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The ultimate Cape Town bucket list
Eat the hottest burger, rock this sky ride or discover the Mother City’s rich history
Last Updated: Monday, 4 April 2022
In the last two years the world has changed drastically, and so have we. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s to appreciate every moment we have together, and to create magic in our own corners. Be fearless and dive off of cliffs, catapult through the air, try new foods from different cultures and dance your heart out under the beating sun. Here’s the top 50 experiences to add to your bucket-list in 2022.
GO KLOOFING IN THE BOLAND MOUNTAINS
Dare to hike, swim and jump your way through this thrilling waterway. Dive off cliffs, from 3 to 20 metres high, into freshwater rock pools below. Embrace the thrill of Suicide Gorge.
Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve | 021 483 0190 | Image: Jamie-Lee Day
BOARD A MAGICAL STEAM TRAIN
No, not the Hogwarts Express. This steam train, while sporting some modern conveniences, will make you feel like you’ve travelled back in time to the 1800s. Ride from Cape Town to Elgin on the Elgin Railway Steam Train.
Depart from Harbour Bridge Hotel in Foreshore | 079 401 9353 | Image: Elgin Railway Market
EAT THE HOTTEST BURGER
Try your hand at the Sterkbek challenge: eat a gourmet burger with ghost chillies, jalapeño and in-house spicy sauce (to name a few toppings) at the Hood Kitchen in Mitchell’s Plain.
23 Boeing | Rocklands | 084 381 2511 | Instagram: @thehoodkitchen_mp | Image: The Hood Kitchen
DROP FROM THE SKY WITH THIS THRILL RIDE
Launching from the 28th floor of Hotel Sky, this ride catapults you 35-metres up in a chair lift, giving you a bird’s eye view of Cape Town. Sound exciting? It’s one of only three thrill rides of its kind in the world. Boost your adrenaline with the SkyHi Ride.
9 Lower Long St | Hotel Sky | Cape Town | Instagram: @skyhiride | Image: SkyHi Ride
TRY YOUR HAND AT AXE-THROWING
Get your head in the game and try this adrenaline-filled experience. Challenge your friends to an axe-throwing competition and hit the bullseye at XOXO Urban Axe Throwing in Salt River.
100 Voortrekker Road | Salt River | 074 609 6591 | Instagram: @xoxo_axethrowing | Image: Simone Strydom
ZOOM DOWN THE LONGEST ZIPLINE IN THE WORLD
This is must-do activity on the Garden Route. It is the longest over-the-ocean zipline in the world where you can reach speeds of up to 90km per hour. Dive head first into this adventure with Mossel Bay Zipline Adventures.
6 Point Road | Mossel Bay | 068 022 9183 | Instagram: @mosselbayzipline | Image: Mossel Bay Zipline Adventures
PARTY ON A PIRATE SHIP
Live out your “Pirates of the Caribbean” fantasy on this pirate-themed boat. Book it exclusively for a party, join in for a sunset cruise or bring the kids for the adventure of a lifetime on the Jolly Roger Pirate Boat.
7A 5 W Quay Road | V&A Waterfront | 021 421 0909 | Instagram: @jollyrogerboat | Image: Jolly Roger Pirate Boat
EAT EASTERN STREET FOOD AT THIS BAZAAR
Whether you’re in the mood for Turkish, Indian or local dishes, this bazaar has something for everyone. From Turkish kebabs to Cape-style biryanis, Indian curries and tandoor dishes, the Eastern Food Bazaar is a trove of flavour.
96 Longmarket Street | CBD | 021 461 2458 | Instagram: @easternfoodbazaarct | Image: Francois Rousseau
DRINK WHISKY FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Savour the delicious food, bursts of colour and meet like-minded people at this sexy bar in the city centre. With top-of-the-range whisky and wine YOBO Whisky and Wine Bar is relaxed and convivial.
86 Shortmarket St | CBD | 064 752 0555 | Instagram: @yobo_love | Image: YOBO
DINE BY A TIDAL POOL IN HERMANUS
If you happen to find yourself in this seaside town, you have to make a stop at this seaside eatery. The sunsets here are stunning, and with its sexy cocktails and a cool tidal pool below (that you can swim in), you’ll feel like you’re in the South of France at Ficks Pinchos & Wine.
8 Marine Dr, Westcliff | Hermanus | 028 312 4082 | Instagram: @ficksrestaurant | Image: Ficks Restaurant
RIDE THE OCEAN ON A WATER BIKE
Hop on this unique water vessel and pedal through the stunning waters in Simon’s Town. One of the big benefits of the water bikes is that they’re non-motorised and quiet, so it doesn’t disturb the wildlife. Join daily tours between 8am and 11am with Cape Town Water Bikes.
