Cape Town
Close to the ground.

GPS: S 33 55.427 E 018 25.401 | pop. 3.5 million | elevation 22 m/72 ft

Cape Town (Kaapstad in Afrikaans) is consistently regarded as one of the top cities in the world. With beautiful natural landscapes, the iconic Table Mountain, wildlife, beaches, oceans, good surf, top restaurants, world renowned vineyards, swell accomodation across the specturm, and a relaxed, unrushed, uniquely Capetonian way of life, the city grows on you - the longer you stay the more you'll love it.

The city is a multicultural melting pot but its neighborhoods and suburbs retain a distinct feel and it is worth spending some time in each to get a full flavor of the city. Bo-Kaap, De Waterkant, Green Point, Clifton, Camps Bay, Obzervatory and the small coastal towns along the peninsula make the must-see list of most visitors. However, too many visitors spend time in Cape Town without seeing the townships where much of the population resides. Arrange a township tour or check out the Cape Flats Townships section to explore Langa, Guguletu and Khayelitsha on your own.

Table Mountain

Table Mountain is part of the Table Mountain National Park, which stretches from the mountain itself all the way south to Cape Point. Table Mountain is Cape Town's most popular tourist destination for its spectacular views of the city, Robben Island and the surrounding expanse of ocean. Most visitors ascend the 1080-meter-high mountain via the cableway (S 33 56.895 E 018 24.184, Lower Cableway Station, 370 Tafelberg Rd, 021-424-8181,, Feb-Nov: 8:30am-7pm, Dec-Jan: 8am-10pm, adult R160, child R80). At the top of the mountain is a café, gift shop and a number of short walking trails where you can take in views from both sides of the mountain. For the more adventurous, the mountain can be ascended on foot via an assortment of trails that vary in length and difficulty. Note that the top of the mountain is often engulfed in a cloud commonly referred to as the "table cloth," so if it is not sunny and calm outside, it may be worth calling or checking online to make sure the cable car is operating as it frequently closes during windy or cloudy days.

Table Mountain-Lower Cableway Station

Most visitors ascend the 1080-meter-high mountain via the cableway. At the top of the mountain is a café, gift shop and a number of short walking trails where you can take in views from both sides of the mountain. For the more adventurous, the mountain can be ascended on foot via an assortment of trails that vary in length and difficulty. Note that the top of the mountain is often engulfed in a cloud commonly referred to as the "table cloth," so if it is not sunny and calm outside, it may be worth calling or checking online to make sure the cable car is operating as it frequently closes during windy or cloudy days.

Robben Island

Robben Island is the infamous island prison off the Cape coast where Nelson Mandela and numerous other political prisoners were held during apartheid. While the UNESCO World Heritage Site is of undeniable historical and political importance, and a visit can be both emotional and compelling, travelers should be advised that the tour can be a hassle. You should also be prepared for a last-minute change in plans as tours are often cancelled due to weather conditions, but tickets will be refunded or can be rebooked. This does not deter thousands of tourists who make the journey each year, so if you plan to go, make sure to book tickets at least one week in advance and two to three weeks in advance during peak holiday seasons.

Tours depart from the Nelson Mandela Gateway (S 33 54.387 E 018 25.346, Clock Tower Square, Waterfront). From there you will be ferried to the island to board a tour bus upon arrival. Many tours of the island are led by former political prisoners who recount their personal stories as you peer into the small cells where they and many others spent years of their lives. However, as the years go on, many new-generation guides have been employed as well. To ensure you get the most authentic experience possible, look out for the older bus drivers and hop on with them.

Tours last roughly two hours and include visits to the prison, the isolation hut where PAC leader Robert Subukwe was held, the lime quarry where Nelson Mandela and others were forced into labor, the leper church, and remnants of the island's past history as a strategic war post.

Nelson Mandela Gateway

Signal Hill

Signal Hill is also known as Lion's Rump, and the spine or ridge that extends from the "rump" to the pointed lion's head separates the downtown city bowl from Sea Point. Signal Hill is easily accessible via Signal Hill Road, which hugs the ridge and provides impressive views of the city and harbor. There are a handful of scenic lookout points along the road and a park area at the top of Signal Hill that is a popular destination for afternoon picnics and watching sunsets. You can also walk up Signal Hill Road or hike one of the nearby trails to take in the views, but the up-hill path can be a workout.

Noon Gun

Closer to the base of the hill, bordering Bo-Kaap, is the Noon Gun, a cannon fired by the South African Navy at noon every day save Sunday. The cannons at the Lion Battery were originally used both to announce the arrival of incoming ships and to set time for residents and passing ships. The most direct access to the Noon Gun is via the extremely steep Longmarket Street, where you can park and take the short walk to the noon gun. You can also drive directly to the site via Military Rd.

Atlantic Coast (Sea Point, Clifton & Camps Bay)

Clifton Beaches

Clifton Beaches is the see-and-be-seen spot for scantily clad sunbathers. The water here is freezing, but if you can brave it, it's a relatively safe area for swimming. The impressive houses that cling to the cliffs are some of the most desired and expensive real estate in South Africa. The trendy beaches are known by their numbers and each has its own scene. Beaches 1 and 2 are for the "beautiful people" or those who wish they were, Beach 3 has a prominent gay scene and Beach 4 is touted as a family beach and is also the most easily accessible. Make sure to pack whatever you need because there is not much else available next to the water besides umbrella and chair rentals for R25 each.

Camps Bay Beach

Camps Bay Beach is the most popular beach for tourists and locals to sunbathe and frequent the trendy restaurants, bars and cafés that line Victoria Rd. The 12 Apostles of Table Mountain provides a dramatic backdrop for the long stretch of beach. The water is generally too cold to swim in for very long and the wind can be particularly fierce at times, but shelter and a cool drink are never too far away. Umbrellas and chairs can also be rented for the day for R25 each.

Llandudno Beach

Llandudno Beach is just a 10-minute drive from the more crowded Camps Bay but has a more relaxed local vibe, as well as good surfing. Follow Victoria Rd/M6 south from Camps Bay and watch for the signed turnoff for a winding road down to the beach. Public transportation doesn't reach the beach, but you can ask buses headed to Hout Bay if they can drop you off on the highway and then just walk or hitch a ride down to the beach.

Sandy Bay

Sandy Bay is Cape Town's secluded nude beach. Under apartheid, the police often raided the beach, chasing sunbathers into the hills. Today, the beach is very relaxed, gay friendly, and clothing optional, but there's no pressure to get more naked than you are comfortable with. To get there, take the Llandudno turnoff from Victoria Rd/M6 and keep left at the fork, following the sign to Sandy Bay. Take a left at Sandy Bay Weg and continue to follow signs to the car park. Follow the footpath for 10 minutes until you reach your hidden destination.

Chapman's Peak Drive

Chapman's Peak Drive is an exhilarating 10 km scenic drive stretching from Hout Bay to Noordhoek on a road literally carved into the side of the mountain. It offers spectacular ocean cliff views of Hout Bay and The Sentinel, with a couple of lookout points along the way. It is the preferred way to travel down the peninsula, but occasional falling rocks cause temporary closures so you may want to call to check conditions before you head out.

City Center & Bo-Kaap

District Six Museum

District Six Museum poignantly recalls the demolition of a once vibrant inner city neighborhood that fell victim to apartheid zoning laws when the area was rezoned as a "white" area in 1966. About 60,000 coloured residents were subsequently displaced. First intended to be a temporary exhibit in 1994, the museum stands as a site of collective memory of the residents of District Six. Across the entire floor of the museum, visitors can walk across a scaled layout that indicates where buildings and homes once stood. Multimedia exhibits tell the story of those displaced and the apartheid regime's effects on them. You can wander on your own or be guided by an ex-resident who can share stories of his or her family's experience. Guided tours of the museum don't have set times, but your best bet to catch one is by coming in the morning. Ex-residents lead walking tours of the neighborhood on Sundays for R50, but you have to book in advance and there is a 10-person minimum.

Grand Parade

Grand Parade is the largest and oldest city square in Cape Town and the site where the Dutch East India Company built its first fort. Though once a commercial center and military parade ground, today it hosts a flea market on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Old City Hall

The square is flanked to the east by the Castle of Good Hope and to the south by Old City Hall. It was here in February 1990 that thousands of people gathered to hear Nelson Mandela speak publicly for the first time after his 27 years of imprisonment from the balcony of Old City Hall. The large Edwardian structure was built in 1905 and served as the seat of Cape Town local government for the majority of the 20th century, but local government has since relocated to the Cape Town Civic Center and no longer does business here. The old halls are gathering dust, but the auditorium is still used regularly for concerts.

Castle of Good Hope

Castle of Good Hope is the oldest standing colonial building in Cape Town. It was built by the Dutch East India Company (and its slaves) between 1666 and 1679 as a stronghold to protect the company's stores of supplies it traded to passing ships. The squat, pentagonal structure has long been the center of military activity in the Cape and today serves as the country's military headquarters, as well as a museum and monument to Cape Town's past.

The main house boasts the William Fehr Collection of colonial Cape Dutch furnishing and paintings. Guided tours are available daily at 11am, 12pm and 2pm. The Key Ceremony takes place at 10am and 12pm everyday, followed by the firing of Signal Cannon, both of which are incorporated into the 12pm guided tour. If you show yourself around, make sure to walk the upper level perimeter for a 360-degree view of the city. Horse and carriage rides also are available at 10:30am, 12:45pm, 2:45pm or 6pm daily for a scenic ride through Cape Town and the Company's Gardens.

