Insider’s Guide to Cape Town (Areas, Boat Tours, Vineyards, Food)

Last Updated on January 3, 2022

Here you can find our insider’s guide to Cape Town, a popular destination in South Africa, including best areas to visit, boat tours, vineyards, food, experiences. The lowdown on where to go if you’re thinking of going to Cape Town on your next holiday. Pierre de Villiers tells us what should be top of your list in South Africa’s magnificent mother city.


It has a table for a mountain, penguins patrolling the beach and an island that once held the most famous, and inspirational, prisoner of all time. With its mixture of staggering natural beauty, political history and chilled charm, the Mother City certainly lives up to its nickname, warmly embracing visitors before spoiling them rotten with scrumptious food and imparting some valuable life lessons.

There’s a lust for life here that’s palpable, whether it’s mountain-bikers whizzing down Table Mountain, surfers catching a morning tube or cutting-edge chefs dishing up fusion cuisine. And while those in the Cape are going places, they flatly refuse to do so at any great pace. Maybe it’s the sun, the sandy beaches or the sheer number of vineyards, but Cape Town has a sleepy, languid quality that strips away stress like few cities in the world.

Above the clouds: Table mountain

Older than the Andes, more photogenic than Charlize Theron and with a tabletop that’s drawn bigger names (from the Queen to Arnie) than any Michelin-starred restaurant, Table Mountain has watched over Cape Town for almost 300 million years.

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The trivia surrounding this iconic landmark (it has a constellation named after it, for example, and is home to more than 2,000 plant species) doesn’t tell the full story of its importance to Capetonians, who see the orographic clouds that often cover the mountain (nicknamed “the tablecloth”) as a security blanket.


Whether you take the cable car to the top or clamber up, you have to experience the summit at least once during your stay in Cape Town. Taking in those panoramic views from above the clouds, you’ll understand why Nelson Mandela once described Table Mountain as “a gift to the earth”.

A riot of color – Cape Town’s most vibrant district

Cape Town’s most vibrant district is Bo-Kaap. The residents are descendants of the Indians, Indonesians and Malaysians brought here as slaves hundreds of years ago. It’s the heart of the city’s Muslim community and home to some of the most diverse restaurants in South Africa.

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Marine adventure: Boat tours from the V&A Waterfront

In addition to being a shopper’s paradise, The V&A Waterfront also happens to be a working harbor. Alongside the constant stream of tug boats and fishing vessels there’s a veritable flotilla of catamarans, sailboats and even a pirate ship or two taking landlubbers for a sightseeing spin or sunset cruise. waterfront.co.za

Taking it to the streets

Graffiti artist Falko One has been making his mark in Cape Town for almost 30 years. Since he emptied his first spray can, the street-art scene has undergone a dramatic transformation. “What has changed is the interaction of races,” Falko One explains. “Graffiti gets everyone involved.

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It’s what you put out as an artist that counts. I would not have thought, as a 17-year-old, that it would be all-inclusive. That’s what I like the most about street art in Cape Town.” The artist is currently travelling throughout the Western Cape with his Once Upon A Town initiative, bringing joy to poor areas through his remarkable work. “I want to make a living gallery in small towns and change residents’ perception of value,” he says. “I want them to see what they own differently, no matter how dilapidated it is.”


Have your cape and eat it: 5 foods to try

Bobotie

Spiced mince meat (sometimes with raisins) baked with an egg-based topping.

Koeksisters

Very sweet, sticky pastry with more twists than a pretzel.

Snoek

A long, thin species of mackerel that’s yanked out of the ocean and chucked on the braai (BBQ).

Melktert

South Africa’s answer to cheesecake with a sweet pastry crust covering a custard filling.

Vetkoek

South Africa’s take on a doughnut, this fried bread snack is filled with either ground beef or jam.

Top 5 best wildlife experiences

Pick up a penguin

It’s Happy Feet heaven as African penguins waddle around at the Boulders Penguin Colony.

Cat scan

Spend a night with the kings of the jungle at Drakenstein Lion Park sanctuary. lionrescue.org.za

Monkey business

Monkey Town in Somerset West has 28 different species of primates. monkeys.co.za

Bird brains

Over 3,000 birds flock together at the World Of Birds in Hout Bay. worldofbirds.org.za

The Big 5

You’ll find lions, rhinos, elephants, buffalos and leopards at Fairy Glen. fairyglen.co.za

Top 3 best vineyards to visit

Sip everything from crisp sauvignon blanc to aromatic merlot at Hillcrest Estate, a boutique winery on the outskirts of Durbanville, a 30-minute drive from Cape Town.

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Watch the sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean while sipping some cabernet sauvignon at Cape Point Vineyards in the gorgeous Noordhoek area.

Established in 1682, Steenberg was Cape Town’s first farm and has moved with the times, building a slick bistro and tasting room among its vineyards.

Top Selling Tours in Cape Town

Here we only suggest the proven ways and top rated ones with travelers’ comments. You can feel free to book one of the below top selling tours.

Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts