Cape Town is the quintessential melting pot – it is a city alive with creativity, colour, sounds and tastes.
While walking through the city’s streets and meeting its people, you will fall in love with its natural beauty, creative freedom and incredible spirit. Cape Town is a city where the unexpected is always just around the corner and the beautiful province of the Western Cape lies ready to be explored across the city border.
Cape Town’s most distinctive feature is its stunning setting – it lies on a dramatic coastline of pristine white beaches and icy waters, overlooked by the iconic flat-topped Table Mountain. This multifaceted city has a habit of making people fall in love with it. For some, it could be the view of Camps Bay and the glistening ocean as you crest Kloof Nek that’s the draw, for others the sound of the muezzin’s call to prayer wafting over Bo Kaap on a misty morning, the smell of a fresh espresso at the Neighbour goods Market in gritty Woodstock, the sensation of sand between the toes while walking with penguins on Boulder’s Beach and for some, it is simply the taste of aromatic spices as you dig into a midnight samosa from a roadside stall on Long Street.
THINGS TO DO
The open-top double-decker buses of City Sightseeing are one of the best ways to take in the highlights of Cape Town. With the sun on your shoulders and an elevated view of your surroundings, you’ll see why the City Sightseeing Bus is the popular official tour of Cape Town. Buses are equipped for wheelchairs and the tour commentary is available in 16 languages including English, German, Dutch, French, Russian, Spanish, Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Portuguese, Afrikaans, Zulu, Turkish, Japanese and a special Kids Club commentary for the junior passengers.
Great White Shark Experience
Great White sharks are some of Cape Town’s most famous and respected marine inhabitants. Love them or fear them, getting up close and personal with a great white is one of the most adrenaline-fueled experiences you can encounter while visiting the Cape.
It is estimated that there are only about 5 000 great white sharks left in the oceans and the Kleinbaai and Gansbaai coastline of the Western Cape has the greatest concentration of these predators. The best time for viewing these beasts is between June and September.
Breathtaking natural scenery, longstanding cultural heritage and world-class wine-producing estates characterise the Cape Winelands region, a tourist Mecca that always ranks highly on visitors’ itineraries, Summer and Winter alike.
In Cape Town itself, the Constantia Valley is home to some of South Africa’s oldest and most famous estates. There are many wine farms along the route, some large and others boutique. Visitors are always welcome and tours, sales outlets and eateries are dotted throughout the region to make a day’s visit even more enjoyable. Call in at the wine farms or stroll down a beautifully restored street in one of the historic town centres. Learn about the rich culture of this region by visiting some of the many museums and monuments that pay homage to a proud South African heritage.
The outstanding wines produced in this area are world-renowned. Take a cellar tour with an individual winemaker, who will gladly share at least some of the secrets of the trade, from vine to glass.
Helicopter and Aeroplane Trips Over Cape Town
Soaring in a helicopter or plane over the broad expanse of Cape Town, from its majestic mountain ranges down to its sparkling ocean – a wonderful introduction to the diversity offered by South Africa’s Mother City.
Cape Town – a hiker’s dream city if ever there was one – is home to both Table Mountain and Cape Point. There is even a famous route, the Hoerikwaggo Trail, which links these two iconic landmarks.
Towering 1 088 meters over Cape Town and around 500 million years in the making, Table Mountain is a playground for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Once an island, now boasting more plant species per square kilometer than a tropical jungle, this flat-topped monolith begs exploration. Trails run the length and breadth of the mountain, offering exceptional hiking for all levels of experience and fitness. Whether you’re looking for adventure or solitude, nature or views – a hike up Table Mountain is not to be missed.
Cape Town Watersports
Feel Like a Local… Not a Tourist.
Cape Town has become one of the world’s top watersports destinations. People come for windsurfing, kiteboarding, surfing and stand up paddle boarding as it’s a great place to bring the family.
The steep slopes of the Cape Peninsula are home to more than 100 caves, ranging in size from overhangs to deep fissures with underground tunnels. The caves in Table Mountain itself have been created by movement of native sandstone.
