Oh, Cape Town. What an intriguing place. For starters, it's one of the most stunning cities in the world, with its intoxicating combination of coastlines, mountain ranges, beaches, city streets and nearby wineries. It's a place that, at times, can be so beautiful it almost seems fake.
And then you have Cape Town's history. From its establishment as the first permanent European settlement in South Africa to the days of apartheid and the anti-apartheid movement — Cape Town is the culmination of its past: the good, the bad and the ugly. It is all there to experience.
For anyone visiting Cape Town, there are several things you should do, see and eat during your stay. Here is a list to get you started:
- Drive along Chapman's Peak: This scenic 9 km stretch along the coast of the Cape Province is an absolute must. Just make sure to bring your camera and your sense of awe.
- Enjoy the outdoors: Cape Town is an outdoor enthusiast's dream. From surfing to hiking to biking to strolling through gardens, this city is meant to be appreciated outside.
- Visit the winelands: Head to Constantia, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek or any of the surrounding wine regions to visit the area's numerous wineries and savor the stunning scenery.
- Reflect at a museum: Explore the city's history through its museums. One of the most well known, the District Six Museum, memorializes the forced removal of the District Six community during apartheid.
- Take a cooking class: Learn more about Cape Town's gastronomic history through a cooking class. You will leave well fed and more knowledgeable about a culture.
- Table Mountain: It's hard to miss Table Mountain, as it's the city's centerpiece, one that should be viewed from as many different angles as possible.
- Robben Island: The place where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment is powerful, enlightening, educational and incredibly thought-provoking.
- Boulder's Beach: How many beaches do you know of that serve as the home of a colony of African penguins? Not too many, I would guess.
- Cape of Good Hope: A trek to the most southwestern point of the African continent involves a gorgeous drive along the coast and possibly a few ostrich sightings.
- Victoria & Alfred Waterfront: Though not my personal favorite, the V&A Waterfront is one of the premier places to go for shopping, dining and enjoying the harbour.
- Braai: A braai is essentially a South African barbecue, a really delicious barbecue. One of the most famous places in Cape Town for a good braai is Mzoli's Place in the township of Gugulethu.
- Seafood: Due to its proximity to the water, Cape Town has unbelievably amazing seafood. Head to The Codfather in Camps Bay and get ready to make your taste buds deliriously happy.
- Cape Malay food: From bobotie to dhaltjies to curry and roti, Cape Malay cuisine is spicy, flavorful and just flat out delicious. Swing by the colorful neighborhood of Bo-Kaap to get your Cape Malay fix.
- Market food: Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill has become somewhat of a Saturday institution in Cape Town. Bring your appetite and try the seemingly endless array of foods from local vendors.
- Fine dining: If you're looking to splurge, Cape Town is the place to do it. From The Test Kitchen and its sister restaurant The Pot Luck Club to many of the award-winning restaurants in the region, you will eat like royalty.
With these recommendations, your stay in Cape Town is bound to be an amazing experience!
Have you been to Cape Town? What do you like to do there?