Looking for all the best attractions in the Mother City? Our brand new guide after our most recent trip has all the best things to do in Cape Town, South Africa that you’ll need!
Cape Town is one of the coolest, most vibrant and beautiful cities on the planet.
On our recent trip to Africa we started our travels in Cape Town and spent over a week hanging out and exploring what quickly became one of our favourite cities we’ve ever visited (which means a lot for us, considering we don’t normally like cities).
It’s packed with natural beauty, fascinating and turbulent history, unique wildlife, delicious food, cool museums, and so much more.
You will never run out of fun things to do in Cape Town!
If you’re looking for hiking and outdoor activities, you can visit Table Mountain National Park, hike Lion’s Head at sunrise, or visit one of the many majestic beaches around town like Camp’s Bay or Clifton Beach.
Or if you’re more interested in architecture, art, history, and culture, you can head to the District Six Museum, go on a street art tour, wander around the V & A Waterfront, or just go people-watching in the various neighborhoods of the city.
Take a day trip over to Robben Island or out to the incredible wine route on the outskirts of Cape Town.
Or drive down to the Cape of Good Hope and watch baboons run across the road. From the city centre to the surrounding mountains, beaches, and beyond, this amazing city has an abundance of wonders to explore.
Honestly, there’s so many amazing Cape Town tours (we listed our favourites in that article) that whatever you’re into, there are plenty of fun activities in Cape Town that will suit you!
Table of Contents
- 30 Best Things to Do in Cape Town, South Africa
- 1) Learn About the History of the Country on a Walking Tour
- 2) See the Nelson Mandela in Cape Town at Legacy Exhibition
- 3) Hike or Take the Cable Car to the Top of Table Mountain
- 4) Visit Signal Hill
- 5) Go Paragliding
- 6) Climb Lion’s Head Mountain
- 7) Tour the District Six Museum
- 8) Visit the Slave Lodge
- 9) Explore the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point
- 10) Visit the Old Biscuit Mill
- 11) Explore Bo-Kaap
- 12) Take a Cooking Class
- 13) Explore the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront
- 14) Visit Robben Island
- 15) Tour the Zeitz Contemporary Art Museum
- 16) Visit Boulder’s Beach in Simon’s Town
- 17) Take a Sunset Cruise in Cape Town
- 18) Walk Along the Sea Point Promenade
- 19) Get a Bite from Mojo Market
- 20) Wander Through Greenmarket Square
- 21) Do a Cultural Tour Through Cape Town’s Townships
- 22) Do a Street Art Tour
- 23) Visit the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
- 24) Relax at Clifton Beach
- 25) Sightsee in Camps Bay
- 26. Go Snorkelling in the Kelp Forests
- 27) Explore the Cape Winelands
- 28) Check Out Hout Bay
- 29) Dine at Some World Class Restaurants
- 30. Go Whale Watching
- Cape Town South Africa Travel Guide
30 Best Things to Do in Cape Town, South Africa
This magical city in South Africa has so much to offer, from the rugged coast and sandy beaches to the museums and historical monuments.
From taking the cable car to the top of Table Mountain, to exploring Cape Town’s wine route, to touring Robben Island or the Cape Of Good Hope, here are the 30 best things to do in Cape Town, South Africa!
The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars, which has the largest range of vehicles for the best value on the market.
1) Learn About the History of the Country on a Walking Tour
Cape Town’s history is a turbulent and fascinating journey. It’s well worth learning about the history of South Africa when you’re visiting Cape Town.
An amazing way to dive into the history of South Africa and Cape Town is on a free walking tour. Your guide will give you insight into the local community, as well as how things have changed over time.
From the city’s very first church, to the remnants of Apartheid, to the architecture of the city center, there is so much to learn.
A free walking tour is a great idea for your very first activity in Cape Town as well so you can get acquainted with the city center and enjoy an in-depth introduction to this incredible country and culture.
2) See the Nelson Mandela in Cape Town at Legacy Exhibition
Further immerse yourself in Cape Town’s history at the Legacy Exhibition located in City Hall.
The Legacy Exhibition in Cape Town stands as a captivating testament to the rich and diverse history of the city and its people.
Nestled within a sprawling gallery space, this immersive showcase expertly weaves together narratives of triumph and struggle, highlighting the pivotal moments and influential figures that have shaped Cape Town’s cultural fabric.
