Cape Town Guide: Insider Tips To Make The Most Out Of Your Trip
Cape Town is a city like no other. With its unique blend of cultures, stunning scenery, and vibrant energy, it’s no wonder this South African gem is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Situated on the iconic cape of South Africa, this city is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the world. From Table Mountain to Signal Hill, there’s plenty to see and do in Cape Town.
Not to mention the incredible food and wine scene! This Cape Town guide will give you some insider tips on how to make the most of your trip. So whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned pro, read on for all the best advice on what to see and do in Cape Town!
TOP 5 Highlights in Cape Town
Cape Town is a city like no other, with so much to see and do. Here are our top five highlights to help you make the most out of your trip.
- Visit Table Mountain and take the cable car to the top for stunning views of the city, or hike up if you’re feeling adventurous.
- Explore Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, one of the most beautiful gardens in the world.
- Take a trip to Cape Point, the southernmost point of Africa, and enjoy the impressive views.
- Visit one of the many vineyards in the Cape Winelands for a day of wine tasting.
- Spend a day exploring the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa.
The best sights in Cape Town
The beauty in Cape Town lies within it’s beautiful sights!
Table MountainMountain in Cape TownAdd to myTravel added
A visit to Cape Town without climbing the infamous Table Mountain would be almost criminal! Table Mountain is considered one of the oldest mountains on earth; it is about five times older than the Rocky Mountains and six times older than the Himalayas. Over thousands of years, its sandstone walls have gradually flattened, so the picturesque mountain is now a perfect height to climb in a day!If you’re too lazy to hike (about three hours one-way), take the cable car to the top, where spectacular views over the hills of Durbanville and the endless blue of the Atlantic await you. Table Mountain is at its most beautiful early in the morning or late in the afternoon: the golden light will bathe any photo of you in a magical warm glow. You can also climb Table Mountain as part of a tour, so you’re on the safe side and get a little history lesson and good company along the way – what more could you want!
Cape of good HopeMountain in Cape TownAdd to myTravel added
The cape peninsula is one of cape town’s most popular tourist destinations. It’s home to some of the best beaches in the world, as well as a number of historical landmarks. The cape of good hope, cape point, and Robben Island are all located on the cape peninsula. If you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery, the cape peninsula is the perfect spot. Tip: Make sure to take the cable car up to cape point for a breathtaking view of the cape peninsula.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical GardenNature Reserve in Cape TownAdd to myTravel added
This beautiful place in Cape Town has quite a nostalgic meaning for me, because every time I’m in Cape Town I spend hours in the park, reading in the shade of the trees or writing postcards to my loved ones back home. As one of Africa’s most popular public botanical gardens, you’ll find plenty of green space to relax in, as well as an incredible variety of native plants and flowers. The Cape Floral Kingdom, for example, is now a World Heritage Site. The entire botanical garden is immaculately maintained and flanked by the rugged slopes of Table Mountain to boot – I guarantee you incredible photos!So, pack the picnic basket, a deck of cards and your favorite book and spend a peaceful afternoon at Kirstenbosch. In summer there are live concerts, here you can find the program.
Lions HeadMountain in Cape TownAdd to myTravel added
The Signal Hill in Cape Town is apparently supposed to look like an upside-down lion’s head and therefore has the name Lions Head! Even if my imagination is not enough for this conclusion, a hike to the top of the mountain is definitely part of your Cape Town visit. For this, you best set out early in the morning and can climb the 669 meters within an hour of tight walking and a small climbing challenge. Once at the top, you’ll enjoy unparalleled views of the beautiful city of the tip of Africa after a short breather.Also a guided sunset hike is a great option for you. If you want to experience Lions Head like the locals do, during the clear full moon nights in summer, grab a picnic basket with a bottle of wine and tasty snacks and head out armed with flashlights. On the lawn, you can either mingle with the crowd and listen to live music, or experience the view over the illuminated harbor to the Table Mountain in romantic togetherness.
Robben IslandIsland in Cape TownAdd to myTravel added
Robben Island is a small island located just off the coast of cape town. It’s most famous for being the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years. Today, Robben Island is a popular tourist destination and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can take tours of the island, which include visits to the prison and Nelson Mandela’s cell. If you’re interested in history or want to learn more about Cape town, a visit to Robben Island is a must. Tip: For the best experience, take the ferry to Robben Island in the morning so you can spend the entire day exploring.
