Cape City Itinerary: What to See and Do in 4 (or Extra) Days

An aerial view of Cape Town from the mountains
Posted: 2/13/2020 | February 13th, 2020

Cape City is a kind of locations I can by no means get sufficient of. Its pure magnificence, local weather, folks, chill environment, and scrumptious meals scene at all times make my visits memorable.

Backed by Desk Mountain, Cape City is absolutely some of the lovely cityscapes on the earth.

There’s loads to see and do within the metropolis, so that can assist you take advantage of your journey, right here is my instructed itinerary for 4 (or extra) days.

 

Cape City Itinerary: Day 1

Table Mountain in Cape Town during a colorful sunset
Take a Free Strolling Tour
For an intensive introduction to Cape City, I like to recommend taking a minimum of one free strolling tour. As you recognize, I at all times try this after I arrive in a brand new metropolis, to assist me get a way of the vacation spot’s tradition and historical past and orient myself. A few of my favourite strolling excursions are:

Simply make sure to tip your information on the finish, as that’s how they make their residing.

Discover the Metropolis Heart
Your subsequent cease needs to be Cape City’s metropolis middle. You’ll discover all types of procuring, cafés, eating places, and markets alongside Lengthy Road. Take a number of hours to discover and see all of it. To see extra of Cape City’s eclectic neighborhoods and get a really feel for the native tempo of life, listed here are some particular areas price exploring:

  • Inexperienced Market Sq. – Proper off Lengthy Road, this can be a excellent place to seek out native handicrafts and souvenirs. There are all types of crafts and items right here. Don’t be afraid to haggle for a superb deal!
  • Victoria and Alfred’s Waterfront – That is one other spectacular procuring locale, with a big number of outlets and leisure. It’s on the historic working harbor, the structure is sort of charming, and it’s extraordinarily fashionable with each vacationers and locals alike. Seize a seat on a waterfront restaurant’s balcony, have a drink, and absorb the environment.
  • Bo-Kaap – Not removed from the town middle is Bo-Kaap, a colourful Muslim neighborhood. This space, beforehand the house of Cape City’s slave inhabitants, is understood to be fairly Instagram pleasant (you’ve doubtless seen it on IG already!). Every house is painted a distinct colour and you may tour the world by yourself (though you’ll in all probability take pleasure in it much more for those who take a free strolling tour). When you don’t tour with a bunch, make sure to get a overview of the world’s historical past on the Bo-Kaap Museum. It’s small, however the workers is sort of pleasant and tremendous educated. Admission is 20 ZAR ($1.36 USD) per particular person.
  • De Waterkant – A pleasant place to spend the night is the De Waterkant neighborhood. Not removed from Bo-Kaap, this fashionable space (assume NYC’s Greenwich Village) is the right place to walk, window-shop, and revel in an upscale dinner. The structure is sort of trendy in what’s Cape City’s “pink” (gay-friendly) district. The Cape Quarter shopping center is right here as nicely.
  • Woodstock – This is without doubt one of the coolest neighborhoods in Cape City. In recent times, it’s develop into a hub for artwork galleries, co-working areas, breweries, and hip eating places. What was as soon as an previous, rundown industrial space is now one of many coolest locations on the town.

Go to Desk Mountain
A go to to Cape City isn’t full with out taking within the view from Desk Mountain. It’s a little bit of a stroll up there, nevertheless it’s completely price it. The shortest path takes about two hours, however for those who’re quick on time, you possibly can take the cable automobile, which takes about 5 minutes every means (it’s a bit dear at 330 ZAR ($22 USD) for a round-trip ticket, although). Up prime, you’ll have a 360-degree view of Cape City, the harbor, the mountains, and the seashores. Attempt to come up throughout sundown, or for those who can, carry some food and drinks and have a picnic!

Needless to say the clouds can transfer in actually quick right here, so make sure to verify the climate earlier than you hike up.

