 
  • Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa – This family-friendly hotel in Oudekraal is close to Camps Bay Beach and Table Mountain. It has 70 rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, an on-site spa, and two on-site restaurants.
  • Sea Star Rocks – This upscale Art Deco guesthouse near Camps Bay Beach features guestrooms with balconies and incredible ocean views. The hotel offers a free breakfast buffet, an outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers, and an on-site spa.

Mid-Range Hotels In Camps Bay

  • Atlanticview Cape Town Boutique Hotel – This hotel has an 18-hole golf course, two outdoor swimming pools with a poolside bar and an on-site spa.
  • The Marly Boutique Hotel – Located just a three-minute walk from Camps Bay Beach, this hotel offers guest use of an outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers, free self-parking, an on-site spa with Thai massages and a rooftop terrace.

Budget Hotels In Camps Bay

  • The Bay Hotel – This beach spa retreat is within walking distance of Camps Bay Beach and a short drive from Clifton Bay Beach. The hotel has 78 rooms with different configurations, including a family room with a king bed and two twin beds, a sea view suite with a king bed, and other sea view rooms.
  • South Beach Camps Bay Boutique Hotel – This collection of elegant beach apartments has studio rooms, one-bedroom suites, ocean-view rooms, fully equipped kitchens, and a Penthouse with a private swimming pool.
  • Finchley Guest House – This guesthouse is located near Camps Bay Beach and has an outdoor swimming pool, a free English breakfast and an on-site spa with massage treatments.

Clifton is the most affluent area of Cape Town. This small, gorgeous neighborhood offers stunning white sand beaches and sweeping views of the 12 Apostles Mountain Range, coupled with the famous Lions Head Peak as its backdrop.

In Clifton, you’ll find mansions and luxury hotels perched at the base of Lion’s Head, overlooking Clifton Beach. The beach is divided into four parts: the first, second, third, and fourth. This is a great area to stay in if you want to enjoy amazing views, be close to hiking trails and beautiful beaches, and still be just a few minutes from the town.

Pros & Cons Of Staying In Clifton

  • Great beaches
  • Great hiking
  • Close to town
  • Lots of traffic in summer months

Luxury Hotels In Clifton

  • 21 Nettleton – This incredible boutique, luxury hotel is perched on a hillside at the top of Clifton, looking out over Clifton Bay Beach. This exclusive property offers six individually decorated rooms and suites with unparalleled views of the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range, Lion’s Head Peak and the sparkling coastline below.
  • Ellerman House – Located just a short drive from both Clifton Bay Beach and Camps Bay Beach, this upscale suburban hotel offers villa and room options that sleep between one and six people.

Mid-Range Hotels In Clifton

  • President Hotel – This upscale resort hotel offers guests an outdoor swimming pool, spa services and an ocean-view restaurant.
  • Grande Kloof Boutique Hotel – Complete with a swimming pool surrounded by sun loungers and a sauna and spa tub this hotel is a great base for a relaxing getaway with your girls or family.

Budget Hotels In Clifton

  • Primi Seacastle – This hotel’s guestrooms feature premium bedding. Some rooms also have ocean views and balconies, ideal for relaxing and watching the world go by.

Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and Green Point are located near the port and are adjacent to each other. This is a bustling commercial area, but it’s an excellent place to stay if you want easy access to many of the city’s amenities.

If you’re staying in this area, you can easily walk to the Cape Town Stadium, the Tow Oceans Aquarium, and the Cape Town Cruise Terminal . 

This area also has an array of great restaurants, bars, and hotels. This is also a great place to go shopping at the V&A Waterfront .

Pros & Cons Of Staying In Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

  • Great shopping
  • Lots of restaurants and attractions
  • Touristy and busy
  • Beaches aren’t swimmable

Luxury Hotels In Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

  • Silo Hotel – With 28 individually furnished rooms, this luxury resort situated on the V&A Waterfront has unique room options, including a royal suite that can sleep four with large windows, a penthouse one-bedroom apartment, and rooms with bay views.
  • One&Only Cape Town – Family-friendly, 5-star resort located on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
  • Dock House Boutique Hotel & Spa by Newmark – This hotel is located near the Two Oceans Aquarium and Cape Town Cruise Terminal. It is within walking distance of local landmarks and attractions.

Mid-Range Hotels In Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

  • Victoria and Alfred Hotel – Located near the cruise terminal, this waterfront hotel is just a short walk from the Two Oceans Aquarium and the Cape Town Stadium.
  • Radisson Red Hotel – This eco-certified hotel is close to the Cape Town Cruise Terminal and Cape Town Convention Center. It also has an outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers and a rooftop terrace.
  • The Table Bay Hotel – Indulge in a manicure or pedicure, a massage, or a body treatment at the onsite spa, or dine at one of the three on-site restaurants. The hotel features 329 rooms and an outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers.

Budget Hotels In Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

  • Ace Hotel – Located on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront with beautiful views of Lions Head.
  • The Commodore Hotel – This upscale, family-friendly hotel is within walking distance of local sights. It has a resort-style feel and 234 rooms. The hotel also has an outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers, an on-site restaurant, an on-site spa, and a poolside bar.
  • Queen Victoria Hotel & Manor House by Newmark – This luxury Victorian hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, free self-parking, a poolside bar, a restaurant called Dash and an on-site spa.

Llandudno is a stunning seaside suburb located just outside of Cape Town. Although it’s only a fifteen-minute drive from Llandudno to Sea Point, the atmosphere here feels like a serene escape. The community is close to beautiful beaches and great hiking trails, but it’s lacking in restaurants.

If you decide to stay in Llandudno, be prepared to drive to nearby Hout Bay or Camps Bay for shopping and dining options. You can also take an Uber, but keep in mind that it might take some time to find one.

Pros & Cons Of Staying In Llandudno

  • Residential and quiet
  • Less touristy than other areas
  • Affordable rentals
  • Beautiful beaches
  • No retail shops or restaurants
  • Not easy walkable – no sidewalk
  • Hard to get Ubers into town

Luxury Hotels In Llandudno

  • Tranquil Beach Sunset Retreat – A little studio that rents for around $100 a night in high season. The studio itself is not fancy, but it has sweeping ocean views.
  • Wonderland Cape Town – This hotel is ideal for rest and relaxation. Enjoy a massage, body scrub, or body wrap in the steam room. There are two outdoor swimming pools, a free local breakfast, and guestrooms with incredible views are also available.

Mid-Range Hotels In Llandudno

  • Umoya Boutique Hotel – All guestrooms at Umoya Boutique Hotel feature thoughtful touches, with rooms with 1,615 sqft that can sleep four people and offer a free breakfast.
  • CUBE Guest House – Located close to Bay Harbour Market, this hotel provides free continental breakfast, has an outdoor pool with a free cabana, and has large windows with incredible views.

Budget Hotels In Llandudno

  • The Salt House – Located close to Groot Constantia Winery and Chapmans Peak, this hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, free parking, a free English breakfast and spa services.
  • Victorskloof Lodge – This hotel is located close to Constantia Wine Route and Table Mountain. The lodge features a small number of guestrooms with several options, including a deluxe family sea view room sleeping four, a standard family room sleeping four with two twin beds and a king bed, and a deluxe double room sleeping three people.

Downtown Cape Town

The City Center is the vibrant business and commercial heart of Cape Town. It’s the perfect place to stay if you want to be in the midst of the action. The area boasts a mix of chain stores, surf shops, fashion boutiques, parks, gardens, and plenty of hotel and dining options, ranging from casual pizzerias to upscale bistros.

Cape Town locals know how to party, and the city center is the place to be for walkable access to the best bars and clubs, where you can dance until the sun comes up.

Pros & Cons Of Staying In Downtown Cape Town

  • Great central location
  • Lots of nightlife and dining options
  • Not as safe as other areas
  • More of a city feel than the beach

Luxury Hotels In Downtown Cape Town

  • Gorgeous George – This chic boutique hotel in the city center offers a small but popular rooftop pool and sunbathing deck. It is also a great spot for cocktails, brunch, or lunch!
  • Belmond Mount Nelson – Located just a two-minute walk from Kloof Street in downtown Cape Town, this highly-rated hotel offers guests a complimentary breakfast, two outdoor swimming pools, a poolside bar, and four on-site restaurants.
  • Cape Grace – This luxury hotel features 112 individually furnished rooms, including studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom suites that can accommodate between one and eight people.

Mid-Range Hotels In Downtown Cape Town

  • The Silo Hotel – This upscale spa hotel features a rooftop terrace, an on-site spa, an outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers and bike rentals.
  • The Old Foundry Hotel – This uniquely decorated hotel features individually furnished guestrooms with city views. It also offers free parking, a full breakfast, and a library.
  • Cape Heritage Hotel – This large city-center hotel features studios and two-bedroom suites that can sleep up to six guests. It also has a sauna and steam room, six on-site restaurants, a terrace, and a nightclub.
  • The Westin Cape Town – This hotel features an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, two on-site restaurants, a garden, and an on-site spa. It has 483 rooms, each with twin, king, or double sofa beds.

Budget Hotels In Downtown Cape Town

  • Protea Hotel Fire & Ice by Marriott Cape Town – This hotel has 201 rooms with king or twin beds and mountain views. It is located close to Bree Street and Cape Town Stadium and has a swimming pool with sun loungers, a rooftop terrace, and an on-site restaurant.
  • Taj Cape Town – This luxury spa hotel is less than a ten-minute walk from Kloof Street and is close to some of the city’s best attractions. It has 176 rooms, including one-bedroom, king, and two-bedroom suites.
  • The Rockefeller Hotel by Newmark – All 194 rooms boast comforts such as pillow menus, and some have separate living room areas, harbor views, and three bedrooms.

Hout Bay is a great area to visit for the day, but it’s a little out of the way. There are some great restaurants in the area. Dunes Beach Restaurant & Bar offers upscale Cape Cod vibes right on the sand with beautiful views, great drinks, and excellent food.

