Ultimate guide to Cape Town, South Africa!
Cape Town is a wildly vibrant coastal city. From food to wine to beach they really have it all! To hit the summertime come from November to March for optimal beaches. But also, you will find the largest crowds around the Christmas and New Years Holiday. What does Trips by Nic recommend you do here? Read on to find out! I always pair a safari with Cape Town – there are so many options of where to go. It’s also fun to head out to the popular wine lands while here. Reach out at any time if you are ready to head to the motherland!
We recommend the Cape Grace hotel to be right in the V&A waterfront. There are loads of other boutique and luxury hotels throughout Cape Town that Trips by Nic does recommend, many in the heart of the city versus on the waterfront. At Cape Grace you will wake up to a harbor of boats and be able to walk to so many fun restaurants and bars. If you do want to be directly in the downtown of the city the Taj or 12 Apostles is a good option. This is a short 10-15 minute ride. Whether in the city or on the harbor you cannot go wrong. I promise you will find time to see the other and it will be incredible. The food in Cape Town is delicious. This may be the hardest choice to decide where to have food, cocktails and coffee. You’ll also definitely need to try the rooibos tea while in South Africa. There are many health benefits to this tea and it is caffeine free! You can pop down to a cute beach front boutique hotel. Get a cabana for the day. Go swimming, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, paddle boarding. The options truly are endless.
Day 1: The Cape Peninsula
If you have just one day in Cape Town, there is a good chance you’ll want to hire a driver and head out to tour the water and the beaches! The coastal road is stunning and it makes you want to immediately relocate your life and family to this gem of a city. The water, beaches and cliffside towns make this the perfect place for those active families. – but also, so close to the bustling city.
You will head out on your drive and pass through the gorgeous Hout Bay. Seeing the cliffs over the water is a beautiful view! Drive past Cape Point. If you are brave, take a quick dip! The water is chilly here!
First official stop (other than for beautiful views and photos) will be to see the famous penguins – the only penguins in the world on the beach are these African penguins that you will find in Cape Town! They are adorable and there is lots to learn about them as well. There are efforts going on to make sure they are safe and protected here.
Next, you’ll want to head to Cape of Good Hope. This is the southern most point of Africa! It’s a popular tourist place so be prepared. As I was here during the COVID pandemic, we got lucky and saw hardly any others in sight.
Lastly, stop in the quaint fishing village of Kalk Bay. Here you can watch the seals waddle onto the docks and enjoy a sundowner with the locals. A sundowner in Cape Town means fixing a drink and sitting on the beach watching the sun set on the water. It’s a must do, similar to your safari or bush sundowners, the locals love to do this grabbing a gin and tonic and watching the beautiful sunset in their evenings while enjoying with friends and family.
Day 2: Foodie City Eats Tour
Wow, this might have been my favorite day in Cape Town! The food was INCREDIBLE! I am serious, the hidden gems and local eateries we stopped in were all top notch. I was so full.
The highlight was Faeeza’s is a bit of a famous eatery in Cape town and the owner cooks a mean local dish. Someone Feed Phil came here and also the Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry came by here too a few years ago. We had chicken curry wrapped in the most delicious homemade naan, fritters and vegetables. Did I mention she does cooking classes if you fancy learning to cook a local meal? We just stopped by to eat but I would love to go back and learn to cook! The curry is so flavorful but somehow not spicy or hot. For me, that is best since my pallet does not tolerate the heat well! We went to a local spice market immediately after to scoop up some local South African spices used to make their curry. (I brought them home and to be honest, when I cooked with the spices at home it was not nearly as good, I guess I don’t have the magic touch!)
All the food throughout the day was insanely good. We cannot wait to arrange this foodie tour for you! It’s walking too so you see a lot of sights and can burn some of the calories while you walk.
The first coffee shop we went to was SO cute. Delicious mushroom panini. I could see myself working from this coffee shop if I lived in town! We also enjoyed so many desserts omg. I could not keep up with the breads and sweets. The best Portuguese delicacy as well was found in an ideal trendy cafe.
Our guide took us to the most tucked away bakery’s. We also enjoyed tea and cocktails and iced coffee. Thank god we were walking some of this off as I could barely eat anymore by the end I was stuffed in the best way with the most incredible local food.
The world is your oyster!
Day3: Table Mountain
Whether you hike, ride or drive up this it’s going to boast stunning views. There is a lovely walk around the flat top if you do opt to take the cable car up.
Our only suggestion is that you start trying to hit Table Mountain the day you land in Cape Town. This is a very windy city being on the coast and the mountain is very weather dependent. This means, if the mountain is closed the one day you plan to see it, you will not be seeing it. So we suggest going early, early, early so you can squeeze it in if it is on the list!!
The views of the city are amazing. You can see the futbol field (soccer for those Americans out there) that they built for the World Cup, the beaches, the tall city buildings – it all is viewable in once quick snapshot from the top of this oddly flat mountain.
In conclusion, Cape Town is an amazing city to visit on it’s own or to visit on the way to a grand safari. We’ll cover the wine regions and safaris in another blog piece! Hope you are feeling inspired to head to South Africa!