I counsel climbing up after which taking the cable automobile down for those who’re quick on time. If you wish to lengthen your keep, hike each methods and spend a while enjoyable and taking within the view. When you pack some water and snacks, you possibly can simply make this a full-day exercise. There are outlets on the summit in addition to a number of different climbing trails to discover for those who’re seeking to work up a sweat.

Word: I put this on the finish of the day so you are able to do the strolling excursions within the morning, however you can even make this a full-day exercise in order for you! It’s price taking it sluggish right here in case you have the time.
 

Cape City Itinerary: Day 2

black and white photograph of the jail where Nelson Mandela was kept
Go to Robben Island
Hop on a ferry from the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and head to Robben Island, positioned about 8km from shore, the place Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 of his 27 years behind bars. Declared a UNESCO Heritage Web site in 1999, the museum is a crucial image in South Africa, representing the triumph of democracy over apartheid. The tour guides are former jail inmates, and you may to sit down within the cells the place the political prisoners as soon as lived.

No go to to Cape City is full with out coming right here. Don’t skip this!

Ferries function 3 times a day, beginning at 9am (a fourth ferry operates throughout the summer season season). Admission is 320 ZAR ($22 USD) for adults and 200 ZAR ($13.50 USD) for anybody underneath 18, which incorporates the ferry experience. Anticipate your entire journey to take a minimum of 4 hours.

Go to Kirstenbosch Backyard
Positioned within the southern suburbs, these gardens have been established over 300 years in the past and have greater than 22,000 varieties of crops discovered on the African continent. Spanning over 1,300 acres, that is not like another botanical backyard you’ve seen! Be sure you do the tree cover walkway. There are eating places and cafés on-site, however they’re costly, so I’d carry your individual meals and have a picnic on the grounds.

Rhodes Drive, Newlands, +27 0800-434-373, sanbi.org/gardens/Kirstenbosch. Open day by day 8am-6pm (7pm in the summertime). Admission is 70 ZAR ($5 USD) per particular person (reductions out there for college students and kids).

Watch the Sundown from Lion’s Head
Desk Mountain’s little sister, Lion’s Head, is ideal for a night hike. It takes simply 45 minutes to hike to the highest, so time your trek so that you’re on the peak for sundown. It’s some of the scenic spots on the town. Additionally, bear in mind a flashlight for the trek again down.
 

Cape City Itinerary: Day 3

penguins at Boulders Beach, just outside of Cape Town
See the Penguins
When you’re in Cape City, you received’t need to cross up seeing the world’s cutest inhabitants: African penguins! This colony is residence to over 3,000 penguins. They reside at Boulders Seaside Park, and you may view them from a raised boardwalk (additional down the seaside you possibly can swim with them for those who’re actually daring — anticipate freezing water!). Simply understand that they’re wild animals. The seaside is their residence, not yours — so maintain your distance and don’t attempt to feed or pet them. They’re wild animals in any case.

Go to Slave Lodge
Inbuilt 1679, this is without doubt one of the oldest remaining buildings in Cape City. It’s the place the Dutch East India Firm housed their slaves till 1811. Over 60,000 African and Asian slaves have been dropped at the town, and virtually 300 women and men have been compelled to reside within the lodge at a time. At the moment, the lodge is a museum the place you possibly can be taught concerning the hardships slaves confronted of their day by day lives in Cape City.

Nook of Adderley Road and Wale St, +27 2- 467-7229, slavery.iziko.org.za/slavelodge.

Tour Parliament
Take a tour of the parliament of South Africa and find out about South African politics — together with how the nation was ruled throughout the apartheid period. Relationship again to 1884, the Homes of Parliament are Nationwide Heritage Websites; the unique constructing was granted approval by Queen Victoria when Cape City was a British colony.

At the moment, they host day by day hour-long excursions throughout the week, and you may even guide a spot (a minimum of one week upfront) to look at debates for those who’re .

120 Plein St, +27 (021) 403 2266, parliament.gov.za/visiting-parliament. Excursions are held day by day, however advance reserving is required. Admission is free.

