We have so many friends visiting Cape Town right now and they have been asking for a post on the “Things you just have to do in Cape Town…” And Cape Town has a lot of fun things to do…
Se7en+1 Brilliant Things to Do in Cape Town
- Food Markets: Almost every corner of Cape Town has a food market and they are so good. These is one almost every night of the week and you can literally trail them from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. Each of them have their own special features and characters… Noordhoek for spectacular views; Tokai for a country feast; the Blue Bird Garage Market for a funky feel… and of course the famous Oranjezicht Market in the City Centre. You can take a look at all the food markets here, and pick one in your neighbourhood.
- Playful Parks: One feature about Cape Town is that there are quite a few great parks. Green Point Park is a shining example of a fantastic community park… this park is full of lovely corners: awesome play areas for kids and also for tots; a gym and workout area, picnic spots and even an environmental education corner. Other great parks are Deer Park at the top of town and Kirstenbosch in the southern suburbs… further south is Silvermine, which has just opened up to the public after the fires.
- Evenings Out: One thing Cape Town does really well is sunset… from the Slopes of Signal Hill to a walk on Clifton beach or a picnic at Llandudno… and if the sunset is good then a full moon hike up Lion’s Head is even better. Otherwise, there are movies under the stars at the Galileo Theatre, and in January there is Shakespeare under the stars at Maynardville, and of course the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts.
- Bookshops: Cape Town has a handful of independent bookshops and they are worth their weight in gold. Kalk Bay Books in the South Peninsula and The Book Lounge in the city centre are both worth a visit if you are a book lover, they have great collections of the latest and greatest and lots of lovely collectables too. It is worth checking out their websites… they are always having something on, fabulous story times and book launches.
- Beaches: The chief reason for folk visiting Cape Town is not actually the shopping, there is that… and while our beautiful mountain is one of the se7en wonders of the world, most visitors won’t climb it. It is actually the beach that almost every visitor wants to visit… there is a beach for everyone. Beaches for the paparazzi, where the water is too cold to swim and that would be Clifton; Muizenberg for surfing; Fish Hoek is a family beach… sand for sand castles and water you can swim in for hours; there is also rock pooling along the False Bay Coast at St. James and Noordhoek for long, beautiful beach walks, not to mention Boulder’s Beach in Simonstown for swimming with Penguins.
- Walks: Cape Town is a great place for beautiful walks and easy ambles. There is of course Table Mountain for spectacular hikes… but I am talking about family walks here… along the Sea Point Promenade; through the Green Belt in Constantia; A fabulous walk alongside the sea from Muizenberg to St. James. A walk through the vineyards at Groot Constantia is another great one.
- Eating Out: All the restaurants we mention are restaurants that we have taken our kids and they have been welcomed. Splurge out on a visit to Gold Restaurant, in the city centre, honestly one of our family’s best outings ever. Another family favourite in the city centre is Hudson’s for the best burgers. In the south peninsula we absolutely love Tiger’s Milk on Muizenberg Beach… they have everything from sublime milkshakes to the best ribs out. Another great restaurant for healthy fabulous food and a clever kids menu, with real food on it… not to mention the best chilli poppers, Graze. And our absolute favourite restaurant is on the Outspan in Kalk Bay… it is very casual, a braai in fact and absolutely brilliant food. Actually, if you are looking for a good spot to eat out, and you want a local to guide you… head straight for Zomato, type in the genre of food you are after and the area you are in… and an appropriate restaurant will be found!!!
It is a crazy busy time of year and the last thing you want to do is spend your entire holiday time driving around, so I have split Cape town into neighbourhoods. Areas where you can visit a museum or two, have a picnic and a play, where you can get there, spend the day and get home again. In each area there is an interesting place to visit, a good place to relax and somewhere fabulous to eat. One thing about Cape Town, it is almost always better to buy your tickets online, not just a financial saving but time saving and queue avoiding as well.