Company's Gardens

Company's Gardens, the green center of Cape Town, is what remains of the original gardens first planted by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in 1652 to supply passing ships with fresh fruits and vegetables. As the Cape settlement expanded and larger farms were established in the interior, the garden transformed into a botanical experiment for the rising colonial elite. It is a beautiful setting for a picnic or for a quiet stroll and is surrounded by several other important Cape Town landmarks including the National Library, the Tuynhus (or Presidential residence), Houses of Parliament, and the National Gallery. The main path through the Gardens is Government Avenue, which you can access via entrances at the corner of Adderly Street & Wale Street, along Queen Victoria Street and on Museum Street near the South African Museum and Planetarium. Self-guided tours and maps of the gardens are available online at:, but advance study is not necessary to enjoy the scenery.

Iziko Slave Lodge

Iziko Slave Lodge was built in 1679 to house Dutch East India Company slaves imported from Madagascar, Indonesia, India, Ceylon and elsewhere. At its peak, it housed over 1,000 slaves in inhuman conditions. The fortress-like structure later housed various government offices and served as the Supreme Court for the Cape Colony between 1815 and 1914. The museum's touching, thoughtful exhibits serve as a memorial to communities affected by slavery and examine the effects of apartheid and racial discrimination on the country.

Your museum experience is best ended with the maze-like Nelson Mandela exhibit, which includes an exclusive documentary on the statesman and his life's struggle for equality. The Mandela show will be on exhibit through January 2011; check the website for exhibit updates.

Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament tell the story of South Africa's legislative history. The original legislative chamber and seat of the Cape Colony was built in 1885, and in 1910, Cape Town was christened as the legislative capital of the Union. This arrangement stood until 1984, when constitutional reform gave token representation to the country's Indian and coloured populations in an attempt to quell rising opposition to apartheid. The previously all-white parliament became a "Tricameral Parliament," and met in the Tricameral Chamber.

Today, the National Assembly is housed in the old Tricameral Chamber and the Council of Provinces occupies the old Houses of Parliament. Tours are available every hour (from 9am-2pm Mon-Fri) and must be arranged at least one week in advance. The entrance for tours is at the Visitor's Center on 100 Plein Street, at the corner of Lelie Street.

Groote Kerk

Groote Kerk or "Great Church" is the mother church of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa and the oldest existing church in southern Africa. The Dutch East India Company did not allow religious freedom in the Cape and the Dutch Reformed Church was the only recognized religion until 1779. The bell tower dates from 1704 and is the only remaining piece of the original construction of the church. Once inside, be sure to check out the enormous pulpit, as well as the massive organ - the largest in Southern Africa. Entrance is in the back on Parliament Street and guided tours are available on request at no additional charge, but you'll have to pay for the historical pamphlet.

St. George's Cathedral

St. George's Cathedral or "The People's Cathedral," was the pulpit from which Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the first black Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, called for the end of apartheid. In September 1989, 30,000 people left from the steps of the cathedral to start the famous Cape Town peace march. They defied the state of emergency in peaceful protest through the streets of Cape Town in a march to City Hall, where they demanded an end to racial segregation. The church remains central to Cape Town religious life and boasts a magnificently preserved organ as well as the largest stained glass window in the country.

Greenmarket Square

Greenmarket Square is a cobblestone block that has long been at the center of Cape Town daily life. Flanked to the south by the Old Town House, which served as a city hall for the latter part of the 19th century, the square was a forum for municipal government and later a vegetable market. Today it is one of Cape Town's flea markets, with crafts, drums, statues, tapestries and other curios for sale daily.

Old Town House

Old Town House is a stately town house bordering the Greenmarket Square, built in 1755 in the Cape Rococo style. It has served a variety of municipal functions, including a lengthy reign as Cape Town's City Hall from 1840-1905. Today it houses the Michaelis Collection 17th century Dutch paintings donated by Sir Max Michaelis in 1914.

Long Street

Long Street is the backpackers and nightlife mecca of Cape Town. The Victorian-style buildings with balconies that extend over the sidewalks have an independent café, boutique, backpackers, and a travel and tour agent. By night, numerous restaurants, budget accommodations and bars encourage a hedonistic party scene, flocked to by tourists, locals, students and beggars.

Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum

Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum is a small but worthwhile culture and history museum set in the home of Abu Bakr Effendi, a prominent Muslim leader in Cape Town during the mid 1800s. The exhibits provide insight into the colorful streets of Bo-Kaap as an inner city, working class neighborhood and the historical center of Cape Town's Muslim and Cape Malay community. The museum is dedicated to all those who helped build Cape Town but were not allowed to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Guided tours of the museum and walking tours of the Bo-Kaap neighborhood are available for R150 if you'd like to get a full understanding of the area's rich history. If you wander the colorful streets on your own, make sure to stop by the spice-filled Atlas Trading Company across the street and visit the Auwal Mosque, the oldest Mosque in South Africa and the religious hub of the Cape's Muslim community, just one block away.

Gold of Africa Museum

Gold of Africa Museum is a well-designed gallery established for the preservation and promotion of African goldsmithing and jewelry. It traces Africa's gold routes, the role of gold in the great empires of the world and displays stunning pieces from all over Africa. For a more opulent experience, book in advance for a Pangolin Night Tour (R40), when you can view the gallery by torchlight while sipping on wine sprinkled with gold leaf. Your evening could be well culminated with an extravagant dinner at the adjoining Gold Restaurant, where you can enjoy a fixed-price menu of Cape Malay and African food while participating in the drum circle and lively entertainment.

Evangelical Lutheran Church

Evangelical Lutheran Church was converted from a barn in 1785 to establish the first Lutheran church in South Africa. For more than a century, the Dutch East India Company had banned any religious practice besides the Dutch Reformed Church. So it was only after years of petitioning that the mainly German Lutheran population in the colony were finally granted the freedom to practice their religion in 1779. Today services are still offered every Sunday from the ornately carved pulpit.

Gardens & Around

Iziko South Africa National Gallery

Iziko South Africa National Gallery is South Africa's premier art gallery, featuring inspirational, innovative and often controversial exhibits. As far as art galleries go, this one is exceptional. The gallery showcases South African, African and international artists with a renewed emphasis on celebrating the expression of contemporary South African communities long silenced during the country's apartheid past. The exhibits change roughly every three to four months, so check online for updated information. Public tours are available Tues-Fri at 11am, 12pm and 1pm at no additional charge.

South African Jewish Museum

South African Jewish Museum is acclaimed as South Africa's most high-tech museum. Housed in the Old Synagogue, the museum takes you on an interactive tour through immigrant Jewish life in South Africa and into a 19th-century Lithuanian village, tracing a common Jewish South African family history. Documentary film, family trees, artifacts and tributes by Nelson Mandela make this a truly dynamic museum experience. Audio tours on headset are available for R10.

Cape Town Holocaust Centre

Cape Town Holocaust Centre is just across from the courtyard of the Jewish Museum. It is a small yet stoic memorial to the victims of the Holocaust and all those who have suffered racial discrimination and violations of human rights. Poignant sound and imagery connect the history of anti-Semitism with apartheid and appeal for further education on human rights and an end to racial prejudices and religious intolerance.

Iziko South African Museum

Iziko South African Museum is a multilevel maze of natural history that contains land and sea exhibits, whale skeletons, dinosaur fossils, meteorites and other natural gems. A social history exhibit explores the cultures of South Africa's earliest inhabitants, including an impressive display of San rock art and culture developed in consultation with today's San community. This is South Africa's oldest museum, but unfortunately its age is beginning to show.

Iziko Planetarium

Iziko Planetarium is attached to the South African Museum and has daily shows at 2pm as well as a variety of special programs, many of which are specifically geared toward children. Call or check online for current programming.

Green Point, Waterfront & Waterkant

Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, or plainly, the "Waterfront" is an enormous shopping area on the harbor. While it boasts great views of Table Mountain and bustling harbor activity, everything here is overpriced and the area isn't authentically Cape Town, so be sure to venture beyond to get a taste for the real city.

Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre

Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre is the main event on the waterfront and all the shopping mall that you could ever need, with over 400 stores encased in a large, glitzy building. There are numerous designer stores, cafés and restaurants, as well as two cinemas: NuMetro Cinemas (021-419-9700, that screens a mix of mainstream and independent movies on their 11 screens, and Ster Kinekor Cinema Nouveau ( 021-425-8223,, which has a more independent, art-cinema bent.

Two Oceans Aquarium

Two Oceans Aquarium is a state-of-the-art aquarium that focuses on education and appreciation of the diverse marine life from the Atlantic and Indian oceans along South Africa's coast. The interactive exhibits and Alpha Activity Center are great for kids. Try to coordinate your visit with one of the feeding times, especially the predators' feeding at 3pm or African penguin feedings at 11:45am and 2:30pm daily. If you are a certified scuba diver, you can dive with sharks and stingrays in the I&J Predator Exhibit or feed the hundreds of fish in the Kelp Forest. Call to book your dive in advance.

Nelson Mandela Gateway

Nelson Mandela Gateway is not only the departing site for ferries to Robben Island, but also houses an emotional exhibit remembering apartheid's political prisoners, abuses and the struggle for human rights in South Africa. Original advocacy posters and international resistance media articles are preserved in the 3rd floor exhibit room and the Political Prisoner and Detainee Message Center hosts a video mural with the heartfelt messages of former prisoners who lost years of their lives in the struggle for equality.

Chavonnes Cannon Battery Museum

The Chavonnes Cannon Battery Museum houses the excavated ruins of one of Cape Town's oldest waterfront cannon batteries. The Battery was built in 1726 by the Dutch East India Company to protect the port against possible attacks by the French and English East India Companies and bellicose pirates. It was demolished and covered during the construction of the waterfront in the mid 1800s and excavated in 1999. Wander the ruins on your own or join one of the costumed tour guides for a by-demand tour anytime after 12pm. Call in advance to ensure that a tour guide will be available.

Green Point Stadium

Green Point Stadium was a mammoth architectural undertaking in preparation for the 2010 World Cup. The R4.5 billion stadium sports a translucent mesh façade, a roof ringed by glass panels and some 68,000 seats. Though its construction has been met with controversy, the completed venue promises to be central to Cape Town's sporting future. After hosting the World Cup, the stadium will be used for other large sporting events, concerts and other "mega-events." Big plans are also in the works for a surrounding urban park, which will include a biodiversity garden and a golf course.

