Cape TownTravel Guide

Cape Town is calling. That beautiful, world-famous South African city, in the Western Cape province, at the southern tip of Africa.
This bucket-list destination embodies and embraces the good life, from fine dining, theatres and buzzing bars to outdoor and cultural hotspots and of course, the iconic Table Mountain. Our Cape Town Travel Guide is a loving curation of some top attractions, where to stay in Cape Town, hidden gems and unique experiences. This makes our guide the real deal (and we have fabulous flight and travel deals too).

 

Cape Town quick facts

Language

National language

English

Beverages

Bottle of Coke/Pepsi (330ml)

CAD $1.33

Local time

Thursday

10:00pm

Currency

South African rand

CAD $1.00 = ZAR R13.17

Eating out

Restaurant meal (casual dining)

CAD $11.38

Electricity

Plug type: C

2 or 3 pins • 230V

Explore Cape Town

Where to stay in Cape Town?

As a sought-after destination for both the local and international traveller, Cape Town has a wealth of accommodation options. We’ve handpicked some top hotels just for you, where you take centre stage, and your safety and comfort are paramount.

The One&Only is a premier hotel tucked into the V&A Waterfront, your springboard to the many things to do in Cape Town and at the waterfront itself. A stylish urban retreat overlooking the

 


Five-star luxury plus the vibrant culture of the Bo-Kaap equals The Hyatt Regency Cape Town. You’ll be within walking distance of all that the Bo-Kaap offers, as well as the gastronomic adventures that await on Kloof and Bree streets.

 


How about a boutique guest house all to yourself? Redcliffe House in the upmarket suburb of Gardens offers just that. A gorgeous heritage house combined with a boutique hotel within walking distance of Kloof Street – where everything happens.

 


The Hollywood Mansion & Spa (need we say more?) is in Camps Bay (where else?). Your villa-away-from-home with a maid and butler service, home cinema and business centre.
 

 


Believe us when we say, this is just the start. Book your accommodation today!

  • Aerial view of Cape Point Mountain with ocean
    • House with a lighthouse in background through the trees
    • Mountain view of Cape Town during sunset going down a gondola
  • Aerial view of Cape Point Mountain with ocean
    Aerial view of Cape Point Mountain with ocean
    Aerial view of Cape Point Mountain with ocean
  • House with a lighthouse in background through the trees
    House with a lighthouse in background through the trees
    House with a lighthouse in background through the trees
  • Mountain view of Cape Town during sunset going down a gondola
    Mountain view of Cape Town during sunset going down a gondola
    Mountain view of Cape Town during sunset going down a gondola

Things to do in Cape Town

You’re spoilt for choice here, so we’ve selected some highlights for you:

Cape Town is steeped in culture and history; a melting pot of influences have shaped the ‘Mother City’ as she is affectionately known.

Visit the Bo-Kaap to see the colourful painted houses in bright red, green, pink and blue, some dating back to the 17th century. This vibrant suburb is a former Malay Quarter. Pop in at the
Bo-Kaap Museum to learn more about its backstory.

Ferry to Robben Island. This remote location used to be a leper colony back in the day (from 1846 to 1931), and it’s where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his 27-year jail term. See the cell that was his home at the maximum-security prison.

Go wine-tasting in the Winelands. Best enjoyed as a day trip by bus, a hop-on, hop-off tram or you can even bike it. A must-visit is the gorgeous Groot Constantia wine estate, the first and oldest in South Africa, established in 1685.
 

 


Stop by Cape Town’s premier tourist destination, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. You’ll find it in Table Bay, South Africa’s oldest harbour, which is a world-class development with shopping, dining, entertainment, hotels, heritage sites and marine spaces all in one place.


Cape Town has a wonderful outdoor lifestyle, join in!

Hitch a ride in a cable car up Table Mountain to enjoy panoramic views of Cape Town some 700m (2300 ft) below.

Feeling fit? Hike up Table Mountain instead to earn bragging rights. Hiking is huge in Cape Town with many trails to choose from and for every level of experience. There are glamping opportunities galore, too.

Have a picnic: All you have to do is choose your setting. We recommend the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, one of the grandest in the world with rolling lawns and streams or
a sundowner picnic on Lion’s Head – another famous mountainous landmark.

Hang out with penguins:  Boulders Beach in Simons Town is an African penguin haven, where these comical aquatic birds waddle their way into visitors’ hearts. You’ll also be doing your bit to help conservation efforts when you pop in to see them.


