If you are looking for the best things to do in Cape Town, you are in the perfect place.
Cape Town is one of the most popular destinations for travel in the world. As it caters for all your needs whether you are seeking adventure, water activities, a getaway with your loved one or trying to keep your kids entertained. Cape Town is definitely the place to visit and explore.
There are several well-known spots such as the Jason’s Bakery for all those with a sweet tooth or savoury, Bo-Kaap which is known for its multi-racial and colourful architecture. Cape Town is widely known for the clubbing scene in Long street, where all your party needs can be met, that’s just to name a few. With plenty to choose from in Cape Town, here is our list of favourite things to do in Cape Town:
The Most Popular Activities in Cape Town
Visit Table Mountain
The famous Table Mountain is one of the city’s main attractions as it’s one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. It’s always best to visit Table Mountain on a beautiful sunny day as the scenery is to die for and silence of nature is very calming to an individual’s soul. Let us not forget the epic activities that are offered such as the Cable car trip which takes 5 minutes to get up the mountain to explore the summit. If you visit Table Mountain on a windy day there could be a possibility that you won’t be able to use the Cable car ride due to strong winds so please keep that in mind as this is to ensure the safety of customers.
The Table Mountain Café which offers a range of food, snacks, drinks, desserts and wines to enjoy while taking in the view. There’s also the Shop at the Top where you can buy gifts and hiking trails on the mountain that tour guides can take you on. Abseiling from the summit of Table Mountain takes an hour to complete, if you are an adrenaline junkie this is definitely for you. Table Mountain is a great photo opportunity, the view gives you look at the city below.
Take a Tour to Robben Island
Robben Island is well-known around the world since Former President Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on the Island for 18 of his 27 year sentence. Many other prominent freedom fighters such as Walter Sisulu, Jacob Zuma, Tokyo Sexwale and Govan Mbeki to name a few were imprisoned on the island. The museum pays homage to all struggle heroes that fought for freedom during apartheid and showcases how difficult life was for a prisoner during the apartheid era in their respective prison cells.
The standard tour is 3,5 hours long which includes the 1 hour ferry ride to get to the island and back to the V&A waterfront. The ferry rides depart at 09h00, 11h00 and 13h00, however this depends on the weather due to the ferry ride to the Island. Pricing ranges between R550 to R200. Please note kids are allowed on the tour as this will make for a great adventure for the whole family and give great insight on the cultural and heritage of South Africa. Robben Island is a “must-see” attraction in Cape Town as the history that was created on that Island shaped South Africa as a nation.
Head to Cape Town Beaches
If there is one thing Cape Town is known for is her stunting beaches e.g Camps Bay, Sea Point, Clifton, Tableview, Bloubergstrand. Beaches are the best natural environment to relax, get a tan, swim and surf. Let us not forget about the food, ideal for picnics with family and friends. The best season to visit Cape Town beaches is during January and February and December as its summer and the water is warmer than normal. Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate, meaning there is more rainfall in the winter season so it is best to visit Cape Town in the summer. Take your sunblock, towels, hats and umbrellas with you.
Cape Town beaches are a great attraction for many events during March and April. The Two Oceans Marathon, Cape Town Cycle Tour as well as the Easter holidays brings a lot of locals and tourists to the sandy beaches of Cape Town. It is important to choose the best season for you as an individual according to your needs. If you looking for a tan, then summer will be the best time to visit Cape Town beaches however if you would like to go shark diving it is best to this during the rainy wet and winter season.
Visit the Bo-Kaap Museum
This museum attracts many locals and tourists because of the vibrant environment as it is situated in one the oldest urban residential areas. The museum dates back to the mid-18th Century and was one of the first homes built in the Bo-Kaap area at the time. Bo-Kaap area is very distinct and well-known in Cape Town because of all the colourful houses on display.
Bo-Kaap museum on the other hand pays homage to the Islamic community and freed slaves after the abolition of slavery. There are frequent art exhibitions that take place in the museum. It is extremely cost effective as it’s only R20 for adults and R10 for kids to enter the museum. The museum is opened Monday to Saturday from 09h00 to 16h00.
Take your pick of Wine Tasting Tours
A good glass of wine can always be paired with a delicious meal, so why not learn the in’s and out’s on how to taste different wines and learn how to pair them according to your meal. This includes learning how to smell different wines and how to use your taste buds to understand the fruits and different notes in the wine. Cape Town is well-known for the booming wine industry locally and internationally. This tour is for those that are willing to try and come out of their comfort zones even if they are not wine lovers. For only R1, 150 per person you get to experience wines from the barrel.
