Tag: Best places to see in Cape Town

The gardens of Cape Town offer guests to the city a unique window into the culture that makes the city one of the most visited places in the world. In the gardens of any city, you can find its history, its personality, its geology and even its real climate.

Not only do the gardens around Cape Town allow those visiting to get some insight into the natural world, and the natural ecology of the area, but the gardens are also a great place to kick back and relax. Going out into the wild is one way to relieve stress and to just take a deep breath and enjoy the moment. Cape Town’s many gardens are kept in pristine condition and they are a fantastic place to go for a long walk or to bask in the sun and enjoy a picnic.

Capetonians know they are blessed to live in a city with such a vibrant natural habitat. And for those who are going on a Cape Town tour, visiting a couple of these gardens to have a look at all of the indigenous plant life that thrives in these natural settings is a great way to spend the day.

 

KIRSTENBOSCH-BOTANICAL-GARDENS

 

 

  1. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

This is without a doubt the most popular garden in the city and each day it sees loads of visitors enter the gardens for a meander around. Along with being able to go on a stroll, the gardens are also home to movie nights, picnics and open-air concerts. The park also has a popular canopy walk with a few surprises along the way. If you wish to visit, a small entrance fee will get you in.

  1. Durbanville Rose Garden

Looking like something out of an English medieval movie, the Durbanville Rose Garden is simply stunning. Home to 6000 rose bushes, with 500 different species, walking through this enchanting garden is nothing less than a magical experience. The best time to visit is from around May to October, when the flowers are in fragrant full bloom.

  1. Company’s Garden

This incredible garden is also a historical one, with a history dating back to 1848, when the garden was first opened to the public. These gardens are on the same property as the South African houses of parliament and St Georges Cathedral, to name a few. Both tourists and locals flock to the gardens to take a break from the busy energy of the city. Aside from going for a walk, there are a couple of other things you can do here, like enjoying a game of chess.

  1. Harold Porter National Botanical Garden

A little bushier and a lot more diverse, these gardens are a real oasis and you will find all sorts of interesting sights here. There is plenty to explore in these gardens, including rock pools and hiking trails, so you can easily make a whole day of the adventure.

  1. Rustenberg Garden

In the neighbouring town of Stellenbosch, you will find this intriguing and utterly beautiful garden. The garden is a mix of old world England and the Cape Dutch tradition, and it offers guests plenty of interesting things to see.

Cape Town is a cultural mecca and for those who visit here for the first time, or the twentieth, there is always something to see, try or explore. Although the city has many fascinating things to see and do, it is also home to some of the best restaurants and bakeries, not just in South Africa, but in the world.

When you are in the city, you have to eat! And we don’t mean stopping off at a franchised KFC or McDonald’s. We are talking about sitting down and tucking into some made local. The flavours of Cape Town are abundant and with just one visit to the city, you sadly won’t be able to try it all. But that’s not a problem, it is just a great excuse to visit again!

As part of your Cape Town experience, these are our top recommendations (in no particular order) for restaurants and bakeries that you have to pop into while on your trip.

 

 

  1. FYN

Seating 50 people and boasting a heavy industrial vibe, FYN is a favourite among local diners and for good reason. Both the menu and the décor are inspired by Africa and there is also some Japanese influence, but the flavours, textures and styles come together perfectly to give diners a taste explosion.

The restaurant is in the inner city, up on the 5th floor of a building and has spectacular views of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head.

  1. The Foodbarn Restaurant

A cosy and really vibrant aesthetic welcomes guests when they walk into this barn-style restaurant. The restaurant is headed up by internationally acclaimed chef Franck Dangereux and it is currently recognised as one of the best fine-dining restaurants in the city. The environment is made to be laidback and the menu is packed full of the good stuff with a lot of French influence, so you can bet these meals are hearty!

  1. Grub and Vine

A bistro with a twist, chef Matt Manning describes his restaurant as small, honest and super vibey. Originally from the UK, Matt has made his mark on the city by serving up delectable food that is mouth-watering and pomp free. Each dish is a work of art and will most certainly have you oohing and aahing when it arrives on the table. And as for taste, it doesn’t get more flavourful than this.

