Cape TownOverlooked by spectacular heights of Table Mountain and surrounded by stunning beaches, lush farmland, and superb vineyards, Cape Town has established itself as South Africa’s cultural capital and one of the most vibrant cities on the continent. This is where African, European, and Asian cultures meet in a multi-ethnic rainbow reflected in its music, architecture, visual arts, as well as in its amazing choice of cuisines. Cape Town is great for partying as well, with a year-round calendar of festivals, parades, and world-class sporting events.
The CityYou cannot help but be impressed by the splendour of Cape Town’s location, with the cloud-capped crag of Table Mountain overlooking the skyscrapers and historic buildings of the compact city centre. For many visitors, the cable-car trip to the top and the view from the summit is the high point of a Cape Town holiday. For others, the focal point of the city is the V&A Waterfront, a rejuvenated area of docklands that is now home to some of Cape Town’s best hotels, restaurants, bars and shopping. Here you can see families of seals sunbathe within a few feet of smart café terraces. The city rises from the waterfront to the slopes of Table Mountain, with posh residential suburbs — including the ultra-exclusive enclave of Constantia — overlooking the downtown area. Cape Town has much more to offer than city life. There are excellent beaches just a short distance from the city centre, at spots such as Clifton, Camps Bay and Hout Bay south of the centre and Milnerton and Sunset Beach to the north. Only a short distance to the south lie the wilds of the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve — home to a range of wildlife — culminating in the dramatic scenery of Cape Point. Meanwhile, just a short drive from the city and its airport lie the lush vineyards and pretty colonial-era towns of the Winelands region, where some of South Africa’s finest vintages are produced. Cape Town also has a mellow climate that makes it attractive all year, with plenty of sunshine during the winter months making it particularly attractive to visitors from the Northern Hemisphere.
Do & See
Cape Town has an amazing array of things to do and see, from historic buildings, museums and art galleries to nature reserves, wine tastings, boat trips and horseback riding. Discover the different quarters of the city, and be sure to take some time to explore the beautiful natural surroundings, as well.
Places to eat and drink range from excellent seafood restaurants to grills that serve wild and farmed game such as eland, antelope, and gazelle. There are also several good restaurants serving authentic African dishes as well as eateries serving Asian-influenced Cape Malay food. For outdoor dining, head for the V&A Waterfront.
With its clement climate, which makes sitting outdoors pleasant for much of the year, Cape Town has a lively cafe scene. Most cafes are, in fact, also bar-restaurants, serving full meals and alcohol as well as tea, coffee, soft drinks and snacks.
Bars & Nightlife
Cape Town has the most exciting nightlife in South Africa. Long Street, in the city centre, is the city’s main nightlife strip and is packed with music bars, late-night cafes and dance clubs. The V&A Waterfront also boasts several excellent dining, entertainment and live jazz venues.
Whether you are looking for high fashion, designer brands, casual clothes, colonial-era antiques or original arts and crafts, Cape Town is a shopper’s delight. Different streets and districts offer diverse items and shopping experiences, so be sure to read on to discover the best shopping around the city.