Cape Town Holiday

The ultimate guide to your next Cape Town holiday

Where to go Popular Cape Town Holidays About us
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  • llandudno beach
  • camps bay

    Everything you need to know about your Cape Town holiday

    Welcome to Discover Africa’s Cape Town holiday guide. A Cape Town holiday offers the visitor the best of South Africa’s natural and cosmopolitan attractions. From the world-renowned wine producing regions, to the exquisite natural beauty of Table Mountain National Park and everything inbetween. Curate your holiday experience and let us do the rest for you. It couldn’t be more easy.


    Where to go

    Travelling to Cape Town

    • Atlantic Seaboard

      The Atlantic Seaboard is a narrow band of suburbs sandwiched between the Table Mountain range and the Atlantic Ocean on Cape Town’s western coastline. The area’s proximity to both the ocean and the inner city makes it a well-loved destination for locals and visitors alike.

      bantry bay
      Bantry Bay is a luxurious coastal suburb along Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard

      Green Point is closest to Cape Town’s city center and is home to a world class sports stadium, several sports clubs and gymnasiums, a century-old golf course and a huge public park. Built in 1823, the eye-catching lighthouse at the northern edge of Green Point is the oldest operational lighthouse in South Africa.

      Near the lighthouse starts a promenade that runs along the coast leading to the sea-facing suburb of Sea Point. The Sea Point Promenade is somewhat of an institution amongst Capetonians as its wide walkway and sprawling lawns are favoured by casual walkers, joggers, skaters, cyclists and dog-walkers alike.

      sea point prom
      The Sea Point Promenade is somewhat of an institution for Capetonians and visitors alike.

      The upmarket suburbs of Clifton and Camps Bay are not only home to the most luxurious and expensive real estate in the country, but also the city’s top-ranking beaches. Clifton has four beaches with crystal clear water, named 1st to 4th, that are shielded from the regular southeasterly wind making it a popular sunset destination. The white sandy beach at Camps Bay is wide and flat and bordered by a bustling promenade with excellent restaurants and cocktail bars.

      About 10km south of Camps Bay lies the equally upmarket, but much more secluded suburb of Llandudno. Steep cliff sides hug a small but beautiful beach that’s popular among surfers and has a much more private feel than those further up the coastline. Llandudno is strictly residential, however, and there are no shops or restaurants to be found, so it’s best to bring a picnic basket for a day on the beach.

      Finally, on the southernmost end of the Atlantic Seaboard lies the historic fishing village of Hout Bay, framed by a sharp mountain peak that juts up into the air like a rhino horn, called The Sentinel. Literally translated, Hout Bay means “Wood Bay”, so called because much of early Cape Town’s construction material was sourced in the area. Today Hout Bay offers visitors an excellent collection of seafood restaurants, bustling weekend markets and boat trips to Duiker Island, the home of a resident seal population.

      • Highlights

        Restaurants along the Atlantic Seaboard, particularly those in Camps Bay and Hout Bay, offer exceptional sea food menus coupled with quintessential seaside charm.

        Cape Town’s premier beaches are found on the Atlantic Seaboard. The white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters of Clifton and Camp’s Bay are the most popular, but there are also many secluded spots like Beta Beach, Bakoven and Sandy Bay if you want to escape the crowds.

        Accommodation in Camps Bay and Clifton are consistently rated as the most exclusive, luxurious and scenic in all of Cape Town. While renting here comes at a premium, you’ll experience the very best in accommodation that Cape Town has to offer.

        clifton
        Camps Bay is consistently rated as the most luxurious and scenic in all of Cape Town.

        Chapman’s Peak Drive, starting on the southern edge of Hout Bay, is world renowned for its scenic beauty and engineering achievement. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

        chapmans peak
        Chapmans Peak Drive is one of the World’s most beautiful and connects the towns of Hout Bay and Noordhoek.

        The Atlantic Seaboard can be reached by a 30 minute car journey from Cape Town International Airport. All major car rental companies have counters at the airport and regular taxi and shuttle services offer transfers to any destination on the Atlantic Seaboard.

        Unless you intend to drive out of Cape Town, renting a car isn’t necessary as getting around on the Atlantic Seaboard is often much more convenient by taxi than having to search for parking everywhere you go.

        Book accommodation well in advance for the peak holiday seasons during December and January as the Atlantic Seaboard is a very popular destination.

    • City Bowl

      Cape Town’s City Bowl gets its name from the natural amphitheatre shape created by the slopes of Table Mountain and the towering peaks on its flanks, called Devils Peak and Lions Head. In other words, the City Bowl is the city center and as any local will tell you, it is where you feel the beating pulse of Cape Town the strongest.

      Apart from housing the city’s financial hub, the houses of parliament and one of Africa’s busiest harbors, the City Bowl is home to a diverse set of suburbs that each provide its own flair. The inner city is stacked with top restaurants, rooftop bars and local hangouts with some of the best found in Bree Street and Kloof Streets. Long Street in the heart of the city has a long standing reputation for being the heart of the party at night, but it also has a great variety of shops offering locally produced clothing, souvenirs and art.

      The cobbled streets and colourful houses of Bo-Kaap are a popular photographic destination. District Six, a suburb that suffered forced the removal of residents during Apartheid, has seen a revival in recent years and now boasts a collection of trendy eateries, coffee shops, dive bars and artisan shops in streets favoured by graffiti artists. This street artform extends into the adjacent suburb of Woodstock, a neighbourhood synonymous with entrepreneurs, artisanal craft makers, designers and artists.

      The City Bowl is home to some of the country’s top contemporary African and international art galleries and museums, all within walking distance from one another. For the history buff, the City Bowl offers a host of historical sites and museums such as the Zeitz Mocca, Castle of Good Hope, the Company Gardens, the District Six museum, the Isiko Slave Lodge and the Bo-Kaap museum that tell the tale of South Africa’s oldest city and its people.

      The City Bowl offers an exceptional array of accommodation options suited to all budgets, ranging from 5-star luxury hotels and villas to intimate boutique hotels, B&B’s, self-catering apartments and backpacker hostels. The area is mostly favoured by urbanite couples, individuals and groups of friends who enjoy the bustle of inner city life.

      cape town from the sky
      The City Bowl is centred in the heart of Cape Town’s beating heart Credit: Journey in Style
      • Highlights

        While a visit to the top of Table Mountain via the scenic cable car is a must, there aren’t many major cities in the world that can boast with such an array of scenic hiking trails at its core than Cape Town. The curve of surrounding peaks – Signal Hill, Lions Head, Devils Peak and Table Mountain – all contain hikes of varying difficulty and each offers a different yet exceptional view of the cityscape below.

        On the first Thursday of every month the art galleries in the City Bowl stay open until late for an event called First Thursdays. Bars and restaurants join in by opening up onto the sidewalk, often with live music performances and outdoor bars and food stalls, effectively turning the City Bowl into one big street party.

