Attractions & Activities in Cape Town and Surrounds
Cape Town Tourist Attractions, South Africa
Tourist attractions and what to do in Cape Town and surrounds, South Africa, cover a legion of sight-seeing tourist spots as well as indoor and outdoor activities - all within sight of Table Mountain. Cape Town has become one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and with the wealth of sporting activities, magnificent scenery, international standard accommodation, renowned winelands, colorful history, shopping facilities and tourist attractions in seven different regions - you are guaranteed a memorable encounter with the most southern tip of Africa.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
The enthusiasm and energy of a proud nation comes to life on the city streets of Cape Town in the Western Cape, South Africa. A rich diversity of shopping opportunities, art, music, cuisine, theatre, entertainment and nightlife awaits the visitor. And for the sporty and adventurous, there is something to suit everybody's adrenaline rush - from all kinds of conventional sports to water sports to helicopter flips.
The beautiful Mother City has so much to offer, but since it is not our intention to present a comprehensive tourism brochure - rather consult the various tourism information bureaus for detailed information - we'll stick to wetting your appetite with a few highly recommended attractions and things to do:
- CASTLE OF GOOD HOPE . Built between 1666 and 1679, this pentagonal fort is the oldest colonial and best preserved structure of its kind in South Africa. Guided tours daily - experience cultural exhibitions, military history and colourful ceremonies, the dungeons, blacksmith, fine wines and Cape Malay cuisine.
- THE GARDENS . Established in 1962 by Jan van Riebeeck, the first colonial governor in South Africa, to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to passing ships, the Company Gardens is a green, peaceful oasis in the middle of a bustling modern city, worthy of a stroll and house the SA Museum and Planetarium, the SA Cultural History Museum, the SA Jewish Museum, the SA National Gallery with contemporary works of art.
- CRAFT MARKETS . Get a taste of Africa at Green Market Square and the pedestrian walk at St George's Mall where vendors sell anything from African crafts to clothes, jewellery and books to bric-a-brac. Visit also the craft markets of Greenpoint, Noordhoek and others.
- CABLE CAR UP TABLE MOUNTAIN . The summit of Table Mountain is more than 1 000 metres high, provide spectacular views and sports a restaurant, shop, telescopes and walkways.
- CAPE MALAY QUARTER . Also called the Bo-Kaap, guided walking tours will give you insight into the influence of the colourful Malay culture on the SA cuisine and architecture in Cape Town.
- LONG STREET . Famous for all kinds of fascinating shops selling antiques, collectibles, clothing and books, a vibrant nightlife and good restaurants.
- Explore the city on the open-top bus and get to know more about the history and culture of the Mother City.
For tours and more information about what to do and see in Cape Town, contact Cape Town Tourism, Pinnacle Building, c/o Bird & Castle Street, Tel +27 21-426-4260, email@example.com, www.capetown.travel
V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town is a working habour that has been turned into South Africa's most visited tourist attraction. It has over 270 contemporary stores, street entertainers, live music shows at the open air amphitheatre, 11 cinemas, an Imax theatre, 7 hotels, the Two Oceans Aquarium where you can swim with the sharks, boat trips, harbour cruises, helicopter charters, art and craft markets, designer clothes, African souvenirs and jewellery shops, a variety of top restaurants, historic sites, a working brewery - to mention a few.
ROBBEN ISLAND . The departure point for ferries and a tour of the maximum-security prison on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years, is at the Clock Tower.
(For more information, contact the Gateway Information Centre in the Clock Tower, V&A Waterfront, Tel +27 21-405-4500, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Atlantic Coast, Cape Town, South Africa
The Cape Peninsula stretches from Cape Town to Cape Point with the cold Atlantic Ocean on the west coast and the warmer False Bay waters on the east coast. One of the most spectacular scenic vistas and drives in the world - the Chapman's Peak Drive - winds along the coastline. The Cape Peninsula National Park embraces Table Mountain and the entire Peninsula mountain range, which stretches from Signal Hill to the Cape of Good Hope.