Looking for an immersive experience? Then a tour is the way to go.

Flights to Cape Town

Cape Town food and drink

Take note foodies, Cape Town is the Mother of Culinary Delights. From fine dining and café culture to farm-to-fork and street food, her rich cultural heritage is reflected in her flavours.

Looking for a restaurant in Cape Town that offers fine dining? The Camp’s Bay strip has an array of high-end eateries with award-winners like Azure at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, with its wine-pairing menus, and the sophisticated boundary-pushing Salsify. The upmarket suburb of Constantia also boasts some world-class dining at the French-Asian La Colombe and the Conservatory with its eclectic local bent.
 


The Western Cape wine farms are famed for their restaurants too, with Franschhoek bearing the honour of the ‘French Corner of the Cape’.


Bree Street, its trendier cousin by some accounts, focuses on Italian and Spanish and cheese (yes, there’s a dedicated cheese eatery). Both streets are dotted with pubs and bars that serve up their special brand of light meals.
 


Street food is also plentiful in Cape Town, dished up from a variety of colourful food trucks, like the Lotus Food Truck, with its lip-smacking ramen dishes. And then there’s the Eastern Food Bazaar, a one-stop-street-food shop with Chinese, Turkish, and Indian classics.

 


Get a real taste for the local cuisine by booking a tour.

Cape Town through your eyes

Where to shop in Cape Town?

Good news, you can definitely shop till you drop in Cape Town. From designer fashion to art galleries, big malls, small ones, and many markets, there’s something for every kind of shopaholic. Deciding where to shop in Cape Town is not an easy task, so here are some ideas:

Hit the winding streets of the CBD where Kloof and Bree streets (formerly mentioned for their fab eateries) are also a shopper’s delight, dotted with boutiques, jewellery stores and galleries.

Among the popular malls are Canal Walk in Century City (the third biggest in Africa) and the Gardens Shopping Centre conveniently positioned in the heart of the city.


Greenmarket Square, between Long Street and St George’s Mall is a historic, cobbled public space showcasing fresh produce and flowers, curios, crafts and clothing. From the humble beginnings of a small flea market, it’s now pretty much iconic.

For The Earth Fair Food in Constantia. Think artisanal pies, breads and cheeses, charcuterie, organic produce fresh from the farm and craft beer
 

 


For lovers of luxury brands and goods, as well as international designers, the V&A Waterfont is a retail Mecca. The award-winning Cavendish Square in Claremont is another precinct that boasts around 200 high-end shops and boutiques, showcasing local and international designers

 


Looking for a safe and simple way to bring your money when you travel? Our Travel Money Card has you covered!

When is the best time to travel to Cape Town?

Cape Town has typically dry summers and cool rainy winters. It’s also windy most of the year. The best time to travel to Cape Town is in the summer from late November to March. February is the warmest month with an average of 20.1 °C or 68.1 °F, so a good time of year to visit, while July is the coldest, with temperatures averaging 13°C or 55.5 °F.while July is the coldest, with temperatures averaging 13°C or 55.5 °F.while July is the coldest, with temperatures averaging 13°C or 55.5 °F.

Peak season is during the summer months, with January being the busiest. The sun sets after 8:00pm so days are long and perfect for visitors wanting to squeeze in as much activity as possible.

In March things slow down a bit with the summer visitors leaving but there’s an uptick in April with Easter and a series of events. May through to August are cooler and quieter, which mean less crowds at major attractions. With spring in September, Cape Town starts getting busier again as the days warm up and get longer.

Don't miss out. Book your flight today!

How to get around Cape Town

There’s no better way to take in the sights and sounds of a new city than from a double-decker bus. And Cape Town has a bright red one with an open top. Like the cabriolet of double-deckers. The City Sightseeing Bus Tours offer hop on, hop off experiences of the city, day-tripping to Cape Point, wine-downs in the Winelands, and more.

You’ll also find Uber drivers, shuttle services and smaller niche operators focusing on certain areas like the Franschhoek Vineyard Hopper.

Car hire is easy at the Cape Town International Airport. All the usual operators are represented from Europcar to Hertz.

There’s also public transportation, metered taxis and other ways to get around in Cape Town.

Want to see Cape Town in a nutshell from a visitor’s perspective? From landing at the airport to hitting the hotspots? Check it out.

