We did SO many activities during our week in Cape Town. These were some of my favorites.
The V&A Waterfront is a huge tourist attraction. Located right on the water, it houses tons of restaurants, shops, pubs, and even a Ferris wheel! I originally thought it would be very touristy, and was tempted not to go. We had some free time one day and decided to come for lunch. I was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere! It did feel slightly touristy, but I would come back here even if I was a local. There were African bands singing and dancing that made me wish we could stay longer. We ended up eating at a restaurant called Quay Four. I had the mussels and chowder along with a peach Bellini. It was a beautiful day, and we sat outside overlooking the wharf.
My friends and I were looking for a market to buy some handmade African souvenirs. Our Airbnb host recommended Greenmarket Square. The entire square was full of vendors with booths. We saw some of the same souvenirs in all of the booths, which made bargaining with the vendors more fun. I got lots of things I wanted, like several small elephant figurines (they’re my favorite animal) and souvenirs for friends back home. It was raining while we were there, and we found a similar market next door that is indoors with similar things.
The beautiful beach of Camps Bay is known for its sunsets (really, all of Cape Town is). There is a line of restaurants and bars across the street from the beach that all have amazing views of the ocean. We came here on the boys’ last evening and watched the sunset while we had drinks and appetizers. After the restaurant, we walked across the street and sat in the sand, watching the sun go down.
Table Mountain Cable Car
Table Mountain has a cable car that takes you from the base to the top. We attempted to climb to the top on our second day, but failed (read why here). We were planning on hiking to the top and then taking the cable car down. However, due to high winds (which happens here frequently), the cable car was closed when we got to the top. We had already bought our return tickets, so we ended up taking the cable car later that week, once it opened back up. My advice: take the cable car earlier in your trip if the weather is nice, so you don’t run into the same problem as us!
Since we had bought our tickets ahead of time, we only had to wait in line 20 minutes. The line for non-ticket holders looked like it would take much longer. The cable car itself is really cool. It’s cylindrically shaped, and the platform you stand on rotates, giving you 360-degree views. They packed us in the car like sardines. We were fortunate to get on last, so we weren’t stuck in the middle without any views.
I expected the top of Table Mountain to be chilly and windy, but it wasn’t at all. We walked around to all of the viewpoints, before heading back down. They boys had to catch their flight that afternoon, so we were in a bit of a rush.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
The botanical gardens were probably my favorite thing we did in Cape Town. The gardens were founded in 1913 and house native flora to South Africa. Kirstenbosch is on the other side of Table Mountain from the city center, but still has an amazing view of the mountain (really, everywhere in Cape Town does!). I was impressed by how large the gardens were, and if we hadn’t bought a map we would’ve likely gotten lost!
Our first stop was the Boomslang Canopy Walk. This is a bridge built among the canopy of trees in a section of the gardens. The walk is inspired by a snake’s skeleton, and winds in and out of the trees. There is no additional fee for entering the walk, and it holds a fantastic view of the gardens and Table Mountain.
Just as I was thinking the next section resembled Jurassic Park, we came across life-size dinosaur statues in the Cycads amphitheater. We sat here and listened to the birds chirp for a while.
My favorite part of the gardens was the Dell, a winding stone path over water, leading to the famous bird bath in a little forest. This is the oldest section of Kirstenbosch, and most attractive in my opinion.
Check out my video below on Cape Town!