If you want to escape the city and have an amazing luxury experience. There are some great options just a few minutes from Hout Bay, and they offer a unique, hidden gem luxury experience.

Pros & Cons Of Staying In Hout Bay

  • Affordable dining options
  • Community feel
  • A bit of a drive from town

Luxury Hotels In Hout Bay

  • Tintswalo Atlantic – Located just a short drive from Hout Bay Beach and Chapmans Peak, this luxury hideaway is arguably the best oceanfront hotel in Cape Town. It offers a secluded getaway with a private beach, an outdoor swimming pool overlooking Hout Bay, and world-class service, dining, and spa offerings.
  • Nova Constantia Boutique Residence – Complete with a grocery shopping service, an outdoor swimming pool, a free manager’s reception and an outdoor tennis court, this hotel offers everything you need for a quiet stay in the area.
  • The Cellars-Hohenort – Located near the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, this hotel is a great base to explore the Groot Constantia Winery and Table Mountain. It has some great amenities, including two swimming pools, an on-site spa, and 51 individually furnished rooms.

Mid-Range Hotels In Hout Bay

  • Summit Place Guest House – Located near Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and Muizenberg Beach, this guest house offers self-parking and a seasonal outdoor swimming pool.
  • Ikhaya Safari Lodge – This luxury guesthouse has a mix of suites, self-catering suites, and double and twin rooms. It also has an outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers, free self-parking, and an outdoor tennis court.
  • Dongola House – This upscale suburban guesthouse has studios sleeping two with an outdoor patio area, a one-bedroom suite with multiple rooms and a large outdoor area and garden rooms.

Budget Hotels In Hout Bay

  • Devonport House – This is an upscale bed and breakfast, and they provide a free continental breakfast, an attached winery, and a terrace. The hotel also has bike rentals and an outdoor swimming pool.
  • Hout Bay Backpackers – Located within walking distance of Hout Bay Beach, this hostel offers free parking, shared and private rooms, a terrace, and sea views.

Cape Winelands

Just a short drive from Cape Town, Cape Winelands is a region filled with picturesque valleys, wineries and miles of open land offering incredible views. The area has five main municipalities making up the Cape Winelands: Drakenstein, Stellenbosch, Witzenberg, Breede Valley, and the Langeberg regions.

The Cape Winelands (as the name implies) is the perfect weekend getaway spot from Cape Town for excellent wine tasting. It is also great for a romantic weekend away, or and active weekend filled with adventure sports such as canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and mountain biking.

Pros & Cons Of Staying In Cape Winelands

  • Excellent wineries
  • Great affordable hotel options
  • Lots of fine dining establishments
  • You’ll need a car here
  • More expensive than in other areas

Luxury Hotels In The Cape Winelands 

  • La Cotte Farm – Centrally located in the picturesque town of Franschhoek, La Cotte Farm is an ideal place to stay when visiting the Cape Winelands. La Cotte Farm offers unpretentious old-world glamour and charm in an incredibly beautiful, peaceful setting.
  • The Dooolhof – Located in Wellington, award-winning Doolhof Wine Estate is a stunning 5-star boutique hotel offering including individually decorated rooms, a pool, spa, hiking and biking trails, e-bike rentals, wine tasting, and excellent fine dining options. 

Mid-Range Hotels In the Cape Winelands

  • Africamps – The Africamps luxury clamping camp is also located within the award-winning Doolhof Wine Estate. There are six boutique glamping tents set against a backdrop of a stunning mountain range, surrounded by nature. Paradise found. 
  • Le Quartier Francais – Located in Franschhoek, close to the Franschhoek Wine Tram and Town Hall. This luxury hotel offers a free breakfast, a poolside bar, and a terrace. It also has an outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers and free self-parking.
  • The Marine Hermanus – This hotel is located near the beach near Hermanus. It has an outdoor swimming pool, an on-site spa, two restaurants and free parking.
  • Franschhoek Country House and Villas – Located on the Main Road in Franschhoek, this hotel has mountain-view rooms that can sleep up to four people. It also has two outdoor swimming pools, an on-site restaurant and a spa.

Budget Hotels In The Cape Winelands

  • Oude Werf Hotel – This family-friendly Stellenbosch hotel has three room configurations, all varying in size and featuring twin or king beds. 
  • Asara Wine Estate & Hotel – Located just 15 minutes from the Spier Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, this hotel is a great place to stay to explore the area and sample plenty of wine. The hotel also has an attached winery, a vineyard, winery tours and a tasting room.
  • Clouds Estate – Located in Stellenbosch, the Cloud Estates hotel has an attached winery, a terrace, a garden, a vineyard and a tasting room. There are also two swimming pools and an onsite restaurant.

Top 10 Things To Do In Cape Town

With everything from historical sites, incredible hikes, a thriving nightlife scene and wonderful beaches, Cape Town has something for everyone. Here are 10 of the best things to do in Cape Town.

  • Take The Cable Car Up To Table Mountain
  • Do The Iconic Lion’s Head Hike
  • Visit The Cape Winelands
  • Enjoy A Scenic Helicopter Flight
  • Visit The Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden
  • Relax On A Beach Or Cold Plunge
  • Go On Safari
  • Visit The Bo Kaap Neighbourhood
  • Check out First Thursdays
  • Take a Cape Point Road Trip

How To Get To Cape Town

Cape Town International Airport (CPT) is the city’s sole airport and the second busiest in South Africa after Johannesburg. It offers direct international flights from various destinations such as London, Dubai, Amsterdam, Doha, Singapore, Newark, and Washington-Dulles.

CPT airport is just 12 miles from the city center, and it’s easy to get Uber rides into town.

The airport itself is relatively small, clean, and pleasant. However, there can be long check-in delays, so it is advisable to arrive early when returning home.

Best Time Of Year To Visit Cape Town

The best time to visit Cape Town is summertime (December – March).

While not as warm, shoulder seasons can also be nice in Cape Town. Early autumn (April- May) and late spring (October -November) are good times to visit as well.

During the winter months in South Africa (June – September), Cape Town can be rainy, cold and windy so it’s best to avoid these months if you’re a sun seeker.

But these off season months offer the cheapest rates, so if you are looking for an amazing deal on luxury accommodations, you might want to consider visiting Cape Town in the wintertime. 

Best Hotels In Cape Town Wrap-Up

We hope this where to stay in cape Town guide will help you discover some of the best hotels for your visit. If vacation rentals are more your speed, you can check out your Turnkey365 review which shares an excellent vacation rental company we have used in Cape Town.

If you’re interested in visiting other areas in this beautiful country, you can check out all our South Africa articles for inspiration or our 2024 Girls Getaway Destinations for other destination ideas.

You can also look through our extensive Where To Stay Directory that will help you find the best vacation rentals around the world!

We hope that this article has inspired you to visit Cape Town! If you have questions about Cape Town or tips to share with our readers please leave these in the comments below.

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Read More About South Africa

  • The Ultimate Guide To Cape Town, South Africa
  • Villa Rentals In Cape Town
  • South African Safari In The Karoo, Eastern Cape
  • 10 Awesome Things To Do In Cape Town, South Africa
  • Discovering Cape Town, South Africa
  • Meet a Quieter Side Of South Africa: The Garden Route

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I was hosted at several of the properties that are included in this article, but as always, all opinions expressed here are my own. This website is a free resource, but we may use affiliate links in our articles. Please see our Disclosures for more information.

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The Roxy on Sunset

7 Types of Tourists You’ll Encounter in Cape Town

travel colours cape town

There is something about summertime in Cape Town that is unlike any other destination on the globe. ‘The Mother City’ is dazzling all year round, but in summer you can’t help but feel like the world is singing to you when you’re in Cape Town -with indications everywhere that this is the most enchanting time of year. It is a combination of the fresh sea air that carries all the feels of exotic holiday experience, the 7000 plants of the Cape Floral Kingdom that bloom – and bring about an abundance of colours and sweet smells to every nook and cranny of the quaint city.  The natural and seductive array of sunsets and sunrises, with the warm summer sun on your winter-worn skin  – as well as the never-ending days; the bustling streets and of course the tourists – whose accents all add to the already vibey sounds of the full restaurants and bars that speckle the busy streets.

All iconic holiday spots offer a variety of different visitor throughout the year – but due to Cape Town’s diverse places, spaces and faces, she provides a particular, diverse array of tourists who all add to the already eclectic variety of urban wildlife Cape Town has to offer.

However, if you are a Capetonian who is familiar with the utopian city filled with art-house coffee shops, freelance creatives and trust fund kids, you can spot these visitors from miles away – and no it’s not because of their accents or their lack of first editions ‘ Old Skool’ Vans . – Or from their coffee order – which isn’t a flat white but rather a…gasp… regular cappuccino. But rather, these new faces look familiar because you’ve properly seen them before or someone just like them the summer before. Due to Cape Towns renowned travel status thanks to Conde Nasts Traveller  Magazine for being voted five consecutive years in a row as the best city to travel to, ensures Cape Town is constantly buzzing with tourists from all over the world. But, if you spend the majority of your summers at ‘ Up Yours ’ – Cape Town’s most infamous hot-spot, hanging out with the same eight people you’ve known since high school, then you might mistake what these ‘visitors’ look like.

Here to correct this wrongdoing, we have put together a comprehensive list of the seven tourists you’ll find roaming the streets of Cape Town this summer. Now there is no excuse for when you see them wandering around looking confused not to buy them a craft beer or educate them on the importance almond milk.

1.  The Backpacker

travel colours cape town

Image Sourced: Pinterest

“The backpacker” is a tourist stable and is seen in almost every country around the globe, at any given time of the year. Most likely to be  on their second gap year and undoubtedly on a tight budget. These social nomads can often be found flitting from Observatory to Woodstock to Kloof Street and back again. He/She loves a good ‘Bezza’ with the lads and overuses words like ‘bru’ and ‘oath’. Is often seen sporting a vest and playing a ‘woke’ instrument like the ukulele or the triangle – this tourist is hard to miss.

