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Cape Town is (almost) the perfect city for me! The nature and surroundings are beautiful, the people are super friendly, you can experience and discover so much here, the beaches are breathtaking and the food is just delicious here! Today I want to share with you all that we experienced and did (and we have were quite relaxed with our days) while we were there!
I can’t really offer you a proper Cape Town Travel Guide for tourists. I was there with my boyfriend’s family and that’s why we did a lot of things a bit differently than the usual tourist. For example, we did not have to borrow a car, but got one from the family, or did not need a hotel, but stayed with his sister.
In addition, I was already in Cape Town 6 years ago and had already checked off the classics:
- Long Street
- Table Mountain
- Boulder’s Beach
Nevertheless, I have prepared a few more classics and maybe 1-2 “insider tips” (none of which is really secret) that you might find exciting in Cape Town and the surrounding area! You can find a separate Vegan Food Guide here.
As I said, we just stayed at Jesse’s sister’s place. This is in Muizenberg and I really like the area! It is very close to Kalk Bay on one side and then on the other side it is relatively quick to reach the wine region Stellenbosch. But it takes quite a while to get to downtown and believe me: the traffic in Cape Town has become terrible! There are many peak times when the highways between north and south are packed and almost stand still. We need 1.5 hours for a drive that usually would take 30 minutes. That will probably surprise a lot of you, since none of the bloggers talk about the traffic jams.
But if I came back as a tourist I would probably choose accommodation in Observatory. The area is central, there are great vegan cafes and I just like the neighborhood. But Sea Point and the areas around it, as well as Downtown near Long Street are probably the most convenient as a tourist.
As I said, we had a car from Jesse’s family. If you are traveling in Cape Town for a long time and want to experience a lot, a car is probably the best bet. Otherwise, you can also get from A to B very well with Uber or booked day tours. I have not tried the MyCiti bus, but it should work very well in the tourist areas.
I got this in a supermarket, but the staff there wanted a confirmation of my address, that was kind of weird. We still got a SIM card, but maybe it’s easier at the airport (just a bit more expensive). At least I have learned from other bloggers that this wasn’t a problem at the airport. A SIM card is very handy for apps like Uber.
I’ve only been to Cape Town from February to April. At this time it can be really cold and rainy to super hot and humid. In general, the city is very windy, so always pack something warm, even if you fly in midsummer (summer is our winter there). So we were always there in the fall of South Africa and I really liked the season. But, as I said, the weather can be very moody.
There is currently a major water crisis in Cape Town. You can learn a bit about why you should visit the city anyway and what you should pay attention to here.
I really do not want to give you any hints here because there are no guarantees and security is really always an individual thing. So check out other security pages about Cape Town and always ask in your hotel. I wanted to address it quickly anyway since I think the the media portrays worse than it is. Many parts of Cape Town are very safe. But you have to be aware that there is an extremely large income gap in the city and in the country of South Africa.
As before every trip, no matter which country you are visiting, you should inform yourself about the security situation. We always did that on the world tour, as there are different things to consider in every country and every area. More detailed information about Cape Town can be found here (safety information that can be applied to any tourist destination) or here (very detailed).
This is where we slept so we spent almost every evening there! There is not much to discover here, but the colorful beach huts of Muizenberg and St. James are iconic! From Muizenberg you can walk along the beach to St. James and from there to Kalk Bay or vice versa. We were with at least 4 people every time we did the walk and I felt safe.
As mentioned above, we walked from Muizenberg to Kalk Bay a few times. The place is very small, but has some super cute shops, perfect for souvenir shopping. I also recommended a cute café in my Cape Town Vegan Food Guide.
Chapmans Peak Drive
A spectacular scenic road, which we treated ourselves to several times! The entrance costs the equivalent of about 3 euros and the view is just terrific! Just stop at all outlook points and you will not miss any of the must-see views. It’s just an unforgettable experience!
Cape Point Nature Reserve
Here is also a must! Again, you have to pay admission, which I think converted to about 10 euros per person and sometimes, especially on weekends, you can expect a little traffic jam at the entrance. That was never bad though. Of course, the many tourist buses can disturb the atmosphere a bit, but it is a very touristy place. But I would recommend not just stopping at the Cape and taking a picture in front of the famous sign. Check out the map you’ll get at the entrance and visit some of the other beaches (if you have the time and opportunity). There are so many corners that are very quiet and secluded because there are actually capes in every direction (see title photo).
