If you are planning a trip to Cape Town, sightseeing is very likely at the top of your list of things to do. This South African coastal city has become one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, with a number of landmarks that have graced the pages of travel books and brochures. Table Mountain, the Waterfront and the Winelands are just some of the better-known sights to see, while there are also many other lesser-known but equally fascinating attractions to explore.
The Dos and Don’ts of Sightseeing in Cape Town
To help you plan your time more effectively, here are a few things to keep in mind to make the most of sightseeing in Cape Town.
- DO consider a guided tour or two during your stay. There are many different half day and full day tours on offer, which focus on the biggest attractions, cultures, scenic routes, wildlife, marine life and just about every other facet of the city.
- DO spend a day exploring some of the city’s fascinating suburbs and areas. An afternoon stroll down Long Street for example allows you to visit a range of shops, sidewalk cafes, cheerful bars, art galleries, antique stores and even the en-route markets of Greenmarket Square and Church Street.
- DO plan an excursion to nearby areas just outside of the city. Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Cederberg, Gansbaai, Hermanus, Ceres and the Klein Karoo are just some examples to consider. Many guided tours include the small towns within the Western Cape area, which offer everything from scenery to wine tasting, shark diving, whale watching and even game viewing.
- DON’T assume that the major attractions are all you will have to see. There are many hidden gems found throughout Cape Town, from five-star restaurants tucked away in the Bo Kaap, to jewellery museums, small art galleries, African music shops, charming old cinemas and many other places to discover.
- DON’T forget to stay safe on your adventures. Make sure you book your tours through a legitimate provider, don’t venture into unsafe areas on your own, only plan a hike up Table mountain with an experienced guide and keep your valuables safe when walking in the busy parts of the city.
- DON’T forget these essential items – camera (plus extra battery and memory cards), sun protection (sunscreen, sun hat and sun glasses), comfortable walking shoes (these are crucial to avoid blisters), a warm jacket (for cooler days) and above all… a sense of adventure!
With so much to take in during each adventure, South Africa’s Mother City provides a well-rounded holiday destination that is suited to all ages, tastes and preferences. Whether you are visiting for a few days or a few weeks, make sure that you make time to explore the city as much as you can.
Celia Frances writes a number of tips and ideas for Cape Town Sightseeing, which offers a wealth of information for visitors planning day tours, peninsula tours and a range of additional tours in the Cape and greater South Africa.