71 things to see and do in Cape Town

Having played tour guide a couple of times to friends visiting Cape Town, I’ve become aware that there are plenty of ways to fill your time there. In case you are looking for some ideas, here are 71 things to see and do in Cape Town (in no particular order). 

#1. Take a hike on the mountain

#2. Or a walk in the forest

#3. Ride the cable car up Table Mountain to watch the sunset

#4. Take a walk at Cape Point nature reserve while you breathe in the fresh air of the Atlantic and see baboons, dassies, ostriches, buck and shipwrecks

#5. Have your photo taken at the southwestern most point of Africa and Cape of Good Hope

#6. Marvel at the sunset over the endless white sands of Noordhoek beach

#7. Watch the adorable penguins at Boulders beach

#8. Join the locals at popular Camp’s bay beach or Clifton

#9. Hike up Lion’s Head for spectacular views of Cape Town, Table Mountain and Camp’s bay

#10. Stroll or picnic in beautiful Kirstenbosch botanical garden

#11. Visit the Waterfront for craft markets, boat rides, street performers, shops and more.

#12. Take a boat ride in the bay for a great view of Table mountain (and the chance to see dolphins and whales)

#13. Meet the boisterous monkeys at the World of Birds

#14. Explore the harbour at Hout bay

#15. Take a boat ride to see the seals at Duiker island near Hout bay

#16. Take a tunnel tour under the castle

#17. Take a boat ride from Simonstown to Seal island (if you’re lucky you will also see dolphins!)

#18. Go to the market at the Old biscuit mill in Woodstock, the Earth Fair Food market, Muizenberg market or Bay Harbour market.

#19. Take a surfing lesson at Muizenberg beach

#20. Walk along the boardwalk between Muizenberg and Kalk bay

#21. Swim in the tidal pool at St James

#22. Enjoy fish and chips or calamari at Kalk bay harbour

#23. Take a seaside walk along Jager’s walk from Fishhoek to Sunny cove

#24. Drive along the coast at Chapman’s peak (tip – there are some spots there to barbecue with a view)

#25. Try a red cappucino or red espresso at Mugg and Bean

#26. Collect a bagful of semi-precious stones at Scratch patch in Glencairn

#27. Learn something new at one of the excellent Iziko museums (for example, the National museum, the Slave lodge, the Bo-Kaap museum, South African national gallery)

#28. Explore the Bo-Kaap or take a tour and learn how to cook delicious Cape Malay food

#29. Visit the Company gardens, parliament buildings and Long street in Cape Town city centre

#30. Learn some of the history of Cape Town at the Castle of Good Hope

#31. Shop for African crafts (you will find vendors at Boulders, Simonstown, Greenmarket square, Hout bay harbour, Constantia village shopping centre and other places, and you can also buy crafts at shops in the Waterfront).

#32. Go caving

#33. Watch kite surfers and get the postcard perfect view of Table mountain from Blouberg beach (Bloubergstrand)

#34. Take a ferry to Robben island to learn about the place where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were held during the apartheid years

#35. Admire the disas and proteas on Table Mountain

#36. Try stand up paddling (SUP) in the canals near the Waterfront

Photo credit: supcapetown.co.za

#37. Kayak with penguins near Boulder’s beach

#38. Go diving or snorkeling in the ocean around Cape Town

#39. Find a good spot to have a braai and taste some boerewors and Savannah Dry

#40. Have tea and huge scones at Rhodes memorial restaurant

#41. Go to the Tweede nuwe Jaar carnival around New Year’s

#42. Take a day trip to West coast national park and swim in the lagoon

#43. Explore the wine route near Stellenbosch and visit some beautiful wine farms

#44. Hike in the amazing mountains of Jonkershoek mountains near Stellenbosch

#45. Do a wine tasting and cellar tour at Groot Constantia

#46. Take a hike up to the dams at Constantia Nek

#47. Walk or jog along Seapoint promenade

Photo credit: Hilton1949 (Wikipedia)

#48. See ballet, opera or theatre at Artscape theatre

#49. Go hiking, outdoor climbing or picknicking at Silvermine (don’t miss the spectacular waterfall in the rainy season!)

#50. Hike with sea views and indigenous forest at Ou kraal and Spes bona forest

#51. Try coffee at Origins, tea at O’ways and red capuccino or red espresso at Mugg ‘n Bean.

#52. Explore a submarine at the Simonstown navy festival

#53. Go ziplining (more information at Cape Nature,  Cape Canopy tours or SA forest adventures).

Photo credit: Cape Nature

#54. Abseil off the edge of Table Mountain…1000m above sea level

#55. Pick strawberries at Mooiberg farm

#56. Splurge on High tea at  Mount Nelson hotel, 12 Apostles hotel, Vineyard hotel or other places

#57. Find Nemo and see some sharks at the Cape Town Aquarium

#58. Have a Choc-99 (vanilla soft serve ice-cream with a Flakey chocolate in) at the seaside

#59. Picnic at at a wine farm e.g. Buitenverwachting

#60. Go to the annual Ysterplaat airshow

#61. Watch some Shakespeare at the open air theatre in Maynardville or try foods from around the world at Maynardville carnival

#62. Pick grapes and roses and have tea at Chart Farm.

#63. Visit Cape town stadium

#64. Spot some birds at Rondevlei

#65. Try a spot of whale-watching in springtime (hint – the coastal town of Hermanus is great for this, but you can also see them around Fishhoek in spring!)

#66. Learn about the southern skies at the Planetarium

#67. Quench your summer thirst with Stoney’s ginger beer

#68. Relax at a Kirstenbosch summer sunset concert

#69. Watch a cricket match at Newlands

#70. Do a craft beer tasting and eat great ribs at Banana jam

#71. Treasure the blue skies – you don’t get that everywhere!

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