Explore Cape Town

Explore Cape Town
Surrounded by national parks with the imposing Table Mountain towering above it, Cape Town’s setting alone should be enough to put this city on your agenda.

Amid the natural beauty of the Cape Peninsula, the flat top peak of the mountain reaches 1,086 meters above sea level and looks all the more impressive because of its ocean-side location. Table Mountain is also home to about 2,200 species of plants 1470 floral species – many of which are endemic.

The park is also home to Cape Point, which is Africa’s most southwesterly tip, and features breathtaking bays and beaches as well as wildlife such as baboons, zebras and penguins.

And all of this natural beauty is within easy reach of this pulsating metropolis of Cape Town, South Africa’s most visited city.

Opt for fine dining or stick with the local African cuisine at one of the city’s many restaurants. Then dance off the excess at one of the nightspots on Long Street or catch some live jazz.

But don’t get too tipsy. In the morning, a vast range of activities awaits you. Abseiling, water skiing, windsurfing, sailing and surfing are just some of the ways to blow the dust off.

Then, when you’re ready for another drink, head a half hour or so out of town to the Cape Winelands, the country’s oldest wine region, where you can discover the local viticulture among the Cape Dutch farmsteads.

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
Muizenberg Beach

Places to Visit in Cape Town

  • City Centre
  • False Bay
  • Atlantic Seaboard
  • Robben Island
  • Table Mountain National Park

Unique Things to See and Do in Cape Town

  • Learn about the history of apartheid at Robben Island and the District 6 Museum
  • Take a cable car up Table Mountain
  • Visit the penguins at Boulders Beach
  • Quaff wine at the vineyards of the Cape Winelands
  • Soak up the art scene of Woodstock

Cape Town’s Design Challenge

Cape Town’s architecture is diverse, ranging from the northern European Cape Dutch style to the minarets of the Islamic arrivals and the Georgian and Victorian buildings of the English invaders.

But the city’s spatial engineering was heavily influenced by the political and social system of segregation known as apartheid. Built around a white-only centre, the city pushed everyone else out to the east where they were contained in settlements, divided from the southern suburbs by swathes of scrubland.

It’s a legacy the city has been working hard to break ever since the apartheid system crumbled in the 1990s. Although new forms of segregation are taking place with many of the wealthier Capetonians moving from the city into gated communities, urban design is also being used as a tool for democracy. Improvements to the transport systems and the regeneration of former slum areas are some examples of this. Areas that were dilapidated and often dangerous now have been reenergized with new public spaces and infrastructure, changing the entire structure of the city.

In fact, Cape Town was named World Design City in 2014 in recognition of its efforts to reclaim urban design as a method of achieving harmony and improve urban life.

Getting Around Cape Town

From buses to its Metrorail, Cape Town’s public transport options aren’t known for their efficiency – but can offer visitors an affordable way of getting around town.

But to hit the main sights, the city sightseeing bus can provide a more touristy hop-on hop-off way of getting around – the blue route will show you the Southern Peninsula while the red takes on the City Bowl sights.

Then there are the taxis and also the minibus taxis for the more daring travellers. Or you can simply hire a bicycle or a motorbike or a car – although finding parking in the city centre can be a challenge.

Did you know…?

The world’s first heart transplant was performed by Dr Christiaan Barnard in Cape Town in 1967.

Did you ALSO know…?

It’s estimated that two couples get married on Table Mountain every month.

Cable car travelling up the side of Table Mountain

Best Time of Year to Travel to Cape Town

December to February are the hottest months of the year and so it’s also the most popular with tourists keen to catch some South African sun.

If beach bumming is your game, then head for Cape Town between the months of January to April to catch the tail end of summer’s dry and warm conditions with fewer crowds and better prices.

For hikers, the autumn months of April to June offer ideal conditions. But if eating and drinking are more your thing, then the cooler months of June to August are perfect for indulging.

Ready to plan your visit to Cape Town? Check out these popular guides and trips.

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