What to do in Cape Town
What to do in
What to do in Cape Town The answer to that question is very easy… a lot! Because this city in South Africa has a rich nature, culture and history that ensures that you can’t help but love this city. We ourselves stayed here for 3 weeks to fully explore this city at a slow pace. Are you doing a tour through South Africa? Then with a week in Cape Town you will certainly have enough time to see the best sights.
1 Take a helicopter ride
The most beautiful and special way to get a good overview of Cape Town and the surrounding mountains such as the Cape of Good Hope and Lion’s Head, is with a helicopter flight. An experience that you will certainly remember and also gives a different view of the city. We booked this trip through GetYourGide and paid 170 euros per person for half an hour. Not cheap, but worth every euro for an unforgettable experience. On Airbnb you can already book a helicopter flight for 100 euros. Although there are several options in Cape Town. You can find these here .
2 Two Oceans Aquarium
The Two Oceans Aquarium is definitely recommended if the weather is bad and you are staying in Cape Town for a longer period of time. In all other cases there are several excursions that are more worthwhile. What does make this aquarium special compared to many other aquariums are the 3 large tanks with lots of special fish and plantings that you will not have seen often in your life. You pay 185 Rand (South African Rand is the currency of South Africa) for this which converts to almost 12 euros. You’ll see it all in about an hour.
3 Food Market and Watershed
Do you like good food like us? Then you should definitely take a look at the Food Market . Here you will find African but also European dishes for a small price. Even if you’re not hungry, just walking around is nice too. When you go outside you should also take a look at Watershed which is just around the corner. This is a warehouse where you can buy handmade clothes and art from local artists and designers. These two spots are completely free to visit in the Waterfront region. Definitely a must in this ‘what to do in Cape Town’ list.
4 Shopping at the Victoria Whar
Anyone who thinks you can’t shop in South Africa will be disappointed. Because in the shopping center Victoria Wharf you can do this like no other place. In addition to a few nice local shops, all major Western brands are also present. So you can walk around here for a while. When you’re done shopping, you can eat in one of the restaurants on the Victoria & Albert Waterfront. This is a pleasant neighborhood on the water.
5 Cape point National Park
If you are in Cape Town, a trip to the Cape Point National Park should not be missed. Here you have a beautiful view of the Cape of Good Hope. And not just a view, because you can even hike on the famous cape. You start at the top and finish at the bottom, the other way around is also possible, but much heavier. A huge plus of this route is that you can also encounter wild ostriches, wildebeest and baboons. Although you should not dwell on the latter for too long. These can be very dangerous and aggressive.
You can also drive to Cape Point yourself and then you only pay 300 Rand per person at the entrance (about 19 euros), unless you also want to take the train up. This little train costs 80 Rand, but in our opinion is wasted money. But you can also book a tour that takes you to all the beautiful points in this park. The prices for this differ greatly from each other, but for 40 euros you can already book a very good tour. A tip: Always choose a seat on the right side of the tour bus, you will be able to see a lot more along the way.
6 Penguins at Boulders Beach
The next on the list of ‘things to do in Cape Town’ is perfect to combine with Cape Point as they are close to each other. That is why these trips are often offered together during tours. And to be honest, that’s a good thing, because a trip to the penguins alone isn’t really worth it. Despite the fact that these penguins are naturally here, you have the feeling that you are walking around in a zoo. This is mainly due to the many tourists. We would therefore advise you not to buy an entrance ticket of 150 Rand for the small park itself. But go to one of the nearby beaches, where you can also find penguins. Of course there are not as many as in the park, but the number of tourists is also much less here. And a plus is that these beaches are often wonderful.
7 South African wine tasting
With 120,000 hectares of vineyards, South Africa is a real wine country. This is thanks to the Netherlands and Belgium that introduced wine here in 1652. Reason enough to taste these quality wines. You can plan this from Cape Town yourself by car, but then there is always someone who can’t drink because they have to drive. A better plan is to book a tour with getyourgide , for example. You can already find tours from 60 euros for a whole day. Make sure you have a good breakfast, because the wine flows freely. We were served 15 different wines during the day. So more than enough!
