A local’s guide to a diverse and decadent Cape Town

A local’s guide to a diverse and decadent Cape Town

Sara • 06/13/2024


Recently, The Telegraph (UK) recognised Cape Town as Africa’s best loved city. Why? It boasts beautiful settings mingled with oodles of adventures, foodie destinations, excellent wine regions complimented by an exciting melting pot of friendly people, different cultures and palpable energy. What’s not to love? Enjoy our decadent list of things to do in Cape Town.

1. The V&A Waterfront 

The Waterfront has so much to offer, from top hotels to excellent restaurants perched on the harbour serving fresh shell fish, five star cuisine, impressive, local wines and remarkable service. It’s also the ideal place to do a spot of shopping from curios to high end brands. In fact, it has the most foot traffic out of any destination in Africa. One of the major draw cards is also the Aquarium and the Cape Wheel where one can enjoy 360 views of Cape Town. 

2. Conquer Table Mountain 

Whether you want to try conquer this iconic Mountain by hiking, walking or taking the Cable Car, it’s always rewarding when you reach the top. Enjoy a delicious high tea and bubbles while taking in the extraordinary view. For adrenaline junkies, try out the world’s highest commercial abseil or ride an off – road scooter on the slopes of Table Mountain. Walk to some of the dams on the mountain and even visit the Waterworks Museum if you’re interested in the history of the mountain. 

3. Soak in the City 

One of the best ways to explore Cape Town is by signing up to a guided walking tour and soaking up the culture. There are so many hidden architectural gems that can be discovered from historic buildings sitting cosily next to sleek modern high rises, and sculptures, mosaics and street art that line the city. Some of the places to put on your list are the colourful Bo Kaap houses and Cape Malay cooking,  visiting Camps Bay and Clifton Beaches and exploring the bustling inner city streets like Kloof street, Bree Street and Long street. 

4. Savour local produce at the Oranjezicht City Market

OZCF is a cheerleader for local, home-grown produce. Take your pick from the rainbow harvest of in-season veggies, herbs and fruit (which may include some rare and heirloom beauties), alongside artisanal cheeses, breads and pastries, preserves, fresh fish, charcuterie and more. Stay for a leisurely meal, with a variety of global cuisines on offer (Korean fried chicken, bao, tacos, galettes, pizza, Vietnamese street food, traditional Jewish food, Richard Bosman’s meat pies) – with all sorts of trendy diets well catered for. There’s plenty of outdoor seating, vibrant bands and music, a bar area for craft beers and cocktails, space for kids and dogs, and a real buzz that’s suited to the entire family.

5. Spend the day on the beach

Capetonians are spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches. For sandy white beaches, fringed with palm trees and protected by the wind, try Camps Bay beach as well as all 4 of the world-famous Clifton Beaches. Think powdery white sand and Cerulean blue ocean. 

6. Admire architecture and art at Zeitz MOCAA

Often compared to the Tate Modern in London, this new, signature raw-concrete bulk towers over nearby buildings and ships in Cape Town’s docklands. The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is known for its cutting-edge exhibitions and for showcasing and researching modern African art. The Zeitz MOCAA’s many and varied spaces over nine floors include the cathedral-like Atrium, Centres for Costume, Photography and The Moving Image, a rooftop sculpture garden and a shop stocked with arty items, as well as a café and sixth-floor bar with fabulous views. You can also stay at the Silo Hotel, with opulent bedrooms commanding exquisite views of the harbour, Table Mountain and beyond.

7. Explore the False Bay Peninsula 

This is one of the most picturesque parts of the Cape, a mere 40 minutes from Cape Town’s city centre. Explore the charming Kalk Bay high street where bakeries emit delicious smells and fish restaurants sit on rocks with the crashing  sea below. Stroll around the colourful harbour where fishing boats bob up and down and seals circle, looking for scraps. Browse the beautiful clothing boutiques or antique stores and enjoy a fun day outdoors. Hop on a train to take you to Simonstown where your next attraction awaits. 

8. Visit Boulders Beach & Cape Point 

Boulders beach as the name describes it is a beautiful beach surrounded by large rocks making it a sheltered cove. This beach has become home to the Endangered Jackass Penguins (African Penguins) which have been successfully breeding here for years now. Enjoy paddling in the shadows with these tuxedo striped birds and venture out to the Kelp Forests with a snorkel if your nerves allow. Kayaking is also, a popular sport to do in amongst the turquoise coves. Cape Point is just a little further down the Peninsula from Boulders and can be enjoyed on the same day. View the iconic place where the 2 oceans (Indian & Atlantic) meet and enjoy a lunch at Cape Point Vineyards if you have time. 

9. Enjoy sipping wine in the Winelands 

Travellers are quite literally spoilt for choice when it comes to the Winelands in the Cape. There are so many impressive and established wine farms to choose 

10. Try E-bikes and zip lining in Elgin 

Another beautiful area a hop and skip away from Cape Town is Elgin, a  charming apple and pear growing area. Also known for its wine farms, this  countryside offers beautiful meanders ideally explored by e-bikes which are readily available for hire. Enjoy farmers markets and farm stalls and sample MCC (Methode Cap Classique) the local champagne. For the thrill seeking, try the zipline canopy tour and get a bird’s eye view overlooking Cape Nature’s Hottentot Mountains.