Your complete guide to the Top 10 things to do of Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town’s magnificent scenery, cosmopolitan population and world-class shopping all come together in a unique getaway experience unlike any other.

Anyone who knows Cape Town knows it has so much more to offer than just mountains, penguins and scenic ocean landscapes. The diverse CBD is full of mouth-watering cuisines, bustling nightlife, colourful architecture and a wealth of historical monuments that will leave you breathless. It’s no wonder Cape Town is one of the most popular holiday destinations in South Africa.

In this blog we will discuss our top picks for activities to add to your itinerary. Need help making travel arrangements? Whether you are travelling solo or looking for a much needed family holiday, we can customise a package to suit all your needs. For a hassle free African adventure holiday, get in touch, sit back, relax and leave the planning to us.

Our Top 10 Most Recommended Attractions

If you are looking for things to do in Cape Town, South Africa, we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 recommendations. We have personally visited all these locations and ranked them according to our favourites.

  1. Enjoy Spectacular Panoramic Views from Table Mountain
  2. Put your Head in the Lion’s Mouth on a Scenic Urban Hike
  3. Venture through the Vineyards and Test the Local Wines
  4. Wind Down your Windows on the Chapmans Peak Drive
  5. Witness two worlds colliding at the borders of the Indian & Atlantic Ocean
  6. Take a Dip With the Wild Penguins at Boulders Beach
  7. Dive into the Fascinating History of Robben Island
  8. Marvel at the Magical Flora and Fauna of Kirstenbosch Gardens
  9. Connect with the Quaint Communities of Surrounding Villages
  10. Shop Until you Drop at the V&A Waterfront

1. The Spectacular Views on Table Mountain

Table Mountain is easily one of Cape Town’s most notable attractions: and rightly so! The mountain itself is named after its curiously flat peak that draws in tourists from all over the world to set foot on its famous summit. To reach the top you can take a cable car which offers riders with fantastic views of the city below.

If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can choose to venture the 2hr hike up to the top instead. We recommend hiking up and opting for the cable car on the way down because if the hike doesn’t leave you breathless, then the views surely will.

2. Taming the Lion’s Head & Daring the Devil’s Peak –

If the hike up to Table Mountain left you bursting at your seams for more – the Lions Head hike is another popular way to satisfy your wanderlust. It is generally not as crowded as the hike up Table Mountain and the views of the 12 Apostles and the Atlantic Ocean are captivating to say the least, no picture can truly capture what it feels like to be up there in person. The hike itself is slightly challenging and best suited for hikers with a good level of fitness, but completing it only takes roughly an hour or a little longer for a hiker with a lower level of fitness.

For those seeking a more advanced trek, the Devil’s Peak walking trail awaits just next door. Legend has it that when a blanket of clouds surround the summit – it means Devil is having a cheeky puff at his tobacco pipe. Hikers beware! This trail is not for the faint of heart.

3. Venturing Through the Vineyards

Fancy a drink? Cape Town has plenty of Wineries for your choosing. The world-class Vergelegen Wine Estate is a top pick for tourists with over 1,000 excellent reviews and a 4.7 star rating. With its lush gardens, fine wine dining experiences and over 300 years of rich cultural history – you’ll be sure to savour Vergelegen’s legacy with each and every drop.

De Grendel is another extremely popular wine estate that prides itself in ethical trade & social responsibility in the wine industry. As the farm works on a shared-ownership basis – it means that all the workers are heavily invested in the quality of their work and the overall success of the estate. For a wholesome approach to wine tasting, give De Grendel a try. You can even sign up to their loyalty program for a 10% discount!

4. Roll Down Your Windows on the Chapmans Peak Drive

If you’re a scenic fanatic – make sure you add Chapmans Peak Drive, aka “Chappies”, to your checklist because the towering mountains and roaring seascapes make for one of the most fantastic marine drives in the whole world. Aside from the incredible scenery, you’ll find plenty of places to stop, eat and shop along the way.

Table Mountain National Park includes plenty of recreational activities for nature’s enthusiasts such as Fishing, Scuba diving, Rock climbing, Paragliding and even Horse Riding! Duck into Noordhoek village for a meal and experience one of Cape Town’s tranquil communities that showcases a humble country lifestyle and vibrant, creative atmosphere. Browse through the array of antique shops and art stalls in Hout Bay, one of the most active fishing harbours in all of South Africa and if you make it there on a weekend, you’ll be blown away by the community markets full of live music, food and culture.

