Victoria & Alfred 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.
• 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.
• 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.