From the vibrant stories of the indigenous Khoisan communities to the enduring legacy of Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement, the exhibition offers a profound and thought-provoking exploration of Cape Town’s past, fostering a deep appreciation for its present and inspiring hope for its future.
Visitors are invited to engage with interactive displays, stunning visual installations, and personal accounts that vividly bring to life the many layers of this extraordinary city’s heritage.
The Legacy Exhibition in Cape Town serves as a captivating reminder that the truest understanding of a place can only be achieved through the appreciation of its legacy.
3) Hike or Take the Cable Car to the Top of Table Mountain
Table Mountain, an iconic landmark in Table Mountain National Park, is a true natural wonder.
Hiking or taking the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway to the top is easily one of the best activities to do in Cape Town.
Standing tall at 1086 meters, its distinct flat-topped summit earned it the name “Table Mountain.”
This majestic mountain offers visitors a mesmerizing panoramic view of the Cape Peninsula, Atlantic Ocean, and surrounding landscapes.
You can even see the distinct line in the ocean where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet!
READ MORE: Looking for a cool, unique and off-the-beaten-path safari in Africa? Check out our review of Jaci’s Lodges in Madikwe!
Its unique ecosystem boasts an astonishing array of flora and fauna, including rare and endemic species found nowhere else in the world.
Exploring Table Mountain is an adventure in itself, with numerous hiking trails catering to different skill levels.
For those seeking a more leisurely experience, the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway offers a scenic ascent to the summit, providing an unforgettable perspective of the city and its stunning natural surroundings.
Beyond its awe-inspiring beauty, Table Mountain holds significant cultural and historical importance to the people of Cape Town.
It is deeply ingrained in the local folklore and serves as a symbol of unity and resilience. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site!
So whether you take the cable car or embark on a hike to the top, Table Mountain is easily one of the best attractions in Cape Town, South Africa.
4) Visit Signal Hill
Cape Town’s Signal Hill is located right in the city center and offers some incredible views.
Rising 350 meters above sea level, this iconic hill provides panoramic views that rival even its famous neighbor, Table Mountain.
From its summit, one can gaze upon the sparkling Atlantic Ocean, the city’s bustling streets, and the majestic backdrop of the Twelve Apostles mountain range.
The hill is particularly renowned for its captivating sunsets, drawing locals and tourists alike to witness the breathtaking spectacle as the sun dips below the horizon. After a big day of sightseeing, head here for a relaxing sunset picnic!
There is no better place to watch the sunset over this wonderful city!
5) Go Paragliding
In addition to just watching the sunset and admiring the view of the city center from Signal Hill, consider going paragliding!
The hill is a super popular spot for paragliding as it’s conveniently located and offers stunning views of the surrounding beaches and ocean.
And because it’s about 350m high, the hill can catch the wind perfectly given the right conditions, which allows people to enjoy an incredible flight over the city.
Book a paragliding adventure with a local company so you can admire Cape Town from new heights!
Paragliding is perfect for adventurous travellers who love a thrill, but it’s slightly less intimidating and intense than skydiving or bungee jumping.
If you’re looking for some more active, unique Cape Town activities that give you a new perspective of the city’s beautiful scenery, put paragliding on your bucket list!
6) Climb Lion’s Head Mountain
Another one of the best things to do in Cape Town is hike Lions Head Mountain. Standing at an elevation of 669 meters, this majestic peak offers panoramic views of the city center, Table Mountain, and the glistening Atlantic Ocean.
This distinct mountain derives its name from its unique shape, resembling the head of a lion when viewed from certain angles.
The hike to the summit of Lions Head is a popular activity, attracting locals and tourists alike.
The trail takes around an hour to hike and is relatively easy, although the very top requires some rock scrambling. Locals recommend doing the hike at sunrise for the more spectacular views!
The mountain is particularly renowned for its spectacular full moon hikes, where hikers embark on a nighttime adventure illuminated by the soft glow of the moon, creating a magical and ethereal atmosphere.
Lions Head also serves as a popular spot for paragliding and having picnics.
7) Tour the District Six Museum
Cape Town’s District Six Museum is another worthwhile attraction in the city. The District Six Museum stands as a powerful testament to the painful history of forced removals and racial segregation in South Africa.
Located in the former District Six neighborhood, which was forcibly emptied during the apartheid era, the museum preserves and honors the memories of the community that once thrived there.
Through a combination of personal testimonies, photographs, artifacts, and interactive exhibits, the museum tells the stories of the diverse inhabitants who were forcibly displaced and the vibrant culture that was lost.
