Top Five Things To Do in Cape Town, South Africa
Presenting things to do in Cape Town, South Africa according to Rafiqua of Rafiqua Israel Express.
Welcome to Cape, the sun is shining, put on your dancing shoes, Cape Town welcomes you!”
Kaapse Klopse (local song)
If you ask anyone that has ever visited Cape Town to tell you their thoughts about the city, the chances are that they will probably respond with it’s “lekker bru”. Literally translating to ‘it’s nice/ sweet brother’, Cape Town is a city where ‘local is lekker!’. Cape Town is one of those cities where fond memories will linger in your mind long after you’ve departed. It’s the warm summer nights on one of the many beaches, the breath-taking views on the coastal roads around the peninsula, the charming and friendly locals, the great food and beautiful scenery that keep visitors coming back, and locals staying. It’s the braais (barbecues), the sunsets, and Table Mountain that will make you wish you never left.
1. Ride a Cable Car to the Top of Table Mountain
No vacation to Cape Town would ever be completed without a visit to the iconic Table Mountain , one of the new 7 wonders of the world. Table Mountain is a significant landmark in the city because of the sheer size of it, masking it visible from most areas within the city. If you feel like a challenge, hike up to the top of the mountain to get some of the best, uninterrupted views of the city. If you enjoy cable car rides, a quick ten minute ride will get you to the top and offer equally beautiful views.
Bonus: When on top of Table Mountain, keep your eyes open for dassies, an African rat related to the elephant family, which calls Table Mountain home and lives between the rocks and the fynbos (plants).
2. Visit One of the Gorgeous Beaches
Of all the cities in South Africa, Cape Town is infamous for it’s lengthy list of stunning beaches, which surround the entire city from West to East. While tourists tend to flock towards Camps Bay or Clifton, my personal spot is Llandudno or Boulders Beach. A visit to Llandudno during the week gives you not only panoramic views of the beach from the drive out there, but also a beach barely touched by people. While it does get busy during peak season, weekdays are usually peaceful and only visited by surfers. A trip to Boulders Beach during the right season will allow you to swim with free-roaming African penguins! Boulders Beach just so happens to be home to a breeding colony of over 2000 endangered African Penguins.
3. Visit a Wine Farm
South Africa is very well known for its wine farms, which surround Cape Town by the dozen. Apart from sipping on extremely affordable wine, straight from the cellar, most wine farms offer stunning scenery and restaurants. Two of my favorite wine farms include De Grendal for its stunning view of Table Mountain and Babylonstoren for its glass house restaurant.
Where? De Grendal is at De Grendel Wine Estate and Restaurant, Plattekloof Rd, Panorama and Babylonstoren is at Klapmuts Simondium Road, Simondium, 7670, South Africa
4. Discover Natural Beauty at Kirstenbosch
Summer days should be spent outside, and one local favorite weekend hangout spot is at Kirstenbosch Gardens. Set against the eastern slope of Table Mountain, this botanical gardens is home to thousands of different specifies of plants and fauna, including the very beautiful fynbos. Apart from strolling around the beautiful nature, visitors to Kirstenbsoch can also take in their own home-packed picnic, as well as walk through the top of the trees on the recently built boomslang (tree top bridge).
Where? Rhodes Dr, Newlands, Cape Town, 7735, South Africa
5. Eat good, slow food at the Biscuit Mill Saturday food market
A city is only as good as it’s food and my favorite thing to do on a Saturday is visit one of the many weekend markets in and around the city. While the markets are plentiful in Cape Town,my favorite market of all time is found at the Biscuit Mill every Saturday. While the food is not ‘typically South African’, the vibe is awesome and the food delicious. Some of my best meals have come from here, and some of the best macaroons I have ever eaten can be found at a stall inside this Saturday market.
Where? 375 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915, South Africa
- Take a walk through history by meandering through the beautiful cobble streets of Bo-Kaap, situated on the slopes of Signal Hill. Once referred to as the Malay Quarter, Bo-Kaap is an area in the city centre famous for both it’s history as a former township as well as it’s colourful houses.