A tour gives you history of the wine making process which can be very informative on how wine ages overtime and what is the difference between a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio etc. This authentic experience can be enjoyed with your loved ones or close friends. This tour is a duration of 8 hours which includes lunch and transport to and from the vineyards. The backdrop of the Cape winelands and a good tasting glass of wine and laughter with friends is all you need.
Visit Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Visiting the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is kid friendly and affordable on the pocket. This includes a beautiful tranquil environment in nature. They have regular art exhibitions and arts shows and host various events such as craft and food markets, outdoor movies etc. The Botanical garden gives you a glimpse of the conservation efforts and resources that have gone into growing and maintain the nature within Cape Town. This also helps to make the world’s plant species diversity known to the public.
The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is considered one of the top 5 Botanical Gardens in the world. The Botanical garden not only showcases the different plant species but also the geographic location on the sloped of Table Mountain. There are different species of birds that fly around in the garden which makes it unique. The history of the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens dates back to the 1903 when Professor H Pearson came to visit South Africa and decided in 1913 to create a botanical garden. Sadly the Professor died before the botanical garden could be completed in 1916, he is now buried in the garden. This is a “Must see” attraction if you love nature, learning about the history of the botanical garden and enjoy silence within nature.
Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium
The Two Oceans Aquarium is situated at the V&A Waterfront. This is a kid friendly environment. The Aquarium allows individuals to explore the ocean through the different marine exhibits. This is informative for the whole family as it gives an insight on how the animals are feed and treated. The Aquarium offers individuals an opportunity to pet penguins and take pictures with them. The kids will enjoy the Touch Pool where they get to touch the different marine life and plants; this is very informative and keeps them busy. The Aquarium offers adults an opportunity to dive with yellow fin tuna, striped bonito as well as turtles. Prices will vary according to which packages suit your family better.
Scenic Outdoor Activities in Cape Town
Cape Town is commonly known for the natural landscape and ocean views. This plays a huge role in attracting so many tourists and locals from all walks of life. Since Cape town has breathtaking views. There is an abundance of intriguing nature scenery activities to do while in Cape Town.
Hike on Lion’s Head
Lion’s head is a well-known mountain in the city. This mountain is a freestanding peak located next to Table Mountain and about two-thirds of its height. Individuals are able to hike the mountain during sunrise and sunset. If you love nature, exploring and a lover of heights then this is the mountain for you. Lion’s Head is less crowded compared to Table Mountain which makes it perfect if you looking for a silent hike. This natural environment has less wind and clouds compared to Table Mountain. And it peaks at 669 metres (2,195 ft) above sea level. With an hour long walk to get to the peak of the mountain it makes for great images and memories, its slopes are also for those seeking adventure sports such as paragliding.
Drive by Chapman’s Peak
Another amazing nature attraction in the city is definitely Chapman’s Peak also known as “Chappies” if you love sightseeing while driving, running, hiking this is the one of the best sceneries of Cape Town with a stunning view of the sea below and elevated mountains rising above you. Chapman’s peak drive is situated on the Alantic Coast between Hout Bay and Noordhoek in the Cape Peninsula.
This makes for a great photo opportunity. Chapman’s Peak was constructed during the First World War. Along the drive, there are public facilities available. There are three picnic areas with several tables and benches provided for you to enjoy the view and have a relaxing day out.
Have a picnic at Cape Point Vineyards
The best way to take in any scenery is through food and a good glass of wine. This famous wines estate in Noordhoek offers you relaxation. Not only does the wine estate supply delicious food in your picnic baskets with cozy blankets and pillows, you get to witness a 360-degree view of the mountains and a gorgeous sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.
Explore the Silvermine Reservoir
This spectacular reservoir is in between Hout Bay and Noordhoek, well-known for hiking, cook outs/braais and having picnics with your loved ones as well your pets. The boardwalk gives you a full view of the reservoir. If you are looking for a tranquil place this is it. A lot of people hike in this area to get to The Elephant’s Eye cave. This hike incline is not steep at all thus making it very convenient for people that want to take a stroll along the Reservoir.
Don’t forget your sunblock, hats, picnic goodies and water to drink. Bring your camera along to take images in the cave itself. Keep in mind there are a lot of animals such as porcupine, tortoises, grysbok and baboons that can be spotted while on the hiking trail to the Elephant’s Cave.
Visit the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve
This is a popular destination also known as Cape Point for tourists. Cape Point is situated in the Cape of Good Hope Nature reserve within Table Mountain which forms part of the Cape Floral Region as a World Heritage Site. The variety of wildlife and Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre displays informative information on plants and animals according to the seasons that you visit. Cape Point offers surfing, hiking, cycling with a spectacular view of the Cape Peninsula coastline and mountains.
