Romantic Cape Town
The Mother City has always been big on love, so allow us to help with 50 ways to ensure you knock it out of the park with one of these epic dates.
It’s the best way to see Cape Town and your date will feel like a movie star. Soar over the majestic mountain ranges of the Cape Peninsula, across the glistening oceans, as you take in the bird’s eye view of the Mother City. Cape Town has plenty of operators such as Cape Town Helicopter Tours, Nac Makana Helicopters, Wings over Africa and Cape Town Helicopters, all of whom offer a range of trips to suit your needs.
COUPLE’S MASSAGE / SPA SESSION
Cape Town has a lot to boast about when it comes to top spas and retreats. Treat yourself and your nearest and dearest to a sensual, and intimate, couples massage at any one of the epic spas in the Mother City, including Mangwanani Spa, The Twelve Apostles, The Vineyard Hotel and more.
HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE RIDE
Take a romantic trip for two around the city in a horse-drawn carriage. Nothing smacks more of romance than whisking your lady-love around the Mother City’s historic landmarks on this old-school mode of transport. The Cape Town Carriage Company runs trips that take in all the major historic landmarks, including a short stop-over at the Company’s Gardens. Trips last between 60-to-90 minutes with a glass of sparkling grape juice provided. But you are allowed to take your own refreshments along with you as well.
SUNSET CABLE-CAR TRIP
Table Mountain is iconic. And a trip up the cable way to watch the sun set over the Mother City is uber romantic. Once at the top crack open some bubbly as you and your date take in the views of the most beautiful city in the world. Depending on what time of the year you go, you should have some time to soak in the vibes, before popping the cork (or question) as the sun sets and the city slowly descends into darkness.
HORSE-RIDING ON NOORDHOEK BEACH
It’s like something out of a movie. Watch the sun set on one of the most beautiful and serene beaches in the city, while sitting astride a horse, with your partner right beside you. Sleepy Hollow Horse Riding has been operating in the Noordhoek Valley since 1975 and offers a wide range of riding activities. Beach rides are limited to six people, so you could max out on the romance by enjoying the experience with two other loving couples. So take in a sunset over the Atlantic Ocean or feel the wind in your hair while cantering along the seashore, either way you score big in the romance stakes.
MOVIE UNDER THE STARS
Steer clear of the usual movie experience and take your date to an open-air cinema. Choose from one of the Galileo Open Air Theatres or take advantage of the Pink Flamingo Rooftop Cinema at the Grand Daddy Hotel situated in the heart of the city. Shows sell out fast though, particularly on Valentine’s Day, so book quickly. This experience is weather dependant and closes over the rainy months, so check the listings before making plans.
SUNSET BOAT CRUISE
You are in Cape Town, the most beautiful city in the world, take advantage of the location and charter a luxury yacht for a sunset cruise to Clifton 4th Beach or Table Bay. Top if off with some champagne and some oysters as you and your partner soak it all in. Enjoy the tranquillity of the scene as the sun sets over one of the most incredible backdrops on the planet. In the heart of the V&A Waterfront you’ll find the exclusive Classic Cape Charters, which offers sunset cruises and more.
HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE
There are so many ways to see and experience Cape Town, but none as exciting – or romantic – as riding in a hot-air balloon. Help with the rigging of a balloon at sunrise and float silently over the peaceful landscapes of the Cape Winelands for an hour. Enjoy the exquisite scenery and views of Table Mountain in the distance, followed by a luxurious breakfast at the Grande Roche Hotel. You will have your date swooning in no time! Check out www.kapinfo.com for more information on how to make this happen.
Sometimes it is the simplest things that are most romantic. Sundowners are something of an old faithful for all the Don Juans out there and Cape Town lends itself to the pastime perfectly. Seriously where else in the world are you going to find such prime locations for watching the sun go down with a glass of bubbly or fine wine in hand? That’s right, nowhere. From The Bungalow in Clifton and The Grand Café and Beach in Granger Bay, to the Roundhouse in Camps Bay and the Monkey Valley Beach Nature Resort in Noordhoek, the choices are unlimited.
THEATRE ON THE BAY
Nothing wrong with a bit of culture on V-Day and Theatre on the Bay is one of the most perfect locations to catch a show. Have dinner at the theatre’s restaurant before the show and then take advantage of any one of the bars on the Camps Bay strip for a late-night glass of wine or cocktail after the curtain falls.
TAKE A HIKE
Get those endorphins working overtime with a brisk morning hike! It’s not just beneficial to your health, but the pay-off in a city like this is huge. In fact, Cape Town is a hiker’s dream city with Table Mountain offering a range of trails, varying in difficulty, while Cape Point – just an hour outside of the city centre also offering a number of short walks with unrivalled views. Your date will appreciate the change of pace and an early start means you can still pack in more romantic gestures.
DINNER AT EL BURRO’S
For a romantic dinner with a vibe, try El Burro in Greenpoint. Delicious, authentic Mexican food and top quality tequilas are sure to smooth over any awkward first date vibes and if you’re part of a couple, the vibe and mood lighting can only add to your loved-up happiness.
