BoKaap District

5 Must See Places in Cape Town, South Africa

What does your mind envision at the mention of Cape Town, South Africa? Perhaps you see flashes of Cape Town’s tumultuous history. Remnants of the apartheid, a system of racial segregation from 1948 to 1994, loom heavily over this beautiful city.  There remain visible reminders of the painful class system, displaced persons and civil unrest.  However, it is time to take another look.  Cape Town is a coastal town, comprised of a majestic port, vineyards as far as the eye can see, pristine beaches and so much more. In Cape Town a traveler will find a bit of everything.

Cape Town was originally founded as a resupply stop for the Dutch East Indies Company.  Today, Cape Town is the legislative capital of South Africa. It is the second most populous city in South Africa and the largest city in the Western Cape.  Here are some sites you must visit to gain a new perspective on the country.

Majestic Table Mountain

CapeTown Table Mountain

On a clear day in the city, Table Mountain’s prominent summit can be seen for miles around. It is widely recognizable and makes up the backdrop of the area.

An interesting phenomenon known as orographic clouds occurs at the site of Table Mountain. Locals have been known to call these clouds the “table cloth.” These clouds give the mountain both a mysterious and majestic feel yet can appear to completely swallow up this 3,559 ft landmark. At times, there are opportunities to literally walk through the clouds.

The summit of the mountain can be reached by cable car and boasts awe inspiring views.  The plateau of the mountain is 2 miles from side to side, revealing picturesque views of the city below and the ocean beyond. Visitors to Table Mountain walk among the fiery sunset colored flora, and take photographs of each other against the backdrop of the intense shades of grey and purple. Save some energy, there is more, now choose to hike, mountain bike, go rock climbing or visit some caves in the national park.

Reclaimed V and A Waterfront

Victoria and Alfred WaterfrontThe Victoria and Alfred Waterfront has undergone many transitions over the centuries.  The harbor basins were originally built between 1860 and 1920 at the direction of Prince Alfred, Queen Victoria’s youngest son.  Presently the V and A Waterfront is Cape Town’s number one attraction. The harbor is vibrant with more than 80 restaurants, retail stores, hotels, an aquarium, amphitheater and private residences. The waterfront attractions include the Nelson Mandela Museum and the launch for a boat ride to visit Robben Island, where Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. Here is a tip; purchase tickets online weeks in advance of your visit to ensure your visit to Robben Island during your stay in Cape Town. With 400,000 square meters of mixed development use at The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, there is sure to be entertainment and cuisine to suit every persons tastes.

Brilliant Bo Kaap

BoKaap DistrictThe Bo Kaap district in the city of Cape Town is an artistic statement that quickly catches the eye.  The homes, painted in vividly bold colors, leave a lasting impression.  The area was originally known as the Malay Quarters although several groups of people dwelled in the community, including a significant population of Muslims.  Today, the traditions can still be experienced with its abundance of Malaysian cuisine, Muslim mosques, carnivals, museums, and bright facades.

Unspoiled Beaches

The beaches are a must see while visiting Cape Town.  They are sugary white and impeccably maintained. The city has over 80 beaches and facilities, as recognized by their government with the most popular destinations for visitors being Clifton, Camps Bay and Boulders Beach.

Hout Bay BeachClifton Beach is known for the luxury of the surrounding homes, boutiques, and restaurants.  This “Millionaire’s Row” is a place to go see and be seen and has been coined Cape Town’s St. Tropez, a province located on the French Riviera.  St. Tropez is known as “the” beach destination for the famous, wealthy, and beautiful.  Clifton Beach, while known for its posh ambiance is also a destination for sunbathers.

Camps Bay Beach, just down the road from Clifton Beach, gives a more laid back atmosphere than the Clifton area.  It is family friendly during the day and has ample amounts of dining and shopping. During the evening the beach is also known for its bars and intriguing nightlife.

Boulders Beach is a recreational site that is a part of the Table Mountain National Park.  It has slightly warmer water and its rocks dissipate the waves making snorkeling ideal.  It also happens to be the home to a colony of endangered African penguins.

Exquisite Vineyards

Constantia Winery

Less than an hours drive from Cape Town’s city center are captivating landscapes of wine country. Rolling hills of endless vineyards span the territory of Cape Town incorporating more than 20 wine producing regions. Many have won international awards and continue to produce sought after harvests.

