Hidden Gems in Cape Town To Add To Your Bucket List

The Mother City has no shortage of iconic landmarks, top tourist attractions and world-renowned destinations to explore and experience, from Table Mountain, Cape Point and the vibrant V&A Waterfront to the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range, Robben Island, Camps Bay and the famous Muizenberg Beach Huts. While all these sought-after attractions have established Cape Town as one of the top global travel destinations around the world. There is so much more to the glorious Mother City than meets the eye.

Hidden gems of Cape Town

By wandering slightly off-the-beaten tourist track you will discover a magnificent treasure chest of hidden gems and secret spots you never knew existed before. And WOW are they spectacular! We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite secret spots, attractions and destinations; thereby ensuring you get the opportunity to explore the hidden gems of Cape Town like a real local would. Are you ready to discover, experience and explore Cape Town’s hidden gems? Here we go!

The Look-out Cave on Chapman’s Peak


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Crowned one of the most magnificent marine drives in the world, the famous Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of Cape Town’s top attractions. But, here’s a little insider local secret – very few people actually know about the variety of hidden gems scattered along this captivating coastal road. With one of them being the magical Look-out Cave, which is also one of Cape Town’s top secret sunset spots. But, as with most Cape Town hidden gems, you must be willing to wander a little bit off the beaten path to find it.

Make your way along Chapman’s Peak Drive until you reach the famous Chapman’s Peak Lookout Point. Now this is where the real adventure begins! Positioned just below the pass, you’ll have to climb over the railing. Then carefully make your way down the mountainside in order to find the Look-out Cave. Once you’ve reached this hidden sunset gem, it’s time to sit back, relax and soak it all in. An extra bonus is the fact that this Cape Town hidden gem has enough space to enjoy a picnic and a few sundowners paired with one hell of a view.

The ‘Secret Sunset Rock’


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Crowned by Cape Town locals as the ‘Secret Sunset Rock’, this beloved local sunset spot is one of the top Cape Town hidden gems to explore on your trip to the Mother City. Especially if you consider yourself to be a head-over-heels sunset lover at heart! But how exactly do you get to this stunning secret sunset spot? Once you’re on Ocean View Drive, follow the road through the neighbourhood of Fresnaye. Continue all the way to the end of the road until you reach what appears to be a dead-end. You will pass several stunning high-end houses on your way. It will almost feel like you’re not allowed to be there at all. But just completely ignore this weary feeling and park your car in the dead-end space.

As this is one of Cape Town’s top hidden sunset gems, there is no clear path laid out to get there. You will therefore have to bundu-bash your way through bushes and over a few rocks to get there. Before you know it, you will find yourself on a giant flat granite boulder that looks out over the beautiful Camps Bay and Clifton. This is Cape Town’s beloved local ‘Sunset Rock’. Find a spot anywhere on the boulder or scout out the area and find the perfect vantage point lower down. Whichever site you choose, the unobstructed views of the Twelve Apostles mountain range, Clifton, Camps Bay, the Atlantic Ocean and Lions Head promises to spectacular in every way.

Llandudno Beach


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There is no denying the fact that Cape Town is any beach lover’s dream come true. Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, there’s certainly no shortage of popular beaches to enjoy a stunning sun-kissed beach day in the Mother City. But, besides the world-renowned beach stunners like Camps Bay, Clifton Beach, Muizenberg Beach and Boulders Bay. Cape Town boasts some spectacular hidden beach gems that is every bit as magical as they are magnificent. With the sensational Llandudno Beach being one of them.

Boasting large granite boulders, crystal-clear ocean water, spectacular view and stunning surroundings. Llandudno is pure beach bliss! And the fact that its surrounded by large granite boulders not only means you get some extra shelter from the wild Cape Town winds. But creates the perfect little beach escape right in the heart of the Mother City. In addition to being one of Cape Town’s most glorious hidden beach gems, Llandudno Beach, particularly its giant boulders, is also known as one of the best local secret sunset spots in the city. A visit to the stunning Llandudno Beach is an absolute must for anyone looking to explore the hidden gems of Cape Town.

