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15 Best Things To Do In Cape Town

Cape Town is one of the most beautiful places in the world with stunning views and a unique cultural heritage. From Table Mountain to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, there is something for every traveler to enjoy in Cape Town. Whether you are looking for some outdoor adventure or a cozy spot to relax, this city has so many things to see and do. In this article, we will discuss some of the best things to do in Cape Town that you won't want to miss out on.

1. Table Mountain Aerial Cableway

Table Mountain cable car

I have had the privilege of taking a ride on the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway. It is an engineering marvel that allows visitors to ascend 1,086 meters up the mountain's flat top in just a few minutes. The journey starts from the lower cable station at Tafelberg Road and culminates at the upper cable station at the top of Table Mountain. The entire trip takes approximately five minutes and provides passengers with amazing views of Cape Town and its surroundings.

The two bright orange cable cars are designed to carry 65 passengers each, and at times I found myself speechless as I looked out onto beautiful greenery below and sparkling blue waters further beyond; it was truly mesmerizing and definitely worth a visit.

2. Robben Island Museum

Robben Island Museum

The Robben Island Museum is a powerful reminder of South Africa its past, and one of the best places to visit in Cape Town. Located in the Table Bay, it was used as a prison for political prisoners during apartheid. For many people, the museum is an emotional experience, with displays and exhibits that tell stories of resilience and bravery.

Visiting the museum provides insight into the history of South Africa’s struggle against the apartheid regime, which lasted from 1948 to 1994. The island is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and can be reached by ferry from Cape Town's waterfront. Guided tours are available throughout the museum so visitors gain a better understanding of what happened during those years on Robben Island. Tour guides provide vivid accounts over historic events such as former president Nelson Mandela his imprisonment on the island for 18 years during his fight against racial segregation in South Africa.

3. Lion's Head

Lion's Head mountain in Cape Town

Lion's Head is a mountain that overlooks the city of Cape Town. Standing at 669 meters tall, it is part of the iconic Table Mountain group that makes up the striking backdrop to this amazing city. Just a short drive from the city centre brings you to the base of the mountain, where winding pathways quickly take you up to breathtaking views of both Table Mountain and Signal Hill.

One of the best ways to experience Lion's Head is on a clear summer evening, when its summit offers a magnificent view of the setting sun. Taking in these stunning vistas is made all the more special by knowing that you are standing at such a unique spot in one of Africa’s most beautiful cities. On clear days, visitors can even make out Robben Island and its famous prison which once held Nelson Mandela.

4. Two Oceans Aquarium

The Two Oceans Aquarium is one of the most beautiful and unique aquariums found around the world. It is home to over 3000 living sea creatures from Southern Africa's waters including African penguins, stingrays, sharks, seals and much more. The Two Oceans Aquarium also serves as a hub for education and innovation when it comes to ocean conservation. Visitors can learn about climate change and sustainable fishing practices while exploring the vibrant marine life housed in this remarkable aquarium.

In addition to its educational aspects, the aquarium offers interactive experiences like snorkeling with sharks or getting up close with some of their resident seals, which are fun things to do. Visitors can even tour some of the behind-the-scenes exhibits which are not typically open to public viewing.


Address: Dock Rd, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, 8002, South Africa

Phone: +27 21 418 3823

5. Cape Point Nature Reserve

Cape Point Nature Reserve

Cape Point Nature Reserve is part of the Table Mountain National Park. This incredible nature reserve offers a stunning combination of the African coastline with its jagged cliffs and crashing waves, as well as diverse fynbos vegetation. It's also rife with wildlife such as baboons, ostriches and rare antelope species that can be seen in the open reserves despite their elusive nature.

Visitors to the Nature Reserve will enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities including hikes up to the lighthouse perched on top of the point for spectacular views of False Bay and along unspoiled beaches. There are also plenty of coves perfect for swimming or snorkeling--the ocean here teems with marine life like dolphins, seals and penguins.

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6. Cape Town Diamond Museum

Cape Town Diamond Museum

The Cape Town Diamond Museum is an important part of South Africa its history. Located in the heart of the city, this museum celebrates the diamond industry and its impact on the region. It is a great place to learn about the culture, politics and economic significance of diamonds in South Africa.