- The best places to go out at night are definitely in and around the city center, with well known streets for locals and foreigners to hang out at, including Kloof Street, Bree Street, and Long Street.
- For some of the best hand made Beef Burgers and monstrous milkshakes, pop into Hudsons at 69A Kloof St. The vibe is always pumping for happy hour, when you can pick a healthy sized cocktail on happy hour from 16:30 – 18:30.
- No visit to Cape Town is complete without a scenic drive along the peninsula. My personal favorite drive is to Simons Town or even Cape Point, via the high level Boyes Drive Road, as it offers dramatic views of the sea and cliffs below.
- If you want to do as the locals do, warm Sunday afternoons should be spent walking along the peaceful Seapoint Promenade. One of my favorite highlights along this walk is a pit-stop at an ice-cream parlor, either The Creamery or Crumbs and Cream.
- If you would love to see some of the old European architecture influences, a walk through Cape Town city center is a must. Do make sure to check out the Cape Castle as well as the area surrounding St. Georges Mall.
Where To Stay
Some of the best food can be found between Seapoint and Greenpoint. If possible, try and find location between these two areas. They also happen to be in the heart of the city center, and therefore would be centrally located for sightseeing purposes. AccommoDirect.com is one of South Africa’s top travel accommodation portals, with over 20,000 reviews and 10,000 places to stay in South Africa, there are no booking fee’s and they offer a best price guarantee and properties are instantly bookable online.
- Cape Town is a reasonably safe city to travel to, but as always when traveling to a new country, beware of pickpockets. Personally I would avoid flashing your camera or smartphone in the city center.
- While the nightlife in Cape Town is fun and plentiful, it is advisable to not go out by yourself an night and try to use a reputable taxi service when doing so.
Rafiqua Israel is a twenty-something South African who found her passion for traveling and photography while teaching English in South Korea in 2013. She loves to be on the go and exploring new cities around the world. Some of her favurite memories to date are scuba diving with turtles in the Philippines, paragliding in South Korea and tobogganing down the Great Wall of China. To join Rafiqua on her wanderlust for adventure, follow along on her blog or social channels. Follow her on Instagram.
👉 Special thanks to Rafiqua for revealing her favorite things to do in Capetown. Have you ever visited South Africa? Share your recommendations in the comments below!
Thanks for featuring me! I had so much fun writing this 😉
Thank you for your awesome guest post! I had so much fun talking with you and I appreciate all your hard work and your timeliness. You were fantastic!
Very nice. I enjoyed reading this. I’ve got to add Cape town to my bucket list!
Seems like a very beautiful place.
Out of all the animals I would imagine seeing, I never would have guessed penguins!
The penguins threw me off too since youre like, Africa?? But they are close to Antarctica so it makes sense!
So beautiful! I’ve always wanted to visit Cape Town — heard so many good things about it.
I’m gonna save this post for my (future) visit there 🙂
Cape Town is appearing higher and higher on everyone’s to do list. I love it!
I’ve been doing a lot of research on South Africa lately as its a place I really want to visit. She pretty much covers all of the things I want to do! Hiking table top mountain and also bikin along the cape are my top two adventure activities! Love this series btw!
Ooh biking on the cape sounds exquisite! Katie, you can totally be part of this series too if you have the time to draft something. I’d love to have your piece in the collection 🙂
I have been following all of Rafiqua’s photos and its been making me REALLY want to go to South Africa! Now all this information is giving me a serious case of wanderlust overload! Look how gorgeous it is!!!! Also, I love the graphic you made at the top of this post! Thanks for sharing!!!
I am waiting patiently for you to visit, Megan 😛
Megan, I’m planning a trip to South Africa in 2018! You should come with me! 😀
Nice post. My first preferences here would be to take the cable car and feast my eyes on some amazing views. The next in line would be to say hello to one of those penguins and lounge on the beach.
Table Mountain has been rated one of the top nature attractions in the world and from her pics, they really look quite stunning!
