Your First Time in Cape Town



Description:

Cape Town is a city of natural, cultural, religious, and historical diversity. It lies at the tip of a continent, in the heart of a unique floral kingdom, and at a juncture in ocean currents. The city is a small but thriving metropolis with the heart of an outdoor getaway. Your destined to fall in love with Cape Town on your first visit, here's a guide that will show you the key attractions.

While the "City Bowl" of Cape Town is a north facing bay on the southern tip of Africa, locals refer to the entire Cape Peninsula as the Cape Town area. This peninsula stretches south, bordered by the Atlantic Seaboard on the west and False Bay on the east. The views of sunset, the 12 Apostles, and seaside bars and restaurants make the Atlantic Seaboard the trendier more urban coast of Cape Town. Suburbs on the False Bay side have a more relaxed, surfer and fisherman feel to them. Home to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and the University of Cape Town, the Southern Suburbs are home to many locals and have fewer tourist attractions.

A drawback to having a mountain in the middle of the city and an undulating topography in a developing city is that public transport options are limited. There is a train route linking the City Bowl to the False Bay coast and public minibus taxis and buses that cover the Main Road areas. The veteran traveler may find these useful but for those with a bit less street savvy or a need for a greater selection of routes, private taxi and car rental are the best options. A good "hop on hop off" bus service does provide regular service to tourists along two circular routes, a great option for seeing many of the main sites without the need for a private vehicle.

Part of the Cape Town experience is taking time to enjoy life. Even on a short, highlights trip to Cape Town, the key is leaning back and appreciating the Mountain.

Author: iming


Day 1 - Cape Town


Top 10 things to do
From the moment you arrive in Cape Town, you will realize that exploring this city is about much more than strolling city streets and checking out buildings. From sea level to over 1000 meters, offshore islands to floral kingdoms, ostriches to penguins, and wine farms to townships, these top locations will give you a good sense of Cape Town.

For those with a penchant for nature, Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Point Nature Reserve, Llandudno Beach, and the Penguins at Boulders Beach will provide a chance to interact with and explore the diverse natural beauty of Cape Town. If you're the type that likes an active holiday, hiking, snorkeling, swimming, and surfing are good ways to explore these attractions.

Robben Island, a township tour, and strolling the streets of Kalk Bay and St James introduce the visitor to some of the historical and current cultural and political issues in South Africa. A trip by boat takes you to Robben Island where you will be part of an informative tour provided by an ex prisoner. The glare of the mines on the island damaged many a prisoner's eyes so remember to bring your sunglasses. Cape Town's townships and the well-known Bo Kaap are home to most of the black and coloured population. Visiting these areas gives the tourist a better idea of how the majority of urban South Africans live and adds perspective to a seemingly utopian Cape Town.

After all the exploring and learning, the wine farms of Constantia provide a more indulgent historical lesson and a chance for rest and relaxation. These wine farms produce some of the best South African wines in a scenic, convenient setting.


1

Table Mountain

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expert pick

Location:

Table Mountain Rd
8000 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: +27 21 424 0015
fax: +27 21 423 0402


2

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Rhodes Drive, Newlands
Kirstenbosch
7700 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: +27 21 799 8899
fax: +27 21 797 6570


3

Chapmans Peak Drive

Location:

Between Hout Bay and Noordhoek
7806 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: +27 21 791 8222
fax: +27 21 790 9169


4

Penguins at Boulders Beach

expert pick

Location:

Boulders Beach Drive,
Simon's Town
7975 Cape Town, South Africa


5

Cape Point Nature Reserve

user rating

Location:

Main Road
7848 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: +27 (0)21 701 8692
fax: +27 (0)21 701 8773


6

Llandudno Beach

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expert pick

Location:

Llandudno
Cape Town, South Africa


7

Cultural Cape Town - Langa and Khayelitsha

Location:

Cape Town, South Africa


10

Robben Island

Location:

Robben Island
(leave from the V and A Waterfront)
8001 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: +27 21 413 4200
fax: +27 21 419 1057


11

Kalk Bay - St. James

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expert pick

Location:

Harbour Road
7975 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: +27 21 426 4260


14

Klein Constantia

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Location:

Klein Constantia Road
Constantia
7848 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: +27 (0)21 794 5188
fax: +27 (0)21 794 2464


15

Buitenverwachting

user rating

Location:

Klein Constantia Road
Constantia
7847 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: +27 21 794 5190
fax: +27 21 794 1351


16

Groot Constantia

user rating

Location:

Private Bag X1
Constantia
7848 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: +27 21 794 5128
fax: +27 21 794 1999


17

Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate

Location:

Spaanschemat River Road, Constantia
Constantia
7848 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: +27 21 794 1810
fax: +27 21 794 1812


Day 2 - Cape Town


Top 5 restaurants
With its cultural diversity, upscale wine farms, fresh seafood, and local produce, Cape Town dining is world class.

