Heritage Sites in Cape Town and Surrounds

Cape Town has a rich history. As every tourist knows, the story of a country can’t adequately be told in history books. It’s in the people, buildings, laughter and landscape; and it demands to be experienced before it can be understood.

Here are 12 of Cape Town’s most beautiful heritage spots for you to begin your journey.

Note: If you are not familiar with any of these sites, please bring along an experienced tour guide to help you find your way.

The Company’s Garden

Three and a half centuries ago in 1652, The Company’s Garden was Jan Van Riebeeck’s veggie patch. Today it’s decorated with imposing statues, Museums of Art and adorable squirrels. It’s the perfect place for a picnic and boasts a majestic view of Table Mountain.

Available Activities: picnics, museums, nature walks
What to Bring: Sunblock, hat, jacket (on cold days)
Price: Free entry
Website: bit.ly/3ZcNsIQ

Groot Constantia

Once the manor house of Cape Governor Simon van der Stel from 1699 to 1712, today Groot Constantia is a provincial heritage site and award-winning wine farm set amongst some of the most magnificent landscapes in the country. Sipping on 3 centuries’ worth of refined South African vino is an excellent way to spend a Saturday!

Available Activities: wine tasting, exploring, audio tour, restaurants
What to Bring: sunblock, hat, jacket (on cold days)
Price: Free entry
Website: grootconstantia.co.za/

Groot Constantia - Heritage Sites

The Castle of Good Hope

The pentagonal fortress was built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company, making it the oldest building in the country. The Castle of Good Hope has some of the most fascinating history, and eye-catching architecture in Cape Town – along with a few ghost stories as well.

Available Activities: exploring, guided tours
What to Bring: ID or driver’s license
Price: From R25 upwards
Website: www.castleofgoodhope.co.za/index.php 


A photographer’s dream, the technicolour homes of the Muslim community of Bo-Kaap are Capetonian icons. Nearby, the Bo-Kaap Museum explains the social history of the former slave houses.

Available Activities: exploring, perfect photo stops, tours, food tours, try delicious traditional Cape Malay cuisine
What to Bring: sunblock, hat, jacket (on cold days)
Price: Free entry
Website: www.iziko.org.za/museums/bo-kaap-museum/

Couple walking in Bo-Kaap Cape Town - Heritage Sites

Dorp Street, Stellenbosch

This entire street is a national heritage sight. It’s the unmistakable Cape-Dutch architecture in this, the oldest town in South Africa, which combines gorgeously with ancient, gnarled oaks to line this old wagon road. A stroll down Dorp Street is a charming experience that resonates through the centuries.

Available Activities: scenic walk, photo stops
What to Bring: sunblock, hat, jacket (on cold days)
Price: Free entry

Dorp Street - Heritage Sites

Robben Island

The island, located off the coast of Cape Town, is the place where Nelson Mandela and many anti-apartheid activists and freedom fighters were held captive for many years. Today the island is an iconic world heritage site known for its history, as well as a reminder of the country’s bleak past, and how we were able to move forward from it together as a nation.

Available Activities: guided tours, exploring
What to Bring: sunblock, hat, jacket (it’s cold on the boat ride), sunglasses
Price: From R210 upwards
Website: www.robben-island.org.za/ 

Table Mountain National Park

One of the New 7 Natural Wonders of the World, Table Mountain National Park is one massive piece of nature that stretches from the Cape Peninsula right through to the Cape Town City area. The national park includes many well-known attractions, including Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, Boulders Penguin Colony, Cape Point, The Flying Dutchman Funicular, Lions Head and Signal Hill.

Available Activities: hiking, exploring, penguin watching, swimming, picnics, braais, photo stops, riding the cable car up Table Mountain, riding the funicular to Cape Point, beaches, meeting other wildlife, various water activities

What to Bring: sunblock, swimming clothes, towel, comfortable walking shoes, hat, jacket (cold days), sunglasses, map, cellphone, ID
Price: Varies per location
Website: bit.ly/44IUfLr

Table Mountain National Park - Heritage Sites

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Hailed as one of the seven most magnificent botanical gardens in the world, Kirstenbosch is filled with all kinds of flora and fauna, including many rare plant species, fynbos, indigenous birds and more. One can enjoy many activities at this scenic location, including walks, and picnics, as well as the Boomslang – a canopy walkway with stunning views.

Available Activities: walks, picnics, boomslang, exploring, guided tours
What to Bring: sunblock, hat, jacket (cold days), sunglasses, ID
Price: From R40 upwards
Website: www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch/

Gugulethu Seven Memorial

Seven granite structures stand side by side, with figures cut out in the centre of each structure. If you look at each figure, you’ll notice their arms are raised high. These seven structures were built to commemorate the deaths of the seven black activists who were killed by the police on 3 March 1986. These activists were young individuals from the Gugulethu Township.

Available Activities: guided tours, exploring
What to Bring: hat, sunglasses
Available Tours: Camissa Travel, Sam’s Cultural Tours

Gugulethu Severn Memorial - Heritage Sites


Settled by French Huguenots (or Protestants) fleeing persecution in France, Franschhoek is one of the Cape’s most beautiful areas overflowing with wine, misty mountains and rich history.

Available Activities: wine tours, wine tasting, picnics, exploring, traditional food, museums, winemaking tours, wine pairing tours, hiking
What to Bring: sunblock, hat, jacket (on cold days), map, comfortable walking shoes
Price: Free entry

The Kramat, Macassar

The Kramat of Sheikh Yusuf Al-Makassari in Macassar serves as more than just a holy place for Muslims but is also a powerful symbol of strength and determination. Sheikh Yusuf was banished to Cape Town during the 1600s, yet his influence remains evident through the enduring presence of the Kramat, which draws in countless visitors each year.

Available Activities: guided tour, exploring
What to Bring: hat, sunblock
Price: Free entry, but you can opt for a tour with Halaal Hopper
Website: bit.ly/44PyCJk

Kramat - Heritage Sites

The Clock Tower, V&A Waterfront

The Clock Tower is a remarkable architectural landmark that stands tall at the V&A Waterfront. Constructed in 1882 as the Port Captain’s Office, this impressive structure boasts pointed Gothic windows that encircle a magnificent clock, brought from Edinburgh. The second floor has a captivating mirror room, which provides the captain with a panoramic view of bustling harbour activities. The ground floor has a tidal gauge mechanism that was employed to gauge the tide levels for incoming and outgoing ships in the docks.

Available Activities: exploring, photo opportunities
Price: Free entry

Clock Tower - Heritage Sites

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