8 Visit the colorful Bo-Kaap
One of the most famous places in Cape Town ( partly due to Instagram ) is Bo-Kaap. In this oldest part of the city you will find colorful houses, which makes it very special to walk through. You can get around here in half an hour. Unless you book a guided tour to learn more about the history of this district. This one is quite interesting because it is one of the only parts of the city that survived the Apartheid in this country. A tip: In Bo-Kaap you have a nice little restaurant Harvest Café & Deliand here you can have a delicious (healthy) breakfast overlooking the colorful neighborhood.
9 Boating on Table Bay
You can view Cape Town from the air with a helicopter, but also from the water. You can do this with different types of boats. With a yacht, speedboat, catamaran and sailboat. We chose the latter because it seemed exciting to us. And it was! An unforgettable trip. Especially because during this trip we could spot wild penguins and seals. You can book these tours from 15 euros per person at the Bay of Waterfront. A tip: if you wait long enough, the sellers of these tickets will give substantial discounts half an hour before departure. For example, there were people who could make this trip for 50 Rand, which is slightly more than 3 euros (this is only possible in the low season).
10 Up Table Mountain
You can also hike Table Mountain yourself. But this requires a good condition, because this mountain is no laughing matter. It is therefore recommended not to climb this mountain without a guide. Also because some routes are not always safe, and of course you want the safest route. Do you want to do a route but not all that climbing? Then you can also just take the cable car up and come down on foot. For the more adventurous, there is also the option of climbing or abseiling Table Mountain.
The third most popular tourist excursion in South Africa is, of course, not to be missed in this list of “what to do in Cape Town. Table Mountain is listed in the list of the 7 new natural wonders of the world. And that is not incomprehensible because it is a breathtaking place. Something that in our opinion you can compare with the canyons in America. You can visit the top of Table Mountain with a cable car. For this you pay 190 Rand for a single ticket and 330 Rand for a return ticket. Which corresponds to about 12 and 21 euros at the current rate. Buy these tickets in advance online. The queues can be very long here.
11 By bus from City Sightseeing
Do you want to see the city completely and pass all the beautiful places? Then the hop-on-hop-off buses from City Sightseeing are the ideal way to do this. These buses run past all the sights, including Table Mountain, as well as the lovely beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton Beach. During these routes you can listen to a guide in 8 different languages including Dutch.
You can also get off at any point of interest so that you can view and discover it. And when you’re ready, you can get on the next bus again. Because every 20 minutes a new bus passes. You have different lines where the cheapest is 200 Rand (almost 13 euros) and the most expensive 400 Rand (almost 26 euros). All these tickets are valid for a whole day.
12 Visit to a Township
In Cape Town you also have the opportunity to visit a township . In these neighbourhoods, which have been created by Apartheid in South Africa, there is still a lot of poverty and therefore also some crime. So do not visit this without a guide. A guide will cost you an average of 40 euros per person, but it does give you a good look at the real life of these people. We also did this and it still opened our eyes. Because no matter how often you see this on TV, the reality is still heavier. And yet we recommend this to everyone to do. It may give you a different outlook on life.
13 Shopping and good food in Waterfront
The most famous and touristy place in Cape Town, is the Waterfront, located at the previously discussed Victoria Wharf shopping center. In Waterfront you can enjoy good food in the numerous restaurants in addition to shopping in local souvenir shops. There is even a Belgian restaurant ‘ Den Anker ‘ where you can eat delicious Belgian dishes, including mussels with fries. You will also find good street artists in the streets. And that creates a very nice atmosphere.
14 Outdoor swimming
Would you like to swim in Cape Town with a view of the sea, but rather not in the sea itself? Then you can do that at the Sea Point Pavilion , which has 3 heated swimming pools overlooking the sea. Very spectacular and above all cheap. Because in this pool you pay 30 Rand per person, which is almost 2 euros in the current exchange rate. The pools are usually heated at a temperature of 25 degrees. Which in the summer is ideal for some cooling. In winter it can be cold because of the wind that comes from the sea.
15 Canal Walk Shopping Center
If you really want to go shopping in Cape Town, the Canal Walk Shopping Center is certainly the perfect place for that. With its more than 400 stores bundled together in one imposing building, this is one of Cape Town’s largest shopping centers. You can easily reach this shopping center from the Waterfront with an Uber or Taxi. You pay about 120 Rand here for what is almost 8 euros. If you are a sweet tooth like us, then you should definitely pass by Linnos Bakkers in this shopping center. This shop sells the tastiest cakes for only 3 euros.