Visitors will have the opportunity to explore interactive exhibits and discover how millions of ordinary people helped shape this unique feature of South African culture. From viewing various artifacts from historic diamond mines to taking guided tours along with experienced guides, guests can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for why diamonds are so important to South Africa's past and present. There is also an impressive collection of rare diamonds on display which is sure to be a highlight for many visitors.


Address: Level 1 Clock Tower, Clock Tower District, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa

Phone: +27 21 421 2488

7. Signal Hill

Signal Hill in Cape Town

Signal Hill can be found nestled between Lion’s Head and Table Mountain in the city of Cape Town. It is a flat-topped hill that offers the best views of the city and waterfront below. From Signal Hill you can see Robben Island, Table Bay, and the world renowned silhouette of Table Mountain to the south. On a clear day, it is even possible to catch sight of Devil's Peak off in the distance.

Signal Hill has a rich historical context that dates back hundreds of years. It was first used as a lookout point by local Khoisan people where they would light fires to alert communities on nearby mountain tops of impending danger or weather conditions such as storms approaching from sea. Later on Signal Hill also served as an observation post for Dutch sailors during their exploration of new lands.

8. District Six Museum

District Six Museum

District Six Museum is a unique museum that reflects on the history of the District Six neighborhood in Cape Town. The area was home to thousands of people, mainly non-white citizens who were forcibly removed by the apartheid government during the 1960s and 1970s. Today, a visit to the museum is an emotional experience as it provides insight into what life was like for those who had been forced out of their homes. Through interactive exhibits, visitors can learn more about the injustices that occurred in District Six and how they affected people’s lives.

The main purpose of the museum is to keep alive memories from before the forced removals so that future generations may never forget what happened there. It serves as an important reminder that such injustice should never happen again and aims to promote understanding between different cultures within the South African society.


Address: 25A Buitenkant St, District Six, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa

Phone: +27 21 466 7200

9. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens has been one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions since it was established in 1913. Located at the eastern foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town, this garden is renowned for its magnificent landscape and its unique collection of flora and fauna from the region.

It is also home to an impressive variety of birds, insects, and animals that make up the park’s diverse ecosystem. Kirstenbosch gardens are a sanctuary for conservationists as well as botanists from around the world. Visitors can take guided tours to explore different parts of the gardens, have a picnic, or enjoy leisurely walks through its many trails and paths.


Address: Rhodes Dr, Newlands, Cape Town, 7735, South Africa

Phone: +27 21 799 8783

10. Heart of Cape Town Museum

Heart of Cape Town Museum

When visiting Cape Town, the Heart of Cape Town Museum offers visitors a unique and interactive experience. Located in the heart of the V&A Waterfront in the Groote Schuur Hospital on Main Road where they did the first heart transplant, it is the only museum dedicated to showcasing the South Africa cardiovascular health history. As an interactive, multimedia-rich museum, this one-of-a-kind facility houses an array of exhibits that tell the story of cardiovascular health in South Africa through artifacts, photographs and videos.

Visitors can explore how heart disease has affected South African people throughout history as well as discover how far we have come with advances in medical technology and treatments for heart conditions today. The museum also provides educational programs on cardiovascular health for all ages. Through these programs, guests can learn about diet and exercise habits that are important for maintaining a healthy heart as well as tips on reducing their risk for developing heart disease or stroke.


Address: Groote Schuur Hospital, Main Rd, Observatory, Cape Town, 7925, South Africa

Phone: +27 21 404 1967

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11. Zeitz Museum Of Contemporary Art Africa

Zeitz Museum Of Contemporary Art Africa

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town is a world-renowned center for contemporary art and culture. Established in 2017, the museum was born out of a collaboration between philanthropist and businessman Jochen Zeitz and the V&A Waterfront. It has since become home to the largest collection of contemporary African art on the continent, as well as one of the most comprehensive collections of African architecture in existence.

Not only does this remarkable museum house an impressive array of modern art from across Africa, but it also serves as an educational hub for both students and adults alike.