Wineries such as Constantia and Cape Point deliver warm hospitality, world-class wine, and a reprieve from the busier city.  To visit, consider companies such as South African owned Luhambo Tours, which accommodates tours to various wine estates.

A local source for information can be essential to experiencing the most Cape Town has to offer. Tour with a lifelong resident and licensed operator like Auriol’s Tours for a unique perspective with uncommon expeditions.

The traditional and contemporary life styles in Cape Town co-mingle; the natural beauty and artistic flair merge making it a destination to behold.  A recommendation, when thinking about travel to Cape Town, South Africa, envision the need for at least seven days in order to experience most of what Cape Town has to offer.

To learn more about traveling to Cape Town, visit Cape Town Tourism.

~ By Kaylah Burks, an athlete, who enjoys traveling the world while staying health conscious.  Follow her on Instagram @jadenlie

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20 thoughts on “5 Must See Places in Cape Town, South Africa

  1. Kaylah Burks article on the five must-see sites in Cape Town is awesome. The article is well written and the scenes in the photographs are, just simply, GREAT! Cape Town is a beautiful city that is located near the Cape of Good Hope.

    1. Hi Paul,

      Thank you for your comment. You are right, Cape Town is located near the Cape of Good Hope and if someone has the time to make the drive, they should try to see it if possible. Please feel free to comment with any recommendations of where you think people should visit in Cape Town that I did not mention. Also, please continue to follow my writings here and on my other social media outlets.

      Sincerely,

      Kaylah

  2. kalya burks’s your article is amazing u have open my eyes to wanting to discover the world cape town is beautiful i love this pictures and inspiring words i am from hankins middle school and i stop to check this out and i do not regret doing so

    1. Hi Brejè,

      I am glad to hear that you found the article and photo inspiring. It is important that we realize how big the world is and reading articles is a wonderful first step. If you have any questions about the article please let me know and please continue to follow me and my writings.

    1. Hi Daniel,

      Thank you for the comment. I hope that I will be able to provide you with more articles on beautiful places for your enjoyment in the future.

  3. Kaylah Burk’s I like to see more pictures u post next u post some I would like to see them and go to the places u have been a good insipiration to people and i would like to do what u have done and do the stuff u have doneso please post more a lot more pictures so i can look at them and leave more comments so leave more pictures and more places.

    1. Hi Jake,

      I am glad you enjoy the photos. I will do my best to incorporate more. Do you enjoy taking pictures?

  4. hey Kaylah your article is powerful and motivating. i cant wait to go and explore all the places of Cape Town South Africa!! i hope to read and be inspired by more of your aticles!! thanks kaylah for the motivation!! xD

    1. Hi Kayley,

      Thank you for your kind words. Cape Town truly is a fantastic place to explore. If you have the chance to go there, please provide comments about your trip here, on this article. I would love to hear your point of view. As for more articles, please make sure to follow me here and on my other social media outlets for my latests blogs.

  5. Thank you for doing this, im so excited to hear more about your trips. Now i have more places to travel to when i get older. Thanks again!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I think it is great that you are keeping a list of places that you would like to go when you get older. Don’t forget about local places/. events in your town that also may be fun to visit.

  6. Wow thank you kaylah you have told me things i have never heard before it has definatly inspired me to go to Cape Town. It sounds beatiful.

    1. Hi Tristen,

      I feel honored that you learned something new from the article. Cape Town is breath taking and I encourage people to go if possible. If you have any questions about the article please let me know. I look forward to reading your comments on my future articles.

      Sincerely,

      Kaylah

  7. I have never considered visiting Cape Town but your descriptions of the city and surrounding “must see” sites have changed my mind. The photos are beautiful. I now have another destination added to my list of places to experience.

    1. Cynthia,

      Cape Town has so much to offer and when you visit I know you will enjoy the beauty it possesses.

    1. You may go to explore to Cape Town, but you may not want to come back. There is really that much to do there.

  8. Yes, there are many sides to Cape Town, after visiting there twice and always going to the Cape of Good Hope. When you get to South Africa you’ve gotta go. See the lighthouse, possibly some monkeys or ostriches and the beautiful Atlantic where it meets the Indian Ocean. Beautiful job Kaylah.

    1. Absolutely! The Cape of Good Hope is an awesome place to experience with breathtaking views. It is a bit of a drive for some visitors, but it should be visited if possible. Thanks Juliette!

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