5. Cape Point – Where the Two Oceans kiss

Cape Point has been of extreme navigational value and well known by sailors across the world for centuries. It has a spooky history of shipwrecks littering its coastline and still to this day is home to a lighthouse that acts as a centralised monitoring landmark for all other lighthouses in South Africa.

Take a scenic rail ride on the Flying Dutchman Funicular rail service up to the lighthouse and grab lunch at the Two Oceans Restaurant. Here you can see the Indian and Atlantic Ocean sharing tender moments and if you look closely enough on the horizon… you might just catch a glimpse of the legendary ghost ship!

6. Bathing with Penguins in Boulders Beach

Boulder Beach lies only 2km away from Simons Town and boasts delicate, fine white sand and crystal clear sapphire waters. It is home to one of the world’s only land-based colonies of penguins which are well known for their charismatic nature and fancy plumage. Visitors of Boulders Beach can become one with nature in magical moments of swimming alongside these creatures in their natural habitat. If you’re lucky – you may even spot calving whales between June & November.

Afterwards, tourists can head back to Simon’s Town where they will find incredible restaurants, plenty of family friendly activities and a variety of craft markets where you can purchase momentos to take a piece of the magic back home with you.

7. Diving into the History of Robben Island

Years ago, Robben Island was primarily famous for prisons that once held Nelson Mandela, WW2 military bases and its extensive colony of social rejects. Despite its dark past, it continues to play a significant role in South African history today and has developed into an established little town with plenty of must-see attractions.

You’ll need to take a boat from the mainland at the Getaway to Robben Island located near the V&A Waterfront Clocktower. On this ride, it’s not uncommon to see groups of Cape fur seals playfully romping around and bathing in the sun; in fact, Robben Island gets its name from the Dutch word for “Seal” and acts as a beautiful reminder of the resilience of both nature and the strong-willed people of it’s past.

8. Marvelling at the Magic of Kirstenbosch Gardens

Kirstenbosch lies 13km away from Cape Town’s CBD and is easily accessible by either car or the City Sightseeing/Golden Arrow tour bus. Here you can really delve deep into the biodiversity and natural glory of South Africa. Take a tour on the Tree Canopy Walkway or race through the Mountain Bike Transit Route where you will experience impressive displays of landscape artworks, breathtaking natural vegetation and wildlife and the proud geology of the Cape Peninsula.

9. Connecting with Coastal Village Communities

The most heartfelt experiences in Cape Town arel undoubtedly with the charming locals and smaller communities scattered across the coast. They are full of personality and with nature on their doorstep, they holistically encapsulate life in a village by the sea. If you haven’t already added Simons Town to your list – do it now, but here are a couple of others that we highly recommend.

Kalk Bay is a vibrant fishing village known for its bohemian culture, diverse shipping and delicious cafes. RIddled with small alleyways that sell vintage wares, handmade goods and local artworks – look no further for a cultural experience that will tickle all your impulses. If you’re after something more secluded, try Clifton as its lack of shops and restaurants contribute to its undisturbed feel. Bear in mind that you can only access Clifton’s beaches through steep pathways so make sure you bring your hiking shoes.

10. Shop til you Drop! Retail in Cape Town CBD

From small boutiques run by local artists to large shopping malls selling international brands – retail in Cape Town has something for everybody. We’ve mentioned the V&A Waterfront a few times now and that’s because it is perfect for your one-stop shopping adventure. Since it’s open from 9AM to 9PM – there’s no reason not to pop in for a browse.

Cape Quarter is another popular area in Cape Town and provides more of an intimate shopping experience with local merchants selling traditional jewellery, clothes and souvenirs. Here you will also find restaurants and relaxation spas so you don’t need to look far to take a breather from all the surrounding wonderment.

What’re you waiting for? Your African Adventure Holiday Awaits you!

Overall, Cape Town is an absolute favourite for our customers and an extremely popular location for our holiday packages. There is an abundance of amazing experiences in this coastal gem as it truly does have so much to offer. Cape Town has a mystical way of leaving tourists breathless and ensuring they forever keep it close to their hearts as soon as they set foot off its magical soil.

To find out more about our South African holiday packages and deals, call us on 02 9144 4234 today!

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