Top Things To Do In Cape Town

Fondly known as the Mother City, Cape Town is South Africa’s oldest city and one of the world’s most beautiful. It is home to a vibrant port and the soaring, square-topped Table Mountain that dominates and defines it.

You’ll learn of Mandela’s incarceration (and that of his fellow inmates) on Robben Island and get a reminder of the struggles that the country faced in its not-so-distant past. The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront serves as the prime spot for your R&R, for shopping, wining and dining. But if you want to learn more about the region’s wines, head out to one of its vineyards for a tour while you tipple. See the city’s proud multicultural spirit in colorful Bo-Kaap, where you can feast on Cape Malay curries.

Summers (Nov-Feb) are hot and dry, and winters (Jun-Aug) cool and wet. The Atlantic Ocean remains icy year round.

Robben Island

12km north off Green Point’s shores, this notorious prison held many ANC prominent members, including Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu. It remained a prison until 1996 and in 1999 was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway

The dizzying trip to the top in the Aerial Cableway is one of Cape Town’s highlights. The first cableway was built in 1929, and since then is estimated to have carried up some 20 million people. Two cars each carry up to 65 passengers, and the floor rotates as it ascends, allowing a full 360° view.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Thirteen km south of the city centre is South Africa’s oldest and largest botanical garden, part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stretching up the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, they were proclaimed a National Botanical Garden in 1913.

Boulders Beach

A rare opportunity to get up close to a colony of penguins on this small sandy beach, which is also good for swimming. It forms part of Table Mountain National Park, with a small entrance fee.

Bo-Kaap

The neighborhood of Bo-Kaap has a Malay heritage, and known for its quaint cobbled streets and colorful streets.

Constantia Valley

The Cape Peninsula's famous wine-growing region, and Southern Africa's oldest wine-growing region and famed since the 1600s. It stretches from the southern slopes of Table Mountain, and takes ten minutes by road from central Cape Town.

Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

Better known as the V&A Waterfront, there are spectacular views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic from this famous district. Now a hub of shopping and dining, this is South Africa's oldest working harbour, built by Prince Alfred, Queen Victoria's second son, in 1860.

Table Mountain National Park

This is what defines Cape Town. Rising 1073m above the coastal plain, it dominates city views, its sharp slopes and level top making it one of the world’s best-known city backdrops. The mountain’s wilderness, in the middle of a bustling conurbation, makes the biggest impression.

Victoria Wharf

With over 450 upmarket shops, this is Cape Town’s premier shopping mall with many specialist shops for curios, jewellery and international brand designer fashion, plus over 80 restaurants and two cinemas. Open 9am-9pm. 

Gansbaai

A day trip from Cape Town, this is a rare chance to enjoy (‘endure’?) some shark cage diving: This small fishing village this is the great white shark capital of the world. Take a boat trip to see these gorgeous beasts and the high population of seals.

Two Oceans Aquarium

This popular attraction focuses on the unique Cape marine environment created by the merging of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean section has a multitude of colourful fish, turtles, seahorses and octopuses, with giant spider crabs and phosphorescent jellyfish.

South African Museum

The city’s most established museum specialises in natural history, ethnography and archaeology, with more than 1.5 million specimens. These range from 700 million-year-old fossils to flora and fauna of Southern Africa and traditional clothing.