Adventures in the Mother City: Experience the Best of Cape Town!

[UPDATE: October 2019]

As the locals know, Cape Town is anything but boring. The Mother City sees throngs of excited visitors flocking to its shores throughout the year and with so many top things to do in Cape Town, it’s difficult to choose! We’ve selected a snippet of exciting local attractions, so grab your camera and crew and start discovering the best of Cape Town!

Start your day kayaking in Table Bay

best of cape town

Ever imagined sitting in a boat amid frolicking dolphins, whales and seals, with the majestic view of Table Mountain at your feet? Experience one of the cool things to do in Cape Town, with a peninsula tour that is one for the memory books. Launching daily from the V & A Waterfront, the guides at Atlantic Outlook lead you to unparalleled views of Cape Town from the ocean.

For something a little different, trust these guys to make your tour extra special with their friendly resident DJ on board for entertainment and all-around good vibes. If you happen to spot some dolphins, feel free to hop overboard and take a swim with them, it’s a must-do in Cape Town!

After your tour, make a day of it and grab some breakfast at the Oranjezicht Farmer’s Market right next door. Definitely one of the most exciting ways to see the best of Cape Town!

Price: R450 (standard group tour)

Duration: 2 hours

Granger Bay Boulevard (next to Oranjezicht Farmer’s Market) | 082 257 6403

Take a motorbike tour off the beaten track

If it’s exhilarating adventure you’re after, the guys at Africa Moto Tour certainly know how to pull out all the stops. Take a scenic peninsula tour over Chapman’s Peak to Cape Point, or go off-road and explore the gravel paths and mountain passes, winding your way along the coastal Clarence Drive and down through the green vineyards of Elgin.

Their 2 and 3-day tours take you through the Breede Valley, Karoo and even the Tankwa Karoo National Park. Feel the wind in your hair as you ride through the most beautiful landscapes, discovering one of the best things to do in Cape Town.

Feel free to customise your tour exactly as you like. From organising the motorbikes and gear to scenic lunch spots and water stops along the way, you couldn’t ask for better tour guides!

Contact Africa Moto Tour for more information.

074 350 99 89 or 083 287 64 11

Craft your own gin at New Harbour Distillery

best of cape town

Photo credit: @newharbourdistillery via Instagram

Gin and bare it all under the watchful eye of Nic Janeke, master distiller at New Harbour Distillery in Somerset West. You’ll have three hours to learn about the techniques behind crafting the perfect gin, assess flavour profiles, as well as how different botanicals affect the taste. The best part? You get to make your very own bottle of gin from scratch and keep it!

Classes are limited to 10 people and booking is essential. Larger groups can be catered for on request. Go find out for yourself why New Harbour Distillery is listed as one of the best places to visit in Cape Town.

Price: R750 pp

Duration: 3 hours

Unit 4, 5 Firgrove way, Firgrove Industrial Estate, 7134 Somerset West|

All aboard the Franschhoek Wine Tram

best of cape town

Photo credit: @wild_designs1450 via Instagram

Keen to go wine tasting in Franschhoek without drawing straws for a designated driver? The Franschhoek Wine Tram has partnered with City Sightseeing to showcase the beautiful farms in the Franschhoek Valley while transporting you there and back safely. Enjoy a long lunch or hop on and off at all nine wine farms, including Boschendal, Allée Bleue, Babylonstoren, Backsberg and Glen Carlou. Enjoy more of the best things to do in Cape Town with its award-winning wines and French cuisine in the quaint town of Franschhoek.

Air-conditioned coaches depart from the V&A Waterfront, Camps Bay, Sea Point and Long Street every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Tickets include transport to and from Franschhoek, a wine tram ticket and complimentary wine tasting on the tram. This is hands-down one of the most popular Cape Town attractions.

Book your tickets online to secure your seat!

Price: R580 adults (R560 online)/ R290 children (2-11 years)

Duration: first departure at 08:30, return time 17:15

Also see: 6 undiscovered wine farms around Cape Town

Jazz brunch at Winchester Mansions

picturesque-courtyard-at-Winchester Mansions best places to visit in Cape Town

Photo credit: @winchestermansions via Instagram

Who said breakfast should be boring? Jazz up your Sundays with a lazy brunch at the Winchester Mansions. Nestled in the hotel courtyard, relax to sweet sounds of soulful jazz as you’re offered a glass of sparkling wine upon arrival. You can expect a mouth-watering selection of fresh, buttery pastries, traditional English breakfasts, cold meats and cheeses, and sinful desserts. Without a doubt, one of the best popular places to visit in Cape Town.