What also makes this a special place to eat is that diners can watch the kitchen in action, as the galley is in full view.

  1. Bentlys Bread Co.

Based at Sea Point, this bakery’s artisanal bread has earned it a following. Along with delicious bread, this is also the perfect place to stock up on some goats milk cheese, bacon and caramelised onion quiche, bagels with fresh salmon, and all sorts of sweet treats to keep you energised while on your Cape Town tour.

  1. Jason’s Bakery

Known as the King of bread and pastry, Jason’s Bakery (in the City Bowl and Green Point) is legendary. The bakery is famous for its doughssants, and for making all sorts of scrumptious cakes that will leave you day dreaming about the flavours for days. The doughssants are incredibly popular and tend to sell out fast when they are sold on a Saturday. Also, everything in the bakery is fresh on the day. These guys definitely live in the moment!

 

Year after year Cape Town is voted as having the best beaches in South Africa. Kept neat and clean, and home to some of the best views and amenities, Cape Town’s beaches are a huge attraction. Although you probably won’t want to take a dip in the freezing Atlantic Ocean, there are still plenty of reasons why you should want to visit some of the best beaches while you are in the Mother City.

Cape Town’s beaches have some of the most beautiful scenery, which makes the beaches here quite diverse. You will be spoilt for choice when you are deciding where you want to spend a lazy day. Each beach has its own personality and something to fall in love with. When you next find yourself in the city enjoying a Cape Town tour, these are some of the cities that you should think about visiting.

 

Day 5 Cape Town Beach Tour

 

  1. Llandudno

A beautiful beach named after the peaceful Welsh seaside town, Llandudno beach is a quiet beach with milkwoods in the background. Stunning outcrops of granite boulders sit on the beach, creating a natural divide that gives the beach some privacy while the crowd of beachgoers that you find here are generally quite laidback. The water here is rather cold, but it is perfect for a midday swim if you are looking to escape from the summer heat.

  1. Boulders Beach

Boulders is an iconic beach, home to stunning blue waters, eye catching rock outcrops, and the last African penguins in the world. The penguins are always a lucky sight but if you don’t see the penguins while here, there are also other things that you can do, like enjoying the sights and sounds of the ocean and distant landforms. The water at Boulders Beach is quite well-known for being warmer than most of the other beaches in the area.

  1. Clifton Beach

Clifton has a bit of a reputation for being a playground for the rich but it is also popular amongst tourists for its neon blue waters and its chilled vibe. The beach is split up into 4 different beaches, and it can be hard to choose just one place to visit. The first of the 4 beaches are dog friendly while the others are not. The 2nd beach is considered one for everyone while the 3rd beach attracts a very young crowd. The 4th is more family friendly.

  1. Beta at Bakoven

This is a unique beach and definitely one ideal for photos. The beach is quite sheltered and so it is hardly ever disturbed by waves. This allows the ocean to remain calm and clear, making it perfect for snorkelling or just taking a quick dip. The downside is that the water here is quite cold.

  1. Long Beach

The place to go if you’d like to try your hand at surfing, the waves at Long Beach are considered to be about the biggest in the area. Long Beach is a long stretch of beautiful white sands and there is plenty of space for huge crowds of people to come to the beach and not have to worry about sitting on top of one another. This is also a great beach to visit if you want to enjoy a stroll.

 

In the right weather, Cape Town has some of the most beautifully scenic roads.

Twisting and turning along stunning coastlines, or travelling into pristine Winelands, the route that you choose to take can become your very own unique Cape Town tour. Travelling on your own and taking the route that you want to take is without a doubt one way to see the sights, but if you are not comfortable with the idea of driving yourself, there are quite a few Cape Town tour options that can take you along some of those routes and give you an experience that will stay with you forever.

Cape Town is unique and absolutely stunning. It is well known for its diverse landscape and the many panoramic views that will take your breath away. If you are looking for a day drive, check out some of these scenic routes.

 

cape town tour

 

  1. Chapman’s Peak Drive

Chapman’s Peak is a route that has become pretty iconic. The route is only about 15km, and it will only take about half an hour to do, but the road will drive you through a cliff between Noordhoek and Hout Bay, a journey that looks like it should be impossible. The views all along the way are staggeringly beautiful. This is not your everyday road, and you will need to pay a small fee to drive it.