Wharf Street | Simon’s Town | 083 777 1048 | Instagram: @capetownwaterbikes | Image: Cape town Water Bikes
DRINK WINE AT THIS LANDMARK FARM
Go for a wine tasting at the first fully black-owned wine farm in Franschhoek. Its buffet restaurant is in an elegantly restored 1920s building and the food is divine. Enjoy a relaxing lunch and wine tasting at Klein Goederust Boutique Winery in Franschhoek.
Klein Goederust Road | Franschhoek | 076 278 7569 | Instagram: @klein_goederust | Image: Klein Goederust
VISIT THE CAPE TOWN TOWNSHIPS
Explore the other side of the Mother City with this travel company. Experience the bustling township of Langa, go on a tour of historic Robben Island, or visit a church with a gospel tour with the Camissa Township Tour.
Camissa Travel and Marketing | 021 555 2581 | Instagram: @camissatravel | Image: Camissa Travel
STAND UP PADDLE IN CAPE TOWN’S CANALS
Explore the 3km loop around the Waterfront canals with no waves to disturb or knock you off your board. Besides the occasional school of fish, you're left to soak up the sun and enjoy your day with SUP Cape Town.
Battery Park | Alfred Road | V&A Waterfront | 071 603 8388 | Instagram: @supcapetown | Image: Warren Papier
TOUR THE CAPE WINELANDS ON A WINE TRAM
Hop on board and discover the beauty of the Franschhoek Valley in the best way possible. From a hop-on, hop-off trip to a wine and cuisine experience, spend a day tasting wines from Le Lude, Klein Goederust, Leopard’s Leap and many more with the Franschhoek Wine Tram.
Main Road | Franschhoek | 021 300 0338 | Instagram: @winetram | Image: Franschhoek Wine Tram
FROM CAPE TO CAIRO: EXPERIENCE GOLD RESTAURANT
Malian puppets will greet you, to the sound of traditional African drums and music. Taste food from across the continent and enjoy a sensory journey into the colours, creativity and artistry with GOLD Restaurant.
15 Bennett St | Green Point | 021 421 4653 | Instagram: @goldrestaurantcapetown | Image: GOLD Restaurant
WATCH AN OPEN-AIR MOVIE
Picnic as the sun sets in a botanical garden or on a wine farm, or opt for royal, VIP treatment, while watching a movie under the stars. Don’t miss out on this unique movie experience at The Galileo.
Various locations | 071 471 8728 | Instagram: @thegalileo | Image: The Galileo
PARTY IN THE CITY EVERY FIRST THURSDAY
On the first Thursday of every month, walk between the dozens of art galleries and cultural events in Cape Town. The event is free, and there is a big after-party including some of the city’s finest bars and restaurants.
Various locations | Instagram: @firstthursdays_za | Image: The Plot Gallery
GO ON A TOUR WITH SAN IN YZERFONTEIN
Learn about the human origins in South Africa. Experience a tea tasting, forage in the field, learn how to track in the sand or ride an eBike at !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre.
West Coast Road | Yzerfontein | 022 492 2998 | Instagram: @khwattu | Image: !Khwa ttu
DISCOVER A SECRET CLUB
It’s eclectic, it’s classy, it’s Darling, baby. And getting into one of Cape Town’s sexiest clubs is a thrill – there are 3 ways to access it. Here’s how to get you and your crew into Darling.
101 Hout Street | Cape Town City Centre | 079 656 1080 | Instagram: @zsazsacpt | Image: Zsa Zsa
EAT ONE OF CAPE TOWN’S MOST ICONIC SANDWICHES
Here’s something that should be at the top of your foods to try list. There is nothing that screams “Cape Town” like a good old Gatsby. Here’s where to find the best gatsby in Cape Town, according to locals.
Various locations | Image: Steelies Fast Foods (@steelies_fastfoods)
DUSK OR DAWN, JOIN A GLOBAL DANCE MOVEMENT
Start or end your day off on a high note by joining in a silent guided dance and meditation experience. From wine farms to some of Cape Town’s most beautiful beaches, join in for the dance with Secret Sunrise.
Secret Sunrise | Instagram: @secretsunrisecpt | Image: Secret Sunrise
GO SHARK-CAGE DIVING
Brave the cold waters and meet one of the most majestic creatures. Just two hours from Cape Town, Gansbaai is known as the Great White Shark capital of the world. Be bold, shark diving in Gansbaai is a must.
