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December 24, 2012

Christmas in Cape Town

Cape Town's Christmas lights are renowned. This massive, lit-up Christmas tree is on the Grand Parade. Photo courtesy Stuart Buchanan

While the northern hemisphere is blanketed in snow at Christmas, the sun shines brightly in Cape Town, leaving you with a wide choice of activities to do and places to go. So grab your sunblock, it's going to be a beautiful day in Cape Town. Much too beautiful to stay indoors.

One of the most unique experiences is spending Christmas on top of Table Mountain, more than 1 000m above sea level. Following an intense international competition, Table Mountain was inaugurated as one of the New7Wonders of Nature this year. The cable car is open on Christmas day and Santa Claus and the Christmas Fairy will be on hand to entertain and enthral children. You can also enjoy a delicious Christmas lunch on the summit.

But if soaking up the sun is more your style, head to one of the many beaches that surround Cape Town and enjoy a picnic lunch, frolic in the water and watch the world go by. 

Or take a drive to Hout Bay, along Chapman's Peak Drive, one of the most scenic routes in the world. Picnics are very popular in Cape Town, and there are a number of viewing spots along the way where you can stretch your legs, enjoy your picnic Christmas lunch and take in the scenery.

South Africa's top tourist attraction, the V&A Waterfront, is open on Christmas, so you can buy last-minute gifts, enjoy a sumptuous lunch at one of its restaurants, or enjoy a very casual fish and chips takeaway to enjoy while sitting on one of the Waterfront's many outdoor benches.

One of the stunning views from Chapman's Peak. Photo Courtesy RobW

Spending the morning in Camps Bay is another great way to experience Cape Town, with its swaying palm trees, stretches of white beaches and turquoise water. You can enjoy lunch at one of the many trendy beachside restaurants.

And with its many bars and restaurants, there is always activity on Long Street. As the sun sets, make your way to Adderley Street, where you can end off Christmas day enjoying the festive lights.

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