A visit to Cape Town is high on the bucket list of seasoned travellers from around the globe, and with good reason – the Mother City is simply breath-taking and there is so much to see and do! But don’t take our word for it; have a look here to see the list of awards and accolades that Cape Town has raked in over the years.
Some of the city’s most impressive titles include the World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination (2018 World Travel Awards), The Best City in the World (Telegraph Travel Awards, 2015/2016), as well as the Luxury City Destination of the Year for two consecutive years (Luxury Travel Guide Africa & Middle East Awards 2016).
In short – Cape Town is wildly popular and if you’re headed here you are poised to enjoy an incredible travel experience. Here are a few of the top things to see and do in Cape Town during your visit:
Table Mountain was recently named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, which means its reputation as one of the must-see attractions in Cape Town has been pretty firmly cemented. The easiest way to explore this famous flat-topped mountain is to catch the cable car and hitch a ride to the top, from where you’ll be able to enjoy magnificent views over the entire city. Sister mountain Lions Head is also close by, but if you want to scale her you will have to lace up your hiking boots, or contend with a picnic on Signal Hill, which offers lovely views over the Atlantic seaboard.
INSIDER TIP: Do you want to know if it’s likely to rain? Keep an eye on the top of Lion’s Head. If you see a little wisp of cloud clinging to it, it’s fairly likely to rain buckets, so keep your raincoat and wellingtons handy!
The V&A Waterfront is the place to be if you want to shop for souvenirs, take advantage of the favourable South African exchange rate to update your wardrobe before you head home, enjoy a delicious meal or simply stroll around and indulge in some prime people-watching. As the Mother City’s foremost shopping destination, it’s always buzzing, so you can be assured of a good time.
INSIDER TIP: The Granger Bay District of the V&A Waterfront plays host to the Oranjezicht City Farm Market every Saturday and Sunday. This is a great place to enjoy a variety of artisanal foods, and pick up locally grown organic veggies, eggs, cheese, olive oil, freshly baked bread, cured meats and more. Yum!
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world. Situated at the eastern foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town, this expansive garden includes specimens from five of South Africa's six different biomes. It's a great place to learn more about South Africa's natural heritage and enjoy beautiful scenery as you stretch your legs.
INSIDER TIP: Visiting over summer? If so, keep an eye on the Kirstenbosch website to see which outdoor concerts will be taking place during your visit. It’s such a lovely way of combining a visit to the magnificent gardens with a cultural encounter that promotes South Africa’s local artists.
The Mother City is renowned for her stunning beaches, and of these Clifton and Camps Bay are best loved among locals and visitors alike. If you’re visiting from Europe between June and August, which is technically winter in South Africa, we highly recommend that you still bring along your bathing suit – we often enjoy temperatures of 25°C and higher even in winter, so you could very well catch a tan despite the season.
INSIDER TIP: Would you like to enjoy a gorgeous picnic or beautiful cocktail experience on one of Cape Town’s beaches without going through the hassle of managing the transport and set-up yourself? You’re in luck! There are some very talented people who will do it on your behalf – see here and here.
Cape Point falls within the southern section of Table Mountain National park. It's a place of rugged rocks and sheer cliffs that plunge 200m into the ocean below. Here, you'll be able to learn more about the Cape Floristic Kingdom and the many species of fynbos it comprises.
INSIDER TIP: If you’re headed to Cape Point on a day trip, see if you can squeeze in a stopover at a seaside location along the way to enjoy some fresh seafood. Kalk Bay, Noordhoek and Hout Bay all have excellent options.
There you have it – five top things to do in and around Cape Town during your stay. Feel free to get in touch with the Luxury Cape Stays team if you would like to some more info on the hottest happenings and prettiest places in the Mother City. We are more than happy to share our expert insight in this regard and point you in the direction of awesome experiences and Instagram-worthy encounters from Sea Point to the CBD, the Cape Winelands and beyond!