See their monthly jazz line up and other special events.

Price: from R345 pp

When: Sundays, 11:00-14:00

Beach Road, Sea Point

Scoot around the slopes of Table Mountain

best of cape town

Photo credit: @scootourscapetown via Instagram

Scootours offers one of those cool things to do in Cape Town you can brag to all your friends about and it’s a great way to explore the stunning views of the Mother City on eco-friendly mountain bikes. Your tour features two downhill runs – the first one from Signal Hill to Bo-Kaap, the second one is a freewheel track from Table Mountain through Deer Park and into Oranjezicht. Get your camera ready – this is one for your Insta Story!

Price: R650 pp (10 yrs+)/ R290 pp (4-9 yrs)

Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours

Meet at Lower Table Mountain parking area and info office| 082 776 0557

209 Tafelberg Road, Table Mountain, Cape Town| 076 8105120

Kirstenbosch summer concerts

Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts cool things to do in Cape Town

Photo credit: @f.lix.b via Instagram

The much-anticipated summer concerts are back and ready to rock into full swing! The botanical gardens provide the perfect backdrop to these outdoor gigs, so pack your picnic basket and blanket and end off your Sunday with some groovy local beats.

The 2019/2020 line-up for this must do in Cape Town features the likes of Mi Casa, Watershed, Jeremy Loops, Goldish, Matthew Mole, Goodluck and Tresor, and Freshlyground.

Tickets are available via Webtickets.

Price: range between R170 – R435

When: Sunday afternoons (November – April); Gates open 17:00 – 20:00

Tea by the sea at The Twelve Apostles

best of cape town

Photo credit: @12apostleshotel via Instagram

Treat yourself to a day of confectionary pampering with a high tea at The Twelve Apostles. Have a seat in the Conservatory or grab a table on the balcony of the Leopard Bar for stunning views of the shimmering Atlantic seaboard.

The treats? Only the finest selection of freshly-baked pastries, macarons, shortbread, scones, panna cotta, savoury sandwiches and plenty more, accompanied by a range of fragrant teas and coffees. They also have a Vegan High Tea option available. Don’t miss out on this amazing delight, one of the top things to do in Cape Town.

Price: R325 pp / R375 pp for the vegan option

When: Monday-Sunday, 10:00-16:00

Victoria Road, Camps Bay | 021 437 9029

Booking is essential.

Also see: Eat Your Way Through Cape Town’s Top Brunch Spots

Life’s a beach at Die Strandloper

Fish being prepared at Die Strandloper best places to visit in Cape Town

Photo credit: @mandydoron via Instagram

You haven’t experienced the spirit of the West Coast until you’ve had lunch at Die Strandloper. Dig your toes in the sand and listen to the gentle waves and crackling fires as you feast upon a smorgasbord of fresh seafood. Treat yourself to true West Coast hospitality, featuring mussel pots, freshly-baked bread, grilled line fish, fish curry and crayfish. Feel free to bring your own drinks, or order at the beach bar.

The laidback and rustic atmosphere of this iconic establishment will leave you with a full belly and a happy heart. Ask any local – this is one of the best places to visit in Cape Town  to enjoy its freshest seafood offering!

Price: R325 pp / Kids aged 5-11 years pay R60 (excl. half crayfish)/ Kids under 5 years eat free! Cash only. Guests who book for a minimum of 30 full-paying guests only pay R300 pp (only valid until 30 April 2020)

Open: Lunch service 12:00-15:00/ Dinner service 18:00-21:30

Leentjiesklip, Langebaan | 022 77 22 490

Heading up the West Coast? Discover more West Coast gems.

Cocktails and tapas at Harringtons

best of cape town

Photo credit: @harringtonsct via Instagram

A touch of classic opulence and style, Harringtons is one of the most fun places in Cape Town, for after-work drinks, or to dance the night away.

Look out for their happy hour special (from opening till 19:00) with half-price tapas.

Price: Cocktails start at R60 / tapas plates & bar snacks from R40

Open: Wednesday-Friday, 16:00-late/ Saturday, 18:00-late

61 Harrington Street, Cape Town | 021 4612276

Also see: Trendiest Bars in Cape Town

An arty affair at Zeitz MOCAA

Fascinating scultpture at Zeitz MOCCA cool things to do in Cape Town

Photo credit: @emghyka10 via Instagram

Make your way to the Silo district for a slice of culture and tick off this must do in Cape Town. Six floors of curious, thought-provoking art installations make up the impressive interior of this refurbished building. If the intricate design of the museum itself doesn’t enthral you, the art certainly will. Set aside a good 3-4 hours.