The Atlantic Seaboard is regarded as Cape Town's " Riviera" or Golden Mile, has awe-inspiring scenic beauty, some of the most expensive real estate in South Africa and hence attracts the beautiful people. It is lively, cosmopolitan with a host of international restaurants and amazingly white and sandy beaches. The M6 highway offers a magnificent scenic drive along the Atlantic Coast from Green Point to Llandudno
- GREEN POINT. On the slopes of Signal Hill, Green Point offers tours of the Green Point Lighthouse, a huge flea market, sports fields, a children's recreational park, and lots more.
- SEA POINT . For a casual stroll along the Atlantic seaboard there's the Three Anchor Bay - Sea Point Beachfront Promenade with its Olympic-sized swimming pool and beaches.
- CLIFTON . The four beaches of elite Clifton, separated by big boulders, are reached by means of steep steps and are popular with sunbathers since they are protected from the south-easterly winds.
- CAMPS BAY is known for its long, sandy white beach, palm trees, tidal pool and braai (barbecue) area, lots of popular beachfront restaurants and good waves for surfers.
- LLUNDADNO is a popular surfing and scuba diving spot with a beautiful beach, hidden amongst giant granite boulders. Sandy Bay, South Africa's only nudist beach, is nearby.
- HOUT BAY. The harbour with its Yacht Club Marina and Mariner's Wharf is the major attraction in this picturesque town. It sports a fish market with live lobster tanks, shell shops, a maritime shop with nautical souvenirs, seafood bistro and according to popular opinion, one of the best seafood restaurants in the world. The panoramic harbour view, nautical atmosphere and authentic fishing décor alone make it worth a visit. (For more information on Hout Bay, call +27 21-790-1194.)
- NOORDHOEK is considered the last unspoiled rural village on the Peninsula and is situated at the end of Chapman's Peak Drive. Its 8 km Long Beach is popular for horse riding and walks. The town is also well-known for its art galleries, craft shops, nurseries and organic fresh produce. (Noordhoek Tourism - Tel +27 21-789-2812)
- KOMMETJIE . Surfing, angling, sunbathing and good crayfish form an integral part of this quiet, rustic seaside village.
- CAPE POINT . The Cape of Good Hope is the most south-westerly point of Africa and offers visitors spectacular views, a restaurant, curio shop, picnic sites, diving spots and walking trails.
Cape Town South, South Africa
The Southern Suburbs of Cape Town include the residential areas of Rosebank, Rondebosch, Claremont, Newlands, Wynberg and Grassy Park. Of note in this inland region on the Cape Peninsula - from the city centre along the Eastern Boulevard and the M3 - are the following:
- ROSEBANK . Mostert's Mill is one of only two Dutch windmills in the Cape, the other being Josephine Mill which offers guided tours and has a museum. At Rodes Memorial antelope roam on the urban edge. The site was chosen by Sir Herbert Baker and Rudyard Kipling, both friends of Rhodes.
- NEWLANDS is home of the Newlands Stadium and cricket fields. The Newlands Forest is an amazing, surprising tapestry of trees in a suburban setting.
- CLAREMONT has one of the trendiest shopping venues in Cape Town, the award-winning Cavendish Square Shopping Centre.
- KIRSTENBOSCH National Botanical Garden boasts over 5 000 species of indigenous flora and is world renowned for its beautiful displays and magnificent setting against the slopes of Table Mountain.
- CONSTANTIA VALLEY , where the wine industry in South Africa has its origin.
False Bay Coast, Cape Town, South Africa
Quaint little towns, each with their own distinct character, are situated along the False Bay coastline. The bay, with its warm water, is a haven for all sorts of water sports - swimming, surfing, diving, sailing, sea kayaking, hobie-catting, deep-sea fishing, rock fishing, beach sport, and more.