  1. Victoria Road

From Llandudno to Camps Bay, this road is severely underrated but it is certainly worth the drive. The route is best taken slowly, and along the way, you will catch sight of all sorts of interesting things, including the fashionable Llandudno suburb, and the ocean. Along the way, you will also see Lion’s Head and the 12 Apostles.

  1. Kommetjie, Cape Point and Simon’s Town

If you are coming from a smaller country, Cape Town and its surrounds can seem like a country all on its own, because some places are a little out of reach. But when in Cape Town, you don’t want to miss out on travelling to the Southern Corner of Africa. When you leave the more urban areas, the landscape quickly changes, becoming more desolate and mountainous. This route will take you through magnificent landscapes, including dramatic cliffs, and you will even catch sight of the Kommetjie lighthouse.

  1. R44

Route 44 takes you out of the City and towards Gordon’s Bay, eventually ending in Hermanus. The landscape is a bit wilder and the ocean seems to be a lot bluer. It is fair to say that this road is quite a dramatic one.

  1. Tafelberg Road to Signal Hill

This route is ideal for those who are short on time but who want to see the best of what Cape Town has to offer. Taking a drive up to the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, up the Tafelberg Road, will present some truly magical views. All along the way, the views change, and once you get to the top, you will be treated to some of the most popular and iconic views of the area.

There is magical scenery, incredible ocean views, a vibe that can’t be beaten and a people who will have you wanting to come back again. But this magnificent city is built on a history that is so unlike any other, and although there have been times when the past has been less than kind to its inhabitants, Cape Town’s past is worth taking a step into when you are planning on going on a Cape Town tour.

Cape Town is one of South Africa’s oldest and best known cities. Both South Africans and those visiting from afar have found something to love here. If you are curious about how the city got its unique personality, these are some historical facts worth knowing.

 

Cape-Winelands-view-of-the-mountains-behind-the-farm

 

  1. The Cable Car is old

The only way to easily get to the top of Table Mountain and take in that unforgettable view is by cable car. The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway is almost always full of tourists wanting to take a trip up the mountain and what many of these tourists don’t realise is that the company is well over 100 years old! Naturally, it is a well maintained company, so you won’t need to worry about rusty cable cars.

  1. The first nation

Long before Europeans landed on African soil and long before Africans walked down this far, the land was home to the first nation of South Africa, the Khoi-San. These incredible people lived hunter-gatherer lifestyles and they adapted to the desert like climate that is just north of the Western Cape. They are also the ones to give Table Mountain its original name: Hoerikwaggo.

  1. The slave trade that became a new culture

During the time when Dutch and English settlers lived in the Cape, many slaves from Malaysia, India and Singapore were brought here to work. While the historical side of this era is nothing to be proud of there is some good that can be taken from these darker times and that is the heritage and culture that was born from this melting pot of people. The Cape Culture is such a unique and special thing. It should be treasured.

  1. The great fight

Cape Town was a strategically important point in the Atlantic for all sorts of European nations that passed the tip of Africa while on their way to trade with eastern nations. Due to the importance of Cape Town, there was at one stage a constant war between the Dutch and the English, both of whom felt they could lay claim to the land. This back and forth is partly what led to the Great Trek of the Afrikaner nation.

  1. Don’t be alarmed

At noon, to this day, the cannon at Signal Hill lets lose a massive roar that if you are unsuspecting, might shock the life out of you. It is an old tradition reaching back to 1806 when a cannon was first used to announce arriving ships. Later on, the cannon was used to let traders know that it was time to take their goods to the harbour. The cannon has only failed to fire once, and there is a second cannon in place should it happen again.

There are many tourists who wish they were visiting this magnificent city for the first time, if only to relive the moment they first set foot in it. With so much to do and so much to see, it is quite easy to feel you are not getting to see and do everything. But if you put some careful thought into the planning, your first trip to the city can give you some of the most unforgettable experiences you will ever have.

At ATC, we are an all-round travelling company. We know some of the best spots in the city, and for the first time traveller, we can offer a fantastic Cape Town tour that stops off at all of the best things to see first!

