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Over the past 300 years Cape Town has become a cultural melting pot, but only by experiencing the wealth of heritage sites the city offers can one truly begin to get under the skin of this fascinating city.
The arrival of the Dutch began South Africa’s colonial history and Cape Town’s voyage to becoming a cultural melting pot that included Dutch, Portuguese, French and British settlers, as well as Indian and Malay slaves, and the country’s indigenous inhabitants. The
city owes its interesting mix of cultures, languages, architecture and world-class vineyards to this legacy, yet it is also a story of centuries-long exploitation and oppression.
is a city of contrasts. It tells a tale of two cities; one that boasts a thriving creative economy, premier tourist destination status and incredible natural beauty, juxtaposed by a city tarnished with social problems and poverty directly related to its troubled history. But when walking the streets of Cape Town and meeting its people, you will fall in love with a city of hope, inspiration and incredible spirit.
From nature and adventure, to history and culture, there is something for everyone to enjoy and explore in Cape Town. As a city of great natural beauty, creative freedom of expression and a melting pot of cultures, Cape Town reflects its heritage and modern history in its characters, architecture and stories.
The year 2014 represents a significant milestone for South Africa as it celebrates 20 years since the country’s first free and democratic elections. As World Design Capital (WDC) 2014, it is the perfect time for all South Africans to reflect on the challenges and gains
of our transformation, celebrate the achievements of the past two decades and find solutions to the issues that haunt us. This is the year to support the theme of Cape Town’s WDC 2014 tenure, “Live design. Transform Life”, in our celebration of democracy.
Explore the iconic must see attractions of Cape Town with this five day itinerary. It includes things to do, places to see, images and a map to download.
Explore Cape Town for five days through a Sport and Adventure lens. This itinerary includes things to do, places to see, images and a map to download.
Explore Cape Town for five days through an Outdoor and Nature lens. This itinerary includes things to do, places to see, images and a map to download.
Explore Cape Town for five days through a History and Heritage lens. This itinerary includes things to do, places to see, images and a map to download.
Cape Town is an interesting fusion of shopping streets, informal markets, boutique clusters and world-class shopping malls. The local décor and design scene is expanding, and you will find many designer clothing, object and furniture shops in trendy Woodstock and the Central City. Most of Cape Town’s shopping nodes also include interesting eateries and cafes, making a day of energetic shopping a people-watching experience too.
Explore Cape Town for five days through a National Geographic lens. This itinerary corresponds to the documentary National Geographic produced on Cape Town, narrated by Andrew Evans and aired from May 2013. This itinerary includes things to do, places to see, images and a map to download.
Explore Cape Town for five days through a Design lens. This itinerary includes things to do, places to see, images and a map to download.
Explore Cape Town for five days through an Arts and Culture lens. This itinerary includes things to do, places to see, images and a map to download.
Known as the Big Six; Cape Town’s top attractions include Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Robben Island, Cape Point, the V&A Waterfront and the Constantia Vineyards - no itinerary is complete without them!
The V&A Waterfront’s magnificient views of Table Mountain and Robben Island provide a backdrop to over 450 shops, more than 80 dining spots, numerous entertainment venues and world-class accommodation.They invite you to be their guest; to shop, play, dine, stay and discover what makes the V&A Waterfront South Africa’s most visited destination.
As one of the few cities in the world with a national park and two World Heritage Sites (Table Mountain National Park and Robben Island) contained within its boundaries, Cape Town is surrounded by incredible outdoor options. The ‘Mother City’ is also located in a ‘biodiversity hotspot’, the Cape Floristic Region, and is recognised globally for its extraordinarily rich, diverse and unique fauna and flora. The city offers many ways to experience the great green outdoors.
All eyes will be on Cape Town next year when the city enjoys its tenure as World Design Capital. The title is awarded bi-annually by the International Council for Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) to give global prominence to cities that use design for their social, economic and cultural development.
Born of a need to sustain our planet mindfully; a new generation of responsible travelers are seeking real, meaningful and authentic experiences and are in tune with responsible lifestyle practices such as buying fair-trade products and experiences, and supporting community tourism. Cape Town has been working towards being a responsible and sustainable city and destination for many years.
Known around the globe as a place of beauty; Cape Town has exceptional diversity in a small geographical area. The sheer economic value of Cape Town’s natural and cultural heritage is driven largely by its importance to tourism.
Cape Town is renowned for its beautiful wine estates and award winning wines and many offer tastings, lunches and events on a regular basis. Newlands Brewery, the oldest brewery in South Africa is situated in Cape Town and micro-breweries are popping up all over town as the hand-made beer trend continues to draw its devotees. Whisky and brandy tours, pairings and tastings, are a part of the Cape’s swilling adventures too…
Capetonians are proudly laid-back with a balanced outdoor lifestyle encompassing some of the most beautiful settings in the world. But why is it that Cape Town can restore one’s natural balance with more than just its natural wonders? It could be because the city’s location is regarded worldwide as an important energy centre, or perhaps because there’s something in its beauty and tranquility that allows people to just chill out… Here are a few more options for relaxing in Cape Town…
If the city centre is the heart of Cape Town’s nightlife then Long Street is the main artery, with its energy emanating outwards along Kloof Street, Tamboerskloof and Somerset Road, Green Point all the way onto the Atlantic Seaboard and Cape Town’s sunset capital, Victoria Road in Camps Bay.
