About the author
Noel is the owner of Holiday SA, a tour company specializing in holiday packages to South Africa. After working for a couple of years as an engineer around Europe, he decided it was time to return home where he soon started his travel business. Besides travel, his interests are surfing (or at least attempting too), mountain biking and anything food related (beer is food right?).
Why Cape Town?
Cape Town, also known in South Africa as the “Mother City”, is consistently ranked as one of the top cities to visit in the world.
Breath-taking landscapes, beautiful wild-life, amazing food, an abundance of wine and craft beer, and of course friendly South Africans are just some of the things you will experience in and around Cape Town!
Did I mention Table Mountain? Playing with jackass penguins? Sipping on vintage wines?
Right, you get it. Cape Town should be on all travelers’ bucket lists.
Flying to South Africa and getting to Cape Town
These days there are plenty of flights to South Africa. There are plenty of direct flights to Cape Town.
If you are looking for a low cost flight, consider flying with a stopover in the Middle East or North Africa. Emirates, Qatar, and Ethiopia airlines often have low cost flights with stopovers.
Getting around Cape Town
Cape Town is a very big city geographically speaking. If you are travelling in a group the best solution is going to be to hire a car. The will be probably be the cheapest and most convenient!
If you are going solo, consider using the red tour bus, which lets you hop on and hop off at multiple stops.
Uber is also super convenient. It comes in really handy when you want to go out in the evening and enjoy a couple of drinks.
Where to stay
Like I said Cape Town is pretty huge.
The best place to stay is what’s known as the “City Bowl”. This area is pretty much the area surrounded by Table Moutain, Signal Hill and the waterfront. It is a very central area and has some great views of the mountains and sea.
The most popular areas are Tamboerskloof and Gardens. These areas are within walking distance to two of the most famous streets in the area: Long and Bree streets.
Bree Street is known for its fine and diverse choice of restaurants, while Long Street is more for the bars and clubs!
There are plenty of hostels, guest houses, and boutique hotels in the City Bowl.
The Cape Town to do list
There is just so much to do in Cape Town. No matter if you are an adrenalin junkie, a foodie, a museum and art lover, or someone simply looking to relax, you will have plenty to do.
My list of things you must do when visiting Cape Town are:
- Table Mountain – If you are feeling energetic why not hike up the Platteklip Gorge trail. Otherwise feel free to go up and down with the cable car.
- Lions head – Don’t be fooled into thinking you don’t need to do this hike if you’ve already been up Table Mountain. It’s only a 45 minute hike up, but the panoramic views are well worth it!
- Cape of Good Hope – AKA Cape Point. This nature reserve on southern tip of Cape Town has the most rugged and beautiful coastlines imaginable.
- Chapmans Peak – Make sure you do at least one road trip along this stunning coastal road.
- Boulders Beach – This is the sandy beach where you can get up close with the jackass penguins. Definitely some good selfies to be taken here.
- V & A Waterfront – From world class shopping, to craft breweries and fine dining restaurants, make sure you spend at least one evening at the V & A waterfront.
- Robben Island Tour – If history is your thing, I highly recommend taking a boat ride to this island where Nelson Mandela was held prisoner for numerous years.
- Truth Coffee – Voted as one of the world’s best coffee shops by the Daily Telegraph, this is definitely worth a visit. Perhaps as a quick caffeine boost before a hike up Table Mountain?
- Mzansi restaurant – South Africa and Cape Town in general has loads of amazing restaurants. But it doesn’t take long to notice that most of these don’t serve authentic African dishes. Mzansi is a restaurant in the Lange Township which offers an authentic African buffet style dinner. It is rated the number 1 restaurant on Trip Advisor and rightly so! As it is in the township, I highly suggest you only go there by cab as driving in that area at night can be dangerous.
Most importantly though, just have fun! I often see people trying to do or see too much while on holiday in Cape Town. Make sure you take some time to simply relax and soak up the atmosphere.
Explore more of South Africa
Once you have experienced Cape Town you will definitely want to explore more of South Africa.
In close proximity of Cape Town are the Cape Winelands. If you have the time, you should definitely make a day trip to Franschhoek or Stellenbosch and visit some vineyards along the way.
Also within an hour and a half of Cape Town is Gansbaai where you can do shark cage diving. This is a favourite amongst many who braved the cold waters!
If you want to see more of South Africa in one trip why not look at a South Africa Holiday Tour. The South African currency, the ZAR, is relatively weak compared to major western currencies such as the USD, GBP and the EUR. This makes it an ideal holiday destination.
If you are looking for a cheap South African holiday, take a look at this budget South Africa holiday guide.
If you are travelling all the way to Cape Town, you might as well try and fit in a safari while you are in South Africa right?
Sure safaris can cost you an arm and a leg, and perhaps even a kidney too!
But they don’t have to.
This cheap safari holiday guide will give you some tips on how to enjoy a safari on a low budget.