Southern Suburbs

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is 36 hectares of lush gardens on the eastern slope of Table Mountain and one of Cape Town's greatest attractions. Originally part of Cecil Rhodes' Groote Schuur estate, the land was bequeathed to the government upon his death, and in 1913 it was set aside for the creation of a botanic garden to preserve South Africa's distinct plant life. Today Kirstenbosch is home to a wide variety of unique Cape flora and over 7000 species of cultivated plants from the surrounding southern Africa region. In 2004, it was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Beyond the home gardening center, Botanical Society Conservatory, sculpture garden, fragrance garden and arboretum are multiple hiking paths that weave up the side of Table Mountain and through the untouched natural terrain of surrounding protected indigenous fynbos and forest. Women are advised not to take some of the upper paths alone due to recent attacks in the area, so you should check with staff for route suggestions. Free guided tours of the gardens are available Mon-Sat at 10am and MyGuide selfguided audio tours are available at Gate 1 for R35. Golf cart tours are R40 per person and leave every hour from 9am-3pm, weather permitting. Tours for visitors with special needs or interests can be arranged and there are large portions of the gardens that are wheelchair friendly. Live concerts in the gardens are a Cape Town Sunday evening institution and are a great occasion for a picnic.

Take the N2/Eastern Blvd 4 km and keep to your right to continue onto M3/De Waal Dr/Rhodes Dr towards Muizenberg for 4.3 km. Turn right onto M63/Rhodes Dr and follow the signs for Kirstenbosch.

Rhodes Memorial

Rhodes Memorial is a Greek-inspired memorial built in 1912 to pay tribute to diamond baron and former Prime Minister Cecil John Rhodes. Situated on the slopes of Devil's Peak, it is said to be the exact spot where Rhodes came to sit and think, over panoramic views of Cape Town as well as the Cape Flats. There is also an onsite restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch. Take the M3 to the Princess Anne Ave exit, turn right and go under the bridge and follow the signs for a left turnoff to Rhodes Memorial.

Irma Stern Museum

Irma Stern Museum is the former home of one of South Africa's most famous 20th-century painters. Irma Stern (1894-1966) became a cultural and artistic icon not only for her fusion of European-inspired expressionist artwork and African subjects, but also for her vast collection of African and ancient artifacts. Her unique portraits and colorful landscapes comprise the museum's excellent permanent collection and are accompanied by a contemporary display of South African artists. After touring the museum, explore the garden.

Abseiling & Kloofing

Abseil Africa

Abseil Africa arranges all sorts of adrenaline pumping activities. You can rappel off the side of Table Mountain, hike up a river gorge, or try your hand at kloofing in their all-day Kamikaze Kanyon trip. Guides are experienced and safety and fun are their number one priorities.


Downhill Adventures

Downhill Adventures runs mountain biking trips and scenic cycling tours around Cape Town, Table Mountain, Cape Point and the Cape Winelands. They've got something for everyone, so whether you're an extreme biker or a beginner looking for an easy ride, it's your one-stop shop. They also do combination and multi-day tours.


ByBike is a cool little bike rental cooperative that operates in Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek, Glencairn, Kommetjie and Simon's Town. You can rent a bike and helmet in one base and drop it off at another. It's an easy alternative way to get around the Cape Peninsula and its network is continually expanding. Check online for the contact info and store hours of their different locations.

Bungee Jumping

Bloukrans Bridge is one of the world's highest commercial jumps, and is located 40 km east of Plettenberg Bay along the N2, about a six-hour drive from Cape Town. The Gouritz Bridge is slightly closer and most two-day trips to Bloukrans will stop at Gouritz as well.

Downhill Adventures

Downhill Adventures can organize overnight bungee tours to Bloukrans Bridge or day trips to Gouritz Bridge. They also offer combination shark diving and bungee trips.

Bungy Bus

Bungy Bus does overnight trips to Bloukrans Bridge or Gouritz Bridge. Trips include transport, jumps, food and the option to shark cage dive.


Waterfront Boat Company

Waterfront Boat Company is the largest cruise operator in the harbor. They offer harbor cruises, bay cruises that tour from the Waterfront to the Green Point lighthouse, and sunset sailboat champagne cruises.

Jolly Roger Pirate Boat

Jolly Roger Pirate Boat has cruises aboard an "authentic" pirate ship with a live theatrical pirate show. Cruises depart from the Waterfront daily, or you can opt for an all-you-can-drink sunset booze cruise in the evening.

Nauticat Charters

Nauticat Charters offers 40-minute tours on its glass-bottom catamaran to Seal Island, home to over 3,000 cape fur seals. Departure times vary but there are usually one or two departures each morning.


Cape Peninsula offers excellent, if cold, diving all year round. False Bay has better visibility during the winter months and slightly warmer water than the Atlantic Coast, and is full of wrecks and reefs to explore. The Atlantic Coast is best during the summer and boasts expansive kelp forests, seals and colorful coral.

Pro Divers

Pro Divers offers a wide array of specialty dives, including kelp and reef dives and wreck dives in False Bay. Their professional staff can create customized packages tailored to your interests and certification level. They have a full range of PADI certification and specialty courses and equipment rental for PADI certified divers (R360/day). They can also arrange shark cage diving in Gansbaai's "shark alley."

Scuba Shack

Scuba Shack offers shore dives, boat dives, and scuba courses as well as shark cage diving trips. Less intense but equally fun is their "Snorkeling with the Seals" package. They also have a booking center on Long Street.

Scuba Shack - Long Street

Scuba Shack offers shore dives, boat dives, and scuba courses as well as shark cage diving trips. Less intense but equally fun is their "Snorkeling with the Seals" package.


Metropolitan Golf Club

Metropolitan Golf Club is a nine-hole course in the middle of the city. It surrounds the new Green Point Stadium, with views of Table Mountain and Signal Hill.

Milnerton Golf Club

Milnerton Golf Club is an 18-hole, 72-par PGA-hosting course, located along Table Bay with fairways that run along the beach.

Mowbray Golf Club

Mowbray Golf Club is a flat, 18-hole, 71-par course. It is one of the older courses in the area, dating back to 1910.

Westlake Golf Club

Westlake Golf Club is a popular old-school, 18-hole, 72-par course closer to Muizenberg beside the Silvermine Mountains.

Hiking & Climbing

Whether you are looking for a scenic walk or a daylong hike, there are hundreds of trails in the Cape Town area. If you're interested in hiking with a guide, check out one of the following listings. You can find descriptions, photos, difficulty grading, maps and GPS tracks of hikes in and around Cape Town at

Table Mountain Walks

Table Mountain Walks is run by avid hiker, Margaret Curran, who has been walking the mountains of Cape Town for over 20 years. She can take you on all the hikes around the area, including Table Mountain and those within the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.

Mountain Club of South Africa - Cape Town

Mountain Club of South Africa - Cape Town is a long-established club that organizes hiking and climbing activities for all abilities. They maintain an active calendar of events that generally include a few hikes a week. You can call, check out their website or stop at their office to see what's planned.

Venture Forth

Venture Forth offers training courses and guided adventures, from half-day hikes up Table Mountain to high altitude expeditions, as well as canyoneering and rock climbing.

Table Mountain

There are more than 50 routes of varying difficulty up Table Mountain. The north-facing Platteklip Gorge route is one of the most common and straightforward paths to the top of the mountain. This route conveniently starts on Table Mountain Road (S 33 57.325 E 018 24.948), 1.5 km east of the lower cableway station and ends about a 10-minute walk from the upper cableway station at the top. It should take the average hiker about 2.5hrs to complete each way.

Another common and scenic route is the Skeleton Gorge, which starts from the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. This route requires negotiating some steep ravines, climbing over boulders and up ladders, but has the benefit of being shaded by trees for much of the way. Descending via the Skeleton Gorge route can be difficult because of the steep sections. Once you reach the top, it is possible to hike across the mountain to the upper cableway station or return to the Kirstenbosch Gardens via the Nursery Ravine route. From the Skeleton Gorge route, follow the signs along the Kasteelspoort path for roughly 30 minutes to the head of the Nursery Ravine trail, which will take you back to the Kirstenbosch gardens for a rewarding drink.

Horseback Riding

Sleepy Hollow Horse Riding

Sleepy Hollow Horse Riding offers beach rides with breathtaking views of Chapman's peak. Tours pass through wetlands and over the dunes before you descend to the lovely Noordhoek Beach. It's a beautiful ride for all skill levels.

Oude Molen Eco Village

Oude Molen Eco Village has onsite horse stables and offers lessons as well as guided horse tours through the wetlands and along the river. All levels of experience welcome. There are also pony rides for kids.


Costal Kayak

Costal Kayak can take you on guided tours from Sea Point down to the white sands of Clifton Beach. If you are lucky, seals or dolphins may accompany you as you paddle through pristine blue waters and take in the views of the 12 Apostles rock formation and Table Mountain.

Paddlers Kayaks & Stuff

Paddlers Kayaks & Stuff has kayak rentals as well as two-hour tours of False Bay through the associated Sea Kayak Simon's Town. Tours work in some time to hang out with the penguins at Boulder Beach.

Sea Kayak Simon's Town

Sea Kayak Simon's Town offers two-hour tours of False Bay. Tours work in some time to hang out with the penguins at Boulder Beach.



Para-Pax is one of Cape Town's longest established paragliding companies. Jumps leave from atop Lion's Head or Signal Hill and offer the best 360-degree views in town. Pilots are professional and committed to having fun. They speak 11 languages and accomodate for disabilities, so anyone can fly with them. Special flights in surrounding towns can also be arranged.

Cape Town Tandem Paragliding

Cape Town Tandem Paragliding is another reputable tandem paragliding company. They can pick you up and drop you off from anywhere in the City Center.

