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Cape Town Travel Essentials

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Ideal duration: 4-6 days

Best Time: October to April Read More

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"South Africa's Crown Jewel"

Cape Town Tourism

Cape Town, located on South Africa's southwestern coast, is the country's oldest city and serves as the legislative capital. Spanning approximately 2,455 square kilometres, it stands as the second-largest city in South Africa, drawing tourists with its sun-drenched beaches, scenic beauty, and iconic Table Mountain.

Renowned for its unique floral biome called fynbos, Cape Town showcases diverse flora in the Western Cape region. The city enjoys a pleasant Mediterranean climate year-round, making it an attractive destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With a rich historical background and offerings of adventure, wildlife safaris, world-class dining, and wine experiences, Cape Town provides a compelling experience for all travellers.

Things to do in Cape Town

1. Table Mountain

Table Mountain, a renowned Cape Town landmark, provides stunning panoramic views of the city and coastline. Accessible by cableway or hiking, the visit typically lasts a few hours, allowing exploratio (Read More)n of its scenic beauty and diverse flora. To avoid cableway queues, early mornings or weekdays are recommended.

2. Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach, near Simon's Town, is renowned for its adorable African penguins. Accessible by car or guided tours from Cape Town, spending 1 to 2 hours here allows observation, photography, and rela (Read More)xation on the sandy shores. The best time to visit is either early morning or late afternoon to see the active penguins.

3. Victoria and Alfred Waterfront

The V&A Waterfront in Cape Town is a lively area with shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Easily accessible in the city centre, visitors can spend a few hours or a whole day exploring the (Read More) amenities. Late afternoon offers beautiful sunset views over the harbour.

4. Kirstenbosch

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, nestled against Table Mountain's eastern slopes, is a botanical paradise showcasing indigenous plants and diverse flora. Visitors can enjoy strolls, picnics, an (Read More)d cultural events. Spending 2 to 3 hours is recommended, and the best time to visit is during the mild mid-morning hours.

5. Cape Point

Cape Point in Table Mountain National Park offers stunning coastal vistas and landscapes. Accessible by car or guided tours from Cape Town, visitors can explore for 2 to 3 hours, enjoying sightseeing, (Read More) hiking, and ocean views. Early morning or late afternoon offers the best opportunities to spot wildlife.

6. Castle of Good Hope

The Castle of Good Hope, a historic fortress, stands as one of South Africa's oldest buildings. Situated in Cape Town's city centre, it holds cultural and architectural significance. Accessible by car (Read More) or public transport, visitors can explore historical exhibits and guided tours within 1 to 2 hours. To avoid crowds, visiting during the morning or midday is advisable.

7. Bo-Kaap

Bo-Kaap is a colourful and culturally rich neighbourhood near Cape Town's city centre, offering a glimpse into Cape Malay heritage. Easily accessible on foot or by car, exploring its vibrant streets a (Read More)nd mosques takes a few hours. Joining guided walking tours is recommended for an immersive experience.

8. Clifton Beach

Clifton Beach is a set of four pristine beaches near Cape Town, known for its white sand and clear waters. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and picnics for a few hours.

9. Muizenberg Beach

Muizenberg Beach, near Cape Town, is famous for colourful beach huts and excellent surfing. Accessible by car or train, visitors can spend a few hours surfing, walking, and enjoying the vibrant beach (Read More)atmosphere. Surfing enthusiasts will find the best waves during the early morning or late afternoon.

10. Robben Island

Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is accessible by ferries from Cape Town's Waterfront. The tour includes a visit to the prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated. Booking in advance is (Read More)recommended, and morning tours are preferable.

11. Bay Harbour Market

Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay, Cape Town, is a bustling weekend market with local artisans offering arts, crafts, and delicious food stalls. Accessible by car or taxi, visitors can spend around 2 to (Read More)3 hours, especially on Saturdays and Sundays.

12. Bloubergstrand Beach

Bloubergstrand Beach in Cape Town offers stunning views of Table Mountain and is popular for surfers and kiteboarders. Accessible by car or public transport, visitors can sunbathe and enjoy water spor (Read More)ts. Spend 2 to 4 hours here, especially during sunrise or sunset, for the best views.

