11 Interesting Things To Do In Cape Town | Places Not To Be Missed (and a few to be missed)

February 26, 2013 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Things To Do in Cape Town,Whale Watching

What are the Interesting Things To Do In Cape Town?

The Telegraph had a great article on interesting things to do In Cape Town; they interviewed three Cape Town concierges from three different hotels. You can read the full story here.

This article was an eye-opener. I live in Cape Town and some of the places the concierges suggest I have never been to. And it inspired me to share my version of interesting things to do In Cape Town and not do.

1) What Cape Town attractions should you not miss?

  • Catch an open-top bus tour and go for a ride around the city and Peninsula. This is a lovely trip and an inexpensive way to orientate yourself.
  • Everyone will visit Table Mountain. And you’ll do it as well. You can use the cable car.. the easy way or you can walk it or scale it. But take heed of this advice.

2) Which of the “must-visit” Cape Town attractions should you avoid?

  • Tours to Robben Island, which was used as a prison, are unreliable and not of the standard that the venue deserves. This is such a pity.. with Mandela spending 27 years. I saw some recent articles that the authorities are trying to correct the issue.
  • Two of the  concierges suggested you skip the V&A Waterfront; one concierge described it as a “tourist trap”. If you want to do shopping at luxury stores then you can go there. Or if you want go to fancy restaurants then go there. But if you want to experience Cape Town then go somewhere else.

3) Where’s the best spot to take a photo in Cape Town?

  • Two concierges suggested Blouberg Strand. Go and visit the Blue Peter or go a little further and visit a lovely restaurant in Melkbos called Die Dam Huis.
  • The best time to take photos is during sunrise or sunset. The best sunrises are on the False Bay side and the best sunsets on the Atlantic Ocean side. But then again you may just see the sun changing the colours like this one – False Bay Simon’s Town. Simonstown sunset

4) When you want to try something new:

5) When you like to buy an unusual souvenir – what do we recommend?

The concierges suggested a Madiba shirt and the infamous vuvuzela to irritate your friends and neighbours.

But African beaded wire art work; handmade by locals are my favorite. These elephants were bought in Houtbay. For image credit and more detail visit this blog.

6) What’s the best restaurant in Cape Town? 

Three of the concierges suggested The Test Kitchen. Sometime ago we listed the ten best restaurants in South Africa Cape Town. Three were from Cape Town; I have mentioned the Test Kitchen, the other are La Colombe, and The Greenhouse.

7) And where’s best for drinks? You don’t want to go anywhere touristy.

Most of the concierges suggested Camps Bay places like Caprice and The Bungalow in Clifton.

Byron suggested: Local pubs such as Kennedy’s or Long Street Cafe in Longstreet where one can mix with the locals. A little further is the Blue Peter in Blouberg or Sirrocos in Kalk Bay or Polana on the rocks. See photo below.

8) You are going to propose to your partner tonight – where should you do it?

Most of the concierges suggested on top of Table Mountain or Lions Head when the sunsets. A friend of mine proposed at a lovely spot on Chapman’s Peak. I think your lady will say yes with such a lovely sunset from Chapman’s Peak (image credit).

chapmans peak drive romantic

9) Who’s the standout creative talent in Cape Town right now – is there someone in particular whose work you should check out before you leave?

Dirk suggests the fashion designer Stiaan Louw is one of the local talents making waves internationally. He is also a prominent figure at the annual Design IndabaAnd Byron suggests any of the theatre shows conceived by David Kramer, whose work is inspired by local culture and issues. 

If you are in Cape Town when the self-funded and independent theater group The Mechanicals perform – then attend it. It’s great. And my daughter is part of it ;-). Here’s an image from one of their plays called Deksels.


10) How can you best experience the Cape Winelands?

The concierges suggested the Constantia wine route. We love this Cape Town wine route because it’s well established, it’s close to Cape Town, and there’s a few exciting and young wine farms on this route. Other’s suggest you get on a helicopter and fly to various wine farms. Concierge Dirk suggests Dirk: The Ellerman House Wine Experience. Byron recommends that you combine with visits to the wineries, with chocolate tasting, cheese tasting and brandy tasting.

11) Is there some way you can encounter African wildlife while you are in Cape Town?

Some of the concierges suggested wildlife places three hours away. Others suggested wild life sanctuaries close to Cape Town. What amazes me of these suggestion is that we all want to be nice and show foreigners lions and elephants. Okay, I know that’s what most want but their are some tourists with more intelligence; knowing that Cape Town has whalespelagic bird trips, and shark cage diving. By the way: Have you seen a great white shark bridge? (image credit)

Great white shark bridging in False Bay

Who would not like to see this majestic pelagic bird the Cape Gannet in action?

Cape Gannet

Now it’s your turn to share interesting things to do In Cape Town: what would suggest to visitors to Cape Town? Do you agree, or disagree? Let me know and I’ll update this post.

Have fun

Johan Horak

Interesting Things To Do In Cape Town 

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