Some call it the Mother City; others just simply say that it is one of the most stunning cities in Africa and the world.
Whatever Cape Town is, it is the location of the eagerly-awaited 2010 World Cup draw and will be one of the places to be in June and July 2010.
With the world of football turning its attention to Cape Town, Goal.com, as part of our Cape Town Countdown, has come up with ten suggestions of things that you could, should and must do while you are in the city.
The name Robben Island is synonymous with South Africa’s history. Just a half-hour’s ferry ride from Cape Town (the island provides great views of the city and, of course, Table Mountain), it is almost essential that visitors make the trip to the prison that was home to Nelson Mandela for 27 years as well as a number of other leaders in the African National Congress.
A former political prisoner, no, not Madiba himself, guides visitors around the former prison. Give yourself half a day and give yourself something to think about and, perhaps, a slightly better understanding of this fascinating nation.
In 1999 Robben Island was declared a World Heritage site of cultural significance by UNESCO.
You can’t talk about Cape Town without talking about Table Mountain. It dominates the city and provides a dramatic backdrop to pretty much everywhere you go.
So named in English because of its distinctive shape, it offers an amazing view of the city below. For a clear view, early morning is best. Even then, you may find that the top is wrapped in the famous ‘tablecloth’ and covered with clouds. You can walk to the top or take a cable car.
Let’s face it, the World Cup is almost all about football and the new stadium looks to be spectacular. In a country that has built some stunning stadiums for the global football-fest, Green Point Stadium is sure to be one of the best.
Located near the vibrant Green Point area of the city with the ocean as a backdrop, the arena is sure to provide some of the iconic images of the 2010 World Cup.
As far as predators go the likes of David Villa, Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba are famed throughout the football world but they have nothing when it comes to the great white shark.
Fortunately, for nature lovers there is the chance to get up close and personal with these beautiful and awe-inspiring fish. You can head to nearby Gansbaai just outside the city for a face-to-face encounter that you won’t forget in a hurry.
The oldest wine farm, Groot Constantia, a national monument, lies in a beautiful valley in the southern suburbs, 10 miles from the center. Groot Constantia has a stately home, museum, cellar tours, tastings and a fine restaurant.
Further afield around the picturesque historical university town of Stellenbosch lies the centre of the wine industry. A multitude of smaller vineyards offer explanations, tastings, cellar tours and dining experiences.
The surf in South Africa ranks among the best in the world and Cape Town doesn’t disappoint those who are hoping to catch the waves though the water can be a little on the chilly side.
The Cape Peninsula coastline offers some excellent surfing opportunities. Kommetjie is perhaps the most famous but there are around 70 beaches in the area that provide their own fair share of watery thrills and spills. In short, if you like surfing or even if you are just curious, Cape Town is a place worth a visit.
Plenty of people spend a pleasant evening at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront wandering around some of the 250 shops, having dinner at one of the numerous restaurants or visiting the Two Oceans Aquarium.
This is still a working harbour but for visitors it is best to relax with a beer at any of a number of waterside pubs and watch the world and the Atlantic Ocean go by. Or, even better, watch the action on the television screens alongside visitors from all over the world.
Capetonians love their sports and if you are not lucky enough to be in the city during the World Cup, there are still a good deal of other attractions.
Cape Town is represented in the local Premier Soccer League by Ajax Cape Town and Santos.
If you want to take the opportunity to catch cricket or rugby (cricket takes place in the South African summer) then the South Africa national teams in both sports play in the city on a fairly regular basis and there are often local games to watch.
The South African tradition of the sundowner is another reason to head to the country at any opportunity. A sundowner is simply a drink you have while watching the sun go down.
Perhaps more than anywhere else in the Rainbow Nation, Cape Town offers numerous opportunities, bars and vantage points for some of the best sundowners in the world.
Grab a cold beer (Goal.com willl be looking at -or, to be more accurate, tasting – South African beers in the not-too-distant future), or whatever takes your fancy, and chill out.
This geographical feature is known to sailors and landlubbers alike around the world. It is not actually the most southernmost tip of Africa but rather the point where, if you are travelling south from the equator, your direction starts to become more easterly than southerly.
Famed for its fierce seas, the tourist park here is now more famed for its fierce baboons who when refused food, get angrier than Alex Ferguson when a decision goes against Manchester United.
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