The 10 Best Things to do in Cape Town (and why you can’t miss any of them)

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Cape Town isΒ renowned for being home to some of the world’s most scenic beauty inside a large city. Behind the hustle and bustle of Cape Town quietly lies Table Mountain, providing a stunning cityscape from the sea. But there’s plenty to see and do here beyond the icon – including day visits to the nearby Cape Winelands and Cape Point. Here are the 10 best things to do in Cape Town and why you can’t miss any of them!


1. Table Mountain

There’s no point coming to Cape Town if you don’t have some form of interaction with the glorious natural wonder that is Table Mountain. Whether you choose to climb the mountain, take the cable car (around $25 return), or appreciate it from afar, this is undoubtedly the most popular must do attraction in Cape Town.

Oscar Terrace

2. Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

The V&A Waterfront is considered to be one of the most gorgeous areas of the entire city and Cape region. There’s a lot of history here, as it was here where the Dutch and later the British arrived into Cape Town. Be sure to give yourself ample time here to appreciate the history, colonial architecture, and natural beauty with Table Mountain clearly visible in the background. One of the most popular ways to experience the waterfront is to take a sunset cruise // 90 minutes in length and often with champagne to toast the occassion.

3. Cape of Good Hope

If you have more than a couple ofΒ days in Cape Town, I would highly recommend hiring a car and taking a self-drive tour along the Cape of Good Hope to Cape Point. There are a number of group and private tours available, but having the freedom to go at your own leisure is highly recommended also.

4. Boulders Beach

If you do decide to venture along the coast, be sure to make the mandatory stop at Boulders Beach – home to many, many, many penguins. They’re a lively bunch and could even be considered to pose for tourists at times… definitely worth a visit and only a short drive outside of Cape Town itself, near Simon’s Town.


5. Lion’s Head

You know the one, the funny-looking peak sitting pretty next to Table Mountain. You can hike Lion’s Head or appreciate it from afar – usually depending on time constraints and/or fitness levels. Regardless of how you choose to experience it, Lion’s Head is a defining point in Cape Town’s skyline.


6. Robben Island

Not far out at sea one will find Robben Island – the prison that was once home to South Africa’s most famous freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela. There’s no arguing that South Africa has had a turbulent past, butΒ the most important aspect of this is to appreciate that these trials and tribulations have shaped the future of the country. There’s still a long way to go, but now more than ever South Africans live in harmony and to better prepare for our future, we must understand the history that led us here. Therefore a very popular day trip from Cape Town is to visit Mandela’s cell on Robben Island.

luxury cape winelands

7. Day Trip: Stellenbosch & Franschhoek

The Cape Wine lands are perhaps the only area I could say I love more than Cape Town itself when considering this gorgeous country. If you do decide to venture out on a day trip, be sure to stop at these two towns: Stellenbosch (40 minutes drive) and Franschhoek (20 minutes further). One of my favourite vineyards to visit, especially if you have a celebration, is Delaire Graff Vineyard. However there are also many great vineyards and homesteads in the region worth a visit.


8. Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden

Kirstenbosch is world-renowned for being the first Botanical Garden in the world built on the ethos to protect natural flora. Thus the gardens are home to many indigenous plants and offer a great insight into the South African plant life. If you’re not particularly interested in this, you will still be pleasantly surprised. This is one of my favourite Botanical Gardens in the world and having Table Mountain as a backdrop certainly helps!

cellars hohenhort cape town

9. Constantia

As one of the oldest suburbs in Cape Town, Constantia has a lot of history to offer visitors, particularly in the way of Dutch architecture. This area is also renowned for its’ wine, so if you’re a wine lover and looking to visit some fabulous wineries nearby to the city itself, then this is perhaps your best bet (but if you have longer, I would highly recommend venturing further to Stellenbosch & Franschhoek.


10. Camps Bay

Camps Bay is a residential area in Cape Town that attracts large numbers of visitors to Cape Town, particularly in the warmer months. It is one of the most expensive areas to own property in Cape Town and is thus reserved for the uber-rich both from South Africa and further abroad. There are some great restaurants here to accompany the lively beaches, so if you’re visiting in the warmer months you can’t miss it!

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    November 27, 2015 at 2:05 am

    Cape Town (she was born there) and I really want to visit one day!

    Kirsty Marrins
    September 10, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    I grew up in Durban, South Africa, and now live in London but my husband and I love to travel to Cape Town for holidays. I’m pleased to say I have done all 10 of your suggestions! For me, South Africa is such a warm and friendly place – you’ll fall in love with the people and culture as much as the country!

    September 3, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Capetown is just awesome Man

    August 21, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    I am planning to get to Cape Town next week, your post is really helpful. Indeed these are the places I have pinned in to the list. Thank you for sharing this helpful post.

    Russell Smith
    June 8, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Hi Brooke
    I’m interested as to how my image of Clifton beach made its way onto your blog with out my permission. Do you mind explaining?

  • The "Top 25" Best Destinations in the World | WORLD OF WANDERLUSTWORLD OF WANDERLUST
    June 8, 2015 at 10:45 am

    […] Cape Town is fondly regarded by locals and visitors alike as the world’s prettiest city – all because of that iconic blend of where the city meets the sea, and nature plays a key part in the lives of locals. If you like hiking, you’ll love making your way up the famous Table Mountain and the many activities on offer around Cape Town. […]

    May 29, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Hey Brooke, I’m heading to SA in a couple months and there has been a few South Africans who told me not to go, it’s too dangerous, and single female travellers would be a target. I’ve been in some sketchy places before and don’t feel uncomfortable going to SA. Did you ever feel uncertain or unsafe in SA?

    • Brooke Saward
      May 30, 2015 at 12:03 am

      nope and if you look under the archives for Africa you will see a post all about this and how this is a common MISperception about south africa πŸ™‚

    Eunice Musuamba
    May 26, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    The best city on Earth! I’ve been living here for more than 4 months now and I’m so sad to go back to Europe in two weeks!

    Rachel Lelliott
    May 18, 2015 at 10:54 am

    I knew I wanted to check out South Africa but these posts have left me with an indescribable urge to get there as soon as I possibly can!
    Love your blog!

    May 17, 2015 at 3:08 am

    great post! I have been to Cape Town a little over a month ago and I loved every second of it!
    If you don’t have issues with exposure to heights, I can only recommend to climb Lion’s Head! It offers spectacular views, already on the way up. We did the hike in the afternoon to witness the sunset, absolutely breathtaking!
    Cape Town is a very beautiful city and I will definetley go back. πŸ™‚

    May 15, 2015 at 5:12 am

    Love your photos. I have to add Cape Town to my list πŸ™‚
    xo from Leipzig, Germany

    May 14, 2015 at 8:33 pm


    Did you ever make it to Cape Agulhas and the southern most tip. I drove quite a lot around SA and spent a lot of time there, seeing your images brings back some amazing memories.
    have you ever been to Fiji, i can highly recommend the Coral Island resort, Tavewa Island, Fiji

    Chris Hartman
    May 14, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    I traveled to Cape Town last summer and I have to admit, these destinations are all pretty much a must do. I would have added whale watching/shark cage diving, but technically you have to leave Cape Town to do that. Excellent read.

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    […] days I am extremely jealous, others it doesn’t seem such a breeze). Check out her post Β on the 10 best things to do in Cape Town.Β She has also promised aΒ video on South AfricaΒ on her YouTube Channel […]

    May 11, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Great post! It all looks so amazing, I got to go to Johannesburg a couple years back but never Cape Town, Looks like I really need to go there soon!

    Tina & Adriano
    May 11, 2015 at 2:44 am

    Great post! We have been in Cape Town this year and loved every minute. Table Mountain, V&A Waterfront is definitely a must do. Love your photos and your blog!

    May 11, 2015 at 2:43 am

    Cape Town is indeed a wonderful place, and I visit over and over again.

    Sarah Lynn
    May 11, 2015 at 12:59 am

    Fabulous photos!
    I’ve been told by many travellers that Cape Town is a must, some have even said it was their favorite place thus far in the world. It’s easy to see why!

    Sarah Park
    May 10, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    These photos look so amazing, I can’t wait to see them myself someday!


    May 10, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing Brooke! I trust your taste (I love nice waterfront seating!) and am saving this on my Pinterest for future reference.

    Cheers from Ireland!

    Nicola Easterby
    May 10, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    I would love to go to Cape Town! I visited South Africa last year but was only in Johannesburg helping at a children’s home so I didn’t get much of a change to see the country. It was an amazing experience none the less, but I know I need to go back and see more of the place πŸ™‚

    May 9, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Thanks for these useful tips about Cape Town!! Can’t wait to visit Cape Town; Have to plan my trip asap πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    May 9, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    My friend just came back from visiting Cape Town (she was born there) and I really want to visit one day!

    Claire @ TallGirlBigWorld
    May 9, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    One of my close friends is from Johannesburg, and after hearing her stories of Jo-burg and reading your lovely posts, I absolutely cannot wait until I’m able to visit South Africa! It seems like a beautiful country.

    May 9, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Totally agree with your list! πŸ™‚
    If you are heading for Boulders beach, I would also highly recommend to take a stop at Kalk Bay and Simon’s Town, because they are both pretty nice for a stroll and there are some good restaurants and bars (The food at Harbour House in Kalk Bay is incredibly good). πŸ™‚

    Kozue @ Tokyo Direct Diary
    May 9, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    I feel that South Africa is so distant from me, but Cape Town has more aspects than I had imagined. Especially the story of Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is interesting to me…I’d never thought of South African plant life.
    Thanks for an interesting post and have a nice trip, Brooke!

    May 9, 2015 at 10:22 am

    I have a friend from Cape Town and I never knew how beautiful her home was until these posts showed up! I’ll definitely have to plan a visit.