Hike Sign Hill
For some lovely sundown views, hike as much as the highest of Sign Hill. The climb is tiring and takes round 90 minutes, however the views are price it (you can even drive or take a taxi as much as the highest). You’ll get a sweeping vista of Cape City, together with a view overlooking Desk Mountain too. Simply make sure to give your self plenty of time, so that you just don’t miss the sundown.
 

Cape City Itinerary: Day 4

The famous Muizenberg Beach in South Africa
Go to the District Six Museum
In 1867, District Six was established for freed slaves, immigrants, and marginalized people. Underneath apartheid (1948–1994), the district was declared a “white space” and the prevailing residents have been compelled out. Over 60,000 folks have been compelled from their houses, and this museum highlights their struggles and tales. It offers necessary context to the town’s trendy historical past and ongoing struggles.

25A Albertus St, +27 21-466-7200, districtsix.co.za. Open Monday-Saturday 9am-4pm. Admission is 45 ZAR ($Three USD) or 60 ZAR ($Four USD) for a guided tour.

Hit the Seaside
Cape City has some unimaginable seashores, so ensure you spend a minimum of a part of a day on one among them. Clifton Seaside might be the preferred. The sand is tremendous white and the water a vibrant blue. Sadly, it’s chilly just about year-round, so don’t anticipate heat tropical waters. The surroundings is beautiful although, with the mountains behind you and mansions and upscale eating places lining the seaside highway.

Another choice is Muizenberg Seaside, which is a 30-minute drive from the town middle. This seaside has a well-known boardwalk and is nice for browsing.

Verify Out the Wildlife
When you head down Muizenberg Seaside, make sure to cease at Hout Bay. This harbor is residence to tons of seals and seabirds. When you’re visiting between June and November, maintain your eyes peeled for the migrating whales. Proper whales, humpback whales, Bryde’s whales, and dolphins can all be discovered right here.

When you’re on the lookout for a meal, the fish and chips on this space of city are to die for. And don’t miss the Bay Harbour Market on the weekend: distributors promote every thing from recent fish to jewellery to native artwork, and there are sometimes reside bands too.

Discover the South African Nationwide Gallery
The Iziko South African Nationwide Gallery is residence to an intensive assortment of each South African and African artwork, in addition to English, Dutch, and French items. The gathering focuses on works from the 17th to 19th centuries, together with work, sculptures, sketches, and lithographs.

Additionally they facilitate an ever-changing rotation of up to date paintings from each locals, in addition to visiting exhibitions from throughout Africa and world wide (go to the web site to see what short-term exhibitions can be found throughout your go to).

Moreover, the gallery has a whole lot of insightful details about artwork and censorship throughout apartheid.

Authorities Ave, +27 21 481 3970, iziko.org.za. Open day by day 9am-5pm. Admission is 30 ZAR ($2 USD).
 

Cape City Itinerary: Day 5 (or Extra!)

a fishing boat in Kalk Bay at sunset, South Africa
You probably have greater than 4 days in Cape City, listed here are another enjoyable matters to see and do throughout your journey. Most of those will take you out of the town, so you possibly can see extra of this lovely area of the nation. Take into account renting a automobile to make matters simpler!

Go to Kalk Bay
This fishing village makes for a pleasant spot to go window-shopping (or precise procuring in order for you some souvenirs). There are many seaside cafés you possibly can calm down in for just a few hours, away from the busy metropolis middle.

Journey to the Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is the place the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, and the drive there from Cape City is without doubt one of the finest on the continent. You’ll need to take the route alongside Chapman’s Peak, a winding and scenic highway alongside the Atlantic coast. It’s a toll highway, however the views are very a lot well worth the worth.

The Cape of Good Hope is positioned in Desk Mountain Nationwide Park, which stretches all the way in which from Desk Mountain in Cape City to the tip of the continent. This nature reserve is residence to quite a few birds and animals, together with antelope, Cape mountain zebra, eland, and baboons. Needless to say, whereas the baboons might look cute, they’re nonetheless wild animals, so watch out round them and maintain your meals secured and out of sight.

