top of page

BEST THINGS TO DO IN CAPE TOWN

Sunset and mountain views, V&A waterfront, colourful houses and penguins




Best things to do



City Sightseeing


Starting off the best things to do in Cape Town with the City Sightseeing bus of Cape Town which is a hop-on, hop-off service taking you to all of the main attractions around the city. The two main hop-on, hop-off tickets are the classic and the premium. There are over 20 stops across two different routes and you will be guided through using the audio guide on board.


The classic ticket starts from 295 rand pp (£12.40) and includes 1 day on the bus with as many hop-on, hop-offs as possible and a walking tour. The premium ticket starts from 860 rand pp (£36.10) and in addition to the classic ticket you can enjoy a second day of the bus tour, a harbour or canal cruise and a sunset bus tour.


The sightseeing buses are a great way to see the city and the perfect way to see some of the main attractions in Cape Town including Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch gardens and Camps Bay.



Table Mountain


Table Mountain is one of the top attractions in Cape Town can be accessed by hiking or by cable car. The cable car is one of the few which has a rotating floor meaning tourists aren't pushing one another to catch the best view. Tickets start from 360 rand (£15) for adults and 180 rand (£7.50) for children. We opted for the fast track tickets which mean you skips the queues. This was particularly helpful on the way down where the queue builds up to get back down. The queue is outside and exposed to the sun so can be very warm (and not ideal for babies or children). Fast track tickets start are 950 rand pp (£40).


At the top of table mountain there is a shop to buy souvenirs and restaurants and bars where you can enjoy food and drink with beautiful views over Cape Town. There are numerous trails at the top of table mountain where you can walk and enjoy different views.


Lions Head


Lions Head is one of the most popular hikes in Cape Town and offers great views of Table Mountain. Unfortunately we didn't have the opportunity to tackle this hike as there are scrambling and rail sections at the top which would not have been suitable with having a baby in a carrier. However, this hike is recommend during your trip to Cape Town (if you are travelling without kids or with older children) and especially at sunrise or sunset when it is cooler.


The hike takes around 2 hours and can be accessed by driving towards Table Mountain and turning off for the signs for Lions Head. There is a car park at the start of the hike.


Signal Hill


Signal Hill is another popular hike in Cape Town and one which is suitable if you are hiking with a baby in a carrier. Signal Hill is part of the Table Mountain national park and connects Kloof Nek to Lion’s Head. You can access Signal Hill from the centre of Cape Town by following the signs from the corner of Bloem and Buitengracht Streets, heading up to Lion Battery via Military Road in the Bo-Kaap. The hike should take around 1 hour 30 minutes to complete.


V&A Waterfront


The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront offers shopping, harbour views and an array of bars and restaurants ranging from fast-food to Michelin star. One of the great parts of the waterfront is the Time Out market where you can sample some of the best South African cuisine and coffee and sit outside in the sunshine overlooking the harbour and listening to the street performers.


At the waterfront you will also find the Two Oceans Aquarium which is a great option if you are travelling with kids and the Watershed market where you can pick up some really high-quality and handmade South African souvenirs. If you stay at Lagoon Beach remember to take advantage of the free shuttles to get to the waterfront.



Camps Bay


Camps Bay is known as the party beach of Cape Town but is great to visit for ocean views, views of the Twelve Apostles mountain range and trendy bars and restaurants. You can take the City Sightseeing bus to Camps Bay and during our trip we stopped here for lunch at Tigers Milk.


Beaches


There are actually 72 beaches in Cape Town so you can't go too far without hitting one. Two of the most popular and beautiful beaches in Cape Town are Clifton beaches and Bloubergstrand Beach.


There are four Clifton beaches and all tailored to different clientele: teenagers, the gay community, models and dog walkers.


Bloubergstrand Beach is arguably the most beautiful beach of all in Cape Town and offers great views of Table Mountain. Bloubergstrand is also split, this time into two beaches, Big Bay and Little Bay. Big Bay is popular with kite surfers and families and Little Bay is popular for picnics and Braai (South African BBQ).


Bo Kaap


The colourful houses of Bo Kaap have become one of Cape Towns most Instagrammable spots. The residents are said to be the descendants of slaves who were brought over by Dutch imperialists in the 16th and 17th centuries. It is recommended to join a guided tour to Bo Kaap as it can be unsafe at times however many tourists visit without a guide and have reported no issues visiting in the daylight.


Afternoon tea at Mount Nelson


The Belmond hotel chain are one of the most prestigious in the world and Cape Town is home to their Mount Nelson hotel which sits between the slopes of Table Mountain. For a very reasonable price of 550 rand (£23) you can enjoy afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson hotel from Wednesday-Sunday at 12pm or 3pm.


Oranjezicht farm market


A lovely lunch spot in the this farmers market where you can enjoy locally sourced produce. You will find the market at the V&A waterfront every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.


Robben Island


Robben island was where Nelson Mandela was held prisoner for 18 years. The ferries depart from the V&A waterfront and the tour takes 3.5 hours. You will meet your tour guide and learn all about the 500-year history of Robben Island. Tickets are 600 rand pp (£25).


Cape of Good Hope nature reserve


Cape point is in the Cape of Good Hope nature reserve within Table Mountain national park, a World Heritage Site. It is home to the Cape of Good Hope hike, leaving from the Flying Dutchman funicular car park and passing Dias beach. The Cape of Good Hope is said to be the most South-Western point of the African continent (whereas some argue this is actually Cape Agulhas. There are some uneven sections in this hike which parents may not feel comfortable to walk with children or a baby in a carrier. It is also very exposed so make sure you bring a sunhat and lots of suncream.


