Cape Town is one of our favorite cities in the whole wide world! After a whirlwind trip all across South Africa, from the city of Johannesburg, to the bush of an African Safari, to the relaxing beauty of wine country, we ended in Cape Town. There is SO much to see and do (and eat!) in Cape Town and the surrounding area so we compiled a list of the ten best things to do in Cape Town, South Africa.
Immerse yourself in African Cuisine
When in Africa push your limits and eat authentic African food! Lucky for you, Gold Restaurant is the perfect all-in-one dining experience for you to experience authentic dishes from all over the continent. On top of that, you will experience a full music and dance show while you dine on course after course. To start your experience, the restaurant Gold offers sparkling wine with gold flecks on arrival, what an amazing touch! Once you are sat down at your table, you are greeted with complementary African face painting to get you into the theme. From there, you’ll be entertained by watching the show from their huge stage as well as the up-close dancing as the performers come to your table. The restaurant has a massive 500 person capacity, but unlike other dining-and-a-show experiences their food was very high quality and tasty. Throughout the dinner you will be taken through 15 authentic courses that are from 11 different African countries. Our faves were: South African ostrich and vetkoek bread (fat cakes), Moroccan zaalook (we will be making this at home soon), Tanzanian fried fish with spinach sauce, and Cameroon braised butternut squash and coconut.
Visit the Top of Table Mountain
The ultimate destination of Cape Town! Unfortunately for us, this amazing site is gorgeous to see from afar, but visibility and winds can make it hard to venture up to if you’re only in Cape Town for a short time. Sadly, we didn’t make it to the top this time as the cable car can be closed due to winds/weather or the visibility could be so bad due to clouds that it’s not worth going to the peak. You can book your ticket ahead of time, but be sure to check the visibility beforehand. We planned on taking the funicular the morning of our last full day, only to wake up to clouds and haze. Can you see table mountain when it’s foggy? Not really. We ate the cost of the ticket (literally) and went to a cafe instead. Good thing we got a nice view of Table Mountain while visiting Signal Hill.
Take Photos in Colorful Bo-Kaap
This colorful part of Cape Town was previously the Malay Quarter and is rich in culture. Immerse yourself in the brightly colored neighborhood and take some fun photos. It’s seriously so instagrammable! We booked Photo Fuzion for a two hour session in order to have some fun photos to treasure forever.
Get Stuffed on a Cape Town Food Tour
In our opinion, food tours are the best way to learn about a city. In addition to getting to taste a lot of the top food in Cape Town, you’ll learn about the culture and history of the city. From visiting a craft coffee roaster, to tasting the best bobotie in Cape Town, to trying a Malay spin on a potsticker, Cape Town Culinary Tours showed us the true diversity in South African cuisine. This tour even came with a local, craft beer tasting and a chance for us to bring some snacks home after a meat tasting at the biltong and boerewors sausage butchershop.
Head to the Waterfront
This is a great spot for local art and boutique shopping. We also loved that they offered a food hall with a variety of local artisans. We were so stuffed from our food tour that we didn’t have much stomach space left to eat at the food hall. The true highlight of our time on the waterfront was indeed on the water. We were surprised by Cape Town Culinary Tours with a South African wine tasting on the Jackie O Yacht which is parked on the water in the heart of the Waterfront area. We relaxed on the boat deck, savored local cheeses, and tasted some amazing South African wine. You can even spend a night on the yacht!
Journey to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope
Take a trip from Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope, the southwestern tip of the continent of Africa. You’ll also be near Cape Point which is a short drive or an hour-and-a-half hike for the adventurers out there. Cape Point offers incredible views and even some baboon encounters. Baboons are everywhere, looking to steal tourists’ food. They are very entertaining to watch, but we’re serious, don’t even take water with you. They will claw it right out of your hands in the middle of the parking lot! To get to the top of Cape Point take a 15 min walk or take the cable car up for 80 rand, round trip per person. You’ll be battling the wind as your strive for a perfect selfie on the cliff. We traveled to both of these attractions via the Kiff Kombi Tour.
Swim with penguins at Boulder Beach
A can’t miss stop while you’re visit Cape Town! Boulder Beach seems like something from a wonderland. Immerse yourself with African penguins on the beach viewing platform or swim with the penguins on the actual beach. You’ll want to plan out how to get to Boulder Beach from Cape Town as it is about 50 minutes away. Our tour van with Kiff Kombi Tours brought us there in style and included the entrance fee into the beach. You could also take a cab, bus, or train to Simons Town in order to visit the penguins. We started by visiting hundreds upon hundreds of penguins on the viewing platform. You’ll see them sleeping on the beach or swimming in the water. We could watch them for hours, but be sure to save some time to swim with them on the beach! Keep your ticket receipt so you can do both activities. They are separate entrances with a very long boardwalk connecting the two entrances. If the beach is at capacity, you will need to wait your turn to enter. Bring a swimsuit and head into the water with the penguins. We couldn’t believe how close we got to them! This was one of our favorite experiences while in South Africa and we could have definitely spent a whole day here.
Catch Some Waves at Muizenberg Beach
If you’re visiting Bounder Beach, be sure to make a pit stop in Muizenberg Beach. This eclectic town boasts a big surf culture. We loved sitting on the beach and watching the surfers catch some waves. We could’ve taken a dip, but shied off when we saw the flag warning beach goers of sharks. We loved the rows of brightly colored beach shacks, they were picture perfect.
Explore Kloof Street
We stayed at Hippo, which is a great boutique hotel location off of Kloof Street. The beautiful hotel featured double-decker rooms that were super artistic to fit the hyper-artsy street it was situated on. For some of the rooms they even partnered with the likes of Red Bull and local artists to provide their guests a unique experience every time they stayed at the hotel. We loved this hotel so much we canceled a room elsewhere, and extended our stay at Hippo for our entire time in Cape Town. Located right outside the doors of the hotel, there are a ton of restaurants, cafes, and art galleries. One spot we recommend is Same Time Tomorrow, an outdoor cafe with a ton of greenery for a fresh pressed pear juice or flat white to start your morning. This neighborhood is a really cool place to spend some time shopping, dining, and relaxing at cafes and cocktail bars.
Watch the Sunset at Signal Hill
For a romantic evening in Cape Town, all you need to do is bring a blanket and a picnic basket to Signal Hill for sunset. You’ll see the ocean framed with sunkissed colors on one side and the glistening glow of the city of Cape Town on the other. A perfect way to cuddle up and relax.
Cape Town was a dream and we packed a LOT into our visit. We definitely didn’t allocate enough time in this city. Cape Town has a perfect mix of turquoise waters, stunning mountains, and cultural appeal. We’re already planning our next trip back, and this time we need to spend at least two weeks in Cape Town!