The Clifton Ridge Rocks


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Are you ready for another one of Cape Town’s beautiful secret sunset spots? What can we say, the Mother City isn’t known and celebrated for her spectacular sherbet coloured sunsets for nothing. Finding the most magical secret spots to watch the glorious Cape Town sun go down has therefore become somewhat of a local past-time and one of our very favourite things to do. And the beautiful Clifton Ridge Rocks is definitely one of our top Cape Town hidden gems to watch the stunning sunset.

But where exactly can you find this magical secret sunset spot? At the end of The Ridge Road in Clifton, just before you think you’ve gone too far, you’ll stumble upon a small walkway that opens on a little rock ridge. This is THE magic sunset spot! Once you’ve reached your sunset destination, find a spot, sit back, relax and soak up all the sunset magic that’s about to come your way. It promises to be one incredible sunset experience you won’t soon forget.

Water’s Edge


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Located right next to the popular Boulders Beach and its beloved African Penguin Colony, Water’s Edge is by far one of Cape Town’s most beautiful hidden beach gems. Completely hidden from the masses, this is one secret beach you wouldn’t know even existed unless you had the local inside scoop. So, how exactly do you get to this magical beach escape?

From the Penguin Viewing Site and Boulders Beach, continue walking along the path until you see a small wooden gate. While it might look like a place you should not enter at first sight, completely ignore that instinct and go on through. Trust us, you’re about to discover one of the Mother City’s best kept beach secrets that will completely sweep you off your feet.

Continue to make your way down the nature path until you start seeing the beach. You’ll then climb down a few rocks and voilá, you’ve arrived! A beautiful beach oasis with large granite boulders and turquoise waters. All without the large crowds and long queue. Plus, as Water’s Edge is situated right next to Boulders Beach, there’s a very high possibility that you’ll spot a few African Penguins swimming and strolling about as well as some dolphins, whales and Cape Fur Seals. How incredible is that? This is one Cape Town hidden gem that is worth every second of exploring.

Waterfall walks along Chapman’s Peak Drive


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We told you that in addition to magnificent beauty and magical views, Chapman’s Peak Drive boasts far more than meets the eye. Besides one of the most beautiful secret sunset spots in the city, the Look-out Cave, another one of Chapman’s Peak Drive’s hidden gems is its incredible waterfall walks. Especially if you consider yourself to be a real nature lover at heart.

While reaching this Cape Town hidden gem will definitely require a bit of extra effort and an adventurous spirit. Your end destination will without a doubt be worth every second of hard work. So, how exactly do you get to your magical Chapman’s Peak waterfall walk? Just before you reach the toll gate on your way towards Noordhoek, you’ll see a picnic table set at the end of the river on the left side of the road.

Follow the route along the river up into the mountain. You’ll then find yourself in a magical fairy-like forest. If you didn’t know any better, you might have thought you escaped to a whole new world entirely. If you’ve still got some energy left in the tank, by venturing just another 10 minutes up the route, you’ll stumble upon a mini waterfall surrounded by lush greenery and stunning scenic surroundings. It truly is beautiful and worth every second of extra effort, trust us.

Beta Beach at Bakoven Beach


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It’s time to explore another one of Cape Town best kept beach secrets! And next on your bucket-list adventure of exploring the hidden gems of Cape Town is none other than the beautiful beach gem of Beta Beach at Bakoven. Beta Beach is a smaller more intimate beach hidden between Camps Bay and Llandudno. Boasting large granite boulders and a more secluded and serine setting, Beta Beach is the perfect beach escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. In addition to beautiful rock pools and kelp forests, Beta Beach also boasts one of the most glorious views of the magnificent Twelve Apostles Mountain Range and the Atlantic Ocean.

Besides being one of Cape Town’s most beautiful hidden gems for a relaxing day of soaking up the glorious Cape Town sun. Beta Beach and its large granite boulders is also known as one of the best secret sunset spots in the city. Yes, we told you, in Cape Town we take our secret sunset spots super seriously. So, if you happen to be at Beta Beach in Bakoven at sunset, prepare yourself for quite a spectacular show.