Shark Cage Diving

Shark cage diving is a highly promoted adventure activity among the backpackers and tour operators in town. The closest shark diving site to Cape Town is 160 km southeast, off the coast of Gansbaai, although the diving operations run daily shuttles that pick up and drop off in Cape Town and the surrounding area.

Shark Diving Unlimited

Shark Diving Unlimited is one of the more reputable shark cage diving operators. If you book directly they offer pickup in Cape Town (between 4:30am-6am), breakfast, lunch and three to four hours on the boat for R1,700. However, many of the tour operators and backpackers in Cape Town can book the same trip with Shark Diving Unlimited for roughly R1,300.


Skydive Cape Town

Skydive Cape Town will take you 20 minutes north of town for an exhilarating aerial experience with amazing views of Table Mountain and the Mother City below. You can tandem skydive or learn to jump solo. Note that they do not accept credit cards, so cash or bank transfer is the only way to fly.

Spas & Relaxation

One and Only Spa

One and Only Spa is a sleek modern spa built on its own small island within the One and Only hotel grounds. They offer an expansive list of single, half and full-day treatments, as well as luxurious manicures and pedicures.

Angsana Spa

Angsana Spa is an award-winning, Asian-influenced spa, where private treatment rooms overlook the Liesbeeck River and lush gardens.

D&D Spa

D&D Spa is a luxurious, Euro-chic hideaway on a vineyard estate. Indigenous plant extracts are used in many treatments and D&D offers a list of innovative hydrotherapies.

Sanctuary Spa

Sanctuary Spa offers imaginative treatments inside a fanciful stone grotto or private gazebos overlooking the ocean.

Surfing & Sandboarding

Surfing is big on the peninsula, which is host to a number of annual surfing competitions. The majority of breaks are along the Atlantic Ocean side of the peninsula, but the cold Benguela current that runs up the western side of the peninsula keeps water temperatures between 10 C/50 F and 14 C/57 F, so be prepared to suit up with wetsuits and booties. Long Beach near Kommetjie and Noordhoek Beach that runs along Chapman's Peak Drive are two popular surf destinations on the west coast.

The False Bay side of the peninsula also has a number of fantastic spots with slightly warmer waters from the eastern Indian Ocean that average between 15 C/59 F and 18 C/64 F. Muizenberg is the most established surf spot with easy access to a number of surf shops that offer gear rental and lessons. Check out for detailed and animated forecasts and live webcam feeds of the surfing beaches.

Surf Shack Surf School

Surf Shack Surf School is run by a handful of hardcore surfers who offer lessons and equipment rentals. Individual lessons run R300 for 1.5hrs, two-person lessons are R275/person and three to five people are R200/person. Regular group lessons are R200 and offered at 10:30am and 2:30am. Board rentals are R70 for 1.5hrs but cheaper per hour the longer you are out. To set up a lesson just call in advance or stop in.

Downhill Adventures

Downhill Adventures has surfing, sandboarding, biking and kite surfing gear to rent and offers lessons and day trips.

Table Mountain

Platteklip Gorge Route

Platteklip Gorge conveniently starts on Table Mountain Road, 1.5 km east of the lower cableway station and ends about a 10-minute walk from the upper cableway station at the top. It should take the average hiker about 2.5hrs to complete each way.

Skeleton Gorge Route

Another common and scenic route is the Skeleton Gorge, which starts from the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. This route requires negotiating some steep ravines, climbing over boulders and up ladders, but has the benefit of being shaded by trees for much of the way. Descending via the Skeleton Gorge route can be difficult because of the steep sections. Once you reach the top, it is possible to hike across the mountain to the upper cableway station or return to the Kirstenbosch Gardens via the Nursery Ravine route. From the Skeleton Gorge route, follow the signs along the Kasteelspoort path for roughly 30 minutes to the head of the Nursery Ravine trail, which will take you back to the Kirstenbosch gardens for a rewarding drink.

Walking Tour

Walking Tour

Cape Town is full of historical sights and cultural experiences, not to mention good food. A day is far from enough to experience all its delights, but if you are short on time, a walking tour will help you get a good sense of what the center of the "Mother City" has to offer.

Time: 2-4hrs Distance: 3-5 km

Start your day off with an organic bite at Birds Boutique Café (1), a trendy and rustic little eatery on the corner of Bree and Church Streets. If you have a car, there is street parking or a large car park just across the street at Van Riebeeck Square (2). After you have fortified yourself, walk down Bree Street and turn left on Shortmarket Street, which will take you up into the hills of the Bo-Kaap, Cape Town's historically Muslim neighborhood. On your way up, check out Streetwires (3), a community employment initiative that sells all sorts of functional and funky wire art. Continue up Shortmarket and take a left onto Chiappini Street. Make your way back down the cobblestoned Longmarket Street and turn right on Rose Lane, home to Bo-Kaap's iconic colorful houses. Where the road comes to a T-junction, you will find the Bo-Kaap Museum (4), the former home of Abu Bakr Effendi, a prominent Muslim leader from the mid 1800s. It's a small museum that will give you a good introduction to the lives of the people who played a large hand in building the Cape Town you see today. After visiting the museum, continue just a few steps up the hill and turn left on Van der Meulen Street and then left down Dorp Street, past the Owal Mosque (5), the first Mosque to be built in Cape Town in the early 1800s.

Continue down Dorp Street to the famous Long Street, the heart of the City Center. Turn right to stroll past the Victorian buildings with wrought iron balconies, independent cafés, boutique shops, backpackers and bars. Turn left on Green Street and then left onto Queen Victoria Road. On the right will be a gate leading into the Company's Garden (6), Cape Town's largest municipal green space. Make your way to Government Avenue, the main thoroughfare of the gardens. If you have the time and interest, veer right and walk to the southern side of the gardens to check out the impressive exhibits at the South African National Gallery (7) on Paddock Avenue. Otherwise, continue north on Government Avenue past the red and white Parliament Buildings (8), the seat of South Africa's legislature.

Upon exiting the gardens, you will find St George's Cathedral (9) on your left, from where Bishop Desmond Tutu called for the end of apartheid and national reconciliation. On your right is the Slave Lodge (10), a fortress-like structure that used to house the Dutch East India Company's imported slaves. Today it is a poignant museum, which examines the effects of apartheid and racial discrimination in South Africa.

Across Bureau Street from the Slave Lodge is the mammoth Groote Kerk (11), the mothership for the Dutch Reformed Church in Cape Town. From here, you can continue down Bureau Street to the District Six Museum (12), arguably the most unique museum in Cape Town. It recalls the forced removal of city residents and the memory of a community displaced by apartheid racial zoning. To get there, take Bureau Street down and turn right on Corporation Street. Take an immediate left on Albertus Street down to Buitenkant Road and the District Six Museum is on the southwest corner. It's a sight not to be missed, but if you are crunched for time, continue up Wale Street past St George's Church and turn left to stroll down the pedestrian St George's Mall Street.

At Darling Street, turn left to do a little shopping at Greenmarket Square (13). Once you've had your fill of crafts, head back down Burg Street and take a right on the pedestrian, tree-lined Church Street. If you're lucky, you'll catch some of the more interesting antique vendors, or you can pop into some of the art galleries and stores that line the street. Continue down Church Street to return to your beginning location. You'll probably be famished by now, so head two blocks up Bree Street and grab some tapas and a beverage at the classy Caveau (14), to congratulate yourself on a Capetonian day well done.

Windsurfing & Kiteboarding

Beaches north of Cape Town are a paradise for windsurfers and kiteboarders. Blouberg Beach, or Big Bay, in Bloubergstrand (S 33 49.303 E 018 28.555, Table View) is Cape Town's most famous spot for wind-propelled water sports. Just south is Sunset Beach (S 33 51.261 E 018 29.331, Milnerton), which consistently has comfortable wind in the morning and stronger gusts as the day progresses. Both beaches offer excellent views of Table Mountain across the bay and are less crowded than the southern beaches.

Take the N1 north and exit onto R27/Marine Dr toward Milnerton. Sunset Beach is 8.6 km up the R27. Turn left on Ocean Way, right on Beach Bay Ave and take an immediate left on to Forata. For Blouberg continue on the R27/Marine Dr 2.3 km further north and stay left onto M14/Marine Dr until you hit the beach.

Ocean Spirit

Ocean Spirit offers windsurfing and kiteboarding lessons and gear rental. They also sell secondhand equipment.


Windswept is run by Phil Baker, who rents out gear and gives personalized instruction for any skill level.


City Sightseeing Cape Town

City Sightseeing Cape Town offers hop-on, hop-off access to all major city sights on a large, double-decker bus. The Red City Tour departs every 20 minutes from the Two Oceans Aquarium and hits 17 stops as it passes the Waterfront, through the city center and the Gardens, up to Table Mountain and loops back past Camps Bay and Sea Point. The Blue Mini Peninsula Tour leaves every 45 minutes and includes the farther destinations such as the Kirstenbosch Gardens and Hout Bay, before returning along the beaches to the Waterfront. It's a cheap means of transport if you want to see a lot of Cape Town in a short time and many backpackers use it as an all-day taxi service.

Coffeebeans Routes

Coffeebeans Routes is all about Cape Town's people, its culture, music and the social fabric that formed the city into what it is today. Some of their more popular tours include the Jazz Safari, Reggae Route, Soccer Route, Storytelling Route, township tours and dinner parties of traditional Cape Malay or Xhosa cuisine. They also can create customized tours based on your interests and needs. Run by urban Africans committed to sustainable development, their tours emphasize the economic empowerment of local communities.


Andulela is one of the most polished tour companies in town and offers a wide range of tours in and around Cape Town. Professional guides can take you through the streets of Bo-Kaap and District Six, give you a culinary introduction to diverse Capetonian cuisines and fine wines or take you on a wildlife day safari. They also offer immersive classes and workshops including African drumming, beading in the townships, and Cape Malay cooking classes. Tours are family friendly and customizable to fit your needs.

