Cape Town is South Africa’s most popular tourist destination – and for good reason. There’s so much to see and do in this city that you’ll never be lost for things to do. I have done some quick research and the following reasons to visit Cape Town have convinced me to immediately add this capital to my travel bucket list.
1. Cape Town can be budget friendly
You get a lot for your money in Cape Town. Accommodation can be expensive in the centre (as it is in most cities), but if you’re willing to venture out you’ll find plenty of bargains. In fact, you may be able to afford an upmarket apartment for your vacation if you’re willing to stay on the outskirts. Meanwhile, public transport is very affordable and there are lots of cheap places to eat and drink.
2. The beaches in Cape Town are beautiful
South Africa’s capital is also blessed with some beautiful beaches, which consist of large stretches of white sand (yay!). If you’re looking to catch a tan and mingle with the rich and trendy, the Atlantic Seaboard Beaches are the place to go. For a calmer setting with less crowds, the False Bay Beaches are a good choice. As for those that love their surfing, your best option is the Table Bay beaches where the waves attract people from around the world. South Africa’s year-round warm weather means that a trip to beach is always worthwhile. You can also spot various wildlife including penguins, seals and even sharks (but don’t worry – most the touristy beaches are shark-free).
3. Explore the rich history
There’s also a rich history to Cape Town for those that want a more cultural trip. Castle of Good Hope is one of the most popular historical attractions – this castle was built in the 1600s and is one of the oldest colonial structures in South Africa. For a modern historical sight, the prison of Robben Island is well worth a visit – here you can visit Nelson Mandela’s jail cell and take organised tours led by former inmates. There are meanwhile plenty of museums in the city for exploring Cape Town’s past including Iziko South African Museum (great for dinosaur lovers) and Cape Town Holocaust Centre (a humbling look into the genocide that once took place).
4. You can taste the local wine
The area around Cape Town is popular for wine growing and produces some of South Africa’s most famous and popular wines. Franschoek and Stellenbosch are two of the best regions in the area. There are plenty of opportunities for wine tasting, as well as vineyard tours for those that want to learn about the creation process behind these wines. Best thing to do is rent a car and organise your own handpicked tour of the vineyards.
5. The food is amazing
Cape Town is also an excellent city for foodies. It’s prime location on the former Dutch East India Company Spice Route helped the city to develop a number of unique spiced dishes such as biltong and boerewors. The markets are a great place to eat authentic South African food on the cheap, however there are also plenty of restaurants for those that want to treat themselves to some fine dining. There are also many other cosmopolitan flavours to be had in Cape Town from Chinese food to Italian. Famous places to eat in Cape Town include The Test Kitchen, Pot Luck Club and Bistro Bizerca Signal.
6. Climb a Table mountain
There are many natural sights to be found on the outskirts of Cape Town. Table Mountain is the most iconic of these natural sights – the 1055m mountain towers over the city and offers incredible views from its peak. You can take a two hour hike up it or you can take a more leisurely cable car ride. Adrenaline junkies can even abseil down the mountain!
7. It’s a shopper’s paradise
At last, but not the least, Cape Town also has plenty of places to shop. Long Street is one of the most popular destinations for shoppers – it’s long had a bohemian feel and is home to many unique fashion stores and book shops. The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront also offers a vibrant array of places to shop along with plenty of restaurants and bars to stop at when you get tired of shopping. On top of this the city has plenty of markets for buying traditional souvenirs such as ceramics and stylish handcrafted jewellery.
Have you been in Cape Town, or South Africa? Agree with these statements? Do share your experience with us, scroll below for a comment 😉