13. Groot Constantia

Groot Constantia, the oldest wine estate in South Africa, is nestled in the lush Constantia Valley. Accessible by car or taxi, the estate offers wine-tasting sessions and learn about the region's wine (Read More)making history. Visitors can spend around 3 to 4 hours here, especially in the late morning.

14. Sea Point Promenade

Sea Point Promenade in Cape Town is a favoured coastal walkway, providing stunning ocean views and a refreshing sea breeze. Easily accessible by car or public transport, activities here include walkin (Read More)g, jogging, and outdoor exercise. Visitors can spend around 1 to 2 hours, especially early morning or early evening.

15. Company’s Gardens

Company's Gardens in Cape Town's city centre is a historic garden offering a serene green space to unwind. Accessible on foot or by car/taxi, activities include strolling, picnicking, and observing wi (Read More)ldlife.

16. Cage Dive with Great White Sharks

Cage diving with Great White Sharks near Cape Town offers an adrenaline-pumping experience. Available in Gansbaai or Mossel Bay through guided tours, observe these majestic creatures up close in their (Read More) natural habitat. The best time to visit is in the morning when the waters are calmer, providing better visibility.

17. South African Jewish Museum

The South African Jewish Museum in Cape Town's city centre offers insights into the Jewish community's history and culture in the country. Accessible on foot or by car/taxi, visitors can spend 1 to 2 (Read More)hours exploring exhibits and learning about their contributions.

18. Camps Bay Beach

Camps Bay Beach in Cape Town is popular for its white sand and views of the Twelve Apostles mountain range. Accessible by car or public transport, activities include sunbathing, swimming, and beach ga (Read More)mes.

19. Canal Walk Shopping Center

Canal Walk in Cape Town is a bustling shopping centre with various stores, restaurants, and entertainment options. Accessible by car or public transport, visitors can spend around 3 to 4 hours shoppin (Read More)g, dining, and catching a movie at the cinema.

20. Zeitz MOCAA

Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa) in Cape Town's V&A Waterfront is a world-class museum housed in a repurposed grain silo. Accessible by walking or car/taxi, visitors can spend aroun (Read More)d 2 to 3 hours exploring the collection of modern African art and attending exhibitions.

21. Greenmarket Square

Greenmarket Square in Cape Town City Centre is a historic market known for its lively atmosphere and craft stalls offering unique souvenirs. Accessible on foot or by car/taxi, visitors can spend aroun (Read More)d 1 to 2 hours exploring the stalls, trying local food, and enjoying street performances.

22. Old Biscuit Mill

The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, Cape Town, is a trendy market and food hub operating on Saturdays. Accessible by car or taxi, spend around 2 to 3 hours trying out delectable dishes, shopping for ar (Read More)tisanal products, and enjoying live music performances. Saturday mornings are the best time to visit.

23. Lion’s Head & Signal Hill

Lion's Head and Signal Hill in Cape Town offer breathtaking views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean. Accessible by car or taxi, activities here include hiking to the summits for panoramic views, phot (Read More)ography, and enjoying the natural beauty. Visitors spend around 2 to 3 hours on a moderate hike and prefer to watch sunrise and sunset.

24. Cape Winelands

The Cape Winelands near Cape Town offer picturesque vineyards and wine estates. Activities include wine tasting, cellar tours, and dining. Visitors can opt for half or full-day excursions.

25. Two Oceans Aquarium

The Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town offers an immersive marine experience. Activities include exploring marine exhibits, attending animal feedings, and learning about ocean (Read More)conservation.

26. District Six Museum

The District Six Museum in Cape Town's city centre commemorates forced removals during apartheid. Visitors can spend around 1 to 2 hours learning about its history and the resilience of its communitie (Read More)s.

