From the in-your-face beauty of its breathtaking backdrops and wonderful wildlife to the tucked away pockets of cool contemporary culture, there’s no denying why Cape Town is one of the most talked about cities in the world. With its pristine white beaches, craggy mountain ranges and vine-carpeted valleys, Cape Town will simply blow you away.
However, there is more to this city than meets the eye, with its wide range of hip bars, chic coffee clubs, world-famous restaurants, and innovative art and design. Cape Town is a melting pot of landscape, history and culture, where exploration, experimentation and expansion meets you at every turn.
WINING & DINING
From hidden coffeehouses and bustling markets to laidback pubs and elegant eateries, the local food scene in Cape Town is world renowned. Offering up a delicious tasting plate of diverse cultures and experimental cuisines, the Mother City is a flagship foodie destination for globetrotting gourmet grazers to feast upon. Take in this gastronomical wonderland at South Africa’s most exclusive restaurant, The Test Kitchen. Located in colourful Woodstock, this lavish eatery was recently saluted as one of the World’s Best Restaurants by San Pelligrino for its use of top-quality local ingredients and fresh-made dishes with a creative flair.
Or for a more casual dining experience, try out The Test Kitchen’s sister restaurant, Pot Luck Club. Known for its dinner-table-style shared dishes, Pot Luck Club boasts a marvellous view from the top floor of the Silo at the Old Biscuit Mill good enough to rival what’s on the plate.
Then, when you’re ready to put down the fork and pick up a glass, make sure to take the short trip outside of Cape Town to visit some of the most stunning wine farms South Africa has to offer. Known as the birthplace of the country’s wine industry, the oldest wine farm, Groot Constantia, is definitely worth a call-in. Rich in history and bursting with flavour, Groot Constantia is the perfect place for a relaxing day of cellar tours and wine tasting.
Also worth the day trip are the wine regions of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, both boasting award-winning wines paired with the most luxurious hotels in the world, including La Residence and Delaire Graff Estate. Whether you opt for a handpicked private tour or hop on the Franschhoek Wine Tram for a varied vineyard experience, a visit to Cape Town’s top wine farms is a must.
Cape Town is also revelled for its local shopping digs ranging from luxury boutiques and extravagant shopping malls to niche street stalls and vintage markets. Taking the title of South Africa’s most popular shopping destination is the V&A Waterfront, with over 450 retail outlets to its name. However, this prized jewel in Cape Town’s shopping crown offers far more than chain stores and a food court. One of the latest editions to the Waterfront is Watershed, a spacious warehouse filled to the brim with unique crafts and fashions. Also on the shopping itinerary is The Food Market, full of tasty treats and live music to satisfy the stomach and soul. Tickle your tastebuds by grazing your way through 40 artisan stalls in a food fuelled afternoon adventure.
Make sure to hit Long, Church and Kloof Streets for a spot of shopping at one-off stores like Merchants on Long and Chandler House, oozing with style and sophistication at every corner.
PLACES TO SEE
When in Cape Town, there’s never a dull moment with its wide range of places to go and see, from upmarket beach suburbs to downtown creative hubs. Grab a drink and head to the beach to bask in the warm yellows and oranges of your first quintessential Cape Town sunset at Camps Bay. This picturesque beach town tucked underneath the majestic Twelve Apostles mountain range provides the perfect view and atmosphere for a relaxing sun-downer upon the palm trees.
For a more cultural experience, head to the up-and-coming city of Woodstock. Transforming itself from a run-down neighbourhood into an impressive artistic haunt, Woodstock boasts some of the most striking street art that Cape Town has to offer. Make sure to explore the town in all of its creative glory by visiting the Woodstock Exchange, a lively market full of eclectic art and murals, or even sign up for a street art walking tour to get up close and personal with the 1000+ works.
And if it’s vibrant streets you seek, immerse yourself in the kaleidoscope of colour that is Cape Malay’s Bo-Kaap area. A place where the people are just as colourful as their houses, get to know the spirited locals and their heritage through cooking classes and guided tours available all year round.
PLACES TO GO
Whether it’s a scenic drive up the coast or an adrenalin filled adventure you seek, Cape Town has something for everyone. Take a Cable Car up Table Mountains and let the spectacular scenery of the neighbouring suburbs and flourishing landscapes wrap around you. Or, for those who prefer to travel by foot, book a guide and hike up. Once you reach the top, take time to soak in the breathtaking view from all angles.
And what is a trip to Africa without seeing some wildlife? Nestled away in a bay in the Cape Peninsula near Simon’s Town is Boulders Beach, home to approximately 3500 African penguins. As you make your way along the boardwalk you’re sure to see plenty of these happy birds flapping about in the surf.
Or if you’re looking for a much bigger hit of adrenalin, trade in fuzzy coats for sharp teeth and go shark-cave diving in Gansbaii. South Africa has an incredibly diverse shark population with over 40 shark species calling the waters around Cape Town home, so submerge yourself in an exhilarating rush and get up close and personal with one of the ocean’s most majestic creatures.