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 to visit Cape Town, South Africa as soon as you can:
Cape Town Nature
- 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.
- 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.
- Cape Point – where 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.
- 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.
- Chapman’s Peak – one of the most picturesque drives in the world. The road winds its way along the rugged coastline providing breathtaking views.
- Newlands Forest – walking through this forest feels like a fantasy world full of gnomes, fairies, and elves.
- Company’s Garden – is a wonderful public park located in the CBD which was established by the first European settlers in the area.
- All the Beaches – we’ll get to them but they are some of the best in the world.
- Helderberg Nature Reserve – in Somerset West is perfect for relaxed picnics or hikes.
- A City of Nature – this gorgeously green city is truly inspired by nature. Surrounded by mountains, nature reserves, and the ocean.
Cape Town Culture
- Woodstock – go on street art (graffiti) tour of this artsy neighborhood to learn more about the eclectic people who live here.
- Fugard Theater – catch a play at this historic theatre where you will see some of the country’s best productions.
- Bo-Kaap – the vibrantly colorful Bo-Kaap region is not only Instagrmable but also full of culture and has a rich history.
- !Khwa ttu – is a cultural reservation where you can learn more about the Koi San people (the original inhabitants of South Africa).
- Rock Art in Cederberg – this route is outside of Cape Town but definitely worth a day trip to hike the interesting trail.
- Karoo Cultural Tour – learn about the rich heritage of the Western Cape by taking a tour on a donkey cart.
- 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.
- Victoria & Alfred Waterfront – is a busy area full of hotels, restaurants, attractions, shopping, and entertainment (the hub of Cape Town).
- Cape Town Diamond Museum – take the Shimansky Diamond Tour.
- Have a Drink with a View – at the unique Silo Hotel.
The Cape Winelands
- The Cape Winelands – probably one of the top reasons why Cape Town is so popular.
- Franschoek 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.
- Stellenbosh – is a University town but also classic old Cape Town where you will find a wide choice of wine estates.
- Constantia – is the closest Winelands area to Cape Town and also the oldest.
- Route 62 – is a lovely driving route with amazing scenery and good-value wine farms for wine tasting experiences.
- Cape Point Vineyards – in Noordhoek is the perfect spot for a picnic combined with some wine tasting.
- The Duck Parade at Vergenoed – this wine estate is popular for all their ducks. Great for families.
- Hemel-en-Aarde Valley – is a peaceful valley full of vineyards and close to the sea.
- Paarl – is one of the oldest towns in South Africa which offers wine and food pairing experiences as well as historic monuments.
- Unique Wine & Food Pairing Experiences – the Cape Winelands vineyards have gotten really creative with their pairings which makes for a fun experience.
- Foodie Destination – Cape Town is the ultimate destination for foodies.
- Oranjezicht City Farm Market – is a Saturday morning tradition for many Capetonians who get their fresh fruit and organic produce from local suppliers.
- Old Biscuit Mill – is a unique commercial space in Woodstock where you will find some amazing restaurants.
- Neighbourgoods Market – takes place every Saturday morning at the Old Biscuit Mill and offers some spectacular street food and gourmet drinks.
- 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!
- Mariners Wharf – in Hout Bay is an all-time favorite of ours. You will find some of the best fresh seafood here.
- Vegan & Vegetarian-Friendly- the restaurants in Cape Town really cater to everyone.
- Bones Kitchen & Bar – in Woodstock. I can’t recommend this enough. Drinks, starters, mains, and desserts were all excellent.
- 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.
- 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.
- Best Hotels – the city really has some of the best hotels and accommodation offerings in the country.
- The Onyx Hotel – in the CBD with fantastic views of Table Mountain.
- Victoria & Alfred Hotel – amazing views of the waterfront and Table Mountain.
- 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).
- Stock Exchange – in Woodstock with great views of the harbor and the city.
- The Capital Mirage – lovely views of Bo-Kaap.
- The Silo Hotel – rooms are fantastic, great views and a unique building.
- Great Hostels – you will find some of the best hostels in the world in Cape Town.
- Luxury Apartments – in Camps Bay with stunning views if you feel like splurging.
- Tintswalo Atlantic & Boulders Beach – some of the best luxury hotels in stunning natural settings and unbelievable views.