- FISH HOEK has one of the safest swimming beaches in the Cape Metropole. Hobie-cat sailing, snorkeling and paddle-skiing are favourite water sports. You can watch the fisherman catch fish with nets in their wooden rowing boats, visit Sunny Cove where the dolphins play and whales are seen during spring and take a walk to Peers Cave, famous for its 12 000 year-old Fish HoekMan. (Fish Hoek Tourism Tel +27 21 782 4696)
- SIMON'S TOWN, the base of the South African Navy, is steeped in history and has a number of excellent museums as well as the Warrior Toy Museum, a must for children. Boulders Beach is famous for its breeding colony of Jackass penguins.
- KALK BAY is a trendy little seaside village with antique shops, bric-a-brac and curio shops. At the popular working harbour fresh fish can be bought from the fishing boats. The town and harbour also boast a variety of restaurants, from local to Cuban.
- MUIZENBERG , once a fashionable holiday resort, is steeped in history, has a number of museums and offers one of the most beautiful beaches on the Peninsula, with 36 km of white sand, safe swimming and a pavillion on the beachfront with a swimming pool and waterslide.
- STRAND lies on the other side of False Bay, at the foot of the Hottentots Holland Mountains, and can be reached by means of a beautiful scenic coastal road from Muizenberg. It has a long, sandy beach ideal for safe swimming and all kinds of water sport. The town also boasts an olympic-sized swimming pool and a promenade lined with restaurants and shops and on Sundays, a busy flea market. (Tourism info - +27 21-840-1400)
- GORDON'S BAY has been described as the Monaco of the Cape, with a distinct Mediterranean flavour. With its old-world charm, narrow streets, two safe swimming beaches, many restaurants and accommodation places, the town is the perfect holiday destination. The old harbour is a popular spot for romantic sunset walks and sunset cruises can be taken from the new Harbour Island marina development.
Cape West Coast and Blaauwberg, Cape Town, South Africa
Blaauwberg or Blouberg, the largest region of the Cape Town Metropole, has 48 km of white, sandy beaches from where the familiar panorama photographs of Table Mountain, with the beach and ocean in the foreground, are taken.
The region offers top angling spots as well as surfing, wind and kite surfing. It boasts two fine golf courses and is a nature-lover's paradise with natural wetlands, wilderness areas, nature reserves and West Coast flowers. But it is also a thriving commercial hub with new developments, business and industry throughout the region. (Blaauwberg Tourism - +27 21-521-1080)
- MILNERTON boasts the biggest shopping centre on the African Continent (Canal Walk), the Rietvlei Nature Reserve with its coastal wetlands and the Milnerton Golf Club.
- TABLE VIEW sports vibrant shopping centres and is popular with young and energetic people. It is also the home of Sanccob, the famous rescue centre for polluted marine birds and penquins.
- BLOUBERGSTRAND offers whale watching (July to September) and year-round dolphin watching. From here the best photographs of Table Mountain across Table Bay are taken.
- MELKBOSSTRAND is the gateway to the West Coast with its famous flowers and seafood restaurants on the beach. It is also situated near the Koeberg Power Station and Nature Reserve.
Cape Town North, South Africa
Cape Town North includes the upmarket residential suburbs of Bellville and Durbanville. Considered the retail heart of the Cape, it is a vibrant commercial area with numerous shopping malls, restaurants, theatres, art galleries, music and entertainment venues like the Velodrome and all kinds of sport facilities. It is home of the Grand West Casino Complex with its two hotels, an olympic-sized ice rink and 60 different restaurants. But it is also part of the Cape Floral Kingdom and as such sports five nature reserves.
Three different parks for animal lovers and children can be visited - the Tygerberg Zoo, Drakenstein Lion Park and Animalzone. The Wijnland Auto Museum houses the biggest collection of classic and vintage cars in the country.
- BELLVILLE is famous for its Tyger Valley Shopping Centre where international shoppers feel at home, top medical facilities and its close proximity to the Cape Town International Airport.