Likes: to ‘squeak takkie’ and is regularly seen at places with buy one get one free drink specials. This tourist adds a whole lot of ‘extra’ to every and any situation they find themselves in. Often persuading a whole table at ‘ Power & The Glory ’ to play drinking games. The Pro. of any and all group photos which he shares enthusiastically on his ever-growing Instagram fan base – where he uses captions like #BoysOnTour or #Youknowyoulikeit. You should follow him immediately or prepare to hear “give us a follow there” at least six times a sitting. He loves doing shots and is the most likely person in the group to get alcohol poisoning, but not a hangover.

Visiting Cape Town: for its ‘wicked surf’ and ‘gnarly weather’ as well as “the chicks bru, have you seen the chicks”.

2.  The Environmentalist

travel colours cape town

Here to save the world and give back – and naturally, Africa fits the bill… Definitely a vegan and a natural at appropriating traditional proteins. They dress like a local Capetonian would for their monthly trance party – every day. They’re super ‘chilled’, so chilled you’d think they just woke up from the world’s longest nap – existing only on water and Mary Jane. These tourists are super vibey and a hit with the Capetonian vegan community, as they possess superior knowledge on how to decrease your carbon footprint. These people bring a calm and centred presence to any group and are good at making you feel like you could be a better person, as they’re frequently throwing out names of the fantastic charities and organisations that they are here to support. Here to bring peace and harmony, they are a delight to be around and might even be our favourite tourist type. As they only carry positive vibes, enlightening insight and tons of generosity. Unsure about the concept of WIFI and without any social media pages you can follow – no, not even one – they can often be found rolling cigarettes or floating around the dance floor anywhere from Caprice  to Fiction . Oozing with a natural coolness that is impossible to imitate without feeling like a complete fraud.

3.  The ‘It’s Just Business Tourist’

travel colours cape town

As Cape Town is the number one city in Africa to do business, it’s no surprise that so many of its visitors are here to do ‘good business’. These tourists can often be seen sporting smart shoes and a collared shirt – which is popped – obviously. Best friends with his laptop and his cell phone which he is never seen without. Often labelled as somewhat unsociable as they are constantly fighting the desire to check their emails, download we-transfer links and read lengthy articles from magazines no one has heard of – or something easily as lofty. If you do manage to enter their circle of seriousness, brace yourself for lengthy concept pitches on their latest tech startup idea or an innovative App proposal. Will often be thrown impossibly hard questions to answer but never fear they are merely rhetorical and require very little response with the occasional nod or reassuring ‘hmm’ to suffice. “What do you do?” is a question that you will be asked and if the answer is deemed unsatisfactory, you will undoubtedly be judged. Frequently seen spending absurd amounts of money usually at places with a good internet connection or at events of the ‘rich and famous’ like Shimmy’s and the  Grand . And although we’re pretty unsure of everything this tourist associates himself with, we appreciate his contribution to our country’s economy. Viva La Moola.

4.  The Blogger

travel colours cape town

The millennial celebrity with a know-how of all things Fashion related. Often seen walking around narrating their days to the front-way-camera on the latest iPhone. Seen only at spots that are Instagram worthy, where they’re frequently interrupting activities such as eating to take a few snaps in which they rearrange tables, decor and their outfits in hopes to rack in all those ‘likes’ -“if you didn’t Instagram it where you even there?” Sporting a curation of outfits that make their way online with the unavoidable #OOTD hashtag. They embody more confidence than Kanye with an unmissable air of “I’m cooler than you”. They epitomise the saying “fake it till you make it” and are only visiting to add more content to the ‘travel’ tab of their blog – “see link in bio.” They spend their ‘vacay’ days working out, eating smoothie bowls and drinking iced coffees or lunching and lounging on the beach with other social media elites – maybe even hitting the newest hot spot – of which Cape Town has many… All the while looking flawless with eyebrows that are #onfleek. These visitors are easy to spot but impossible to befriend unless your social media status reflects the same authority – but it never hurts to try.

5.  The Von Trapps

travel colours cape town

As virtually everything in Cape Town is considered kid-friendly, it makes it ideal for a family vacation. These families are some of our favourite holidaymakers. Often seen sporting the infamous velcro strap shoes in all its sizes and carrying with them an aroma of sunscreen and insect repeller. Repeatedly spotted on the tops of the Red Bus  Tours or with their noses buried in the Lonely Planet’s Guide to South Africa. They are always in groups of more than three, and they’re always speaking loudly in a language that is foreign from the eleven that speckle the streets of South Africa. Visiting Cape Town to pet a cheetah and go on an epic safari adventure , maybe even see an Elephant or one of the Big Five IRL. These tourists are never without a camera hanging from their necks, and if they corner you into a conversation, they will spill all the details of their lavish holiday up until this very point – in what can only see as an attempt to practice their English. Less than excited about being so close to the equator on account of the heat and often seen wearing local designs and prints that not even an actual local would ever wear. They never tip and despite the relentless explanations given to them still, struggle to grasp the concept of a ‘car guard’ fully. They travel with a somewhat envious polished militant precision that keeps all party members toeing the line – avoiding lost people, ID’s passports or itineraries.

6.  The Newlyweds

travel colours cape town

As the ultimate honeymoon destination, Cape Town personifies all things that make being in love the greatest feeling in the world thus, making it the favourite spot for newlyweds to start their first adventure together as married people. These tourists are often seen holding hands and staring dreamily at each other from across tables at the Twelve Apostles  bar or bathing in the crystal waters of Beta Bay  – using each other like a buoy to avoid drowning. They ooze a kind of atmosphere that’s hard to ignore – even if you are happily married too – one that inflicts a sense of jealousy and adoration all at the same time. Often seen sporting matching nautical outfits and projecting identical mannerisms. These two are as cute as they are overbearing. They spend their time posing for cute selfies at all the ‘famous’ Instagram spots Cape Town has to offer using hashtags like #dateyourbestfriend and #couplegoals. They sip champagne and share moments under the beautiful setting sun. They make it feel like it’s Sunday every day taking leisurely strolls wherever they are – despite the actual day of the week. They lack the concept of time and seem immune to the pulsating energy of the city. We wish we were them and spend a fair amount of time after encountering them talking about the prospects of true love; as they are the symbolic reminder that there is hope for us yet.

7.  The Retired Senior Citizens

travel colours cape town

Visiting for the excellent range of discounts on offer for the ‘mature’ traveller as well as the food – which they get discounts for too. Often seen being chaperoned in large groups to restaurants where the music isn’t too loud, and bathrooms are close by – somewhere where wifi is not a prerequisite and where the option of the desert is non-negotiable. They spend most of their holiday sightseeing, holding up lines for iconic sites, things like Table Mountain, Cape Point, The Jewish Holocaust Museum, The Castle of Good Hope , Zeit MOCCA and anything playing at the Fugard . They can often be spotted sipping tea and the Mount Nelson and judging the outfit choices of pretty much everyone who isn’t part of their age group. Finding joy in the simpler things like feeding the squirrels of Company Gardens or watching the waddling of the Penguins of  Boulders Beach . Often seen wearing pastel colours and fanning themselves furiously with a tour pamphlet in hopes to generate a little cool air.

However, no matter how many times you cross paths with one of these dynamic individuals, remember that they are visitors in our home and should be treated with just as much respect, compassion and consideration as any other. They are here to add extra flavour to an already flavoursome melting pot of cultures, traditions and creativity. Embrace them and show them just how much we love our city and how lucky we are to call it home.

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Best time to visit Cape Town

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Ties Lagraauw

written by Ties Lagraauw

updated 03.06.2024

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For most travelers, the best time to visit Cape Town is between December and April, when it's warm and dry, which means you can mix outdoor activities like hiking Table Mountain with blissing out on beautiful beaches. That said, there are plenty of good reasons to visit the city around the year, as revealed in our guide to the best time to visit Cape Town.

Best time to visit Cape Town at a glance

When is the best time to visit cape town, december — march: best for beaches and buzz, spring and autumn: best for hiking and wine, june and july: best for budget breaks and culture, august—october: best for whale-watching.

  • Visit Cape Town from December to Apri l for optimal beach weather. Average temperatures of 18°C to 28°C (64°F to 82°F) are also ideal for outdoor activities like hiking Table Mountain.
  • April to May is shoulder season, offering smaller crowds and cooler, pleasant temperatures that average 20°C (68°F).
  • June to August is low season with cooler, wet weather averaging 18°C (64°F), and prices that'll please budget travelers.

Want more detail and context on weather? Read up on the best time to visit South Africa .

Fish Hoek Beach at False Bay, Cape Town © Shutterstock

Fish Hoek Beach at False Bay, Cape Town © Shutterstock

For beach bums and anyone keen on enjoying the city's great outdoor life, the best time to visit Cape Town is December through to April. 

This season provides just the right amount of warmth and sunny days with temperatures at around 23°C (73°F) — ideal for sunbathing at Clifton's or Llandudno beaches, or hiking Table Mountain.

For the most part, the April-May shoulder season heralds cooler temperatures that average 20°C (68°F) through the daylight hours. It's a great time to explore the Winelands, and enjoy easy strolls in Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden just as the landscape bursts into autumnal colors.

Meanwhile, June to August marks the low season, with cooler, wetter weather, and temperatures averaging 18°C (64°F). Being wet, it's a good time to visit if you want to explore indoor cultural attractions such as Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art. 

It's also a good time to visit if you're travelling on a budget, or into photography — the surrounding countryside is lush and green at this time of year. 

Keen to visit Cape Town? customisable  Cape Town itineraries , or talk to our  local experts .

Bench at Llandudno beach, Cape Town South Africa © Shutterstock

Bench at Llandudno beach, Cape Town South Africa © Shutterstock

Warm and dry, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 27°C (59°F to 81°F), December to March is summer in Cape Town.

Given the gloriously warm weather and low rainfall, this is the best time to visit Cape Town to make the most of the beaches, including Clifton and Camps Bay.

