Our top sights, highlights and exclusive tips
With superb fine-dining, striking natural landmarks, and adrenaline-fuelled adventure, Cape Town is a city that overwhelms the senses. Lay on the grass at one of the world's best botanical gardens and enjoy a taste of fine wine after a snaking bridge walk. Rise up Table Mountain and rest on its flat top, looking down at a city known as the “Mother City” as it slopes against the mountain foothills. Your senses will tingle as you move along the waterfront and feast on seafood after a day spent deep diving in the Indian Ocean.
Castle of Good Hope
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa
District Six Museum
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Oranjezicht City Farm Market
With dramatic views of Table Mountain, The V&A Waterfront is the oldest working harbour in the southern hemisphere and dates to 1654. A perfect spot for an afternoon walking tour, whilst strolling pick up some local arts and crafts after sampling global cuisines such as fresh oysters, Thai noodles, or Belgian waffles. The Cape Town Aquarium tops off a splendid day in this gorgeous setting.
Cape Town slopes into Table Mountain. Flat-topped and rich in flora, the mountain rises 1,000 metres above sea level. With Devil’s Peak to the east and Lion’s Head to the west, a cable car to the top of this dramatic sandstone and granite rock formation rewards you with sweeping views of the Indian Ocean. If you’re a daredevil looking to make your trip extra memorable, a rock climb or abseil ensures a day spent here will be jacked with adrenaline.
Each day, a pair of Dutch naval guns known as Noon Gunfire fires at twelve o’clock from Signal Hill, a spot in Cape Town that provides sweeping views of a coastal city. The sunsets from this spot will make you feel as though you’re witnessing the sun falling into the sea. Enjoy an afternoon hike to a modest peak of 350 metres and enjoy an evening picnic as day turns to night.
South Africa’s oldest colonial building, the Castle of Good Hope was built in the 17th century and is an example of a Dutch East India Company fort. This pentagon-shaped building has cannons, four museums, and exhibitions, as well as many other events that are held throughout the year. Take your time to enjoy this historical setting and perhaps lunch in a marvellously maintained garden.
Opened in 2017 to the pomp and applause of the art world, Zeitz Museum is a stunning work of modern design and innovation. The building itself is worthy of your time alone, particularly the central atrium which is carved from 42 concrete silos. But so is the world’s largest collection of contemporary modern art, over 100 galleries continuously astounds visitors in this space. Head on down to the waterfront and be mind blown by the creative expressions on show.
A neighbourhood full of colourful residents freed from slavery, District Six was sadly destroyed by apartheid in the 1960s, but today brims with multiculturism. Today, the District Six Museum houses a collection reflective of a darker side of Cape Town’s past. Take a tour of these museum rooms and you’ll soon understand why it acts as a memorial to over 60,000 residents, a reminder of a past era, and those once forcibly removed from their community.
Walk a canopy bridge that swings and snakes through the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, a great way to enjoy one of the world’s most beautiful nature escapes. The garden is located on the slopes of Table Mountain, a treetop tour rises you above emerald lawns that spread out beneath you. Picnic on a lawn after checking out five of South Africa’s six biomes. In the late afternoon, take high tea and ready for some live entertainment such as summer concerts.
With pastel buildings the colour of the rainbow, Bo Kaap is one of the most photographed areas of Cape Town. Bo Kaap is also a former township and cultural hub of the Malay. Walk through these cobblestone streets with an audio tour, the perfect way to immerse you in slave history and the houses that represent slaves fight and eventual right to own properties. The Bo Kaap Museum and Auwal Mosque are must-visits in a neighbourhood five-minutes from the city centre.
A weekend visit to the Oranjezicht City Farm Market is the perfect way to end your trip. Held at Granger Bay each weekend morning, this community market is full of stalls and stands that offer locally sourced produce of the highest quality. Treat yourself to tasty meats, a bag of brinjals—and for dessert, why not try artisanal chocolate in a city full of world-class cuisine?
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