Lifestyle, Travel

What to do in Cape Town

Cape Town is one of the top tourist destinations. Don’t just take my word for it, it’s won multiple awards.

I moved to Cape Town on the 9th April 2013. I can’t believe it’s going to be 5 years this year, and I can’t believe I get to call this home. My soul is really happy here.

I certainly am no expert, but I am often asked for places to visit from those who are about to visit Cape Town. I thought I’d put together a list of places that you should try the next time you visit. There is so much to see and do. I’m still exploring!

I will probably build the list as I think of more things, but here goes:

Things to do/see in Cape Town:

  • Table Mountain: Take a cableway ride up or you can hike it, if you’re that way inclined. This is always going to be an extra special place for me, as it’s the place Sox and I got engaged.
  • Climb Lion’s Head – it should take around 40-60min to get up and another 30min to get back down.  The views are just wow and it’s really popular for sunrise and sunset. Disclaimer – I haven’t done this myself. I started once, got half way and had to turn back. I didn’t realise I was in the early stages of flu and I just felt terrible. Sadly, I’ve never gone back, but it’s on my to-do list.
  • Go Paragliding off Signal Hill. Soar with the birds and land on the Sea Point Promenade. You’ll want to go again and again. It’s also a great place to watch the sunset from.
  • Walk/run/cycle the Sea Point/Mouille Point promenade. This is one of my favourites because there is so much to do. Firstly, I love the fresh ocean air and the sea views. The sunsets are magic from here. I love seeing the puppies and dogs being walked, the various art sculptures that pop up, the outdoor fitness area, fun games of soccer and frisbee, ice cream stands and food stalls by the Pavillion public pools. You can also rent a bike, Pavillion side. Take a book and sit on a bench or get your steps in – there is something for everyone.
  • Visit the beaches. My favourites are Camps Bay (no stairs) & Clifton (you get Clifton 1,2,3 and 4 beaches.) First timers to CT, don’t be surprised if your toes go numb from the cold Atlantic Ocean. There are some days that the water is bearable for a dip though. Oh and you must go to Boulders Beach and visit the happy feet penguins. 
  • Visit the V&A Waterfront. This is my shopping centre that I frequent a lot. It’s great for shopping, eating, drinking, watching movies and you can even take a ride on the Cape Town Wheel for pretty views. You can also take a little boat trip from here, book a helicopter ride and so on. Kids (young and old) will also love the Two Oceans Aquarium. There is a food market and The Watershed, which has 150 tenants selling local design and craft. Speaking of markets…
  • Visit the markets. I am a sucker for a good market. Here are a few: The Oranjezicht City Farm market in Granger Bay – I love the organic produce available. Earth Fair Market in St Georges Mall (every Thu) and Tokai (every Wednesday and Saturday); Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill (every Sat);  the V&A Market on the Wharf (open Mon – Sun.) A little further out, but worth it, is: The Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay (every Fri eve, Sat & Sun) & the Root 44 in Stellenbosch – this is a must for kiddies (they have the most amazing play areas.)
  • Visit the wine farms. I’d need a whole new blog post for this because there are so many. I’m going to leave it to the experts… Here is a piece on 30 best restaurants on wine farms.
  • Another option is to the the Red Bus and do wine tours. In fact, the Hop on, Hop Off Bus is a fantastic way to see Cape Town, and you can choose your different routes. It has over 30 stops, and takes you to over 50 of Cape Town’s top attractions, the bus allows you to hop-on and hop-off at your leisure. 
  • Calling all art lovers, visit the brand new Zeitz MOCAA in the Silo District of the V&A Waterfront. It has just opened up and most have raved. Disclaimer – I haven’t actually been yet, but it’s on my to-do list.
  • Pack a picnic basket and head over to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. On Sunday’s they have live music and it’s a great way to wrap up a weekend. See the 2018 concerts here.

My favourite places to eat:

  • I’m going to start with one of my favourite restaurants. For authentic and delicious Greek food, you have to visit Mykonos Taverna, Sea Point and their “baby brother” restaurant The Fat Greek, Tableview. Tell Dimitri I sent you. 😉
  • I also love Tasha’s at The Waterfront – consistently good and they are so amazing with kids.
  • People often ask where they can eat with a sea view and it’s the one thing that baffles me often. We have this beautiful coastline, but not many restaurants “on the beach.” In CT itself, The Grand Cafe & Beach is the place where you can enjoy a cocktail and food with your feet in the sand. 
  • My favourite Burger place is Hudsons. (They’re in Greenpoint, Gardens and Stellenbosch.) I always order my burgers guido style (no bun) and with sweet potato chips. YUM.
  • Mano’s in Greenpoint is delicious. My fave is the Chicken Limone. They also make a mean Prego and chicken liver pasta. It’s great for lunch or dinner. They don’t take reservations so make sure you don’t go too late. Tell Mano I say “hi!”
  • For meat lovers, a great steak can be had at The Hussar Grill (there are a few to choose from), NV-80 and HQ restaurant, Heritage Square is awesome on Friday and Saturday because there is a DJ, so you can go from dinner to dancing.
  • Jarryds Espresso Bar and Eatery in Sea Point has delicious breakfasts and lunches. Try the Eggs Benedict and the LCHF banana bread with espresso butter.
  • Millers Thumb is a place we went to with some friends from London. When we arrived we were almost sure we were at the wrong place because of the outrageous green and orange building. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover couldn’t ring more true. It’s one of the best meals I’ve ever had and I have to pop it up here for the experience. Note to self – must get a baby sitter and go on a date night.
  • Cafe Caprice. This is an institution. It is a must. You haven’t been to Cape Town if you haven’t been to Caprice. I love it for it’s variety. Go for breakfast and watch the sun glisten on the ocean. Go for lunch and stay for sundowners. Go at night for drinks and a party. Oh and Sunday nights might be a “school night”, but it’s world famous for being the best night out. I say this unbiasedly… even though my husband is the DJ and made Sunday nights famous.
  • Cafe Neo, Mouille Point has the most delicious variety of food. Sox and I love the Hot Greek Breakfast!
  • This isn’t a restaurant, but it’s food. The best biltong in town comes from Joubert & Monty. South Africans will know exactly what biltong is, but if you’re not from here, you can’t leave SA without trying it. Try the biltong and the droerwors. Oh and we have recently discovered their chilli bacon biltong – OMG it’s so good.
  • Last but not least, Burger and Lobster. Everything is homemade, from the rolls to the gherkins. The burger is one of the very best I’ve ever tasted.

My favourite coffee shops:

  • My favourite coffee shop is Hard Pressed Cafe, bottom of Bree Street in the Foreshore building. It has delicious coffees, food and you can even buy vinyl. 
  • Mischu makes incredible coffee too (voted best coffee in CT) and the same owner has just opened Rafael Lebenese Cafe in Sea Point.
  • Truth Coffee HQ in Buitenkant St.  This place was named the best coffee shop in the world for it’s steampunk design.
  • Yours Truly’s spot in Kloof St – garden setting out front, great vibe and Deluxe coffee is served.
  • Jason Bakery – they serve coffee and baked goods that will be worth breaking your diet for. They’re on Bree street and have just opened in Green Point.

How to get around: 

  • Download & install the Uber app onto your smartphone and use the UberX option (which is far cheaper than the UberBlack option.)
  • Another option is Taxify. Download the app.
  • MyCiti buses: Before having Georgie, I used to use their airport bus service often. It is so easy and thank you designated Bus Lane – you whizz past traffic.  For all their route info check out the MyCiti website.  The only thing is you’ll need to get yourself a MyCiti card at one of the MyCiti stations and then load money onto that.
  • If you do go for a metered taxi, I’d go for Excite Taxis and keep cash on you.

Pamper Sessions:

  • Need a mani/pedi? Go to Fox Box (at various Woolworths Beauty sections) or get them to come to you, they’re mobile and wonderful.
  • Need lash extensions done, or a fill? Call Nicola at the Spa at The Holiday In, Loop Street: +27 61 760 6984 – Please tell her I sent you. Oh and she does a massage that will melt you.
  • Want the spa treatment? Head to Langaro Spa and Lifestyle Centre in Camps Bay.  The Westin Hotel has The Heavenly Spa and great views. Loveit Spa in Wynberg is magic and Candice is a darling. I also really enjoyed the luxury spa at The Twelve Apostles.

That’s all I can think of for now… but since I am still exploring, I’d love to hear your suggestions of places to go and things to do in Cape Town! Leave a comment below – I’d really appreciate it!

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  • Reply Rene

    Thanks for a great post, Bailey! I guess we have our ‘try one new restaurant per month’ sorted for the rest of the year. 8) We always tend to go to the same places … because we know the food is sooooo good.
    Take a drive out to Stellenbosch and visit Manouche – it’s an awesome Lebanese restaurant and their Manouche’s are THE BEST. (Be sure to book before you go)

    January 22, 2018 at 7:29 am
  • Reply Louise Hughes

    Lovely post, and I visited many of those places based on your recommendations and I wasn’t disappointed at all!

    January 22, 2018 at 8:59 am
  • Reply Caley

    So proud to say that I have done so much of the above and visited many of these places – always nice to know about new spots too! Great post Bails x

    January 23, 2018 at 8:39 am
  • Reply Nicole M

    Oh my word – I wish I had had this when I visited last April. There are so many new restaurants which werent around when I lived in Cape Town, and it is quite overwhelming trying to figure out which are good and which are not so good.
    I dont know if it is still around, but if you havent been to Mesopotamia in Long Street in town, I would 100% recommend them – its is Kurdish cuisine and absolutely divine!
    Also things to do – definitely go Noordhoek side. It is one of my most favourites places in the Peninsula!
    You always make me feel homesick with posts like this Bailey!!! 🙂 🙂

    January 29, 2018 at 4:08 pm
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