Let us help you organize your own wheels for exploring. Hire a car today.

What are the best beaches in Cape Town?

If your idea of a vacation has to do with beach sand between your toes, you’ve come to the right place. The only problem is: choices, choices, choices. And occasionally the crisp Atlantic winds, so be sure to pack a sweater. Here are a couple of our favourite beaches:

A former fishing village, but these days a playground of the rich and famous, as well as us regular folk. This scenic bay is encircled by mountains and features a boat and yacht marina.


Often called the Cape’s Riviera, this is the place to be seen in the summer months. Stroll along the promenade, take a dip in the natural rock pool and ‘live the vida loca’ with trendy clubs and top restaurants all around.


Famous for its row of colourful beach huts, the best surfing in Cape Town and warm water. Fun fact: The beach huts are a nod to Victorian-era bathing boxes, which young ladies used as changerooms. Drawn by horses into the water, the modest damsels would then emerge in their top-to-toe swimming costumes to frolic in the sea.


Imagine a pristine white sand beach that’s more than 8km long, where horses, pooches and people have space to play. (Horse riding is a common pastime here). An interesting feature is a tidal lagoon that can disappear from one day to the next.

Cape Town has many other beaches, so whether you want to hang out with the happening crowd or find a romantic corner to while away the hours with your significant other, you’re bound to find your match.


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What are the best parks in Cape Town?

Whether you’re looking for nature reserves, city parks or green spaces to exercise or let the children play freely and have a great time, Cape Town won’t disappoint.

 

The Cape Point Nature Reserve is situated on a wild and treacherous landmass of cliffs and rock, the site of many shipwrecks. Wildlife like the Cape Mountain zebra roam the reserve. Not to be missed when visiting here is a ride on the Flying Dutchman Funicular up train tracks to the lighthouse for breath-taking views.

 


A former refreshment station and fresh produce garden for traders of the Dutch East India company sailing around the tip of Africa. Today, the Company’s Garden continues the tradition of refreshing body and soul with its restaurant and beautiful park setting. Children, families and garden enthusiasts are welcome at this safe and peaceful city oasis.

 


The Green Point Urban Park is popular with families, dog owners and fitness enthusiasts who enjoy the safe space with its cycle paths, outdoor gym, expansive lawns and children’s playgrounds. A drawcard during school vacations, friendly security personnel look after everyone and make sure no little ones get lost. 

 


Want a game reserve experience when you visit Cape Town? Just two hours’ drive out of the city, the Aquila Private Game Reserve and its guides offer just that. Choose from a half day, full day or overnight safari. Short on time? How about a two-hour guided safari
 

 


Getting from park to park is so much better with your own wheels. Hitch your ride now!

Cape Town Frequently asked questions

Cape Town's weather can be a fickle beast, so it's best to pack layers. Bring lightweight and breathable clothing for warm days, as well as a sweater or jacket for cooler evenings. Don't forget to pack comfortable shoes for exploring the city.


Cape Town is a vibrant city with endless options for a fun and lively vacation. Start by exploring the bustling V&A Waterfront, where you can browse boutiques, dine at waterfront restaurants and enjoy live entertainment. For sun-drenched days and trendy beachfront bars, head to the beautiful beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay. Of course, no trip to Cape Town is complete without a trip up Table Mountain in a cable car to soak in breath-taking views, wandering the colourful streets of Bo-Kaap and sampling Cape Malay cuisine. If you’re up for a scenic drive, look no further than Cape Peninsula, which starts from Cape Town and extends all the way to Cape Point. Be sure to stop in at Boulders Beach on your way through to visit the penguins. 


Life happens - we get it! Read more here.


In the summertime, baby! Between November and February Cape Town experiences warm and sunny weather, making it the ideal time for outdoor activities, beach visits and exploring the city. Hot tip, as its peak tourist season, it’s advisable to book accommodation and activities well in advance if you plan to visit during this time.


Get your daily steps up by hiking Table Mountain (or taking the cable car and saying you hiked), devouring your bodyweight in South African cuisine, take the ferry to Robben Island to see the sombre site Nelson Mandela served most of his 27-year sentence, enjoy a scenic drive along Cape Peninsula, dance the night away, wander the colourful streets of Bo-Kaap, go museum hopping, hang with penguins at Boulders Beach, the list goes on! 


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