Cape Town Travel Guide
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.
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 venue has an extensive collection of mixed-media works divided between two gallery spaces.
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.
Colorful ceramics by local artists fill this small shop in the seaside village of Kalk Bay, a hub of South African creative culture. Dating back to 1901, the Victorian white-stucco building that now houses the store was originally built as a community washhouse.
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.
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.
Many of Cape Town’s best contemporary galleries are in easy walking distance of one another in the city center. Begin at the AVA Gallery, a nonprofit multimedia gallery in historic quarters that gives special attention to Western Cape artists.
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.
Visit the winery, established in 1880, for a tasting of ruby and tawny ports.
Make sure to pick up a souvenir from their line of belts, bags, and clutches.
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.
An hour’s drive from Cape Town, the Point is the most breathtaking spot at the Cape Point Reserve (a place of buckling, fynbos-covered hills, troops of baboons, buck, and Cape Mountain zebra).
Housed inside the Old Biscuit Mill, a red brick building dating from the 19th century, this ceramics shop is the showroom of Clementina van der Walt, a local artist whose designs are inspired by the various landscapes of Africa.
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.