Top things to do in Cape Town

August 8, 2017

There are plenty of things to do and see when visiting Cape Town, from hiking our gorgeous mountains to scenic drives and eating divine food. As locals, we do these things almost weekly, but for those visiting Cape Town for the first time, these activities should not be missed.

  1. Table Mountain

One cannot come to Cape Town without going up the iconic Table Mountain. Simply buy a ticket at the offices on Tafelberg road and ride up with the cable car. You’ll see spectacular views of the ocean, Lion’s Head and the clusters of buildings which make up the city.

  1. Lion’s head

Across from Table Mountain lies Lion’s Head. The hike is great as you will constantly be surrounded by spectacular views of the Atlantic Seaboard or the CBD. If this isn’t enough, go discover one of the caves such as Wally’s Cave.

Reach the summit before sunrise and watch the sun light up the land or the watch the sun dip below the horizon in the evening. Lion’s Head is also very popular during full moon where groups of friends get together to hike to the summit.

  1. Signal Hill

Cape Town is full of scenic views with another lookout point being Signal Hill.  There are various points where you could pull over to admire the city views or further around the bend towards the Atlantic Seaboard. It’s a particularly great spot to be once the sun has set and all the lights from the city are on.

  1. Foodie scene

Cape Town is foodie heaven as there are plenty of options from every cuisine imaginable. I highly recommend Sundoo, Three Wise Monkeys, The Pot Luck Club, Foxcroft, The Short Market Club, Tasha’s and Harbour House.

  1. Beaches

Our beaches are beautiful and are definitely worth visiting. Grab a picnic basket and go relax in the sun. Take your pick of one of Clifton’s beaches or venture a bit further to Camp’s Bay. If you would like a more secluded beach, visit Bakoven beach.  Further away, over Chapman’s Peak Drive, you will find the pristine stretch of beach called Noordhoek.

  1. Farms

If you are a wine drinker, you could take a drive to visit the Constantia Valley wineries such as Eagles Nest, Buitenverwachting and Klein Constantia. Even though these two next areas aren’t exactly part of Cape Town, you have to take a drive out to Franschhoek or Stellenbosch when visiting Cape Town. The landscapes are beautiful and the food is always delicious. For the wine lovers, I suggest you visit Zevenwacht, Jordan, and Thelema Mountain Vineyards. For beautiful food visit Delaire Graff Estate or Babylonstoren which has a beautiful garden with fresh produce which they use in their two restaurants. If you would like something even more relaxing, grab a picnic basket from Mont Rochelle or Cape Point Vineyards. Both have a beautiful dam where you can sit next to.

  1. Chapman’s Peak Drive

Words cannot explain how beautiful this coastal road is. It’s perfect for a relaxing drive and there are multiple points where you could pull over to admire the calm Atlantic Ocean which stretches as far as your eyes can see or even just sit and have a picnic. I have already written a short piece about Chappie’s here.

  1. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Set against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, this botanical garden is not to be missed. With so many rich and diverse plant species, you could spend the entire day just walking through the different sections of the garden. There are also wide open spaces where you could sit and have a picnic. Don’t forget to walk the beautiful tree canopy walkway.

  1. V&A Waterfront

One of the most popular tourist attractions in South Africa is the V&A Waterfront and it’s not difficult to see why. The most obvious thing to do here is to go shopping but perhaps you would rather look out at the harbour with the seals frolicking in the water. You could also eat at one of the many restaurants or go for a sunset cruise on one of the boats.

  1. Markets

Cape Town has a variety of great markets with delicious food and beautiful local design. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays you could visit the Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay which has a variety of products from local designers as well as great food options and delicious drinks. On Saturdays and Sundays, you could visit the Oranjezicht City Farm Market which has a range of fresh produce on offer such as eggs, loaves of bread and vegetables as well as breakfast and lunch options made by local artisanal food traders, with even the yummiest brownies for afterwards. You could also visit the NeighbourGoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill for fresh food and good company. For markets open 7 days a week, visit the Water Shed which has a variety of beautiful, local products from jewellery to ceramics. Next door you will find the V&A Food Market which is a great stop when looking for something to eat or simply an ice cream to cool you off after all your shopping.

  1. Cape Point

At the tip of the Cape Peninsula, you will find this beautiful nature reserve with rugged cliffs, beaches and open spaces. Head up to the top of the cliffs with the ‘Flying Dutchman Funicular’ or walk up by yourself and enjoy the vast views of the Atlantic Ocean. Once back down, you could stop by the restaurant for delicious seafood, or head down to the beach for a picnic.

  1. Kalk Bay

What’s a visit to Cape Town without visiting Kalk Bay? Sit on the harbour wall and watch the fishermen come in with their boats, or buy some of the catch of the day. There are also great restaurants such as Cape to Cuba and Harbour House or you could take a walk down the street and pop in at each of the stores.

  1. Silvermine Nature Reserve

Silvermine is a popular choice in summer when friends get together to swim in the dam or hike one the surrounding trails. It is also great in the colder months when you can snuggle next to one of the fire spots and watch the clouds roll in.