Cape Town and the greater Western Cape Province, with its sprawling and lush green lawns, is a golfer’s paradise. It is here, in Africa’s sport capital that you will find some of the most majestic and scenic championship-status courses in South Africa.
Golfing enthusiasts will be pleased to know that Cape Town’s golf courses are highly rated in terms of setting, layout and quality while the Western Cape’s wide variety of unique top-rated golf courses are guaranteed to meet the needs of any golfer, irrespective of your handicap.
A combination of world-class theatre productions, high-tech sets and locally made period and modern costumes are what makes the Artscape Theatre Centre stand out as an iconic cultural beacon.
When it comes to fun and entertainment, Cape Town is the mother of all cities, and there’s no such thing as a dull moment if you’re in the heart of it – the Cape Town city centre. Here, you’ll find loads of attractions and entertainment options.Go To Top
PLACES OF INTEREST
Cape Point, the most south-westerly tip of Africa, is a spectacular sight, covered in endemic fynbos and home to breathtaking bays, beaches and rolling green hills and valleys, just 60km outside of Cape Town.
Chapman’s Peak Drive winds its way between Noordhoek and Hout Bay and is touted as one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world. Chapman’s Peak is the 593m (1 945ft) high southerly extension of the Constantiaberg, and the 9km (5.6mi) long Chapman’s Peak Drive (when open) offers stunning 180-degree views over the Atlantic Ocean.
Thousands of people across the world voted and on November 11, 2011, Table Mountain was named among the New 7 Wonders of Nature. You can get to the top of Cape Town’s most famous icon in just five minutes by taking a cable car or spend the better part of your day hiking up. Table Mountain Cableway, established in 1929, takes visitors to the top in one of two cable cars, each with rotating floors and large windows to ensure your views while travelling – almost as spectacular as those on the summit. Cable cars depart every 10 to 15 minutes. From the top of Table Mountain, there are magnificent views of the Cape Town city centre, surrounding suburbs and the Atlantic Ocean. Landmarks in view include the Cape Town Stadium, Robben Island and Camps Bay beach.
Once “home” to some of South Africa’s most famous political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, Robben Island is one of the country’s most visited tourist attractions, and rightly so. Do not leave Cape Town without visiting the island – it is likely to be one of the highlights of your trip. Robben Island is situated some 9km (5.5mi) offshore from Cape Town. It is most famous for being a political prison during apartheid, an era of racial segregation in South Africa, when many of South Africa’s most prominent freedom fighters spent time here. Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of the 27 years he was imprisoned on the island.
The V&A Waterfront is South Africa’s most visited destination, attracting millions of visitors every year – and for good reason. Whether you’re looking to go shopping, dine at top restaurants, party at local nightspots, visit tourist attractions and museums or investigate the city’s historic harbour, you’ll find it all here. You might like to visit the family-friendly Two Oceans Aquarium, where you can get close to sharks, penguins and hundreds of species of sea life. There’s many outdoor activities available like ranging from helicopter flips to boat charters and relaxed harbour cruises (walk along the water’s edge and pick one – there are several options). Browse through hundreds of shopping outlets ranging from larger department stores selling designer labels to boutique jewellery and curio shops.
The V&A Waterfront’s Amphitheatre is a good spot for live entertainment (usually provided to the public for free) – from concerts to creative workshops and puppet shows.
There are few places in the world where you can get this close to a breeding colony of penguins, swim close to them in the sea and enjoy their private sandy beach. Boulders Beach is situated near Simon’s Town in False Bay between Fish Hoek and Cape Point.
A good way to see the 3 000 African penguins (Sphenisus demersus) is from the wheelchair-friendly wooden boardwalk at Foxy Beach, accessible via the information centre on Kleintuin Road. These fast-swimming, deep-diving, braying birds have thrived in their protected home. Their nesting season is from February to August (they nest in simple burrows in the sand or under plants) and the birds moult in November and December.
