10 things to do in Cape Town
While exploring the "Mother City," you'll uncover the layers of its history that span from the colonial period to the emergence of the Rainbow Nation. With a vibrant scene in a cityscape of sea and mountains, it's easy to fall for South Africa's oldest city.
The ride to the top of the iconic Table Mountain is one you'll never forget. You'll relish the views of the cobalt blue ocean and urban landscape from this lofty perch.
Reap the rewards of an encompassing panorama after an hour's hike to the Lion's Head. A night with a full moon makes it a popular place to view the sparkling city lights below.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
The eastern slopes of Table Mountain rise above the swathes of the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. The flora, locally known as fynbos, is at its best between August and November.
Cape of Good Hope
Dubbed the Cape of Storms by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, the lighthouse, which illuminates the Cape of Good Hope, is the strongest on the continent.
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
For shopping, entertainment and a slew of restaurants, you won't go wrong at the V&A. It's convenient to reach the aquarium and stadium nearby, and it's the place for a bay cruise.
Two Oceans Aquarium
The Two Oceans Aquarium name reflects the meeting of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and it features the marine life in these waters. Don't miss the shark feeding on Sundays at 3:00 pm.
Cape Town Stadium
Learn about this venue from the 2010 FIFA World Cup by taking a tour that includes facts about its architectural design, a walk on the Cape Town Stadium field, and a look inside the locker rooms.
Located in Table Bay, Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life imprisoned here in Robben Island during apartheid. It's a humbling moment when you step into his former cell and reflect on his life.
The District Six museum recounts the history of the forced expulsion and relocation of black residents during apartheid, and the ultimate demise of this former, mulit-cultural district.
A raised boardwalk lets you take a walk on the wild side among the rowdy 2000 African Penguins that live here at Boulders Beach. It's also a great place to spend the day on the beaches of False Bay.
Planning your Cape Town visit
A visit to Table Mountain
You can buy a ticket online for either a morning or afternoon trip to the top by cable car. However, an excursion to the 3,500-foot summit always depends on the weather, so check it before you go. It's wise to bring a sweater or jacket with you, and wear sunblock and proper footware. If you plan to hike to the peak or along one of the three trails at the summit, be safe and bring water, snacks and a friend.
How safe is it?
As in any other city you visit, it's always best to keep your wits about you. It is recommended to take a taxi in Cape Town at night, rather than walking, and be on your guard when withdrawing cash at an ATM. If you're curious about visiting a township, then go with a group led by an experienced guide.
When to go
Cape Town has a temperate climate. October to April offer warm and dry weather, but the notorious south-easter winds occur from December through January. February to mid-April has great beach weather, and hiking enthusiasts will enjoy crisp, clear days from late April to early June.
How many days should you spend in Cape Town?
Four to five full days allow you to experience the sites and sounds of the Mother City at a leisurely pace. Stay longer if you'd like and use the city as a base to explore the beautiful, surrounding areas in the Western Cape, such as the wine region of Stellenbosch.
Good to Know
LanguageAfrikaans and English
CurrencySouth African Rand (ZAR)
Time ZoneUTC (+02:00)
Best time to visitFor a great sightseeing trip with some beach time, plan to come between January and April, when the temperatures are warm, the winds are dying down and the tourist rush is ending.
Things to Do in Cape Town
Top Attractions in Cape Town
Other Sightseeing Options in Cape Town
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