100 Great Reasons to Visit Cape Town

100 Great Reasons to Visit Cape Town in 2024 from a Local

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Last Updated on: 7th November 2023, 03:32 pm

Looking for reasons to visit Cape Town?

Great! I’ve got you covered with 100 compelling reasons to visit Cape Town immediately!

Cape Town.

The Mother City.

Probably one of my all-time favorite cities in the world!

Just because I’m a South African doesn’t mean I’m biased. Okay, maybe a little. But, if Cape Town wasn’t as great as I claim, I definitely wouldn’t be able to write this post.

Finding 100 reasons to visit a city is no easy feat, but for Cape Town, it’s relatively easy. This beautiful South African city is just unbelievably packed with things to do, see, eat, and experience.

That’s why we keep going back. Year after year. And, each time we discover something new to love about Cape Town. To sum up, all that Cape Town has to offer, I created this post to inspire your wanderlust…

So, these are my top 100 reasons to visit Cape Town, South Africa as soon as you can:

Key Takeaways

  • As a South African who travels to Cape Town regularly, I can honestly say that there are 100 excellent reasons to visit Cape Town.
  • From the beautiful natural surroundings to the unique cultural landscape.
  • The myriad of top-rated accommodations and restaurants in Cape Town also make it worth a visit.
  • On the outskirts of Cape Town is the Winelands which is an unmissable destination for wine lovers.
  • From the most beautiful beaches to the best hikes and a range of adventure activities, I’ll reveal all the reasons to visit Cape Town this year!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of them I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, which allows me to keep this blog up and running!

Reasons to Visit Cape Town

We’ve compiled 100 compelling reasons to visit Cape Town. But to make this mega list more digestible we’ve split the reasons into different categories.

Feel free to read all the reasons or head straight to the category that you’re interested in…

Wondering about the Cape Town safety situation before you book your trip? Then you need to read our guide on whether Cape Town is safe to visit!

Cape Town’s Natural Beauty

The first few reasons to visit Cape Town is its natural beauty. Cape Town is so crazy beautiful and you just won’t be able to believe it until you see it with your own eyes:

  1. Table Mountain – the ultimate Cape Town bucket list item. Take the aerial cableway up for panoramic views of Cape Town and grab a bite at the top while you admire the scenery.
  2. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens – the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world (in my opinion; I have visited many). You can wander around for hours. make sure to walk the ‘boomslang’ or attend a summer sunset concert.
  3. Cape Pointwhere the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean meet creating choppy waters and unique colors. Take the funicular up to the point and explore the lighthouses.
  4. The Garden Route – may not be in Cape Town but the city is a good starting point to explore another stunning region of South Africa full of beautiful beaches and lush forests.
  5. Chapman’s Peak – one of the most picturesque drives in the world. The road winds its way along the rugged coastline providing breathtaking views.
  6. Newlands Forest – walking through this forest feels like a fantasy world full of gnomes, fairies, and elves.
  7. Company’s Garden – is a wonderful public park located in the CBD which was established by the first European settlers in the area.
  8. All the Beaches – we’ll get to them but they are some of the best in the world.
  9. Helderberg Nature Reserve – in Somerset West is perfect for relaxed picnics or hikes.
  10. A City of Nature – this gorgeously green city is truly inspired by nature. Surrounded by mountains, nature reserves, and the ocean.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is one of the main reasons to visit Cape Town
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

The Cape Town Culture

The next couple of reasons to visit Cape Town are focused on its unique cultural landscape:

  1. Woodstock – go on a street art (graffiti) tour of this artsy neighborhood to learn more about the eclectic people who live here.
  2. Fugard Theater – catch a play at this historic theatre where you will see some of the country’s best productions.
  3. Bo-Kaap – the vibrantly colorful Bo-Kaap region is not only Instagrmable but also full of culture and has a rich history.
  4. !Khwa ttu – is a cultural reservation where you can learn more about the Koi San people (the original inhabitants of South Africa).
  5. Rock Art in Cederberg – this route is outside of Cape Town but definitely worth a day trip to hike the interesting trail.
  6. Karoo Cultural Tour – learn about the rich heritage of the Western Cape by taking a tour on a donkey cart.
  7. Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa – is a new museum in Cape Town (in the Silo district; the building is unmistakable) featuring contemporary African art.
  8. Victoria & Alfred Waterfront – is a busy area full of hotels, restaurants, attractions, shopping, and entertainment (the hub of Cape Town).
  9. Cape Town Diamond Museum – take the Shimansky Diamond Tour.
  10. Have a Drink with a View – at the unique Silo Hotel.