An interesting fact about Cape Point this is the windiest place in South Africa and experiences only 2% of calm conditions, so please take a jersey with or blanket in order to keep warm. The facilities on offer are the Flying Dutchman funicular which is basically a train ride for customers to use instead of hiking. The rates are quite affordable for the funicular rides, for adults it is R80 and for kids it is R35. The Two Oceans restaurant is available for customers to purchase seafood cuisine. The view is absolutely stunning as you get to witness the ocean while enjoying a good hearty meal.
Cycling or walking along the Sea Point Promenade
The Sea Point Promenade offers a gorgeous view of the ocean while the waves are crashing against the rocks; you can rent a bike at the Up Cycles stations and be on your way, return the bike by sunset. This is a fantastic way to see the city. The Sea Point Promenade is quite safe as there are always individual walking their dogs, jogging and skating. The Promenade begins at the Mouille Point next to the V&A Waterfront, and runs along to the rocky Sea Point.
There is also the Sea Point Pavillion nearby for people to gym, play putt-putt golf and a children’s area to keep them entertained. There is also an Olympic sized pool for those wishing to swim. The sunset view is majestic with a lot of coffee and food restaurants while you relax and take in the scenery.
Go on a Safari in Cape Town
South Africa is famously known for The Big 5, the Safari Tour gives you a glimpse of the wildlife. The tour depends on whether you want a full day package or a half day package. The tour is very relaxing as you get to experience been in nature and the peace that comes with it. Spa treatments are also on offer to unwind depending on what are your requirements. Pricing vary according to the lodge or safari reserve you decide on. If you trying to get away from the noisy city and be one with nature then definitely try going on a safari tour.
Waterborne Activities in Cape Town
Water borne activities have become an exciting way to explore Cape Town also known as “The Mother City”. Water activities are great for the whole family because it has energizing and calming benefits whether you are splashes each other with water in a pool or relaxing on a sunbed with the ocean sound in the background. This also helps children and elderly with their motor skills development. Water helps promote social skills instead of sitting in the house or hotel, you get to explore and interact with several people. Cape Town has a variety of waterborne activities.
Kayaking with Sea animals
A great adventure, that costs R350 per person from Penguin Sea Kayak Trip. You get an introduction on how to paddle and safety briefing on how to kayak to Boulders Beach. Where you get to, experience seeing penguins up close and personal. Kayaking is extremely healthy as it helps promote building muscle strength by building core strengthening, leg toning and can burn up to 350 calories. This helps reduce stress and you get to be in the sun outdoors enjoying nature. Don’t forget your hat, towel, closed shoes and most importantly sunblock.
Beach Horse Riding in Cape Town
Imhoff Equestrian Centre offers individuals an experience of a lifetime. It’s a 1hour 45 minute guided beach ride. This costs, R700 per person per ride. You get to see amazing wildlife from the beach such as birdlife, whales, seals etc. Another tour guide company called Cape Xtreme offers horse riding alongside the Noordhoek beach to Chapman’s Peak. This is a more silent area to horse ride as it is less crowded by people. Children over the age of 12 years old are welcome to ride the horses however they need adult supervision.
Always remember not to drink before getting on to the horse as you could hurt yourself or lose balance. Bring along sunscreen, wear long pants and closed shoes. There are weight restrictions regarding the riding of the horses. Please note the maximum weight is 90kgs. If you are pregnant or have recently had an operation, riding the horses is not recommended.
Surfing in Cape Town
Surfing lessons are offered by several different surfing schools. One of them is Stoked School of Surf. There prices start from R540 per person. This includes a 2 hour lesson with a wetsuit, surfboard, leash and wax provided. There is no better time to learn how to surf than in Cape Town because “The Mother City” is known to be one of Africa’s best surfing spots. Make sure you bring your swimsuit, sunscreen, towel and something warm to wear after you have completed your surfing as it can get cold.
Motorboat trips and Sailing cruises
Going on a sailing or motor boat cruise is one way to unwind. This will cost under R500 per person. This is a grand way to relax, where you get to enjoy the Cape Town view from the V&A Waterfront, sip on a glass of champagne or opt to bring your kids with you. This includes seeing the sea animals such as dolphins, sharks, seals etc. Children that are older than 5 years old are allowed on the cruise on condition they have parental supervision with them. The cruise can take up to 1 to 2 hours depending on the weather on that particular day.
Simon’s Town in Cape Town offers tourists and locals an opportunity to go water biking. This is a 2 hour activity. That costs R590 per person. This style of biking is completely unique because it takes place in water. If you want adventure, this is it. This is an Eco-friendly way to explore your love for water activities because the water bikes are not non-motorized and don’t make any sound. The advantage of water biking is that you might get an opportunity to see wildlife such as whales, seals, penguins and water birds.