Here is where we watched the most beautiful sunsets (but to be honest the sunsets are beautiful everywhere in South Africa)! I can recommend the view from the cliffs on the north side. The water, like everywhere in Cape Town, is super cold and the beach can also be quite windy, but worth a visit anyway. Yes, we were here in the evening and walked along the beach to the car, but there were many other tourists around us so we thought the situation is safe.
Stellenbosch & Franschhoek & Co.
A visit to Cape Town isn’t complete without a trip to the vineyards of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek & Co.:) I can highly recommend these wineries:
- Delaire Graff – the Coastal Cuvee is our favorite wine and behind the winery you can walk up the hills of the vineyard and enjoy a great view (see above)
- Stark Conde: The property is just so cute and the wine tasting takes place on a small island in the middle of a small lake!
- Solms: Here we found the wine just ok (but my parents love it and I don’t know anything about wine), but here you can wander a bit and behind the winery you’ll find a cool bamboo forest (I already shared a picture on Instagram)!
- Vergenoegd Wine Estate: We were here because Jesse’s mother wanted to see the Duck Race. That didn’t really interest me, but the market and the live music were really great.
- Babylonstoren: The farm is really wonderful and you could spend almost an entire afternoon there. We went for lunch (there are salads and vegan sandwiches, the restaurant garden is really so nice!). After that, we walked around in the garden of the farm and there is so much to discover and experience there. I do not want to spoil it and tell you everything you’ll find there, and if you visit you’ll get a plan of the farm anyway, but the bird nests and the cactus labyrinth were really cool. You can stay there overnight too! Here are some impressions:
Lions Head Hike
I love to hike in Cape Town, but for safety reasons we have only walked in the light and never walked alone. I would always recommend walking in a group of at least three or four. This is also recommended on the entrance signs. For example, you can book a hike on Airbnb, or ask the hotel if there are guided hikes. When there are a lot of people around you (like at the Lions Head) and you do not carry the most expensive stuff, everything is ok. But as I said, always inform yourself and ask in the hotel.
So back to the subject: This time we did not do so many hikes, unfortunately, but I highly recommend the Lionshead Hike! A beautiful view. Unfortunately we were never up to the top because the family did not want to do the harder part.
More beaches that I loved:
The beach is just very nice, but I personally think the promenade is boring. No cool cafes, nothing vegan or organic, just a rich place. However, this is only my opinion. The beach is, as I said, very, very nice!
Here we hung out at Clifton 2nd Beach (I think there are 4 different ones), rented an umbrella and just chilled. The water in Cape Town is generally too cold for me, but Jesse and his sister were in the water!
Observatory, Woodstock & Downtown
In Observatory there were several cafes and restaurants that we visited several times as they offer very good vegan dishes. A vegan food guide to Cape Town can be found here. Also, I really liked the Vintage Store Dress Me Up (recommended by Alexandra Stanić). Just above it is the Hidden Leaf Eatery restaurant, which I really liked and has one of the best vegan burgers I’ve ever tried on their menu.
In Woodstock you will also find the food market at The Old Biscuit Mill. We also visited it. The music and food selection were really good, but I found the market very crowded and the shops also very overpriced.
From Woodstock it’s pretty quick to take the car / taxi downtown to Long Street. Here Jesse and I just walked around a bit and we were almost only in cafes and restaurants and not many shops. As I said, you can find my food guide here.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
I visited here especially for a cooperation so I could produce beautiful photos, because I am usually not very interested in botanical gardens. Usually! Because every time I visit them, I am fascinated by the different flowers and plants and could spend hours simply admiring the nature around me! This was also the case for Kirstenbosch. There is also a scented garden, a treetop path and the coolest, tallest trees! In addition, the garden offers concerts every Sunday on the large meadow, a unique experience!
This little part of Cape Town will immediately catch your eye as you drive past it. The many colorful houses are simply a gaudy eye-catcher! Of course, as one of the oldest districts, it is always well-visited by tourists, but it’s worth taking a little detour there.
Bikini by Reset Priority (unpaid PR Sample)
West Coast National Park
This national park can be found 120 km north of Cape Town. The bird sanctuary offers not only a beautiful landscape (despite drought), but also an incredibly blue, beautiful lagoon with the finest, white sandy beach! Because of the distance, the bay is never really crowded and there are many nooks where you can spread out and have your peace.
I hope you liked my mini guide and I was able to give you some travel inspiration. If you have any further questions about Cape Town and the surrounding area, please let me know. I can always ask Jesse and / or his family.