- DURBANVILLE. The Durbanville Wine Route has six wine estates open for tastings and produces some of the best wines in the country.
- KUILS RIVER . The Kuils River Golf Club offers an 18-hole course and welcomes visitors.
Helderberg, Cape Town, South Africa
Helderberg includes the towns of Somerset West, Strand, Gordon's Bay, Lwandle, Macassar and Sir Lowry's Pass. Situated at the foot of the majestic Hottentots Holland mountain range, the region has beautiful scenery in a rural setting combined with modern shopping, industrial and business centres. It has its own Wine Route, producing excellent wines. Central to all the Western Cape tourist attractions and close to all the other regions in the Cape, it is an ideal holiday destination - "everything's here, everything's near". (Helderberg Tourism Tel +27 21-840-1400)
- SOMERSET WEST , a beautiful garden town at the foot of the Helderberg mountain, is home of the historic Vergelegen Estate (now producing award-winning wines), the Erinvale Golf Course which hosted the 1996 Golf World Cup, the Helderberg Nature Reserve and Somerset Mall, a big shopping complex. It is said that the town has the most beautiful Christmas lights in the country.
- STRAND . A water sports paradise with ideal warm waters for swimming, surfing, fishing, sailing, water-skiing and windsurfing. The long, white sandy beaches are popular family destinations and sunbathing venues during the summer holidays. (See also False Bay Coast.)
- GORDON'S BAY is situated on the edge of the Overberg with its famous fynbos biosphere. On its doorsteps is Clarence Drive along the False Bay coast, one of the most spectacular scenic drives in the Cape and providing excellent whale watching opportunities - a must experience for anyone visiting the Cape. (See also False Bay Coast.)
Tourist Activities, Cape Town, South Africa
What to do in Cape Town and surrounds, South Africa, covers a legion of sight-seeing tourist attractions as well as indoor and outdoor sporting and other activities which will ensure no dull moment for travellers and holiday-makers alike.
Cape Town has become one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and with the wealth of sporting activities, magnificent scenery, international standard accommodation, world famous winelands, interesting history, shopping facilities and tourist attractions in seven different regions, you are ensured a memorable encounter with the most southern tip of Africa.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
- Visit the V&A Waterfront for excellent restaurants and shopping
- Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium and Imax Theatre at the V&A Waterfront
- Take a trip to Robben Island from the V&A Waterfront
- Take a harbour sunset cruise from the V&A Waterfront
- Visit the oldest building in the country, the Castle of Good Hope
- Spend some time in the historic Company Gardens
- Visits the craft stalls at Green Market Square for a taste of Africa
- Explore the Bo-Kaap with its Cape Malay flavour
- Take the cable car up Table Mountain
- Take a helicopter trip over the Peninsula
- Visit Long Street with its antique and book shops
- Explore the city on the open-top bus
- Drive the scenic coastal road from Green Point to Chapman's Peak
- Hike up Table Mountain
- Take a charter cruise from the harbour
Cape Town South, South Africa
- Visit Mostert's Mill, one of only two Dutch windmills in the Cape, in Rosebank
- Visit Rodes Memorial on the slopes of Table Mountain where antelope roam freely
- Newlands Stadium and cricket fields
- Have a picnic in the Newlands Forest with its an amazing tapestry of trees
- Shop at award-winning Cavendish Square Shopping Centre in Claremont
- Visit Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden - over 5 000 species of indigenous flora
- Visit Constantia Valley and the wine estates
- Take a township tour to Khayelitsha on the Cape Flats