        Cape Town’s very best gastronomic experiences can be found in the City Bowl. Whether you fancy a quick snack, pub grub and craft beer or the pinnacle of fine dining with a local twist, you’ll find it all and more here.

        zeitz mocaa
        The Zeitz Mocaa is the new kid on the cultural block, but it packs an incredible punch in terms of visually-stimulating design and curation of art installations.

        Night life in the City Bowl is exceptional with a vibrant collection of performance arts and movie theatres, live music lounges, dance clubs and boutique bars.

        Cape Town city’s central district, known as the City Bowl, is only 25 minutes by car from Cape Town International Airport. Regular taxi and shuttle services connect to the city, while all major car rental companies have offices at the airport as well as in the City Bowl.

        You do not necessarily need a vehicle to explore the City Bowl. In fact, navigating traffic and finding parking is a headache best avoided. Instead make use of the MyCity public bus network, hail a taxi or explore on foot.

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    • False Bay

      Long before GPS was invented, the sailors of old returning from long sea voyages to the east confused this picturesque bay with the more famous Table Bay a bit further along the coast, thus giving False Bay its name.

      False Bay is an immense C-shaped curve in the coastline to the southeast of Table Mountain. At its widest point it is a staggering 30km across the bay! It comes as no surprise then that the bay is littered with numerous long sandy beaches, some of which have managed to escape any form of urban development.

      Tucked in the western corner of False Bay lies the quaint fishing village of Kalk Bay. Its harbor is a popular destination not only due to some excellent seafood restaurants but also for the local fishermen who sell their catch of the day straight off the boat. There are even a few resident Cape fur seals that have formed a unique bond with the fishermen, often posing together for photographs. On Kalk Bay’s main road is a fabulous assortment of art galleries, vintage bookshops, antique dealers and superb restaurants.

      A few minutes up the road from Kalk Bay is the epicentre of Cape Town’s surf scene, Muizenberg. It is known for being a great training ground for anyone learning to surf and thus draws adventurous souls of all ages. Naturally, a laid-back surf culture exists in town and you’ll get a feel for the vibe on Surfer’s Corner, a seafront strip lined with restaurants, pubs and surf shops.

      From Muizenberg, the beach runs uninterrupted for 40km along the inner curve of Table Bay, all the way to the Helderberg region which includes the towns of Somerset West, Strand and Gordon’s Bay. Somerset West, situated inland, is often seen as an off the beaten track destination with several hidden-gem wine farms. While Strand is the commercial hub of the area, Gordon’s Bay offers some small, yet scenic family-friendly beaches.

      seal island
      There is a small granite island in the bay (not discernible in the image above) called Seal Island, which is one of the main breeding sites for the Cape Fur seal and attracts the Great white sharks.
      • Highlights

        Muizenberg is regarded as one of South Africa’s top surfing spots since it has a very consistent swell, especially in the winter months. Conditions cater to all skill levels and several surf schools offer lessons for young and old.

        false bay
        An extreme aerial shot of False Bay taken from the International Space Station

        Clarens Drive on the R44 road between Gordons Bay and Rooi-Els is a stunning coastal drive. The narrow 21km-long pass snakes along the coastline between the Atlantic Ocean and the towering Hottentots Holland mountains, offering spectacular views along the way.

        Humpback, Bryde’s and Southern Right whales can be seen in False Bay during the late winter months when they migrate north to warmer climates.

        A visit to the Kalk Bay harbor is a must. It’s a tradition to eat fish and chips here and watch the resident seals interact with the fishermen.

        The Cheetah Outreach, a conservation initiative in Somerset West, offers the opportunity to get up close and personal with the fastest land animals on the planet.

        By car, the western side of False Bay is about 50 minutes by car from Cape Town city center while the far eastern end (Rooi-Els) is 1h30 by car.

        Public transport in False Bay is limited, therefore it is recommended to rent a vehicle if you intend to spend much time in the area.

      • Back to regions15-day Kruger, Cape Town, Mauritius Bush and Beach safari
    • Southern Peninsula

      The Cape Peninsula is rocky outcrop that reaches into the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean like a giant curved finger. At its southernmost point lies the Cape of Good Hope, so called because of the optimism it gave to early trading seafarers rounding the tip of Africa en route between Europe and the Far East.

      Geographically speaking, the Cape Peninsula actually starts in Mouille Point near the city center of Cape Town, therefore encompassing the Atlantic Seaboard, with the Table Mountain range running the length of the 52km-long outcrop. Ask any local however and they’ll point you instead to the tip of the peninsula between Hout Bay and Simons Town, commonly known as the South Peninsula.

      The South Peninsula is best known for Cape Point Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site within the southern section of the Table Mountain National Park. The 77,5km2 reserve contains dramatic scenery of the Atlantic coastline, a number of pristine footprint-free beaches, several hiking trails and two lighthouses with incredible views of the peninsula’s southernmost point. You might even spot some big game here – keep an eye out for zebra, eland, bontebok and ostrich.

      The small-town feel of Noordhoek, Kommetjie and Scarborough on the western side of the peninsula is favoured by visitors who want to escape the busy suburbs and popular beaches of the city, while surfers are equally fond of the less crowded surfing conditions.

      cape point
      The south peninsula is best known for Cape Point Nature Reserve - the most south western corner of the continent.

      On the eastern side of the peninsula lies Simon’s Town, a historical maritime town and headquarters of the South African Navy. The town is steeped in centuries-old naval history and the picturesque St George’s Street is lined with preserved Dutch-style buildings now home to boutiques, eateries, antique shops and coffee shops.

      The most famous attraction in Simon’s Town is the African penguin colony who call Boulder’s Beach their home. The beach is part of the national parks network and visitors can view the penguins from an elevated platform, or better yet, swim alongside them at the adjacent Foxy Beach.

      • Highlights

        During whale season from June to November, it is possible to spot migrating Humpback, Southern Right and Bryde’s whales rounding Cape Point. These gentle giants can also be spotted from elevated coastal vantage points like Boyes Drive and Chapmans Peak and Clarens Drive. For an up close and personal experience, boat trips are on offer from Simon’s Town harbour.

        chapmans peak
        One of the breathtaking vistas from a stopover on Chapmans Peak Drive.

        Chapmans Peak Drive on the western side of the Southern Peninsula sits right at the top of South Africa’s most scenic coastal drives. The pass in itself is a feat of engineering and the views will leave you breathless.

        Boulders Beach in Simons Town is a protected coastal habitat for a resident penguin colony and one of the only places in the world where you can get close to African penguins. Swimming alongside these unique sea creatures is certainly a bucket list experience!

        Cape Point is about 70km from the center of Cape Town and there is no public transport connection, so you’ll need to take a bus, taxi or self-drive to get there. The drive itself takes about an hour and a half. It is a great self-drive destination and a spectacular scenic drive that is best undertaken as a day trip. If you head out early, you can also visit some of the nearby coastal towns such as Hout Bay, Simon’s Town and Kalk Bay.