Gansbaai | 082 559 6858 | Instagram: @whitesharkco | Image: White Shark Diving Co
VISIT THE MAGNIFICENT MUSEUMS AT IZIKO
From the amazing Digital Dome at the Planetarium and the ginormous Whale Well at the South African Museum, visiting Iziko Museums is glimpse into South African culture.
5 Queen Victoria Street | Gardens | 021 481 3800 | Instagram: @izikomuseumssa | Image: Iziko Museums
SAMPLE THE BEST FISH AND CHIPS IN TOWN
Eating fish and chips is as Capetonian as Table Mountain. No surprise, then, that locals love and know their seafood, so take the lead from them. Try out some of the best fisheries and fresh-fish spots in Cape Town.
HIKE THIS ICONIC MOUNTAIN
Were you even in Cape Town if you didn’t hike Lion’s Head? There are various routes to choose from, for beginners and regular hikers alike. You won’t be disappointed with any of the routes, they all have spectacular views.
Lions Head | Signal Hill Rd | Image: Warren Emett
OR OPT FOR THE ROUTES LESS TRAVELLED
Lions Head and Table Mountain are iconic hiking routes for a reason, but don’t overlook some of these gorgeous hiking trails (some even have magical waterfalls).
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve | Stellenbosch | 021 866 1560 | Image: Lara van Zyl
TEST YOUR SLEUTHING SKILLS AT THIS GAME
Can you escape a disintegrating shipwreck, find cursed treasured scattered along the decks of a decrepit ship or solve the mysterious murder of Mr O before? Solve the riddles and puzzles at HintHunt Africa.
Watershed | 17 Dock Road | V&A Waterfront | | 021 001 4215 | Instagram: @hinthuntafrica | Image: Hint Hunt
TAKE A DRIVE OVER CHAPMAN’S PEAK
Wind your way between Noordhoek and Hout Bay on what some say is one of the most spectacular coastal drives in the world. Drive down and park at one of the picnic pit stops to enjoy a stunning Cape Town sunset. You gotta do Chappies.
Chapman’s Peak Drive | Cape Town | Credit: @kapunkt
TASTE MZANSI FLAVOURS AT MAKERS LANDING
From mince and vetkoek to sheep's head, try local flavours and delicacies at the vibey Maker’s Landing. Experience South Africa at its finest with Pitso’s Kitchen.
V&A Waterfront | The Cruise Terminal | 084 408 5459 | Instagram: @pitsos_kitchenza | Image: Pitso’s Kitchen
SPEND THE DAY IN DISTRICT SIX
Learn about the 60 000 residents who were forcibly removed from their homes in District Six during apartheid at the District Six museum.
25A Buitenkant Street | Zonnebloem | 021 466 7200 | Instagram: @districtsixmuseum | Image: Lara van Zyl
SUPPORT LOCAL AT A CITY MARKET
Spend your Saturday feasting on artisanal fare, shopping locally-made goods and listening to local talents at Woodstock’s vibrant Neighbourgoods Market.
Old Biscuit Mill | Woodstock | Instagram: @neighbourgoodsmarket | Image: Neighbourgoods Market
GO SIGHTSEEING ON THE BIG RED BUS
Experience all of Cape Town’s main attractions in one go. Spend the day on this open-top bus, with 30 stops. Get to know the Mother City with the Hop-on Hop-off City Sightseeing tour.
Dock Road | V&A Waterfront | 021 511 6000 | Instagram: @citysightseeingsa | City Sightseeing
VISIT ROBBEN ISLAND FOR THE DAY
Home to the prison that housed many political prisoners under apartheid, the most famous being Nelson Mandela, experience history on Robben Island.
Robben Island | 021 413 4200 | Instagram: @robbenislandmuseum | Image: Lara v Zyl
SEGWAY THROUGH STELLENBOSCH VINEYARDS
Enjoy an easy and breezy segway tour through the vineyards and gardens at Spier Wine Farm. You can choose between the regular tour, a vineyard glide or a sunset tour around this stunning Stellenbosch wine farm.
Spier Wine Farm | Baden Powell Drive | Stellenbosch | 021 809 1157 | Instagram: @segwayspier | Image: Spier Wine Farm
EXPLORE THE COMPANY’S GARDEN
Visit the South African museum, the Cape Town Holocaust Centre and the South African National Gallery in one go. Or just enjoy the beauty of Company’s Garden and pop by the restaurant.
Company’s Garden | 021 423 2919 | Image: Heritage Shop Company’s Garden (@heritageshop_companysgarden)
SPEND THE WEEKEND ON A HOUSEBOAT
Escape to Langebaan and spend a leisurely weekend living on the water. This piece of paradise is located in the West Coast National Park. Float in style with Kraalbaai Luxury House Boats.