Atlantic Coast & Seaboard, Cape Town, South Africa
- Do one of the most spectacular scenic drives in the world - the Chapman's Peak Drive
- Visit the Green Point craft market on Sundays
- Stroll along Sea Point Beachfront Promenade
- Swim in the Olympic-sized swimming pool at Sea Point
- Visit the four elite beaches amongst the boulders of Clifton
- Enjoy the view from a restaurant at Camps Bay
- Visit Llandudno for surfing and scuba diving
- Tan at Sandy Bay, South Africa's only nudist beach
- Visit the Hout Bay harbour with its Yacht Club Marina and Mariner's Wharf
- Sunset cruises from Hout Bay harbour
- Scuba diving, surfing, kite surfing, sea kayaking, deep sea fishing
- Abseil from Chapman's Peak
- Cruise from Hout Bay to see the seals
False Bay Coast, Cape Town, South Africa
- Take a train ride from Simonstown to Muizenberg
- Swim with the penguins at Boulders Beach in Simon's Town
- Visit the Toy Museum and Maritime Museum in Simon's Town
- Visit Gemstone Factory in Simon's Town
- Visit Just Nuisance's Grave in Simon's Town
- Swim at Fish Hoek beach
- Snorkel off Sunnycove beach in Fish Hoek
- Golf at Clovelly
- Go caving in the mountains near Kalk Bay
- Browse amongst antique shops in Kalk Bay
- Visit the old fashioned fishing harbour in Kalk Bay
- Horse riding at 8 km Long Beach near Noordhoek
- For excellent surfing, angling, crayfish boat trips visit Kommetjie
- Visit Cape Point, the Cape of Good Hope nature reserve
- Take a walk at Cape Point to see the Fynbos (indigenous flora}
- Visit the ostrich farm - camel rides
- Walk in Silvermine Nature Reserve
- Surf at "The Hoek" or walk along the beach at Noorhoek
- Sunset beach rides - with champagne at Noordhoek
- Scuba diving, surfing, kite surfing, sea kayaking, deep sea fishing
Cape West Coast & Blouberg, Cape Town, South Africa
- Enjoy the view of Table Mountain from 48 km of white, sandy beaches
- Top angling spots as well as surfing, wind and kite surfing
- Scuba diving, sea kayaking, deep sea fishing, power boating
- Shop at Canal Walk, the biggest shopping centre on the continent
- Sail on the Rietvlei Dam in the Nature Reserve
- Milnerton Golf Club
- Visit Sanccob, famous rescue centre for polluted marine birds and penquins.
- Watch whales (July to September) and year-round dolphin watching at Bloubergstrand
- Visit Melkbosstrand, the gateway to the West Coast with its famous
- Koeberg Power Station and Nature Reserve
Cape Town North, Cape Town, South Africa
- Visit the Grand West Casino Complex with 2 hotels, Olympic sized ice rink, 60 restaurants
- Entertainment and sport at the Velodrome
- Shop at the Tyger Valley Shopping Centre in Bellville
- The Durbanville Wine Route has six wine estates open for tastings
- Durbanville Golf Club
- The region has six own wine estates with wine tasting and hamper picnics
- Visit the Tygerberg Zoo, Drakenstein Lion Park and Animalzone.
- Visit the Wijnland Auto Museum - biggest collection of classic and vintage cars in the country.
- Kuils River Golf Club offers an 18-hole course and welcomes visitors.
Helderberg, Cape Town, South Africa
- Visit the Helderberg Wine Route, starting at Somerset West.
- Visit the Stellenbosch winelands
- Swim at long, white, safe swimming beaches of Strand and Gordon's Bay
- Visit the Helderberg Nature Reserve in Somerset West
- Visit the Fynbos Biosphere near Betty's Bay
- Magnificent coastal scenic Clarence Drive to Rooi Els
- Whatch whales from August to November from Gordon's Bay
- Scuba diving, surfing, kite surfing, sea kayaking, deep sea fishing in area
- Shop at Somerset Mall, one of the biggest shopping malls in the Western Cape
- Take a drive along the beautiful coastal False Bay road to Muizenberg
- Visit historic Vergelegen Wine Estate
- Visit Monkey Town with 24 species or monkeys
- Golf at Erinvale, Somerset West and Strand Golf Clubs
- Go for shark diving in Gansbaai further along the coast
- See the cheetahs at Spier Wine Estate close by