There’s a lot to see, so plan for a full-day tour. When you don’t have your individual automobile, you possibly can guide a tour with the Cape Level Explorer for 740 ZAR ($50 USD).

Get pleasure from Some Wine
When you love wine, head to the Stellenbosch space. You probably have a automobile, it’s simply 45 minutes outdoors of the town and is residence to lots of of vineyards. The wine from this area is world-famous, and the surroundings is breathtaking, providing towering mountains and luxurious valleys. Tastings usually run about 60-75 ZAR ($4-5 USD), and meals pairings can be found as nicely. Some instructed wineries to take a look at are:

  • Spier Wine Farm (one of many oldest within the area)
  • Marianne Wine Property (gives a traditional French vineyard expertise)
  • Waterford Wine Property (they pair their wines with decadent native candies)

When you don’t have a car and need to take a tour, anticipate to pay at round 1,000 ZAR ($68 USD) per particular person for a half-day tour of the area and its wineries. Many hostels run their very own excursions to the area or have partnerships with native tour guides who can take you as nicely. Be sure you store round!

Study to Surf
Cape City is an excellent place to learn to surf (although it’s additionally terrific for skilled surfers). Surfer’s Nook at Muizenberg Seaside is understood for its newbie waves, and there are many browsing colleges round the place you possibly can hire a board and take classes. Anticipate to pay round 500 ZAR ($34 USD) per particular person for a 2-3-hour lesson.

***

Cape City is one among my favourite cities on the African continent. With its terrific hikes, lovely surroundings, and necessary historical past, Cape City has one thing for everybody. And, thanks the rand’s worth, it’s reasonably priced sufficient, so it’s straightforward to go to with out breaking the financial institution.

Let this Cape City itinerary aid you take advantage of your go to there.

Map of Actions

P.S. – Wish to meet different vacationers in actual life? This yr we launched The Nomadic Community, a platform created to assist vacationers join, be taught, and get impressed in actual life! Listed here are our upcoming occasions if you wish to participate: Seattle (2/17), Austin (2/18), Fort Lauderdale (2/19), Portland (2/19), San Francisco (2/20), Los Angeles (2/23), Detroit (2/24), Boston (2/24), Dublin (2/24), San Diego (2/24), London (2/25), Chicago (2/25), and NYC (3/10).

Guide Your Journey to Cape City: Logistical Ideas and Tips

Guide Your Flight
Discover a low-cost flight by utilizing Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite serps, as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe, so that you at all times know no stone is being left unturned.

Guide Your Lodging
You’ll be able to guide your hostel with Hostelworld as they’ve probably the most complete stock. If you wish to keep some place else, use Reserving.com, as they constantly return the most affordable charges for guesthouses and lodges. My favourite locations to remain in Cape City are:

  • The Backpack Cape City – A good-trade hostel with a swimming pool and backyard, in addition to actions most nights. They do a whole lot of good work for social change!
  • Ashanti Lodge Gardens – You’ll be able to hang around on the pool or the landscaped gardens right here, or within the superior Kumasi Bar, with its views of Desk Mountain. They’ve an incredible bar menu too!
  • 91 Loop – Once you keep right here, you get a free breakfast, free metropolis strolling excursions, the chance to participate in organized actions, and reductions on the Honey Badger restobar.

Don’t Neglect Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will shield you towards sickness, harm, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes improper. I by no means go on a visit with out it, as I’ve had to make use of it many instances prior to now. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. My favourite corporations that supply the very best service and worth are:

Searching for the very best corporations to economize with?
Take a look at my useful resource web page for the very best corporations to make use of whenever you journey! I checklist all these I exploit to economize — and I feel they are going to aid you too!

Searching for extra journey suggestions for South Africa?
Take a look at my in-depth South Africa journey information for extra methods to economize, tips about what to see and do, instructed itineraries, informational studying, packing lists, and far, far more!

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