The Lookout Hill in Khayelitsha


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Khayelitsha is widely known and celebrated as one of the Mother City’s largest and most vibrant townships. And with good reason too! Filled with a vibrant energy, lively atmosphere, warm and welcoming local vibe and incredible art, culture, food and music around every corner. You can’t help but be completely captivated by Khayelitsha’s undeniable magic and charm. And the truth is, there is so much more to this Cape Town gem than meets the eye. Boasting a variety of secret spots and hidden gems that will give you a real and raw perspective into a whole new side of Cape Town, a visit to Khayelitsha is absolutely worth a visit for anyone travelling to Cape Town. With the Look-out Hill being one of its most beautiful hidden gems.

Located right at the very top of this vibrant and diverse Cape Town suburb, you might need to put a bit of extra effort and graft into reaching the summit by climbing approximately 164 stairs to get there. It will without a doubt be well worth the effort in the end.  As you’re rewarded with spectacular panoramic views of the Mother City in all her glory. In addition to hiking your way up to the Khayelitsha Look-out Hill, spending some extra time exploring the lively neighbourhood, will be worth every second. It’s an authentic local experience you won’t soon forget!

Take an afternoon drive along Atlantic Ocean Drive


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While Cape Town is home to world-renowned marine drives like the iconic Chapman’s Peak Drive. That have people travelling from all corners of the world to witness and experience first-hand. There are a few stunning coastal drives, that are equally magnificent and captivating in every way. All without the large crowds and traffic. Thereby making them some of the best hidden gems in Cape Town to explore and experience during your holiday. With the spectacular stretch from Cape Point to Kommetjie, also known as the Atlantic Ocean Drive, being one of them.

Boasting an untamed and unapologetic natural beauty and some of Cape Town’s best kept secrets like Scarborough and Misty Cliffs along the way. This magnificent Mother City coastal drive is worth every second of exploring. While Chapmans Peak Drive is certainly more well known, this lesser known scenic stretch might just steal your vote and maybe your heart too.

Crystal Pools at the Steenberg Nature Reserve


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Calling all nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts, this Cape Town hidden gem is especially for you! While the Mother City has no shortage of spectacular well-known nature reserves and hiking trails. The Steenberg Nature Reserve and its thrilling Crystal pools is not only one of Cape Town’s most beautiful natural wonders to explore. But one of its top hidden gems too. Located just an hour outside of Cape Town, Steenberg Nature Reserve is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It will almost fee like you’ve escaped to a whole new world entirely without really leaving the city at all.

This glorious natural Cape Town gem is every bit as beautiful as it is exciting. And while it might take some extra effort (and maybe a bit of sweat and hard work) to reap the rewards. The endpoint is well worth it – a true Cape Town pot-of-gold! The beautiful Crystal Pool Hiking Trail starts on the R44, just after you’ve crossed the bridge over the mouth of the Steenbras River.

The abundance of indigenous fynbos, lush surroundings and incredible views ensures you have more than enough to marvel at and enjoy. The first pool is about 45 minutes from the start of the trail. And welcomes you to enjoy a lovely picnic and a shaded escape to catch your breath. BUT, if you have a bit more energy left in your ‘tank’ we suggest you continue your journey to the second pool. You will certainly be well rewarded for your efforts, that’s a promise! Boasting some serious swimming, kloofing opportunities and a waterfall it promises to be one thrilling adventure.

Discover and explore a Constantia Greenbelt


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With so many popular Cape Town hiking trails out there, chances are you haven’t discovered and experienced the sheer beauty of a Constantia Greenbelt before. Hidden between the avenues and quiet streets of lush neighbourhood of Constantia are several green belts just waiting to be explored by you. And the crazy things is, very few people actually know about it. It’s one of the top Cape Town hidden gems to explore for any nature lover and hiking enthusiast visiting the Mother City.

Filled with stunning natural beauty all around, these paths navigate their way through the lush forest glades and along the little waterways found along the Constantia Greenbelt. Thereby offering hikers, dog-walkers, late afternoon strollers, avid joggers and everyone in between a scenic journey through one of Cape Town’s most beautiful neighbourhoods and hidden natural gems.

