Cape Town Attractions

Cape Town Attractions and Holiday destinations

Table Mountain

The mountain overlooks Cape Town and is one of the Cape's premier tourist attractions. Ride the cable car to the top and take in some of the Cape's most spectacular scenery as you look south towards Cape Point or north over Table Bay and Robben Island or west to the Hottentots Holland mountains in the distance.


The Inner City of Cape Town

The tours and attractions listed below are mostly within walking distance of each other near the top of Adderley Street in the centre of Cape Town. Visitors to Cape Town wanting to visit all or many of them should set aside more than one day to do so.

The early history of Cape Town begins with the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck in 1652 and many of the museums and sights stem from that time period.


Slave Lodge Museum

This building was completed in 1879 and housed the slaves introduced into South Africa by the Dutch East India Company. It has undergone a number of conversions since then as has been used as the Supreme Court and Government offices since 1811. Today it is known as the SA Cultural History Museum. It is situated at the top end of Adderley Street just before the entrance to Government Avenue in the Gardens and is open daily except Sundays.


The Company Gardens

The Gardens were first laid out in the 1650's by the Dutch to provide vegetables and food to the passing ships and the inhabitants of the Cape at the time. Today they are still there but a lot smaller.

In them are a number of attractions:
The Delville Wood Memorial Garden for soldiers who lost their lives in the Battle of Delville Wood.
Government Avenue with its hundreds of oak trees most of which were planted in the times of Simon van der Stel.
The S A Museum and Planetarium
South African National Gallery and Art Museum
St Georges Cathedral well known for meetings held there during the times of the struggle for freedom from apartheid.
Some large trees that date back to the 1650's.
Many statues of Governors and leaders of the Cape since the 1800's


District Six Museum;

This museum tells the story of the residents of Cape Town who were forcibly removed from their homes on the slopes of Table Mountain and sent to the barren Cape Flats. The museum is open Mondays to Saturdays and is situated at 25 A Buitenkant Street, Cape Town


In close proximity there are a number of other attractions;

Bertram House Museum

is furnished to display the lifestyle of the English living in Cape Town during the 1800's. It is open Tuesdays to Thursdays and can be found on the Hiddingh Hall Campus, Orange Street Cape Town.


Michaelis Collection

displays Dutch Art from 17th Century.The collection can be viewed at the Old town house, Green Market Square, Cape Town.The Museum is open daily except Sundays.


Castle of the Cape of Good Hope.
Grand Parade
Old Town Hall

City Hall

To visit these three attractions park on the Grand parade and walk from there. The Castle is situated to the east of the parade and is surrounded by a moat and gardens. It consists of five bastions and looks like a star if viewed from above. It is open to visitors daily. The Grand Parade and the Town Hall are adjacent to one another and the stairs of the town hall were used by Nelson Mandela to address the nation on his release from prison. Visit the flea markets on the parade for bargains on Wednesdays.


Cape Town's Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.

Quay Four in the V and A Waterfront

The V & A Waterfront as it is known is the second of Cape Town's premier attractions. It is situated in the working harbour to the north of the Duncan Dock. Here many of the old tumbledown buildings have been refurbished and now house hundreds of shops and offices. The quays in the harbour are a hive of activity as tourists vie for tickets for tours of the harbour and for drinks at the many open air restaurants and pubs. Look out for the many buskers entertaining visitors to earn a few Rand. Watch out for some of the mime artists who sneak up behind you and turn you into a laughing stock.

Robben Island

Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island

Robben Island is but a couple of minutes away in one of the fast ferry boats that leave from the Nelson Mandela Gateway every hour or so. Do not forget to visit the Two Oceans Acquarium. A good place to take the kids is the touch pool where they learn about small marine animals. If they are still too lively after the acquarium take them to the scratch patch across the road where they can select as many semi precious stones as you can afford to pay for.

The Red Shed

is for people who love crafts. The many stall holders sell anything from a needle to an anchor.

Leaving Cape Town we head north into the suburbs.

Canal Walk / Century City

Century City Canal

Canal Walk is our first stop. Inside the shopping malls we have a number of attractions for kids. The MTN Science Centre and the Skate Boarding rink. Ratanga Junction Theme Park is still opens for the school holidays. The Cobra, and Monkey Falls are rides for the brave. Faint hearted people should ride them first and thereafter every ride is enjoyable and even tame.


Intaka Island

A pond at Intaka Island

The island for nature lovers is a short boat ride away on the canals. Walk the island and see some of the many birds that visit there at this time of the year. Check out the water filtration system for the canals and see how a natural system cleans the water in them.


Further out along the N1 we reach the winelands of
Paarl/ Stellenbosch/Franschoek.

Wine farm in the Paarl area

Spend a day or two visiting the farms along the wine routes and taste some of the lovely SA wines on offer. Don't forget to stop at the strawberry farms along the way and let the kids pick their evening pudding amongst some of the largest scarecrows you have seen.


The Beaches

Long Beach Kommetjie with Chapman's Peak and Hout Bay in the background

Cape Town is well known for its many beaches. The most popular for sun lovers being those along the Cape Peninsula's Atlantic coastline. We'll mention a few:

Clifton, Camps Bay, Saunders Rocks. Llandudno, Bantry Bay, Hout bay, Noordhoek, Sandy bay and Long Beach Kommetjie. Most of the above are safe for swimming and have lovely pristine white sand to lie and tan on. For bikinis Clifton is the beach to visit. On the False Bay coastline Muizenberg, Fish Hoek and along the edge of the bay to Cape Point are many lovely beaches to visit. Don't forget about the Boulders beach near Simonstown where you can swim with the penguins. A word of warning.

There have been a spate of shark attacks on the coastline between Fish Hoek and Muizenberg lately so check with the lifeguards before entering the water to swim. On the other side of False Bay are the lovely beaches of the Strand and Gordons Bay which are fantastic when the wind is not blowing. Most of the above attractions cost very little to enter and all the beaches are free except Fish Hoek where you have to pay for your parking if you want to park on the beachfront.


Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

A concert at Kirstenbosch

on the slopes of Table Mountain near Rondebosch is where you go when you are tired of all the other places I have listed. It's the place to take a picnic basket, a couple bottles of SA wine and relax under the shade of a large oak tree and absorb the beauty and stillness of nature on a long summer's day. Want to visit Kirstenbosch in the evening? Book a ticket to one of the many concerts staged there during the summer months.

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Cape Town Attractions
Page updated 13.5.2015

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