End your tour with a drink at the Silo rooftop bar – the views are unparalleled!

Price: Daily R200 / R100 First Fridays (between 16:00 and 21:00, last entry @ 20:30)/ Free entry for Under-18s. See their price list for membership packages

Open: Wednesday-Monday, 10:00-18:00 (last entry @ 17:30)/ First Friday of the month, 10:00-21:00

Silo District, S Arm Road, V&A Waterfront | 087 350 4777

Sun, sea and braai at Kraalbaai

best of cape town

Photo credits: @brinchen1204 and @neilvercuiel via Instagram

A picture-perfect setting tucked away in the West Coast National Park, Kraalbaai is exactly where you want to spend your summer weekend. The shimmering, turquoise lagoon is home to a few houseboats, and you can spend the day fishing, water-skiing and kayaking. Pack a picnic basket, or use the braai facilities next to Kraalbaai Beach for a day of lunching and sun tanning. For a relaxing day or weekend out of the city, this is one of the best places to visit in Cape Town.

Price: R59 per adult / R30 per child – payable at the gate

Open: Monday-Friday, 07:00-19:00 (September to March; 07:00-18:00 (April to August)

West Coast National Park (entrance off the R27) | 022 772 2144/5

Why not stay over? Book a luxury houseboat for your group!

Also see: Fun Day Trips From Cape Town: Choose Your Adventure

Make a splash at Crystal Pools

Crystal Pools fun things to do in Cape Town

Photo credit: @mornekruger39 via Instagram

Cool off with one of the best things to do in Cape Town. A hiking trail starts along the R44 just past Gordon’s Bay. Be prepared to hike up a sweat before you reach the first pool, 45 minutes from the start. Kloofing enthusiasts can take the plunge a little further up at the second pool, or simply cool off under the waterfall. Bring plenty of water, snacks and sunscreen. The hiking trail is open from early November until the end of April.

Organise your permits in advance by emailing two days before your hike.

Price: Permits cost R65 pp.

Where: Off Sir Lowry’s Pass (R44), past Gordon’s Bay | 021 4446927

Get creative at Clay Café

best of cape town

Photo credit: @theclaycafe_houtbay via Instagram

Get in touch with your creative side and spend a morning or afternoon painting a bisque pottery piece. Anyone can join and the space can be booked for private events too. You’ll definitely get nibbly during your art session, and their delicious breakfast, lunch and dessert dishes will have you sticking around for longer.

Once your piece has been painted, fired and glazed, you can collect it after three weeks. They get busy over weekends and holidays, so best to book in advance. Definitely a must-do in Cape Town!

Price: R40 plus value of your chosen ceramic piece (R20 – R300)

When: Monday-Sunday, 09:00-17:00

Main Road, Hout Bay | 076 810 5120

Pre-drinks at Alexander Bar

best of cape town

Photo credit: @liloluv via Instagram

One of the best places to visit in Cape Town to rub shoulders with theatre buffs or simply wind down the week and enjoy a drink or two. Catch a local production at their intimate theatre – Upstairs – and enjoy pre-dinner drinks in the charming Victorian-style bar, serving up fresh cocktails with jazzy disco and lounge music most nights.

Pop in for their weekly OMG Quiz Night every Wednesday.

Price: Cocktails from R70, Bar Snacks from R35, Cheese Boards from R115.

Open: Monday-Tuesday, 18:00-23:00/ Wednesdays to Fridays, 18:00-00:00/ Saturdays, 16:00-00:00

76 Strand Street, Cape Town | 021 300 1088

Saturday market @ Vergenoegd


Photo credit: @vergenoegd_low_wine_estate via Instagram

Stock up on delicious food, craft beer, wine, jewellery and crafty trinkets at the Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate just outside Stellenbosch. Bring along a blanket and spread out on the lawns for a relaxing day with the whole family.

You don’t want to miss one of the best things to do in Cape Town: the wine estate’s daily duck parade of their 1,200-strong feathery flock, which happens at 10:30, 12:30 and 15:30. The wine estate is pet-friendly, provided your pets are on a leash.

