Things to do in

Cape Town

Discover a melting pot of culture in this coastal city, along with daring adventure and fusion cuisine.

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Our most recommended things to do in Cape Town

  • Cape Town: Waterfront and Sunset Champagne Cruise

    1. Cape Town: Waterfront and Sunset Champagne Cruise

    Cape Town has one of the best locations for watching the sun go down from the water. With the Atlantic Ocean stretching away from the majestic Table Mountain range, this is certainly a "must-do" cruise for locals and tourists alike. You'll also get a unique view of the coast of Cape Town from the sea while relaxing and sipping on local sparkling wine! The sailboats Esperance and Serenity One follow the wind for this cruise, and therefore the destination is dependent on the weather at the time of the cruise. Your captain will let you know before departure your expected direction, but typical Cape Town summer wind blows from the southeast. First, you'll leave the harbor and sail across Table Bay towards Milnerton Lighthouse, returning to the protection of the Granger Bay in the lee of Table Mountain to watch the sun set, and then motor back to the waterfront. In the winter months, with t...

    Beautiful experience and service was awesome, oooh the choice of music made it an experience not to forget

  • Cape Town City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

    2. Cape Town City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

    One of South Africa’s most popular destinations, Cape Town is considered one of the world’s most beautiful cities. See landmarks such as Table Mountain, Camps Bay, and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden on a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour. Choose from 4 exciting tour routes. There are 2 ticket options available. If you opt for a 1-day ticket it allows you to experience all four routes - Red, Yellow, Blue and Purple Routes. The 2-day ticket allows you to take advantage of all routes - Red, Yellow, Blue and Purple Routes - for 2 consecutive days.  The 2-day ticket also includes 2 walking tours, a harbor cruise, and a sunset bus tour during the summer season. The Red City Tour 1 V&A Waterfont 2 The Clock tower 3 Cape Town Convention Centre 5 81 Long Street 6 Jewel Africa 7 Lower Cableway Station 8 Camps Bay Beachfront 9 President Hotel 10 St John's Road 11 Winchest...

    It as great! Very educational, and the tour guides were very friendly and had eclectic energy

  • Two Oceans Aquarium: Skip-the-Line Entrance ticket

    3. Two Oceans Aquarium: Skip-the-Line Entrance ticket

    With more than 3,000 creatures on show, the Two Oceans Aquarium provides a diverse showcase of Atlantic and Indian Ocean marine life. Explore different underwater species from the Ocean Basket Kelp Forest, which also showcases the unique kelp that is found on Cape Town beaches. Check out what sea life looks like under a microscope, and explore the Indian Ocean. View mesmerising exhibits that features the dazzling colours of its fish, translucent jellies, shy octopuses and Knysna seahorses. Make a point to check out the new I&J Exhibit, a 10-meter long tunnel that gives a peek at a variety of subtropical species. The Two Oceans Aquarium is home to a few species that aren’t found at any other aquarium in the world. Among these are the strange, serpentine hagfish. An eel-like fish, it can produce as much as five litres of slime when it’s scared.It’s an ancient fish that doesn’t have eyes...

    Firstly I would like to thank John for his great customer service as well as Archie . Thank you for the refund I appreciated it and also I would use your service in the near future . Keeep up the great work .

  • Cape Town: Coastal Catamaran Cruise

    4. Cape Town: Coastal Catamaran Cruise

    Enjoy a one-hour scenic coastal cruise aboard a luxury power catamaran. The vessel will take you from the historic V&A Waterfront area on an adventure out to sea. Throughout the cruise, you'll travel along the Atlantic coastline to the Green Point Lighthouse before then traveling back to the harbor. With spectacular mountain and city views, the cruise provides perfect ocean views over many of Cape Town’s splendors. Your one-hour cruise operates daily, with regular departures from Quay 5. With a cash bar on board for refreshments as well as great service, this is a trip not to be missed.

    Excellent adventure! The bar is fully stocked, the hosts are attentive, and the music was a nice touch. It also wasn’t overly crowded. I would definitely recommend.

