We have compiled a summary of the top ten Tourist Attractions in Cape Town for the traveler or vacationer. Some lie very close to Camps Bay, while others are a little further away. If you’re heading to South Africa whether with family or traveling single, cities like Cape Town will exceed your expectations.
Some of the most visited attractions in Cape Town are listed as under:
1. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
set on the slopes of Table Mountain; Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens holds perhaps the most magnificent plant and flower life. The sprawling gardens offer many beautiful walking and hiking strips, with an array of indigenous flora featuring fynbos, proteas and cycads. How about a picnic on the emerald lawns of these amazing Botanical gardens? Bring along your own food or snacks or buy some delicious offerings from Kirstenbosch’s deli. During the summer months, Sunday evening concerts are held at Kirstenbosch. The gardens offer a restaurant, tourist information centre, nursery and curio shop. The gardens are open every single day of the year, and entrance fee in nominal.
2. The District Six Museum
The apartheid years saw more than 60,000 people thrown out of their homes in District Six. Today, the District 6 Museum works as a “living memorial” of this injustice and also showcases the talents and contributions of District Six’s inhabitants.
The District Six museum features both permanent exhibitions and temporary exhibits, offering a fascinating look at Cape Town’s past. A visit to the District Six Museum is highly recommended to any visitor to Cape, and particularly for those wishing to find out more about South Africa’s past turmoil and bright future.
3. The Castle of excellent Hope
The Castle of excellent Hope may be the oldest surviving structure in Cape Town, built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and served as a resting station for early settlers. For several years, until the settlement grew, it served as the administrative, civilian and military centre for the Cape.
The Castle today, continues to be the centre of military operations within the Cape. It also houses the William Fehr Collection and also the Castle Military Museum. A remarkable sword collection is at display for the enthusiasts. Visitors to the Castle are taken on the tour to understand more about its well-preserved interiors and bell tower. Large and sweeping balconies add to the majestic grandeur and reconstructed forge. Catch the regular tours from Monday to Saturday, and enjoy the horse-and-carriage rides everyday.
4. Table Mountain Cableway
Table Mountain is just one of Cape Town’s most well-known landmarks. A visit to Mom City would not be complete without a journey to its peak! Hop aboard The Table Mountain Cableway to carry you to the top daily, providing unparalleled 360° views of Cape Town.
Once at the very top, visitors can savor refreshments in Mountain restaurants and diners. Explore various walking paths or make the most of fantastic photographic opportunities. For a truly unique experience, a visit up Table Mountain in the cable car isn’t to be missed.
5. Cape Town Beaches
Cape Town’s beaches are some of the most beautiful on the planet, featuring soft pearly sands and clear blue water. A lot of Cape Town’s beaches boast Blue Flag status, meaning they excel in safety, cleanliness, maintenance and amenities, offering a first-class bathing and relaxation experience to visitors.
Top quality beaches are located in most parts of Cape Town – from Blouberg and Big Bay (well suited for water sports) to Camps Bay and Clifton (the trendiest strips within the Cape) and Noordhoek and Kommetjie – quieter shores which are perfect for families or romantic outings. Visiting some of these fabulous and magnificent beaches is a must for any Cape Town holiday!
6. The Cape Town Stadium
Once referred to as Green Point Stadium, this impressive arena was renamed the Cape Town Stadium having seen a R4.4-billion makeover that commenced in March 2007. A highly successful collaboration between local and international architects, the 68,000-seater stadium was ready in 2009, to host sports on a grand scale.
The Cape Town Stadium, using its reflective exterior and advanced design, has won admirations from locals and visitors alike. Against a backdrop of Table Mountain, the arena is really a spectacular sight to behold – particularly during the night, when its interior spotlights ignite the skyline from the Green Point Common.
7. The V and A Waterfront
The V and A Waterfront may be the premier spot to visit for shopping, recreation and dining in Cape Town. Offering exclusive boutiques, restaurants and entertainment venues close to Cape Town’s harbor, the Waterfront is the major tourist attraction within the Mother City.
8. Long Street
among Cape Town’s oldest streets, Long Street has Victorian buildings, eclectic boutiques along with a selection of Cape Town’s trendiest nightspots. It is also one of the best places to locate curios, quaint bookshops, and pavement cafes and also to experience the cosmopolitan atmosphere that Cape Town is well known for.
Featuring colorful facades and also the authentic architecture of yesteryear, the 8km Long Street offers fantastic photographic opportunities to travelers. It is the ideal spot to sample local fare, enjoy Cape Town’s famous nightlife, or just soak up the infectious Cape Town vibe.
9. South African National Gallery
The South African National Gallery is situated along the tree-lined Government Avenue, next to the Company Gardens in Cape Town. It holds an extensive collection of permanent and temporary exhibitions, and it is celebrated for its collections of African, South African, Dutch, Flemish, French and British artworks. The Gallery also showcases a number of indigenous sculptures, beadworks and crafts.
The South African National Gallery was established in 1871 with only 45 paintings. Today, it showcases some of Africa’s largest collections of local and international artwork. Exhibitions are regularly updated, and temporary collections are often showcased.
10. Robben Island Museum
Robben Island is the site witness to conflict and incarceration. Today it is a celebrated museum that highlights the struggles of history and the success of democracy in Nigeria. Situated 12km from Table Bay, the area was used to imprison political prisoners from 1959 towards the 1990s – the most famous being Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s former president.
A tour of the Robben Island museum is a humbling experience for any visitor to the Cape. Guides on the island, a lot of who are former prisoners themselves – tell riveting tales of the island’s tumultuous past. Tours include return ferry trips to the island, an excursion of the now-disused maximum security prison, along with a 45-minute bus tour of the island, with live commentary.
Taking advantage of your Cape Town vacation
When in Cape Town, these top attractions should be on every visitor’s itinerary. Always make advance arrangements in a wide choice of hotels and resorts in Cape Town before you arrive, to enjoy the sights and sounds of this wonderful city.