It serves as a poignant reminder of the human cost of apartheid and a beacon of hope for reconciliation and justice.
The District Six Museum is not only a place of remembrance but also a space for education, healing, and the celebration of the resilience and spirit of the people who call Cape Town home.
Learn more about the museum on the website!
8) Visit the Slave Lodge
The Slave Lodge is one of the oldest buildings in Cape Town! It is an iconic historical site that bears witness to a dark chapter in human history.
Originally constructed in 1679 by the Dutch East India Company, this somber edifice once served as a warehouse and a repository for the cruel transatlantic slave trade.
For over a century, thousands of enslaved men, women, and children from various regions were confined within its walls, enduring unimaginable hardships and suffering.
Today, the Slave Lodge stands as a poignant memorial and museum, preserving the memory of those who suffered here and inviting visitors to reflect on the enduring legacy of slavery, promoting understanding and reconciliation for future generations.
The building has also served as a Government Offices Building, an Old Supreme Court, and a South African Cultural History Museum. It’s one of the most unique things to see while visiting Cape Town.
9) Explore the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point
The Cape of Good Hope, situated at the southern tip of the Cape Peninsula in Cape Town, South Africa, is a place of awe-inspiring natural beauty and historical significance.
In our opinion this is one of the best day trips from Cape Town.
For centuries, this dramatic headland has been a symbol of exploration and maritime navigation, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet.
The rugged coastline, sheer cliffs, and breathtaking vistas create a picturesque landscape, making the Cape of Good Hope a popular destination for tourists and nature enthusiasts alike.
Beyond its natural allure, the Cape of Good Hope holds a significant place in history as a strategic waypoint during the Age of Exploration.
It played a pivotal role in connecting Europe with Asia and the trade routes that fuelled the global economy.
Over the centuries, numerous ships navigated these perilous waters, facing harsh weather conditions and treacherous currents.
Today, visitors can explore the historic lighthouses, shipwrecks, and the diverse flora and fauna that inhabit the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.
A popular promontory to visit on the Cape of Good Hope Peninsula is Cape Point. Here you can explore the Cape Point Nature Reserve and admire the historic Cape Point Lighthouse.
Between the wildlife, natural scenery, and landmarks like the Cape Point Lighthouse, the Cape of Good Hope is one of the best places to visit in Cape Town.
10) Visit the Old Biscuit Mill
One of the best things to do in Cape Town for foodies is visit The Old Biscuit Mill.
This unique attraction seamlessly blends history, creativity, and culinary delights into a place where you can eat, drink, learn, and mingle.
Originally a biscuit factory dating back to the 1920s, the Old Biscuit Mill has been transformed into a dynamic market space, bustling with artisans, designers, and food vendors.
Every weekend, the Neighbourgoods Market takes center stage, attracting locals and tourists alike with its array of artisanal food stalls offering delectable dishes from around the world.
Beyond its culinary delights, the Old Biscuit Mill also houses a variety of boutiques, galleries, and studios, making it a haven for artists and designers to showcase their talents.
This unique blend of old-world charm and contemporary energy makes the Old Biscuit Mill a must-visit destination, celebrating Cape Town’s vibrant spirit and creative soul.
11) Explore Bo-Kaap
Bo-Kaap, is a colourful neighbourhood in Cape Town that reflects the city’s diverse heritage.
Formerly known as the Malay Quarter, Bo-Kaap is renowned for its captivating rows of brightly coloured houses, each hue a testament to its residents’ cultural and religious traditions.
The area’s history is deeply intertwined with the Cape Malay community, whose ancestors were brought to the region as slaves during the colonial era.
Today, Bo-Kaap stands as a symbol of resilience and unity, with its cobbled streets echoing with the past while embracing a lively mix of cultures, languages, and cuisines.
Beyond its picturesque aesthetics, Bo-Kaap holds a treasure trove of historical significance and cultural landmarks.
The Bo-Kaap Museum offers a glimpse into the community’s past, showcasing exhibits that detail the struggles and triumphs of its inhabitants over the centuries.
The neighborhood is also home to several mosques, including the Auwal Mosque, the oldest mosque in South Africa, further attesting to the enduring influence of Islamic heritage in the area.
Bo-Kaap’s allure extends beyond its architectural charm, as it continues to be a vibrant and close-knit community, welcoming visitors with open arms, offering them an authentic taste of Cape Town’s multicultural heart.
Join a free walking tour to make the most of your time in this beloved neighbourhood!