The water bikes are very stable as the pontoons along the bike keep it stable. There is not required experience of skills needed for this activity and you are provided with a life jacket for your safety in case you fall of your bike. Water biking has the same benefits as doing normal cycling with a bicycle. The benefits are as follows; increased muscle strength and flexibility, increase cardiovascular fitness, improve joint mobility, decreases stress levels and helps lose weight. Make sure you bring a hat, sunscreen and wear something cool that will dry quickly, if you happen to fall into the water. This is highly recommended if you looking for something new and innovative to do while in Cape Town.
This is an excellent way to view Cape Town and its activities, if you are brave enough and know how to swim then this is definitely for you. There are a variety of companies you could use. E.g. Pisces Divers offers customers different diving packages. Pricing range from R2, 200 to R1, 300 depending on the particular area you wish to dive into. This includes Shore dives, Seal and Kelp dives and Wreck and Reef dives.
Explore Stand Up Paddling (SUP)
Most individuals are aware of surfing however with Stand Up Paddling (SUP). This is a different water sport as you glide on water using a surfboard and paddle. Stand Up Paddling has become the new in thing, as most celebrities across the world are seen doing this. This is extremely convenient because surfing companies also provide this as a service.
The benefits of Stand Up Paddling are as follows; reduces your stress levels, exercises the whole body, helps with balance as this is a low-impact workout and it helps your core muscles. Stand Up Paddling offers you a stunning environment for meditation. Some individuals also use Stand Up Paddling for yoga as it increases focus, refines their technique, increases the amount of core stability needed to achieve each yoga pose and increases breathing control per individual.
Outdoor Activities in Cape Town
When travelling to a city, you always try to look for something new and exciting. Every individual is different, some love to laze around while reading a book on the beach while others enjoy exploring and finding the most adventurous activities in the city. Adventurous activities help benefit your body by enhancing your fear management skills and boosting your self-confidence. Cape Town offers a lot of the adventurous activities.
Kloofing is the ultimate adventure activity
Kloofing is for individuals that are brave and not afraid of heights. This activity involves following a mountain stream down its course by floating, jumping and swimming. Kloofing orientated in the Western Cape in South Africa. This activity is quite dangerous however if you willing to risk it all and witness stunning mountains and terrains, this is for you. Kloofing involves jumping from up to 3 metres to 22 metres of high.
Cape Xtreme offers adrenaline junkies the opportunity to kloof at a cost of R1700 per person for 12 hours. In a nutshell Kloofing is jumping off a mountain or cliff into crystal water pools. Before an individual can “Kloof” they will need to hike up the mountain to get to the top of the waterfall. There is a lot of manual labour that goes into kloofing however the reward is absolutely worth it in the end.
Diving with Sharks
In Cape Town shark diving is one of the best experiences one needs to do before they leave the city. At a cost of roughly R2700 for a premier package and R2000 for a budget package, this experience allows you a personal interaction and view of great white sharks. Depending on the tour company you use. Some tour companies will offer media packages; to ensure that your experience is well documented and you have a digital copy of the images taken while you are in the steel cage with the sharks.
There are different seasons within South Africa however the best season to experience shark diving is during winter since sharks are active in their feeding pattern. Some tour companies also offer a second free shark diving experience, if you did not see any sharks or encounter any sharks on that particular day. Please note children that are 5 years and older are allowed on condition they have legal guardian supervision with them. The shark diving activity involves you going down into the sea in a steel cage with snorkeling equipment and a diver suit. Individuals seeking great adventure will quite enjoy shark diving.
Skydiving in Cape Town
Skydiving is not for everyone however if this is on your bucket list, it’s time to accomplish it. Some individuals prefer to stay on the ground while others love the thrill and adrenaline of jumping out of an airplane. Cape Town has the most breathtaking views of the ocean and mountains and skydiving in this city is a “Must”. Prices of skydiving doesn’t come cheap however it’s the experience that counts. The amount is roughly R3400 per person. The duration lasts for one hour. Please take note that in order to skydive an individual has to weight a minimum of 35kg and be 100kg maximum.
Children are allowed however they should be older than 10 years old with a minimum height of 1.4m. This activity can be fun for the whole family; everyone gets to be included that’s if they are brave enough. The scenery is majestic as you get to experience Cape Town from different directions; you are able to see the South Peninsula as far as Cape Point to the Langebaan lagoon where a lot of kite surfing and windsurfing takes place.