        If you prefer not to self-drive, there are numerous sightseeing bus companies and private tour operators that offer half and full day sightseeing tours to the tip of the peninsula and its surrounding towns and points of interest.

        noordhoek beach
        Horse riding on Noordhoek beach is an incredibly serene experience.
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    • Southern Suburbs

      The easiest way to understand where the southern suburbs are is to imagine Table Mountain in front of you: the southern suburbs are right behind the famous mountain. It contains nearly two dozen suburbs on either side of the M3 highway, all framed by the lush eastern slopes of the Table Mountain range.

      The leafy suburb of Newlands, nestled on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, is one of the city’s greenest neighborhoods. It is known for being the home of two of South Africa’s favourite sports, cricket and rugby, with many nail biting matches taking place at the two stadiums.

      The most famous destination in the Southern Suburbs is the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens that for more than a century has served as an important conservation area for some of South Africa’s most unique biomes. Its sprawling lawns, various indigenous gardens, hiking trails, restaurants, open-air concert stage and 130m-long treetop canopy walkway make it a popular year-round destination.

      The Southern Suburbs also contain one of Cape Town’s more surprising features: it has a number of superb wine farms a mere 20 minutes from the city center. Situated in the suburb of Constantia are a collection of small wine estates, some of which are more than 300 years old. Apart from award-winning wines, you can also look forward to fine dining, quaint coffee shops and exclusive boutiques.

      Holiday accommodation is plentiful in the southern suburbs and ranges from budget-conscious backpacker-style lodgings to superb guest houses, private home rentals and luxury 5-star hotels and wine estates. Solo travellers, families and couples alike will enjoy staying in this region. The southern suburbs enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere than Cape Town’s CBD, yet is close enough to the city center and the surrounding beaches for you to enjoy the best of both worlds.

      kirstenbosch
      The southern suburbs’ most famous inhabitant is Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens - a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Highlights

        The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens Summer Sunset Concerts are a highlight on Cape Town’s social calendar. From November to March each year the venue hosts South Africa’s top musical acts as well as some internationally recognised artists.

        The scenic Constantia Wine Route, a stone’s throw from the city center, has a portfolio of eight wine estates to visit including the oldest wine producer in the country, Groot Constantia.

        canopy walkway
        The “Boomslang” is an aerial walkway that snakes its way through the tree canopies in Kirstenbosch and affords visitors a completely new vista of the breathtaking gardens.

        The Baxter Theatre Centre in Rondebosch is a performing arts complex that hosts multicultural performances throughout the year. The Baxter is one of the cornerstones of South Africa’s performing art scene and well worth a visit.

        In January South Africa’s oldest horse racing event, the Sun Met (formerly known as the J&B Met), takes place at the Kenilworth Racecourse. This prestigious event is not just an equestrian affair but is also an important soiree on the social calendar of the country’s grandest celebrities and fashionistas.

        The southern suburbs are about 30 minutes’ drive from Cape Town International Airport and only 10 minutes from the city center. Regular taxi and shuttle services operate between the airport and the southern suburbs and all major car rental companies have offices in both locations.

        If your stay is mainly in and around the southern suburbs, you might be better off making use of taxi services rather than renting a vehicle. Cape Town is a relatively small city yet quite congested, so traffic and parking can be a headache.

        groot constantia
        Groot Constantia is one of the oldest wine producing estate in South Africa and is one of the cornerstones of wine making in the Cape region Credit: Fairfield Tours
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    • V&A Waterfront

      The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, situated in the oldest operating harbor in Africa, is the most visited destination in all of South Africa. The waterfront attracts a staggering 24 million visitors annually! It’s hardly surprising when you consider its setting because this isn’t just any old fishy smelling, seagull-ridden harbor: The iconic flat-topped Table Mountain provides a most stunning backdrop for the various quays, canals and repurposed industrial buildings.

      The V&A Waterfront, as it is more commonly known, is divided into nine precincts. The Quays District is the most visited area with its shopping centre of luxury brands, a collection of quay-side restaurants and outdoor entertainment areas that include an amphitheater, Ferris wheel and performance spots for various buskers.

      The Dry Dock District is a close second with its indoor food market, the Watershed craft and design market, aquarium and popular comedy club. The nearby Silo District is home to a collection of designer outlets, prestigious hotels and Africa’s largest contemporary art museum, the Zeitz MOCAA. The recently opened Battery Park in the Canal District houses a piazza alongside a canal, a park and sports fields and offers watersports in the canals.

      The V&A Waterfront is a well-loved destination for all types of travelers due to its central location and extensive collection of hotels, restaurants and retail outlets.

      waterfront
      Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is a tourist mecca and offers many locally produced goods which are juxtaposed with top international brands.
      • Highlights

        Various boat, yacht and ferry tours operate daily (weather dependent) from the V&A Waterfront. The most popular tours visit Robben Island where Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela was famously imprisoned for 18 years during Apartheid before becoming South Africa’s first democratically elected president.

        The V&A Waterfront houses a collection of world-class museums, including the continent’s largest contemporary African art museum, the Zeitz MOCAA, the historical Robben Island museum, the Iziko Maritime Museum and the popular The Springbok Experience Rugby Museum.

        Some of the city’s most prestigious hotels are situated in the V&A Waterfront. Stay here and you’ll not only experience the very best in hospitality, but you are also at the epicenter of Cape Town’s social hub.

        A visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium is a must, especially for children. The aquarium is home to over 3000 sea creatures including sharks, sea turtles and penguins. Daily penguin feeding times, usually between 12h00 and 14h00, are particularly special and include an information session by the staff.

        Scenic helicopter flights around Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula depart from the V&A Waterfront.

        From Cape Town International Airport a short 25-minute drive on the N2 highway delivers you straight to the V&A Waterfront. All major car rental companies have counters at the airport and regular shuttle, bus and taxi services connect directly to the V&A.

        zeitz mocaa
        The Zeitz Mocaa is the largest installation of art on the continent.

        Unless you plan to drive often, or far out of Cape Town, a rental car is not necessary to get around the inner city effectively. The city has an extensive network of public buses, called MyCity, that regularly call at all points of interest. Alternatively, various taxi services provide the most instant transport from A to B.

        The V&A Waterfront is at its busiest during the summer holiday season in December and January. While it is at its liveliest during this time with events, festivals, exhibitions, live music and art performances, you can also expect the Waterfront to be very crowded.

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    • Table Bay

      The moment you first experience the view from Table Bay you realise where it gets its name from: the sweeping curve of the coastline is framed by a postcard-perfect view of Table Mountain.

      Table Bay is home to a seaside stretch of suburbs situated on the coastline north of Cape Town’s city center. Once you travel past the industrial neighborhoods of Paarden Eiland and Milnerton you find numerous picturesque beaches with the most popular destinations being those of Bloubergstrand and Big Bay. Both offer spectacular views of Table Mountain, especially at sunset. It is a popular destination for photographers as well as those looking for one of the most scenic sundowner spots in all of Cape Town.

      Due to its regular windy days, Bloubergstrand is one of the country’s best kite and windsurfing spots. Several operators offer gear rental and lessons for all levels of experience and on windy days you’re likely to see the skies filled with colourful kites.

