Cape Town Attractions

Sea Point Beach

We spent four days in Cape Town and there was a lot to do!  On top of the walking tour, MOCAA and the hike up Table Mountain, we explored as much of the city as we could. Here’s a roundup of some other recommended places, the top Cape Town attractions. If you’re planning to visit South Africa for the first time, here’s a list of what to know before you go.

About Cape Town

Located on South Africa’s southwest coast, Cape Town is the capital of the country and its oldest city. The city is beautiful and offers opportunities for outdoor adventure, world class food, museums and more. It’s also conveniently located to The Garden Route and an excellent safari. Read on for some of the top things to do in the city itself.

V&A Waterfront: Top Cape Town Attractions

The V&A is an outdoor shopping mall and is very touristy, with a lot of shops and restaurants. There is a good variety of restaurants, and nice views of the harbour and the mountains. We had good service at the V&A restaurants.

V&A Waterfront Cape Town
V&A Waterfront at night.
  • Baia Seafood Restaurant: We had a delicious dinner at this beautiful spot overlooking the harbour. Though there aren’t a lot of outdoor seats, there are many tables with views, so it was all good. We went here based on an online recommendation for their spicy peri peri shrimp, and even though the waiter tried to steer me away, saying it was “too spicy” it was not too spicy for us. When will people learn?
  • Den Anker: Seafood was on our minds when we stopped here for lunch. Since they make their own beer in a Belgian style, we went full on Belgian and had Moules frites and Belgian beer. Two thumbs up!

It’s a nice, if busy, place to walk around and enjoy the views. We even saw some Cape seals swimming near shore.

I know, the seals are everywhere!

The area has buskers and outdoor sculptures, and on a warm day was very busy.

V&A Waterfront musicians
Young Musicians Busking at the V&A Waterfront

The area is equally busy at night thanks to all the different eateries. The neighborhood, with lots of townhomes and condos adjacent, is popular with locals and tourists alike.

V&A Waterfront
The V&A Waterfront at dusk

The V&A is the entry point for people going to visit Robben Island, which we, sadly, were not able to do because tickets sold out months in advance. Note: buy tickets to Robben Island much further in advance than you think is necessary!

Castle of Good Hope

The Castle of Good Hope is one of Cape Town’s oldest buildings and the oldest surviving building in the city still in use today. The castle is important historically, has nice views from all the bastions, and features a military museum and more inside.

Castle of Good Hope
The rooftop of the Castle of Good Hope

The castle was built by the Dutch East India company between 1666-1679 and was used as defense and as a home. The castle included a moat (still there), which at one point was filled with refuse. A great way to protect the castle, but not exactly sanitary. Now it contains fresh water, fortunately.

We spent a large part of our visit just walking around the roof and checking out all the views from up top of the castle.

castle cannon Cape Town South Africa
Cannon in the castle

Besides the military museum, the castle has a restored banquet hall, dungeons, and an archaeological museum.

Cape Town Attractions: Long Street

We stayed a few blocks away from Long Street, which is basically the Bourbon Street of Cape Town. It’s loaded with bars and restaurants. Pretty tame on a weekday afternoon, it was insanely packed on New Year’s Eve. Because we stayed nearby, we went to a couple of bars and restaurants on Long Street.

Beerhouse on Long Street Cape Town
Beerhouse on Long
  • Beerhouse: This beer hall had a huge selection of African (and other) craft brews. The service was pretty terrible whether we sat at a table or the bar, but that was pretty common across the country, and it was worth it for some better beer.
  • Fork: This tapas restaurant on Long Street serves a prix fixe lunch menu and the food was delicious. Good service too!
Fork tapas Long
An ostrich filet tapas at Fork

Sea Point

A visit to Cape Town wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the beach. Some tourists stay in Sea Point and barely leave! It’s understandable and Sea Point is one of the best Cape Town attractions.

Sea Point Cape Town Attractions
Sea Point

The beach is beautiful, you can ride your bikes along the boardwalk, it’s a lively neighborhood where tourists mingle with locals. Sea Point also has a lot of restaurants and bars to visit.

It’s also not too far from the city. We took a quick uber to get there on New Year’s Day. The beach was crowded, the pools were too, and the newly opened Mojo Market has a selection of food and beverage options, a fun and lively place for lunch, with lots of locals. They just need an outdoor seating section.

As you can tell, we really loved Cape Town! So much beauty and lots to see and do! Did I miss anything? Share your favorite Cape Town attractions in the comments.

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Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, blogging about the places we visit and the adventures we have. Love hiking, cycling, scuba, animals and adventure.

5 thoughts on “Cape Town Attractions”

  1. Great post! My favourite spots in Cape Town are Bo-Kaap, Lions Head, Kirstenbosch, the Cape Winelands and Muizenberg. Great point re Robben Island, I didn’t make it there until like, my 3rd or 4th visit to SA? One way to get around it is to book an expensive guided tour, but those are often combined with township tours, which I believe to be unethical. Anyway, I hope you make it to Robben Island one day, it truly is gorgeous!

  2. This post definitely makes me want to visit Cape Town. The beach looks incredible and the food is great too. Great video of the seals.

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