12) Take a Cooking Class
Food is a massive part of any culture. While visiting Cape Town, try to taste some classic South African foods and learn about the local cuisine!
The best way to do this is with a cooking class. On this immersive day tour, you’ll get to learn all the favourite dishes, ingredients, and preparation methods of South African cuisine.
Engage with the local community, get involved in the cooking process, and taste lots of authentic dishes!
This is a fun activity to try in the amazing city of Cape Town. Rather than just tasting local food in a restaurant, you’ll get a hands-on experience with preparing the food yourself.
13) Explore the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront
One of the top places to visit in Cape Town is the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, also called the V & A Waterfront.
This scenic destination harmoniously combines history, commerce, and entertainment, all against the breathtaking backdrop of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean.
Originally established in the 19th century as a harbor to facilitate trade and refresh ships, the V & A Waterfront has evolved into a world-class shopping, dining, and cultural precinct.
Today, it is a bustling hub that caters to both locals and tourists, offering an array of experiences, from luxury shopping at high-end boutiques and local artisanal crafts to fine dining at waterfront restaurants and lively performances at the amphitheater.
Beyond the modern attractions, visitors can explore historic landmarks like the Clock Tower and Chavonnes Battery Museum, or they can take a ride on the Cape Wheel.
With a captivating mix of old-world charm and contemporary allure, the V&A Waterfront remains a must-visit destination.
Whether you want to grab a bite to eat, take some cool photos, stroll along the waterfront, shop for souvenirs, or just go people-watching, the V&A Waterfront has it all!
14) Visit Robben Island
Robben Island, located right off the coast of Cape Town, is a place of profound historical significance and resilience in South Africa.
Originally used as a place of banishment for political prisoners, Robben Island gained notoriety during the apartheid era when it served as a maximum-security prison, housing many prominent anti-apartheid activists, including Nelson Mandela.
For over four decades, the prisoners endured harsh conditions, yet they remained unwavering in their fight for freedom and equality.
Today, Robben Island stands as a potent symbol of the triumph of the human spirit over oppression, and it has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Guided tours of Robben Island provide visitors with poignant insights into South Africa’s turbulent past, with former inmates often leading the tours, sharing their personal experiences and the struggles they faced while incarcerated.
Beyond its historical significance, Robben Island is also a sanctuary for diverse wildlife and serves as an important conservation area.
The island is home to various seabird species, including African penguins, cormorants, and gulls, making it a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
The juxtaposition of its natural beauty and its haunting history adds to the allure of Robben Island, drawing visitors from around the world to pay homage to those who fought for justice and to appreciate the remarkable resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
15) Tour the Zeitz Contemporary Art Museum
The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is an architectural marvel and an artistic haven situated in Cape Town, South Africa.
Housed within the repurposed Silo building at the V&A Waterfront, Zeitz MOCAA stands as the world’s largest museum dedicated solely to contemporary African art.
The museum’s unique design, masterminded by renowned architect Thomas Heatherwick, features a breathtaking atrium carved from the silo’s concrete tubes, allowing natural light to filter through and illuminate the diverse array of contemporary artworks that grace its walls.
With its extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, installations, and multimedia pieces from African artists and the diaspora, Zeitz MOCAA offers a compelling platform to explore and celebrate the rich and diverse expressions of African art, fostering cultural dialogue and appreciation on a global scale.
16) Visit Boulder’s Beach in Simon’s Town
Undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Cape Town is visit Boulder’s Beach in Simon’s Town and mingle with the African penguins!
This captivating coastal paradise is renowned for its unique inhabitants – a colony of African penguins.
We’ll let you in on a little secret – we travelled to Simon’s Town all because of a Netflix show called Penguin Town (if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out), and it definitely didn’t disappoint!
The beach’s name originates from the massive granite boulders that shelter the cove, creating a picturesque setting for visitors and the delightful waddling penguins alike.
As one of the few places in the world where people can get up close and personal with these charming birds, Boulders Beach has become a popular attraction, allowing visitors to observe and appreciate the penguins in their natural habitat.
The crystal-clear waters and sandy shores make it an ideal spot for swimming and sunbathing, making Boulders Beach a must-visit destination that offers both beautiful scenery and an unforgettable wildlife experience.
Combine your visit to Boulders Beach with a visit to Robben Island, Cape Point, and the Cape of Good Hope on this inclusive day tour!