AWOL Cultural Bike Tours

AWOL Cultural Bike Tours offers private, socially responsible bike tours in the township of Masiphumelele. Instead of being confined to an air-conditioned bus, tourists are encouraged to stay low to the ground and interact with the community. Local qualified guides escort you around town and introduce you to township culture and people. AWOL works in partnership with the Bicycling Empowerment Network, or BEN (, which imports secondhand bicycles to South Africa, supports trainings and locally-owned bike workshops, and promotes low-cost, non-motorized transport as a tool to alleviate poverty and increase mobility in low-income neighborhoods.

Day Trippers

Day Trippers is an alternative tour company that is becoming pretty mainstream, but only because of its popularity. They organize day tours that get you out of the bus and on your feet, or swimming when possible. Bike the city, hike Table Mountain, tour the winelands or visit a township.

Bikes 'n Wines

Bikes 'n Wines offers an alternative way to visit the winelands for the more adventurous connoisseur. Tours vary in intensity, but all come with scenic views and a sampling of local wines, cheeses and cellar tours at up to four vineyards. Choose your tour carefully, because some come with a brandy tasting or a visit to a cheetah sanctuary. It's a great way to taste some of South Africa's finest grapes and see the countryside minus the carbon footprint. A small portion of your payment also goes towards the Lynedoch Eco-Village and the newly established Lynedoch Cycling Club, a mentorship program for disadvantaged youths.

Cape Insights

Cape Insights is a boutique travel company that offers insider access to the finer side of Cape Town's art, architecture, gastronomy, archeology and history. Private tours are customized for the discerning traveler.


Camissa offers cultural tours of District Six and the townships of Langa and Gugulethu. Over two-thirds of the company is black-owned and operated and through partnerships with local residents, you are given personal invitations into homes, schools and people's lives.

Full day tours also include a trip to Robben Island. Camissa takes their commitment to social investment seriously and along with creating a wide network of partnerships to foster employment opportunities, they also sponsor annual school fees for young township students.

Cape Capers Tours

Cape Capers Tours is run by Faizal Gangat, an award-winning tour guide based out of Woodstock. Mr. Gangat is well-respected in the townships and has used his tour business as a platform for training and mentorship of community members and young entrepreneurs. He offers township tours, some of which include Robben Island, District Six and Bo-Kaap city tours, and other more general excursions, including Cape Peninsula, whale watching and wineland tours.


Greenmarket Square

Greenmarket Square is a cobblestone block in the heart of the city that hosts a daily flea market with all kinds of curios, crafts, artwork, sculptures, clothing and tapestries.

Old Biscuit Mill

Old Biscuit Mill has a handful of design and boutique stores, but really comes alive on the weekends.

Saturday's Neighbor Goods Market

Saturday's Neighbor Goods Market is a delicious way to spend a Saturday morning. This bustling gourmet organic food market has biltong (dried meat), cheese, sweets, spreads, fresh vegetables, pizza and most anything else you can imagine. Sip champagne or fresh coconut milk as you stock up on delicacies.

Vintage Fair

On Sundays, check out the Vintage Fair, Cape Town's best kept vintage secret, to sift through collector's items, home furnishings and handmade crafts.

Pan African Market

Pan African Market is three stories stocked floor-to-ceiling with African crafts from all over the continent. Whether you are looking for jewelry, carved masks, instruments, 2-meter-tall statues, clothes or curios, if it's African you'll find it here.

Church Street Market

Church Street Market is a small antique and secondhand market that can be hit or miss, depending on which vendors show up on a given day.


Besides the wares on display, the pedestrian strip of Church St is lined with galleries, cafés and boutiques, including the cute and creative Imagenius, a carefully curated collection of art, oddities and accessories.


Streetwires is a sustainable employment initiative and working studio that provides training and materials to over 100 formerly unemployed men and women, who in turn produce a variety of funky wire art, including functional wire radios, candle holders, earrings and life-sized bead and wire animal sculptures.

African Home

African Home is a fair-trade initiative that empowers local township crafters and promotes traditional South African arts and environmental awareness. Their products are largely made from recycled materials, including soda tab belts and bottle cap bags.


The industrial landscape of Woodstock is home to the most cutting edge and contemporary galleries in Cape Town. Most are relatively close to each other and worth a visit to get a feel for the hip artist scene in the city. New galleries have also emerged in the City Center as investors aim to revive the area.


WhatifTheWorld is a huge, hipster-run loft that shows the work of young and emerging South African artists, with multimedia installations that aim to challenge traditional art structures.

Michael Stevenson Gallery

Michael Stevenson Gallery offers avant-garde and sometimes shocking multimedia exhibits by South African and African artists that make a political statement, bucking the status quo.

Goodman Gallery

Goodman Gallery is tucked away in an industrial-building-turned-upmarket-office space and hosts polished, creative and thought provoking exhibits by South African and African artists who engage with current political and social African contexts.

The Rainbow Experience

The Rainbow Experience is a vibrant, multilevel venue situated within the urban redevelopment project of the Mandela Rhodes Place, which aims to draw new life and inspiration into the City Center. The gallery displays works from emerging contemporary South African artists and the attached colorful café has light meals, free wifi and creativity in every corner. The Rainbow Room downstairs also hosts live jazz multiple times a week.


iArt is a sleek two-story gallery that features mainly South African artists and has new exhibits every two to three weeks.

Association for Visual Arts (AVA)

Association for Visual Arts (AVA) is South Africa's oldest nonprofit gallery and shows established, emerging and self-taught artists from the Western Cape. Located off the Church St Market, it's a nice place to pop in if you are in the area.


Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre

Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre is the hub of activity on the Waterfront with over 400 stores including numerous designer brands, cafés, restaurants and two cinemas, all in a large, glitzy building.

Cape Quarter

Cape Quarter is a trendy mall in the heart of the Waterkant, which specializes in high fashion, boutique clothing, interior design, and generally fabulous living. The mall has a grocery store and large courtyard filled with restaurants and cafés.

Canal Walk Shopping Centre

Canal Walk Shopping Centre is located in the greater Century City community, a commercial city in itself just a 15-minute drive from the center of Cape Town off the N1 highway. It is a massive, modern shopping center with over 400 stores, including designer labels, department stores, restaurants and cafés.

Atlantic Coast (Sea Point, Clifton, Camps Bay & Beyond)


Blackheath Lodge

Blackheath Lodge is a warm and homey, 4-star Victorian guesthouse. From plush bedding to detailed advice on area activities, hosts Antony and John go out of their way to ensure guests a pleasant and comfortable stay. There is a courtyard swimming pool with an upper level verandah, from which you can enjoy morning coffee or evening cocktails.

Fullham Lodge

Fullham Lodge is a quiet B&B located at the end of a road beside the Table Mountain Nature Reserve, which makes for stunning views of both the mountain and ocean. The B&B has two ensuite rooms with private balconies and two fully equipped, self-catering cottages and the ocean-facing pool and sundeck are a beautiful spot to enjoy a sundowner.

30 Fiskaal Guest House

30 Fiskaal Guest House is a Mediterranean-style guesthouse located on the foothills of Table Mountain. It is a perennial favorite with travelers for its panoramic views of the mountain, Lions Head and the ocean. Each of the seven rooms is elegantly and uniquely decorated and welcoming hosts make this a popular repeat destination.


Winchester Mansions Hotel

Winchester Mansions Hotel is a classic Cape Dutch hotel across the street from a rock-strewn beach and the Sea Point swimming pools. Inside the lush courtyard is Harveys, a delicious restaurant that hosts a popular jazz brunch on Sundays. The hotel has a heated swimming pool, sun deck and a spa. The hotel is a good value and is a socially and environmentally responsible business that is active in supporting community projects.

Les Cascades de Bantry Bay

Les Cascades de Bantry Bay is a luxury, multilevel guesthouse built high into the slopes of Signal Hill with a beautiful ocean view. Attention to detail here is noticeable in both decor and level of service, and the secluded lounge areas and two infinity pools are divine. The sister boutique hotel, Cascades on 52, looks and feels completely different, but is just as pleasant.

Bay Hotel

Bay Hotel is a posh 5-star hotel located on the main strip in Camps Bay just across the street from the beach and surrounded by restaurants and bars. It has true Camps Bay style with four swimming pools, enough sun deck real estate for all 78 rooms, poolside cocktail bars, a spa and a hair salon.

City Center & Bo-Kaap

The City Center is densely populated with budget accommodation options but quality, cleanliness and service vary substantially. Long Street is lined with backpackers and budget accommodation, but many have mixed reputations so investigate a little before handing over your cash. If you are looking for a quiet place within walking distance of Long Street nightlife, check out some of the listings under Gardens - many great places are only a few blocks away.


Long Street Backpackers

Long Street Backpackers was the first backpackers on Long Street and still retains much of its original flavor. If you're looking to experience the Long Street party scene, this is a good place to start. The reception is located behind the bar and the staff, who all know the area well, can point you in the right direction, whatever your interests are.

Cat & Mouse Backpackers

Cat & Mouse Backpackers is one of the better budget options on Long Street with a sunny central court yard and splash pool, a balcony overlooking the street, and a comfortable lounge room. They have 24-hour security and can arrange a spot for you in all of the area tours and activities.

St Paul's B&B Guest House

St Paul's B&B Guest House was founded by a former priest of St Paul's and is a good city center budget option without the backpacker feel. The rooms are spacious and there is a serene and vine-shaded common courtyard.


The Grand Daddy

The Grand Daddy is a funky and stylish hotel in the heart of Long Street. Their luxury rooms and Daddy Cool Bar are "blingin," but the seven decked-out vintage Airstream caravans in their rooftop trailer park are the real attraction here. Live music and movie screenings also happen on the rooftop during the summer months.