16 Gold Restaurant Cape Town
If you want real African food, the Gold Restaurant in Cape Town is the perfect place to do it. Because in addition to the 15 African dishes that you get to taste at the buffet, you also get a lot of entertainment. For example, you can book a djembe initiation for an extra 99 Rand for the buffet. And there are traditional African performances throughout the buffet. And that makes this restaurant a total experience that you should definitely do when visiting Cape Town. The price without the djembe lesson will cost you 395 Rand, which is almost 25 euros at the current rate. Reservations are recommended, even though this is a very large business.
17 Robben Island Prison
If you are in Cape Town, you can hardly do anything but go to Robben Island. It was on this island that Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years by the apartheid regime in South Africa. And although this is historically very interesting, this was one of the lesser trips for us. And that is mainly due to the fixed tourist route that you have to follow, which is much too tightly planned. This gives you little freedom to stay a little longer in some parts. Because you only stay on the island for 2 hours and then the ferry leaves back to Cape Town. What is very interesting about this tour is that you get a guided tour by an ex-inmate of this prison.
This tour with boat from Cape Town included will cost you 360 Rand (almost 23 euros). Tip: In the fall and winter it is best not to book the first tour of 9 or 11 hours. Because it is often canceled during this period due to a too thick layer of fog at sea. This can also happen with the tour at 1 o’clock, but the chance is smaller.
18 Food and Live Music at Mojo Market
For many, a hidden gem in Cape Town is Mojo Market. Partly because it is located in the suburb of Sea Point. In this building you can find street food from all countries. And that for a not so high price. We ate here several times and can especially recommend the noodles. Not really African, but delicious. In addition to all this good food, you also have live music by local artists almost every evening in this cozy building. Which creates a cozy vibe without real crowds. Because the Mojo Market is currently not so well known to tourists. Mainly locals come here . Although this won’t last much longer because this place has everything to become a popular hotspot.
19 Cape Town Stadium visits
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was hosted in South Africa. Stadiums were built all over the country for this. And the Cape Town Stadium, also sometimes called the Groenpunt Stadium, is one of these stadiums. You can visit this beautiful stadium with a tour that is organized every Tuesday and Thursday at 12 noon. Or, of course, you can attend a game of the Cape Town City soccer team or the better-known Ajax Cape Town. You can view the stadium’s schedule here. Because besides football, there are many other events that are organized here.
20 Enjoying Camps Bay Beach
Cape Town has many beaches where you can enjoy yourself. One of the most popular is Camps Bay. And that’s mainly because from this pearly white beach you also have a beautiful view of Table Mountain, which makes this beach a very special place. It is mainly the rich population who live here or have a holiday home. The presence of numerous bars will of course also have something to do with its popularity. It’s not called little Miami by the locals for nothing. In the summer, you even have little huts on these beaches where you can get your moles checked for skin cancer for free. Very progressive as many things in South Africa.
21 Going on Safari
Don’t have the time to go to the famous Kruger Park in the North of South Africa? Then you can also make one from Cape Town. This safari will not be in a large National Park but rather in a reserve where the animals are protected. Make no mistake, these parks are also large and you will really have to look for the big 5 and other beautiful animals here. It is certainly a good replacement if you don’t have much time to travel far. Because the safaris offered from Cape Town last about two days. In these two days you will have two game drives through the park.
Although the Aquila Park is the most famous park for safaris in this area, we still recommend the Garden Route Game Lodge . This National Park is about a four hour drive from Cape Town. But this lodge, besides having a beautiful park, also has excellent accommodation with 2 beautiful infinity pools overlooking the park. Also the food that is offered in the form of a buffet is excellent! Highly recommended without excessive mass tourism. However, the prices for these safaris are not bad. You pay about 275 euros per person for this. Food and drinks are included. But that is more than worth the experience!
Are you looking for a piece of natural paradise? Then you should definitely visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Because in this 560ha garden located between the mountains of Cape Town you will come across every kind of flower or plant. Which makes this place a colorful paradise. In the summer you also have open air performances and an open air cinema here. You pay 100 Rand for this day trip and an additional 100 Rand if you want to take the guided tour. We still recommend this because you immediately drive around the entire park. This is almost impossible on foot in one day.