The versatility of the city makes Cape Town a perfect destination! Think of a vibrant nightlife, the wine countries, delicious food, shopping and beautiful white beaches with blue water. In short, this city has something to offer for young and old.
Don’t miss the vibrant Victoria & Alfred Waterfront when you’re in Cape Town. Here are the cozy terraces, streets, bars and meeting places for Cape residents. The boats also sail here for a trip over the sea, the boat to Robben Island and there are a few museums.
When you say Cape Town, you say Table Mountain. This imposing mountain is more than a thousand meters high and has a characteristic flattened top. You can walk to the top, but most people go by cable car.
The bitter history of the slave trade comes alive at the Slave Lodge. The cultural history museum used to be located here. A part of that collection can still be seen, but the museum is increasingly focusing on the history of the slave trade.
The basis of the National Gallery is a (European) collection of paintings from the 17th to the 20th century. In recent years, the museum has been buying more and more work from artists from southern Africa. The very penetrating ‘The Butcher Boys’ is one of the top pieces.
The southwestern tip of South Africa is part of Table Mountain National Park. A beautiful nature area with spectacular views. You can also spend the night there and practice various (sports) activities. An excellent place for a wonderful walk or hike along the rugged coast.
One of the most beautiful marine aquariums in the world is the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town. A wonderful overview of underwater life in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean. Daredevils can dive into shark aquariums to feed these predators.
Robben Island is best known because the later president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, was imprisoned there for years. Now it is a museum as a living reminder of the victory over the apartheid regime.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
The largest botanical garden in South Africa and one of the most beautiful in the world. The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is located on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. Special is that here (almost) exclusively native flowers and plants grow.
A tour of a township is by no means ‘watching monkeys’. You meet the residents there, visit social projects and you can support the economy by purchasing local products. Bona fide tour operators allocate part of the proceeds to projects in the townships.
The Western Cape province is the center of South African viticulture. With a day trip to the wine regions you can not only taste the delicious wines, but also enjoy nature and culture.
The District 6 Museum
The District 6 was declared a “white area” by the apartheid regime in 1965. This meant that more than 60,000 people (about one-tenth of the population at the time) were forced to move to the bare Cape Flats. This lively part of Cape Town has become an important part in the history of Cape Town. A museum was dedicated to it in 1994. It shows how this expelled community lived. There are still people working in the museum who have experienced this time themselves and can still tell about it. It can be found on the edge of the then neighborhood in Cape Town.
This mountain lies between the city center and the Sea Point and Camps Bay neighborhoods on the Atlantic coast. It is 670 m high and offers a view of the city and the Atlantic Ocean. The view from the top is amazing. You overlook the harbor, the 12 Apostles, Camps Bay, Table Mountain, Devils Peak, Signal Hill and the Cape Flats. The best time is during sunrise or sunset. It is quite a climb but definitely worth it. The car can be parked on Signal Hill Road.
At Signal Hill, an old cannon from 1890 (noon gun) is fired daily at noon. Originally this cannon was intended for defense of the port. It is loaded with 1.5 kg gunpowder every day.
In Bo Kaap (Upper Cape Town) live Cape Muslims who were formerly slaves or banished. After the abolition of slavery, they wanted to live close to the already existing mosques. This was against the hill at Signal Hill. They still live here today. You can still find their traditional houses and mosques here. The Bo-Kaap museum is also located here. The Atlas Trading Store is a store full of herbs. Typical Cape Malay (= Malay) dishes include Bobotie (stewed lamb, chutney and yellow rice), Breyani (rice with lentils and lamb or chicken) and Samoosa (pastry filled with chicken, vegetables and curry). Throughout the centuries, Malaysian culture and eating habits have been absorbed all the way into South Africa.
South African Museum
The museum was founded in 1825 and shows the history of South Africa through dioramas and various exhibitions. The most important thing is the collection of petrified bones, extinct reptiles and the replica of a whale skeleton. Objects are added to the immense collection every day. The Planetarium is located next to the museum.
Castle of Good Hope
When Jan van Riebeeck went ashore in 1652, a VOC fort made of wood and clay was built. Between 1666 and 1679 it was replaced by this castle that was also built by the VOC. It is the oldest building in South Africa. In the castle you will find a military museum, a collection of art and furniture from the VOC era, foundations of a bakery and swimming pool (discovered during restoration of the castle), restaurant, ballroom, torture room and the dungeon.
The Greenmarket Square is a square that can be found in the center of Cape Town. There are many historic buildings here. The square has been declared a national monument and has had a market function since the 18th century, making it the oldest open air market in the city. It used to be a green market, nowadays it is a market with mainly clothing, jewelry and leather goods. On Sundays there is a market every day.
In 1685, Simon van der Stel, governor of the Cape, received a large estate that he called Constance. After he died, the estate was sold and redistributed. The vineyards are on the southeastern slopes of Table Mountain. The grape varieties benefit from the fertile soil and mild Mediterranean climate. During a visit you can taste 5 wines, get a tour in one of the wine cellars or a combination of these. There are 2 restaurants; the Simon’s Restaurant and the Jonkershuis (Cape Malay). It is open 7 days a week.
The oldest garden in South Africa, The Company Gardens, on Upper Adderly Street in the center of Cape Town, was laid out by Jan van Riebeek in 1652 as a vegetable garden for fresh greetings for passing ships. Today the park houses a variety of native and exotic plants, a bird house and a restaurant. A yellow pear tree is believed to have been planted just after Van Riebeek’s arrival.
Clifton Bay: sheltered so warm, divided into 4 small beaches.
Camps Bay: white beach with palm trees, often strong winds, “show” beach, expensive houses, Ferraris.
Llandudno: sheltered wide beach with high waves, 1 of the most beautiful beaches, beautiful sunset, a good alternative to Camps Bay, more calm, more shade and good surfing.
Blouberg beach: this beach is known for kite surfing and paragliding. From here you have a beautiful view of Table Mountain.
A nice way to discover the sights in Cape Town is by using the red double-decker buses that run through the city. These so-called ‘hop-on-hop-off’ buses give you a lot of freedom to spend time in places that are of interest to you and you don’t have to drive yourself.