Nestled between the imposing Table Mountain National Park to one side and stunning beaches to the other, Cape Town is a fusion of environments as well as cultures. This fusion can be seen in every aspect of Cape Town, from the cuisine to the architecture and even the music – making it a wonderfully diverse place to savor and enjoy.
While Cape Town is a place you could return to endlessly and find new things to see and do, here are our pick for those you absolutely cannot miss.
1. Visit Robben Island
.Nelson Mandela's influence on modern South Africa cannot be understated, and 'Madiba' (grandfather) remains a revered figure due to his efforts to bring South Africa away from the darkness of the apartheid. A visit to Robben Island, where he was imprisoned for almost 27 years, truly brings home the immense personal sacrifices that Nelson Mandela made so that all South Africans could have a brighter future. A humbling place to visit.
2. Climb Table Mountain
It is difficult to go almost anywhere in Cape Town without catching a glimpse of the enormous Table Mountain which lies just outside the city limits. It's unique flat top gives it its name, and it’s on most travelers lists to climb atop it. You can do so via an energetic and scenic hike, or alternatively take a cable car to the top. The views are spectacular, and one of the best ways to take in the beauty of Cape Town.
3. Wine tasting in Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch actually lies just outside of Cape Town, but most tours depart from the city so it makes the list. This area, renowned for its red 'Pinotage' varietal of wine, is visually spectacular and also brimming with delicious food and wine ready to be enjoyed. Tastings here are presented with good humour and general friendliness, so even complete wine novices are bound to enjoy a day out amongst the vineyards.
4. Boulder's Beach
There are many beautiful beaches in Cape Town, but Boulder's Beach enjoys a very unique edge that makes it perhaps the most beloved. This beach, which is just a short trip from the middle of the city, is home to one of the largest colonies of African Penguins – more than 3,000 in total. These little guys are super cute and quite hilarious (keep an ear out for their donkey-like braying), so are bound to be a great – if slightly unexpected - addition to your trip to Cape Town.
5. Bay Harbour Market
One of the best places to enjoy the diversity and fusion of cultures in Cape Town is at the vibrant Bay Harbour Market, which is open on Friday evenings and the weekend. Set in a working fish factory, expect to find absolutely everything from 'upcycled' art to threads by local designers to delicious local foods. Even if you can resist pulling out your wallet to take a piece of it home, just spending a couple of hours wandering and interacting with stallholders is bound to become a priceless memory.