Under the looming Twelve Apostles and Lion’s Head, with views out across the turquoise-coloured sea, Camps Bay provides some of the trendiest places in Cape Town to see and be seen. It’s here, on the white sands of Camps Bay, where you’ll find bronzed and buff locals and visitors flexing their muscles and showing off their volleyball skills. While supermodels and rock stars of the world are known to hang out at Camps Bay, it’s also a great place for families to spend time.
Home to Millionaire’s Row, fashionable Clifton is known as Cape Town’s St Tropez and its four beautiful beaches that attracts holidaymakers in their droves. Yachts floating on a turquoise ocean, white, sandy beaches and beautiful bodies all make up Clifton’s reputation as the French Riviera of South Africa. All the beaches are safe for swimming, although be warned – the Atlantic waters are chilly, no matter what time of year you visit! Granite outcrops divide the beaches into four quite distinct areas, namely First Beach, Second Beach, Third Beach and Fourth Beach.Go To Top
Dining in Cape Town can be a memorable experience, with the freshest ingredients, beautiful interiors, breathtaking views and world-class wines. Exceptional chefs across the city experiment with a range of flavors to create world-class international fusion menus, but with the best local produce on hand, traditional taste experiences from the region can also be found. Our top choices give you a taste of the endless possibilities.
Style/Ambiance: Impeccable service and sublime luxury are on offer at The Roundhouse, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which combines a beautiful natural setting and unique, individual dining spaces bursting with character and historical interest. The strong, expertly crafted seasonal flavors from an award winning young chef, combined with a passionate, knowledgeable staff ensures guests receive tailored and attentive service. Individual dining areas, each offering a different ambiance and culinary experience, can be hired for private parties and functions.
This includes the Rumbullion – the Roundhouse terraces – where the 17th century philosophy of ‘a riotous good time’ is evoked through the serving of vintage cocktails, whole roasts, loaves of fresh, oven-warm bread and decanters of wine in beautiful surrounds that include sprawling, centuries-old fruit trees. The Rumbullion’s atmosphere of decadence and abundance is perfect for a private celebration or joyous special occasion.
Cuisine: Contemporary Fusion.
Style/Ambiance: Situated on fashionable Kloof Street, the food at The Opal Lounge is excellent, lovingly prepared fare, but the dining experience here is not just about what goes on the plate. Conceived to be a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach, The Opal Lounge is known as one of the most exquisitely beautiful and romantic establishments in Cape Town. The stately Victorian building comprises several unique dining spaces, each with their own lavishly expressed theme. These include the Persian Lounge, sumptuously furnished with oriental rugs, atmospheric lanterns, dark red walls and a decadent black and gold Bar Lounge studded with Far Eastern antiques and Louis XV-inspired furnishings. Private dining is available in the individual areas, as well as on the verandah of the opulent Oriental Lounge for eight to 20 guests.
One of Cape Town’s culinary highlights, is conveniently situated in the Gardens area close to most of the major hotels. Experience superior, contemporary cuisine from the à la carte menu, which bursts with flavors, aromas and textures appealing to even the most seasoned palate. A degustation menu with wine pairing is also available every evening. Aubergine’s cuisine rests on a classical foundation from which innovations are continually created, incorporating influences from East and West. Chef Harald Bresselschmidt’s is guided by his philosophy of using natural flavours and seasonal ingredients. During the Summer months, guests enjoy al fresco lunches on the lush terrace and magical dinners under the African stars. In Winter a quaint fire place ensures a cosy atmosphere. A strong emphasis is placed on food and wine pairing,the chefs and sommeliers team up to offer inspired combinations. The sommeliers offer a wine choice, which is both broad in variety and deep in vintage to complete a sophisticated dining experience in a modern yet warm atmosphere.
Cuisine: Local, International.