PICNIC AT BUITENVERWACHTING
The historic Cape Dutch farmstead and winery at Buitenverwachting frame the beautiful gardens studded with ancient trees where guests can indulge in a pre-booked summer picnic. Picnics are served in baskets under the oak trees. Snoek Paté, Vegetarian Quiche, Grilled Boerewors, Ham, Bobotie Bites, Chicken Roll, Beetroot, Feta ,Greenbean Salad & Potato Salad – that’s just a taste of what’s on the menu.
Filled with delicious fresh local produce, refreshing drinks and fine wines. Meandering through the vineyards, you reach the Franschhoek river and decide on an idyllic spot under ancient oaks to relax and enjoy the slow flow of the day. Forget about time and relax completely – staff check on your supplies in case you decide to stay a little bit longer with another chilled bottle of rosé.
CHOCOLATE LINDT STUDIO
Nothing goes more hand-in-hand with romance than chocolate. Treat your sweetheart to a trip to the Lindt Chocolate Studios in Cape Town and up the sweetness by choosing a personally selected gourmet goodie bag. The studios offer pick and mix facilities for all their elegant chocolate creations, while there are also a variety of courses to enrol in to keep the chocolaty goodness flowing.
VALENTINES DAY PICNIC
Spend your day in the Cape Winelands with a romantic picnic on the Webersburg lawns in front of the Manor House. Overlooking the serene lake nestled between the majestic mountains, this lush estate with pristinely manicured gardens forms the perfect setting and backdrop for an idyllic day to remember.
PICK YOUR OWN ROSES AT CHART FARM
Chart Farm in Wynberg – just 10 minutes out of the city centre – offers a farm-style retreat from the bright lights of the city. It is also the only place in the Peninsula that allows you to pick your own roses. What better way to say ‘I love you’ with a bunch of hand-picked roses? If you want to extend the time on the farm, grab breakfast at the Coffee Terrace and take in the views of the Constantia Valley.
What is more dramatic than a secluded beach of glowing white sand surrounded by wilderness and an endless horizon of saphhire waves topped with sparkling white crowns? Windswept and beautiful, Diaz Beach in Cape Point is a landscape all to yourselves and thus perfect for a first date surprise.
LOVE AT KIRSTENBOSCH
The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens are Cape Town’s claim to botanical fame and are both soothingly pretty and amazingly accessible. Wander the grounds hand in hand, pick a secluded spot for a picnic or grab a bite to eat at the restaurant – your date will appreciate your love of nature.
SAMANTHA MORGAN CERAMIC CLASSES
If you ever saw ‘Ghost’ you know that clay is dead sexy in the right hands. Show off your creative side by enrolling you and your partner for ceramics classes at Samantha Morgan Ceramics. Even if you don’t have the magic touch, your thoughtfulness and desire to try new things will definitely hit the right notes.
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK
Pack a picnic, a fine bottle of wine, and treat your partner to Shakespeare in the Park at Maynardville. The annual run is a popular one, so make sure you book early. It’s the perfect idea for a romantic evening out. (Seasonal).
MAKE A TRAIL OF LOVE
Cape Town has loads of trails to run, but Pipe Track is a personal favourite. Treat your better half to something different by going for an early morning run. The trail can be tough in sections, but it’s not too brutal and the steps at the top provide you with one of the best views in the city for a sunrise. It’s the also the perfect spot for a proposal and she may even be too tired to say no… genius!
RENT A MOTORBIKE FOR TWO
Here’s something a little different, but still a fun experience. You can pick your route to ensure that it’s scenic. Stop off along the way at a wine farm for a romantic picnic. Cape Town has a few companies to choose from such as Cape Bike Rentals and Cape Bike Travel.
RENT BICYCLES ON THE SEA POINT PROMENADE
The Sea Point Promenade has long been a popular place for couples to stroll hand-in-hand and enjoy whatever the area has to offer. Why not mix it up a bit this month of love and rent bicycles, picnic somewhere on the route and maybe get in a fun round of putt-putt? Try Up Cycles or Rent a Bicycle for bicycle hire.
EARLY MORNING LION’S HEAD HIKE TO WATCH THE SUNRISE FOLLOWED BY BREAKFAST
Hiking Lion’s Head is always going to be scenic, but hiking it early to watch the sunrise from the top is simply spectacular and very romantic. After the hike, amble through the Company’s Gardens and eat at the restaurant for a delicious breakfast. It’s the perfect way to start Valentine’s Day.
CATCH THE SUNSET ON SIGNAL HILL
Sunrises and sunsets are perhaps the most romantic times of the day and Signal Hill is a great place to see the latter. Pack a picnic and take in the amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean and Robben Island.