Sandboarding and Quad Biking adventures
Sandboarding is an extreme sport. Individuals basically snowboard of a sand dune while trying to stand on the board. This makes a great adventure for the family and a great photo opportunity. The duration of the sandboarding can take up to 4 hours per group. This activity is much more cost effective when done in a group setting. Prices is roughly R900 for 4 people. It is important to wear comfortable clothing which includes long socks, sun glasses, closed shoes and make sure you have sunscreen with you and a hat to prevent getting sun burnt.
This experience can be combined with Quad biking on the sand dunes with your friends or family. This can also be a great team building activity for colleagues. Children are allowed on the sandboarding activity, as long as they are 7 years and older with parent or guardian supervision. The quad biking requires children to be 12 years and older in order to drive their own quad bikes however if they are younger than 12 years old, they will be allowed to quad bike with a guide for their safety.
Paragliding Over Cape Town
Paragliding give you an unencumbered view over the whole city of Cape Town like no other. A flight costs around R1500 per person however considering this is an experience of a lifetime, it’s a no brainer. Signal Hill is the common place used to fly from however depending on the weather on that particular day Lion’s head can also be used to paraglide. This experience of free-flight can last for 10 to 30 minutes depending on the weather. The view is amazing as you get to see Table Mountain and Robben Island from a distance. The weight restrictions are 15kg minimum and 120kg maximum, children older than 5 years old are allowed on condition they have a parental consent.
All safety measures are in place to ensure that you land on you land on the ground safe and sound. Experienced paragliders are used to guide individuals on what to do and what not to do during paragliding. What is amazing about this experience the pilot takes images of you while paragliding and these images are included in your package. Always remember to carry your sunblock, closed shoes and a warm t-shirt so you don’t get cold while paragliding.
Abseiling of Table Mountain
Abseiling off Table Mountain is a special experience and an adrenaline rush. This is a 112 metre climb down the mountain which is above 1000 metres above sea level. This is known as the highest commercial abseiling point in the world. If you are a “Dare Devil” this experience is something you have to include on your to do list before you leave Cape Town. This activity takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
Prices is R1350 per person; please keep in mind a lot of safety precautions are taken to ensure you don’t get injured during the activity. The minimum weight for abseiling is 40kg and the maximum is 110kg. And let us not forget the gorgeous view looking down Table Mountain and the ocean below, smell of fresh air, are one of the things that make this experience breathtaking.
Ziplining on 11 zip lines
Cape Xtreme tours offer a ziplining tour at a cost of R1, 100 per person. This ziplining experience is extremely different because 11 zip lines are used instead of one. The longest zip line is 300m long. This is great for the family, everyone gets included. The nature and beautiful landscape and terrain of Cape Town can be seen while you doing this activity. This can be classified as a whole day activity since it takes 4 to 5 hours to complete. This is absolutely not your average ziplining experience. The location is set in the beautiful Elgin Valley near Grabouw. Take note there is a weight restriction of 120kg maximum for an individual to participate in the ziplining activity.
Helicopter Tour Over Cape Town
Take to the skies and explore Cape Town from a helicopter of gyrocopter. If you have never heard of the word gyrocopter this is basically a smaller version of a plane however it uses an unpowered motor in free autorotation to develop lift. This tiny makeshift helicopter looks quite unique in a sense you in a tube that flies in the air. Only two people can be on a gyrocopter at a time. The gyrocopter is actually safer than your average fixed-wing aircraft as it handles turbulence much better than a normal airplane. In addition gyrocopter (Gyros) have an average speed range of 35Mph to 115Mph.
The advantage of taking a gyrocopter tour is that you are more exposed to the natural elements since you don’t have aircraft wings blocking your view of the city. This activity it is more liberating than sitting in a helicopter and watching the view. The gyrocopter gives you can opportunity to experience Cape Town in all her glory. The stunning view of the ocean, mountains and sunset within Cape Town make this an unforgettable experience of a lifetime. Flights lasts for 30 to 60 minutes depending on the weather on that particular day and the package you have selected. Definitely try this out if you love flying.
Rock climbing is an adventurous experience especially if you prefer to do the “Real” rock climbing instead of climbing a wall. There are professional guides to help you if you would like to improve your rock climbing skills. Rock climbing has different ranges from sport climbing, bouldering to big-wall climbing depending on the mountain and terrain that you prefer. Another range of mountain climbing is deep-water climbing which involves you climbing up a cliff with no harness to protect you; if you fall you land straight into the water or ocean below. All this depends on the terrain and the environment you are in.
There’s guided rock climbing available for those that would like to go in groups with a professional rock climber to guide them. Then there are personal or private guides that will do a one on one session with you, to help improve your technique and ensure you are in safe hands. Rock climbing has become a huge phenomenon around the world. Cape Town has the best mountains to explore this extreme sport.