Now there is no right or wrong way to have a Cape Town tour. The kind of tour you have and whether or not you actually enjoy it, will ultimately be up to you and what you want to see. But if you want to make sure that you hit the good stuff on your first trip to the city and its surrounds, this basic guide can help.

 

 

So let’s get stuck into it!

  1. Cape Point

Everyone wants to have the bragging right of having stood at the southernmost tip of Africa, and that is exactly what you can do when you put a trip to Cape Point on your list of must see places. If you have booked an official Cape Town tour, this spot will normally be on the itinerary.

  1. Table Mountain

It seems sort of ridiculous to even put this on the list because it is just so obvious. Table Mountain needs no introduction and yet some, unfortunately, miss out on seeing it when the weather turns sour.

  1. Tokai National Park

Cape Town is one of the only places in South Africa where you can be in the city one minute and in the middle of a national park the next. If you are a plant fan, a visit to Tokai will give you a unique look at some of the most fascinating indigenous plants and trees.

  1. Magik Forest

Bordered by Bellville, Welgemoed, and Durbanville is another hidden green gem. If you like being outdoors, walking the paths around here is a real must, and it will really help you to relax and unwind.

  1. The Waterfront

The V & A Waterfront is not just a great place to visit because it is full of wonderful shops, restaurants, bars and views. There is also plenty of history to immerse yourself in. The area is also quite a great place to visit if you are a fan of art and you’d like to have a look at what the local talent has to offer.

With so much happening in Cape Town and with so much to explore, it helps to be realistic with the amount of stuff you can jam into your Cape Town holiday and it also helps to have enough time to have a proper experience.

Gorgeous scenery, an icy blue ocean, winelands on the outskirts, and a vibe that can’t be beaten, Cape Town is just one of those places that creeps into your heart and stays there forever. For these 10 reason, and probably a whole lot of others, this is why many Cape Town tourists continue to return year after year for a Cape Town tour.

 

Cape-Town-beautiful-view-of-table-mountain

 

  1. That Mountain Though

It is hard to ignore Cape Town’s most iconic landmark. Table Mountain is one of the first things you see when you arrive in the city and it is one of the last things you will see when you leave. It acts as a guiding marker as you move around the city and it is a great place to explore, with cable cars moving up and down the mountain all day.

  1. Those Views

Although Cape Town is one of South Africa’s biggest cities, like many other parts of the country, there is a lot of natural scenery all around. The city is a diverse place, and not only is it home to wonderful gardens and national parks, but just a short drive out of the city and the concrete jungle gives way to rolling green scenes and winelands.

  1. Sunny Beaches

Cape Town is by the sea after all, and it is hard to ignore those beckoning beaches once you catch sight of them. It can easily take you a whole week to explore all the beaches in the area, but no matter which one you choose to put your body on, it is bound to have you falling head over heels.

  1. Sublime Weather

But let’s be honest, only in the autumn, summer and spring months. Winters in the Cape can be miserable and you will be hard pressed to find a Capetonian who will say anything otherwise. But aside from those four or so months, the weather is dry, warm and just wonderful.

  1. It has the Bo-Kaap

Another iconic attraction, the Bo-Kaap is a street of brightly coloured houses with plenty of history. These houses were once homes to slaves, but today that troubled past is nowhere in sight and the vibe is quite magical.

 

 

  1. Period

When you are in the Western Cape of South Africa, you are in wine country. So, whether you tour a nearby wine farm to taste the latest vintage, or if you indulge in a glass or two of something local at a restaurant, you should treat yourself.

  1. The food is pretty good too

Cape Town is home to some of South Africa’s best know, much-celebrated restaurants. If you are here, look for a couple of home-grown places to eat. Leave the chain restaurants alone.

  1. Adventure in abundance

South Africa is an outdoorsy country and in Cape Town you will find all sorts of activities that will get your heart pumping in all the right ways. Paragliding, shark cage diving, and mountain climbing are just a few interesting activities you can sign up for.

  1. The History

Cape Town has seen a lot more history than most parts of the world and there are plenty of museums and landmarks that you can visit if you want to learn more.

  1. Feel good feel

It is something that you will only understand once you are in the city. The overall feeling of Cape Town is one of goodness and joy, something that can become really addictive.