It’s also perfect for visiting the vibrant V&A Waterfront, and enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking Table Mountain or picnicking in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

Note that this is also peak tourist season, which means it’s the most expensive time to visit Cape Town, with high demand for accommodation. You can also expect top attractions to be crowded.

Love to travel in sumptuous style? See our luxury guided tour of Cape Town and the Garden Route .

View over Camps Bay South Africa © Marisa Estivill/Shutterstock

Want a beach break? The best time to visit Cape Town is from December to March © Marisa Estivill/Shutterstock

Cape Town’s autumn (March- May) and spring (September-November) shoulder seasons are the best time to visit Cape Town to enjoy the great outdoors, and soak up local wineries.

With low rainfall, and warm weather that’s much more comfortable than during the peak of summer, there’s no better time to get active around Cape Town.

For example, you could hike to Table Mountain’s Platteklip Gorge — a moderate-to-challenging route that takes 2-23 hours to ascend. 

The most direct route to the top of Table Mountain, this is steep and strenuous but very rewarding, courtesy of it offering panoramic views of the city and the Atlantic Seaboard.

Or how about exploring Silvermine Nature Reserve? With tonnes of trails to choose from according to your fitness level, this is part of Table Mountain National Park.

Into active trips? Check out our cycling trip that kicks off in Cape Town.

Table mountain cable way, Cape Town, South Africa @ Shutterstock

Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa @ Shutterstock

With fewer crowds than December to February, the spring and autumn shoulder seasons are also top times to explore the Cape Winelands, with vineyards and wineries offering wine-tasting experiences.

Stellenbosch is a great place to start. One of the oldest and most prestigious wine regions in South Africa, it boasts 170+ wine estates that produce everything from rich reds to crisp whites.

Then there’s Franschhoek. Known as the food and wine capital of South Africa, this picturesque town offers opportunities to sample wine from over 50 vineyards, while also enjoying fine food in award-winning restaurants.

Can’t decide how to focus your trip? Our customisable Complete Cape Town itinerary includes wine, whales and other wildlife.

township-cape-flats-stellenbosch-cape-town-south-africa-shutterstock_605302334

Sttellenbosch © Shutterstock

June and July are winter months in Cape Town, which means it’s cool and pretty rainy, with temperatures ranging from 7°C to 20°C (45°F to 68°F).

Given the likelihood of rain — though note it usually comes in short, intense showers that are quick to clear —these months are a great time for culture vultures to explore museums and galleries.

You won’t want to miss the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), District Six Museum, or the South African Jewish Museum. 

This being low season, you can also expect to have more space in such attractions, and you’ll be able to bag yourself a bargain on flights and accommodation. 

June and July are also good months to enjoy Cape Town’s food scene, or to head to the Winelands for cosy tasting sessions 

These months are also the start of whale-watching season, though August, September and October see the biggest numbers of whales, as detailed below.

Before you head to South Africa , also be sure to read our guide on whether South Africa is safe , which contains everything you need to know about travel safety.

Humpback whale breaching, Hervey Bay, Queensland © Shutterstock

Humpback whale breaching © Shutterstock

While whale-watching season runs from July to November, the highest number of sightings around these parts tend to happen in late-August through to October.

At this time, whales are more active near the surface, making sightings more frequent and dramatic.

Southern right whales are the most commonly sighted species, and come very close to the shore. 

At this time of year humpback whales —   known for their spectacular breaching — are frequently seen as they migrate through the region to their breeding grounds further north.

As for where to see them, Hermanus is renowned as one of the best whale-watching locations in the world. 

About a 90-minute drive from Cape Town, September sees the town hosts the annual Hermanus Whale Festival to celebrate the return of the whales. 

Your best bet is to book a guided boat trip from Hermanus. Prefer to stay on land? Head to the coastal paths and cliffs around Hermanus and Walker Bay.

Travelling as a family? See our self-drive family trip , and read up on visiting South Africa with kids .

Aerial view of coastline of Cape Town with Signal Hill and Table Mountain in background, South Afric

Aerial view of Cape Town's coastline © Shutterstock  

Whenever you decide is the best time to visit Cape Town, get yourself  The Rough Guide to Cape Town, Winelands and the Garden Route  and read  our tips for visiting South Africa  to help you plan your trip.

Not keen on planning? Browse our customisable  Cape Town itineraries , or talk to our  local experts .

Visit South Africa in other months

  • Best time to visit South Africa
  • Weather in South Africa in April
  • weather in South Africa in March
  • Weather in South Africa in May
  • Weather in South Africa in June
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Ties is a true world explorer - whether it be for work or leisure! As Content Manager at RoughGuides, and the owner of Dutch travel platform Reis-Expert.nl , Ties is constantly on the move, always looking for new destinations to discover.

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travel colours cape town

30+ Best Things to Do in Cape Town, South Africa (2024)

W elcome to your go-to guide to Cape Town, a city that promises diverse and unforgettable experiences for every traveler. Whether you’re planning to explore the majestic Table Mountain or indulge in the renowned Cape Winelands, this guide has got you covered, complete with travel tips and accommodation advice. There is no shortage of fun things to do as you see the Cape. 

Situated in South Africa’s Western Cape, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the coast, Cape Town is a unique blend of cultures and cuisines, offering a vibrant scene that attracts culinary enthusiasts worldwide.

It’s not just a haven for food lovers with some of the best restaurants; its picturesque landscapes make it a paradise for adventurers and a budding hotspot for digital nomads, thanks to its thriving café culture and co-working spaces.

Cape Town is an incredible city and has been a dream destination for so many. Now, we invite you to explore the top 30 experiences that make Cape Town a city that enchants every visitor.

So, let’s dive in and uncover the magic that makes Cape Town a must-visit, continually captivating the hearts of travelers worldwide.​​

Need a perfect 5-day Cape Town Itinerary? Check out my post here!

Top Attractions in Cape Town

Cape Town is a blend of stunning landscapes and vibrant cultural attractions. Situated between the magnificent Table Mountain and the azure Atlantic Ocean, it offers a harmonious blend of natural splendor and urban charm.

Essential stops include the Table Mountain National Park, where a cable car ride unveils panoramic views, and the bustling V&A Waterfront, a shopping, dining, and entertainment hub.

The historic Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, is a significant marker of South Africa’s history. At the foot of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens provides a serene retreat amidst lush greenery. For beach enthusiasts, Clifton and Camps Bay offer pristine sands and a vibrant beach culture.

Cape Town Travel Guide

Embarking on a Cape Town adventure necessitates thoughtful planning to enjoy its diverse experiences fully. From the vibrant streets of Bo-Kaap to bustling markets showcasing local crafts and cuisines, there’s something for everyone.

Depending on the season, the city offers varied attractions; summer is ideal for beach outings and vibrant nightlife, while winter presents opportunities for whale watching and exploring the Winelands.

Transportation options, including Ubers, rental cars, and public buses, facilitate easy exploration of the city’s gems. Accommodation varies, from luxurious resorts to budget-friendly hostels catering to diverse travelers.

Popular Cities in Cape Town

Surrounding Cape Town are smaller cities and suburbs, each offering unique attractions. 

Stellenbosch, in the heart of the Cape Winelands, is a paradise for wine lovers, boasting numerous vineyards and wine-tasting tours.

Simon’s Town, home to the South African Navy, combines beautiful landscapes with historic attractions, including the renowned Boulders Beach, inhabited by African Penguins. Nearby, Hermanus offers prime whale-watching between June and November.

Muizenberg, known for its colorful beach huts and surf spots, exudes a relaxed beach atmosphere. These neighboring cities enrich the Cape Town experience, offering a blend of cultural and natural adventures, making day trips a worthwhile addition to your itinerary.

Things to Do in Cape Town

1. summit table mountain.

Embarking on the journey to summit Table Mountain is akin to stepping into a living postcard. Dominating Cape Town’s skyline, this iconic landmark offers a thrilling adventure that promises breathtaking panoramic views at every turn of your ascent.

Whether you hike up its challenging trails or opt for the convenient cable car ride, reaching the top of Table Mountain is a rewarding experience.

As the sun sets, the mountain transforms into the perfect spot to gaze upon the vast ocean and the enchanting realms of the Western Cape. To enhance your experience, consider booking a private guide for a tailored adventure.

Pro Tip: Remember to pre-book your tickets to avoid the queues, especially during the high season from late November to February.

2. Hiking Table Mountain

For the spirited and resolute, hiking Table Mountain offers an exhilarating challenge that promises unparalleled rewards.

This adventure is not for the faint-hearted; it demands a moderate to advanced level of hiking proficiency, with over 4 hours to reach the summit and return.

Platteklip Gorge stands out among the popular routes, offering a 1.5 to 3-hour hike amidst breathtaking scenery. Other favored trails include the Skeleton Gorge and Nursery Ravine, guiding you through a 5-mile trek with a significant elevation gain of 2,100 ft.

Remember, safety comes first: never hike alone, and carry ample water to stay hydrated throughout your adventure.

3. Make Your Way Around the V&A Waterfront

Step into the vibrant world of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, affectionately known as the V&A, a picturesque seaside neighborhood that embodies the spirit of Cape Town.

Here, every moment celebrates life, offering a delightful array of experiences that cater to every taste and preference. From indulging in gourmet cuisine to exploring quaint shops and engaging in lively social interactions, the V&A promises a well-spent day.

Take advantage of a spin on the iconic Cape Wheel, a giant Ferris wheel that offers stunning city views. Also, visit the Watershed, where local artisans showcase exquisite crafts and creations.

4. Explore the Colorful Bo-Kaap Neighborhood & Museum

Step into the vibrant heart of Cape Town as you explore the colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood and museum. Wander through hilly streets adorned with houses that boast a riot of bright colors, a delightful sight that promises to uplift your spirits.

Despite its small size, this neighborhood is significant in history, being the birthplace of the Afrikaans language and a fascinating cultural crossroads.

As you stroll, feel the rich tapestry of cultures that have intertwined here over centuries, making it a living historical landmark. Don’t miss the museum, where you can delve deeper into the captivating stories that shaped this unique area.