No travel experience is complete without sampling the delicacies a city has to offer. Whether you have a sweet tooth or looking for a South African twist there are plenty of options. Cape Town has some of the best restaurants in the world with different experimental and innovative food concepts. Cape Town is a melting pot of diversity from your Cape Malay Bobotie, typical Fish and Chips, and Gatsby sandwich with a variety of meats, chips and sauces.
In addition are your Indian influences with the Bunny Chow to your seafood and milk tarts, koeksisters and malva pudding desserts. And with food come drinks/ wine or alcohol that pairs well with food as they go hand-in-hand with each other. Here are the following restaurants or food experiences that you have to check out for yourself:
Visit Greenhouse at The Cellar-Hohenort
This restaurant was voted as one of the top 15 restaurants in the country by ‘Eat out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards’ in the last 10 years. With their unique flavours they also pair your food with the perfect wine to go with it. They open for lunch from Tuesday to Saturday from 12h00 to 14h00 and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday from 18h00 to 21h00.
Experience Mzoli’s Place in Gugulethu Township
If you looking for the heart of South African cuisine then try Mzoli’s Place in Gugulethu in Cape Town. Although, situated in the township area of Cape Town. Mzoli’s attracts so many locals and tourists from around the world especially during the weekend. It is simple, choose your meat from the butchery, and get your meat spiced with their special secret marinade sauce. Then your meat gets braaied and served with different sides and the South African staple in most African households is pap as a form of starch.
You get an experience because South African music is played in the background and you get to drink and enjoy the local environment. This is a great environment and experience on how people grill meat differently, using different spices, if you a meat lover then Mzoli’s Place is absolutely for you. Mzoli’s is well-known in the Cape and has many South Africans yearning to experience the food and atmosphere in Gugulethu, Cape Town. Add Mzoli’s Place onto your bucket list or things to do in Cape Town list.
Got a sweet tooth check out Charly’s Bakery
The well-known Charly’s Bakery is situated in the heart of District 6, Cape Town. The bakery specializes in luxury designer cakes, wedding cakes, cookies and biscuits and cupcakes, you name it, they will bake it. The Charly’s cake angels behind the bakery got their very own reality TV series that debuted in October 2011. Over the years the bakery has grown and is one of the most popular bakeries in the area and around South Africa. The name Charly’s comes from Charly and Jacqui Biess who started the bakery in 1989 over the years their own daughters took over the bakery and made it as household name.
Look out for the Graffiti Grub Food Truck
A new way of expanding the food industry has to be food trucks. South Africa definitely jumped onto that trend. The Graffiti Grub Food Truck is fast growing as you can find it around events in Cape Town and across the country. If you love trying new flavours such as bunny chow on ciabatta bread, then this is for you. The innovative thinking has made this food truck a crowd pleaser within Cape Town. Follow the Graffiti Grub Food truck on their website to find out where they are situated in the Cape Town area.
Find the Earthfire Pizza food truck
Earthfire Pizza has become quite famous for their thin crispy bases which are now pre-made and sold to the public. They cater for several events and functions including weddings, festivals, sport events, corporate and school events and birthday parties. Make sure you follow them on social media in order to find out where the Earthfire Pizza truck can be found in the Cape Town area. Not only do you get affordable pizzas, you get gourmet delicious pizza with a unique twist of flavour.
Explore The Test Kitchen with Chef Luke Dale-Roberts
The Test Kitchen opened in November 2010 by Chef Luke Dale-Roberts. This restaurant is one of the best in Cape Town and one of the world’s top 50 restaurants. If you like drama, this is the restaurant that will give you top class food with an innovative twist. The menu changes with a range of food such as Beef tartare, Yorkshire tulllies to butter poached kingklip. Please note it is doesn’t come cheap however if you willing to splurge for the night for a fantastic culinary experience then this is the restaurant for you. Not only did Chef Luke Dale-Roberts open The Test Kitchen he also opened several other restaurants in Cape Town; The Pot Luck Club, The Shortmarket Club, Commissary and Salsify at The Roadhouse.
Experience The Foodbarn
When you talk about a casual fine-dining experience this is it. The Foodbarn Restaurant is situated in Noordhoek Farm Village, Cape Town. The French cuisine is inspired by French Chef Franck Dangereux. Note a reservation should be made ahead of time. The Food barn Deli however allows you to shop for your daily necessities such as your daily newspapers, freshly baked pastries, fresh fruit and vegetables or ready home cooked meals for lunch or dinner.
