Cape Town is a city that has many exiting places and attractions not to be missed. In fact, it is a city that has plenty to offer regardless of how many times you return; you will never be able to see and experience all the exiting things worth doing during a single visit.
So whilst I could easily extend the list endlessly, here are my top 5 places I truly recommend not to miss in the Mother City!
Silo District & MOCCA museum
The latest addition to Cape Town’s waterfront has quickly become one of the hippest places in town. The old grain silos – built in the 1920s – are now home to the spectacular Zeitz MOCAA museum and the equally amazing Silo Hotel.
In addition, there are a number of small boutiques, art galleries, several excellent restaurants and cafés in the area.
The most spectacular spot offering views over the harbour area and the wider surroundings no doubt is the Silo Hotel’s rooftop terrace. However, you need usually reserve well ahead if you want to score a place at this highly sought after spot. Alternatively, head to the hotel’s The Willaston Bar on the sixth floor. No prior reservations are required here and the views are still spectacular.
Home to the Cape Malay community, Bo Kaap with its beautiful coloured houses lies at the foot of Signal Hill, in easy walking distance to the downtown area. The quarter was established in the 1760s when the first houses were built and then rented to slaves originally brought to South Africa from Malaysia, Indonesia and the rest of Africa by the Dutch. Back at the time, all houses had to be painted white but once slaves were allowed to buy the houses they formerly rented out, they started to paint them as an expression of their freedom.
Yes, it is likely one (the most?) touristy location you can find in Cape Town, attracting more than 20 million people per year. So expect to find the typical gift shops and lots of chain restaurants.
Still the area is gorgeous, offering amazing views over table mountain and the harbour area. And avoiding the most obvious tourist traps, you can actually find appealing African art and handcrafted items. Just head to Watershed market. It’s a real treasure trove.
In addition, the V&A food market offers a great choice of freshly prepared food and is an excellent alternative to local restaurants. It’s located in the Old Power Station building which in itself is a nice landmark.
Oranjezicht City Market
This weekly farmers market located in Granger Bay just a few steps away from the bustling V&A Waterfront is one of the city’s best well known ‘secrets’. Held every Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm, it sees many locals shopping for fresh, seasonal produce, beautiful flower arrangements and other useful kitchen stuff and decorations. On site, you can also enjoy freshly prepared food and drinks.
Cape Point Vineyards
OK, technically speaking it is not located in Cape Town. However, since visitors typically consider the whole Cape Point area being part of Cape Town, I had to put it on this list.
With all the many excellent and beautiful wineries across the Cape Winelands and specifically Cape Town’s own wine area, Constantia, Cape Point Vineyards is a very special place.
Located at the end (or the start depending which route you chose) at the dramatic Chapman’s Peak Drive, overlooking Noordhoek beach and the Atlantic Ocean, it is the most south-westerly winery of the Cape Winelands.
During the warmer months the beautiful picnic area attracts many wine lovers; indeed it can become quite crowded around sunset when it really becomes a magical place.
Off course, wine tastings are offered and there is an on-site restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
On Thursdays, they also host an excellent food market from 4.30 pm to 20.30 pm. Expect to find a number of the country’s best food vendors.
Have you been to Cape Town yet? What were your favourite spots?