5. Take in Chapman’s Peak Drive

Prepare yourself for a drive that promises a journey and an experience that’s etched in your memory forever.

Chapman’s Peak Drive, affectionately known as “Chappies,” offers a panoramic paradise with winding roads between the rocky coastline and cliffs.

As you navigate through the curves, each turn unveils a more breathtaking view than the last, making it a photographer’s dream. Remember to pull over at the viewpoints to soak in the majestic vistas of the Atlantic Ocean.

This drive promises a golden, unforgettable spectacle, whether at sunrise or sunset.

6. Stroll The Oceanside Sea Point Promenade

Begin your stroll at the vibrant Sea Point public pool, a popular starting point for locals and tourists alike. From here, make your way down to the picturesque coast, where the rhythmic sound of waves creates a soothing backdrop for your walk.

The promenade is a hive of activity frequented by joggers, bikers, and dog walkers, all soaking in the refreshing sea breeze.

If you’re in the mood for a bit of speed, you can rent bicycles or electric scooters available at various points, adding a dash of velocity to your coastal exploration. It’s the perfect way to immerse yourself in the vibrant local life while enjoying stunning ocean views.

7. Visit The Penguins at Boulders Beach

Embark on a delightful journey to Boulders Beach, near the quaint Simon’s Town. This pristine haven, part of the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area, promises an enchanting encounter with the adorable African Penguins.

Always immaculately maintained, the beach offers a perfect backdrop to watch these charming creatures frolic in their natural habitat.

Visitors can enjoy an unobstructed view from the designated viewing point at Boulders Beach, accessible via three wheelchair-friendly boardwalks.

Pro Tip: While seeing these cute birds might be tempting, remember to maintain a safe distance to avoid their surprisingly sharp beaks.

8. Hike Lion’s Head For The Sunrise

Kickstart your day with an exhilarating hike up Lion’s Head to catch the sunrise, painting the sky with hues of gold and pink.

Sitting 670 meters above sea level, this popular trail is a favorite among families and couples, offering a moderate challenge and a chance to bond over the breathtaking landscape.

As you ascend, you’ll be greeted with unparalleled views of iconic beaches like Camps Bay and Sea Point, nestled below in all their morning glory.

Lion’s Head, a majestic peak standing proudly beside Table Mountain, offers a 360-degree panoramic spectacle that’s simply unforgettable.  

9. Hit Up a Few Markets

Cape Town is home to various farmers’ markets, each offering a unique blend of fresh produce, artisanal products, and vibrant culture. Here are some top-notch options you shouldn’t miss:

  • Oranjezicht City Farm Market: Nestled beside the V&A Waterfront, this market is a haven for organic produce lovers. It operates every Saturday, offering a delightful range of fresh vegetables, fruits, and homemade goods.
  • Neighbourgoods Market: Situated in the Old Biscuit Mill, this market is a hotspot for food enthusiasts every Saturday. From gourmet dishes to craft beers, it’s a place where culinary dreams come true.
  • Earth Fair Market: With locations in Tokai (Wednesday and Saturday) and St Georges Mall (Thursday), this market is known for its wide array of quality products, including organic foods, baked goods, and more.
  • The Blue Bird Garage Food and Goods Market: Located in Muizenberg, this Friday market is a great place to unwind with food stalls, craft beers, and live music.
  • Cape Point Vineyards Community Market: If you find yourself in Noordhoek on a Thursday, this market offers a picturesque setting to enjoy a variety of gourmet food stalls complemented by the vineyard’s exquisite wines.

Each market has its unique vibe, offering a delightful glimpse into Cape Town’s vibrant community and food scene. Make sure to check them out for a taste of the local culture!

10. Head To The Beach

Cape Town, affectionately known as the Mother City, is a haven of picturesque beaches that beckon locals and tourists alike to immerse themselves in the city’s coastal charm.

Each beach, unique in its own right, offers a distinct experience, ranging from vibrant beachfront promenades to tranquil sunset spots.

Whether you’re seeking the bustling atmosphere of popular spots or the serene embrace of secluded bays, Cape Town’s beaches promise unforgettable moments. Let’s take a virtual tour to explore the pristine sands and azure waters that await you.

Camps Bay Beach

  • Vibe: Vibrant and bustling, a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
  • Features: White sandy beaches with palm trees, backed by the majestic Twelve Apostles mountain range.
  • Amenities: Many trendy cafes, restaurants, and bars along the beachfront promenade.
  • Activities: Sunbathing, volleyball, and picnicking.
  • Tip: Arrive early to secure a good spot, especially during summer.

Llandudno Beach

  • Vibe: Tranquil and secluded, offering a more peaceful beach experience.
  • Features: Nestled between granite boulders and surrounded by lush greenery, it’s a picturesque, relaxing setting.
  • Amenities: Limited amenities, so bring along snacks and drinks.
  • Activities: Surfing, sunbathing, and romantic sunset walks.
  • Tip: The parking area is relatively small, so try to visit during off-peak hours.

Sunset Rock

  • Vibe: Quiet and serene, a hidden gem for sunset enthusiasts.
  • Features: Elevated rocky outcrops offering stunning views of the sun setting over the ocean.
  • Amenities: None; it’s all about the natural beauty here.
  • Activities: Photography, sunset viewing, and contemplative solitude.
  • Tip: Bring a blanket and snacks to enjoy a peaceful sunset picnic.

Kloof’s Corner

  • Vibe: Adventurous, a popular spot among hikers and nature enthusiasts.
  • Features: A hiking trail that leads to a viewpoint offering breathtaking panoramic views of the coastline.
  • Amenities: None. Be sure to bring water and snacks for the hike.
  • Activities: Hiking, photography, and bird-watching.
  • Tip: Start your hike early in the morning to avoid the afternoon heat.

Signal Hill

  • Vibe: Relaxed and family-friendly, a popular spot for picnics and strolls.
  • Features: Offers panoramic views of the city and the ocean, with well-maintained picnic spots.
  • Amenities: Parking is available, with several benches and picnic spots.
  • Activities: Picnicking, kite flying, and enjoying the view.
  • Tip: It’s a popular spot for watching the Noon Gun, a historic time signal in Cape Town.

11. Taste Wines in Constantia

Imagine yourself wandering through the lush vineyards of Constantia, the birthplace of South Africa’s wine industry, with the majestic mountains embracing you in the backdrop.

Your companion on this journey? A glass of exquisite wine embodies centuries of viticulture heritage, adding a touch of elegance to your expedition.

This isn’t a mere day out but a voyage through time, witnessing the rich tapestry of wine-making traditions that have graced this region since the 1600s.

I highly recommend indulging in the legendary Vin de Constance, a golden nectar that narrates tales of royalty and grandeur with each sip. It’s not just a wine tasting but a rendezvous with history, promising an experience that’s nothing short of unforgettable.

12. Drive Along the Cape Peninsula

Set out on a picturesque adventure as you navigate the breathtaking landscapes of the Cape Peninsula. Renting a car is your ticket to freedom, allowing you to discover the region’s natural splendors at your own pace.

The journey promises encounters with craggy mountains, mesmerizing turquoise waters, and untouched white sand beaches. Don’t miss the vibrant atmosphere of Kalk Bay, the tranquil shores of Fish Hoek, and the historic charm of Simon’s Town. The Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point are both must-see destinations. These iconic landmarks offer breathtaking views, from the rugged cliffs and pristine beaches to the diverse wildlife and fascinating shipwreck stories.

Each stop offers a unique slice of the peninsula’s beauty, making for a day of unforgettable exploration and scenic wonders.

13. Paragliding From Lion’s Head or Signal Hill

For adrenaline junkies seeking the thrill of a lifetime, paragliding from Lion’s Head or Signal Hill is an unmissable experience in Cape Town.

Imagine soaring like a bird, with the majestic Table Mountain as your backdrop and the expansive blue sea stretching as far as the eye can see.

Whether you’re launching from the rugged peaks of Lion’s Head or the gentle slopes of Signal Hill, the rush of wind and the weightlessness will leave you exhilarated.

Guided by experienced instructors, this adventure promises safety alongside heart-pounding excitement, making for an unforgettable sky-high journey over the city’s iconic landscapes.

14. Go on a Safari Game Drive

Embark on the adventure of a lifetime with a safari drive in the heart of South Africa’s mesmerizing landscapes.

Just a short 2-hour trip from Cape Town is Karoo, a semi-arid geographic region that hosts great game drives for those seeking a quick day trip or overnight stay. 

Check out Aquila Safari, one of the better-known lodges that offer half- and full-day game drives. For those staying overnight, you can choose between their lodges or cottages. You are provided three meals at their restaurant, inclusive of your stay. They have a spa if you’d like a relaxing massage after a long day under the hot sun. 

Take the chance to witness the majestic Big Five in their natural habitat, a truly unforgettable experience that brings you face-to-face with the wild heart of South Africa.

15. Join a Free Walking Tour

Discover the rich tapestry of Cape Town’s history and culture by joining a free walking tour. With flexible starting times at 11:00, 14:00, and 16:20, you can choose a tour that fits your schedule.

Each time slot offers two distinct tours departing separately, allowing you to pick the one that piques your interest. Opt for the “Historic City Tour” to delve into the city’s storied past or the “Apartheid to Freedom Tour” to understand the journey towards liberation.

Alternatively, explore the vibrant Bo-Kaap neighborhood with its dedicated tour. Book your adventure at Free Walking Tours Cape Town and embark on a 1.5-hour journey of discovery.

Pro Tip: I recommend tipping them R200-400 to show your appreciation for their effort.

16. Go Surfing/Kitesurfing

Dive into the vibrant surf culture of Cape Town by riding the waves at renowned beaches such as Llandudno, Big Bay, and the legendary Dungeons.

(Museum of Contemporary Art Africa)

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a newbie eager to learn, the city’s coastline offers a variety of waves to suit every skill level. For those keen on kitesurfing, the strong winds provide the perfect conditions for an exhilarating session.

