Maps & Guides
Understanding Cape Town
When navigating Cape Town, it’s easiest to think of it in eight areas, each with their own offerings and special character. These divisions are purely for navigational purposes, however, and we encourage you to discover and enjoy the full range of possibilities Cape Town has to offer.
ATLANTIC SEABOARD AND CITY CENTRE
The Atlantic Seaboard, also known as Cape Town’s “Riviera”, stretches from the V&A Waterfront on the north shore of Table Mountain, all the way down the west side of the Cape Peninsula, stopping just short of Hout Bay. It takes in Green Point, Sea Point, Fresnaye, Bantry Bay, Camps Bay, Bakoven, Oudekraal and Llandudno along the way, and includes some of the world’s finest beaches and trendy seafront hot spots. These are all connected by a picturesque scenic drive, flanked by the Twelve Apostles mountain range and the Atlantic Ocean.
Aptly referred to as the City Bowl, the heart of the city is held in an enclosed basin formed between the Atlantic Ocean and the face of Table Mountain, flanked on one side by Lion’s Head and Signal Hill, and on the other by Devil’s Peak. From the busy sea port, through the business centre, and up into the more residential slopes, the city reveals its rich history and contemporary metropolitan character. Cape Town City Centre is made up of the Foreshore, CBD, Bo-Kaap, Gardens, Higgovale, Tamboerskloof, Oranjezicht, Vredehoek and Devil’s Peak.
The Peninsula is home to one of the world’s most spectacular passes, Chapman’s Peak Drive, as well as seaside villages and suburbs that remain far from the madding crowd. Cape Point is where the cold Benguela current on the west coast and the warm Agulhus current on the east coast merge, often in cataclysmic confrontation. It is also one of the highest sea cliffs in the world – 249m above sea level. The Peninsula is made up of Hout Bay, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Noordhoek, Kommetjie, Scarborough, Cape Point, Simon’s Town, Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay, St James and Muizenburg.
Download a Cape Town Peninsula map
For the most part, the Southern Suburbs lie at the base of Table Mountain National Park, a mountainous backbone that stretches all the way from Signal Hill to Cape Point. It is also home to the University of Cape Town. From the more bohemian student and upwardly mobile areas closer to town, the suburbs span out towards the beautiful Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, and the impressive wine estates of the super-wealthy in leafy tree-lined roads and vineyards. The Southern Suburbs is made up of Woodstock, Salt River, Observatory, Mowbray, Rosebank, Rondebosch, Newlands, Claremont, Kenilworth, Wynberg, Bishopscourt, Constantia and Tokai.
Download a Cape Town Southern Suburbs map
This large area is primarily residential and rich in political history – most of the families subjected to forced removals during the apartheid era were relocated here. The Cape Flats is made up of Athlone, Crossroads, Grassy Park, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Langa, Lansdowne, Manenberg, Mitchell’s Plain, Nyanga and Philippi.
Download a Cape Flats map
The Blaauwberg region is one of the fastest-growing areas in the Western Cape and is the gateway to the Cape West Coast. The area encompasses 48km of sandy white beaches, and is best known for its spectacular views of Table Mountain across Table Bay and ideal kite-surfing conditions due to the strong winds. Blaauwberg Coast is made up of Paarden Island, Milnerton, Woodbridge Island, Sunset Beach, West Beach, Table View, Bloubergstrand and Melkbosstrand.
Download a Blaauwberg map
There is a distinct difference between the Northern Suburbs and the Southern Suburbs, and the two are separated by the huge urban metropolis called Century City, a shopping mecca with business and residential components. The area has seen enormous growth and includes GrandWest Casino, a number of fine wine routes, and the Durbanville Wine Valley. The Northern Suburbs is made up of Century City, Goodwood, Parow, Bellville, Welgemoed, Plattekloof, Tyger Valley, Durbanville and Bellville.
Download a Northern Suburbs map
The Helderberg basin is one of the most visually dramatic areas in the Cape, with the Hottentots Holland and Helderberg Mountain ranges creating a powerful backdrop against which the valley descends into vineyards, golf estates and onto a coastline swept with warm waters and white, sandy beaches. Helderberg is made up of Gordon’s Bay, Somerset West, Strand, Sir Lowry’s Pass, Macassar and Lwandle.
Download a Helderberg map
For further information on any of the areas, contact Cape Town Tourism on +27 21 487 6800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.