Cape Malay food combines the flavors of Malaysia, Indonesia, and India to create local favorites such as boboties, bredies, koeksisters, and bunny chow. In the heart of Cape Town's Cape Malay community, the Bo Kaap, you will find Biesmiellah Restaurant. Remember that the Cape Malay community is muslim and alcohol is not allowed.

Mama Africa serves up a wide range of food from the African continent in stylish, friendly, banquet style. Its best to go in a group to partake in the communal atmosphere of this restaurant.

With the sea at its feet, Codfather serves up a range of fresh seafood and fantastic views. Purchase a range of fish, lobster, prawns, or calamari by weight, have it perfectly and simply cooked, and enjoy with a selection of sauces and sides. The waiters are knowledgeable and can explain each fish and where it stands on the seafood red/orange/green list.

If you find yourself on the False Bay seaboard, a local favorite is the Brass Bell. It provides for any type of dining from pub fare and pizza, to relaxed lunches, to upscale dining. All of this with a range of seating options on and above the water. A great option for whale, sea, and surfer watching.

Cape Town has its selection of world class restaurants, top of this list is the Cape Colony. After tasting the local flavours and favorites, try the Cape Colony for food you may never experience again.


1

Biesmiellah

expert pick

Location:

2 Upper Wale St
Bo-Kaap
8001 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: 021/423-0850


2

Mama Africa

user rating

Location:

178 Long Street
8001 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: 27 21 424 8634
fax: 27 21 426 9459


3

Brass Bell

expert pick

Location:

Main Road
Kalk Bay
7975 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: +27 21 788 5455/6
fax: +27 21 788 3430


4

Cape Colony

Location:

76 Orange Street
(Mount Nelson Hotel)
8000 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: 27 21 483 1000


8

Codfather

expert pick

Location:

Victoria Rd,
Camps Bay
8000 Cape Town, South Africa


Day 3 - Cape Town


Top 5 nightlife
A city with multiple dimensions needs a range of nightlife activity. Cape Town provides spaces to enjoy leisurely sunsets and fresh ocean breezes, modern live theatre, relaxed clubs, dance venues, and interactive play.

La Med and Cafe Caprice are local favourites in the Camps Bay/Clifton area. Stop in early, order some drinks and snacks to the sun slowly setting over the Atlantic, check out the locals, and continue enjoying into into the night.

The bars and clubs of Long Street offer backpackers and partiers a collection of dance floors, music, and drinking options. If you're checked into one of the many backpackers along the street, this is the easiest nightlife option for you. There are also more relaxed lounges in the area like Asoka Son of Dharma if conversation is more important than dance.

If the live performing arts is more your type of thing, look into the listings at the Artscape Theatre for local and international productions. There are always a number of shows on, many showcasing phenomenal local talent and style.


1

La Med

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Victoria Road
(Glen Country Club)
8001 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: 27 21 438 5600
fax: 27 21 438 2018


2

Café Caprice

Location:

37 Victoria Road
8005 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: +27 21 438 8315
fax: +27 21 438 6444


3

Artscape

user rating

Location:

DF Malan Street
Foreshore
8001 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: 27 21 410 9800
fax: 27 21 421 7839


4

Asoka Son of Dharma

Location:

68 Kloof St
8001 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: 27 21 422 0909
fax: 27 21 423 4232


6

Drum Café

Location:

32 Glynn Street
8001 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: 27 21 462 1305
fax: +27 21 425 2604


Day 4 - Cape Town


Seasonal attractions
While Cape Town is filled with attractions and activities year round, there are a few events that are time dependent. If you happen to be visiting during these events, make sure you pop in to experience a special side of Cape Town.

Spring (August- October) is one of the best times to visit Cape Town. The air is fresh, the warmth is creeping in, the winds are quiet, and the whales are in. For some of the best coastal whale watching in the world, explore Hout Bay, the False Bay seaboard, and Hermanus areas. You are likely to find numerous Southern Right whales showing off fins, tails, or just logging.

Summer (November- March) brings beautiful (if sometimes windy) warm weather to the Cape. Locals celebrate the long summer days with extra time at the beach, on the mountain, or enjoying the Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts, full moon hikes up Lions Head, and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

If New Years finds you in Cape Town, make sure to check out the city centre after the usual party as died down. The 2 January signals the beginning of the annual Minstrel's Carnival, a unique celebration for South Africa's coloured community.


1

Lion's Head

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Signal Hill Road
8001 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: +27 21 487 6800(Tourist Information)


4

Kirstenbosch Summer Concert Series

expert pick

Location:

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Rhodes Drive, Newlands
7735 Cape Town, South Africa

Contact:

tel: +27 21 799 8899 / +27 21 799 8800
fax: +27 21 797 6570


5

Southern Right Whales

user rating

expert pick

Location:

all along the coast
Cape Town, South Africa


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