Oh my gosh! Penguins! I knew the penguins liked to hang out in Cape Town but seeing them so close is super rad! The cable car is another great place I would go. They make me feel so peaceful.
Have you done the cable car up namsan? I bet this ride up would be way more peaceful compared to that clusterbomb. I never have been so stressed out in my life when queuing for the cable car to seoul tower!
After reading this, it was definitely the biggest mistake of my life not exploring S. Africa more. We only went to suncity on our honeymoon (Seychelles after) but wow we really missed out on Cape Town. So many amazing things to do and see there. Another visit is needed.
Wow Seychelles for a honeymoon is not bad but I feel you. I hate when I travel somewhere and don’t carve out enough time to fully appreciate the whole experience.
Been there done that ages ago when there was no blogs, rather not say the year. Still Cape town remains one of my top fav cities and hope to come back next year.
I still remember a time without blogs hence my obsession with printed guidebooks. As much as I am a blogger, I prefer the tangible. I hope you make it back next year!
The Toronto Seoulcialite
Whoa! What a completely different trip you had to mine years ago. That looks so unbelievably stunning. I love cable cars (even with my slight fear of heights) so I would adore a trip to table mountain. I can’t believe you got that close to the penguins, too!
When did you last go to South Africa? I know a lot has changed and I can only imagine more growth happening in the next few years!
I have many friends who have been to Cape Town and say they love it there as well. I would love to visit the beaches with the African penguins! I’m so used to seeing penguins being associated with cold weather, so I would have never guessed to see penguins here 🙂
Imagine going to the beaches seeing a ton of penguins! I would love that kind of peach day!
Izzy, your whereabouts posts are always so incredible! I didn’t realize that some of them are by guests! I LOVE that! I’ve not been to South Africa, hell, I haven’t even made it to the continent yet! But this definitely makes me want to go! My dad and I talked about a trip to South Africa because he would LOVE to get in a cage with great whites, but it never happened… I’ll have to send this to him and see if the conversation starts up again. Thanks for the inspiration as always! Lots of Love. Xx
You should make me a ‘Whereabouts’ post about Asheville! I think that kind of post would be epic here! I’ll touch base with you after your done with your honeymoon and for sure, if ever you want to hit up the continent with me, i would love to make a trip like that with you. Awww it would be so fun do cage diving with your dad. I think that’s like on my must-do list when I visit SA 🙂
The views from table top mountain look amazing! And awww penguins! After reading this, I definitely want to visit Cape Town!
Haha everyone is gushing about the penguins, too cute right??!
Wowza what a view from the top of Table Mountain! I wonder how tall is it and how much does a cable car costs, are there ways to hike there instead of taking the cable car? Great post!
Rafiqua’s blog is the one-stop for all your Cape Town questions. I’m sure the mountain top is hikeable but I’m not so sure. So lazy, probs would take that cable car haha
Wonderful! So lovely seeing a fellow South African featured here and featuring South Africa! I can’t wait to go back home, and I think I’m going to have to employ Rafiqua as my travel guide for when I visit Cape Town 🙂
You need to connect with Rafiqua once you’re back in SA (although she might have left for Asia again!) Haha the allure of this continent, I swear its hard to fight off!
Awesome! I seriously want to travel to Cape Town ASAP but I think it won’t be for awhile due to my funds! I loved reading this and learning about the different things to do there – especially from a local. I love this series concept. Love the graphics as always!
Oh girl, I can totally relate. I’m scheduling my trip for SA to be in 2018. You should have enough funds by then 😛 Yea we are so lucky to have Rafiqua to be our guide when we visit! Can’t wait to get your scoop on Pittsburgh when you have the time to put it together 😉
Nice article, havent been but hope to visit one day. Izzy, did you ever get to visit South Africa?
I like 5 things read rather than the usual 10’s 🙂 Easier to prioritize what’s the best things to do and then just add on to the list if we have more time. Thank you for this! Bookmarking for our visit to Cape Town!