      The charming seaside village of Melkbosstrand on the northern outskirts of Table Bay is worth a visit too. Several seaside restaurants offer exceptional seafood while the nearby Koeberg Nature Reserve and Grotto Bay have easy and scenic hiking trails.

      table bay
      The view of Table Mountain from the Table Bay beaches frames the scene in a picture-perfect postcard.
      • Highlights

        The annual Red Bull King of the Air is held at Kite Beach in Table View from end of January through mid-February. The event draws hundreds of the world’s best wind and kite surfers and their colourful kites fill up the skies over the beach.

        The links-style Milnerton Golf Club is incredibly scenic. Tucked between the Diep River and the Atlantic Ocean, nearly every hole offers scenic views of Table Mountain with the sound of the ocean waves only a stone’s throw away.

        The South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) offers behind-the-scenes tours of their seabird rehabilitation centre in Tableview. It offers a unique experience to get up close and personal with these cute seabirds.

        Table Bay is about 30 minutes by car from the nearest airport, Cape Town International. Regular shuttle and taxi services run from and to the airport and public transport connects Table Bay with Cape Town city centre. Renting a vehicle however is a good option if you plan to spend most of your time in Table Bay and surrounds.

        If you are coming to surf, kiteboard or wind surf and have a bunch of gear, renting a vehicle is advised. Several car rental companies offer vehicles with roof racks and extra storage.

        Table Bay is known for having very windy days as it is exposed to strong ‘southeaster’ winds, especially during the summer months from October to March. Keep that in mind if you plan to spend days on the beach here!

        kite surfing
        Big Bay beach is home to the local surfing and kite surfing scene with epic waves year-round
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    • Winelands

      Less than an hour east from Cape Town lies a stunning countryside region where stately farm mansions look out over sweeping vineyards that meet the dramatic jagged mountainscapes of the Cape Fold range.

      As the name suggests the district is primarily known for its wine production, a tradition that has existed here since the very first settlers came to the Cape more than 300 years ago. The region’s suited Mediterranean climate make it the largest wine producing region in South Africa and each year more than a million liters of wine is made here.

      The epicenter of the Cape Winelands is the valleys that contain the towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl. Stellenbosch, South Africa’s second oldest town after Cape Town, is situated on the banks of the Eerste River at the foot of the impressive Cape Fold mountain range. Its streets are lined with oak trees and prime examples of colonial buildings in the Cape Dutch style. Although Stellenbosch is famous for its wine culture and being a university town, it also boasts a range of boutiques, art galleries and museums.

      Franschhoek, which translates as “French Corner”, was established in the late 17th century as French Huguenot refugees settled in the area. They brought with them their knowledge of vine cultivation and their original farmlands went on to become world-renowned wine estates. The town boasts beautifully preserved Cape Dutch architecture, dozens of outstanding restaurants, boutiques and contemporary art galleries.

      Budget-focused accommodation such as backpacker hostels are less plentiful in the Cape Winelands than in the more central areas of Cape Town, but the region offers superb accommodation ranging from mid-range self-catering villas to bespoke guest houses and exclusive villas on its various wine estates.

      cape fold
      The Cape Fold mountain range is a fold and thrust belt of late Paleozoic age, which affected the sequence of sedimentary rock layers of the Cape Supergroup in the southwestern corner of South Africa.
      • Highlights

        With its collection of world-class wine farms, the Cape Winelands is the country’s top region for wine tasting tours. The famous open-air Wine Tram, which transports passengers between wine estates, is one of the most unique ways of exploring the Franschhoek Valley.

        winelands
        Charge your camera’s batteries - the winelands offer incredible views and the best wines.

        Stellenbosch and Franschhoek play host to various annual festivals which are centered around the celebration of wine, champagne, art, literary and music.

        Franschhoek is home to some of the country’s premier art galleries, especially those that feature contemporary South African art and ceramics

        Restaurants in Franschhoek and its surrounding wine estates rate amongst the best in the country and the town is often referred to as the food and wine capital of South Africa. Diners can look forward to exceptional cuisine featuring local favourite as well as international dishes.

        The Cape Winelands are roughly 30 minutes from the nearest international airport and 45 minutes from Cape Town’s city center. Regular shuttle and taxi transfers are available while all major car rental companies have offices in both locations.

        Several sightseeing bus tours and private tour operators offer day trips to the Cape Winelands departing from Cape Town. Combination trips to other noteworthy tourist destinations are possible too.

        The Cape Winelands are notoriously hot in summer with average temperatures around 30C and some days as high as 40C. Bring appropriate light clothing, sunscreen and a hat.

        wine harvest
        The winemaking tradition in the Cape region is one of the World’s oldest and most renowned.
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    When to go

    • January
      Cape Town beaches are a huge attraction in summer

      The month of January enjoys hot, sunny days with clear skies and plenty of daylight hours. Sunset is only after 8 pm! Daytime temperatures are in the mid to high 20’s, although it is not uncommon for temperatures to rise well over 30°C. Cape Town falls within a winter rainfall region, so this month is mostly dry. Expect the occasional (very) windy day.

      The month of January is perfect for just about any outdoor activity. A day on the beach is the best way to enjoy the hot weather and a visit to Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town is particularly special since you might spot juvenile penguins. January often experiences windy days, which is popular with kite-surfers in areas like Bloubergstrand. For calmer conditions, head for the picturesque beaches of Clifton where the coastline is sheltered from the wind. Hiking trails on the Table Mountain range are best done early mornings when it is cooler, while sunset-picnics on Signal Hill are a treat. In the evenings, movie lovers can look forward to the Galileo Open Air Cinema screenings at various venues around the city, including Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the V&A Waterfront and the Cape Winelands. The one of a kind Cape Town Minstrel Carnival, a colourful parade that dates back to the city’s slave era of the 1800s, takes place on the 2nd of January in the city center.

      Long, warm and sunny days make exploring the city and surrounding areas a joy and Cape Town’s social scene blossoms in this period with a plethora of events and activities on offer. On the other hand, January is one of the busiest months of the year, so Cape Town gets crowded with visitors. Flights and accommodation are harder to find and more expensive.

    • February
      Cape Town in February is generally regarded as the best month, climate-wise. This is a shot of Lions Head.

      February has hot and sunny days that often push temperatures over 30°C. Since this is the dry season and rain is scarce most days have clear blue skies but expect the occasional windy day. Evenings are generally mild and pleasant.

      Wine aficionados have plenty to look forward to in February as two of the nation’s top wine regions, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, both host wine festivals in February. With the holiday season in the rearview mirror, Cape Town’s beaches are less populated yet the weather is still perfect for a day by the sea. The city center plays host to the acclaimed Cape Town Art Fair mid-month and the vibrant Cape Town Pride Festival at the end of the month. Dance music lovers can look forward to the popular Cape Town Electronic Music Festival which takes place in various locations around the city.

      By February the peak holiday season in Cape Town is over, school terms have resumed and residents are back at work, so popular destinations are less crowded and accommodation and flights are cheaper.

    • March
      The Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts run from November to April every year Credit: Captain Awesome

      March has some of the best weather of the year since daytime temperatures are still balmy while the windy days of peak summertime fade away. Expect daytime temperatures in the mid 20’s, mild evenings and little to no rain.