Urban Chic Hotel

Urban Chic Hotel is a stylish 4-star hotel and one of the more upmarket options on Long Street. Urban Chic is all about setting a modern groove, especially in the cigar bar and cocktail lounge and the gallery café. The rooms have ceiling to floor windows either overlooking Long Street or with views of Table Mountain, but the wide views may expose you to a little nightlife noise on the weekends.

Daddy Long Legs Hotel

Daddy Long Legs Hotel has 13 unique rooms that were each designed by a local artist. Themes vary widely - one room contains a montage of over 3,000 photos of Capetonians, another has a mirrored ceiling with walls covered in pictures of South Africa sunsets. The art continues into the lobby where there is a small art exhibit, with funds from art sales donated to supporting area community projects.

Tudor Hotel

Tudor Hotel has basic but pleasant value-priced rooms with a superb location overlooking the bustling Greenmarket Square. The hotel is within walking distance of many restaurants and City Center attractions and the friendly staff will go out of their way to make your stay memorable.


Mandela Rhodes Place

Mandela Rhodes Place is a new luxury apartment and hotel complex in the heart of the downtown that is part of an urban renewal project. The complex's spa, gym, rooftop pool and high-end accommodations are luring people back to the City Center, just as the project intended. Downstairs there are fine-dining restaurants and a chic cocktail bar.

Cape Heritage Hotel

Cape Heritage Hotel is one of Cape Town's most luxurious hotels. This lavishly eclectic 17-room establishment consistently gets rave reviews from guests and takes their environment and social responsibility seriously by using solar heating and electricity and natural cleaning products, and by supporting a local NGO that works with homeless children.

Gardens & Around


The Backpack

The Backpack is widely considered the best backpackers in Cape Town and is also a Fair Trade in Tourism partner. This clean, secure place has a friendly staff that creates a casual welcoming atmosphere and the bar, restaurant, loungy terrace and pool make it a comfortable place to stick around and mingle with fellow backpackers. The in-house African Travel Center is helpful and can book anything from day wine trips to overland excursions. The Backpack tends to be fully booked more often than surrounding hostels, so it's worth reserving your room in advance.

Ashanti Lodge

Ashanti Lodge is generally full of raucous travelers who fill up the bar and restaurant until late, particularly when DJs spin on the weekend. Outside of the bar, guests relax poolside or on the front lawn under the palm trees. Ashanti also has a full-service travel center.

Cape Town Backpackers

Cape Town Backpackers is a spotless and beautifully styled backpackers in close proximity to the restaurants and bars of Kloof St and Long St. The backpackers is spread over three houses but the central area is the bar, where the friendly staff double as receptionist and bartender.


2inn1 Kensington

2inn1 Kensington has spacious, uniquely styled en-suite rooms with a balcony or private terrace. Guests can unwind in the tranquil garden or soak up the sun beside the 10-meter swimming pool with views of Table Mountain, but it is the outstanding staff and attention to detail that attracts many return customers.


TwentyTwo is a contemporary 4-bedroom guesthouse on the slopes of Table Mountain with impressive views of both the mountain and the harbor below. The individually designed rooms each have a private terrace or balcony, and hosts Allan and Dominic will go to lengths to make sure your stay is nothing short of the best. With just four rooms and such superb service, TwentyTwo fills up quickly - if a booking is available, we suggest you take it.

Derwent House

Derwent House is one of Cape Town's hidden gems, with its sophisticated style, great location, views and hospitality. The 10 well-appointed rooms come outfitted with extra-long beds, cotton robes and slippers, and a private deck or terrace. Hosts Carol and Jo are excellent at making guests feel at home, starting with delectable breakfasts.

Cape Milner Hotel

Cape Milner Hotel is a fashionable hotel catering to the business crowd. The 40 spacious rooms and 10 luxury suites are within a few blocks of the restaurant-lined Kloof Street and the large terrace, bar and pool overlook Table Mountain.


Mount Nelson

Mount Nelson is Cape Town's luxury stalwart with old-fashioned, 5-star service that will please the most demanding of guests. The classically furnished rooms, expansive lawn, terraced garden, and views of Table Mountain make this urban sanctuary one of the finest establishments in town. Amenities here are appropriately sumptuous, and include a yoga studio, day spa, two restaurants and the city's best high tea.

Kensington Place

Kensington Place is a chic boutique hotel located at the base of Table Mountain. Its spacious contemporary suites each have private balconies and are lavishly furnished with anything you might need during your stay, including a laptop and iPod docking station. The concierge service is among the best at arranging activities and will ensure you a spot at the top restaurants and nightlife in town.

Green Point, Waterfront & Waterkant


Ashanti - Green Point

Ashanti - Green Point is a new addition to the backpack scene in Green Point but under the same ownership as the successful Ashanti Lodge in the Gardens. This location is quieter and more tame than its sister lodge. The building has been recently remodeled with comfortable new beds, a self-catering kitchen and TV room. The facilities are better than any other backpackers in the city and the staff is friendly.

St. John's Waterfront

St. John's Waterfront is an oldie but goodie that puts you within walking distance of many attractions. St. John's has been operating as a backpackers and lodge for over 15 years and any shortcomings in the dated buildings are made up for with its character. Each house has its own self-catering kitchen and swimming pool and there is a bar, lounge area and deck at the main house.



dysART is a six-room guest house near the foot of Signal Hill with a personable staff. Rooms are generous and have modern bathrooms, TV, AC and minibars; a few have views of Robben Island and the stadium. Downstairs is a narrow infinity pool and a breezy sun deck.


Sugar is an uber-modern, seven-room hotel with a private restaurant, bar and swimming pool. Each of the strikingly monochromatic rooms has a flat screen TV, sound system, minibar, glass closet and a large floor-lit bathroom. A few rooms have a fireplace, and a private deck with a splash pool. There is also an on-site spa and message center.

Villa Zest

Villa Zest is a seven-room upmarket guest house with retro '70s decor. Pass through a gallery of old Panasonic radios and Polaroid cameras to reach the rooms, which sport shag carpets and tasteful open showers. You can relax poolside, in the mid-level lounge, or atop the roof deck while enjoying an evening cocktail.

Protea Hotel Victoria Junction

Protea Hotel Victoria Junction has been recently remodeled and is located in the heart of Waterkant. Rooms have flat screen TVs and AC. The hotel also has a bar and restaurant, but unless you're looking for a quaint meal, you'd be advised to venture out to one of the numerous restaurants, bars, or clubs within a three block radius.

Olive Branch Guest House

Olive Branch Guest House is a romantic, owner-managed guesthouse with a friendly staff. Rooms are cozy with plush bedding and bathrooms are large and well appointed. The house has a small courtyard open to guests and a splash pool outside.


Cape Grace

Cape Grace is one of Cape Town's best in terms of service, style and dining and is superbly situated on the Waterfront beside the harbor. The hotel has recently been redesigned - each room has a unique décor and art. The hotel has a 56-foot yacht available for charter and offers complimentary car service within the city. They also excel in terms of responsible tourism. Their Employee Wellbeing Program aims to address social and economic issues facing their staff and they financially support Salt, a nonprofit community outreach program that works in the suburbs of Cape Town.

Table Bay Hotel

Table Bay Hotel gets consistent rave reviews from guests for its beautiful views and courteous staff. The spacious rooms have marble bathrooms and overlook either Robben Island or Table Mountain. The hotel has world-class amenities, a restaurant and lounge overlooking the harbor and a heated saltwater pool.

One and Only

One and Only is a relatively new addition to the luxury hotel market in Cape Town having opened in April 2009. The large modern rooms are located in the main waterfront building or on the newly built island. They have great views of Table Mountain and come with a dedicated butler. The hotel includes two high-end restaurants, each featuring a Michelin-starred chef, a bar and wine loft, spa, and clothing boutique.

Southern Suburbs


African Heart Backpackers

African Heart Backpackers is a backpackers recently launched by a young South African couple who also started a successful backpackers in Jeffreys Bay. It has a friendly eco-conscious atmosphere, a large comfortable kitchen and lounge on the top floor, frequented by Mogley the dog. The owners live there and care about making your stay a good experience - they make great recommendations for things to check out in the area.

33 South Backpackers

33 South Backpackers has younger owners and staff that are plugged into the area. Each of the rooms has its own Cape Town-inspired theme. There is a large kitchen, braai area out back and bar for local friends and guests in what used to be the parking lot.

Obviouzly Armchair Backpackers

Obviouzly Armchair Backpackers is a more recent addition to the Observatory backpacker scene. The building tells its own story - formerly a Barclays Bank (the vault door that forms part of the current bar) then a BP filling station (old pumps still in the back) and finally a theater, before its present state. This place gets kudos for having the best bar in a backpackers - or maybe we should say it's a bar with a backpackers upstairs. There is no real self-catering kitchen, but it is in the middle of Observatory, surrounded by options galore.

Cape Town Deco Lodge

Cape Town Deco Lodge is an off-the-wall artsy backpackers in the comfortable neighborhood of Woodstock. The purple house has a covered outdoor deck in front of a swimming pool, an upstairs glass-wall shower room with a view, and a small bar with a purple felt pool table to match.

Lighthouse Farm Lodge

Lighthouse Farm Lodge is situated within the Oude Molen Eco Village, an organic farm and community micro-enterprise initiative in the suburbs of Cape Town. The lodge is true to its mission - what isn't broke doesn't consume any resources on being fixed or updated. While a few of the general backpacker crowd do pass through, the lodge is geared toward longer-term guests who pay their way by working on the farm. Also on site are horse stables and the Millstone Café, a delicious little restaurant stocked with fresh ingredients from surrounding gardens.


Vineyard Hotel & Spa

Vineyard Hotel & Spa was originally built for Lady Anne Barnard in 1799. Today it is a 200-room hotel with two restaurants, a bar and swimming pool tucked away on six acres of gardens full of birds and giant tortoises. The hotel has received professional recognition for its social development program and efforts at environmental conservation.