17) Take a Sunset Cruise in Cape Town
The best way to wind down after a big day of sightseeing in Cape Town is by taking a sunset cruise. Get a new perspective of this wonderful city as you glide around Cape Town’s coastline and watch the sun dip below the horizon.
Soak in the tranquility of the Cape Peninsula from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, admiring all the beaches, mountains, and coves.
Cape Town is truly stunning, and a sunset cruise allows you to really appreciate all the beauty here.
18) Walk Along the Sea Point Promenade
The Sea Point Promenade in Cape Town is a beloved coastal gem that beckons locals and tourists alike with its scenic beauty and recreational offerings.
Stretching along the Atlantic Ocean, the promenade is a popular gathering spot for walkers, joggers, cyclists, and families seeking leisure and relaxation.
Lined with palm trees and dotted with benches, the promenade offers stunning views of the ocean and the iconic Lion’s Head mountain in the distance.
The well-maintained pathways and lush green spaces create a serene atmosphere, providing a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
At sunset, the promenade comes alive with vibrant colours, making it an idyllic spot to unwind and take in the breathtaking coastal vistas.
With its charming ambiance and scenic charm, exploring the Sea Point Promenade is one of the best things to do in Cape Town for free.
19) Get a Bite from Mojo Market
Foodies wondering what to do in Cape Town will have the time of their lives at Mojo Market!
Nestled in the heart of Sea Point, Cape Town, Mojo Market is a vibrant and eclectic indoor market that showcases the city’s diverse culinary and creative offerings.
Housed in a repurposed 1960s building, this lively marketplace provides a unique fusion of street food, craft beverages, boutique shops, and live entertainment, making it a haven for both locals and tourists.
Visitors can explore a wide array of international cuisines, from artisanal burgers and mouthwatering sushi to indulgent desserts and freshly brewed coffee.
As the sun sets, Mojo Market transforms into a lively social hub, with live music performances and a convivial atmosphere, making it an ideal spot to unwind and immerse yourself in the culture and energy of Cape Town.
20) Wander Through Greenmarket Square
Greenmarket Square, located in the Cape Town city center, is a historical and bustling open-air market that exudes charm and character.
Dating back to the 17th century, the square has a storied past, once serving as a trading hub for slaves and later as a lively marketplace for fresh produce.
Today, Greenmarket Square is a vibrant gathering place where local artisans, vendors, and curio sellers showcase their crafts, artwork, and unique souvenirs.
Strolling through the square, visitors can admire an array of handmade jewelry, African art, textiles, and traditional crafts, making it an ideal spot to pick up memorable keepsakes and experience the art and culture of South Africa.
With its lively atmosphere, historical significance, and cultural offerings, Greenmarket Square remains a beloved destination, capturing the essence of the city’s vibrant and diverse heritage.
21) Do a Cultural Tour Through Cape Town’s Townships
Embarking on a tour through Cape Town’s townships offers a powerful and eye-opening experience that provides a deeper understanding of South Africa’s complex history and current social dynamics.
Led by knowledgeable guides, these tours offer an opportunity to engage with the vibrant communities that form an integral part of Cape Town’s identity.
Visitors can witness the resilience and spirit of the people living in these areas, gaining insights into their daily lives, cultural traditions, and the challenges they face.
Exploring the townships fosters a sense of empathy and a chance to connect with the locals, fostering a greater appreciation for their rich culture and the efforts being made to build a more inclusive and equitable future.
These tours also allow visitors to learn about the positive initiatives and community projects that are making a difference in the lives of the township residents, making it a truly transformative and enlightening experience.
22) Do a Street Art Tour
One of the coolest things to do in Cape Town is jump on a street art walking tour! In addition to learning all about the history, nature, and culture of South Africa through Cape Town’s attractions and museums, you can dive into the city’s art scene just by walking around the city center!
Guided by a friendly local, a street art tour allows you to walk around the city, admire the colourful murals and graffiti, and learn about the artists and stories behind each work of art.
This is an amazing way to meet locals and see some of the most impressive and powerful artworks around Cape Town!
23) Visit the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens are not only one of the best things to do in Cape Town, they are considered to be among the best botanical gardens in the world!
This breathtaking oasis of beauty and biodiversity is located right on the edge of Table Mountain. Founded in 1913, Kirstenbosch showcases a remarkable collection of indigenous plants from the Cape Floral Kingdom.
Strolling through its carefully curated pathways, visitors are treated to a diverse array of flora, including colourful fynbos, majestic proteas, and ancient cycads.
