Coming for the weekend, or just popping by for a couple of days? We’ve got you covered!
- One of the best ways to experience as much of Cape Town in the shortest time is to spend the day hopping on and off CitySightseeing’s distinctive red topless buses.With several routes from which to choose, simply riding along and taking in the scenery is one option and takes about an hour and a half, but stops at many popular indoor and outdoor attractions mean you can visit, among others, the top of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch, the World Of Birds (www.worldofbirds.org.za), the historic wine farms of Constantia, or the District Six Museum (www.districtsix.co.za) where you can immerse yourself in the memories of what was one of Cape Town’s most colourful communities before its residents were subjected to forced removals during the Apartheid era. The circular Red City Tour includes Camps Bay and the Sea Point promenade, both excellent destinations for catching some sun and sea breezes, along with an ice cream cone or a sundowner cocktail. City Sightseeing (www.citysightseeing.co.za) has a ticket kiosk at the V&A Waterfront, which can easily take up a few hours of your time on its own. Do some shopping, take a spin on the Cape Wheel (www.capewheel.co.za), or marvel at the diversity of our marine life at the Two Oceans Aquarium (www.aquarium.co.za).In the evening, sundowners with a view are a must, followed by dinner at one of our top restaurants, whether it’s fine dining or casual in-your-face burgers. Finish the night with some live local music on Long Street in the city centre, or making new friends at a friendly bar.
- It’s day two in Cape Town and you’ve already done quite a lot but still only scratched the surface. Today, hire a car – or join a tour operator, many of which will tailor a day trip to suit you – and head south along the scenic Chapman’s Peak drive and then on to Cape Point, part of the Table Mountain National Park and home to an abundance of flora and fauna. Make your next stop at Boulders Beach near Simon’s Town, home to one of the few land-based penguin colonies in the world. Continue your journey along the False Bay coastline to Kalk Bay harbour, enjoy fresh-off-the-boat seafood, followed by a stroll along the quaint cobbled streets and some antique hunting. Not to be missed is Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden (www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch), the first botanical garden in the world to be established (in 1913) to protect local flora. Its lawns are ideal for picnics and there are several walking trails. These will ideas will all fill most of the day, but if you want to visit more than one or two destinations, we suggest you plan according to area. The closer to where you are staying the better, as it cuts down on travel times. The city centre, for example, has many attractions that can be explored on foot. Head to Long Street and work your way up – or down. It’s full of interesting shops and inexpensive restaurants. Sit at a pavement table to people watch, but remember to hold onto your valuables, or keep them out of sight. This adventure can continue into the night at one of the bars or nightclubs. Branch off into Church Street, which is a tiny tree-lined pedestrian mall. Café Mozart (www.themozart.co.za) is a charming café, traders set up tables with antiques and books, and street entertainment by buskers picks up during the lunch hour.
- On your third day in Cape Town you can relax a little. A boat trip to Robben Island will take a fair amount of time – at least three to four hours. Another option is a guided tour of a township to experience the vibrant and colourful communities living there; meet the people, taste the food, feast your eyes on the array of handcrafts and be inspired. No trip to Cape Town is complete without a visit to our picturesque winelands. Choose one of the wine-producing areas and sample a mouth-watering selection of fine Cape wines, cheeses, chocolates and olives. The Constantia and Durbanville valleys are both less than half an hour from the city centre, while the Helderberg, Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are a bit farther – 40 minutes to an hour. Remember to factor this when planning your trip, as well as lunch at one the farms; it’s better not to drink on an empty stomach. Our tip is not to try to go to as many farms as humanly possible; in this case less is definitely more as you will have time to savour the wines and the beautiful scenery. Three is a manageable number for you to “kuier” properly. Translated from Afrikaans it means “visit” but it’s a small word which encompasses much more than that – good wine, good conversation, good friends, and good times. This evening, try another of our busiest, vibiest streets – Bree in the city centre. It has lots of great bars and trendy restaurants. Take in a live theatre show, or tickle your funny bone at the Cape Town Comedy Club (V&A Waterfront, capetowncomedy.com). Even if your visit is short and you’re feeling a twinge of FOMO, remember the words of a wise person: “wherever you go, leave something un-done. That way you have to go back.” We look forward to seeing you again.