The best tours in Cape Town
Cape Town is a city that has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, and culture or just want to relax on the beach, Cape Town has something to offer. With so many things to see and do, it can be hard to know where to start. To help you make the most out of your trip, here are five of the best attractions Cape Town has to offer.
01 Whalewatching Cape Town
If you’re looking for an exhilarating experience, then whale watching from a speedboat is definitely for you. Ivanhoe Sea Safaris offers this activity. Departing from Cape Town, you’ll head out to Hermanus, where you’ll board a boat and head out into the open ocean in search of these majestic creatures. You’re almost guaranteed to see some whales, as Hermanus is one of the best places in the world for whale watching. Tickets start at $126 per person, and the pickup is between 6:45 to 7:30 am. The tour includes snacks, drinks, and a guide as well.
02 Two Oceans Aquarium
Get up close and personal with some of the ocean’s most fascinating creatures at the Two Oceans Aquarium. Located in the V&A Waterfront, the aquarium is home to over 3000 different marine animals, including penguins, seals, sharks, turtles, and more. The 10-meter-long aquarium tunnel is a highlight, where you can walk beneath the ocean and see the animals swimming overhead.
City Pass Cape Town offers one of the best tours of Two Oceans Aquarium that you can’t miss. You can even feed the penguins! Tickets start at $13 per person, and the aquarium is open from 09:30 am to 05:00 pm.Add to myTravel added
03 2-Day Safari Tour
Get out of the city and explore the beautiful Garden Route on this two-day safari tour with City Pass Cape Town.
You’ll stay overnight at a game lodge where you can go on game drives and walks to see some of Africa’s most iconic animals, like lions, elephants, rhinos, and buffalo. You’ll also get to enjoy some incredible views of the coastline. The tour includes accommodation, meals, game drives, and transfers.
04 Franschhoek Wine Tram
For a relaxed and scenic way to explore the wine region of Franschhoek, hop on board the Franschhoek Wine Tram. The tram runs along a network of old railway tracks and stops at some of the best vineyards in the area.
You can hop on and off as you please, or stay on for the full loop, which takes about two hours. For the best experience, choose City Sightseeing South Africa.
05 Tandem Paragliding Cape Town
For the ultimate adrenaline rush, take to the skies with a tandem paragliding adventure with Skywings Paragliding Cape Town. You’ll be strapped to an experienced pilot as you soar over the beautiful city of Cape Town and take in panoramic views of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, and more.
The flight lasts for about 20 minutes and pickups are between 08:00, and 09:00 am.
Cape Town is an astounding city with so much to see and do. These are just a few of the best tours and activities you can enjoy during your stay.
Check out these tips on how to make your Cape Town visit the best.
The best way to get to Cape Town is by flying into Cape Town International Airport. The airport is located about 20 kilometers from the city center and is serviced by a number of domestic and international airlines.
If you’re coming from Johannesburg, there are a few options for getting to Cape Town. You can fly, take the Gautrain, or drive. The flight is by far the quickest option, taking just under two hours.
Best Time To Travel to Cape Town
Cape Town is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is during the shoulder season, from March to May or September to November.
- March To May: The weather is warm and dry, with average temperatures ranging from 14-25 °C. During these months, the city is less crowded, as peak season has not yet begun.
- September To November: The weather is warm and dry, with average temperatures ranging from 13-25 °C. These months are considered the shoulder season, so there are fewer tourists and lower prices.
Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate, which means that it is generally mild, with cool winters and warm summers.
- December to February: These are the summer months in Cape Town, and the average temperature is between 21-27 °C.
- March to May: These are the autumn months in Cape Town, and the average temperature is between 14-25 °C.
- June to August: These are the winter months in Cape Town, and the average temperature is between 11-23 °C.
- September to November: These are the spring months in Cape Town, and the average temperature is between 13-25 °C.
Cape Town is a very walkable city, and many attractions are within walking distance of each other. However, there is also an efficient public transportation system that includes buses, trains, and taxis.
If you’re planning on doing a lot of sightseeing, we recommend getting a Hop On Hop Off bus ticket. This allows you to get on and off the bus at any of the stops along the route, and it’s a great way to see all the major attractions.
