Top things you have to do in Cape Town before you die or at least once – as a visitor and local.
The Mother City, as Cape Town is affectionately known, boasts an endless list of exciting things to do. From climbing the one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature (Table Mountain) to shopping at one of South Africa’s most popular shopping centre’s (V&A Waterfront), this city has it all. Which is why it comes as no surprise that there are a few mandatory to-dos that kind of prove that you’ve been here and that you’ve done every single thing that every person that talks about Kaapstad says you ‘absolutely have to do’.
So it goes without saying that this list is a must for Capetonians and tourists alike, to make sure that they get some of the best things that this sea side metropolis has to offer, and that leaves no guesses as to why this city topped the New York Times’ list of 52 Places to go.
1) Try a Gatsby – Cape Town’s signature super loaf, which is usually stuffed with slap chips and a range of other fillings like polony, steak, atchar, and much more!
2) This is a no brainer: YOU HAVE TO GO UP TABLE MOUNTAIN – which is now officially one of New 7 Wonders of Nature.
3) Another no brainer, you guessed it: hike up Lion’s head.
4) Go to Simon’s Town (by train) – It is home to a Royal Navy base that now belongs to the South African government, and an authentic wartime submarine can be found there.
5) Check out the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens – The stunning garden has been named 2015’s ‘International Garden of the Year’. There’s also a great treetop canopy walkway called the ‘Boomslang” that has recently been declared the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa at the 2015 Design Indaba.
6) Take a stroll through the Company’s Garden – while you’re at it, you can visit the restaurant there.
7) While you’re on that side of the world (point 6), take a selfie outside Parliament, which is right near the Company’s Garden.
8) Check out the South African Brewery in Newlands. It is here that you can enjoy an insightful beer tour that delves deep into the history of the almost 200 –year- old establishment.
9) Do some cool stuff on Signal Hill: Paraglide off the famous mound and soak in the views of the cool and calm Atlantic Ocean, or watch the beautiful sunset.
10) Take a Hop On Hop Off City Sightseeing Bus – this service is a tried and tested form of seeing attractions in the 021.
11) Go for a swim at Clifton 4th beach. This gorgeous stretch of sand and sea has been awarded Blue Flag Beach status, which means the water, safety and marine quality is of high standard.
12) Have lunch at the Chef's Warehouse - winner of the 2014 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards for Best Everyday Eatery.
13) See the Garden Route and arrive in style via the Blue Train. This classic form of travelling is the epitome of elegance and luxury.
14) Check out the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock. This hotspot (which is ‘the place to be’ amongst locals and tourists alike), is home to a few well-known markets and events, restaurants and lots more.
15) Visit Boulder’s Beach in Simon’s Town. It is here where you will find a colony of penguins that settled there in 1982. Boulders Penguin Colony. Simon's Town 021 786 2329.
16) Take a trip to the historic Robben Island. The island’s function has changed over the past few years, but is most commonly known as its past use of being a political prison during South Africa’s apartheid. (One of the most famous prisoners being former president Nelson Mandela).
17) Go to Café Caprice in Camps Bay. The trendy hangout spot is known for attracting Hollywood A-Listers and is also an ideally situated location for sundowners, good food and a great vibe.
18) And while we’re on the subject of great vibes, it is of course imperative that you check out Cape Town’s famous Long Street. The CBD roadway is known for its endless offering of clubs, pubs, bars and everything in between.
19) Head on over to Kalk Bay. This quaint seaside town is known for its beautiful views of the False Bay coastline and is also a top spot for getting tasty fish and chips at well-known fishery Kalky’s.
20) While you’re in the South Peninsula, make sure you visit Muizenberg beach. The popular sandy shoreline is a prime spot for surfing and features those well-known colourful changing booths that appear in many Cape Town -related tourism photos.
21) Check out Rhodes Memorial, which is stationed on the slopes of Devil’s Peak Mountain (at the University of Cape Town). This location lends itself to great views of the city, and is also a chilled spot for selfies and relaxing with friends.
22) Do something thrilling and go shark diving in Gansbaai. Just two hours away from Cape Town, this location is known as the Great White Shark capital of the world. So what better way to explore the waters than by a one-on-one encounter with the terrifying yet beautiful beasts of the sea.
23) Go on a helicopter ride. This is one of the best ways to see the beautiful Atlantic, as well as majestic landmarks like Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles, Lion’s Head as well as Signal Hill.
24) Check out the Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay. This weekend shindig has over 80 trader stalls filled with delightful goods and also features live music and more!
25) Discover Mzoli’s in Gugulethu. Mzoli’s is a popular chisa nyama (braai spot) that boasts tasty flame grilled meat, great sounds, and a buzzing energy.