Tucked away in the corner of the Western Cape of South Africa, known to locals as the ‘Cape of Good Hope’, is a most intriguing metropolitan. In Cape Town, it is always summer; the sun always shines even when it rains, due to the unique relaxed but energetic vibe that is prominent in every corner of this stunning city, from the moment the sun rises on Table Mountain to the moment it sets over Robben Island. There’s so much more than just the tourist attractions; the Mother City is laden with hidden gems – it’s time to spill the secrets to creating the best memories from a day in Cape Town.
Yes - you must live like a Capetonian in order to get the most out of your day! Wherever you go, take the train and listen to the sound of the performers on the train, the passengers that speak with each other like old friends, the loud music and crazy atmosphere of a taxi (you have to wave them down so furiously that it might look like you are dancing) and experience Cape Town as the locals know it.
The best way to get to the V&A Waterfront from the town centre is either by MyCiti bus, which is Cape Town’s convenient bus service, or on foot- there are many pedestrian signs in Cape Town so it is impossible to get lost! You will be entranced by the journey that is an adventure of its own; whether it is the stunning architecture of the CBD, the wide open roads that pass by the mountain as you leave the city bowl or the clear skies that lay above the blue sea of the harbour. If you are coming out of the shopping centre towards the Cape Wheel (almost like a mini London Eye, providing the best view over the city from the ground), carry on walking straight and you will see the V&A Waterfront Food Market. Here you will experience food from all over the world, great beer and some exceptional African craft. I personally recommend Stack That’s ‘Hungarian flatbread’ for a tantalising meal that is out of this world, paired with the quickest and friendliest service in Cape Town.
Whilst the Cape of Good Hope awakens to the sun warming the earth, the citizens of Kaapstad are already high up the mountain with their flasks of coffee. Table Mountain is the heart of the Mother City and is the central formation to the city bowl. Going up Table Mountain is something that cannot be missed – the views from the top, whether you hike up the Platteklip route or take the cable car, are unparalleled.
Robben Island was once the isolated prison that housed the political saviour and superpower of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Now it is an iconic museum that showcases the history of the turmoil that thousands of prisoners endured. Perhaps the best way to get there is by boat, of which can be taken from the Waterfront harbour.
At the top of Adderley Street in the Cape Town CBD is The Company’s Garden. Upon entering you are surrounded by trees and beautiful greenery. If you walk further down, you may see the children that dance and sing in the most endearing traditional African way that is just simply magical for those who have not yet experienced it. Throughout the gardens, you will see a number of museums and buildings including the slaves lodge house, South African National Gallery, the Iziko South African Museum and Planetarium, the Houses of Parliament and many more. I am going to let you in on a secret… whilst you are here, see if you can spot the albino squirrel! It is a well-known fact that you are not Capetonian until you have seen the albino squirrel!
A great beach is Eden on the Bay, because of the amount of things you can do there, such as body board, surf or sit on the beach with an ice-cream. As well as the opportunity for a well-earned sundowner (having a cocktail whilst watching the sunset) at one of the many restaurants that line the beach, there are many sports events that happen such as Red Bull’s ‘King of The Air’, which is held in the first couple weeks of February and entails the art of tricks performed by kite surfers.
Visiting Cape Town and not going to a wine farm would be a sacrilege! Experience some of the world’s finest wines, situated in places that boast the most glorious topography. De Grendel Wine Estate on the Durbanville wine route is a good place to go for the stunning views and wonderful wines.
Long Street is renowned for its amazing nightlife – it is situated in the heart of the CBD and has an atmosphere all of its own. After the sun goes down and the busy hustle and bustle of the day has subsided, the real Long Street reveals itself. So, from The Dubliner to Long Street Café, you can be assured that you will have a night to remember.