We recommend staying for at least seven days. This will give you enough time to get a feeling for the city. For example, you could spend one day exploring the city center, visiting the beaches, going on a wine tour, and so on. Then, plenty of activities to keep you busy for more days if you have more time.
Eating And Drinking In Cape Town
Cape Town has excellent restaurants, cafés, and bars, which are worth checking out. Whether you’re a seafood lover or a meat lover, you’ll be able to find something to your taste. There are a few things you should keep an eye on:
- Cape Town has some regional food that you should try! The Cape Malay cuisine is a must-try while you’re in the city. Some of the best restaurants for this type of food are Biesmiellah, Cape Town, and Kalkies.
- Do not drink tap water! The water is not safe to drink, so only drink bottled water. Do try the local foods – you’ll be surprised at how delicious they are!
- Tipping is not required, but it is appreciated if you do.
- The payment method varies from restaurant to restaurant, so it’s best to ask before you order.
- Lastly, you should definitely check out Woodstock, Bo-Kaap, and Observatory for some great food options. These are all great areas to explore and find hidden gems.
The local wine is definitely worth trying – it’s some of the best in the world! Finally, if you’re looking for a night out, there are plenty of bars and clubs to choose from.
Best Restaurants In The District
Cape Town has been called the culinary capital of South Africa, and with good reason! The city is home to some of the best chefs in the country, as well as a wide variety of restaurants and cafés serving up delicious food from all over the world. And, if you’re looking for an unforgettable gastronomic experience, there are a few things you shouldn’t miss while you’re in Cape Town.
3 Top Restaurant Locations In The City
If you’re looking for the best restaurant locations, we’d suggest you start with these three spots. Cape Town has an array of hidden gems when it comes to food, and these restaurants are definitely some of the best.
The Test KitchenRestaurant in Cape TownAdd to myTravel added
The Test Kitchen is known for its inventive tasting menus. The restaurant is constantly evolving, so there’s always something new to try. You’ll love the creative dishes and the unique atmosphere.
For instance, oven-roasted chicken thighs with kimchi and Miso gravy, or torched Cape Town yellowtail with pineapple salsa is finger licking good.
The Pot Luck ClubRestaurant in Cape TownAdd to myTravel added
The Pot Luck Club is an excellent option if you’re looking for something a little different. The restaurant is located in an old warehouse, and the menu features a variety of small plates. You can order as many or as few dishes as you like, making it perfect for sharing.
And, with dishes like Cape Town mussels with green chili and ginger, or grilled lamb neck with apricot and preserved lemon, you’re sure to find something to your taste.
Grub and VineRestaurant in Cape TownAdd to myTravel added
Grub And Vine is the perfect spot for a date night. The restaurant has a cozy, intimate atmosphere, and the menu features a variety of delicious share plates.
We recommend the grilled Cape Town lobster with garlic butter, or the seared venison loin with bordelaise sauce. You can also order from an impressive wine list, which features a variety of local and international wines.
These are just a few of the great restaurant options in Cape Town. So, whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, you’re sure to find something to your taste. Bon appétit!
The Most Beautiful Cafés In Cape Town
Cape Town is home to some of the most stylish cafés in the world. From chic bistros to lively markets, there’s a coffee shop for every taste. Here are our top picks for the most beautiful cafés in Cape Town.
- Biscuit Mill: This charming café is located in an old biscuit factory in Woodstock. The Biscuit Mill is known for its breat coffee, fresh pastries, and vibrant atmosphere.
- Cape Town Art: This funky café is located in the heart of Cape Town’s art district. It serves up great coffee and delicious food with a side of creative flair.
- The Daily Grind: This no-frills café is a local favorite for its great coffee and friendly staff. The Daily Grind is the perfect place to get your caffeine fix before exploring Cape Town’s many sights.
Cape Town Shopping Spots
No trip to Cape Town is complete without a little shopping. The city has a range of options, from high-end malls to local markets. Here are some of the best places to shop in Cape Town.
- Victoria’s Secret (593 Broadway): This is the Cape Town branch of the popular lingerie store. The store stocks a range of items, from bras and panties to swimwear and sportswear.
- Zara (580 Broadway): Zara is a Spanish retailer that offers trendy and affordable clothing for women, men, and children. The Cape Town store is located in the city center.
