Top Things To Do In Cape Town
24 October 2022
1. Art in Cape Town
Cape Town has become one of the most notable art destinations in the world. After all, it has everything a burgeoning art capital would need - a booming creative scene in areas like Woodstock; enriching galleries, such the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (MOCAA); flourishing art schools and endless sources of inspiration. On the first Thursday of every month, this scene is celebrated with galleries, restaurants and shops in Cape Town opening late to showcase the city’s wealth of talent. A local-led Cape Town tour is one of the best ways to soak up the art around the city.
A trip to Kalk Bay’s independent shops, restaurants, galleries and boutiques will fire up your creative side. In this pretty fishing village you’ll find SOUL Design, a collective showcasing the best of African craftsmanship. With a welcoming open kitchen, a sunny outside courtyard and beautifully-styled rooms stocked with hand-made pieces, which are ethically sourced from around the continent, there's a special warmth and energy to this place. Join creative and designer Abi in a jewelry workshop to make your own piece for the ultimate vacation souvenir.
2. Culture and History in Cape Town
There are many opportunities to learn about the reality of Cape Town’s complex history while on vacation there, from historical walking tours around colorful Bo-Kaap, to cycling around the city stopping at points of interest. Top of your list of things to do in Cape Town though should be a visit to Robben Island, where anti-apartheid activists including Nelson Mandela were confined. It is made all the more fascinating by the ex-prisoners who lead the tours. For a really special experience, join Christo Brand, a former prison guard who formed a close friendship with Nelson Mandela and co-wrote his book Doing Life with Mandela: My Prisoner, My Friend, for a meal or helicopter ride over Robben Island. During your time together, he will bring to life the stories and insights of his and Mandela’s experiences.
3. Winelands Tour in Cape Town
When you go to Cape Town, a winelands tour in breathtakingly beautiful Franschhoek is a must. Travel around the area by private car or on the Wine Tram – so you can enjoy the wines and the restaurants properly. Everywhere you look, you’ll be surrounded by rows of vibrant green vines and eye-catching architecture. Along with outstanding wine, the areas come with cutting-edge wineries, magnificent gardens, impressive art collections and world-best dining. Experience the warm South African hospitality at one of many wine tastings tours, where you’ll be expertly tutored on the Winelands’ world-class grape varieties. Don’t miss lunch at Babylonstoren too – a hotel, with restaurants, farm shop, deli, gardens and tasting room. A combination of Cape Dutch-style buildings and more modern, steel and glass structures sit amongst the impeccable, bountiful gardens - where seasonal fruits and vegetables are plucked out and turned into memorable meals. It is a destination in itself.
4. Whale and Dolphin Watching Near Cape Town
Between July and December, the swirling, deep blue Atlantic Ocean off Cape Town becomes home to migrating southern right whales as they make their way from the cooler waters of Antarctica. The seaside town of Hermanus, a couple of hours from Cape Town, is the best place to spotwhales. From here you can take a helicopter ride over Walker Bay and see the majestic animals play with their calves from the air. Alternatively, you can see whales whilst on a boat trip. In some of Cape Town’s quieter bays, including False Bay, pods of up to 100 dolphins leap about throughout the year. Catching site of this incredible marine life has to be one of the most memorable activities to experience in the capital.
5. Table Mountain
Think of Cape Town vacations and a trip up Table Mountain will often come to mind first. Rightly so. A hike up the resplendent mountain in time for sunset or sunrise will reward you with unforgettable views. The most popular trail, Platteklip Gorge, zig zags up the mountain creating an almost natural stairway to the top. It takes between an hour and a half and two hours to reach the top. For seasoned hikers, there are other routes from different starting points around the city, which incorporate more pitstops and incredible views on the way. For less avid walkers, there’s always the cable car to get you there or back, or a thrilling Helicopter flip, which gives you 360 views of the mountain. Add bespoke touches to your hike like a champagne picnic or warming breakfast of coffee and pastries to greet you.
6. Food and Wine in Cape Town
The restaurant scene in Cape Town is second to none. You will find an array of Michelin-star-quality dining options, including some of the best in the world – and all at a fraction of the cost you’d pay in other countries. Local chefs bring creativity and innovation to their menus, using homegrown ingredients and flavors inspired by their culture and setting. It is vital to book ahead; the secret is out about these gastronomical favorites, which include two that made the list of the 50 World’s Best Restaurant Awards in 2022; La Colombe (56) and FYN Restaurant (37). The Pot Luck Club, Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia, Belly of the Beast and Salsify at the Roundhouse are also firm favorites. And two newcomers to arrive at The V&A Waterfront, from the team behind La Colombe, are Pier and The Waterside.
7. Something For The Kids
Cape Town has all the ingredients for a truly unforgettable family vacation. Direct overnight flights and no jet lag are just two of the reasons to visit Cape Town with kids. But to be sure this vacation is etched into your family’s folklore forever, join a customized ‘Escape and Explore’ tour. Choose from four regions, themes (explore, active, family or quirky) and dining options (local eats, fine dining, wild picnics or exclusive tasting tables) and we will organize a tour that will put a smile on even the sulkiest teenager’s face. Our guides arrive with a luxury vehicle packed to the rafters with kit –surfboards, stand-up paddle boards, hiking gear, a toy box, the list goes on. They are passionate and enthusiastic and come with a wealth of experience. We match up your guide to your family’s interests. If your child really loves surfing then a famous, ex-surfer will take you around the best surf spots. Love wine? Then your’ll guide will be an expert sommelier. Tours are designed to engage all the family, so even if you are heading to the Winelands, the captivating guides will manage to make it exciting for the younger members of the team too.
If you’d rather dip in and out of activities in Cape Town, then there’s penguin spotting at Boulders Beach, bike tours around the city, spying dolphins while horse riding on Noordhoek Beach or seals while kayaking around Cape Peninsula.