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.

The City Bowl is centred in the heart of Cape Town's beating heart  Credit: Journey in Style

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

cape town holiday

• 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.

• 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.

Travel tips

• 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.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Cape Town to Kruger Luxury Holiday (8 days)

day 1 to 4

Tour Cape Town like a local

day 5 to 7

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Kruger National
  • Cape Town to Kruger Luxury Holiday (8 days)
  • Cape Town to Kruger Luxury Holiday (8 days)
  • Cape Town to Kruger Luxury Holiday (8 days)
  • Cape Town to Kruger Luxury Holiday (8 days)
  • Cape Town to Kruger Luxury Holiday (8 days)
  • Cape Town to Kruger Luxury Holiday (8 days)

day 8

Say farewell to the trip of a lifetime!

View Full Itinerary

Popular Cape Town Safaris

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

 | Cape Town and Kruger Family Safari (8 days)

Cape Town and Kruger Family Safari (8 days)

Combine the best that Cape Town and the Kruger National Park have to offer – beach and bush – for the ideal family holiday...

 | Road Trip through Cape Town’s Finest (10 Days)

Road Trip through Cape Town's Finest (10 Days)

Explore Cape Town and its surrounding highlights in luxury on a looped route that both starts and ends in South Africa’s Mother City....

 | Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa Safari Adventure (19 days)

Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa Safari Adventure (19 days)

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

 | Bespoke Safari in South Africa (14 days)

Bespoke Safari in South Africa (14 days)

Experience the best that South Africa has to offer, with a holiday tailor-made for you ...

Exterior view of Ngala Tented Camp | Delightful Cape Town and Kruger Luxury Safari (12 days)

Delightful Cape Town and Kruger Luxury Safari (12 days)

Combine Cape Town and the surrounding Cape Winelands with a safari in the Kruger National Park for a relaxing and exhilarating South African safari...

 | Cape Town, the Winelands and Kruger Luxury Journey (9 days)

Cape Town, the Winelands and Kruger Luxury Journey (9 days)

Experience Cape Town, the lush Cape Winelands and a safari in the Kruger National Park and you'll fall under South Africa's spell...

 | South Africa’s Garden Route Odyssey (14 days)

South Africa's Garden Route Odyssey (14 days)

Discover one of South Africa’s best kept secrets - the Garden Route...

 | Luxurious South Africa and Zambia Honeymoon Safari (10 days)

South Africa and Zambia honeymoon

Explore the romantic Atlantic Ocean with it's multi-cultural heritage and a Big Five safari in the Sabi Sands, finally ending off at Victoria Falls from the Zambian side...

 | Journey through the Highlights of Southern Africa (13 days)

Journey through the Highlights of Southern Africa (13 days)

Exploring these areas of the Southern African continent should on top of your bucket list...

 | Cosmopolitan Cape Town and Kruger Tour (7 days)

Cosmopolitan Cape Town and Kruger Tour (7 days)

Discover the Big Cats in the Kruger National Park and enjoy the bustling harbour, world-class beaches and top-notch vineyards in Cape Town...



You might also like

Cape Town in April

Climate 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. Best regions Hiking on the Table Mountain range is great this time of year since daytime temperatures are cooler and it’s not as…

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…

Cape Town in May

Climate 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. Best regions In response to the colder weather Cape Town moves its social scene indoors. It is the perfect time to explore indoor markets, live…

Cape Town in December

Climate 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. Best regions The warm weather makes Cape Town’s beaches by far the most popular summertime destination. Outdoor activities on Table…

Cape Town in October

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. Best regions 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…

The 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. Green Point is closest to Cape Town’s city center and is home to a world class sports stadium, several sports…

Solo holiday in Cape Town

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…

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…

Ready to start your adventure?

+27 (0)21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    Mon - Fri: 8AM - 9PM GMT+2