things to do in Cape Town
Chapman´s Peak drive
You can easily spend a week in Cape Town and its surroundings. Most places are safe but like in any city you shall not go on empty street in the dark. Walking in the city center or in the Victoria and Albert Waterfront is safe. Here are the things we liked the most.
Cape Town is full of excellent restaurants where you can have a fantastic dinner for the price of a lunch at home. The food is one of the reasons we want to return to South Africa. Simply to be able to go to some more restaurants and visit my favourites once again.
The most famous (and most expensive) restaurant is one of top 50 restaurants in the world, The Test Kitchen. It is located in the Woodstock area. You have to book months ahead right when the bookings are open for "your" day.
Another great restaurant with a tasting menu is the Green House restaurant. Ask for a table in the green house area. A third option that is a little cheaper is Aubergine restaurant, a cosy place in the Gardens area. A fourth one is Nobu, a japanese restaurant that you also find in many other places in the world.
2. Hike to Lion´s head
This is the perfect hike when in Cape Town. It brings lovely views, it is close to the city center and
it is not too streneous. Read more about the hike and how to get there here.
3. Walk along Long Street to Bo-Kaap
Along Long Street you find pretty Victorian styled houses with cafés, art and bars. Continue to Bo-Kaap with its colourful houses climbing on the hills of Signal Hill.
You probably also want to visit the famous Victoria & Albert Waterfront. It is a bit far to walk from the city center so go there by car. There is a large parking garage in the area. V&A is a modern center with restaurants, shops and attractions.
It reminded me of Fisherman´s wharf in San Fransisco and Monterrey but with a more modern layout. There are also some really expensive big 5-star hotels in that area. No matter if you are attracted by those things or not it is well worth to visit the area. We got tired after an hour and left. This kind of place is not our thing.
4. Visit the Old Bisquit Mill market on a Saturday
At Old Bisquit Mill you find a lot more genuine food, art and design than in V&A Waterfront and you are not surrounded only by tourists. This is where the locals go. Have a tapas lunch at the Pot Luck Club (little sister of The Test Kitchen) or eat something you have not tried before at the market.
The Old Bisquit Mill is in the Woodstock area a little outside the very city center. An option is to go there by your rental car.
There are plenty of people with yellow reflective vests helping to find parking lots. You pay them some 10 rands afterwards. It might seem a bit strange and not so secure. Like always, don´t park your car on the most narrow and dark street.
A perhaps easier and more relaxing option is to go there by Über. Of course, if you go there in the evening to have dinner and wine pairing at The Test Kitchen you go there by Über.
5. Visit the Kirstenbosch Garden
Don´t miss to visit the Kirstenbosch botanical garden of Cape Town. It is situated on the slopes of Table mountain and is the most peaceful and beautiful place you can imagine. Walk the tree canopy walkway and enjoy all the fantastic flowers and trees in the park.
6. Visit Robben Island
Robben Island is of large historical importance as Nelson Mandela spent most of his 27 years in prison here. Tours are prebooked and former inmates guide you around the prison.
7-9. Go to Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point
This is a full day trip and it is a good thing to start early since this is a popular day trip. Driving straight to the Cape takes about 1,5 hours if there is no queu. There was a queu when we arrived out on the Cape to enter but time passed by quite quickly. We spent perhaps half an hour in a line.
You should make the tour to the Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope to a round trip. On your way there go along the southern coast along Chapman´s Peak Drive, a beautiful road along the ocean (easily beats Highway 1 in California). On your way back, stop by Boulder´s beach in
Simon´s town and check out the penguins. They are small and there are lots of them.
There are two restaurants at Cape Point, one that serves pizza and another one that is more elegant. If you want to visit the last one, book ahead to be sure to have a table. We ate at the pizzeria. It was ok, but nothing special at all. The funniest thing was the baboos trying to steal our food.
Arriving in Cape Point, walk up to the Lighthouse and imagine you are on the most southern point of Africa. Then walk along the coast to Cape of Good Hope. It is a beautiful coast line path.
10. Hike or go by cable car to the top of The Table Mountain
Last but not least. Probably the most famous thing about Cape Town - the Table Mountain.
There are plenty of hiking routes to the top of the Table mountain and it will take you about 4 hours to the top. Most people go by the cable car.
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