Address: V&A Waterfront Silo District, S Arm Rd, Waterfront, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa

Phone: +27 87 350 4777

12. South African Jewish Museum

South African Jewish Museum

The South African Jewish Museum is an important cultural institution in Cape Town that seeks to preserve and promote the rich heritage of Jewish culture in South Africa for generations to come. This museum helps visitors learn about the diverse history of Jews in this country, spanning more than 350 years. Guests can explore a range of artifacts, photographs, documents and multimedia presentations that tell the story of how Jews have contributed to South African society over centuries.

A visit to the museum is an excellent way to gain insight into South African Jewish life and culture. Through engaging activities and interactive exhibits, you can discover how religious practices have evolved over time and how they shaped daily life for Jews in South Africa. The museum also provides special programs year-round including lectures about current challenges facing Jewish communities around the world as well as films highlighting stories from across the diaspora.


Address: 88 Hatfield St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa

Phone: +27 21 465 1546

13. City Hall & the Castle of Good Hope

City Hall & the Castle of Good Hope

City Hall and the Castle of Good Hope are two distinct yet significant landmarks in Cape Town. City Hall is a large, neo-Renaissance building located in the center of the city. Built between 1901 and 1905, this grand structure was designed by famed architects Sir Herbert Baker and Charles Freeman.

Inside, one can find many notable features such as a beautiful marble staircase, ornate chandeliers, and even a barrel-vaulted ceiling adorned with 32 stained glass windows depicting historic events. But it is not only the building's architecture that makes City Hall so special; it also serves as an important reminder of South Africa’s history since it was here where Nelson Mandela made his first speech after being released from prison in 1990.

The Castle of Good Hope is a star-shaped fortification built by the Dutch East India Company. It was originally constructed as a maritime replenishment station for ships of the Dutch East India Company, making it one of the oldest surviving colonial buildings in South Africa. The castle symbolizes both power and unity as it served as home to many generations of soldiers who defended its walls against various enemies.

14. St. George's Cathedral

St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town

St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town is one of the most beautiful and impressive churches I have ever visited. The cathedral was built in 1848 and is considered the mother church of Anglicanism in South Africa. It stands tall, white, and elegant with its pointed spire reaching high into the sky above Cape Town's city centre. Inside the church are eleven large stained glass windows that depict stories from both the Old Testament and New Testament of Christianity.

The interior architecture of St. George's Cathedral is breathtakingly beautiful with its gorgeous stone columns and arches, intricate designs on the walls, and interesting patterns on the ceiling made out of various woods including rosewood, olivewood, mahogany, cedar wood, oak wood, pine wood, cherry wood, walnut wood and beechwood.


Address: 5 Wale St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa

Phone: +27 21 424 7360

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15. Day trip To Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch in South Africa

Stellenbosch is a beautiful town located in the Western Cape of South Africa and only 31 miles from Cape Town. It is home to many vineyards and wineries, and offers incredible views of mountain landscapes and lush hillsides. On my recent day trip to Stellenbosch, I was able to witness this beauty firsthand.

As a city rooted in the Dutch Reformed Church faith, there are many unique things to explore during a visit here. The town has many historic sites such as the very old university from the 1600s and several churches with beautiful architecture that date back centuries. There were also incredible markets full of amazing crafts and traditional food for me to enjoy.

Additionally, I had the opportunity to attend events like Dansgeweld/Dance Riot which celebrates African dance performances or participate in art workshops at Rust en Vrede Art Gallery where I could learn about African artwork from an experienced artist.

The last stop on my journey was at one of the local wineries, where I enjoyed a tour of the grounds and sampled some delicious South African wines. Afterwards, I drove up into the surrounding countryside for breathtaking views over rolling hills dotted with greenery and the Cape winelands.

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Q: What activities do people enjoy in Cape Town?

A: Nature enthusiasts can explore Table Mountain National Park, where hiking trails offer breathtaking views of the city and surrounding coastline. For those seeking adventure, shark cage diving in Gansbaai or paragliding off Signal Hill are popular choices. The Cape Winelands region is also a favorite among visitors and locals, offering wine tastings at picturesque vineyards.