Must Know Before You Travel to Cape Town

  • Safety: Take a taxi from the central bus station after dark and during the day, especially if unfamiliar with the area.
  • Crowd: New Year's beach can be crowded, but there are lots of events to enjoy.
  • Car Rental: Numerous car rental companies are available at the airport and throughout town; drive on the left.
  • Local Transportation: Within the city, travellers can opt for online cab platforms like Uber, Bolt, or Jumpin Rides, metered taxis, and minibuses.
  • Negotiate Prices: Exercise caution as foreigners may be quoted higher prices; negotiate whenever possible.
  • Mobile Network: Get cheap prepaid SIM cards from the airport itself. Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, or Virgin Mobile work best for local calls.
  • Beware of Street Kids: To avoid potential theft, refrain from interactions and be cautious of common robbery tricks.
  • ATM Scam: Exercise caution with ATM transactions and never allow strangers to assist you to avoid falling victim to ATM cons.
  • Language: The official languages of Cape Town are Afrikaans, English, and Xhosa.
  • Currency Exchange: Many facilities offer foreign exchange, including airports, V&A Waterfront and major shopping centres.
  • Payment Modes: Keep limited cash as most places accept credit cards. Get a fee-free foreign exchange card, and use the Snapscan app for market payments.
  • Drinking Water: Cape Town's tap water is safe to drink, but ask for it specifically at restaurants.
  • Rush Hour: Avoid travelling into the city between 06:30 AM and 09:00 AM and leaving the city between 04:00 PM and 06:00 PM on weekdays.
  • Free Travel Guide: Get the free Cape Town travel guide for useful information.
  • Accommodation: Stay centrally in the City Bowl or try the Atlantic Seaboard for great views.
  • Pre-Booking Dining: Book well in advance for dining out during the trip.

Top Hotels In Cape Town

More on Cape Town Travel

History of Cape Town

Cape Town's history dates back to its establishment as a Dutch colony in 1652, serving as a crucial waystation for Dutch East India Company ships. The city's growth led to British settlement in the 19th century, resulting in significant changes in governance. During the apartheid era, Cape Town played a central role in South Africa's racial segregation, and the forced removals in District Six became a prominent symbol of this dark period. Since the end of apartheid in the 1990s, Cape Town has evolved into a vibrant and multicultural city, renowned for its natural beauty, historical landmarks, and diverse cultural heritage, making it a popular destination for travellers worldwide.

Nightlife in Cape Town

Victoria Road, Long Street and upper Kloof street are some of the best areas to visit at night. Fiction DJ Bar & Lounge, Julep, Bascule and Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar are your best bets for a great time. Alexander Bar at the City Centre has music and theatre shows happening as well. If you like jazz, make sure to visit Straight No Chaser at the City Centre.

Shopping in Cape Town

Cape Town offers a variety of shopping options, with popular items to buy including African arts and crafts, local textiles, and unique jewellery.

  • Greenmarket Square and Bay Harbour Market are bustling markets known for authentic souvenirs and handcrafted goods.
  • The V&A Waterfront is a popular destination for high-end shopping, featuring designer clothing, luxury brands, and upscale boutiques. Authentic curios at better prices can be found at the Green Point market on Sundays, located within walking distance from the V&A Waterfront.
  • Long Street and Kloof Street are renowned for their trendy fashion stores and vintage shops. Canal Walk Shopping Center stands out for its extensive selection of stores.
  • For handicrafts, travellers can visit African Image and Out Of Africa on Church Street, and Peluzu at 70 St Georges Mall.
  • Muandi Textiles at 90 Station Street offers printed cloth and material, while Evelyn Kubukeli at 190 Lower Main Road sells traditional medicinal products.
  • For fine quality wines, Vaughan Johnson's wine shop at the Waterfront is recommended for shipping a case home.
  • Bigger malls such as Cavendish Mall, Century City, and Tyger Valley Mall also attract thousands of shoppers.

Best Time to Visit Cape Town

How to Reach Cape Town

How to Reach Overview

The best way to reach Cape Town is to fly to Cape Town International Airport (CPT) and avail of a 15-20 minute car or taxi ride to the main city. Additionally, MyCiti buses run regularly from the airport to Civic Centre Station downtown. For road travel, the city is accessible via national roads such as N1, N2, and N7. The city is also connected well by train but is less preferred due to the long travel time. Long-distance bus services, including Intercape Mainliner, Greyhound, SA Roadlink, and Translux, offer comfortable and cost-effective travel options to reach the city from the major cities around Cape Town.