      March is a busy month for sports enthusiasts as Cape Town hosts the Cape Cycle Tour, Cape Epic and the Two Oceans Marathon. The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in the Southern Suburbs plays host to a series of much-loved open air summer sunset concerts. The inner city hosts the colourful Cape Town Carnival as well as the International Jazz Festival at the international conference center. Music lovers can look forward to the KDay Festival that takes place at Meerendal Estate near Durbanville. The worldwide EDM festival, Ultra, comes to Cape Town in March. This popular event features a lineup of the world’s top dance music DJ’s.

      March is much quieter than peak holiday season and flights and accommodation are cheaper. There aren’t many reasons not to visit Cape Town in March but do take into account that the city becomes very congested and sees road closures during the big sporting events this month.

    • April
      Surfing is great all year round.

      The month of April sees autumn arrive in Cape Town and the heat and wind of the peak summer months disappear. Days are generally fair with clear skies and the average temperature in the low to mid 20’s. Evenings are generally mild and pleasant.

      Hiking on the Table Mountain range is great this time of year since daytime temperatures are cooler and it’s not as windy. The last of the open air Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts, featuring top local and international musical artists, take place during the month of April. Various venues across Cape Town including the V&A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch and the Cape Winelands host the last of a summer-long series of popup movie screenings called the Galileo Open Air Cinema.

      Accommodation prices are lower at this time of the year, the weather is cooler but not yet rainy and Cape Town sees fewer tourists. Try to avoid Easter Weekend towards the end of the month when Cape Town is a popular destination for locals.

    • May
      cape agulhas

      Winter arrives in Cape Town, but not with great force as the city experiences a fairly mild winter. Daytime temperatures average just below the 20°C mark while evenings can drop to around 10°C. Expect some cloudy and rainy days.

      In response to the colder weather Cape Town moves its social scene indoors. It is the perfect time to explore indoor markets, live music nights, theatre performances and classic movie screenings at the iconic Labia Theatre. The Cape Town Big Band Jazz Festival takes place at the end of the month at the Baxter Theatre in Rondebosch. In the Cape Winelands Stellenbosch hosts the annual Oyster & Bubbly festival while the Franschhoek Literary Festival is centered around writers, classical concerts and fine dining.

      The cooler weather and coming winter mean there aren’t many outdoor activities, but Cape Town makes up for it with great indoor events. Accommodation and flights are generally at their cheapest around this time of the year.

    • June
      whale watching

      June is the first proper winter month in Cape Town and sees chilly, rainy and windy days. Daytime temperatures only occasionally climb above 20°C and evenings are usually wet and cold.

      The whale watching season starts in June when the gentle ocean giants migrate north to warmer climates. Sightings are best in False Bay, Gansbaai and the town of Hermanus, about 1 hour from Cape Town. Robertson in the Cape Winelands hosts a popular wine festival at the start of the month called the Wacky Wine Weekend. Experienced surfers prefer Muizenberg in winter as the waves are best this time of the year.

      While outdoor activities are limited by cold weather, Cape Town’s social scene is still buzzing with plenty of indoor events. If you can handle the colder weather you’ll save with lower accommodation and flight prices too.

    • July
      bastille day

      Winter is at its peak in the month of July with daytime temperatures on most days struggling to exceed 20, although you might encounter the occasional mild day. Evening temperatures can drop below 10 and you can expect a fair bit of rain and wind too.

      On rainy days visits to the Two Oceans Aquarium, Zeitz Mocaa and the Cape Town Comedy Club in the V&A Waterfront make for a great day out, as do craft beer tastings in Newlands or wine tastings in the Cape Winelands and Constantia. In rebellion against the cold weather restaurants across the city turn cozy with roaring fireplaces at night with live music offerings to warm those cold bones. Evenings at the Labia, Artscape or Fugard theatres are a treat and throughout the month of July the Baxter Theatre in Rondebosch hosts a comedy festival, called the Funny Festival. The Cape Winelands town of Franschhoek celebrates its French roots with Bastille Day on the 14th of July

      Cold, wet and windy weather lessen the city’s outdoor activities and events, but Capetonians have long since learned to simply move the vibe indoors. Local schools have their winter holidays at the end of the month which leads to crowds at popular tourist destinations.

    • August
      August flowers

      August sees the last of the winter rains with some wet and windy days, although sunny days with clear skies are not uncommon. Daytime temperatures hover around 20°C while evenings are chilly.

      Towards the end of the month, the Flower Season arrives with the first hint of Spring. The best region for seeing colorful wildflower displays is along Table Bay and northward up the West Coast. Migrating Southern Right, Bryde’s and Humpback whales can be spotted in the waters of False Bay, Gansbaai or Hermanus (1h from Cape Town).

      he weather can be unpleasant, with some days experiencing four seasons in a day. However, August is a quieter time in Cape Town and less populated by visitors which means flights and accommodation is cheaper.

    • September
      september

      Spring officially arrives in Cape Town on the 1st of September and you can expect mild days with average temperatures in the low to mid-20’s. Rainy days are fewer but evenings can still get chilly.

      Springtime brings with it a stunning burst of flowers that turn the landscape into a sweeping kaleidoscope of colour. The best regions for the flower season are on the northwestern coastline, but good floral displays can also be seen along the West Coast an hour outside Cape Town. The Cape Winelands celebrate spring mid-month with the two-day Franschhoek Uncorked Festival, while venues all over Cape Town’s metropole plays host performance arts during the Cape Town Fringe Festival September is peak whale watching season. The quint town of Hermanus, the country’s top whale watching destination, hosts the popular annual Whale Festival at the end of the month.

      September is a great time to visit Cape Town, but the weather might not let you fully enjoy the beaches just yet. Local schools have a week-long break at the end of the month which brings more visitors to the city’s tourist attractions.

    • October
      St James

      October enjoys very mild weather with daytime temperatures hovering around the low to mid 20’s. A few rainy days may be expected while evenings are still cool, but not too cold.

      In the first week of October one of South Africa’s top outdoor music festivals, Rocking the Daisies, takes place just outside the city. The lineup draws top international and local musos. Whale watching is good during the month of October. Keep an eye out for these sea creatures in the waters of False Bay, or take a day trip out to the town of Hermanus further north.

      October often has beautiful mild and sunny days perfect for the beach and outdoor activities and since it’s not yet peak season you won’t find many tourists around. Accommodation and flights are also cheaper.

    • November
      table mountain

      In November things start hotting up as summertime arrives in Cape Town. Days are generally hot with clear skies and temperatures often climb over 30°C. Rain is scarce and evenings are warm and pleasant.

      November is a great time to visit Cape Town’s best beaches, especially those of Clifton and Camps Bay, before the peak holiday season in December. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens host the much-loved Summer Sunset Concerts series that sees top local musicians and international guests perform on an open-air stage. The Wavescape Surf & Ocean festival takes place at various venues around the city. The festival focuses on ocean-conscious events with local and international movie screenings, beach cleanups, art exhibitions and informational courses.