The garden’s awe-inspiring setting, which includes the iconic Boomslang Walkway that winds gracefully through the treetops, offers breathtaking vistas of the city and surrounding mountains.
Beyond its scenic allure, Kirstenbosch hosts various concerts, exhibitions, and educational programs, making it a cherished destination where visitors can immerse themselves in the wonders of South Africa’s unique plant life and natural heritage.
With waterfalls, landscaped gardens, and lots of informational signs, this UNESCO World Heritage Site located right next to Table Mountain is a true gem of Cape Town.
24) Relax at Clifton Beach
Clifton Beach in Cape Town is a slice of paradise that captivates visitors with its pristine beauty and azure waters.
Comprised of four small coves, each sheltered by giant boulders, Clifton Beach offers a secluded and luxurious escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
The soft, white sand invites sunbathers and beachgoers to unwind and soak up the warm rays while taking in the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Despite its tranquil ambiance, Clifton Beach is also a popular spot for water sports, offering opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding in the clear waters.
As the sun sets, the beach transforms into a romantic setting, ideal for evening strolls and enjoying the vibrant colors of the sky over the ocean.
With its idyllic setting and relaxed atmosphere, Clifton Beach is a cherished destination that epitomizes the allure of Cape Town’s coastal charm.
25) Sightsee in Camps Bay
Camps Bay, a coastal gem nestled between the Twelve Apostles mountain range and the ocean, is one of Cape Town’s most popular and picturesque neighbourhoods.
Known for its palm-lined beach and vibrant promenade, Camps Bay offers a mix of natural beauty and a cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Camps Bay Beach, with its soft golden sand and clear blue waters, is a hub of activity, attracting sun-seekers, swimmers, and water sports enthusiasts.
Beyond its stunning beach, Camps Bay is surrounded by natural wonders and offers ample opportunities for outdoor exploration.
Hiking enthusiasts can venture into the nearby Table Mountain National Park and embark on scenic trails that offer panoramic views of the city and coastline.
Whether relaxing on the beach, indulging in fine dining, or exploring the surrounding nature, Camps Bay offers a captivating blend of luxury and stunning scenery.
Beach lovers looking for the best things to do in Cape Town should absolutely spend a day soaking in the sun in Camps Bay!
26. Go Snorkelling in the Kelp Forests
Those looking to get in the water and frolic with the local marine life should consider going snorkelling in Cape Town!
The ocean around the Cape Peninsula is filled with wonders, from dolphins, seals, and fish to massive kelp forests. There is actually a local business dedicated to snorkelling in the kelp forests!
These ecosystems are so special that it’s encouraged to go underwater and swim through the towering kelp plants to see how all the species interact.
Another one of the best things to do in Cape Town is snorkelling with seals! Cape seals are often playing in the waters around Cape Town, particularly around Hout Bay.
Book a snorkelling day trip that allows you to explore the underwater world and snorkel alongside one of the ocean’s most playful creatures!
27) Explore the Cape Winelands
Many travellers may not be aware that South Africa has an excellent wine country!
Just a short drive from the city center of Cape Town lies the Cape Winelands, a breathtaking region renowned for its scenic beauty, world-class vineyards, and exquisite wines.
Nestled amid rolling hills and majestic mountains, the Cape Winelands offer a picturesque landscape that captivates visitors with its lush vineyards and historic Cape Dutch architecture.
There are five major regions here including Constantia, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Robertson, and Wellington.
Biking along the Constantia Wine Route is a great way to combine exercise, sightseeing, and wine tasting into one incredible day.
Stop at a good number of vineyards to ensure you can form an accurate assessment of the South African wine scene. Groot Constantia and Fairview are a must for excellent tastings.
Another fun activity to try along the wine route is riding the Franschhoek Wine Tram, which provides a hop on hop off experience.
Or you can book a guided winery tour from Cape Town that includes winery visits in Stellenbosch, Paarl, and Franschhoek.
Whether you choose to bike, book a tour, or ride the tram, a day of wine tasting is one of the best things to do in Cape Town.
nd these options prevent you from driving a car afterward, meaning you can drink all the wine you want!
28) Check Out Hout Bay
Hout Bay, a picturesque coastal town nestled between towering mountains and the sea, is a charming gem in the Cape Town area.
Known for its nautical beauty and laid-back atmosphere, this area offers a tranquil escape from the bustling Cape Town city centre.
The bay’s sparkling waters and sandy beaches draw visitors for leisurely walks, sunbathing, and water-based activities such as kayaking and boat trips to Seal Island.