Se7en Hoods You Have to Visit in Cape Town
- The City Centre: There is so much to do in the city centre, but even most Capetonians dread going there – it is a parking thing. To do the City Centre splurge on the Red City Bus… that is possibly my best tip ever. Do it and thank me later. Park at the Waterfront and the bus follows a route through the city centre and you can hop off and hop on as you please. The bus stops right at the door of everywhere you want to go and when you are done seeing a site you just hop back on the bus and head for the next one. There are a heap of places to go… The Company Gardens to run around and play, or go for a stroll and have milkshakes. The Gardens are surrounded by Cape Town museums… the best one for kids is the Natural History Museum, and I have never met an adult who wasn’t moved by the Holocaust Museum. Take a look at the Red Bus City Tour at this link…
- The Fringe: Towards the mountain from the city centre is the Fringe it is a part of town that has come alive in the last couple of years. Think busy working corner of the city, there is quite a bit of attitude and heaps of vibe. This is where you will find: the Book Lounge; the famous District Six Museum, ask to go on a tour, it is well worth a visit. There are heaps of fabulous spots for a feast: Charly’s Bakery, New York Bagels, Yo Meatballs and Truth Coffee. And if you need a theatre… there is the Fugard. And if you need a place to relax and explore all at the same time… then the Castle of Good Hope is a great place to visit.
- The Points: Moulle Point and Sea Point: It is almost understood that absolutely every visitor to Cape Town will stop at the Waterfront to visit the Two Oceans Aquarium and to go shopping. The Waterfront can be insanely busy at this time of year… it pays to get there early, do whatever you need to do and then head out again as fast as you can. The Two Oceans Aquarium… another splurge suggestion… it is a great place for kids and grown ups to visit there is masses to learn about and engage in. Just outside the park you can wander down to the seaside where there is lots to do: Putt Putt, the Little Blue Train and so on. While you are there you may as well walk down the Sea Point Promenade and join Capetonians doing what they do best: people watching.
- The Southern Suburbs: Kirstenbosch is incredibly beautiful and there is something there for everyone: The conservatory, the Boomslang, the Dinosaurs… Otherwise there is the Creamery for brilliant ice-cream, Forester’s Arms for a splurge garden lunch and one of Cape Town’s best kept secrets Montebello Design Centre, for a quiet spot with lots to look at and to have a lovely relax.
- Kalk Bay: A small seaside village in the South Peninsula with heaps of things to keep you busy… a walk along the harbour walk, a visit to the Bookshop, a fabulous deli to grab a picnic, lots of pokey little shops filled with treasures, and when you just need a break, step one block back from the main road and collapse in the park. Not to mention there are endless places to eat from coffee to street food, the poshest of posh to fish and chips on the quay, you name it, they have got it… Here’s a link to our Kalk Bay Round-up.
- Simonstown: Another sweet small town with plenty to look at, and a little more… there is an easy walk while looking at penguins, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Boulders beach is well worth the visit… get there early and enjoy it before the visitors arrive. There are also heaps of interesting shops, and museums to explore and lots of places to stop for tea or coffee in Simonstown… a little town that deserves a visit.
- Cape Point: Cape Point is one of those places, where so many folk visit and they don’t linger long enough to enjoy it… If you drive down to the Lighthouse… then walk up the hill to the top, and explore a little. There are some great tidal pools for swimming, walks to walk and animals to see… we love it here. It is also a bit of a splurge… but well worth it if you are coming to Cape Town for a once off visit.
I have mentioned a couple of splurge choices: The Red City Bus, The Two Oceans Aquarium and Cape Point Nature Reserve, most native Capetonians would do those a handful of times in their lifetime, they are fairly pricey for locals… but if you are visiting they do showcase what Cape Town has to offer… I left off quite a few splurge choices, because there are so many free things to do in Cape Town and you needn’t break the bank to have a good time in our city.
Honestly, I wouldn’t visit Cape without visiting the Red City Bus… they are so worth it, no matter how small your children are – they won’t be sitting on the bus all the time – the bus gets them from place to place… it is the perfect answer to getting around a city you don’t know. They have a number of tours available through the city centre, across the peninsula, a magical sunset tour, walking tours and even water way tours in the Waterfront.
That’s it for now, but there is so much more – Cape Town is one of those vibes cities that are changing, with new things popping up and exciting happenings… you can take a peak at all our outings here:
This is not a sponsored post, we were not paid to write it at all… it is packed with our opinion, filled with features we think will help you have a great stay in Cape Town.