Cape Town History
- Robben Island – is one of the most famous historical landmarks which you can visit by taking a short boat ride to the island.
- Iziko South African Museum – has more than a million artifacts and is situated in the CBD at the top of the Company’s Gardens.
- District Six Museum – is a museum honoring the displaced community of the Apartheid era.
- Bo-Kaap Museum – is situated within the colorful neighborhood and will teach you more about the heritage of the Cape-Malay people.
- Castle of Good Hope – a star-shaped fort built by the first settlers as a depot for the Dutch East India Company.
- Naval Museum – is located in Simonstown and depicts the country’s naval history.
- Heart Transplant Museum – is where Professor Christiaan Barnard successfully performed the world’s first successful heart transplant in 1967.
- Cape Town CBD – a walk through the streets will have you find a number of historical treasures.
- Pinnacle Point Caves – is not in Cape Town but in nearby Mossel Bay.
- Historical Cape Architecture – the distinctive architecture used by early settlers is quite pleasing to the eye and can be seen throughout the region.
- 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.
- 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.
- Snorkeling in a Kelp Forest – is a magical experience where you will see a range of sea creatures and usually some seals too.
- Horse Riding – in Noordhoek along the long stretches of beach is such a freeing experience.
- Kayaking with Penguins – in Simons Town is super fun.
- Visit the Penguins – at Boulders Beach and their reservation in Simons Town for a chance to possibly get close to some penguins.
- 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.
- Swim with Sharks – other companies will give you a thrilling chance to free or cage dive with some sharks.
- Whale Watching – mostly takes place in Hermanus but during the whale season (June – November) you can spot them anywhere along the coast.
- Two -Oceans Aquarium – at the V&A waterfront is spectacular and has some lovely exhibits such as the colorful jellyfish room.
- Kloofing at Crystal Pools – or also known as ‘canyoning’ can be enjoyed at Steenbras River Gorge near Gordon’s Bay.
- Learn to Surf – at the famous Muizenberg Beach.
- Learn to Kiteboard – at the windy Bloubergstrand where the kiteboard competitions all take place.
- Go Paragliding – on a tandem jump to get a birds-eye view of the magnificent city.
- Abseil Down table Mountain – get a thrill as you lower yourself over the edge of the iconic mountain.
- Go Sandboarding – down the dunes found along the west coast.
- Hot Air Balloon Ride – over the Cape Winelands.
- Zip-Lining Adventures – over forests, waterfalls, and valleys in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve.
- 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.
- SUP – along the canals of the V&A Waterfront.
- Lion’s Head – is the distinct slope next to Table Mountain and one of the best hikes for views.
- Platteklip Gorge – is just as popular but not as easy as the route is quite steep and a part of the trail to summit Table mountain.
- The Pipe Track – was developed to service a pipeline in the 19th-century so it is historical and beautiful.
- Maclear’s Beacon – the highest point on Table Mountain.
- Tygerberg Nature Reserve – is in the Northern suburbs.
- Kasteelpoort Hiking Trail – easy access to the mountains and gorgeous views of the Twelve Apostles.
- Devil’s Peak – offers various vantage points and an exhilarating experience walking along the saddle that connects Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain.
- Skeleton Gorge – starts off in the serene Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and takes you from one side of Table mountain to the other.
- Constantia Nek to Kirstenbosch – an easy route that takes you through Newlands Forest and provides great views of Constantia Valley and Table Mountain
- 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.
- Llandudno – is absolutely gorgeous and a great place for surfers or anyone looking to explore the coastline.
- 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.
- Boulders Beach – the crystal clear water is sheltered by large boulders and the place to spot some penguins.
- Beta Beach at Bakoven – has no waves so great for water activities or photoshoots.
- Glen Beach – is a great alternative if you want something similar to the Clifton beaches but quieter.
- 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).
- Queen’s Beach – can be found along the Sea Point Promenade which is always a buzz of activity.
- 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.
- Bloubergstrand – has a number of lovely beaches that give great views over the bay of Cape Town and Table Mountain.
- Secret Beaches – part of the fun of exploring this city is finding the hidden gems for yourself.
There you have it, 100 (more than enough) great reasons to visit Cape Town, South Africa immediately!
Have you been to Cape Town or are you planning a visit? Leave your questions in the comments below!
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