For those interested in history and culture, a visit to Robben Island is a must-do activity. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was once home to Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment and provides insight into South Africa's apartheid era. The vibrant neighborhoods of Bo-Kaap and Woodstock showcase Cape Town's multicultural identity through their colorful houses and street art.

Additionally, sampling local cuisine such as biltong (dried meat) or bobotie (spiced minced meat dish) at bustling food markets like the Old Biscuit Mill is a great way to experience the flavors of this diverse city.

Q: Do you need a car to visit Cape Town?

A: While it is true that having your own vehicle can offer convenience and flexibility, especially if you plan on venturing outside of the city center, it is not an absolute requirement for enjoying all that Cape Town has to offer.

The city boasts an efficient public transportation system that includes buses, mini-bus taxis, and trains. These options are not only affordable but also well-connected, allowing visitors to easily navigate their way around popular attractions without the added hassle of driving in unfamiliar roads.

Q: What food is Cape Town known for?

A: One of the most iconic dishes to try in Cape Town is the Cape Malay curry. This dish is a fusion of Malaysian and traditional South African flavors, resulting in a tantalizing combination of aromatic spices and rich sauces. The curry typically includes tender pieces of meat or fish, slow-cooked with onions, garlic, ginger, and an array of spices such as turmeric, cumin, cardamom, and cinnamon. The fragrant curry is often served with fluffy rice or roti bread.

Another delicious specialty that Cape Town boasts is biltong. Biltong is a type of cured meat similar to beef jerky but with its own unique twist. Unlike jerky which is usually thinly sliced and dried using heat or smoke, biltong is made from thicker cuts of meat such as beef or game that are air-dried without any heat.

This results in a more tender texture while still retaining the bold flavors derived from the curing process that involves salt, pepper, coriander seeds, and other spices. Biltong has become an essential snack for locals and visitors; it can be found in various forms ranging from slices to sticks or even ground into powder to sprinkle on top of salads or sandwiches.

Q: What are the best things to do in Cape Town for free?

A: One of the best things to do in Cape Town for free is to take a hike up Table Mountain. This iconic landmark offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and surrounding coastline.

Another must-do activity in Cape Town that won't cost you a dime is exploring the vibrant neighborhoods like Bo-Kaap and Woodstock. Bo-Kaap's colorful houses and cobbled streets provide an Instagram-worthy backdrop, while Woodstock boasts an eclectic mix of street art and trendy cafes.

You can also visit Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden for free on certain days of the week, where you can relax amidst diverse plant species or attend one of their live music concerts during summer evenings.

Q: Is Cape Town tourist friendly?

A: In general, locals in Cape Town are known for their warm and welcoming nature. Many residents take pride in their city's beauty and are happy to share it with visitors. They are often eager to offer recommendations on where to eat, what activities to try, and how to make the most of one's time in Cape Town. Additionally, locals are usually patient with tourists who may be unfamiliar with local customs or etiquette.

Q: Is Cape Town a party town?

A: When it comes to being a party town, Cape Town certainly lives up to its reputation. The city offers an array of bars, clubs, and lounges that cater to every taste and preference. From trendy rooftop bars with breathtaking views of Table Mountain to underground clubs playing the latest electronic beats until dawn.

Another factor that contributes to Cape Town's status as a party town is its annual calendar of events and festivals. Throughout the year, the city plays host to numerous celebrations that draw crowds from near and far. One such event is the famous Cape Town Carnival held every March. This colorful extravaganza features vibrant floats, lively music performances, and energetic dancing in the streets.

Additionally, during summer months (December-February), beach parties are a common occurrence along Cape Town's stunning coastline.


Book Your Hotel In Cape Town

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Book Your Flight To Cape Town

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Need a Rental Car In Cape Town?

Here is a budget-friendly car rental resource. No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll be able to find the best — and cheapest car rentals in Cape Town here.

Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Cape Town?

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Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never travel to Cape Town without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you visit Cape Town. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m taking a trip. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on South Africa:

Be sure to visit our South Africa Travel Guide for even travel planning tips.

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