To make the most of your surfing or kitesurfing adventure, consider booking with reputable companies like Surf Emporium or High Five Kitesurf School , which offer lessons and equipment rentals to ensure a safe and thrilling experience on the water.

17. Do a Whale-Watching Tour

Prepare yourself for a mesmerizing encounter with the ocean’s gentle giants on a whale-watching tour. The coastal waters of South Africa are a playground for these majestic creatures, offering you the chance to witness their grace and might up close.

From July to November, the coastline comes alive with breaching whales, a spectacle that is nothing short of magical.

I highly recommend booking your tour with “Southern Right Charters,” known for their responsible tourism practices and exceptional onboard amenities. Their experienced guides will provide insightful commentary, enhancing your whale-watching experience.

Remember to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking moments when these magnificent beings breach the water’s surface, offering a display of nature’s grandeur that you’ll cherish forever. Check out their offerings and book your tour on their website .

18. Snorkel With Seals

Dive into a world of aquatic wonder at a petite island in the picturesque Hout Bay, where you can snorkel with a vibrant colony of cape fur seals. These playful and furry locals are ready to share their underwater paradise with you.

For 2.5 hours, priced at $54.39 USD, you can immerse yourself in the clear waters, observing and interacting with the seals responsibly and ethically.

It’s more than just a snorkeling experience; it’s a chance to connect with Cape Town’s charming marine life in their natural habitat. Head over to book with Snorkel With Seals, and let these delightful creatures welcome you with their infectious enthusiasm!

19. Kayak With Dolphins in Table Bay

Picture yourself smoothly gliding across the tranquil waters of Table Bay, the majestic Table Mountain forming a breathtaking backdrop. Your companions on this journey? A pod of playful dolphins adds a sprinkle of magic to your kayaking adventure.

This isn’t a figment of imagination but a tangible, exhilarating experience awaiting you in Cape Town. I highly recommend using Kaskazi Kayaks for this adventure, a company renowned for offering tours where you can witness these graceful creatures in their natural habitat.

It’s not just a tour but a testimony to the harmonious coexistence between humans and the vibrant marine life that adorns our oceans, promising an unforgettable experience.

20. Explore Cape Winelands

Embarking on a journey through the Cape Winelands is a must for any wine enthusiast visiting South Africa. The region, comprising Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, is renowned for its exceptional grapes and unique weather patterns. It is one of the premier wine destinations globally.

Visitors are welcomed with open arms, treated to generous pours and affordable tastings that showcase the rich variety of wines, including the distinctive Pinotage, a South African exclusive.

Among the notable vineyards are Tokara Wine Estate , known for its splendid views, and the picturesque Babylonstoren in Paarl. For a hassle-free experience, consider joining an organized tour, which often includes convenient transportation from Cape Town.

Pro Tip: You can also take part in the cycling tour through Cape Town Winelands, which is a great way to enjoy the views while getting some exercise.

21. Franschhoek Wine Tram

Embark on a delightful journey with the Franschhoek Wine Tram, your gateway to the enchanting world of the Cape Winelands. This hop-on, hop-off experience invites you to discover the region’s renowned vineyards at your own pace.

Spend your day indulging in the exquisite flavors of local wines, strolling through picturesque vineyards, and delving deep into the secrets of wine-making with captivating cellar tours.

Complement your wine-tasting adventure with world-class cuisine that promises to tantalize your taste buds.

Getting there is a breeze; opt for a convenient Uber, rent a car, or book a tour with round-trip transportation, making your wine escapade seamless and enjoyable.

22. Take a Scenic Helicopter Flight

Elevate your Cape Town adventure by indulging in a scenic helicopter flight. Numerous companies offer this exhilarating experience, allowing you to capture stunning photographs from a vantage point like no other.

Imagine soaring high above the city, with breathtaking aerial views of the iconic Table Mountain and the majestic Cape of Good Hope unfolding before you.

For a reliable and exceptional experience, we recommend booking your aerial adventure with Cape Town Helicopters . Their seasoned pilots and well-maintained fleet promise a safe and unforgettable journey through the skies of this beautiful city.

23. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Nestled at the foot of the iconic Table Mountain, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens offer a tranquil escape into nature’s embrace.

Here, you can immerse yourself in a world adorned with a rich tapestry of African plant life, where walking paths invite you to explore breathtaking landscapes and exotic flora.

It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely afternoon where you can lose yourself in the captivating beauty of the great outdoors. If you find yourself in Cape Town during the summer months (November – March), seize the opportunity to attend a Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert.

Experience live music in a magical setting where nature’s beauty forms the perfect backdrop. Learn more about these enchanting concerts here , especially with the BYOB policy.

24. Take The Ferry to Robben Island

Step back in time as you take a ferry to Robben Island, a place echoing the stories of the arduous battle against apartheid. Your journey begins at the vibrant V&A Waterfront, where you’ll board a ferry to this historic island.

Upon arrival, air-conditioned tour buses await to transport you through the poignant chapters of South Africa’s history.

Guided by former inmates, you’ll gain a deep understanding of the struggles endured here, enriched by comprehensive historical insights provided by an English-speaking guide.

The highlight of your visit is the museum, once a prison, where Nelson Mandela spent many defining years of his life.

25. Go for a Sunset Cruise

A catamaran sunset cruise in Cape Town is a delightful experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. As the sun starts to dip below the horizon, there is nothing like the beauty of watching it slowly disappear beneath the ocean’s surface. The view of the surrounding mountains and beaches from the water is breathtaking, and on a clear evening, you are likely to have an unobstructed view of Table Mountain. 

During your cruise, the crew will provide drinks and snacks while you relax and soak up the sights. The boat’s gentle swaying motion and calm atmosphere make it an ideal spot for conversation or relaxation. As the sun sets, savor some of Cape Town’s renowned cuisine while music plays in the background – this will surely add more magic to your evening! 

The best part about a catamaran sunset cruise in Cape Town is that everyone can enjoy it. Whether you are looking for something romantic or want to get away from daily life for a few hours, everyone can find something special about this experience. With its stunning views and tranquil atmosphere, a catamaran sunset cruise in Cape Town promises to be an unforgettable experience!

26. Go Shark Cage Diving

Dive into the adventure of a lifetime in Gansbaai, the undisputed shark diving capital of the world. This exhilarating experience doesn’t require any scuba diving certification or special qualifications.

All you need is the courage to hold your breath and step into the cage, coming face-to-face with the majestic Great White Sharks that rule these waters.

But don’t worry, if diving isn’t your thing, the surface viewing offers a spectacle just as breathtaking, allowing you to witness the grandeur of these creatures from the boat’s safety.

Gansbaai Shark Diving Trips are available every day, weather permitting. To secure your spot on this unforgettable adventure, I recommend visiting sharkdiving.co to book your adventure.

27. Try Amazing Restaurants

Embark on a gastronomic adventure in Cape Town by visiting these remarkable restaurants, each offering a unique dining experience:

Chef’s Warehouse :

Dive into a culinary wonderland at Chef’s Warehouse, where every dish is a masterpiece. Renowned for tapas-style dining, the restaurant offers a daily changing menu showcasing the freshest local ingredients.

The open kitchen allows you to witness the artistry that goes into crafting each dish, making your dining experience interactive and memorable.

You can transport yourself to Greece without leaving Cape Town. Ouzeri is a Greek taverna in the city’s heart that serves traditional dishes with a modern twist.

The restaurant exudes an inviting atmosphere, accentuated by its al fresco dining and relaxing ambiance. Enjoy delicious small plates such as dolmades and spanakopita paired with refreshing craft cocktails. I recommend you try the Kouros Sour; it is divine.

Emazulwani:

Step into the vibrant world of African cuisine at Emazulwani. This hidden gem offers a diverse menu that celebrates the rich culinary traditions of the continent. From hearty stews to flavorful grills, each dish is a testament to the restaurant’s commitment to authenticity.

The vibrant atmosphere, adorned with African art and crafts, offers a warm and welcoming setting, making it a perfect place to immerse yourself in the local culture.

28. Visit Zeitz Contemporary Art Museum

Embark on a cultural journey at the Zeitz Contemporary Art Museum, Africa’s beacon of modern art. Nestled within a transformed grain silo, the museum is a masterpiece, boasting intricately designed windows and staircases that are artworks in their own right.

Dedicate a half-day to explore the rich tapestry of contemporary art that graces its halls, offering a feast for both eyes and soul.

While there, seize the opportunity to visit the luxurious Silo Hotel, perched atop the museum, where a night’s stay starts at a lavish $1,000, marrying art and opulence in a unique blend.

29. Cape Point Nature Reserve

Venture into the wilds of Cape Point Nature Reserve, a spectacular site where you can experience some of the most stunning landscapes in South Africa.

Here, you can explore the untouched beauty of nature as you walk among rolling hills and pristine beaches. With its diverse range of flora and fauna, from rare antelopes to dolphins, this is one of the most magical places in Cape Town.

The best way to capture its beauty is by taking a tour of the reserve, where you can explore the many trails and savor a picnic with views of breathtaking scenery. Don’t forget to visit the historic lighthouse at Cape Point for panoramic views of this wild wonderland.

30. Visit a Cape Dutch Manor House

As you step into the grandiose world of a Cape Dutch manor house, take a journey through time. This type of architecture is unique to Cape Town and is inspired by Dutch gables combined with local building techniques. The result is an exquisite product of centuries-old traditions.

The most fascinating way to explore this style is by taking a tour of Groot Constantia, one of the city’s most famous Cape Dutch estates. This historic site offers charming gardens and a well-preserved manor house, each offering a window into a world that has been carefully preserved for centuries.

Tours are available daily, providing you with an unforgettable experience. Remember to try the delicious wines while you’re there!

Tips for Visiting Cape Town Attractions

Embarking on a journey to Cape Town is a thrilling adventure, and to make your experience truly unforgettable, we’ve curated a list of essential tips for navigating the city’s most iconic attractions with ease and enjoyment.