Kraalbaai Luxury Houseboats | West Coast national park | 076 017 4788 | Instagram: @kraalbaai | Image: Kraalbaai Luxury House Boats
DISCOVER HIDDEN GEMS IN AN URBAN PARK
Learn about biodiversity, discover an interactive sundial, labyrinth or a Khoisan shelter, or just enjoy outdoor gyms, picnic spots or kids play areas. It’s all free of charge at Green Point Urban Park.
1 Fritz Sonnenberg Road | Green Point | 021 444 4258 | Image: Lara van Zyl
SHOP THE HOUT BAY MARKET SCENE
With over 60 trader stalls filled with quirky goods and live music, you’ll enjoy hours of entertainment at the Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay.
31 Harbour Road | Hout Bay | 084 370 5715 | Instagram: @bayharbourmarket | Image: Bay Harbour Market
KAYAK THROUGH CAPE TOWN WATERS
Connect with nature and experience Cape Town from a unique perspective with a scenic paddle in the heart of Sea Point. Spot furry seals, dolphins and even whales while doing this peaceful kayak experience with Cape Kayak Adventures.
179 Beach Road | Three Anchor Bay | 074 810 2224 | Instagram: @capekayakadventures | Image: Cape Kayak Adventures
VISIT THE PENGUINS
Spend the day in the seaside village Simon’s Town and meet an African penguin colony at Boulders Beach. Get close and observe the penguins wandering freely in a protected environment, while enjoying a classic Cape Town beach day.
Kleintuin Road | Simon's Town | 021 786 2329 | Image: Alessandro Novero
It’s not just about the meat, it’s a lifestyle, a place to party, see the hottest local artist or just chill with friends. Discover the best places to experience a tshisanyama.
VISIT THE OLDEST CATHEDRAL IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Visiting the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Cape Town is a must. With its stunning architecture and rich history, St George’s Cathedral is gorgeous, and also often hosts beautiful choral events.
5 Wale Street | Cape Town City Centre | 021 424 7360 | Image: James Delaney
LEARN ABOUT GANG CULTURE AT THIS MUSEUM
Learn about Cape Town’s gang culture with an educational and interactive tour at the 18 Gangster Museum in Khayelitsha.
Dullah Omar Street | Mandela Park | 073 707 3639 | Instagram: @18gangstermuseum | Image: 18 Gangster Museum
SWIM WITH THE CROCS
Shark cage diving not your vibe? We dare you to swim with crocodiles instead at Le Bonheur Reptiles and Adventures in Paarl, the only place in the Western Cape where you can view 200+ crocodiles.
Simondium | Suider Paarl | 021 863 1142 | Instagram: @lebonheuradventures | Image: Le Bonheur
VISIT THE BOTANICAL GARDEN OF THE CAPE SOUTH COAST
Walk to a majestic waterfall, soak up the colourful fynbos and discover the lush indigenous forest at the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens, a protected reserve near Betty’s Bay.
Cnr Clarence Drive & Broadwith Rd | Betty’s Bay | 028 272 9311 | Image: Sheri Haw
APPRECIATE CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN ART
Marvel at the architecture, get lost in the nine floors showcasing the best of African art or just explore the Silo District at the V&A Waterfront. Experience all this and more at Zeitz MOCAA Museum.
V&A Waterfront Silo District | S Arm Road | 087 350 4777 | Instagram: @zeitzmocaa | Image: Zeitz Mocaa
RIDE THE TABLE MOUNTAIN CABLEWAY
For 90 years the cableway has been taking visitors up and down Table Mountain. It's one of Cape Town's most popular attractions. It's often booked up, especially in summer, so book early, preferably online.
Tafelberg Road | Gardens | 021 424 8181 | Instagram: @tablemountainca | Image: Table mountain Cableway
EXPLORE THE BEST OF THE V&A WATERFRONT
From the Cape Wheel and Two Oceans Aquarium to artisanal street food at the Makers Landing, there’s something for everyone at the V&A Waterfront.
9 Dock Road | Cape Town | 021 408 7600 | Instagram: @vandawaterfront | Image: Makers Landing
VISIT THE CITY’S BOTANICAL GARDEN
There is so much to see and explore at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. Enjoy a sunny picnic, learn about biodiversity and wander along the ‘Boomslang’, the treetop canopy walkway.
Rhodes Drive | Newlands | 021 799 8783 | Image: Lara van Zyl
DISCOVER MORE ADVENTURES IN CAPE TOWN
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