The nature reserve is also home to the flying dutchman funicular which saves you walking up to the lighthouse. We would recommend parking at the funicular stop where you can also find the Two Oceans restaurant and souvenir shop. The nature reserve is definitely worth a visit for the stunning panoramic views and tickets are just 100 rand pp (£4.18) to enter the reserve and 95 rand pp (£3.90) for the funicular.


cape of good hope

Chapman's peak


Chapman's peak is one of the world's most scenic drives. It is 9km long with 114 curves and follows the rocky coastline showing breathtaking views in both directions. The route starts at Hout Bay and climbs up to Chapman's Point which has breathtaking views of the sandy bays below. Stop at Noordhoek, at the southern end of Chapman's Peak Drive and experience this lively community village with lots of shopping, accommodation and dining.


Muizenberg beach


Muizenberg beach is a surfers haven which also has a promenade for walking, colourful beach huts used for lookouts and photography and bohemian, trendy cafes and restaurants. Although this is not the most beautiful of the beaches in Cape Town, it is worth a visit if you are visiting Southern Cape Town.


Boulders Beach


Home of the South African penguin colony and a spot not to be missed during your time in Cape Town. The penguins can survive in hot weather due to drinking the cool water from the ocean, flapping their wings to allow the cool air to hit their skin and having pink marking around their eyes which reflect the sun.


We recommend staying at Tintswalo at Boulders where you can have private access to the boardwalk leading to boulders beach meaning you can visit the penguins before other tourists arrive.


Boulders beach is a great day out for all of the family. You can swim and play in the ocean, sunbathe, visit the penguins, grab an ice cream and browse the markets selling handmade souvenirs. Tickets are 190 rand pp (£7.95) which covers 1 day and you can enter and leave the beach as many times as you like during the time your ticket is valid.



Kalk Bay


Kalk Bay is located a 20 minute drive from Boulders Beach so it is recommended you visit during your time exploring the South of Cape Town. Kalk Bay is known for seal spotting. It is also home to Kalk Bay Reef which is popular with surfers and has bars and restaurants to enjoy a spot of lunch.


Kirstenbosch Gardens


These botanical gardens are the most beautiful we have seen anywhere in the world. The gardens are a stop on the City Sightseeing bus and tickets cost 220 rand pp (£9.20). The gardens have more than 7000 plant species to see, an elevated walkway, an outside concert space and a delicious restaurant selling picnics you can enjoy in the gardens. A perfect day out and one not to miss in Cape Town.


gardens and walkway

Where to stay


Cape Town is a large city and it can take around 2 hours to get from one end to another so we would recommend splitting your time and staying in at least 2 hotels at each end. This will avoid multiple long drives to reach the attractions you wish to visit.


A popular destination to stay is around the V&A waterfront. This is a central location and close to a number of attractions and must-sees in Cape Town such as Table Mountain and Camps Bay. Another is closer to the Cape Point Nature Reserve where you can visit the Cape of Good Hope and Boulders Beach to see the South African penguins.


We stayed at Lagoon Beach with the best views of Table Mountain and Lions Head, two of the main hikes and mountains to visit in Cape Town. Lagoon Beach is a 10 minute drive away from the V&A waterfront and allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of the waterfront. Lagoon Beach offer free shuttles to the V&A waterfront so you will not miss out on visiting this wonderful part of Cape Town.



Lagoon Beach is a beautiful beach front destination which offers a place of tranquility and relaxation. There are 3 restaurants at Lagoon Beach meaning there is no need to venture into the centre of Cape Town if you do not wish to. There is a beach bar, Brasserie and a Thai restaurant with a huge range of options depending on your preferences. You can also enjoy the entertainment in the hotel with a kids and adults playroom, a gym, spa and hair salon and bicycle hire so you can cycle along the promenade at your leisure.



Lagoon Beach is a great and affordable stay in Cape Town.


During the second part of our trip to Cape Town we stayed at Tintswalo at Boulders Beach. The aptly named hotel overlooks Boulders Beach where you can see the famous South African penguin colony. Tintswalo has its own private access to the boardwalk leading to the entrance of Boulders Beach. This means you can access the beach and see the penguins before the tourists arrive meaning you get them all to yourself!



From Tintswalo there are 180-degree views of the beach below which you can enjoy whilst having breakfast, dinner or an aperitif and sundowner snacks. The villa has 9 luxurious suites which are beautifully decorated and extra spacious. There are snacks in your room that will be refilled each day as well as having a turn-down service.



The villa operates on a bed and breakfast basis so you can benefit and indulge in the continental and cooked options available such as eggs benedict, french toast and granola bowls. You can also enjoy a delicious three-course dinner in the villa and make-your-own cocktails at the honesty bar. As well as breakfast and dinner you can also relax in the cinema room with Play Station & DVDs, children's playroom with toys and the heated swimming pool.


A luxurious and ultimately perfect stay from start to finish.


Where to eat?


V&A Waterfront


  • Time Out market - variety of cuisines and popular local restaurants with outdoor seating

  • Oranjezicht Farm market - locally sourced produce

  • Tashas - breakfast, tapas and main meals available and a great wine selection

  • Willoughy and co - popular Japanese restaurant famous for seafood and oysters

  • TANG - asian luxury restaurant

  • PIER - a chain across Cape Town, Constantia and Franschhoek. High quality fine dining

  • La Parada - another chain selling tapas and sushi


Southern Cape Town


  • Bistro Seventeen 82 - located on the Steenberg wine farm offering tapas

  • Tigers Milk - large selections of burgers, tacos, beers and cocktails. Chain found around Cape Town. We visited Muizenberg beach and Camps Bay

  • Satori - Italian restaurant in Kalks Bay


Comentarios


bottom of page