Best Time To Visit Cape Town

Envision setting forth on a tranquil adventure to Cape Town, a city where each season unveils a new facet of its alluring beauty. Your perfect moment to visit? It intricately depends on your desires and the experiences you seek in this vibrant metropolis.

From our perspective, the prime time to immerse yourself in the wonders of Cape Town spans from December to April, the summer months in the southern hemisphere.

However, it might be wise to sidestep the peak periods of Christmas and New Year to truly enjoy the city’s essence without the hustle and bustle. January, a bustling and pricey month, could also be avoided to ensure a serene and budget-friendly experience.

February emerges as the golden period, where the summer vibrancy is still palpable, yet the city gradually transitions out of its peak season.

Following suit, March and April present themselves as excellent choices, offering splendid weather and a respite from the crowds, allowing you to explore Cape Town in its full glory but with tranquility.

How To Get To Cape Town

Navigating your way to the heart of Cape Town is a breeze, with several convenient options at your disposal. The Cape Town International Airport (CPT), situated approximately 20 km from the bustling city center, serves as your gateway to this vibrant city.

Depending on your exact destination within Cape Town, the journey from the airport might extend by 30 minutes, so plan accordingly. While various modes of transportation are available, many visitors find Uber the most economical and convenient choice.

Not only is it a popular service in the area, but it also offers affordability that is hard to beat – a trip from the picturesque Sea Point to the airport, for instance, generally costs around R237, roughly equivalent to $13 USD.

If you prefer steering the wheel yourself, renting a car for your stay is a fantastic option, allowing you the freedom to explore the city at your own pace.

How To Get Around Cape Town

Navigating through the picturesque landscapes and vibrant neighborhoods of Cape Town is a vital part of your adventure. Here, we explore the most convenient and popular modes of transportation that the city has to offer:

Uber/Rideshare Apps

In Cape Town, rideshare apps like Uber have become a popular choice for locals and tourists. These apps offer a safe, reliable, and affordable way to traverse the city without the hassle of finding parking spaces in busy areas.

Download the app on your smartphone, and you’ll have quick access to rides wherever you are in the city.

Get a Rental Car

Renting a car is a fantastic option for those who prefer more autonomy in their travels. It not only allows you the freedom to explore the city at your own pace but also makes it easier to visit the picturesque locales that are off the beaten path. This will give you access to more places to see in Cape Town in a shorter time. 

I recommend using Discover Cars to scout for the best deals. This platform compares prices from various rental car agencies in the area, generally helping you save substantially in the long run.

Public Bus System

Taking the public bus is an excellent choice if you want to immerse yourself in the local culture. Cape Town boasts a well-maintained and efficient bus system connecting all major city parts.

It’s not only a cost-effective way to get around but also gives you a chance to experience the city like a local, soaking in the vibrant atmosphere and perhaps discovering some hidden gems along the way.

Acquaint yourself with the different routes and schedules to maximize this transportation option.

Where To Stay in Cape Town

Embarking on a journey to the expansive city of Cape Town can initially seem overwhelming, especially when you’re unsure about the best locales to settle in. But fret not; I’m here to guide you through the prime neighborhoods that have enriched my visits to this vibrant city.

This locale often evokes a sense of affordability akin to a budget-friendly San Diego for visitors.

It stands out as a secure area in contrast to the bustling Central Business District (CBD), offering numerous dining options and a stunning seaside promenade that eliminates the need for a vehicle.

It has become my preferred destination for leisurely summer getaways lasting approximately three months.

Central Business District/Kloof:

Positioned east of Signal Hill, extending around the famous Kloof Street towards Lion’s Head, this region is a hub for modern eateries, bars, and lively nightlife.

Despite its vibrant atmosphere, be prepared for a denser urban setting, slightly removed from the coastal charm. It stands as the premier choice for those seeking an energetic nightlife.

Nestled between the hills and the sea, Camps Bay offers a luxurious retreat with a picturesque backdrop, albeit at a higher price range.

While it houses a few establishments, anticipate a longer commute, especially during peak hours, to reach the CBD for a wider variety of amenities. It’s the ultimate destination for those yearning for a tranquil seaside retreat away from the urban hustle.

Green Point:

Situated between Sea Point and the Waterfront, this residential enclave is renowned for its lush surroundings, featuring numerous public parks and the iconic Cape Town stadium. It is an excellent base for digital nomads or those seeking a homely atmosphere.

Dewaterkant/V&A Waterfront:

This area is a hotspot for tourists and is close to the vibrant activities at the V&A Waterfront. While there might be better choices for extended stays, particularly for digital nomads, it offers excellent walkability, making it a favorite for short-term vacationers.

I have meticulously selected the top 4 hotels in Cape Town, South Africa, each offering a unique blend of luxury, comfort, and picturesque views, promising an unforgettable stay.

  • The Silo Hotel: Situated atop the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, this luxury hotel offers rooms with a blend of industrial and elegant designs, providing breathtaking views of the V&A Waterfront, the city, and Table Mountain.
  • Cape Grace Hotel: Nestled on a private quay between the vibrant V&A Waterfront and the tranquil yacht marina, this hotel offers a blend of modern luxury and traditional Cape culture, making it a unique place to stay.
  • Ellerman House: Perched on the slopes of Lion’s Head, this boutique hotel offers an exclusive and serene retreat with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, complemented by a fine art gallery and a world-class wine cellar.
  • Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa: Located near Table Mountain National Park, this hotel offers a tranquil escape with stunning ocean views, luxurious rooms, and a range of spa treatments, making it an ideal choice for a relaxing getaway.

Ways To Tour Cape Town

  • City Sightseeing Bus: The hop-on-hop-off city sightseeing bus is convenient for exploring Cape Town’s major attractions. With various routes available, it covers landmarks like Table Mountain, Camps Bay, and the V&A Waterfront, offering informative audio commentary in multiple languages.
  • Guided Walking Tours: Discover the hidden gems of Cape Town through guided walking tours. These tours often cover historic districts like Bo-Kaap and the city center, offering insights into the city’s rich history and culture.
  • Cycling Tours: For the environmentally conscious traveler, cycling tours offer a great way to explore the city. Whether it’s cycling along the Sea Point Promenade or through the vineyards of Constantia, it’s a healthy and eco-friendly way to tour Cape Town.
  • Helicopter Tours: Experience Cape Town differently with a helicopter tour. These tours offer breathtaking aerial views of landmarks like Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles, and the stunning coastline.
  • Boat Tours: Embark on a boat tour to witness the marine life around Cape Town. From whale-watching tours in Hermanus to seal snorkeling adventures in Hout Bay, these tours offer a unique maritime experience.
  • Wine Tasting Tours: The Cape Winelands region’s lush vineyards and historic estates are a must-visit for wine enthusiasts. Many companies offer guided tours where you can indulge in wine tastings and learn about the wine-making process.
  • Adventure Tours: For adrenaline junkies, Cape Town offers a range of adventure tours, including shark cage diving in Gansbaai, paragliding from Lion’s Head, and abseiling down Table Mountain.
  • Cultural Tours: Engage with the local communities through cultural tours. These tours often include visits to townships to learn about the local culture and traditions and interact with the residents.
  • Self-Drive Tours: Rent a car and explore Cape Town at your own pace. The scenic drives like Chapman’s Peak Drive offer stunning ocean views and mountains, making for a memorable road trip.
  • Gastronomic Tours: Explore Cape Town’s culinary scene through gastronomic tours. These tours take you to various eateries, markets, and restaurants where you can savor local delicacies and learn about South African cuisine.

Remember to choose a tour that aligns with your interests and allows you to explore Cape Town in a way that resonates with you.

FAQS: BEST THINGS TO DO IN CAPE TOWN

What are the top 6 attractions in cape town.

The top 6 attractions in Cape Town are Table Mountain, Robben Island, V&A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape of Good Hope, and Boulders Beach, famous for its penguins.

What is Cape Town famously known for?

Cape Town is famously known for its stunning natural scenery, including Table Mountain and picturesque coastal landscapes. It’s also renowned for its rich cultural heritage and history, notably its role in the struggle against apartheid, as well as its vibrant food and wine scene.

How can I spend 3 days in Cape Town?

In three days in Cape Town, you can visit Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront on day one, explore Robben Island and the city on day two, and take a Cape Peninsula tour to see the Cape of Good Hope and Boulders Beach penguins on day three.

What to do in Cape Town for 6 days?

For a 6-day Cape Town itinerary, you can follow the 3-day plan mentioned above and additionally explore Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, visit the District Six Museum, take a wine tour in Stellenbosch or Franschhoek, and enjoy a day in Hout Bay and drive along Chapman’s Peak Drive.

How many days do you need in Cape Town?

At a minimum, you should plan to spend 3-4 days in Cape Town to see the main attractions. For a complete experience and to explore the surrounding areas, consider staying for 6-7 days.

What is the most beautiful place in Cape Town?

Many consider Table Mountain to be the most beautiful place in Cape Town, since it offers spectacular panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. Other contenders include the Cape Peninsula, with its dramatic coastal scenery, and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

What is the best month to go to Cape Town?

The best time to visit Cape Town is during the South African summer, which falls between November and March. December to February is particularly popular for its warm weather, but Cape Town’s mild climate makes it a year-round destination.

Why is Cape Town worth visiting?

Cape Town is worth visiting for its stunning natural beauty, diverse cultural experiences, historical significance, and world-class food and wine scene. It offers a unique blend of outdoor adventures, cultural exploration, and relaxation.

Do I need a car in Cape Town, South Africa?

While a car can be convenient for exploring the outskirts of Cape Town, it’s not strictly necessary within the city itself. Public transportation and taxis are readily available for getting around the urban areas.

Can you get around Cape Town without a car?

Yes, you can get around Cape Town without a car. The city has a well-developed public transportation system, including buses and minibus taxis. Ridesharing services like Uber are popular and convenient options too.

What is unique to Cape Town?

Cape Town’s uniqueness lies in its stunning natural landmarks, such as Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope, its rich history tied to the struggle against apartheid, its diverse cuisine influenced by various cultures, and its thriving wine industry.