      In November you get all of the great summer weather but much fewer visitors at popular tourist sites. There’s not much of a downside to visiting Cape Town this month and you might even grab some accommodation specials before the peak holiday season truly kicks in.

    • December
      december

      In December Cape Town experiences its hottest weather with daytime temperatures often rising into the mid 30’s. Expect hot and cloudless days, long daytime hours, warm nights and little to no rain. December sees the occasional very windy day.

      The warm weather makes Cape Town’s beaches by far the most popular summertime destination. Outdoor activities on Table Mountain and visits to Cape Point are equally great during this month. On New Year’s Eve, the whole of Cape Town is abuzz with celebration and you’ll find events on the beaches, at restaurants, dance clubs and rooftop bars in the city. The biggest all-day event takes place in the V&A Waterfront which builds up to a spectacular fireworks display at midnight. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens plays host to a series of open-air music shows, called the Summer Sunset Concerts, featuring top local musos and a handful of international artists. Various venues across Cape Town including the V&A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch and the Cape Winelands play host to a summer-long series of popup movie screenings called the Galileo Open Air Cinema.

      Cape Town is alive with events, festivals, concerts and loads of outdoor activities. Unfortunately, the holiday season also draws thousands of visitors to the city and its surrounding areas. Restaurants are packed, accommodation is harder to find and more expensive, as are flights.

    Why Cape Town?

    On the southern tip of Africa sits an almost impossibly picturesque city at the foot of a great flat mountain. The thriving waters of the Atlantic Ocean wash onto its stunning beaches, as pristine today as when the first Europeans set foot on them hundreds of years ago. Little did those early explorers realise this spot would become the birthplace of a country and many of its peoples and cultures. It’s no wonder Cape Town is affectionately known by its inhabitants as the Mother City.

    The very first mention of the Cape in the annals of history was by the Portuguese explorer Bartholomeus Diaz who in 1488 found the oceans offshore very unforgiving, dubbing the peninsula the Cape of Storms. Subsequent Portuguese sailors came to view it in a more positive light as it became an important landmark on their sea journeys between Europe and the East, thus renaming it the Cape of Good Hope.

    table mountain
    A moody shot taken of Table Mountain from Melkbos beach along the West Coast of the city.

    In 1652 the Dutch explorer Jan van Riebeeck established a trading post here to serve as a way station for trade routes. He built the first settlement, planted a range of useful crops and before long an economy grew into what became known as Cape Town. The very, very abbreviated historical record of the next 300 years tells that the Cape kept expanding, although not without a fair share of political and social conflict, into what today is one of the most culturally diverse cities in Africa.

    camps bay
    A glimpse of the ‘Twelve Apostles’ from the famous Camps Bay beach.

    Cape Town’s diversity extends to its natural environment too. In fact, the prominent landscape is the most striking feature that makes the city one of a kind. The iconic flat-topped Table Mountain dominating the city skyline is world-renowned as a symbol of South Africa, but it is also home to an important biosphere. The whole of the Table Mountain range, including the rocky Cape Point peninsula to the south, is protected as a national park and contains rich vegetation types including unique fynbos, renosterveld, Afromontane forests, rivers, fountains and wetlands.

    Healthy populations of fauna are present too, although you won’t find the Big Five here. Keep an eye out instead for the tiny klipspringer, cute rock hyrax (or “dassie” in the local tongue) or cheeky chacma baboons. On the peninsula larger antelope like eland, red hartebeest and bontebok roam and you might even spot a Cape mountain zebra or two.

    The oceans of the Cape Peninsula are incredibly rich and diverse. It sustains a thriving fishing trade as well as playing an important role in tourism. Cape fur seals are abundant and bottlenose dolphins are often spotted surfing in the waves around the peninsula. Migrating Southern Right, Blyde’s and Humpback whales breed in the area during the late winter months and the infamous great white shark can be spotted, especially in False Bay to the southeast of the city.

    city bowl
    Cape Town city bowl is flanked by Table Mountain and its adjacent peaks, as well as the pristine coastline.

    The suburbs of Cape Town are equally diverse thanks to the lay of the land. The inner city is relatively small and surrounded by the peaks of Table Mountain, Devils Peak and Lions Head which separates it from the Atlantic Seaboard, a long stretch of seaside suburbs overlooking the ocean. The eastern slopes of Table Mountain see a lot of precipitation, turning the leafy neighborhoods of the Southern Suburbs vibrant and lush year-round.

    To the south the rocky tip of the peninsula culminates at Cape Point, an important landmark for early seafarers and now a protected nature reserve. Bookending the peninsula to the north and east are the panoramic coastlines of Table Bay and False Bay, both home to a number of quaint fishing towns. Finally, to the interior the sweeping vineyards of the Cape Winelands are home to the oldest and most prestigious wine farms in all the land.

    Now, with such an impressive resume, only one question remains: Where to first?

    Type of traveller

    • Solo safaris in Cape Town

      table mountain
      Table Mountain as seen from the V&A Waterfront

      Cape Town ranks among the best cities in the world for solo travelers. It is a truly multicultural city since it is not only home to a melting pot of local peoples and cultures, as Cape Town also sees a steady influx of international visitors year-round.

      Getting to the city is a breeze: it is only 25 minutes from the nearest international airport. Once within the city, most major attractions are virtually on your doorstep and getting around is easy. In the inner city, public transport routes and taxi services are reliable, while in the outer regions a rental car is a better option.

      If you want to have your finger on the heartbeat of the city, look for accommodation in the City Bowl. Here you’ll be within walking distance of retail outlets, grocery stores, museums, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. The nearby suburbs of Green Point and Sea Point are equally favoured by solo travelers for their proximity to the city, as is the leafy neighborhoods of the Southern Suburbs.

      If instead your internal rhythm flows with the ebb and flow of the ocean, consider Sea Point, Camps Bay, Hout Bay, Kalk Bay, Muizenberg or Blouberg where you can feel the sea breeze and hear the sound of waves breaking through your windows. While being slightly more removed from major tourist attractions, these regions have more close-knit seaside communities and relaxed atmospheres.

      boat cruises
      Canola fields make for a spectacular scene of yellow flowers Credit: Lonely Planet
      • Top tips
        • You do not need a vehicle if you are staying within the City Bowl, Atlantic Seaboard and the Southern Suburbs as it is a relatively small area and tourist destinations are close together. Save yourself the headache of dealing with traffic and parking – instead make use of public transport and taxi services.
        • If you plan on exploring greater Cape Town, such as the Cape Winelands, False Bay and the Southern Peninsula, consider renting a vehicle. In these areas traffic is less congested you are likely to travel farther distances between destinations. Besides, some of the most scenic roads can be found here and therefore self-driving is the way to go.
        • A myriad of operators offer sightseeing tours, wine, beer and gin tastings, outdoor activities and cultural experience in and around the city. These are great options for the solo traveler as you’ll get to meet locals and fellow travelers alike while maximizing your itinerary in Cape Town.
        • South Africa has an unfortunate reputation for being unsafe, although in reality the statistics are often exaggerated. However, as a solo traveler you should still apply common pre-emptive safety measures when visiting Cape Town. It is not advised to hike alone in the mountains nor in less populated areas at night.
    • A family safari in Cape Town

      family safaris
      Scootours is a fun way to get around Credit: Scootours

      Cape Town is arguably the most popular family-friendly holiday destination in all of South Africa for locals and international visitors alike. The city’s collection of stellar beaches, mountain ranges, botanical gardens and urban parks offer plenty of outdoor activities while the various museums, theatres and entertainment centers provide plenty to do when the weather is miserable.