How to reach Cape Town by flight

Cape Town International Airport (CPT) serves as the main gateway to the city. It is well-connected with domestic and international flights from all over the world. The airport is located approximately 20 kilometres east of the city centre, and travel time from the airport to the city is around 15-20 minutes by car or taxi.

MyCiti buses run every 30 minutes from the airport to Civic Centre Station downtown. One-way tickets cost R94 (Nov 2022) and can be bought at the terminal's counter.

Flights to Cape Town can be booked through Skyscanner.

How to reach Cape Town by road

Cape Town is the origin of three national roads – N1 which connects the city with Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Pretoria and Zimbabwe, N2 which connects it with Port Elizabeth, Durban and East London and N7 connecting it with Northern Cape Province and Namibia.

The distance between Johannesburg and Cape Town is approximately 1,400 kilometres, and the driving time is around 14 to 16 hours.

Travellers can opt for private car rentals and taxis. Carisma Car Hire and Thrifty Dollar Rental Cars offer cab services for tourists, including pick-up, drop-off, and city tours.

How to reach Cape Town by train

Cape Town's main station connects daily trains to Johannesburg and Pretoria, and weekly trains to Durban, Bloemfontein, and East London. PRASA (the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa) operates all scheduled South African passenger trains. Shosholoza Meyl runs inter-city trains, while MetroRail operates commuter trains in major cities. For a luxurious experience, travellers can opt for the world-renowned Blue Train, offering a 27-hour scenic journey between Cape Town and Pretoria.

The train journey to Cape Town from Johannesburg takes around 24 to 27 hours, and ticket prices vary based on the class of travel and amenities, ranging from 500 to 1,200 ZAR. However, due to the extended travel time and limited scheduling, train travel may not be the most convenient choice for many travellers.

How to reach Cape Town by bus

Travelers can opt for long-distance bus services, such as Intercape Mainliner, Greyhound, SA Roadlink, and Translux, which offer comfortable and affordable options. Bus fares typically range from 600 to 900 ZAR, depending on the class and amenities.

How to reach Cape Town by waterways

Most of the larger cruise lines, such as Princess Cruises offer Cape Town as one of their destinations.

Local transport in Cape Town

Getting around Cape Town is a real breeze. Golden Arrow buses are used within city limits. There are also City Sightseeing buses to take you around popular spots. The Metrorail is also used to get around Cape Town. Minibuses are very affordable, but are always packed. Another option would be to travel by taxi, which charge you by the kilometre.

Cape Town Photos

Cape Town, South-Africa

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FAQs on Cape Town

What are the things to do in Cape town?

The top things to do in Cape town are Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Clifton and Camps Bay Beaches, The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Signal Hill and the Noon Gun, Chapman's Peak Drive. You can see all the places to visit in Cape town here

What is the best time to visit Cape town?

South Africa has a temperate climate with dry and warm temperatures. The months from October to April, i.e. Autumn, Fall and Spring bring in the cool breeze and make the city a lot more pleasant and comfortable. Summers can be really hot and therefore the months of May, June and July shall be strictly avoided.
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What is the local food in Cape town?

As beautiful as it looks, Cape town has an equally amazing cuisine and taste when it comes to food. The locals and foreign travellers love to hog the famous seafood here. The most popular delicacies that are enjoyed daily in the city include prawns, oysters, baked kingklip, and pan-fried fish. Bunny Chow, Malwa Pudding and Melktert also offers a lip smacking taste.
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How much does a package cost for Cape town?

The packages for Cape town start at INR 62993 which can be further customized based on number of people, days, hotel category, vehicle type and customizations. You can have a look at all packages here

What are the top hotels in Cape town?

There are 3226 in Cape town which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Cape town are Boutique@10, Pinoak Cottage, 121 Ocean View Drive Studio Apartment, Kylemore 405 B, Apartment 706 Cape Royale Residence, More Quarters Hotel. You can see all the hotels in Cape town here

What are the places near Cape town?

The top places near to Cape town are Knysna which is 426 km from Cape town, Johannesburg which is located 1261 km from Cape town, Durban which is located 1271 km from Cape town, Pretoria which is located 1310 km from Cape town, London which is located 9674 km from Cape town

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