Is Cape Town walkable?

Parts of Cape Town, especially the city center and waterfront areas, are walkable. However, to explore the broader metropolitan area and natural attractions, you may need a vehicle to reach certain places.

What is the best way to travel in Cape Town?

The best way to travel in Cape Town depends on your itinerary. Public transportation, taxis, and ridesharing services are suitable for urban exploration, while car rentals or guided tours are recommended for venturing further.

What is the coldest month in Cape Town?

The coldest month in Cape Town is typically July, which is during the South African winter.

How do people dress in Cape Town?

Cape Town’s dress code is generally casual and relaxed. Lightweight clothing is suitable for summer, while layers are necessary in cooler months. In more formal settings or upscale restaurants, business-casual attire is appropriate.

Is it expensive to visit Cape Town?

The cost of visiting Cape Town can vary widely depending on your choices. While some attractions and activities are affordable, others, like fine dining and wine tours, can be relatively expensive. Overall, Cape Town offers options for various budget ranges.

The post 30+ Best Things to Do in Cape Town, South Africa (2024) appeared first on Malcolm Travels .

Here is a comprehensive guide to the best places to see and the best things to do while visiting beautiful Cape Town, South Africa.

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  • Eligible U.S. citizens can renew a passport online . We're conducting a beta release of an updated online renewal system.

Fill out your Form DS-82 online and print it

3. Data Corrections, Some Name Changes, and Limited-Validity Passports (DS-5504) 

  • You may be eligible to use this form if you need to change or correct your passport , or you need to replace a passport that was limited to less than 10 years validity (which is the normal validity period for an adult's passport.) Make sure to sign and date the form after you print it. You can also  download the form  if you are having issues with the form filler.

Fill out your DS-5504 form online and print it

Forms for Special Situations

  • You should complete this form if you lost your passport or it has been stolen . To replace a lost or stolen passport, you must apply in person and submit Form DS-11 in addition to Form DS-64. 

Report your Lost or Stolen Passport Online

2. Statement of Consent for Issuing a Passport to a Child (DS-3053)

  • You should complete this form if one parent or guardian cannot go with the child to apply in person for the child's passport. The parent or guardian should submit this special form in addition to their child's application (DS-11). 

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  • You should complete this form if one parent or guardian cannot locate the other parent or guardian. The parent who is applying should submit this special form in addition to their child's application (DS-11).

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4. Statement You Did Not Receive Your U.S. Passport (DS-86)

  • You should submit this form only if we mailed your passport and you did not receive it within two weeks of us mailing it. Call the National Passport Information Center and the customer service representatives will walk you through this form.

Print PDF of Form DS-86

Processing Times

Routine:  6-8 weeks*

Expedited: 2-3 weeks and an extra $60*

*Consider the total time it will take to get a passport when you are booking travel.  Processing times only include the time your application is at a passport agency or center.

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Trooping the Colour Was a Moment of Joy Amidst a Difficult Time for the Royal Family

The Princess said in a personal letter that she has “good days and bad days.”

trooping the colour 2024

People began to gather along the Mall from several hours before the event, braving the constantly changeable weather to get a good spot to see the royals process in carriages between Buckingham Palace and Horseguards Parade. Republican protesters with large yellow signs saying "Not my King" took up a position on the corner of the Mall near to the media. However, their chants were drowned out when the two carriages—one with the King and Queen and another with Kate, George, Charlotte and Louis came past.

britain royals trooping

While the ceremony was taking place at Horseguards Parade, some of the most torrential rain London has seen in months came down along with strong winds and a bit of thunder and lightning. At one stage, the crowds appeared as a sea of umbrellas. But, despite the weather, supporters and protesters alike stayed the course for the big moment when the royals appeared on the Palace balcony. As they did so, to watch the dramatic flypast of more than 30 military aircraft including the iconic Red Arrows, a huge cheer went up. Some people were shouting God Save The King.

trooping the colour 2024

“She was waving and Kate looked so beautiful in that hat,” crowd-member Judy Nosworthy, who is on vacation from Florida, said. “She looks good. It was good to see her, having not seen her for a while..I wanted to wish her well.”Helen from north London described the military spectacle as “incredible” and said she was “so grateful that Kate could make it…That’s really touching for me because our own family have had a [cancer] battle…To come down and to acknowledge that both the King and Kate have had something. It’s just so nice to see a family united together, I think it’s very important for the country.”

trooping the colour 2024

It was clear that many members of the public were excited to see Kate but also full of compassion for her to take the time she needs to return to public life. The message that Kensington Palace is keen to get across - that this appearance does not mark a full return to public duties - seemed to have resonated with many in the crowd today.

In a touching letter yesterday, Kate said that she is “not out of the woods yet” and that she has “good days and bad days.” She has made it clear that she hopes to carry out some public duties in the next few months, but nothing has been announced yet.

In turn, the King—who far from being disgruntled that the attention was on his daughter in law at his birthday parade was in fact delighted that she could attend—was also making a public appearance while still receiving treatment for cancer. He has been back in the spotlight for some time now, notably leading the nation in commemorations for the D-Day anniversary. However, like Kate, his treatment continues and there remains a question mark over what both of their timetables can look like in the near future and beyond.

trooping the colour 2024

Yet after what has been a very difficult time for the family, both personally and professionally, Trooping the Colour was today a moment of celebration. The sun even came out when the royals appeared on the balcony. At one stage the band played Somewhere Over The Rainbow. Amidst uncertainty, it felt like a day to be joyful.

preview for Kate Middleton Arrives at Trooping the Colour

Town & Country Contributing Editor Victoria Murphy has reported on the British Royal Family since 2010. She has interviewed Prince Harry and has travelled the world covering several royal tours. She is a frequent contributor to Good Morning America. Victoria authored Town & Country book The Queen: A Life in Pictures , released in 2021. 

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IMAGES

  1. Cape Town, South Africa

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  2. Colorful houses in Bo-Kaap District, Cape Town, South Africa (by yo6i

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  3. Colors in Cape Town, South Africa. #capetown #homes #colors

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  4. Bo Kapp Colours of Capetown

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  5. Colorful houses of Bo-Kaap district, Cape Town,...

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  6. Cape Town Wallpaper

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VIDEO

  1. Insane water colours in Cape Town South Africa #surf

COMMENTS

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    Taking a red bus with Cape Town City Sightseeing is one of the most scenic ways to take in the whole of the Peninsula. This hop-on, hop-off experience takes you to most of the city's major attractions and has an audio tour in 15 languages. Renting a car is a great option for exploring Cape Town and the surrounds.

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    Muizenberg, or "Muizies" as it's affectionately known, is a vibrant coastal town located 30 minutes from the Cape Town City Centre. Known for its warm waters and surfing culture, Muizenberg offers the perfect setting for families to come together and make lasting memories. What to add to your itinerary: Experience Muizenberg Beach, known ...

  7. Cape Town City Guide for Design Lovers by Travel Colours

    Cape Town City Guide for Design Lovers is a curated selection of Travel Colours' favourite places to 'sleep, eat, drink, shop and explore'. Offering a blend of cultures, history, an exquisite wine and food scene, stunning nature and some of the most exciting wildlife in the world, Cape Town is also establishing itself internationally as a hub for ...

  8. Bo Kapp Colours of Capetown • Travel Tales of Life

    Bo Kapp colours shining brightly in Capetown. The neighbourhood of Bo Kapp has a history stretching back 360 years. Setting up a halfway stop between Europe and the East, the Dutch arrived to the Cape of Good Hope. The sad story of the colourful Bo Kapp area is that its roots originate as the designation of the slave quarter.

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    The legend of Robben Island is a somber one in South Africa's history. 10. Table Mountain. Table Mountain is not just a mountain; it's an iconic symbol of Cape Town. Dominating the city's skyline, this flat-topped wonder is one of the most beautiful places in Cape Town and a must-visit for anyone in the area.

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    From art and architecture to culture, nature and vineyards, Cape Town travel is diverse and rewarding. Here are the best things to do in Cape Town. #1 Explore to colours of Bo-Kaap. Bo-Kaap is a colorful and vibrant neighborhood in Cape Town, famous for its brightly painted houses and rich cultural heritage. The neighborhood is located on the ...

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  16. Cape Town Travel Tips: 25 Dos and Don'ts to Know Before You Go

    Tip Within a Tip. Counterintuitively, the cheapest data plans are the weekly ones so, to get the most gigabytes for your buck, buy a new package every seven days. For instance, I re-load 1.25 GB for R55 every week rather than pay R300 for 5.5 GB over 30 days. This isn't one of those "dinner in the dark" restaurant.

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    On my recent trip these are the two Cape Town hotels I stayed at and loved. 21 Nettleton. 21 Nettleton is one of Cape Town's most exclusive luxury boutique hotels. Perched at the top of a hillside, looking out over Clifton Bay Beach, 21 Nettleton offers six individually decorated rooms and suites with sweeping views of the coastline.

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    Hotels in Cape Town The Silo Hotel Found in the trendy V&A waterfront area of the city, this former grain factory offers stunning 360° views of Table Mountain to across the water of Robben Island.

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    Visiting Cape Town: for its 'wicked surf' and 'gnarly weather' as well as "the chicks bru, have you seen the chicks". 2. The Environmentalist. Image Sourced: Pinterest. Here to save the world and give back - and naturally, Africa fits the bill…. Definitely a vegan and a natural at appropriating traditional proteins.

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  29. Passport Forms

    Primary Application Forms for a U.S. Passport. 1. Application For A U.S. Passport (DS-11) . You should complete this form if you're applying for the first time, you're applying for your child who is under age 16, or you don't meet our requirements to renew your passport.Print the form but do not sign it until you are asked to do so.

  30. Trooping the Colour Was a Moment of Joy Amidst a Difficult Time for the

    Town & Country Contributing Editor Victoria Murphy has reported on the British Royal Family since 2010. She has interviewed Prince Harry and has travelled the world covering several royal tours.