The vibrant local harbour is a bustling hub where visitors can enjoy fresh seafood, browse local craft markets, and observe the colorful fishing boats returning with their catch.
The surrounding mountains offer numerous hiking trails with panoramic views, including the scenic Chapman’s Peak Drive, a renowned coastal route that leads to Noordhoek.
With its blend of coastal charm, outdoor adventures, and delectable cuisine, Hout Bay offers a delightful experience that captures the essence of Cape Town’s coastal allure.
29) Dine at Some World Class Restaurants
Throughout the city centre of Cape Town, there are so many incredible restaurants. You can find options for every budget, but if you really want an out-of-this-world dining experience in Cape Town, treat yourself to a world-class restaurant.
Fyn blends Japanese and African cuisine for an amazing, upscale experience. La Colombe is another popular restaurant that offers a French and Asian fusion.
Grub & Vine is a classy bistro known for its food and wine pairings. Pigalle Restaurant serves amazing steak and seafood in a cozy venue with live jazz, swing, and salsa music.
Whatever type of cuisine you’re into, treat yourself to a fabulous meal while you’re in Cape Town!
30. Go Whale Watching
Last but not least on our list of the best things to do in Cape Town is whale watching!
There are some excellent whale-watching tours around Cape Town where you can head out to sea and see these majestic ocean giants up close.
This whale-watching tour offers pick-up in the Cape Town city center and brings you down to Hermanus, one of South Africa’s whale-watching capitals.
Head out on a sturdy boat and watch southern right whales and humpback whales play in the waves. If you’re an animal lover, this has to be on your Cape Town itinerary!
Cape Town South Africa Travel Guide
From Robben Island tours, to hiking Table Mountain, to seeing penguins in Simon’s Town, Cape Town has so many attractions. Now that you know what to do in Cape Town, let’s discuss some basic travel tips!
Including safety tips, getting around, and where to stay, there is much to know before your trip. Taking these tips into account will make your visit to Cape Town run as smoothly as possible!
How to Get Around Cape Town, South Africa
The best way to get around Cape Town is by renting a car! The city centre has lots of cool attractions that you can walk to, but the city’s highlights are very spread out along the peninsula and a car makes it easier to get everywhere.
You can organise car rental online and then pick it up from the airport when you arrive in Cape Town.
If you don’t want to rent a car, you can get around using public transport. There is a decent public bus system in Cape Town! Taxis are also convenient, and Ubers are super cheap.
Another option for getting around Cape Town is guided tours! The top attractions, like Boulder’s Beach in Simon’s Town, Table Mountain, Robben Island, and the Cape of Good Hope are all places that have tours, most of which include accommodation pick-up.
The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars, which has the largest range of vehicles for the best value on the market.
Tips for Driving in Cape Town, South Africa
- Keep left – In South Africa, they drive on the left-hand side. Beware of this, especially when turning or pulling out on the road. The left land lane is for the average flowing traffic and the right land is for vehicles to overtake.
- Lock your doors while driving around – This is something that is always advised in Cape Town. Taxi/Uber drivers even lock their doors when passengers enter their vehicles.
- Always lock your car when you leave it – Even if you are just at a lookout and are not too far from your car, be smart and lock it.
- Don’t pick up hitchhikers – You will see a lot of people in areas trying to hitch a ride. Sometimes they hold out money and their thumb. We advise not to stop or pick anyone up on your journey.
- Always have some cash for toll roads – Most tolls do accept foreign cards when you are in a tourist area. But there are many toll roads in South Africa that do not accept foreign cards so have some cash on you just in case.
- Make sure to be back home by dark – It’s not advised to drive after dark. We recommend trying to be back at your Cape Town accommodation well before nightfall. We also recommend using a cheap Uber when getting around Cape Town after dark.
- Watch for wildlife – Around the Cape region, there are so many baboons! They are everywhere and all over the road sometimes. They can be dangerous so stay in the car and keep the windows up. They can cross the road unexpectedly so be prepared to stop as well.
- Be mindful of speeding – We found that speeding is an issue in South Africa. We were overtaken at some dangerous spots by speeding cars, vans, and small trucks. The speed limit is displayed on roads and highways so just do your thing and stick to the speed limit. Speeding is dangerous, especially if the roads are not in perfect condition. There are many police on the major roads watching this and you do not want to be pulled over by the police officer!