      Accommodation suited to families is plentiful in all of Cape Town’s suburbs, with many establishments catering specifically for groups. Your family’s interests and age groups play a role in which region you should consider.

      The inner city, called the City Bowl, is filled with vibrant and trendy neighborhoods packed with busy shops, markets, museums, rooftop bars, restaurants and nightclubs that appeal strongest to urbanites and young adults. That being said, the inner city shouldn’t be overlooked as it still offers plenty of family-friendly destinations and quieter, more spacious accommodation options are available in the suburbs on the upper slopes of the mountain such as Tamboerskloof, Gardens, Oranjezicht and Vredehoek.

      The V&A Waterfront is a popular destination for its central location in the city. The harbor and canals offer a variety of outdoor family-orientated activities like kayaking, paddleboarding and even pirate-themed boat trips, while the quaysides host year-round entertainment in the form of exhibitions, concerts, festivals and more. The much-loved Two Oceans Aquarium is one of Cape Town’s top destinations for families and should not to be missed.

      Clifton and Camps Bay are affluent seaside suburbs and home to the city’s top beaches, beachfront restaurants, cocktail bars and the best ocean sunset views. Accommodation here is both popular and pricey, but if glamorous living is what you’re after there is no better place in Cape Town. Teenagers are especially fond of this area for a good reason. After all, this is where the rich and famous hang out.

      children in the bush
      The Cape Wheel is in the V&A Waterfront and will be enjoyed by the whole family Credit: Safari365

      For a more relaxed seaside village feel the suburbs of the Southern Peninsula are a popular option. Here families can enjoy less crowded beachfront, roads, shops and restaurants while accommodation is generally cheaper and more spacious.

      • Top tips
        • Getting around Cape Town city by public transport and taxi is easy, but a rental car may be more convenient for exploring the outer regions as a family. You can pick up a rental at the airport, only about 20 minutes from the city center, or in the city center itself.

        • Make use of the Hop on-Hop off sightseeing bus routes that operate between all the major tourist attractions of greater Cape Town. It is an excellent way of exploring the city as a family and makes moving between destinations as a group hassle-free.

        • South Africa’s peak holiday season is during the summer school holidays over December and January. Accommodation and flights are cheaper in the months before and after, while Cape Town is less crowded and the weather is still pleasant.

    • A romantic holiday in Cape Town

      romance
      Couples are spoilt for choice when it comes to romantic spots to celebrate love.

      Imagine if you could escape with a loved one to a place where you can watch the sunrise from the top of a mountain before having breakfast in Africa’s oldest harbour. You then spend the rest of the morning sunbathing on a beach populated by wild penguins, grab lunch at a boutique bistro and taste globally acclaimed wines at a wine estate in the afternoon. Dinner is served in an intimate 5-star restaurant followed by cocktails at a rooftop bar overlooking the shimmering lights of the cityscape.

      Cape Town has a reputation for being an excellent destination for couples. Firstly, it is a relatively small city with great transportation networks and an international airport only 30 minutes from the city centre, meaning accessibility to any destination in greater Cape Town is quick and easy. All major car rental companies have counters at the airport and self-driving is a popular option that gives couples the freedom to explore the city and its surrounding areas. If you’d rather not deal with traffic, it is quite feasible to get around Cape Town using a combination of public transport services and private taxi’s.

      Secondly the city’s location, tucked between the Table Mountain range and the Atlantic Ocean, provides scenic settings for accommodation, restaurants and cocktail bars in pretty much every suburb. In fact, nature is seamlessly integrated in Cape Town and nature-lovers can look forward to more outdoor destinations and activities than you are likely to fit into a single holiday.

      romance
      Imagine enjoying the breathtaking views atop Table Mountain with your partner?

      Cape Town’s mountains are filled with dozens of hiking trails, mountain biking and rock climbing routes while the coastline is dotted with exceptional surf breaks, wind and kitesurfing beaches and underwater dive sites. If you really want the adrenaline pumping you can also paraglide, go shark cage diving or take a helicopter flight over the city.

      The budget-conscious couple might choose to stay at one of the various self-catering chalets, guest houses or hotels in the city and self-drive to destinations further out on the Cape Peninsula. However, for the ultimate in privacy and luxury, look no further than the exceptional 5-star hotels in the V&A Waterfront, Clifton, Camps Bay and Constantia.

      romance

      For a more relaxed seaside village feel the suburbs of the Southern Peninsula are a popular option. Here families can enjoy less crowded beachfront, roads, shops and restaurants while accommodation is generally cheaper and more spacious

      • Top tips
        • Use an app-based taxi service to move around the inner city. If you plan on exploring outside the city center of Cape Town, renting a car is advisable.

        • The ultimate in private luxury villas are found in Clifton and Camps Bay with unparalleled panoramic views over the city’s premier beaches and sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean.

        • Combine a trip to the Cape Town with a visit to one or more of Southern Africa’s other top attractions like the Kruger National Park, Victoria Falls and Mauritius. Several hotels, lodges and tour operators offer such combo packages for couples.

    Budgeting for Cape Town

    • Budget-friendly holiday in Cape Town

      langebaan
      Driving along the coast from August to September is a very affordable activity, with plenty to do and many budget-friendly accommodation options along the way.

      There are two distinct features that make Cape Town a great destination for travelers on a budget: its location and its size. The city’s setting, at the foot of Table Mountain with the Atlantic Ocean sweeping around the coastline and the Cape Winelands to the east, offers near infinite outdoor destinations that won’t cost you a cent. The places that do charge, however, like the conservation areas within the Table Mountain National Park and protected coastal areas like Boulders Beach, are relatively cheap and well worth the contribution towards conservations when you consider the unique experience it offers.

      Perhaps also due to the lay of the land Cape Town’s suburbs are relatively close to one another. For instance, if you plan to stay in the City Bowl, Atlantic Seaboard or the Southern Suburbs , you can quite easily and cheaply travel between these suburbs by public transport or taxi. In areas further out like Table Bay, False Bay and the Southern Peninsula, renting a car is more convenient as public transport routes are less prolific. The major car rental companies all offer vehicles in ‘compact’ or ‘mini’ categories that don’t break the bank, while several smaller agencies specialize specifically in cheap car hire.

      Accommodation options are plentiful throughout greater Cape Town. The City Bowl, Atlantic Seaboard and the Southern Suburbs are littered with backpacker hostels, guest houses and self-catering apartments favoured by solo travelers or couples for it’s proximity to the hive of activity in the center of town. The more spacious accommodation closer to the beach fronts of Table Bay and the Cape Peninsula is preferred by families and those looking for a more relaxed seaside atmosphere.