  • Table Mountain Cable Car Ticket & Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Combo

    5. Table Mountain Cable Car Ticket & Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Combo

    Discover Cape Town at your own pace with a combined 1-day, Classic ticket for the open-top sightseeing bus and Table Mountain Aerial Cableway. Get access to all 4 routes of the hop-on hop-off bus and benefit from a stop at the cableway station to ascend to the top of the mountain for spectacular views of the city and Atlantic Seaboard.  Listen to a commentary in 15 languages aboard the bus to learn more about the must-see attractions and decide where to jump off. The ticket is valid for 14 days from first use so that you don't have to ride the bus and cableway on the same day.

    The activity is convenient in that you can hop onto the bus at any point and time at the allocated stop.

  • Hout Bay: Seal Snorkeling Experience

    6. Hout Bay: Seal Snorkeling Experience

    Let an experienced crew take you on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure - come face-to-face with the ocean's friendliest animal, the cape fur seal. Meet at the local partner's office. Once all the preparations are complete and you are fully briefed in a short training session, your trip will begin. After a scenic boat ride to Duiker Island, a breeding colony for the cape fur seal, you'll have the opportunity to explore underwater life for yourself! Spend approximately one hour in the shallow and clear water, observing and interacting with these amazing animals on their own terms. On the way back, enjoy hot drinks and snacks on board while you share your awesome memories made while snorkeling with these fantastic animals!

    Great service and friendly, safe atmosphere! Would have wished for some more information on seal life and behaviour.

  • Robben Island: Ferry Ticket and Tour with 1-Way Hotel Pickup

    7. Robben Island: Ferry Ticket and Tour with 1-Way Hotel Pickup

    Your driver will pick you up in central Cape Town with a shared bus and drop you at the V&A Waterfront, not far from the Robben Island Museum, where the ferry to the island departs from. Only after receiving your ticket from the local operator, make your way to the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.  The ferry trip lasts about 45 minutes: at your arrival you will first have a bus tour of the island and then you will be given the opportunity to visit the prison and the cell where Nelson Mandela was kept for 18 of his 27 prison years. Learn about the dramatic history of South Africa through the voice of a former prisoner. After the tour you will get a return boat to Cape Town and you will be dropped off at the V&A Waterfront. Here you will be free to return to your accommodation independently or continue touring the beautiful city.

    Well I was expecting to see Mandela’s prison to be much more different from others prison but seen it was just more like others only the bucket in the prison makes it different from others I want to see his books he read during his time in the prison if there is any or his signatures or his picture in his room and his name writing outside his cell entrance his cote writing on the wall so many things to talk about him this will makes it more lively that’s only the thing I can talk about thank you .

  • Cape Town: Tandem Paragliding Adventure

    8. Cape Town: Tandem Paragliding Adventure

    After a short explanation, you and your pilot will take off from a mountain slope under a canopy that resembles a parachute. Once inflated overhead, you will take just a few steps or a short run to take off from the gentle slope, the wind will catch the canopy and you will be airborne. In the air, complete control over direction and speed gives your pilot the freedom to soar ridges, rise on warm currents of air and cover distance. The tour providers have a proven safety record from day one, a credit to company procedures. Each season starts with brand new equipment and well-maintained throughout the year. All pilots are internationally recognized Tandem Flight Instructors. Each passenger is briefed and issued with a helmet. All pilots carry complete reserve and communication systems and weather conditions are carefully assessed before you are taken up and again on take off. You will be ...

    Fantastic experience. Earl was a brilliant pilot and easy to chat to. Will definitely be doing it again and recommending!

  • From Cape Town: Franschhoek Wine Tram Hop-on Hop-off

    9. From Cape Town: Franschhoek Wine Tram Hop-on Hop-off

    Depart Cape Town by coach and head directly to the Franschhoek valley to join the Franschhoek hop-on hop-off wine tram and bus. The Franschhoek Wine Tram offers a choice of two hop-on hop-off lines (Orange or Purple) to choose from, operating in opposite directions. Each route visits eight wine estates showcasing a separate part of the Franschhoek Valley, including Noble Hill, Babylonstoren, Backsberg, Vrede & Lust, Plaisir de Merle, Allee Bleue, Boschendal, and Solms Delta. Realistically, you will be able to visit 5-6 estates in one day.  Enjoy transportation by a combination of tram and tram-buses around a loop. Each stop is at a different wine estate, allowing you to hop on and hop off at any of the estates. The tram or tram-buses pass each stop once an hour, so you can explore at your convenience to move from one estate to the next. Each of the lines has a wide selection of wine es...

