Two months ago, I escaped the brutality of New Jersey’s winter and made the worthwhile trek to the majestic South African city of Cape Town. Between gorgeous natural wonders, fine dining, fun adventures and breathtaking beaches, it is safe to say that Cape Town is my new favorite travel destination!
Travelers throughout the world have developed a sense of wonder for Cape Town and there are numerous reasons why this coastal city is considered a top place to visit. Check out my insider guide for areas to stay in, places to eat and drink, adventures to partake in and beaches to relax at.
The Best Areas to Stay in Cape Town
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront (V&A Waterfront) offers incredible views of the Atlantic Seaboard and iconic Table Mountain. Known as the top destination to shop at in Cape Town, you can find authentic African art, jewelry, home goods and more at V&A Waterfront. In addition, this lively waterfront area offers fine dining, live entertainment and a Ferris wheel that provides 360-degree views of the city and nearby mountains.
Known as Cape Town’s trendy residential area, Green Point is in walking distance to V&A Waterfront as well as to some of the city’s best hotspots. It is also in Green Point where the 2010 FIFA World Cup was taken place! Nowadays, the stadium hosts concerts, sporting events and so much more!
Cape Town’s oceanfront district of Sea Point is a beautiful and lively area that features luxury high-rises, a sandy beach, breathtaking tidal pools, a scenic promenade and amazing views of the iconic Lion’s Head mountain. It is also here in Sea Point where you could find some of the best foodie options in Cape Town.
Located in the most affluent area of Cape Town, Clifton is a glistening white sand beach that is perfect for everyone! Separated by giant boulders, Clifton offers four amazing beaches: 4th Beach is where you will find families and young adults; 3rd Beach is popular with Cape Town’s LGBT community; 2nd Beach is where you can spot models and South Africa’s rich and famous and then 1st Beach is Cape Town’s pet-friendly area.
Camps Bay is a buzzing beach area with swanky restaurants and cocktail bars, adorable boutiques and a beautiful white sand beach. It is in Camps Bay where you will find some of the most breathtaking views of Cape Town’s mountains.
Where To Eat
Mojo Market is a thriving foodie haven and lifestyle market that offers something for everyone. Located in the Sea Point area of Cape Town, you can find anything and everything at this place! Mojo Market’s food stands include Argentinian, Italian, Hawaiian, Dutch, Southern Comfort, Japanese, Seafood, Middle Eastern, Vegan & Vegetarian, Chinese, Mexican, Spanish, Indian, traditional African and so much more! This lively market also offers amazing coffee shops, bakeries, candy stands, ice cream stalls and juice bars.
Hudsons The Burger Joint:
If you are looking for a local casual place to eat at, then Hudsons is the place to go! With locations all throughout the city, it is at Hudsons where you could enjoy classic American cuisine in a fun atmosphere.
During my time in Cape Town, I ate at some amazing restaurants, but one that stood out to me was El Burro. This authentic and quaint Mexican restaurant offers some of the best Mexican food and drinks you will ever indulge in. With four locations throughout the city, you can’t leave Cape Town without eating here!
Located in the colorful Bo Kaap area of Cape Town, Dinkel Bakery is a local café with amazing coffee and German baked goods. I highly recommend visiting this quaint bakery, as it is located in a cute little house with a picture-perfect courtyard. It is at Dinkel Bakery where you could indulge in delicious breads, pastries, cakes, sandwiches, salads and so much more!
If you are looking for a great rooftop restaurant and bar to savor all of Cape Town’s amazing views, Sevruga is the place to go! Known to offering some amazing sushi and seafood, it is at Sevruga where you could get an exquisite dining experience. This wonderful restaurant is located at V&A Waterfront.
Cape Town Adventures
Private Wine Tour in South Africa’s Winelands:
One of the best adventures during my time in Cape Town was participating in a wine tour in the breathtaking towns of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. During the wine tour, you will receive an enriching education about the history of the winelands and you will also taste 5-star wines and delicious food! There are several companies you can choose from to do a private wine tour. I highly recommend doing your research to find the best one to suit your budget and travel goals.
Hike Table Mountain National Park or Lion’s Head:
One of the best ways to receive amazing views of Cape Town is by either hiking or taking a gondola up to the iconic Table Mountain or Lion’s Head. During my time in Cape Town, I went to the top of Table Mountain and was amazed by the amount of different trails, viewing points and of course, the scenery! Table Mountain is also part of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
Sandboard in the Dunes:
During your time in Cape Town, you could also learn a new sport – sandboarding! Similar to snowboarding, you are given a board that will secure both of your feet inside and you use your hips and lower body to direct your way down the dunes. I had such a blast when I went sandboarding in South Africa and I highly recommend it for anyone visiting. The company I went through for this great adventure was Sandboarding Cape Town. They offer some fun packages for you to choose from!
Wander through Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens:
Considered to be the most beautiful garden on the continent and one of the most grandeur botanical gardens of the world, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town is the perfect place to get lost in. It is at Kirstenbosch where you could spot unique plant life and catch some gorgeous views of South African nature. It is truly a magical place!
Visit a Local Safari:
As opposed to the terrain in Northern South Africa, the Cape Town area definitely doesn’t lend itself to game reserves. If you are only staying in Cape Town during your time in South Africa, there are a few wildlife reserves where you could still get that safari experience. A few popular safaris near Cape Town are Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, Garden Route Game Lodge and Gondwana Private Game Reserve.
Relaxing at the Beach
In my own opinion, Clifton offers the best white sand beach in Cape Town. It is powdery soft and super easy to walk on. Another perk about this gorgeous beach is that there are massive boulders where you can set your beach towel on and sunbathe in a secluded area.
Located 45 minutes from the heart of the city, Boulders Beach is where you could find the famous South African Penguins! Because of these cute little fellows, Boulders Beach tends to become a bit of a tourist trap. Even though this beach gets crowded, it is still worth it to make your way there to see the penguins and to also get a glimpse of this gorgeous area. The beach offers fresh white sand and inlets between granite boulders. You will fall in love with Boulders Beach!
As I mention above, Camps Bay offers a main strip that features glitzy restaurants, high-end boutiques and great nightspots. Even though Camps Bay tends to be more of a public beach in a sense where it is easier for people to access, there are so many wonderful gems about it! My favorite part of Camps Bay is where you could walk on the rocks and watch the ocean crash along them. Camps Bay also offers breathtaking views of the overpowering Twelve Apostles from Table Mountain National Park!
Known as the beach with the colorful bungalows, Muizenberg is a largely kept secret to Cape Town. Located a half hour from the heart of the city, Muizenberg attracts very few tourists and is known as one of South Africa’s largest surfing communities amongst the locals.
Sea Point is a wonderful beach that offers stunning tidal pools, gorgeous oceanfront views, great eateries and so much more! It is at this wonderful beach where you can stroll along the promenade and get a true taste of South African culture.
Overall, this gorgeous coastal city is filled with so much natural wonder, great food, friendly animals, outstanding artwork and so much more. I hope you all enjoyed this guide to beautiful Cape Town, South Africa!