Top 10 things to do in and near Cape Town

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Cape Town is one of the most sensational cities on earth. The combination between western and African culture makes this city a truly unique place. When you are strolling through the city center it feels like you are in a European town, but when you pay attention you will see the African touch everywhere. Whether you are an adventurer, nature lover, culture enthusiast, looking for the most beautiful beaches, trendiest places or the best food; you will love Cape Town. There are thousands of awesome things to do in this sensational city, but make sure not to miss out on these 10 unique things to do in and near Cape Town.

1. Walking with Penguins at Simon’s Town

Simon’s Town itself is already worth a visit. This picturesque seaside village is located between Muizenberg and Cape Point. Walk through the main road and gaze at the lovely facades of the colorful wooden houses. I truly recommend having fresh fish and chips in one of the restaurants at the waterfront, it is the best in all Sub-Saharan Africa!   

Just outside of Simon’s Town, at Boulders Beach, you will find a large colony of penguins. It is a unique experience to walk with these African Penguins who climb over the smooth rocks and walk around freely. Some of them are breeding in holes in the sand, whereas others just play around on the beach and in the water. You will definitely fall in love with these cute little animals.

2. Muizenberg - visiting the other side of the Cape

Walk along the long stretched white sandy beach of Muizenberg. This warm water paradise is the perfect location to learn how to surf. The beach break offers gentle waves and makes it easy for beginners to pick up the sport.

If you don’t feel like getting that active, you can just sit on the beach and enjoy watching the surfers struggling to catch some waves. The beach is perfect for a chilled family day. It is a safe area and the lifeguards ensure this. When you feel like a refreshing drink you can go to one of the trendy cafes for a healthy fruit juice or an organic coffee. Either way, you will enjoy your day in Muizenberg for sure!

3. Cape Point National Park

The Cape Point national Park can be found at the tip of Cape Peninsula and is registered in as world heritage site, and not without reason. The rough nature and magnificent cliffs will take away your breath. Here at Cape point, in the Cape of good hope nature reserve, you feel the elements and the toughness of nature. The wind here can blow so strong it is hard to walk. The endless ocean you look-out on is a water grave for ships, as many shipwrecks can be found on the ocean floor. When I visited the Cape Point national park, I hiked for two hours along the stunning coastline. The fast changing weather took me by surprise as suddenly a storm came up. During my hike, I was able to spot some of the shipwrecks and I made it back just in time before the heavy rain started to fall down. It was a magical scenery that reminded me of nature's forces.

So take your chance and experience this wild, incredible place! Walk around, visit the lighthouse and stare out onto the wide ocean.

Near Cape Town: Cape of Good Hope in Cape Point National Park

4. Clubbing at Long Street

When you are near Cape Town you should definitely experience the crazy party scene of Longstreet! This street is famous for its clubbing and fantastic nightlife. Every evening you will find the best parties going in this always crowded street. Go and visit one of the clubs. With a mix of techno, electronic and dubstep beats the alternative club Fiction will guaranty for a good night! My personal favorite is the club Era, just around the corner of Long street. The lower and darker floor plays harder techno, whereas the upper floor is more bright and colorful decorated. Go out and explore the nightlife of Longstreet, and party like it is your last night

5. Eating at V&A Foodmarket

The V&A food market on the Wharf in waterfront is a unique place where you can enjoy numerous of delicious meals, beers, coffees and ice-creams. It offers you an enormous diversity of different delicatessen. You can get everything from sweet pastry over fresh cheese and sushi rolls to smoothies with bubbles. Make sure you get an ice-cream sandwich at the crumbs & creams food truck, it’s just delicious.

6. Underground Tour at Castle of Good Hope

The Castle of good hope is the oldest building of Cape Town and is the best place to learn about the colonial history of the city. Take a tour and listen to stories about the hectic past of the Mother city. Afterward, you can take a rest in the beautiful courtyard of the castle and just enjoy the view of the imposing building. If you are longing for a more adventurous tour, go and discover the hidden tunnel system which spreads out underneath the city center of Cape Town. The underground tunnel tour starts in the garden of the Castle of good hope. Bring your headlamp and gumboots and be prepared to go on an adventure!

7. Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden

Stroll around through the wonderful gardens of Kirstenbosch. Within the buzzing city of Cape Town, you will find quietness and pure beauty here. Go here in the morning and enjoy the diverse flora and delicious smells. Bring some food and go for a nice picnic, or just take your time to read a book under one of the trees. If you get the chance I highly recommend visiting one of the summer sunset concerts. Listen to the music, watch the sunset and enjoy life.

8. Bo-Kaap District

At the foot of signal Hill, you will find the Bo-Kaap district with its unique culture and colorful houses from Malaysian immigrants. Dive into the fascinating history of this Muslim neighborhood with its beautiful mosques. Make sure to visit the museum and walk through the streets and enjoy the colorful houses. Take your time to get to know this district and amazing multi-cultural society.

9. Rhodes Memorial

Rhodes was an important African explorer and politician at the end of the 19th century. His impressive memorial on the lower slopes of Devil’s peak was inspired by greek architecture. The grand staircase represents the life of Rhodes, one step for each year of his life. But the memorial itself is not the only reason that this highlight is mentioned in my list of unique things to do near Cape Town. Besides the impressive architecture, the memorial offers a great view on the suburbs near Cape Town. Enjoy this great view during a tasty lunch or coffee in the tea garden of the unique destination restaurant just behind the memorial. For the adventurers among you, I highly recommend combining the visit to the Rhodes memorial with a hike up Devil's peak. The track starts just behind the memorial and takes you up to the saddle between Table Mountain and Devil's peak and further up to the summit. This is truly one the most amazing hikes in Cape Town and its surroundings.

10. Big Bay, the surfer's paradise near Cape Town

Go to Big Bay in Blouberg and enjoy the best view you can get on table mountain! With devil's peak clearly on the left side, the flat Table mountain in the middle, either with or without the tablecloth, and Lion's head on its right, you can enjoy this unique view of Cape Town and its mountains. The beach front contains plenty of nice little cafe’s and restaurants and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a cold drink. Besides this, Big Bay is famous for its watersports. On a windless day, you will see the water full of surfers, Stand Up Paddle boarders (SUP), and bodyboarders trying to catch waves. As the wind picks up they will make way for the windsurfers and kitesurfers and you can enjoy watching them flying high above the horizon.

Cape Town is a unique and sensational city with thousands of thing to do. There will never be enough time to explore all of the opportunities found near Cape Town, but you can try and experience as much of possible.

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