The Palm House

The Palm House is an expansive, 10-room guest house built in the 1920s and designed by a protégé of architect Sir Herbert Baker. The estate has two private cottages, a lovely pool and is dotted with massive palm trees. There is an in-house bar and restaurant that can serve lunch and dinner.

Atlantic Coast (Sea Point, Clifton & Camps Bay)

Café Caprice

Café Caprice is the pinnacle of the Camps Bay lifestyle ‑ located at the beginning of Camps Bay, it's a good place to grab a drink any time of day or night to watch the Cape Town beach scene go by. At night it's packed with the "beautiful people."

Atlantic Coast (Sea Point, Clifton & Camps Bay)

La Perla

La Perla is a stalwart Sea Point restaurant and cocktail bar with formal indoor dining and a deck overlooking the ocean. A recent revamp means the Italian-style fish, seafood, veal and homemade pastas are consistently delicious, but service by the primly clad waiters is still a toss up.

La Boheme Wine Bar & Bistro

La Boheme Wine Bar & Bistro has one downside - you can never order "the usual" because the delectable menu changes so often. Locally sourced ingredients shape the tapas and bistro fare, and the cozy sidewalk seating, cordoned off by wine casks, is a popular spot to enjoy a drink while you deliberate on what dish to try next.

New York Bagels

New York Bagels is a café and small deli stuffed with homemade foods and is a mecca for those hankering for a good roll-with-a-hole. There are 13 kinds of bagels to choose from, as well as a breakfast menu and a selection of feel-good deli favorites, including chopped liver and chicken noodle soup.

The Grand Café

The Grand Café offers fine bistro food, upmarket French flair and a rare quiet spot to overlook Camps Bay Beach, but at an inflated price.


Paranga is the ultimate see-and-be-seen restaurant on The Promenade. The menu serves primarily seafood (with a complement of classic meat and pasta dishes) in a sophisticated space flanked by stone and marble. If you can't get a table at Paranga, the two restaurants next door, Bungalow and The Kove, are by the same owner, and have similar menus at a better value.

City Center & Bo-Kaap

Addis in Cape

Addis in Cape serves authentic Ethiopian food in an authentically Ethiopian space by friendly Ethiopian hosts. You can select your favorite dish from the large menu or order one of the set meals (R150 & R200) to sample a selection of Ethiopia's finest cuisine over huge spreads of injera, a pancake-like bread. Either way you will not leave hungry.

Royal Eatery

Royal Eatery serves up excellent burgers with sweet potato fries but you don't have to stick with beef - they offer veal, pork and ostrich burgers as well. The restaurant opens its second floor and outdoor balcony for dinner. In addition to burgers, the menu has a selection of pizza, salads, desserts and a large selection of wine and beer.


Biesmiellah is a small restaurant in the heart of the Bo-Kaap district with traditional Cape Malay meals and friendly personable service. They have a very good bobotie but it is also worth asking what is cooking in back or for a recommendation on one of their tasty curries. No alcohol is served here.

Clay Oven Pizza Café

Clay Oven Pizza Café is the only pizzeria on Long Street, and does the trick if you're looking for an inexpensive and decent pie any time of the day or night. If you're interested in better pizza and don't mind walking a few more blocks, head to Da Vinci's on Kloof Street.

Nzolo Brand Cafe

Nzolo Brand Cafe is a cozy neighborhood café on a pedestrian section of Church Street that serves breakfast, salads and sandwiches in shaded outdoor seating or at a few tables with comfortable pillow chairs inside.

Eastern Food Bazaar

Eastern Food Bazaar is a chaotic collection of Indian, central Asian, and Chinese food stalls that serve up large portions of tasty food at prices that are tough to beat in the City Center. You can get your food as a take away or there is a large communal sitting area. You must prepay at the central register and then take your ticket to the food counter of your choice to collect your dish.


Caveau is a stylish bistro, wine bar and specialty foods deli with seating outside or in the antique cellars of the famous Heritage Square building. The proprietors know how to pair ambiance, delicious food and the best wines of the country. Whether it's for a light meal, a glass of wine in the sun or to spend an evening over fine food and wine, your experience at Caveau will be nothing less than top-notch.

Birds Boutique Café

Birds Boutique Café is a friendly family-owned café that serves up fresh concoctions, such as fruit-filled crepes and chicken pie, made exclusively from locally grown organic ingredients. The emphasis here is on quality food, not speed or decor, so come ready to hunker down on a milk crate and wait for a great meal in the making. Restaurant leftovers go to local street vendors who teach healthy recipes to township students.

Noon Gun Tea Room

Noon Gun Tea Room dishes out mouthwatering traditional Cape dishes such as bobotie, roti and curry from the owners' family home. From its vantage point at the top of Signal Hill, the restaurant has panoramic views of the city and harbor. To find it, walk up to the top of the steep Longmarket St. If driving, head up Wale St. as the lower part of Longmarket St. is a one-way down.

Gold Restaurant

Gold Restaurant is attached to the Gold of Africa Museum and is an experience in itself. Sit down to an extravagant fixed-price, 14-course dinner of traditional Cape Malay and African dishes and live entertainment by singers, dancers and large, graceful Mali puppets. Arrive by 6:30pm to take part in the interactive drumming circle (R85), but get there no later than 8pm if you don't want to miss the opening performance. Reservations required.

Savoy Cabbage

Savoy Cabbage has been internationally acclaimed for its locally sourced food and menu that changes daily. Deliciously fresh dishes are complimented by the innovative dining room - a funky architectural mélange housed in a former warehouse.

Gardens & Around

95 Keerom

95 Keerom is an elegant Italian restaurant where the owner greets you at the door. The Milanese carpaccio, fish, pasta and meats are a great value and service is impeccable - your glass will never be empty. Advance booking is recommended.


Aubergine is an intimate, upscale restaurant that offers a polished twist on South African specialties. Chef and owner Harold Bresselschmidt puts his heart and soul into the short, carefully crafted menu. It's one of the more expensive restaurants in Cape Town and a great place for a quiet, formal dinner. Advance booking is recommended.


Arnolds is a homey eatery with a good selection of wild game including springbok, crocodile, warthog, ostrich and gemsbok. Enjoy these dishes, as well as excellently executed, more conventional fare, on the shaded front patio.


Yindee's offers tasty, authentic Thai food with a good selection of soups, stir fries and excellent spicy curries. Adventurous epicureans can lose their shoes and enjoy their meal while sitting on a pillow at a floor table.


Beleza is popular with locals as a leisurely brunch spot for their Portuguese "bloody Marias," but can just as easily dish out mouthwatering seafood, burgers and pasta. Vintage treasure hunters can peruse the small clothing shop inside while they wait for their orders.

Da Vinci's

Da Vinci's is best known for their mouthwatering, wood-fired, thin crust pizza. But this Italian restaurant also has an array of salads, burgers and pastas that are worth a try. Your meal is best enjoyed outside, where staff will wait on you attentively.


Greens is all about the "urban-chic", with decent standard fare served on a shaded terrace. Breakfast is available all day, as well as sandwiches, light meals, more substantial dishes and handmade pizza.


Hudson's is an upmarket burger joint that sticks to what they know best. Pick from a mouthwatering menu that includes free-range chicken, ostrich and vegetarian patties. If you're prepared to stuff your face with one, you'll surely leave with a smile.

Green Point, Waterfront & Waterkant


Wakame is a trendy, Asian fusion restaurant that is flocked to by sushi lovers who want their raw fish and cocktails with a view. Adventuring away from the sushi menu will make your meal more revelatory; afterwards, head upstairs to Wafu, where wide, loungy balconies overlooking the harbor invite you to settle in and watch the sunset. Advanced booking on the weekends is recommended.


Mano's is a chic restaurant that keeps its menu short and flavorful. Continental fare includes seafood, chicken, steak and pasta, which is complemented by an equally brief but well curated wine list and full cocktail bar. The reasonable prices and quality service keep this place busy over the lunch hour when reservations are suggested and in the evening, when reservations aren't accepted.

Caffe Neo

Caffe Neo is a trendy eatery located directly across the street from the Green Point Lighthouse. It serves up fresh and healthy dishes that satisfy, but more are drawn here for the ocean view seating and the free wifi, which make for a delightful mobile office.

Giovanni's Deliworld

Giovanni's Deliworld is a small but bustling sidewalk café that proves a quick bite can still be memorable. The deli makes great sandwiches with fresh bread and a large selection of imported cheese and meats, as well as prepared meals you can eat there or on the go. It also has good selection of specialty foods, which you can pop in to peruse any time of the day.

Hussar Grill

Hussar Grill boasts great food and service and reasonable prices. While the menu has something for everyone, Hussar is known for their in-house aged steaks. They are particularly known for their Carpetbagger: a sirloin steak stuffed with smoked oysters and a mix of melted cheeses.


Andiamo is a courtyard Italian restaurant, deli, and bar in the popular Cape Quarter. Italian favorites are straightforward, traditional and delectable. The deli, full of more than 2000 local and imported goods, is superb.

Southern Suburbs

A Tavola

A Tavola is a modern, open kitchen Italian restaurant by former Joburg chef Giancarlo Pironi. The selection of wine and hearty Italian meals of fresh creamy pasta and delicious veal are tough to beat. It is a relatively recent addition to the southern suburb restaurant scene but already popular with locals.

1890 House Sushi and Grill

1890 House Sushi and Grill may not get five stars for ambiance, but this authentic and unpretentious Observatory staple serves up fantastic sushi and steak in large portions at a price that can't be beat.

Jamaica Me Crazy

Jamaica Me Crazy is a little bit of Jamaica in Woodstock, in both fare and bar. Jerk chicken, fancy burgers and Trinidad roti fill out the menu; head over on a Monday night to rub elbows with locals for the popular and cheap Monday Madness menu. Upstairs, the balcony has a view and a big screen TV for sports games.

