Not many places in the world are as beautiful as Cape Town, South Africa’s southernmost city. Famed for its buzzing nightlife, beautiful beaches, picturesque botanical gardens, and the iconic Table Mountain, this thriving coastal city is one of the most popular destinations in South Africa.
Whether you wish to explore colorful neighborhoods, enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities like hiking, surfing, and whale-watching, or visit some of the city’s most popular tourist attractions such as the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, this list of beautiful Cape Town attractions has got you covered.
1 Table Mountain
Mother City’s Table Mountain is a great place to kick-off your Cape Town travel itinerary. Home to over 1500 species of fynbos, this iconic landmark in South Africa attracts millions of visitors per year. To reach the summit of the mountain and enjoy magnificent views of Cape Town, adventurous travelers can hike to the top of the mountain. The other option is to hop inside the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway. The journey takes a couple of minutes, but the views of the Atlantic Ocean and the city from these suspended cable cars are simply amazing.
2 Boulders Beach
No list of beautiful attractions in Cape Town would be complete without mentioning the charming Boulders Beach and its colony of African jackass penguins. It is actually one of the few places in the world where penguins live on a beach but are also extremely close to civilization. Home to more than 2,000 penguins, Boulders Beach attracts thousands of tourists daily who wish to observe these cute creatures at a close range. Whether you wish to take the wheel-chair accessible path or go for a dip in the ocean and admire the beauty of the penguins from the water, a visit to Boulders Beach is truly a magical experience.
3 Bo Kaap
Welcome to Bo Kaap, a colorful suburb of the Mother City. Once a district of slave housing, this charming neighborhood is famed for its brightly-painted houses. Expect to see numerous buildings painted in vibrant colors like purple, orange, blue, and yellow. To learn more about the history of Bo Kaap, I recommend paying a visit to the Bo Kaap Museum. Foodies visiting this lovely Cape Town suburb will definitely want to sample the delicious Cape Malay cuisine. If you wish to prepare some of these dishes at home, you can even join a cooking class here in Bo Kaap.
4 Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
The V&A Waterfront is without a doubt the most popular destination here in Cape Town. Home to a number of attractions ranging from art galleries and museums to world-class restaurants with awesome sea views and stylish bars, Victoria and Alfred Waterfront also offers magnificent views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. Experience the waterfront’s vibrant nightlife, take your kids to the Two Oceans Aquarium where more than 300 different species of marine life can be found, and spend an afternoon at a ship museum. Sports fans should definitely not miss the amazing Springbok Experience Rugby Museum.
5 Constantia Valley
Wine lovers exploring Cape Town will be happy to hear that the Cape Winelands District Municipality is one of the finest wine regions in Africa. Therefore, I recommend heading out to the charming Constantia Valley region that is well-known for its historic mansions, oak-lined alleys, and of course, many vineyards. Although there are numerous excellent wine estates in the region, one of my favorite places to visit here is Groot Constantia. From sampling some of the finest wines in Cape Winelands and going on an unforgettable guided tour of the estate to enjoying spectacular views, there is plenty to look forward to when visiting this fabulous wine estate in Constantia Valley.
6 Clifton Beach
Located on the West Atlantic region just a short drive from the city center, Clifton Beach is one of the trendiest stretches of sand in the region. It is actually a series of 4 beaches that are separated by giant stone boulders. Thanks to its white sands and crystal-clear waters, Clifton Beach attracts large crowds of visitors who wish to escape from all the hustle and bustle of the central streets in Cape Town. The only downside of the beach is that although the water looks appealing, it is usually very chilly with an average temperature of 14 °C. However, it is one of the best places in Cape Town to enjoy sunset views.
7 Castle of Good Hope
The oldest surviving colonial building in the country, the Castle of Good Hope is one of the must-visit attractions in Cape Town for all you culture vultures and history buffs out there. Dating back to the 17th century, this historic fortress is home to an awesome military museum where travelers can learn more about the history of the city and see uniforms, weapons, and other military memorabilia. There is also the on-site Iziko Museum which boasts an impressive collection of antique furniture and historical paintings. To enjoy magnificent views of the surrounding area, I suggest climbing up onto the bastions.
8 Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Established in the 1910s, the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is one of the most beautiful Cape Town attractions. Nature lovers can look forward to discovering some of the pretest native plants in this excellent botanical garden and enjoying breathtaking views of the iconic Table Mountain. Home to over 7,000 species of flora spread through a few gardens and children’s attractions like statues of dinosaurs, Kirstenbosch is definitely an ideal destination for a weekend getaway with the entire family. Whether you wish to enjoy a romantic walk and a picnic with that special someone, visit specialist gardens like Protea and Fragrance Garden or go for a stroll along the picturesque canopy walkway, there are many activities at these spectacular gardens to keep you entertained throughout the day.
9 Muizenberg Beach
Well-known for its coastal beauty, Muizenberg Beach is a major tourist attraction located in the cute seaside town of False Bay. Compared to Clifton, the waters at this beach are definitely warmer, which means you can enjoy water activities like swimming and surging. However, the highlight of the Muizenberg Beach and the reason why thousands of tourists flock to this suburb of Cape are the colorful huts/ Victorian beach houses. You will probably be seeing lots of fellow tourists posing for selfies in front of these brightly colored wooden bathing boxes. If you wish to learn how to surf, I recommend the amazing Gary’s Surf School.
Travelers searching for that “Kreuzberg in Berlin” experience in Cape Town should definitely spend a day in one of Cape Town’s oldest suburbs, the magnificent Woodstock. The wealth of street art here is simply amazing. Expect to see many messages on the walls that talk about the environment, social justice, cultural diversity, health, and much more. This vibrant neighborhood attracts many young creative spirits who are working or volunteering in many of the Woodstock’s art galleries, workshops, stores, and restaurants. A weekend craft-and-food market is also one of the reasons why many people flock to Woodstock over the weekends. In case you get hungry, I recommend paying a visit to the Pot Luck Club.
Planning to visit Cape Town any time soon? Learn more about the Mother City, how to get around, free things to do in Cape Town, and more from our blog. We can help you find the perfect place to stay. Get in touch if you’d like help finding accommodation or Cape Town tours to indulge in when you are around.