Cape Town, the Mother City, is hands down one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been. The incredible mountain ranges offer the most stunning backdrop for literally everything, you can’t go anywhere without them looming large over you. We spent three nights in Cape Town but could easily have spent a week, there’s so much to see and do. For a developed country it’s super cheap ($2 USD beers, $4 USD cocktails, $8-10 USD for meals at most places) and the perfect holiday destination for solo travellers, couples or families.
Our Top Tips
Hire a car – you can get around Cape Town itself easy enough without one but there’s a lot to do a short drive away. Definitely worth it for the added freedom
Hike Table Mountain – more on this below but it’s a must
Stay in Camps Bay – really beautiful spot, close to everything and right on the beach
The accommodation options in Cape Town are endless and obviously we can only speak for the place we stayed in but would highly recommend it!
Camps Bay Studio – perfect location in the picturesque Camps Bay, just off the main strip opposite the beach. Good size, super comfy bed and you get free access to the Sandy B Beach Club just down the road for a swim and a cocktail if thats your thing
Eat + Drink
Sunset Sessions – great spot for a sundowner in Camps Bay. Right on the beach, cheap cocktails and delicious nachos.
Your Place – cape Town’s hipster hang out. Great pizzas and super cool garden roof top. We went on a Saturday night and it was buzzing
Kloof House – we stumbled across this one, great beer garden out front and super chic decor inside. Simple Tapas style menu and impressive cocktail selection
Fat Cat – best Taco’s in Cape Town! Great spot for a cheeky Sunday session with half price Taco’s 12-5pm! In the eclectic neighbourhood of Woodstock
La Parada – the Sunday afternoon specialist! Attracts a mixed crowd ready for a good time. Great selection of drinks and heaps of tapas to snack on. Dance floor gets pretty heavy for a Sunday night
Caprice – cafe by day turns dirty disco every Sunday night! Definitely more mainstream top 40 type crowd but worth it if you feel like kicking on
El Barrio Tacoria – cute little Taco joint with an impressive selection of tequila.
Nourished – cafe and juice bar, vegan everything. They don’t take cash (which is cool but doesn’t always work well for travellers)
The Blue Cafe – simple breakfast menu, soy milk and great views of Table Mountain & Lions Head. Can’t go wrong!
Hemelhviss – right in the Cape Town CBD, a bit fancy for our liking in truth, menu’s a bit wanky and confusing but to be fair the food was delicious
Kleinskeys Deli – probably the best coffee we had in Cape Town and the take away bagels are a great option for a packed lunch to eat on the road or take on a hike
Mama Watu (Bo-Kaap) – more a surf shop than cafe but do take away coffee and sell their beans (we stocked up). Grab a coffee before checking out the colorful streets of Bo-Kaap
Harvest Cafe (Bo-Kaap) – best breakfast we had in Cape Town and hands down the best view of table mountain out of the second story window
Word of warning for all the Soy milk drinkers out there, it’s super hard to find in South Africa! Most cafe’s don’t offer alternatives and those that do typically only have almond milk
Things To Do
Hikes – you can’t go to Cape Town and not walk up at least one of the incredible mountains! We did Lions Head and Table Mountain, there’s something cool about thinking “I climbed that” every time you see the mountain (which is all the time!)
Lions Head – is super accessible and popular. We went at sunrise and it’s worth the early wake up. About half way up there’s the option of going the hard way (chains and ladders) or the easy way (a touch longer but no climbing) we went the hard way and didn’t find it too challenging. Total time up and down for us was about 2 hours (including about 30 mins at the top)
Table Mountain – there are a few different ways to tackle Table Mountain, lots of websites recommend using a guide but we definitely don’t think you need one. We decided to take the Platteklip Gorge route, it’s not technically challenging but definitely gets the heart pumping. If you’re driving there just keep going through the main car park for another 1-2km or so until you see the signs, you can’t miss them! We hiked up in just over an hour (but really fanged it) and decided to take the cable car down! The bottom of the cable car was about 1-2km’s from where we parked and could have walked but we hitch-hiked it pretty easily with a super chill local dude passing by
Cape Point – Although the fact it is commonly referred to as the southern most point of Africa is not actually true, that certainly shouldn’t stop you from taking the trip. It takes the best part of 2 hours to get there by car but the drive is stunning. A good portion of it is along the incredible coastline and views are simply breathtaking. There are a couple of hikes when you get there or you can just head up to the lighthouse for some great views and a beer at the restaurant
Boulders Beach – Penguins, on the beach, in South Africa? Yup – Boulders Beach. We dropped in on our way to Cape Point. We wouldn’t have made the trip here just for the beach but the penguins are cute and its en route
Bo-Kaap – the most colourful street in Cape Town! Known as the Malay Quarter this place is shrouded in history. Make sure you don’t just take photos of the pretty colours, take the time to talk to the locals and learn about the history of this cool little neighbourhood
Robben Island – This is where Nelson Mandela was locked up for 18 years. FULL DISCLOSURE – we didn’t end up making it here (hire car trouble, don’t get us started) and we were really disappointed. Despite this we couldn’t write this blog without suggesting you check it out.
We love Airbnb when we travel, so many hidden gems! For $25 USD off your first Airbnb stay click here!
Thinking of heading to Cape Town? Make sure you check out our post on Franschhoek, a sleepy little wine town about an hours drive from Cape Town