GO TEN-PIN BOWLING
Enjoying life like a kid is probably one of the best ways to experience anything. One of the ways to do so is ten-pin bowling. It’s fun and hassle-free and no one can really take themselves too seriously in those bowling shoes. Grand West boasts a great venue while there are also alleys at the Pines Tenpin Bowling & Entertainment Centre in Parow and Let’s Go Bowling at Stadium on Main in Claremont.
FOR THE THRILL SEEKERS – PARAGLIDING OR ABSEILING OFF THE MOUNTAIN
There’s no bonding quite like the kind that takes place when you’re jumping off a mountain together, right? If that strikes your fancy, then paragliding or abseiling off the mountain is a good bet. The paragliding is done in tandem with an instructor, so not really all that romantic on the way down, but it gives you a great experience as a couple.
A PICNIC ON AT ONE OF THE LOCAL WINE FARMS
There are five big wine routes in and around Cape Town and most offer amazing picnic spots. You can call ahead to book a picnic basket and some places allow you to reserve a specific spot. It’s romantic and very easy to organise.
RENT A CLASSIC CAR AND GO A SCENIC DRIVE
Everyone can appreciate a good looking classic car and its back-to-basics driving dynamics. If you’re looking for a way to treat your guy or girl, why not see if you can rent an old version of one of their favourite cars? Classic Car Hire does just that. You can plan the day so that you take in a scenic route and with a stop at a wine farm on the way.
WINE AND CHOCOLATE PAIRING
Two of the best things in life are wine and chocolate. And some of our local farms offer the two together in a wine and chocolate tasting experience. Why not try it out with your significant other?
TAKE A CITY SIGHT-SEEING BUS AND STOP OFF FOR LUNCH ALONG THE WAY
The City Sightseeing Bus is one of the must-do activities in Cape Town as it offers a unique perspective on the city, while offering up some interesting insights into the various places on the route. Whichever route you choose, why not plan it so that you stop off for a romantic lunch spot along the way? It’s a fun activity for couples to do together.
A TOUR OF THE DIAMOND MUSEUM
Diamonds are girl’s best friend. Or so the saying goes. So, taking a tour of a diamond museum will surely be an activity that she will love. And for extra points, you could always buy her a diamond on the way out. Visit the Cape Town Diamond Museum or Prins & Prins for this unique experience.
ROMANTIC OVERNIGHT STAY AT ONE OF THE HOTELS IN THE CITY
An old favourite is a night away. Even if it’s just up the road, it will still feel like a special occasion when you stay overnight at one of the amazing accommodation spots that this city has to offer. You can plan ahead and have the room made up or book a table at the establishment’s restaurant for dinner.
SET UP A HASSLE-FREE ROMANTIC DINNER/PICNIC AT HOME WITH DIAL-A-PICNIC
If you don’t like stressing out over the finer details of planning a romantic evening at home or you’re not a whiz in the kitchen, then this is a great solution and a wonderful treat for your loved one. Dial-a-picnic will ensure that you have everything you need for the night. To make it extra special, try setting a theme and both of you can dress up for it.
VISIT THE AQUARIUM
A a daytime visit to the Aquarium is definitely an option for a first date! It’s a fun activity that both of you can enjoy and it will take you back to being a kid again. There’s also a great new Smart Living Challenge Zone that comprises of interactive stations that have the themes of energy, water, waste and biodiversity. In this zone, you get to learn more about how to better treat the environment. You and your loved one can make a pledge to live cleaner together!
VISIT CAPE POINT
Cape Point is a spectacular sight, covered in endemic fynbos and home to breathtaking bays, beaches and rolling green hills and valleys, just 60km outside of Cape Town. There is so much you can do here with your loved one – ride the fenicular, grab a meal at the Two Oceans Restaurant, explore the shipwreck trail together, do one of the many hikes in the reserve and more! Pack a picnic and enjoy!
DINNER AND LIVE JAZZ AT THE CRYPT RESTAURANT IN THE DUNGEON OF ST GEORGE’S CATHEDRAL
Dinner and live music in the dungeon of St George’s Cathedral? Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, you can have just that at the Crypt Restaurant. The setting is romantic and intimate, so the perfect dinner place for those looking for romance.
CATCH A SHOW AT THE BAXTER THEATRE
There’s always something going on at the Baxter Theatre. For February there’s a wide variety of shows that will appeal to everyone. The Baxter venue itself has a fully equipped restaurant and bar so you can go through early and grab dinner and a drink before the show.
HAVE SOME FUN WITH ICE SKATING
Another one of those experiences that come straight out of a movie – ice-skating hand-in-hand. The ice rink at Grand West is a cool (see what I did there?) way to spend time together. Assuming that both of you have at least a small grasp of ice-skating, it should be fun. And if you end up on your bum most of the night, just keep laughing it off. It’s all part of the fun.
RIDE THE BIG WHEEL
I know, I need to stop watching rom-coms, but this too comes from the movies. Catch a ride on the Cape Wheel of Excellence at the V&A Waterfront and take in the amazing views. It’s a quick ride, but it’s romantic and you can always get something to eat at one of the many restaurants in the area.