- Adidas Originals (115 Spring Street): This store stocks a range of Adidas products, including sneakers, clothing, and accessories.
- H&M (558 Broadway): H&M is a Swedish retailer offering reasonably priced fashion-forward clothing.
- Nike (529 Broadway): Nike is a global sporting goods company that offers a range of products, including sneakers, clothing, and fitness equipment.
- Louis Vuitton (116 Greene Street): A French luxury brand. The store stocks a range of products, including handbags, luggage, clothing, and accessories.
- Prada (100 Prince Street): This Italian brand stocks a range of products, including handbags, clothing, shoes, and accessories.
- Moncler (Prince Street): Moncler is known for its luxury outerwear. The store stocks a range of jackets, coats, and vests for men, women, and children.
- All Saints (512 Broadway): Lastly, All Saints is a British retailer that offers a range of clothing and accessories for both men and women.
These are just a few of the many shopping spots in Cape Town. So whether you’re looking for luxury brands or more affordable options, the city has something to offer everyone.
Saving Tips For Cape Town
Cape Town is a notoriously expensive city to visit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your time here without breaking the bank. There are plenty of ways to save money while you’re in town, and with a bit of planning, you can easily stay within your budget.
- One of the best ways to save money is to purchase a tourist pass. The most popular tourist pass in Cape Town is the MyCiTi card, which gives you unlimited access to all of the city’s public transport. The card costs just R35 (about $2), and you can load the balance as per your use.
- Another way to save money is to take advantage of the city’s many free activities and attractions. Many of the city’s museums offer free admission, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as hiking and biking in the nearby mountains.
- If you’re looking for a place to eat, plenty of affordable options are available. Street food is very popular in Cape Town, and you can find vendors selling everything from sandwiches to curries. There are also many restaurants that offer discounts for people eating during off-peak hours.
- Lastly, be sure to take advantage of the many discount cards and coupons that are available in Cape Town. These cards can save you money on everything from food and drinks to activities and attractions.
The Most Beautiful Hotels In Cape Town
Cape Town is a city of stunning natural beauty, with towering mountains, pristine beaches, and an array of gorgeous hotels to suit every taste. Here are our top picks for the most beautiful hotels in Cape Town.
01 The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
Situated on the edge of a rocky cliff with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Twelve Apostles is an elegant 5-star hotel that offers…
02 The Mount Nelson
One of Cape Town’s most iconic hotels, Mount Nelson has been welcoming guests since 1899. The hotel is set in beautiful gardens and offers elegant…
03 POD Camps Bay Boutique Hotel
In the top picks of hotels in Cape Town is the POD Camps Bay, a must-list! This outstanding Boutique Hotel will offer you the best…
04 The Silo Hotel
A recent addition to Cape Town’s hotel scene, the Silo has quickly become one of the city’s most popular places to stay. The hotel occupies…
05 The Cape Grace
A luxury 5-star hotel situated on its own private quay in the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, the Cape Grace offers breathtaking views of Table Mountain…
Whether you’re looking for luxury, style, or simply a stunning setting, Cape Town has a hotel to suit your needs.
What is the nightlife like in Cape Town?
Cape Town has a vibrant nightlife scene, with a wide variety of bars and clubs to suit all tastes. Some popular spots include Long Street, Observatory, and Camps Bay.
How to get around Cape town?
The best way to get around Cape Town is by car. However, an excellent public transportation system is also in place, with buses and trains running regularly. Taxis are also readily available and are a convenient way to get around the city.
How’s The Crime Rate?
Cape Town is a beautiful and diverse city, with plenty to see and do. However, it is essential to remember that Cape Town is located in a country with a high crime rate, so it is vital to take precautions when traveling. Always ask a local for advice on where to go and what to do when in doubt.
How much does it cost to visit Cape town?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as costs can vary greatly depending on your individual travel plans. However, a general guideline would be to budget around $85 per day for accommodation, food, and activities.
What Should I Pack For My Trip?
When packing for your trip to Cape Town, be sure to pack light and comfortable clothing. The city has a warm climate, so you won’t need to worry about packing too many layers. However, make sure to pack sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.
I love traveling! Whether it's the Australian outback, the fjords of Norway or city trips to the most beautiful cities in the world like Paris, Singapore, Barcelona or New York - I'll write down my best tips so that your trip will be a very special highlight.
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