    We really enjoyed ourselves even your driver Hans made us feel comfortable really good service we received. I will definitely recommend you to other friends and family I would also still like to inquire about the helicopter ride that going to be my next experience with you guys.

  • 2-Day Safari Experience at Garden Route Game Lodge

    10. 2-Day Safari Experience at Garden Route Game Lodge

    On the first day, you will depart Cape Town and drive along the scenic coastal road through to Cape Agulhas via Hermanus, the whale watching capital of the world. Visit the southernmost tip of Africa and its beautiful lighthouse before heading on to the Garden Route Game Lodge.  At the lodge, enjoy a Big 5 sunset safari on an open-air vehicle, followed by a huge all-inclusive buffet dinner. Stay in beautiful 4-star wooden chalets under the clear African skies with excellent views of the stars. The next day, join the early morning game drive to see some of the animals you might have missed the evening before. Breakfast follows, and after you’ll visit the local reptile park. Finally, you'll make your way back to Cape Town for arrival around 7:00 PM.

    Je mets 5 étoiles pour Benjamin notre guide qui a vraiment été incroyable ! Super guide, super road trip, super safari ! je recommende le tour

Frequently asked questions about Cape Town

What top attractions are a must-see in Cape Town?

Planning Your Visit

  • A visit to Table Mountain

    You can buy a ticket online for either a morning or afternoon trip to the top by cable car. However, an excursion to the 3,500-foot summit always depends on the weather, so check it before you go. It's wise to bring a sweater or jacket with you, and wear sunblock and proper footware. If you plan to hike to the peak or along one of the three trails at the summit, be safe and bring water, snacks and a friend.

  • How safe is it?

    As in any other city you visit, it's always best to keep your wits about you. It is recommended to take a taxi in Cape Town at night, rather than walking, and be on your guard when withdrawing cash at an ATM. If you're curious about visiting a township, then go with a group led by an experienced guide.

  • When to go

    Cape Town has a temperate climate. October to April offer warm and dry weather, but the notorious south-easter winds occur from December through January. February to mid-April has great beach weather, and hiking enthusiasts will enjoy crisp, clear days from late April to early June.

  • How many days should you spend in Cape Town?

    Four to five full days allow you to experience the sites and sounds of the Mother City at a leisurely pace. Stay longer if you'd like and use the city as a base to explore the beautiful, surrounding areas in the Western Cape, such as the wine region of Stellenbosch.

Good to know

  • Language
    Afrikaans and English
  • Currency
    South African Rand (ZAR)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+02:00)
  • Country Code
    +27
  • Best time to visit
    For a great sightseeing trip with some beach time, plan to come between January and April, when the temperatures are warm, the winds are dying down and the tourist rush is ending.

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Cape Town

After travelling through South Africa for quite some time, blogger Check Out Sam stayed in Cape Town for a few months longer and explored the Mother City in depth. Curious about the best things to do, see and experience? Keep reading!

What should I do on my first trip to Cape Town?

Get to know the diversity of this city by exploring several of the lively neighborhoods (Bo-Kaap and V&A Waterfront are my favorites!), hiking some of the best hikes of the country (Lion's Head!), soaking up some sun at the stunning beaches (Boulders Beach & Clifton Beach can't be missed) and organizing (day) trips to other areas around Cape Town. There is SO much to do in and around this city!!

What are some hidden gems to see in Cape Town?

I booked an excursion through GetYourGuide to go swimming with seals in Cape Town. To this day, it is one of the tours that I enjoyed most! There are only a few other places in the world where you can do this, so this truly is a unique and wonderful experience that you shouldn't miss out on.

How much time should I spend in Cape Town?

Cape Town is huge and is surrounded by other lovely regions that deserve some of your time too. Therefore you should be here for at least one full week. And even then, your itinerary will probably be jam packed! Keep in mind that some tours (e.g. cage diving with sharks, swimming with seals, visiting Robben Island) take up half or even a full day too.

What food is Cape Town known for?

The food you find in Cape Town is as diverse as its citizens, history and culture. If you're a meat lover, you will love game meat. My favorite was kudu. Ostrich is also worth trying out! There are quite some restaurants at V&A Waterfront who serve these delicacies. Another typical South African dish I would recommend, is bobotie. This oven dish still makes my mouth water when I think about it!