Vergenoegd Wine Estate, Baden Powell Drive, Faure, Stellenbosch | 021 843 3248

Also see: Discover the Best Wine Safaris in Cape Town and Its Surrounds

Zipline through the Constantia Valley

Ziplining in Constantia fun things to do in Cape Town

Photo credit: @amy_in_heels via Instagram

Adrenalin junkies can get their thrill on while taking in the magnificent surroundings of Table Mountain Nature Reserve. Rated as one of the best things to do in Cape Town, the scenery and panoramic views complement this epic journey with the highest zipline reaching 155 metres! Ideally situated along the Hop-on, Hop-off bus route, you can include this highlight while you explore the surrounding wine farms in the Constantia Valley.

Price: R600 pp

Duration: 2 hours

Silvermist Wine Estate, Constantia Nek, Hout Bay | 079 495 3987

Family fun at Blue Rock

Watersports at Blue Rock fun things to do in Cape Town

Photo credit: @s.i.g.h.l.e.s.s via Instagram

An established cable ski, water park and picnic resort for the whole family, Blue Rock is the perfect place for a day out on the water. Its drawcard is the cable water-skiing, wakeboarding and kneeboarding, and anyone from beginners to advanced skiers can take part.

If water-skiing isn’t your thing, other activities include paintball, ziplining, canoeing and SUP, swimming and beach volleyball. There is also a beach area with umbrellas, bean bags and tables for hire, as well as a restaurant and beach bar. Blue Rock is rated one of the best places to visit in Cape Town for a day out with the family.

Price: R60-R65 pp / Kids under 16 pay R50-55 entrance fee (access to picnic areas, swimming, rock jumping). Equipment rental ranges from R50-R400 depending on what you rent and for how long. View the full price list.

Open: Mid-September to mid-May. (CLOSED mid-May to mid-September) Visit their website for seasonal operating hours.

Sir Lowry’s Pass, Somerset West| 021 858 1330

Discover the local music scene at Café Roux

David Bowie poster in Cafe Roux fun things to do in Cape Town

Photo credit: @elnivalio via Instagram

Whether it’s a midweek music jam or a weekend showcase, you’ll always enjoy one of the top things to do in Cape Town at Café Roux. The atmosphere is cosy and laidback, the menu simple and tasty, keeping the focus of the evening on the artists. Tapping into local talents across a spectrum of music genres, you can find the likes of Crimson House, Mel Botes, the Richard Pryor Band, and Nibs van der Spuy performing at their venues in the CBD and Noordhoek.

See their line-up and book tickets to the next show.

Price: Show prices range from R40-R380/ Main Dishes from R79-R130

Open: Sunday-Tuesday, 08:00-17:00/ Thursday-Saturday, 08:00-22:30

Chapman’s Peak Drive | 021 789 2538

Explore the East City Precinct

best of cape town

Photo credit: @eastcityprecinct via Instagram

Dubbed ‘hipster central’, this once neglected and semi-industrial area is now fast becoming the place to be. A hub of design and innovation, the East City is where the CBD and District Six meet, in a flurry of distinct contrasts. Decked with museums, design studios, shared office spaces, galleries, bookshops, theatres and rustic eateries, you can easily spend your morning exploring the cool architecture, street art and vibey coffee jaunts.

At night, the streets jostle with young people in search of hip cafés and good music. Fast becoming one of the most fun places in Cape Town, East City may just be the new kid on the block.

Go on a wild goose chase

best of cape town

Photo credit: @the_gallivanting_goose via Instagram

Looking for something different to do with your friends? Why not go on a ‘wild goose chase’ scavenger hunt! The team behind The Gallivanting Goose has designed a range of fun and exciting games in the form of an app that each team uses to beat their rivals and get ahead on the leaderboard. This cool thing to do in Cape Town is a great way to meet new people, host team buildings or simply to discover more about Cape Town. No driving is required and games last around 1.5 hours.

Choose your location: V&A Waterfront, Cape Town City Walk, Two Oceans Aquarium, Hout Bay and Stellenbosch

Visit their Facebook page for more information.

Sea Point Promenade

Bicycles in Sea Point best things to do in Cape Town

Photo credit: @capetowncityluxuryapartments via Instagram

“The Prom” as locals call it, is a hub of activity during summer. You’ll find people running, cycling, skateboarding, and walking their dogs along the stretch. Take a dip in the Pavilion pool, picnic along the grass and wander between the pop-up art installations. There is also an outdoor gym and putt-putt centre to keep the kids occupied.