The Foodbarn Deli is basically your one-way food stop. However, at night The Foodbarn Deli changes to a Tapas bar which allows customers to enjoy a vibrant atmosphere. This includes allowing customers to shop for all their deli products until 9pm. This restaurant is very innovative in a sense they cater for all their customers and think ahead on how to use and maximize the use of the restaurant space.
Eat at the Fire Monkey restaurant
The Fire Monkey is an Asian cuisine eating house. The restaurant opened mid-January 2020 and within three months of its opening is a crowd pleaser. The great reviews by customers are testament to the attention to detail and love that is put into making their food and plating. A social table setting and modern look and feel make the Fire Monkey a must on the list of things to do in Cape Town.
The menu includes tapas style with an Asian twist such as wagyu short rib gyoza, pickled cucumber and teriyaki jus to name a few. What makes this restaurant unique is the 3 bowl lunch for R150 per head depending on the time of the day. The artwork on the walls and the smell of the food automatically draws you into the restaurant. This is a very new up and coming restaurant with a vibrant feel and look.
Try Dahlia on Regent
This restaurant in Sea point, Cape Town is a small experiential restaurant. This is a 30 seater venue which makes it perfect for group bookings with friends and family for birthday parties or special events. The price ranges between R200 to R400 per person. The type of cuisine is Mediterranean, seafood which includes a wine bar. The restaurant creates a relaxed, intimate setting for a fine dining experience that you can share with your friends and loved ones. The experiential restaurant is always changing its menu and trying to change the way people interact with food by using all an individual senses form taste, sound, smell etc.
Check out the Eastern Food Bazaar
If you looking for something different and love spice then the Eastern Food Bazaar in Long Street, Cape Town is a must on your to do list. Not only is the food affordable, it’s an open market/street food vibe. The food costs roughly between R20 to R40 depending on what you buy. The food market is open Monday to Thursdays and Sunday from 11h00 to 22h00, then Friday to Saturday from 11h00 to 22h30. The food ranges from Bombay, Istanbul, Punjabi, Tandoori, China town and Madras.
All the food is 100% Halaal meaning the food is prepared according to the Islamic Council of South Africa Halaal standards. The food bazaar offers a variety of food from kebabs, butter chicken, Dosa; which is fermented pancakes with cheese or chicken. The Bazaar is definitely a cost effective way to try different cuisines and explore your taste buds.
Cape Malay Cooking Safari
This tour gives you a unique experience of the Bo-Kaap area. This is a vibrant, colourful experience as you learn as you walk into the community. The cooking class will have you making samosas and learning how to make authentic Cape Malay curry from scratch. This is for all the food lovers. The tour is 4 hours long and will give you ample time to master your cooking skills and have a great lunch experience.
The Safari will cost you R985 per person. The cooking Safari will also teach you how to use certain spices and take individuals around the Bo-Kaap area to understand the history of the place and how the Muslim community shaped the style of cooking.
Indulge at Jason’s Bakery
This bakery is ranked one of the best bakeries in Cape Town. Jason’s Bakery is well –known for adding a unique flavour to the typical pastry. The bakery has its own authentic feel as it creates a new doughssants every Saturday. A doughssant is basically a combination of a croissant and a doughnut put together. The innovative thinking has kept this bakery at the top of its game with its competitors. If you have sweet tooth or not there is something for you.
This bakery caters for gluten free and diabetic individuals. The leftover pastries are donated to a local charity. The menu is always changing and drinks are also on offer which includes 100% Arabica espresso beans. There are 3 different Jason’s Bakery stores due to the high demand by the customers. The stores are based in Bree Street in the CBD of Cape Town, Green Point and Zonnebloem in Cape Town.
Top Cultural Activities in Cape Town
Cape Town offers a diverse cultural experience. The city has different people from all walks of life. The tours around Cape Town give you a better sense of the background and heritage of the city.
The cultural background of Cape Town and its people go far back as the San people who lived in Cape Town and were excluded and removed from their homes by colonisers. The Dutch heritage influenced many of the Cape Town architecture. The Cape Malay people were slaves from India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia as their culture influenced the Bo-Kaap area in Cape Town. The colonizers also played a huge role in the cultural influences and differences within Cape Town. The French and British played significant roles in the naming of areas within Cape Town such as Franschhoek and the V&A Waterfront.
And let us not forget the heart and soul of the South African tribes such as the Xhosa nation, which shaped Cape Town and the language and culture of the African people who live in Cape regions. Here are the following Cultural experiences:
District Six Museum
In February 1966, District six in Cape Town became a whites-only area under the Group Areas Act of 1950. Those who lived in this area at the time during Apartheid were forcefully removed from their homes and had to move to the Cape Flats. The District Six Museum became a way for advocating for social justice in the District Six community. The museum showcases the good and the bad of the forced removal of its people during this era. Photographs, recordings and exhibitions are on display for all who visit the museum.
