Things to do in Cape Town
Cape Town’s nightlife spans everything from live theatre at the Baxter to cocktails at Planet bar at the Mount Nelson Hotel. For an equally unique experience a little off the beaten track, step outside the city to the Oude Libertas Ampitheatre, an open-air amphitheater in the Stellenbosch vineyards. Here you can see music, dance and theatre, all under South Africa’s bright starry skies, just under an hour outside of Cape Town.
If you’re looking for things to do in Cape Town proper, try the Cape Town Good Food & Wine Show. There, gourmet cuisine, fine wines, and top chefs, vintners and restaurateurs vie for your attention and delight, offering tastings, workshops, and one-on-one cooking lessons.
Whatever your plans for the day, get started with a champagne breakfast at Mount Nelson’s Oasis Restaurant, set amidst sparkling pools and lush gardens, before heading into Cape Town to explore. Go to Bo-Kaap, the old Malay Quarter, for spices from South-East Asia, or check out the independent bookshops along Kloof Street. With such an eclectic mix of cultures and experiences, it won’t be hard to find things to do in Cape Town – you may even plan a return visit to take it all in.
Whatiftheworld’s mandate is to cultivate a community among Cape Town’s young furniture-, product-, and fashion designers and aspiring collectors. It takes the form of shows held in Whatiftheworld’s gallery/work space in Woodstock.
Best known as the former prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 18 years, this island off the coast of Cape Town also served as a leper colony, mental institution, and military base over the past three centuries.
The venue has an extensive collection of mixed-media works divided between two gallery spaces.
This beer bar–charcuterie opened in January 2009 by the people behind Vida e Caffé, a slick, mini-chain coffee bar with a zealous fan base.
Unusual gifts made with spirited South African innovation can be found at this eclectic three-story housewares and apparel shop, set among the hipster clubs and backpackers’ haunts of Long Street.
Located in a whitewashed townhouse in the city center, this contemporary art gallery showcases the work of midcareer local photographers, such as Roger Ballen and Jurgen Schadeberg, as well as international photographers like Jan Smith from Mexico and Nicola Vinci from Italy.
This winery is located on the Cluver family’s De Rust Estate, a nearly 6,000-acre property that includes fruit orchards, a concert amphitheatre, and a restaurant serving fresh produce from an on-site garden.
Directly opposite Camps Bay Beach on a road with heavy foot traffic, Caprice is one of the most popular spots for sundowners on the Atlantic coast.
A drive along the westerly, warmer-watered side of the peninsula brings you through quaint villages and laid-back surfer communities.
From its 3,500-foot summit, this flat-topped mountain that looms above Cape Town offers truly mind-blowing views: the entire city peninsula, including the Atlantic coast, False Bay, and the easterly valleys of Winelands, all stretch out shimmering below as far as the eye can see.
Surf culture is deeply entrenched in South Africa; boys and girls here start catching gnarly waves as early as kindergarten. The warm, relatively calm waters of False Bay are where most Capetonians develop their surfing legs—and where you can get yours.
What to Expect: The four small white-sand beaches that face the Atlantic Ocean on the west side of town are often called the South Beach of South Africa.
The Cape Peninsula is one of the world’s six Floral Kingdoms, home to thousands of plants found nowhere else in the world—and this 1,300-acre indigenous garden that rises up Table Mountain’s lower slope is an amazing place to see them.
Many of the Cape’s verdant winelands date back to the late 1700s, when Dutch settlers tasked escaping French Huguenots with making wine to supply passing Spice Route ships.
Visit the winery, established in 1880, for a tasting of ruby and tawny ports.