From lunches and carols to markets and meeting Santa
10 top things to do in Cape Town
A selection of the best things to do in Cape Town and the surrounds
If Cape Town really was the Mother City, she’d be the woman who has everything - designer handbags, flashy sport cars and a penthouse in Camps Bay. With the mountains, the sea, and the beautiful people, all baked in a Mediterranean climate, there are plenty of things to do in Cape Town. But with so much to choose from, how do you decide? We’ve come up with a selection of Cape Town’s best, to help you narrow things down a little.
1 – Table Mountain
One of the most striking landscapes in the world, Table Mountain affords panoramic views of Lions Head, Devils Peak and the City of Cape Town. There are many hiking trails, with varying levels of difficulty including; the Hoerikwaggo trails, the Kasteel Sport Ascent and the Pipe Track (more of a level climb). Alternatively, you can take the famous cable-car. Once at the summit, why not have an evening picnic or a cooling cocktail at the bar? You can also climb nearby Lions Head for another great view.
2 – Robben Island
Robben Island is famously known for holding political figures during the apartheid, the most famous of which is Nelson Mandela. Several times a day, ferries depart from the Robben Island Exhibition and Information Centre, situated next door to the Clock Tower building at the V&A Waterfront. A trip to Robben Island includes; the prison and an island tour.
3 – Shark Diving
For an adrenaline rush, nothing beats coming face-to-face with the gaping jaws of a great white shark. Gansbaai, on Cape Town’s East coast, has been dubbed the ‘Great White shark cage diving capital of the world’. Pull on your scuba gear and climb into the cage if you dare! Allow time for a 1.5 hour drive out to Gansbaai with your chosen company. More information at Meet the Great White Sharks in Gansbaai
4 – Cape Point Nature Reserve
Visit the place where two oceans meet, for activities to keep the whole family entertained including; nature, extreme sports, fine dining, luxury shops, children’s entertainment and magnificent flora and fauna. Ride the Flying Dutchman Furnicular train, see if you can spot the Cape Mountain zebra or hike through natural fynbos. Find out more at Why Walk When you can Take the Flying Dutchman?
5 –Township tours
Challenge your perceptions of townships with fully interactional walking tours. Why not stay overnight and sample some traditional African food at Ekasie Backpackers Hostel or take a drive through District Six en route to visiting the townships of Langa, Gugulethu and Bonteheuwel with Camissa Tours.
6 – Drive along Chapman’s Peak
Dubbed one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world, Chapman’s Peak is a stunning stretch of rocky coastline, situated between Noordhoek and Hout Bay. There are many viewing areas along the way, so why not stop, have a picnic and take in the 180 degree coastal views? Chapman’s Peak has an incredible 114 curves, ideal for driving a powerful sports car like the Porsche. Find out more about renting one at Rent a Porsche Boxter S for your Holiday in Cape Town
7 -Castle of Good Hope
The Castle of Good Hope, at the bottom of Buitenkant Street, is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa and is home to the Military Museum, the William Fehr collection (an art collection which captures the social history of Dutch colonial settlement and British occupation, from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century) and the Castle Forge. You can also watch the changing of the guards and there is a second cannon here, besides Cape Town's Noon Gun.
8 - V&A Waterfront
Tourists pilgrimage to this lifestyle mecca. Expect talented jewellers African curios and designer labels galore, as well as a grand shopping centre, craft markets, a Nu Metro cinema, restaurants, an aquarium and great views of the harbour as well as Table Mountain at Cape Town's popular Waterfront. Various boat cruises are also on offer.
9 – Visit the penguins at Boulders Beach
Over 1000 fluffy little African penguins are just dying to meet you. You could sit on the neighbouring beach and have a sunny picnic, or visit the scratch patch with your kids. Simon’s Town is the third oldest town in South Africa and is well worth a historical visit. More information at Swim with the African Penguins
10 – The Cape Winelands
The Cape Winelands have been in existence for a whopping 350 years and cover 800km. Why not rent a luxury car and drive out to the stunning mountain ranges and valleys. You’ll be sitting in the grounds of a mansion on a summer’s day, overlooking the vineyards while sipping on a glass of red and nibbling on chocolate, cheese or fine gourmet cuisine. Heaven. For more information, check out our popular winelands section
Why not visit a private game reserve and get back in touch with your wild side? Be sure to visit our popular things to do section.