The museum pays homage to all multi-racial people that were removed forcefully during apartheid. When in Cape Town, add this on your to do list as this will give you great insight on the background and cultural history of how Cape Town came to be. The museum also showcases different gangs in the District Six community that were formed during apartheid. This is very informative as you get a better understanding of how gangs in multi-racial communities were formed and the reasoning behind these gangs. This also showcases how relevant the history of District Six still affects South Africans living in that area today.
Tour Cape Town using the City Sightseeing Tour bus
One of the best ways to tour Cape Town is using the popular red bus that is seen in and around the city. City Sightseeing South Africa offers tourists and locals an experience to witness 50 Cape Town top attractions. The tour includes 30 stops and customers can hop-on and off the bus to view these attractions.
This will cost you between R1, 015 to R80 depending on the package you choose and whether you an adult or child. The tour gives an individual a unique view of Cape Town because this includes heritage sites, well-known events and hospitality locations around Cape Town to ensure you get the best experience.
Explore The Prestwich Memorial
This memorial was created to acknowledge all those that died to help build the foundation of Cape Town. The history behind the memorial dates back to the 1600’s and 1700’s when slaves were executed and buried in unmarked graves by Dutch settlers. This area was known as District one. A discovery of these skeleton remains took place in 2003 when an excavation occurred for an urban development in the city. An ossuary (a chest, building or site made to serve as a resting place for human skeletal remains) was built to preserve the exhumed skeletons.
The memorial is based in Green Point, Cape Town. The Prestwich Memorial is opened to the public from Monday to Friday 08h00 to 17h00 and Saturday to Sunday from 08h00 to 13h00. This museum is extremely informative and gives an individual a better understanding of the 1600’s and 1700’s period in South Africa.
Visit The South African Jewish Museum
The museum is situated in the hub of the CBD in Cape Town. The museum was officially opened by former President Nelson Mandela in 2000 and is one of the sites visited on the City Sightseeing bus tour. The museum’s architecture is very appealing and gives one a great sense of culture and religion that South Africa has within her borders. The museum pays homage to the origins of the South African Jews from Eastern Europe and all around the world and showcases the cultural history of the Jew people and their history.
The Jewish museum opens Sunday to Thursday from 10h00 to 17h00 and Friday from 10h00 to 14h00. The price to enter the museum ranges between R80 to R50. If you are an individual that enjoys history and architecture this will be very insightful.
Visit Greenmarket Square
The market is based in between Longmarket and Shortmarket Street in the heart of Cape Town. This market offers tourists and locals a variety of gifts and cultural crafts made by locals and foreigners that now reside in South Africa. Greenmarket Square is a melting pot of diversity and creativity. The types of products sold are handcrafted wooden spoons, tables, chairs, traditional South African attire, artworks etc. Alongside the market there are coffee and food shops for you to sit down and relax, take the scenery in and be in the moment.
Take a Township Tour
The one way to understand the cultural history of the city is by visiting or touring the nearby townships. A Cape Town township tour gives you a sense of how some people live in Cape Town; it is very informative as you get to interact with locals in that particular community. Several tour companies give travellers and locals an opportunity to explore townships such as Langa. The tours includes visiting a walk about in the area, a snack of local cuisine.
A tour can takee up to 4 hours to complete as you learn about the local cature culture and the predominant language in a given township. If you looking for an authentic experience this is it. This will roughly cost you R800 per person. The tours run with starting times from from 09h00 to 14h00. Experiencing a view of the townships in Cape Town will give you better understanding of how people survive and still remain resilient through trials and tribulations.
Township Gospel Tour
Individuals are given an opportunity to explore Cape Town from a cultural gospel experience. The tour showcases the Xhosa language and authentic gospel music the community of Langa has created. This experience gives you a glimpse of how different cultures praise and worship according to their own beliefs and values. The Township Gospel Tour is insightful and different compared to your average tour around Cape Town. This creates an opportunity for tourists to be one with the locals in that community. The vibrant people of Langa Township are a good example of humanity and authenticity. This shows individuals, it’s not what you have but what you do with what you have that really matters.
It is evident that Cape Town has a lot to offer at affordable prices. The heritage and cultures behind the city are the epicenter of the communities which drive this city. Cape Town is unique in a sense as it has wonderful and stunning landscape with the ocean at its back door. The late evening sunsets make it very special compared to other cities in South Africa. The humanity of the people that live in this city is showcased everywhere you go. Cape Town is definitely a must-see attraction in South Africa.