The Blue Rock Resort & Quarry in Somerset West


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Another one of Cape Town’s hidden gems is the incredible Blue Rock Resort and Quarry in Somerset West. Known as one of the most beautiful and unique wonders of the Western Cape, Blue Rock guarantees fun for the whole family. Here you can expect to enjoy cable water skiing, knee-boarding, wakeboarding, paintball, zip-line, Badi Beach, diving, playgrounds and so much more. Blue Rock is also one of the few recreational places in South Africa with naturally clear and clean water. The resort is a real Western Cape gem and you’ll definitely have fun exploring it!

Explore Cape Point’s beautiful secret beaches


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The magnificent Cape Point is not only considered as one of Cape Town’s most beautiful natural wonders, attracting thousands of visitors each year. It also boats a stunning variety of secret beaches very few people actually know about. Undoubtedly making Cape Point’s spectacular selection of sensational secret beaches one of the top things to do when exploring the hidden gems in Cape Town. Especially if you consider yourself to be a true head-over-heels beach lover at heart.

One of Cape Points favourite hidden beach gems among local beach lovers is definitely Diaz Beach. Not to mention the fact that it is also another one of Cape Town’s most beautiful secret sunset spots. One of the greatest things about Diaz Beach (as well as many of Cape Point’s other secret beaches) is the fact that it has remained largely untouched by the masses. This is mainly due to its secret location and extra effort required to get there.

From the parking lot, you will embark on about a 20-minute hike. You will then reach a rather steep set of wooden stairs that will lead you to this picturesque beach escape. Boasting a white sandy beach, turquoise water and towering cliff faces. The unspoilt shoreline of Diaz Beach is bound to render you speechless. And at sunset the unrivalled beauty of Diaz Beach is only magnified. This is one Cape Town secret beach and sunset spot that should be on everyone’s bucket-list.

Some of Cape Point’s other secret beaches include Buffels Bay, Olifantsbos Beach and Maclear’s Beach.

The Heritage Vine


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Known as the oldest wine-producing vine in the Southern Hemisphere as well as the oldest vine in South Africa, the Heritage Vine is not only considered somewhat of a miracle. But one the most magical Cape Town hidden gems. Estimated to have been planted in 1771, it is one of the few remaining original French vinifera rootstocks still alive today. The vine roots are believed to trace back to the burghers of Cape Town. Who planted vines in their gardens to make their own wine. The beloved Heritage vine is definitely one of hidden gems in Cape Town that is absolutely worth a visit. The Heritage Vine can be found on the corner of Bree and Short Market Street in Cape Town’s vibrant inner-city.

Exploring the hidden gems in Cape Town promises to be an incredible adventure. Undoubtedly adding a whole lot more beauty, excitement, fun and adventure to your journey through the Mother City. Not only will it give you the opportunity to experience a whole new side of the beautiful and exciting city of Cape Town. But discover and experience magical secret spots and glorious hidden gems you never knew existed. It truly is a bucket-list worthy adventure in every way!

Looking for more things to do in Cape Town this weekend? You can check out a range of tours packages you can enjoy. Be sure to follow us on Facebook or check out our blog, which has a huge range of ideas on what to see and do, where to stay and how to put every moment of your weekend to good use. If you’re planning a longer stay, be sure to get in touch. We will help you find the perfect place to stay in Cape Town this weekend or any other weekend you plan to visit.

About The Author: Bianca Bunge

I am a Cape Town based Travel Blogger & aspiring writer. Travelling is the ULTIMATE joy, it allows us to lose ourselves & find ourselves all at the same time, is there anything better than that? PURE BLISS!! And being a Travel Blogger allows me to share my love of travelling, especially my LOVE of Cape Town, with all of you. The Mother City truly did steal my heart, and perhaps she'll steal yours too! I also love the ocean, going on adventures & wine, I REALLY love wine! Join me on my mission to discover EVERY little bit of Cape Town, and what a glorious adventure it will be!
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