Cape Town’s central area is quite compact when compared to other great cities of the world – and experiencing its urban culture on foot is a fantastic way to experience the city.
Start off at the Castle of Good Hope (+27 21 464 1264; www.iziko.org.za/museums/william-fehr-collection-at-the-castle-of-good-hope) and if you have the time – enjoy a guided tour of the castle.
West of the Castle (on the corner of Darling and Buitenkant Streets) you’ll find the Grand Parade – where Nelson Mandela made his first memorable speech after being released after 27 years of imprisonment under apartheid. Cape Town’s City Hall overlooks the Grand Parade. Built in 1905, it was the last major Victorian building to be erected in Cape Town.
Keep walking to the top of Adderley Street where you’ll find the Company’s Gardens. Here, you’ll find Cape Town’s Cultural History Museum originally built as a slave lodge. Today, it’s a fascinating museum – and the reconstructed tombstone of Jan Van Riebeeck can be found in the courtyard.
Walk up Government Avenue, this pedestrian walkway is lined with oak trees. Stop over at the South African National Art Gallery (+27 (0)21 467 4660;http://www.iziko.org.za/museums/south-african-national-gallery) with its displays of over 6 500 works of art by some of South Africa’s best-known artists and their international counterparts.
As you walk through the Gardens you’ll see the Memorial to South African soldiers killed at Delville Wood, as well as various notable statues, monuments and fountains.
At the top of the Gardens you’ll find the South African Museum – with some of the pieces on display dating back 117 000 years. Next door is the Once you’ve visited the Nellie, return to the city centre via Long Street where you can enjoy the shops or stop for a light meal – Long Street Café (+27 21 424 2464) offers a varied menu and coffee. If shopping is on your mind then a visit to Greenmarket Square is a must.
There are also walks around Table Mountain and daily walks at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. To stretch your legs, the Sea Point promenade is a wonderful place for a long walk with the ocean next to you.
Did you know?
According to StatsSA, greater Cape Town had a population of 3.5 million in 2007.
Contact Cape Town Tourism for more information.
It’s no surprise that Cape Town is considered the gourmet capital of Africa – nine of the country’s top 10 restaurants, as voted in the 2011 Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards, are found in Cape Town and Cape winelands.
Many visitors want to explore nature on higher ground as soon as they arrive in Cape Town and with Lion’s Head and Table Mountain beckoning, many do get to experience the local flora and fauna on foot. However, the entire peninsula can be enjoyed by avid walkers. From Blouberg Beach, with its picture perfect views from its sandy shores, to the more adventurous guided Hoerikwaggo Trails along the spine of Table Mountain, visitors have an expanse of ground to cover.
Labyrinths are a common element in many different cultures, with earliest records dating back 3 500 years.
Cape Town is a wonderful city to enjoy on foot, so make time to walk the streets to discover the Mother City’s culture and history.
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