Every major city in the world has its parks, and most seaside towns across the globe boast a clean strip of beach or commanding urban forest, but few city centres in the world come close to matching Cape Town’s vast treasure of natural beauty.
Keeping children occupied is always a challenge for busy parents, but those on holiday in Cape Town have a wide choice when it comes to entertaining their little ones. Parents need not fear that their kids will suffer from cabin fever - not only is the climate conducive to plenty of outdoor rough-and-tumble, but there are also indoor activities galore to keep little people content; and even more activities that moms and dads will also take pleasure in doing.
The rich diversity of Cape Town’s natural and cultural heritage is part of the city’s authentic appeal; it is a colourful, intriguing, cosmopolitan city - a tapestry of people and traditions.
The range and inspiration of Cape Town cuisine is diverse and exciting – a never-ending landscape for foodies to explore. Of course, inexpensive fast foods are available in many city lunch spots and fresh produce markets abound as part of the food scene. Cape Town also caters to upmarket dining experiences. Luxury restaurants and S. Pelligrino Top 100 rated restaurants are noted for traditional cuisine and innovative fusion.
Known by many as the ’Pink Capital of South Africa’, Cape Town is renowned for its vibrant gay scene and - thanks to South Africa’s post-apartheid constitution, the gay community is an essential part of the diversity that constitutes the ‘Rainbow Nation’. With exquisite natural scenery, world-class luxury and countless gay-friendly guesthouses, bars, restaurants and coffee shops; it’s not hard to see why Cape Town is a favourite destination amongst ‘pink’ travelers.
Cape Town has a lengthy history with food, having been established from the very start as a supply station to passing ships. Over the past few hundred years the city’s culinary story has weaved itself into a mix of traditional cuisines, influenced by all who have visited the city’s shores. Today travelers will find a colourful palate of cuisines from every corner of the globe. Nevertheless, Cape Town’s sensory fare makes for interesting food safaris.
As a reflection of its own natural beauty and cultural diversity, Cape Town is crammed with art galleries, informal street art, great urban design, music, theatre, festivals and spontaneous expressions of creativity. Increasingly, art is also being absorbed into the cityscape through murals, sculptures, installations, public and performance art.
An active and outdoor lifestyle has long been part of the Cape Town mind set. The reason: Cape Town’s untamed natural beauty, mountainous and lush vegetation, and lively seas allow for many adrenaline pumping pursuits over land, in the ocean or up in the air.
Cape Town is a city that instantly inspires creativity. Its majestic setting between mountain and sea is a design prompt that captures the hearts and minds of visitors and sets the standard for all its citizens. As World Design Capital 2014, Cape Town is a global focus point for its transformative approach to design. Download to read more.
The city’s unconventional mix of cultures and influences have all played their role in establishing local culture. From the coffee-shop hipsters to those who express their ancestry through food and song – the city is a blend of people-flavours.
Cape Town is a mecca of creativity and design, and these industries form a large part of the city’s economic activity. Perhaps as a reflection of its own natural beauty and diversity, Cape Town is crammed with art galleries, informal street art, great urban design, music, theatre and spontaneous expressions of creativity.
Monkeybiz is a non-profit organisation that provides unemployed women with the tools and materials to make traditionally beaded creations such as eclectic dolls, badges and curios. The company was established in 2000 in an effort to create jobs and today it is one of the most recognisable upliftment projects in the country.
The rhythms of Cape Town are as complex and interesting as her multicultural people. Most of all, the Mother City is known for its unique take on jazz and hip hop, although a surfeit of music continues to pour out of the city’s many musical genres.
Cape Town’s theatre scene is diverse, from Shakespeare to opera and ballet to local and international one-man shows, comedy shows, kids’ shows and musicals.
Cape Town is a foodie’s delight, with influences from every corner of the globe served up in restaurants and cafés across the city, in among traditional South African favourites.
South African wines are a feature on wine lists across the globe, and those from the vast and beautiful Cape Winelands are the best-known among them.
Food and wine events take place across the metropole, and play an important role in cultivating culinary Cape Town – not only to foodie locals, but also to visiting friends from afar – and have aided in shaping a space on the global food map for the Western Cape.
The concepts of community, decreasing our carbon footprint and awareness of the distance from farm to fork have resulted in the emergence of a robust food-market subculture in Cape Town.
Cape Town has a big coffee shop culture. Some spots are quaintly old-fashioned and others hip and happening – either way, they’re perfect for people-watching!
Naturally beautiful Cape Town is the ideal playground for golfers. The metropole offers several highly-rated courses, with further golfing locations sprinkled across the Cape’s green surrounds.
The thrill of harnessing the power of the wind is what makes kiteboarding a must-do for the adrenalin seeker. Blaauwberg beach is truly the best option for wind and kite surfing.
Coined by many as “the world’s most beautiful marathon”, the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon attracts around 20 000 local and international athletes.