What is the best way to get around Cape Town? 

Public transportation for tourists is a no-go in South Africa. If you do use it, there is a chance you will get mugged. Therefore I would recommend to make use of Uber. It is cheap, safe and easy to use all around the city. Since it is so big, you just have to make use of it. Walking around Cape Town is fine, as long as you don't do it after dark, don't show off your wealth too much and stay away from dangerous areas. You shouldn't be there anyway, because most highlights are quite centrally located in the city. Are you doing a day trip or road trip from Cape Town away? Rental cars are cheap and found across the city.

What are the best months to visit Cape Town?

Since Cape Town is located in the southern hemisphere, you have to know that seasons are reverse to the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe. Therefore, January and February are great months to visit since the temperatures are at it's best and the days are longest. During these months, there also are a lot of activities and festivals going on around the city. The only disadvantage is that there often are bigger crowds. If you don't like that, March and April are a bit chillier but way less crowded.

What is neighborhood V&A Waterfront known for?

V&A Waterfront is considered the safest area of Cape Town and perhaps also the liveliest if you're a tourist. There are lots of things to do and here you'll also find the best restaurants. The nearby Waterkant also has great food and bars, but once it gets dark you shouldn't walk here anymore. Bo-Kaap is a very popular neighborhood with tourists because of its colorful houses. It's safe to walk here during the day (like most areas in the city center), but again I wouldnt come visit this area once it gets dark.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

You have to be in the city center if you're a food lover. V&A Waterfront and Waterkant had some of the best restaurants I've encountered in all of South Africa. There are a lot of places who offer local cuisine, but also burgers, Italian food, etc. Make sure to try out some other African restaurants as well!

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Cape Town?

If you want to be in the city center, I recommend to find accommodation in V&A Waterfront, Waterkant or Greenpoint. You'll be staying very centrally, but also in quite safe areas. As I said earlier: walking around after dark is not a great idea, but during the day you should never worry about a thing. The area around Simon's Town, Camp's Bay and Hout Bay are wonderful if you want to be closer to the beaches and don't like the busy city.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Cape Town?

Go out and meet some of the cute locals! I already mentioned Boulders Beach with its quirky penguins or Hout Bay with it resident seals, but of course you can also organize a safari (day) trip to one of the parks just outside Cape Town. There you might get the chance to spot the Big Five!

What is the best thing to do in Cape Town for couples?

Head out the city for some days and venture to the South African wine country: Stellenbosch! This chique area is located very close to Cape Town and has several fantastic wineries to try out. Sit down, relax, take a sip of your wine and enjoy a romantic sunset at one of these domains. Afterwards, go have dinner in one of the many fantastic restaurants you'll find in this area.

What are the best areas for outdoor activities around Cape Town?

There are several hikes you can do in the city itself (don't mis Lion's Head!), but if you really want to explore the diversity of South Africa I suggest you drive along the Garden Route or discover the quite unknown Cederberg region (about three hours from Cape Town). Along the Garden Route you'll see lots of rough coastline, but also stunning national parks and some wildlife. Cederberg is a rocky desert wilderness great for hiking, road trips or exploring the history of this region.

What are the best beaches around Cape Town?

My personal favourite is by far Boulders Beach. On this tropical white beach, you don't only find (impressive!) boulders, but also one of the penguin colonies of South Africa. Swimming ánd tanning together with these quirky birds is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Since you have to buy an entrance ticket to get in, it is also considered a very safe beach and thus you don't have to worry too much of leaving your bag when you're going for a swim.

Other Sightseeing Options in Cape Town

Want to discover all there is to do in Cape Town? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Cape Town

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 11,478 reviews

Our cruise was supposed to start at 11h00 but we were running late due to transport issues. The gentleman assisted us so well and moved us to the 13h00 cruise. That for me was the highlight, they treated us so well and the cruise was super nice, including the 2 course meal.

Amazing!!! Great experience with Bruce and his team!!! Wonderful wine estates during the entire day!! I Love it!

It was very excellent I enjoyed, I could go back over and over again

The tour guide, Armand was exceptional, very friendly and welcoming

It was amazing the drivers are professional and friendly