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21 February 2024
Colourful and diverse, there’s really no shortage of things to do in Cape Town. Interesting and picturesque neighbourhoods invite you to potter, while Table Mountain tempts you to get energetic. Beaches surround the city ready for all the lounging you can handle, whereas the restless waves call you to come on in for a surf. Cultural attractions owe their fascination to the eventful history of the city, and the food scene is varied and exciting, borrowing from all corners of the globe to create a unique and appealing dining experience. Basking in an impressive location, with plenty of accessible natural attractions nearby, visitors to Cape Town can easily combine urban pursuits with some time spent enjoying the natural surroundings. This brilliant mixture of activities could keep you happy for weeks, but you can see a lot of the highlights over a busy three or four days. Here’s the TravelLocal lowdown on what’s hot to see and do in Cape Town.
Cape Town’s varied history and mix of influences has left its mark on the cuisine of the city, lending the food an exoticism and diversity which keeps you on your toes.
No visit to South Africa would be complete without sampling the iconic Braai, a cooking-over-coals concept that knocks a British BBQ out of the park. You can cook your own at one of the many public grills, or join in the party at one of many Braai joints in the city.
The Backyard Grill at Sea Point is a laid back and delicious introduction to the finer points of the Braai, while Mzoli’s in Guguletu is the fun yet unrefined plastic-tables-and-live-music experience.
For an entirely different experience, head to the pastel pretty Bo-Kaap neighbourhood to sample the best of Cape Malay cooking. There are many eateries specialising in this lightly spiced, Asian influenced fare. Biesmiellah is one of the veteran restaurants of this historic neighbourhood founded by slaves from Southeast Asia.
If you are in the mood for an informal lunch, head for the Neighbourgoods Market, housed in the airy confines of the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, where a clutch of around 100 stalls sell fine produce to take away and meals to eat in – grab a space at one of the communal tables.
Wandering around the historic waterfront gives a flavour of the commerce that built Cape Town. It is still a working port and the historic buildings lend a flavour of times gone by, but the facilities and attractions are thoroughly modern, with great shopping and dining.
To get a sense of Cape Town as a whole, take a cycle tour of the townships. During apartheid, these dormitory suburbs were created for black South Africans, and tours are designed to give you an overview of the story behind these areas and an insight into the culture of the people who live there.
To understand the history of the Bo-Kaap neighbourhood and its Cape Malay inhabitants, a visit to the Bo-Kaap Museum is a must. This is the section of the city populated by freed slaves from Southeast Asia and, as such, it boasts its own unique subculture. They brought their Muslim faith to South Africa and with it the mosques and muezzin calls you will hear as you wander the cobbled streets among the colourful houses.
Take a trip over to Robben Island, an important landmark in South Africa’s turbulent history, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for many years for his anti apartheid stance. Tours are led by ex political prisoners and give a great insight into the long and difficult road South Africans had to travel to achieve democracy.
Sandwiched between the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic, Cape Town is not short of lovely beaches. The False Bay beaches offer more sheltered swimming, warmer water, and even penguins at Boulders beach, whereas the Atlantic side is bracing and has better surf. Camps Bay is the spot for cocktails and people watching, with prime bars and restaurants such as renowned Café Caprice right on the promenade.
The country’s iconic winelands are within easy reach of the city, offering delightful landscapes enhanced by traditional architecture and gourmet food and drink. There’s plenty of wineries to choose from, the oldest of which is Steenberg.
The nightlife of Cape Town is legendary. Whether you are looking for a low key bar or an upscale restaurant, there is something to keep everyone happy. Long Street is the best spot for a youthful party crowd, with pubs like Beerhouse, while Kloof Street and Bree Street are great if you prefer something a little more hip and intimate. Don’t miss Mother’s Ruin Gin Bar on Bree Street or Asoka on Kloof Street.
It’s hard not to enjoy yourself in Cape Town, the city where cultures collide and the ocean meets the mountains.What are you waiting for? Get in touch today to begin planning your epic South African trip! Click here to send an enquiry or give us a call in office on 0117 325 7898.
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