Style/Ambiance: This sensational wine estate restaurant uses local and organic ingredients in dishes bursting with fresh, sumptuous and warming flavors. A stunning contemporary interior is in elegant contrast to the romantic idyll of the oak-tree-canopied terrace, where al fresco dining comes with magical views of the Stellenbosch valley and mountains.
Cuisine: Sushi, International
Style/Ambiance: Local and visiting glitterati, from Kiefer Sutherland to HRH Prince Harry, flock to trendy Beluga, where sophisticated meat and fish dishes are served in a warm, elegant space where this popular private courtyard is the perfect al fresco setting for enjoying acclaimed signature sushi dishes.
Blues Restaurant & Bar – Camps Bay
Cuisine: Seafood, Local and Mediterranean Fusion
Style/Ambiance: Blues is a well-loved summer dining hotspot, with a laid-back seaside atmosphere, exceptional sea views, the freshest seafood and excellent cocktails to be enjoyed in front of a clear ocean sunset. It’s impressive seasonal menu embraces fresh local ingredients and international fusion. Get here early in the summer for the best seats to take in the glowing sunset.
Cuisine: French and Asian Fusion
Style/Ambiance: Widely acclaimed as one of the best restaurants in the Western Cape, the legendary La Colombe is a unique, unmissable dining experience on your visit to Cape Town. The sensational taste experiences on offer here are heightened by a sophisticated interior dining space that is pure elegant luxury, surrounded by the tranquil beauty of the stunning Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate.
The Atlantic Grill (at The Table Bay Hotel) – V&A Waterfront
Cuisine: International Fusion
Style/Ambiance: The Atlantic Grill, The Table Bay Hotel’s signature restaurant, offers sophisticated gourmet dining with sensational views. Its highlight is the exclusive Captain’s Table, an intimate alcove with spectacular vistas which can be hired for private dining – perfect for a small business dinner or a decadent, candlelit, romantic surprise for two.
Cuisine: The Test Kitchen team, which can be described as ‘young and extremely talented’, uses cooking methods that range from very old to very new, sometimes used in conjunction with one another. This might be using sous vide or pressure cooking together with home-curing, smoking or wood-fire barbecuing.
The Test Kitchen space is distinctly industrial with brick walls, oak beams, ducts and pipes exposing the integrity and honesty of the building. The tables are made of oxidised mild steel and have a consciously rough, rusted appearance in harmony with the surrounds. An open plan kitchen engages directly with the guests seated at the wooden bar that wraps around it. The dining room is small, seating only 65. The guests are able to see and hear the buzz of the chefs at work, and smell what’s coming next across the pass.
Warmth is added to the ambience with the use of earthy-toned fabrics, rich colours and textured felt pendant lighting.
The philosophy of creativity and collaboration naturally extends to the restaurant’s design elements, involving several leading Cape Town craftsmen, designers and artists.Go To Top
Cape Town is never out of season, with a particularly good, long summer from November to March. These are the most popular months for visitors, who come to enjoy the 11 or more hours of sunshine every day. The average summer temperature in Cape Town is 24.3 degrees Centigrade, with January and February temperatures averaging 24 degrees Centigrade. February is the driest month of the year, with 15 mm (0.6 inches) of rain.
Spring and Autumn
Spring (September/October) and Autumn (April/May) are the best times to visit Cape Town as they are usually in-between seasons, when nature is at its showiest.
While Cape Town’s winters (June to August) can be stormy, they often produce perfectly temperate days, as you’ll find Capetonians gathered around fireplaces and dinner tables. June is the wettest month of the year, with 108 mm (4.3 inches) of rain. The average temperature during Cape Town’s Winter season is between 7 and 20 degrees Centigrade. It’s not uncommon, however, to enjoy a week of sunshine and temperatures ranging between 21 and 26 degrees Celsius and there are never any frosty mornings.
Average Summer temperature: 24.3 ºC
Average Winter temperature: 18.5 ºC
Average daily sunshine hours: Between 7.5 and 9.5 hours
(London = 3.8 hours; New York = 6.9 hours)Go To Top