The Cape Winelands

The Cape Winelands is probably one of the top reasons to visit Cape Town and many people come here for the unique food and wine pairings and tastings:

  1. The Cape Winelands probably one of the top reasons why Cape Town is so popular.
  2. Franschhoek Wine Tram – take a ride into the vineyards with this fun tram that will stop at a number of South Africa’s most distinguished wine estates.
  3. Stellenbosh – is a University town but also classic old Cape Town where you will find a wide choice of wine estates.
  4. Constantia – is the closest Winelands area to Cape Town and also the oldest.
  5. Route 62 – is a lovely driving route with amazing scenery and good-value wine farms for wine-tasting experiences.
  6. Cape Point Vineyards – in Noordhoek is the perfect spot for a picnic combined with some wine tasting.
  7. The Duck Parade at Vergenoed – this wine estate is popular for all its ducks. Great for families.
  8. Hemel-en-Aarde Valley – is a peaceful valley full of vineyards and close to the sea.
  9. Paarl – is one of the oldest towns in South Africa which offers wine and food pairing experiences as well as historic monuments.
  10. Unique Wine & Food Pairing Experiences – the Cape Winelands vineyards have gotten really creative with their pairings which makes for a fun experience.
A moody and misty Paarl Wine Farm

Cape Town is the Ultimate Foodie Destination

If you’re a foodie then you have tons of reasons to visit Cape Town! We just can’t get enough of all the first-class restaurants and dining options this city has to offer:

  1. Foodie Destination – Cape Town is the ultimate destination for foodies.
  2. Oranjezicht City Farm Market – is a Saturday morning tradition for many Capetonians who get their fresh fruit and organic produce from local suppliers.
  3. Old Biscuit Mill – is a unique commercial space in Woodstock where you will find some amazing restaurants.
  4. Neighbourgoods Market – takes place every Saturday morning at the Old Biscuit Mill and offers some spectacular street food and gourmet drinks.
  5. Gold – is an African-inspired restaurant in the heart of Cape Town that offers an 11-course meal paired with entertainment through singing and dancing. A real experience!
  6. Mariners Wharf – in Hout Bay is an all-time favorite of ours. You will find some of the best fresh seafood here.
  7. Vegan & Vegetarian-Friendly- the restaurants in Cape Town really cater to everyone.
  8. Bones Kitchen & Bar – in Woodstock. I can’t recommend this enough. Drinks, starters, mains, and desserts were all excellent.
  9. Festive Markets & Soul Food – you can really tell that the chefs are passionate about their food and dining is a lovely experience everywhere you go, even the markets.
  10. Coffee Houses – there are too many amazing ones to name them all. Step into any of them as you wander the streets of Cape Town and you will be blown away.
A meal at Bones Kitchen & Bar in Woodstock, Cape Town
Bones Kitchen & Bar

Amazing Accommodations in Cape Town

If you love unique and stylish boutique hotels, then you have plenty of reasons to visit Cape Town! We try to stay somewhere new each time we visit because the options are endless and the experiences are amazing:

  1. Best Hotels – the city really has some of the best hotels and accommodation offerings in the country.
  2. The Onyx Hotel – in the CBD with fantastic views of Table Mountain.
  3. Victoria & Alfred Hotel – amazing views of the waterfront and Table Mountain.
  4. Hotel on the Promenade – has some of the best food in the city too! If you don’t stay here at least go for their famous breakfast (busy on the weekends).
  5. Stock Exchangein Woodstock with great views of the harbor and the city.
  6. The Capital Miragelovely views of Bo-Kaap.
  7. The Silo Hotelrooms are fantastic, great views and a unique building.
  8. Great Hostels – you will find some of the best hostels in the world in Cape Town.
  9. Luxury Apartments – Vrbo apartments in Camps Bay have stunning views if you feel like splurging.
  10. Tintswalo Atlanticone of the best luxury hotels in a stunning natural setting with unbelievable views.

You can find our 7 favorite boutique hotels in Cape Town in this post!

The view of Table Mountain from one of our favorite Cape Town hotels.
The Onyx Hotel

Cape Town’s Fascinating History

The fascinating history of this region of South Africa means there are lots of reasons to visit Cape Town if you’re a history buff:

  1. Robben Island – is one of the most famous historical landmarks which you can visit by taking a short boat ride to the island.
  2. Iziko South African Museum – has more than a million artifacts and is situated in the CBD at the top of the Company’s Gardens.
  3. District Six Museum – is a museum honoring the displaced community of the Apartheid era.
  4. Bo-Kaap Museum – is situated within the colorful neighborhood and will teach you more about the heritage of the Cape-Malay people.
  5. Castle of Good Hope – a star-shaped fort built by the first settlers as a depot for the Dutch East India Company.
  6. Naval Museum – is located in Simonstown and depicts the country’s naval history.
  7. Heart Transplant Museum – is where Professor Christiaan Barnard successfully performed the world’s first successful heart transplant in 1967.
  8. Cape Town CBD – a walk or bus tour through the streets will have you find a number of historical treasures.
  9. Pinnacle Point Caves – is not in Cape Town but in nearby Mossel Bay (where I live).
  10. Historical Cape Architecture – the distinctive architecture used by early settlers is quite pleasing to the eye and can be seen throughout the region.
CBD Street View

Wildlife Encounters in Cape Town

The myriad of wildlife encounters you can have gives you more great reasons to visit Cape Town:

  1. A City of Nature – Cape Town is really connected to nature in many ways which means that there are plenty of wildlife encounters to experience.
  2. Ashia – is the place to go if you want to see a cheetah. This sanctuary for cheetahs does great work for the amazing animals and you can go meet some of them.
  3. Snorkeling in a Kelp Forest – is a magical experience where you will see a range of sea creatures and usually some seals too.
  4. Horse Riding – in Noordhoek along the long stretches of beach is such a freeing experience.
  5. Kayaking with Penguins – in Simons Town is super fun.
  6. Visit the Penguins – at Boulders Beach and their reservation in Simons Town for a chance to possibly get close to some penguins.
  7. Swim with Seals – there are a variety of companies that offer to take you close to some islands off the coast where you can dive in and swim with some seals.
  8. Swim with Sharks – other companies will give you a thrilling chance to free or cage dive with some sharks.
  9. Whale Watching – mostly takes place in Hermanus but during the whale season (June – November) you can spot them anywhere along the coast.
  10. Two -Oceans Aquarium – at the V&A waterfront is spectacular and has some lovely exhibits such as the colorful jellyfish room.

Want to go on a safari while in Cape Town? These are our favorite Cape Town safari tours for families!

A Penguin at Boulders Beach in Simon's Town
Penguin at Boulders Beach

Cape Town’s Adventure Activities

One of the many reasons to visit Cape Town is its incredible adventure activities. Seriously, Cape Town is the place for adventure enthusiasts and adrenalin junkies:

  1. Kloofing at Crystal Pools – also known as ‘canyoning’ can be enjoyed at Steenbras River Gorge near Gordon’s Bay.
  2. Learn to Surf – at the famous Muizenberg Beach.
  3. Learn to Kiteboard – at the windy Bloubergstrand where the kiteboard competitions all take place.
  4. Go Paragliding – on a tandem jump to get a birds-eye view of the magnificent city.
  5. Abseil Down Table Mountain – get a thrill as you lower yourself over the edge of the iconic mountain.
  6. Go Sandboarding down the dunes found along the west coast.
  7. Hot Air Balloon Ride – over the Cape Winelands.
  8. Zip-Lining Adventures – over forests, waterfalls, and valleys in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve.
  9. Explore the cape in a Vintage Sidecar – immerse yourself in the beauty of the region by taking a ride along the coast with experienced guides.
  10. SUP – along the canals of the V&A Waterfront.
Coastal Drive View of Hout Bay from Chapman's Peak
Coastal Drive

Cape Town is a Hiking Hotspot

Love to hike? So do most Capetonians! Here are another 10 superb reasons to visit Cape Town; especially if you’re a hiker:

  1. Lion’s Headis the distinct slope next to Table Mountain and one of the best hikes for views.
  2. Platteklip Gorgeis just as popular but not as easy as the route is quite steep and a part of the trail to summit Table Mountain.
  3. The Pipe Track – was developed to service a pipeline in the 19th century so it is historical and beautiful.
  4. Maclear’s Beacon – the highest point on Table Mountain.
  5. Tygerberg Nature Reserve – is in the Northern suburbs.
  6. Kasteelpoort Hiking Traileasy access to the mountains and gorgeous views of the Twelve Apostles.
  7. Devil’s Peak – offers various vantage points and an exhilarating experience walking along the saddle that connects Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain.
  8. Skeleton Gorgestarts off in the serene Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and takes you from one side of Table Mountain to the other.
  9. Constantia Nek to Kirstenbosch – an easy route that takes you through Newlands Forest and provides great views of Constantia Valley and Table Mountain
  10. Hiking Trails in the Surrounding Areas – although Cape Town has plenty of hiking trails you will find even more in the surrounding areas if you wish to explore.
Skeleton Gorge Starting Point in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
Skeleton Gorge Start

Cape Town has the Most Beautiful Beaches

No one can dispute the fact that Cape Town has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and these give you 10 more excellent reasons to visit Cape Town:

  1. Llandudno – is absolutely gorgeous and a great place for surfers or anyone looking to explore the coastline.
  2. Clifton Beaches 1 – 4 – these beaches have plenty of big boulders to hop around on or just laze on the beach with the locals who live in the nearby luxury apartments.
  3. Boulders Beach – the crystal clear water is sheltered by large boulders and is the place to spot some penguins.
  4. Beta Beach at Bakoven – has no waves so great for water activities or photoshoots.
  5. Glen Beach – is a great alternative if you want something similar to the Clifton beaches but quieter.
  6. Muizenberg – the best beach for surfing or learning to surf and the wide stretch of beach has calm waves (just take a wetsuit – it’s cold).
  7. Queen’s Beach – can be found along the Sea Point Promenade which is always a buzz of activity.
  8. Sea Point Promenade – has a number of small beaches, a tidal pool, and a public pool. But this promenade is busy in the mornings and evenings as locals come to jog, do yoga, or walk their dogs.
  9. Bloubergstrand – has a number of lovely beaches that give great views over the bay of Cape Town and Table Mountain.
  10. Secret Beaches – part of the fun of exploring this city is finding the hidden gems for yourself.
Muizenberg Beach at Sunset
Muizenberg at Sunset

There you have it, 100 (more than enough) great reasons to visit Cape Town, South Africa immediately!

Reasons to Visit Cape Town FAQs

Is Cape Town worth visiting?

Cape Town is absolutely worth visiting for its unparalleled natural beauty, with iconic landmarks like Table Mountain and breathtaking beaches. The city’s rich history, diverse culture, and delectable cuisine further enhance its charm. Whether you’re into outdoor adventures or cultural exploration, Cape Town offers a wealth of experiences that make it a must-visit destination.

Why would you want to visit Cape Town?

There are countless compelling reasons to visit Cape Town. Its striking scenery, from the majestic mountains to pristine coastlines, offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities. The city’s vibrant arts and culture scene, historical sites, and bustling markets ensure there’s always something fascinating to discover. Plus, the warm and welcoming locals make your stay even more memorable.

What is special in Cape Town?

Cape Town is special for its unique blend of natural wonders and urban sophistication. The city boasts a dazzling array of landscapes, from lush winelands to untamed wilderness. It’s also home to diverse communities, each contributing to the city’s rich tapestry of culture and cuisine. Its ability to cater to adventure seekers, foodies, and history buffs alike sets it apart and offers plenty of reasons to visit Cape Town!

Me enjoying the view from Chapman's Peak.
A photo of me enjoying the view from Chapman’s Peak.

Ready to Visit Cape Town?

Cape Town, with its captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and exciting experiences, offers a treasure trove of reasons to visit. From the heights of Table Mountain to the depths of the ocean, this city encapsulates a world of wonders.

As a local, I’m proud to share these 100 great reasons to visit Cape Town with you, and I hope you’ll explore and relish all that this remarkable city has to offer.

So pack your bags and embark on your Cape Town adventure – the reasons to visit Cape Town are as limitless as the horizons of this breathtaking coastal gem.


100 Great Reasons To Visit Cape Town

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