The Hoerikwaggo Trail is a five-day, four-night hiking trail designed to link Cape Point to Table Mountain. A tour guide is a must for this journey as it covers 75km of mountain terrain between overnight stops.
Dragon boat racing is a sport steeped in history, with its roots dating back to an ancient folk ritual of southern China, and as a modern-day sport calls for immense focus and teamwork.
Cool bars, pool bars, sports bars, rooftop bars, old-school bars, hipster bars and more; Cape Town offers bars of all kinds for every taste…
New Year’s Eve in Cape Town is an absolute delight! Cape Town is arguably the most beautiful city in the world and New Year’s Eve has become the city’s biggest party night.
Cape Town summer nights are long and fabulous, doors are always open and views spectacular. The city is in a good mood and tanned bodies and relaxed, happy faces let you know you are on holiday.
The Pink SA Guide has been designed with local and international travellers in mind. It is a guide to the best accommodation, restaurants, bars and clubs, sightseeing, entertainment and arts venues, as well as country getaways that are either gay-owned, gay-managed or are truly gay-friendly.
The Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts are a series of live, outdoor music concerts at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden amphitheatre that take place on Sunday evenings from
the end of November until the beginning of April the following year and features some of the biggest South African bands.
Step off the top of one of the World’s New7Wonders of Nature: Table Mountain stands at 1000 metres above sea level and offers a controlled descent of 112 metres to one of the world’s most beautiful cities!
Between mid-August and mid-September every year, Cape Town’s West Coast – stretching from Blaauwberg into Namaqualand – transforms into a kaleidoscope of colour as indigenous flowers burst into bloom to carpet the landscape.
The Dirty Boots Adventure Travel Guide offers the ultimate guide to the enormous variety of adventure activities and tours available in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.
From June to November each year southern right whales glide into the shallows off the Cape coast to calve and nurture their offspring.
The Absa Cape Epic is the largest full-service mountain bike stage race in the world and takes place over eight consecutive days between March and April each year.
Click on the heading above to see photos of some of Cape Town’s nature attractions.
Click on the heading above to see our gallery of some of the best Cape Town attractions.
The Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI) is driving Western Cape craft development and job creation, wealth generation and export promotion. The Institute provides support in areas of creativity, design and innovation; enterprise development and training; and market access and development.
The Muslim Students Association (MSA) of the Cape has compiled this map of Cape Town from an Islamic cultural perspective. The map is an intended handy guide to all tourists visiting our beautiful city allowing you to explore muslim history, lifestyle, cuisine and culture.
The city seen through the eyes of a child becomes one large playground. There are mountains to climb, wildlife to witness, forests to explore, botanical gardens in which to run freely and beautiful beaches where sand and sea offer hours of fun no money can buy.
Cape Town is more than just famous for its restaurants: dining – given the availability of both fresh ingredients and spellbinding settings – is a city pastime.
Cape Town offers a host of attractions for those who love a bit of artistic flair, from flower shows and jazz festivals to the latest in architecture, crafts, décor and film.
Cape Town is the ideal destination for kids: there’s plenty to do, whether you decide to play ball on one of our many pristine beaches, visit Simon’s Town to see the penguins, or take a walk in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. The trick is to enjoy each outing to the full, rather than packing too much into a day.
Cape Town is a city bursting at the seams with colour, creativity and humour. You only need to walk past the flower sellers of Adderley Street to get a taste of the zest for life that permeates the city. The Cape Minstrel Carnival, affectionately known as Cape Town’s answer to the Mardi Gras, is another wonderful example of the city’s creative spirit.
Think golf and South Africa and your first thoughts will probably be of one of the country’s many well known championship courses like the Gary Player Golf Course at Sun City, Fancourt or Pezula. But Cape Town itself has several highly-rated courses for golfers looking to test their skills without leaving the Mother City’s 02 dial code.
Table Mountain might be one of the New7Wonders of Nature, but its wonders are not new to Capetonians, who have been enjoying the majestic mountain’s unique beauty for centuries. Likewise, there aren’t many visitors to the city who don’t get to the top, whether on foot or by using the Cableway.
Cape Town’s diverse multi-cultural ancestry has enjoyed the influence of many cooking traditions – Italian, Malay, Chinese, Japanese, Moroccan, French, Portuguese, Congolese, Greek, Brazilian, Thai and Korean. Cape Town is renowned for its diverse, stylish restaurants and excellent food, always complemented by the range of superb local wines grown nearby.
Never mind wine, there’s beer in Cape Town.
Given the region’s well-deserved reputation for fine wine, visitors might be surprised to discover that the Western Cape is also awash with beer. And not just big-name brands like Castle Lager (produced by the mega-brewery SABMiller): Cape Town is also home to a busy industry of smaller-scale craft beers.
Less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town’s city centre, the wine routes offer visitors picturesque scenery, friendly hospitality and excellent wines. Most estates have daily wine tasting, cellar tours and sales – some by appointment only – and there are many choices when it comes to wine route tours. And because wine and food belong together, some of the world’s best restaurants can be found in the Cape Winelands.
Cape Town, the sparkling jewel at the southern tip of the African continent, is famous for its vibrant gay scene.