This festive season I was lucky enough to spend 4 days in Cape Town. It was my first trip to the city (and to the African continent) so I was keen to explore as much as possible. My family and I jam-packed our days trying to fit in as many sites as humanly possible. Here’s the ones you can’t afford to miss.
V & A Waterfront
The waterfront is a magnet for tourists as it boasts an array of gorgeous restaurants, bars, shops and of course beautifully framed views of Table Mountain. Take a stroll at dusk to bask in the golden light of sunset on Table Mountain or spend the day shopping in the mall or eating in the fancy waterside restaurants.
Keep your eyes peeled for the lazy sea lions who call the waterfront home. You can often see them snoring in a warm patch of sunlight or frolicking in the water.
A highlight is the V & A Food Market which is crammed full of delicious eateries and juice stalls. If your tummy’s rumbling head to Woodies on the mezzanine level which is home to the best burgers I had in South Africa.
Surely the most spectacular Botanical Garden in the world. Set against the protruding eastern slopes of Table Mountain and covered with native flora, you could easily spend a day picnicking in the shade and exploring the acres of gardens and footpaths.
Make sure you find the Tree Canopy Walkway hidden deep in the arboretum. Raised above the trees and offering spectacular views of the mountains beyond, this is a must do in the park.
Penguins at Boulders Beach
Arguably some of Cape Town’s most famous residents, a trip to see the penguins at Boulders Beach is at the top of most Cape Town bucket-lists.
Pay a small fee to gain access to the penguin’s abode and watch their daily comings and goings from the raised boardwalk which snakes around beautiful Boulders Beach. Come for the penguins but stay for the beach which continues further around the bay.
Escape the crowded boardwalk and take the path away from the car park. Here you will find a small sheltered swimming beach. If you’re luckily you might be able to swim with the penguins who have chosen to live a little further from the crowds.
Cape Town is known for being a colourful city and nowhere is this more true than the neighbourhood of Bo Kaap. I was lucky enough to stay in one of the vibrant homes and experience the area first hand.
As it is a predominantly Muslim area, the call to prayer rings out from the pastel-coloured mosques five times a day which provides the perfect wake-up call! Situated minutes from the city centre, Bo Kaap is an easy add-on to any Cape Town itinerary and a dream for any budding photographers.
Chapman’s Peak Drive
This stretch of stunning coastal road is regularly voted as one of the best in the world. Featured in countless car adverts and films, the route is best undertaken during whale season when it is common to spot whales from the comfort of your car. The route begins outside of Hout Bay and climbs up Chapman’s Peak which offers spectacular views out to the ocean and beaches below.
You have to pay a small toll charge to enter but it is worth every penny.
Long Street sits in the heart of Cape Town and is the place to go for shopping, eating and drinking. The street seems never-ending and is packed to the brim with quirky cafes, design shops and trendy eateries.
The Pan African Market is a great place to pick up some souvenirs. It is housed in a massive three storey building with endless corridors filled with handmade treasures.
Sunset at Table Mountain
I’ve already raved on Instagram about how this was one of my favourite travel experiences to date. Arm yourself with a picnic, bottle of wine and bundle yourself up in plenty of layers before ascending up to Table Mountain in a cable car.
Make sure you touch down before the sun starts to sink in order to have a wander around the wild and windy summit. As the sun sets, find a sheltered spot and raise a glass of South African chenin!
One of the Capetonians favourite stretches of sand, this quaint, mountain-framed fishing village is definitely worth a stop. Head out for a day or stop by on your way to Chapman’s Peak Drive. Find a patch of sand to sunbathe on before feasting on fresh fish and chips as you watch the fishermen unload their daily haul.
Have you been to Cape Town? Where would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments below or via our social media pages!