Rent a bicycle at the Pavilion from Up Cycles at R75 per hour, or a mountain bike at R350 for a full day and discover the city at your own pace. Grab a refreshing smoothie for R30, or a decadent soft serve for R35 and watch the shimmering waves crashing below you. Join in for some open-air summer salsa every second Sunday from 15:30 at the Pavilion. Definitely one of the best places to visit in Cape Town to bring the perfect end to your weekend!

Free walking tours

The colourful houses of the Bo-Kaap best places to visit in Cape Town

Photo credit: @helenaonthemove via Instagram

Sometimes, you can experience the best things to do in Cape Town for free! Feel like a tourist in your own country with free walking tours taking place around the city, highlighting the very best of Cape Town’s history. Choose between the Historic City Tour, Bo-Kaap Walking Tour, and Apartheid to Freedom Tour. Tours depart twice daily, usually in the morning and afternoon. Look out for the green umbrellas outside Motherland Coffee in Greenmarket Square – just sign in and you’re all set to go!

The guides are super knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions you might have and suggest places to visit. The tours are free, but tips are much appreciated. Groups of 10 or more need to book a private tour.

When: Every day, tours depart at 11:00, 14:00 & 16:20

Duration: 1.5 hours

Motherland Coffee Company, Mandela Rhodes Place, CBD | 076 636 9007

Kalk Bay is always a good idea

Artc on the street in Kalk Bay top things to do in Cape Town

Photo credit: @schoenundfein via Instagram

This colourful and eclectic seaside town is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Start your day with breakfast at Olympia Café or Bootlegger and spend the afternoon ambling through bookshops, vintage trinkets and quirky boutiques, making your way down to the harbour for some famous fish and chips. If you time it right, you can buy freshly-caught fish and snap a pic of the resident seals. End your day with sundowners along the beachfront or a delicious ice-cream at Ice Café.

There’s just something about Kalk Bay that makes you feel like you’re on holiday. Spend a day in Kalk Bay and see the best of Cape Town from the other side of the mountain!

Tip: get there early to avoid traffic and parking queues, or take the train from Cape Town station for a scenic ride along the coast.   

Surf’s up at Muizenberg Beach

Surfing lessons at Muizenberg best things to do in Cape Town

Photo credit: @piacesarmachado via Instagram

Grab your wetsuit and surfboard, because summer is just around the corner and Muizenberg beach is one of the best places to visit in Cape Town to catch some waves. For R200 you can rent a wetsuit and surfboard for 1.5 hours from Gary’s Surf School, the oldest surf school in South Africa. If you’re interested in taking a few surfing lessons, you can also check out Surfshack and Learn 2 Surf along the beachfront.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll feel right at home in these waters. Reward yourself with a post-surf brekkie at any of the cafés and bakeries along the strip.

Cocktails by the pool

best of cape town

Photo credit: @zellies1989 via Instagram

Rooftop bars are becoming synonymous with rooftop pools and are among the top things to do in Cape Town. Spend the day working on your tan as you laze by the pool, sipping refreshing cocktails as you take in the incredible views of the city. For some of the best poolside views of the city, head over to the Zenith Sky Bar at the Cape Royale, The Cape Milner, or Red Roof rooftop bar at Radisson RED.

Entrance to the Red Roof and Zenith Sky Bar is free! At The Cape Milner, R150 secures you a lounger and access to the pool, which opens at 12:00

Find accommodation at Cape Royale Hotel and The Cape Milner.

Imhoff Farm delights

best of cape town

Photo credit: @bosco1973 via Instagram

A tranquil spot to enjoy the fresh countryside and activities for the whole family! If you’re not perusing the art galleries and boutique shops, you can visit the petting zoo or go horse-riding along Noordhoek beach. For a little more excitement, gather a group for a round of paintball or laser tag. Indulge your taste buds with goat’s cheese tastings, artisan ice cream and sushi plates. You can easily spend an entire day at this gem in the heart of Kommetjie! Don’t miss out on one of the top things to do in Cape Town.

Open: Monday-Sunday, 09:00-17:00

Kommetjie Road, Kommetjie| 021 783 4545

There you have it – 28 ways to experience the very best of Cape Town and its surrounds in thrilling and unusual ways! With the beautiful Mother City offering so much excitement, from budget-friendly to more splurgy adventures, you’ll never be at a loss for something to do.

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What are some of your best things to do in Cape Town? Let us know in the comments.

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