Top Ten Things to Do in Cape Town, South Africa

Protea at Cape Point
Photo Credit: Sericea

Cape Town is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, particularly for nature lovers. Below are my top ten favorite sights and activities in Cape Town and the surrounding suburbs.

1. Cape Point Nature Reserve

Cape Point
Photo Credit: Sgt. Rock

While not teaming with animals, this reserve is a nice escape from the city. You are almost assured to see a family of baboons as you draw near the entrance. Take the cable tram to one of the southernmost tips of Africa or visit the Cape of Good Hope. It’s worth the hour drive from the city center.

2. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Photo Credit: Va bene!

These gardens are a South African UNESCO landmark where you can find flora that you will see nowhere else in the world. Bring a picnic and enjoy a leisurely day walking. Stop in the chic tea room for a snack. If you are feeling energetic, you can walk from up Skeleton Gorge from the gardens to the top of Table Mountain.

3. Robben Island

Robben Island
Photo Credit: Geoftheref

Learn about the experiences of apartheid political prisoners  first-hand from an ex-prisoner himself. Ferries leave from the Victorian and Alfred Waterfront. Book ahead to be assured of a seat.

4. Alfred and Victoria Waterfront

The waterfront area has been recently renovated to include a large mall, restaurants with plenty of outside seating, an aquarium, and boating expeditions. This area also provides a nice view of the new FIFA stadium.

5. Long Street Shops and Restaurants

During the day in Long Street you can find backpackers, affordable pubs and restaurants, boutiques, and used book stores. Enjoy a hearty curry and roti at Lola’s Cafe, 228 Long. Be aware of pickpockets or rogues at night. There are many clubs, and tourists are targets.

6. Table Mountain

Table Mountain

The best view of the city is from the top of Table Mountain. You can either sit in the cafe and enjoy the view after taking some photos or hike around the many paths on the surface. Another option is to take the Skeleton Gorge path down to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

7. Stellenbosch Wine Region

Stellenbosch and Paarl are Cape Town’s most famous wine towns. If you don’t have your own transportation, I would suggest contacting the Wine Desk in the information kiosk at Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. The Wine Desk offers reasonable group day trips from the city center to Stellenbosch and Paarl.

8. Camps Bay Beach

Camps Bay

A popular, vibey beach for swimming in the summer or relaxing at a cafe in the winter. A warning–while shark attacks are rare, great whites are seen from this beach.

9. Simon’s Town Penguins


If you make a trip to Cape Point Reserve, don’t miss stopping over a few hours in Simon’s Town. Visit the jackasss penguins at Boulder’s Beach and stop in the pâtisserie The Sweetest Thing for a heavenly lunch of coffee, quiche and a pastry.

10. Eastern Food Bazaar

This downtown food bazaar in the city bowl at the corners of Darling and Adderly blows away all expectations of the typical food court experience. The main food offering is Indian food, but there is also a falafel stand where you can get a heaping plate of falafel, fries, and salad–a plate large enough for two. Tandoori, curries, and dosas are offered. The portions are large and the price is super affordable.



Filed under Cape Town, Food, South Africa

8 responses to “Top Ten Things to Do in Cape Town, South Africa

  1. Pingback: Ask The Local Eye » Blog Archive » Marketing Lesson: Top Ten Things to Do in Cape Town, South Africa « Still Life in South America

  2. This is an excellent top ten list. I have been fortunate enough to visit Cape Town with a friend of mine who spent much of her childhood there. It is a wonderful place filled with friendly people and a unique culture. I’m glad you included the penguins, it was the first place I ever saw them outside of captivity. You can cross-post this to our site and link back to your site. We are trying to create a directory for top ten lists where people can find your site. The coolest feature is you can let other people vote on the rankings of your list.

  3. great post! seriously great post!

  4. I love travelling the world vicariously through your blog! As always, the photos are stunning. That beach! (Though I likely wouldn’t be caught in the water). And now, back to my gray autumn morning. . . . *sigh* 😉

    Hehe. I don’t know if I could be convinced to swim there, either!

  5. I’ve never been. I’ve heard from friends who have that it is an unexpectedly pretty city. Great pics 🙂

  6. As of today, is one of the few Cape Town accommodation providers that still has accommodation available for the upcoming Summer Season. As specialists in Camps Bay apartments, Waterfront Hotels & apartments, Clifton apartments, Camps Bay villas and Holiday Homes and other beach & waterfront accommodation in Cape Town, we are fortunate to have a wide pool of stock from which to draw.

  7. Pingback: Still Life Year in Review – 2009 « Still Life in Southeast Asia

  8. A contender for the list would have to be taking a tandem paragliding flight from Lion’s Head and landing on Camps Bay beach.

    The views of Camps Bay, Clifton, the mountain and over the sea are spectacular.

    If you want to fly, we would like to fly you! for more info 🙂

    Wow–I don’t know if I would be that brave, but I agree that the view is spectacular.

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