The Best of Cape Town….it is hard to narrow it down to a few best things to do or places to see. In truth, this city offers something for everyone, whether you are an adrenaline junkie, history fanatic, or a cosmopolitan girl. I gladly took part in all of these roles in 5 days and that was still not enough time.
For the Adrenaline Junkie
Countless activities…from shark-diving, to paragliding (click here to see my paragliding video), to hiking up open-faced Table Mountain.
Table Mountain – There are more than 900 hiking trails around Table Mountain. There are two common routes used to reach the top of iconic Table Mountain. Platteklip Gorge and India Venster.
The most popular (and easiest route) is Platteklip Gorge. Well defined trails and featuring dramatic rock formations. An easy trail to descend.
The second, more challenging route is India Venster. This trail leads up underneath the cable car, giving you panoramic views of Signal Hill, Lions Head, Cape Town, and the suburbs before cutting around to the backside of Table Mountain and showcasing Camps Bay. About two-thirds of the way up, the hike gives way to elementary rock-climbing before continuing back on a trail. (I ended up loving this route)
For the History Fanatic
The colourful houses of Bo-Kaap. The Bo-Kaap is synonymous with colour. Lime green, bright fuchsia, and mandarin orange are only a few of the colours you will see in this neighbourhood. After the emancipation of slaves in the 1800’s, many of them moved into this area. According to locals, slaves lived in dull-tones. Everything was black, white, and brown. So when they were freed, they embraced their freedom with colours.
Robben Island. A small piece of land, approximately 7 kms out into the bay from Cape Town. For centuries this island was used for banishment, imprisonment, a maritime stopover, a settlement, and more recently, a prison for political leaders. From 1961 to 1991 the Apartheid Government built a maximum security prison on Robben Island. Notable leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Jacob Zuma spent their years here for standing up to the Apartheid Government.
For the Cosmopolitan Girl (or Guy)
V&A Waterfront. Most travellers confuse V&A for Victoria and Albert, but it is actually meant for Victoria and Alfred (her son). Here you can shop until your feet give out at the Watershed or the Mall, enjoy drinks on a sunny patio and people watch, or ride the brightly lit ferris wheel at sunset.
Long Street. A bit of a backpackers area, but no less a good place to go out for drinks. For good vibes and good times, head to Tiger’s Milk Restaurant & Bar to chill with the locals.
So here it is…the Best of Cape Town. There is much more to see and do but it’s always good to let you discover the hidden gems for yourself and for me to have a few secret places.