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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Cape Town is known to be referred to as the Mother City. Suitably so, because it's my birthplace and I hope to return for a visit soon. Cape Town is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is South Africa’s top tourist destination and was voted as the greatest city on earth in The Telegraph Travel survey for 2018. Mountains, beaches, vineyards, safari, dining, and shopping. It would take a good few weeks to see all there is that this city offers.

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and Table Mountain

HOW TO GET THERE

  1. Fly to Cape Town International airport (CPT). Flight options may stopover in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Istanbul or Johannesburg.

  2. From the airport, use one of the many transport options to get into and around Cape Town. MYciTi Bus, metered taxi cabs outside the airport, Uber and many car hire companies at airport. See these transport options referenced on the Cape Town website.

  3. To tour the city, hop on and off the City Sightseeing bus.

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway

WHAT TO DO


See my Top things to do in Cape Town, South Africa post with further information and pictures of each of these sights.

  • Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Get to get to the top of Table Mountain by cable car and enjoy views of the city. Buy ticket online to avoid possible long lines.

  • Robben Island Museum tour, book a tour on the ferry departing from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront to see where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

  • Victoria & Alfred Waterfront Shop, dine and go on a harbor cruise.

  • Camps Bay and Clifton beaches to enjoy their white sandy beaches and crisp Atlantic Ocean.

  • Boulders Beach to meet the African Penguin colony.

  • Constantia Wine tour, for wine tasting in one of the oldest wine-producing areas in the Southern Hemisphere.

  • Greenmarket Square, shop for souvenirs, African curios, crafts and clothes at this flea market.

  • Chapman's Peak Drive go for a drive from Noordehoek to Hout Bay, on one of the world's most scenic drives, and enjoy fresh fish at Hout Bay at Fish on the Rocks.

  • Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, walk through this large botanical garden set against mountains.

  • Buffelsfontein Game and Nature Reserve, go on safari at this wildlife reserve an hour's drive away from Cape Town.

  • Company's Garden, feed squirrels and enjoy this public park and heritage site.

  • Iziko South African Museum, at the Company's Garden.

  • Iziki South African National Gallery, also at the Company's Garden.


For current events and activities, see What’s on in Cape Town.


African Penguins at Boulders Beach

WHERE TO STAY

The areas which are closest the city's main tourist attractions are; Camps Bay, City Bowl, Green Point, Mouille Point, Sea Point, and Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.

Some accommodation recommendations, ranging from budget-friendly to high-end accommodation, each chosen for their high ratings.

  1. Airbnb, Clean, neat and comfortable room in Camps Bay, near the beach.

  2. Airbnb, Balcony in the Sky in Tamboerskloof, near City Center.

  3. VRBO, Contemporary 1 Bedroom Apartment in Gardens, near City Center.

  4. Cape Town Lodge Hotel in City Center.

  5. Himmelblau Boutique Bed & Breakfast in Oranjezicht, near City Center.

  6. Protea Hotel by Marriott in Sea Point, near beachfront.

  7. The Bay Hotel on the Camps Bay beachfront.

  8. Camps Bay Retreat on the Camps Bay beachfront.

  9. Taj Cape Town in Cape Town City Center.

  10. Winchester Mansions on the Sea Point beachfront.

  11. The Table Bay hotel at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.

Cape Town City Bowl and Table Mountain

WHERE TO EAT

You'll find just about any international food cuisine that you're after in this cosmopolitan city, but be sure to try some of these local foods;

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  • Bobotie, (South Africa's National dish), or a Cape Malay Curry at Bo Kaap Kombuis.

  • Biltong, at most stores or butcheries.

  • Game (Springbok or Ostrich), at Arnold's.

  • Koeksisters from the grocery store, Woolworths.

  • Malva pudding at Kirstenbosch Tea Room.

  • Boerewors at a Braai (a South African barbeque), if you're staying at an Airbnb with a grilling area.

  • Rooibos tea at Belmond Mount Nelson hotel for afternoon tea.

  • Amarula, a South African cream liquor from any liquor store.

A few more highly-rated restaurant recommendations;

  • Nelsons Eye Restaurant (Steakhouse).

  • Yindee's (Thai).

  • 95 Keerom (Italian).

  • Harveys Restaurant at Winchester Mansions hotel.

  • Fish on the Rocks in Hout Bay (fresh locally caught fish).

  • Eastern Food Bazaar (for Bunny Chow and Cape Malay Curry).

  • The Chapman's Peak Hotel restaurant (for Calamari).

Winchester Mansions hotel on Sea Point Beachfront

OTHER TRAVEL TIPS


The weather can change at the drop of a hat, so work with the weather and take the chance to do more outdoorsy things, especially the trip up the cable car, when the weather is clear.

If you'd like to save on accommodation, you may want to visit during the off-season, you might have a few rainy days, but nothing like a US mid-west winter.

Cape Town is generally safe, but just like with any other big city, stay alert. Don't walk around alone at night. Stay close to touristy areas and don't wander too far outside of the city.

There's no need to learn a new language, you might come across some who speak Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu, and a few other African languages, but most will also speak English.



Chapman's Peak Drive

Do you have any questions or comments about travel in Cape Town? Contact me or let me know in the comments.