- Have your driver’s licence or international driver’s permit on you – In case you are pulled over, the police will ask for your driver’s licence and may ask for your international permit. Always have them in the car so you are ready.
- Know where you are going before leaving – Know where you are going before you hit the road. If you have a passenger, get them to guide you to your destination. Stick to major roads. You do not want to end up somewhere you do not want to be.
- Only get out of your car in designated areas – If you need to stop, look for designated areas. These are like a lookout, car park, designated pullover location, restaurants, or cafes.
Where to Stay in Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is full of interesting neighborhoods, each with its own unique atmosphere. There are amazing places to stay in each area of Cape Town that suit all travel budgets as well.
We’ll give you a brief rundown of the different areas in Cape Town so you can decide which location is best for you. After that, we’ll provide some basic safety tips for Cape Town that will help you stay safe no matter where you are staying!
Cape Town Neighbourhoods
- CBD – Klook Street and Long Street are the main tourist hubs, huge variety of accommodations including backpacker hostels, lots of nightlife, can be loud, crowded, and busy
- Bo-Kaap – Also centrally located and within walking distance of all downtown Cape Town attractions, lots of culture, history, and architecture nearby
- V&A Waterfront – Great place to stay in Cape Town for first-timers, upscale hotels and restaurants, safe, touristy, centrally located
- Tamberskloof/Gardens – Just on the outskirts of the CBD, great for families, lots of nearby restaurants, close to Table Mountain
- Green Point/Mouille Point – Also on the outskirts of the Cape Town CBD, near the ocean, affluent neighborhood popular among young professionals
- Clifton/Camps Bay – Stunning beaches, laid-back area, pricier accommodation, great for couples
- Hout Bay, Simon’s Town, and the Cape Peninsula – Scenic coastal views, charming residential feel, peaceful, 30-45 minutes drive from downtown Cape Town
Home Suite Hotel in Sea Point
When we first touched down in Cape Town we decided to spend 5 nights in Sea Point.
Located in the middle of downtown and Camps Bay, it seemed to be the perfect location for us.
And as people who like to spend the day exploring, but relax at night somewhere a bit more chill, it was absolutely perfect.
Our hotel of choice was Home Suite Hotel (not sponsored), and trust us when we say it was one of the coolest places we stayed in all of Africa.
The staff were honestly next level amazing, and we often found ourselves spending hours just hanging out chatting with them all. They really made us feel like we were part of the family.
The rooms were huge, spacious, bright, super comfortable and full of cool tech, and the facilities were lovely.
Breakfast was one of the best we’ve ever had at a hotel, with home-made options for just about everything, and barista coffee served up all morning.
Free parking, lightning fast wifi, secure gated complex, amazing staff, great food – what more could you want?
We could go on and on, but we’ll just say that it was so good that we’ll stay here again next time we come without hesitation.
Grand Daddy Boutique Hotel
This is a hotel that we didn’t stay in this time, but only because we didn’t know about it until after we left Cape Town.
Grand Daddy Boutique Hotel is located right downtown, so is close to all the action, and is one of the most unique-sounding places we’ve heard about in South Africa.
The rooms are funky, quirky and elegant, with tonnes of amenities and the reviews are just about perfect.
The real unique thing they have is an Airstream that you book as well.
When we come to Cape Town again we’ll split our time between a few nights in Home Suite Hotel, then move downtown and try Grand Daddy.
Again, not sponsored, and we weren’t asked to mention the hotel. We heard about it from some friends and it does look great, which is why we’re mentioning it to you.
If you end up staying here let us know what you think!
Tips for Staying Safe in Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is relatively safe to travel to, but it’s important to be smart and use common sense while exploring the city. Crime is still pretty common, unfortunately. But there is a good chance you’ll have a stress-free visit if you follow these safety tips!
- Be sure all of your valuables are on you at all times and don’t hang your purse on the back of your chair while dining.
- Don’t leave your belongings unattended, especially not in a rental car or at the beach.
- If parking on the street overnight, be sure to empty your car of everything in view from the windows. Do not leave valuables in your car overnight.
- When driving through the city centre, don’t use your cell phone next to an open car window. If you’re sitting in traffic, it’s far too easy for a passerby to reach in and grab it from you (unfortunately I’ve heard of this happening).
- Muggings are not unheard of in Cape Town. It is recommended not to walk alone after dark, no matter where you are staying.
- Always be aware of your surroundings – this includes watching your alcohol consumption. Trust your instincts and if a person or a place feels unsafe, get out without stopping to think twice.
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