      Cape Town has a wide range of affordable restaurants, although alternating eating out with self-catering or visits to one of the many food markets around the city will stretch your funds for longer. As for drinks, stay clear of the city’s trendy pubs and boutique bars and instead head for the hangouts preferred by the locals where drinks are less expensive.

      • Top tips
        • Plan your visit in the months before (September to November) or after the peak holiday season (February to April) when flights and accommodation are cheaper, but the weather is still pleasant.

        • Hop On-Hop Off sightseeing bus routes cover all the major tourist destinations in greater Cape Town and the Cape Winelands, with some tour options even including city walking tours and canal cruises in the V&A Waterfront. It is a great cost and time effective way to make the most out of your visit to the city.

        • If your visit includes Cape Town’s outer regions, split your transport use between public and taxi services in the city center and a rental car for outings further afield.

      Try our African Safari Cost Calculator
    • Affordable holiday in Cape Town

      cape town
      Mariners Wharf in Hout Bay is an institution - sure to be visited

      While Cape Town undoubtedly is home to some of the most luxurious hotels, guest houses and private villas in the country, it is arguably an even more superb holiday destination for the mid-range traveler. Who needs personal butlers and room service anyway when you have Table Mountain in your backyard and the Atlantic Ocean on your doorstep?

      In fact, you’ll get the most value for your money by traveling in the way most South Africans prefer to: by self-driving and self-catering some or most of the time. Rental cars are very reasonably priced and by self-driving you’ll enjoy the freedom exploring of Cape Town at your own pace. It is certainly the best way to discover the city’s hidden beaches, spectacular coastal drives and nature reserves. However, it is recommended to make use of some of the many organised tours on offer. Several operators offer combination tours to the city’s top sights that not only come at a discount, but also maximises your sightseeing itinerary.

      Although Cape Town has many highly rated mid-range hotels, the city also offers a multitude of self-catering accommodation across its suburbs, ranging from loft-style apartments in the city centre to entire freestanding houses near the beach. Grocery stores are found in every suburb and cater for every dietary requirement, although if you prefer not to cook the city is saturated with affordable restaurants offering an exceptional range of local and international dishes.

      Eating out is somewhat of an institution in Cape Town, so you’re bound to make some new friends and suss out the best eateries in no time. And don’t overlook food markets as they offer a family friendly atmosphere, live music and exceptional food. No hot dog stands here!

      cape town
      Cape Town has an impressive food culture - from top notch restaurants to food markets
      • Top tips
        • Plan your travels in the off-season when both flight and accommodation prices in the city are lower. Peak holiday season is in the summer months of December and January, but the milder weather of autumn and spring make it an equally great time for a visit.

        • The suburbs on the Atlantic Seaboard, the Southern Peninsula and in Table Bay are your best bet for comfort at an affordable rate, not to mention escape from the bustle in the inner city. Accommodation here tends to be more spacious and well suited to groups or families.

        • Getting around the central parts of Cape Town in a public or app-based taxi service is quicker and more convenient than driving. For multi-day visits to the regions further out like the Cape Winelands and the Southern Peninsula, renting a car is your best bet.

      Try our African Safari Cost Calculator
    • Luxury holiday in Cape Town

      bascule
      The Bascule Bar in Cape Grace - a luxury hotel in the V&A Waterfront

      When it comes to luxurious urban destinations on the African continent, the magnificent megalopolis of Cape Town tops the list hands down. Not only does it feature every amenity and luxury you’d expect from a sophisticated world city, but it’s stunning natural setting has won it several international top-destination awards.

      While every main suburb in Cape Town offers luxury hotels, boutique hotels and exclusive guest houses, there are a few regions that stand out from the rest. The famous V&A Waterfront is home to some of the best 5-star hotels in the country and it’s proximity to equally exceptional restaurants, bespoke retail outlets, health spas, theatres and art galleries make it one of the most popular destinations for the discerning traveler.

      Ask any Capetonian about the pinnacle of luxury living and they’ll point over Table Mountain to the affluent seaside suburbs of Clifton and Camps Bay. If you’re looking for your very own Hollywood-style home, set in a stunning neighborhood overlooking the city’s premier beachfront, this is the place to be.

      The leafy neighborhoods of the Southern Suburbs offer a more relaxed setting on the beautiful eastern slopes of Table Mountain. The area is less busy than the city centre, yet close to all major tourist attractions.

      cape town
      The Bay Hotel in Camps Bay is situated on the main strip of the affluent suburb

      For the ultimate in countryside luxury, the grandiose wine farms of Cape Winelands and Constantia offer exclusive living amongst the oldest vineyards in South Africa, not to mention the country’s finest wine collections and some of the best local restaurants.

       

      Cape Town’s outdoor experiences come with a touch of flair too. Private helicopter flights offer scenic trips over the Cape Peninsula, Robben Island, Constantia and the Cape Winelands. If you prefer to take things a little slower, why not take a hot air balloon ride over the sprawling vineyards of the Winelands region, or charter a private yacht in the V&A Waterfront for a leisurely day out on the Atlantic Ocean.

      • Top tips
        • Cape Town International Airport is centrally located and road transfers to the city’s premier hotels take less than 30 minutes. All major hotels, luxury lodges and wine farms offer shuttles to and from the airport.

        • If you would rather not deal with traffic, or just want to see Cape Town in all its glory from above one last time before heading home, helicopter transfers to and from the airport operate from the V&A Waterfront.

        • Several bespoke car rental companies in Cape Town offer high-end luxury sports cars, convertibles, executive SUV and motorcycles. Your rental may include drop-off and pick-ups at the airport or your accommodation and chauffeur services are available too.

        • Combine your trip to Cape Town with visits to some of Southern Africa’s other top destinations like the Kruger National Park, Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls, Botswana’s Chobe National Park, Namibia’s Namib Desert and Mozambique’s Bazaruto Island. Several bespoke travel agencies and luxury hotels offer tailor-made packages.

      Try our African Safari Cost Calculator

    Popular Cape Town Safaris

    These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

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     | Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa safari

    Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa safari

    This Southern Africa safari adventure will take you to the tip of the African continent...

    Romantic view | Cape Town, Kruger & Vic Falls Deluxe Honeymoon

    Cape Town, Kruger and Vic Falls Deluxe Honeymoon

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     | South African holiday adventure

    South African holiday adventure

    Explore the southern-most city on the African continent, before jetting off to spot the Big Five...

     | Nature, Romance, Exclusivity and Luxury - A Complete African Honeymoon

    Nature, Romance, Exclusivity and Luxury - A Complete African Honeymoon

    This exclusive African honeymoon through East and Southern Africa is the perfect way to celebrate the start of your new journey together...

     | 15-day Kruger, Cape Town, Mauritius Bush and Beach safari

    15-day Kruger, Cape Town, Mauritius Bush and Beach safari

    Spend your days discovering the fine beaches of Cape Town, enjoying the remarkably untamed wilderness of the Kruger National Park and swimming the pristine beaches of Mauritius....