Time Out’s recent ranking of Cape Town as second among the 50 best cities in the world in 2024 has sparked interest and excitement. It’s not surprising, given that Cape Town is a city brimming with captivating natural beauty, pristine beaches, and a unique blend of culture, history, and adventure.
Join us on a journey to discover what sets Cape Town apart and why you should add it to your must-visit destinations.
The World’s Best Cities
Time Out’s 2024 rankings revealed the best cities in the world to visit:
- New York: The city that never sleeps, a dreamer’s paradise always on the move.
- Cape Town: South Africa’s dazzling urban jewel, an exhilarating display of life and grandeur.
- Berlin: A city that artfully intertwines its poignant past with a pulsating present.
- London: Where historical grandeur gracefully coexists with vibrant modernity.
- Madrid: A vibrant blend of history and modernity, famed for its art, lively plazas, and rich culinary heritage.
While each city possesses its own uniqueness, today we focus on Cape Town, a city that truly deserves recognition and exploration.
Cape Town Tourism
Cape Town recently reported a record-breaking tourism season, with its international airport experiencing the highest ever monthly internal arrivals.
In December 2023, over 317,000 international passengers passed through Cape Town International Airport, surpassing the previous record of 290,000 set in January 2020, as highlighted by James Vos, Mayco Member for Economic Growth. This surge in visitors underscores Cape Town’s growing appeal as a top global destination.
Cape Town Unveiled
Cape Town is a city that offers a unique variety of attractions from its natural beauty to trendy nightlife hubs. Here’s a glimpse into what makes Cape Town truly special:
Table Mountain: The iconic backdrop of Cape Town is a hiker’s paradise and nature lover’s haven, presenting a range of trails catering to various skill levels and offering astounding views that will leave you in awe.
The Table Mountain cable car provides a quick ride to the top of the mountain while still providing incredible views of the city below.
Robben Island: A symbol of resilience and freedom, where visitors can gain deep insights into the turbulent history of South Africa and the struggles that shaped its path to democracy.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens: A heavenly oasis for nature enthusiasts, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in exquisite flora, art exhibitions, and open-air concerts that harmonise with the beauty of nature.
Bo-Kaap: Known for its brightly coloured houses and cobblestone streets, Bo-Kaap is a historic and culturally rich area that reflects the diverse heritage of Cape Town. The neighbourhood is famous for its Cape Malay culture, offering a unique blend of history, cuisine, and architecture.
Boulders Beach: Home to a charming colony of African penguins, this pristine beach offers a rare opportunity to share the sands with these delightful creatures, creating an enchanting experience.
V&A Waterfront: A bustling hub of shopping, dining, and cultural activities, set against a stunning backdrop of the ocean and majestic mountains, providing a vibrant atmosphere that captivates all who visit.
District Six Museum: An emotional journey through history, allowing visitors to delve into the complex past of apartheid and gain a deeper understanding of the human resilience that emerged from adversity.
Cape Winelands: A world renowned region near Cape Town, famed for its world-class vineyards and historic estates. The Cape Winelands offers a delightful experience with world-class tastings, fine dining cuisine, and picturesque views.
Signal Hill: A place of tranquillity and serenity, perfect for witnessing beautiful sunsets over the Atlantic ocean, sharing a picnic with loved ones, and relishing sweeping panoramic views of Cape Town.
Cape Town’s Cultural Highlights
Central to Cape Town’s allure as a top travel destination is its rich cultural tapestry that weaves together a vibrant and diverse community:
First Thursdays: A monthly celebration of the city’s thriving art scene, where galleries and cultural venues within the Cape Town’s City Bowl open their doors to enthusiasts and art lovers alike, showcasing the city’s creative pulse.
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA): Housing Africa’s largest collection of contemporary art, this museum in a repurposed grain silo exemplifies Cape Town’s artistic innovation and commitment to showcasing the best of Africa’s artists.
Cape Town’s Second New Year (Cape Town Minstrel Carnival): Celebrated on January 2nd, this vibrant festival features colourful parades, music, and dance, reflecting the city’s cultural diversity and history.
Cape Town’s Culinary Delights
Cape Town’s culinary scene is a feast for the senses, capturing the essence of the traditions and latest food trends that shape the city’s diverse flavours:
Seafood: Fresh catches from the Atlantic, ranging from casual fish and chips to fine dining establishments offering exquisite seafood platters. Local favourites include snoek, a type of mackerel, and hake, often savoured grilled or fried.
Cape Malay Cuisine: A true culinary treasure, Cape Malay food welcomes you to savour a fusion of aromatic spices and unique flavours influenced by the Cape’s rich history.
Wine: A trip to Cape Town is not complete without exploring the world-class vineyards of the nearby Cape Winelands. Sip on superb wines, stroll through picturesque vineyards, and discover the art of winemaking in this breathtaking region.
Gatsbys: A local culinary invention, these massive sandwiches, bursting with a delightful medley of flavours, are a must-try for any hungry traveller seeking a unique taste sensation.
Markets to Discover
Immerse yourself in Cape Town’s vibrant market scene to discover local flavours and artisanal crafts:
The Neighbourgoods Market: Located in trendy Woodstock, this bustling market is a haven for foodies and fashion enthusiasts alike, offering an array of culinary and creative delights to tempt your senses.
City Farm Market: Set in the heart of the city, this market celebrates the beauty of local farming, offering a bounty of fresh produce, organic goods, and a delightful community experience.
Mojo Market: Situated in Sea Point, this lively indoor market combines tantalising cuisines, live entertainment, and a vibrant atmosphere, making it a perfect place to while away the hours.
Practical Travel Tips
Here are some useful tips to ensure your Cape Town holiday is seamless and enjoyable:
Getting Around: Renting a car provides the freedom to explore Cape Town’s outskirts, while utilising ride-sharing services like Uber and Bolt offer convenience for short trips within the city.
Safety: Like any major city, it’s essential to exercise caution and common sense. While Cape Town generally offers a safe environment for travellers, it’s advisable to be aware of your surroundings, especially at night, and follow any local guidelines or advice.
Cape Town Awaits You
Cape Town is not just a destination; it’s an experience that touches the soul and leaves an indelible mark on your heart. Pack your bags for a holiday in Cape Town and prepare to be inspired as you weave your way through a city that consistently ranks among the world’s best.
The delights of the city await your arrival, promising an adventure that will rank among your best travel experiences and create unforgettable memories. Contact Discover Africa to start planning your unforgettable vacation in Cape Town.