Don Pedro

Don Pedro is a no-frills restaurant serving traditional Cape Flats and Cape Malay curries and stews. Don Pedro was known as a Woodstock cultural hub and antiapartheid institution in the early '90s before the system collapsed. Not much has changed in this place over the past few years - come as you are and enjoy the good food.

Mimi's Café

Mimi's Café is an Observatory staple - a homey corner café filled with well-worn tables and a quirky collection of old books and magazines lining the shelves. They have a large breakfast menu with fresh crumpets and croissants, light meals and gourmet filled breads and wraps.

Mango Ginger

Mango Ginger is a welcoming, owner-run café that serves up healthy, hearty and inventive fare. Indulgences include fresh-pressed juice, piping hot bread and pastries from their onsite bakery, organic meals, free-range chicken pies, vegetarian quiches and gluten-free designer desserts.

Cocoa Cha Chi

Cocoa Cha Chi is a café & pizzeria that offers yummy fare at a great value. Just as much of a treat are the friendly staff and the free wifi with any purchase. Dine in the back garden and try one of their delicious smoothies.

Obz Café

Obz Café is a café by day and bar by night that offers all the standards and particularly tasty burgers in an airy lounge. Thursday is open mic night and there are usually live gigs on weekends.

Atlantic Coast (Sea Point, Clifton & Camps Bay)


Karma is a trendy Camps Bay beachside lounge where the young, bronzed and occasionally beautiful shake their stuff until the early hours of the morning. Lines can be long and there is often a cover.

La Med

La Med is a relaxed restaurant and bar overlooking the ocean and the Twelve Apostles near Clifton Beach 4. The atmosphere changes a bit on Sundays when crowds fill it up for a late afternoon meal and pre-gaming, before hitting the clubs in neighboring Camps Bay.

Dizzy's Pub

Dizzy's Pub is a laid-back pub and party scene opposite Dizzy's restaurant that hosts live music and DJs. Drink specials and Karaoke night draw a large crowd on Tuesdays. Pizza is served until 2am.

City Center & Bo-Kaap

Zula Sound Bar

Zula Sound Bar is one of Cape Town's more popular weekend spots and has live acts most nights. The bar pulls in a range of entertainers that include some of South Africa's best, with occasional amateur and comedy nights thrown in. No matter the talent on tap, a night here is guaranteed to be loud and packed.

Waiting Room

Waiting Room draws an eclectic mix of locals and newcomers with a diverse DJ lineup on the weekends. Grab a drink on the main level, then head up to the rooftop deck for a great view of Long St. To get there, enter the unmarked doorway between Royal Eatery and Ado Grocery and take the fire escape stairs between the two buildings.


Fiction is the university crowd's go-to bar and dance club on the weekends. The second-story bar and balcony overlooks Long Street and Tuesdays are designated student nights, with R10 bottles of beer and shots of Jagermeister.

The Dubliner

The Dubliner is that Irish pub that all the expats flock to. The Guinness, pub grub and live entertainment ensures a full bar almost every night of the week.

Pink Flamingo

Pink Flamingo is an open-air rooftop bar, stage and cinema that hosts occasional live music in the evenings and screens classics, from Casa Blanca to Wayne's World between September and March. Patrons are encouraged to snuggle up on a lounge chair and make liberal use of the bar. Blankets are available and the movie ticket price (R50) includes popcorn and a welcome drink. Check the website for current listings.

Rainbow Room

Rainbow Room is a downstairs jazz club situated in the upmarket Mandela Rhodes Place that hosts live jazz by local and international talents as well as up-and-coming performers multiple times a week. Book your table in advance and while you're at it, order your drinks and eats so they are ready for you upon arrival. Show times and days vary so call or check online for current listings. Parking lot is off Burg Street with direct access to Mandela Rhodes Place.


Joburg is a loud, urban, DJ-driven bar that packs in a diverse crowd. The scene may be too gritty for some, but it is certainly worth checking out if you're interested in partying, dancing, and more partying. Many consider it among the best bars on Long.

The Purple Turtle

The Purple Turtle is a large, recently renovated downtown venue. It now hosts a comedy night on Tuesday and karaoke on Thursday, but live rock, electro, glam and hip-hop still packs the place with young punks and old rockers alike on the weekends.


Hemisphere is a sky-high bar with 360 degree views of the city, a glass-walled VIP area and an air of general fabulousness. Open only Thursday through Saturday, it enforces a strict dress code and glamour is highly recommended.


&Union is a microbrewery and restaurant that serves up fine, high-octane artisan brews as well as specialty natural foods. They have live music on weekends and jazz on Wednesdays.

Gardens & Around


Asoka is a chic cocktail bar and lounge where the bartenders actually pour you a healthy cocktail instead of measuring it out in a shot glass. The intimate dance floor and outdoor deck is a playground for Cape Town's posh young socialites. Live jazz sets the stage on Tuesdays and DJs spin house and chill beats through the weekend.


Ginja is a restaurant and cocktail lounge that recently relocated. Their new third-story balcony has a great view of the City Bowl, Table Mountain and Lion's Head. Though better known for their tony restaurant (popular with the business crowd), the lounge has a good tapas menu and makes dynamite martinis.


Rafiki's is a second floor bar and veranda where tall drinks flow both day and night. They have a full food menu but stick to the drinks and bar fare or pizza. Guest DJs pack in the crowds on weekends.


Kink attracts an alternative and goth crowd, perhaps for its drink menu, which includes the Pearl Necklace, Ben Dover, S&M, and Spank the Skank, or for the sex toyshop upstairs. If you stay late enough you might catch a bit of a show.

The Assembly

The Assembly is a trendy hipster hideout, popular for its alternative and electro live concerts. The large dance floor is often a hot mess, but the beats are from some of the newest names in the biz. Wednesdays and Saturdays are most popular; buy tickets in advance for a discount.

The Mercury Lounge

The Mercury Lounge is the granddaddy of alternative music in Cape Town and a firm local favorite for live gigs, fresh rock and established indie bands. Manic Mondays are legendary among students, but the best live music happens on the weekends.

Green Point, Waterfront & Waterkant


Jade is an exclusive, uberposh lounge frequented by Cape Town's high society. Located above Manos, French nouveau décor and plush sofas set the mood and the bar gets packed Thursday through Saturday. Be prepared for a strictly enforced dress code and a long line.


Cubana is a spacious Latin lounge that is open all day and a popular place to either begin or end your night. Sip on cocktails in dark wicker chairs in the open-air lounge or take to the dance floor.

Southern Suburbs


Stones is part of a franchise of pubs throughout South Africa and an Observatory hot spot. The large second-story bar and balcony are generally packed with UCT students squeezed between the dozen pool tables.


Tagore's is classic bohemian, with a two-level maze of small rooms inside a converted apartment. Tagore's hosts live music almost every night by incredible artists. The bar usually hits capacity shortly after the music starts. Upstairs there's a bedroom for those interested.

Albert Hall

Albert Hall is an eclectic, antique-strewn venue in the heart of Woodstock that hosts live music, dance parties and alternative gigs -- but they don't have a regular schedule and are sometimes only open a couple nights a week. They often hold open mic jams on Tuesdays, but the lineup can change often, so call in advance.



Tickets for theatre, music and festivals throughout South Africa can be purchased through Computicket.


Artscape is the state-owned art and performance center. It hosts opera, ballet, contemporary dance, musical theatre, concerts and a variety of other polished theatrical productions within its impressive three venues.

Baxter Theatre Center

Baxter Theatre Centre is a vibrant cultural center located on the University of Cape Town campus. Locals, university students and international guests can enjoy theater, comedy, and concerts ranging from jazz and African to contemporary music.

On Broadway

On Broadway is an extremely popular dinner theater venue that presents musical ensembles, comedians, and the occasional drag diva while you dine. Tickets must be booked in advance.

NewSpace Theatre

NewSpace Theatre was first established in 1972, and has long been billed as an anti-establishment venue for plays, one-man shows, musicals and comedy. At the time of research, shows had been suspended as they searched for a new theater director, but we hope that this Long Street establishment will be open again soon. Call for updated information.


Labia Theatre

Labia Theatre was originally the Italian embassy ballroom and today is a small, independent theater that screens a variety of artsy and classic films as well as new releases. Enjoy a snack or libation with your screening from their fully licensed bar and café.

Labia on Kloof

Their second location, Labia on Kloof is an upmarket boutique theater with two screens and daily specials.

NuMetro Cinemas

NuMetro Cinemas screens mostly mainstream movies and blockbuster hits on 11 screens.

Ster Kinekor Cinema Nouveau

Ster Kinekor Cinema Nouveau has a more independent art-cinema bent and multiple screens.



Tickets for most sporting events can be purchased through Computicket.


Catching a football game in Cape Town is a deal, with tickets to almost all games starting at R20. The football season runs from August to May. Two of Cape Town's home teams are Ajax (www.ajaxct. com) and Santos (

Green Point Stadium

Green Point (Cape Town) Stadium was built for the 2010 World Cup with capacity for 69,000 people. After the World Cup, the stadium capacity will be reduced to 55,000 and used for football, rugby and non-sporting events.

Athlone Stadium

Athlone Stadium is an older stadium built in 1972 with capacity for 30,000 and is primarily used for football.

Newlands Stadium

Newlands Stadium holds 52,000 people and hosts both football and rugby games.



Cape Town's home rugby team is the Stormers.

Newlands Stadium

Newlands Stadium holds 52,000, hosts both football and rugby games and is the home base of the Stormers.


The Cape Cobras

The Cape Cobras are headquartered in Cape Town at the Newlands Cricket Stadium. The cricket season runs from September to March.

Newlands Cricket Stadium

Newlands Cricket Stadium is the big cricket stadium in Cape Town located beside the Newlands Stadium.