Plan a vacation to Cape Town, one of the most cosmopolitan and dynamic cities in Africa. Table Mountain dominates the background, waterfront shops of the V&A Market color the harbor, and Cape Town's botanical gardens drape the city in verdant tones. As the sun sets on the waterfront, finish the day at one of the city's many world-class wineries and restaurants, the perfect way to cap the day off in a city affectionately known as the Mother City.
A top destination in Cape Town, the V&A Waterfront is a mix of residential and commercial space with great views of both the ocean and nearby mountains. Enjoy your morning coffee while strolling along the boutique shops as local fisherman come in with the day’s catch. If you want a more in-depth perspective on the local marine life, be sure to head to the Cape Town Aquarium.
Table Mountain is perhaps Cape Town’s most popular and well-known attraction—and for solid reason. At over 3,280-feet high, this flat-topped mountain gives Cape Town an impressive and distinct backdrop. A spectacular destination with an abundant amount of flora and fauna, Table Mountain is beautiful throughout the year.
Situated near Table Mountain, Signal Hill offers unique views over the city and of the vast mountain that surrounds it. Here, you’ll also find the famous Noon Gun that is fired every day at twelve o'clock. But a walk on the hill at dusk will provide fire-fangled sunsets that are uneasily forgotten.
A historical monument, this stunning 17th-century castle is the oldest colonial building in South Africa and the best example of a Dutch East India Company fort. The iconic landmark is central to Cape Town history and has served as the seat of government and military operations for two centuries. Attractions here include three museums, a magnificent garden, and the ceremonial cannon firing.
Newly opened, this museum is the first major institution dedicated exclusively to artists from Africa, as well as the largest museum of contemporary African art in the world. Here, you can marvel at varied art forms in over 100 galleries, from modern art and impressive photography to unique fashion pieces and stellar audiovisual installations.
The museum houses an impressive collection of historical materials related to Apartheid. The museum's goal, with the active involvement of the public, is the construction of housing and the organization of music, literature, and art into a community that celebrates the coexistence of different races. Do not miss this opportunity to get to know this important part of South African history.
Regarded as one of the world’s greatest botanical gardens, as well as one of the largest, Kirstenbosch was founded for the preservation and presentation of the unique flora of South Africa. It’s a popular spot for picnicking, hiking (all the way to Table Mountain if you choose), enjoying summer concerts, and taking in the panoramic views offered from a tree canopy walkway.
Not far from the city center lies one of the most photographed areas of Cape Town, Bo Kaap. It is the cultural center of Malay culture as well as a former township. Known for its colourfully painted houses, as well as some of the oldest buildings in the country, such as the Bo Kaap Museum and the Auwal Mosque: this is a must-visit neighborhood of Cape Town.
Held every weekend morning at Granger Bay, adjacent to the V&A Market, this community farmer’s market offers products from local, artisanal food producers. Here, you can shop and sample local, organic food, in support of the nonprofit Oranjezicht City Farm. Be sure to enjoy brunch or breakfast at one of the communal tables that offer epic ocean views.
Useful Information for Your Cape Town Vacation
Cape Town has a rich and varied events calendar, and it is worth considering these when planning your trip. The Cape Town Marathon is one of the best in Africa and takes place every October. The fantastic Cape Town Jazz Festival is the largest in Africa and fourth-largest worldwide, and takes place in March and April. The Cape Town Carnival is a colorful, exciting event that takes place every March, drawing visitors from far and wide. Speak to a Tourlane Travel Expert for more insider tips and recommendations.
Cape Town has a range of lovely neighborhoods for visitors to stay in. One of the most popular places to stay is the V&A Waterfront, which has a large number of comfortable vacation apartments with pools, and international hotels. If you want to be close to the beach and enjoy fantastic seafood, Camps Bay is a charming oceanfront community that is a great place to stay.
Cape Town is located on the southwest coast of South Africa, in the southern hemisphere. You should consider its geography this when planning your trip, as the seasons are inverted compared to the northern hemisphere. It is approximately two and a half hours away from Johannesburg. Currently, flights from the USA and Cape Town take at least 19 hours.
Cape Town has a very relaxed atmosphere, so it’s best to spend a fair amount of time in the city in order to enjoy the slow pace of life while enjoying everything that it has to offer. We recommend spending at least four nights in Cape Town, for the best possible experience. Less