[Updated July 2020]
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
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!
Granger Bay Boulevard (next to Oranjezicht Farmer’s Market) | 082 257 6403
Take a motorbike tour off the beaten track
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
All aboard the Franschhoek Wine Tram
Keen to go wine tasting in Franschhoek as soon as possible? 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!
Also read: 6 Undiscovered wine farms around Cape Town
Scoot around the slopes of Table Mountain
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!
Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours
Meet at Lower Table Mountain parking area and info office, 209 Tafelberg Road | 076 8105120
Tea by the sea at The Twelve Apostles
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.
Victoria Road, Camps Bay | 021 437 9029
Booking is essential.
An arty affair at Zeitz MOCAA
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!
Silo District, S Arm Road, V&A Waterfront | 087 350 4777
Sun, sea and braai at Kraalbaai
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.
West Coast National Park (entrance off the R27) | 022 772 2144/5
Why not stay over? Book a luxury houseboat for your group!
Also read: Fun day trips from Cape Town
Make a splash at Crystal Pools
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 firstname.lastname@example.org two days before your hike.
Where: Off Sir Lowry’s Pass (R44), past Gordon’s Bay | 021 4446927
Get creative at Clay Café
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!
Main Road, Hout Bay | 076 810 5120
Catch the runner ducks at Vergenoegd
Stock up on delicious food and artisanal goodies 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
Zipline through the Constantia Valley
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.
Silvermist Wine Estate, Constantia Nek, Hout Bay | 079 495 3987
Family fun at Blue Rock
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.
Sir Lowry’s Pass, Somerset West| 021 858 1330
Explore the East City Precinct
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.
Sea Point Promenade
“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 by the hour, or a mountain bike for a full day and discover the city at your own pace. When the stalls re-open, grab a refreshing smoothie or a decadent soft serve and watch the shimmering waves crashing below you. Definitely one of the best places to visit in Cape Town to bring the perfect end to your weekend!
Free walking tours
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.
Duration: 1.5 hours
Motherland Coffee Company, Mandela Rhodes Place, CBD | 076 636 9007
Kalk Bay is always a good idea
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!
Surf’s up at Muizenberg Beach
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. 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.
Relax by the pool
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.
Imhoff Farm delights
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.
Kommetjie Road, Kommetjie| 021 783 4545
There you have it – 20 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.
Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter for more local guides, travel tips and amazing flight specials!
What are some of your best things to do in Cape Town? Let us know in the comments.