There is no shortage of amazing places in South Africa’s Mother City. From scenic regions and pristine beaches to lovely gardens and picturesque wine estates, Cape Town has it all. You can spend an afternoon at the Kirstenbosch National Botanic Gardens, take a cable car to the top of Table Mountain, or explore the colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood. The options are truly endless. Check out our list of 15 fascinating places in Cape Town.
1 Chapman’s Peak Drive
Chapman’s Peak Drive or Chappies as the locals like to call it is one of the most scenic drives in South Africa. Companies like BMW and Mercedes Benz filmed their ads here, so it comes as no surprise that Chappies is not a hidden gem any longer. Enjoy the spectacular ocean views from the cliff-hugging road that boasts nine kilometers and 114 bends.
2 Castle of Good Hope
The oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa, the Castle of Good Hope is home to the Iziko Museums and the Castle Military Museum. The Iziko Museum features hundreds of antique furniture and historical paintings, while the Military Museum is a place where you can learn about the history of the Cape and its military installations.
3 Robben Island
There are many fascinating places in Cape Town that everyone should visit and Robben Island is one of them. This island used to be a military base, a mental institution, a hospital, and a political prison where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life. Robben Island became a World Heritage Site in 1999 and offers tours which are guided by ex-prisoners who served time here. Tours depart every single day from the Victoria and Albert Waterfront.
4 Kirstenbosch National Botanic Gardens
Established in 1913, Kirstenbosch National Botanic Gardens is one of the best botanical gardens in the world and features a variety of plants from the Cape and from different parts of the continent. It is set against a backdrop of Table Mountain, which means you get to enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding area. If you are into hiking, there is a lovely trail that begins in the garden and goes to all the way to the top of Table Mountain.
5 Cape Winelands
No visit to the capital of South Africa is complete without a tour of the Western Cape wine growing regions. Discover some of the world’s most beautiful natural landscapes and visit a number of spectacular wine estates along the way. Constantia Valley is home to the most famous wine estates in South Africa, while Durbanville and Helderberg are also famous for producing high-quality wine. Just a short drive away from Cape Town, the regions of Robertson, Paarls, Franschhoek, and Stellenbosch are home to dozens of excellent wineries.
6 Cape Point
Located at the very of end of the Cape Peninsula just 40 miles outside of Cape Town, Cape Point is all about stunning ocean views that you could put on your Instagram account. This part of the Table Mountain National Park also houses around 250 species of birds, as well as animals like zebra and baboons. You can either take a funicular to the lighthouse or walk up a steep path.
7 Table Mountain
Table Mountain is probably one of the most popular and fascinating places in Cape Town. For birds-eye views overlooking the city take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain or spend a couple of hours taking one of the hiking trails. If you decide to walk up to the top, make sure to check the weather forecast beforehand.
8 Clifton Beach
We all know that Cape Town is home to a number of excellent beaches and Clifton Beach is definitely one of them. Located on the West Atlantic side just ten minutes from the center of Cape Town, this amazing beach actually consists of four different beaches which are divided by a stretch of granite boulders. All of these beaches boast offer great sunset views and should be included in your Cape Town travel itinerary.
9 West Coast National Park
Offering spectacular wetlands which house hundreds of bird species, the West Coast National Park also boasts a wide range of flowers during the spring season. Some of the spots at the West Coast National Park that overlook the ocean are quite popular with nature-lovers and whale watchers.
10 V&A Waterfront
Set against the backdrop of Table Mountain and Signal Hill, V&A Waterfront is one of the most popular attractions in Cape Town and features amazing views of the Table Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. It was named after the queen of Britain and her youngest son and houses a variety of nightlife options, restaurants, and shops. V&A Waterfront is also home to a lovely amphitheater, several art galleries, ship museum, and an excellent aquarium which is popular with families with children.
Also known as the Malay Quarter, Bo-Kaap is a colorful neighborhood with brightly-painted houses that date back to the 18th century. Its cobblestone streets are ideal for taking photographs and the area is also home to the Bo-Kaap Museum that tells the history of the life of early Muslims in the region. The best way to explore this vibrant neighborhood is on foot.
12 Boulders Beach
I bet that there are not many places on the planet where you can take a walk on the beach and swim in the ocean just a couple of meters from a huge colony of South African penguins. Well, Boulders Beach is one of these places. Today, there are over 2,000 penguins here and you will have an opportunity to get within a few feet of these lovely creatures. The area is wheelchair accessible, but although the penguins are quite used to humans, you should not touch them.
13 Top of Signal Hill
Take a hop-on-hop-off bust to the top of the Signal Hill. Once you reach the tip, you can watch the sun go down from a point which includes views of Robben Island and the Atlantic Seaboard. Keep in mind that the sunset views here are best on warm nights when there is no wind.
14 Blaauwberg Nature Reserve
Located just a short drive from Cape Town, The Blaauwberg Nature Reserve is one of the best viewpoints in South Africa. It offers amazing views across the cityscape, the sandy coastline, and down the fynbos slopes. Blaauwberg Nature Reserve is also one of the places in the world from which you can actually see two World Heritage Sites, or in this case Robben Island and Table Mountain.
15 Camps Bay
Well-known for its dolphin-watching opportunities and white sands, Camps Bay is located on the western edge of Table Mountain and boasts a number of trendy bars, restaurants, and accommodation options. Although the beach here is not ideal for swimming because of the waves, there are many places where you can order a cocktail and enjoy the spectacular sunset views.