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Things to do in Cape Town

Things to do in  Cape Town

Welcome to Cape Town

Locals affectionately refer to Cape Town as the Mother City, a name it earns as a longstanding, welcoming, and stunning metropolis. One of the oldest cities in South Africa, Cape Town is the country’s second-most populated city behind Johannesburg. This stylish urban center is surrounded on all sides by natural beauty—from the waves of the Atlantic Ocean crashing on beaches to the iconic wildflower-lined Table Mountain. Get your bearings on a sightseeing tour to absorb a little history, and browse the shops and restaurants in central Cape Town on the Victoria & Albert Waterfront. Ride a cable car up Table Mountain for the best views over the city. Visit points of interest beyond the city center easily with a day tour: Learn about South Africa’s tumultuous history at the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Robben Island, where you’ll see Nelson Mandela’s former prison cell. Explore the wildlife and dramatic cliffs of Cape Point, the Cape of Good Hope, and Hout Bay. Visit the penguin colony at Boulders Beach not far from Simon’s Town. Head inland to sip unique vintages produced in the Western Cape Winelands region in historic towns like Stellenbosch or Franschhoek. Get your adrenaline pumping with a shark cage diving tour off the coast near Hermanus; or tame things down, and admire the flowers along the Garden Route. Finally, go on a private safari tour at a nearby game reserve to look for Africa’s “Big Five,” including the grand African lion.

Top 10 attractions in Cape Town

#1
Robben Island

Robben Island

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In 1964, an anti-apartheid revolutionary named Nelson Mandela was arrested and brought to South Africa’s Robben Island, just west of Cape Town. He would spend the next 18 years imprisoned in an 8x7-foot cell, forced to do hard labor, and permitted only one visitor a year. Even so, Mandela went on to become his country’s first black president, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and known globally for his significant contributions to human rights and social justice.Robben Island—where most of Mandela’s 27-year prison sentence was served—was a place of isolation for nearly 300 years, housing many political prisoners and serving as both a lunatic asylum and leper colony. Today, the island remains a tangible symbol of political freedom and a reminder of the difficult road to South African democracy. Read on to learn more about how to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site.More
#2
Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve

Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve

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With its huge sea cliffs, bays, beaches, and valleys, the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve is one of the most scenic spots in South Africa. A trip to Cape Point and the reserve, part of Table Mountain National Park, is an easy must-do when visiting Cape Town.More
#3
Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach

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With pristine white sands and calm turquoise waters hemmed in by gigantic granite boulders, Boulders Beach is one of the Cape Peninsula’s most magnificent beaches. Located just outside Simon’s Town, the beach is protected as part of the Table Mountain National Park and renowned for its African penguin colony.More
#4
Malay Quarter (Bo-Kaap)

Malay Quarter (Bo-Kaap)

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Lined with brightly colored houses and lively streets, the Malay Quarter (Bo-Kaap) is as vibrant as it is culturally rich. The historic nighborhood, set just outside central Cape Town on the flanks of Signal Hill, is a dynamic melting pot that was one of the first South African settlements of freed slaves and Muslim immigrants.More
#5
Cape Point

Cape Point

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Panoramic ocean views, towering cliffs, and 100-year-old lighthouses define Cape Point, located at the tip of South Africa’s Cape Peninsula. Set within the Cape Floral Region (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Table Mountain National Park, the reserve is a haven for hiking, wildlife viewing, and photography.More
#6
Chapman’s Peak Drive

Chapman’s Peak Drive

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Chapman's Peak is a mountain on the Cape Peninsula with a 5.5-mile (8.8 kilometers) road, said to be one of the world’s most scenic drives. The road winds from Hout Bay to Noordhoek, clinging to the side of the steep mountain almost the whole way. Traveling this road’s 114 turns is a must-do in Cape Town.More
#7
Table Mountain National Park

Table Mountain National Park

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Table Mountain's distinctive plateau is the backdrop for iconic Cape Town views, but that's just the beginning of its namesake national park. Stretching the length of the Cape Peninsula, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to hiking trails, diverse flora and fauna, and—of course—South Africa’s most famous coastal and mountain vistas.More
#8
Cape Town Stadium

Cape Town Stadium

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Originally called the Green Point Stadium after a structure that previously stood here, this state-of-the-art complex was home to the 2010 World Cup. In addition to the 60,000-plus sports fans that flooded its seats during the big event, the Cape Town Stadium has hosted concerts by performers like Michael Jackson, Metallica, Paul Simon and Robbie Williams.Today, visitors can catch a local Rugby match or even a live performance if the timing is right. But the stadium also offers daily tours for travelers on a budget—or those whose schedules don’t match up with the local calendar of events.More
#9
Signal Hill

Signal Hill

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As the most accessible of Cape Town’s three peaks, Signal Hill is a prime spot for catching sunset over the city. In addition to its spectacular scenery, Signal Hill also harbors the Noon Guns, two Dutch naval guns, and the last remaining Peninsula Shale Renosterveld vegetation.More
#10
Hout Bay

Hout Bay

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This quaint harbor on the western side of the Cape Peninsula has a seaside charm that attracts both travelers and locals to its sheltered shores. Whether it’s sampling ocean-fresh seafood from one of the restaurants lining its harbor or exploring the shelves of world-class antique shops, Hout Bay has proved itself a worthy destination despite its small size. Visitors love wandering along the bustling docks where commercial fishing boats unload their daily catch, and its close proximity to Seal Island and World of Birds makes it a perfect lunch stop on a tour of the Cape.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Cape Town

How to Spend 2 Days in Cape Town

Wildlife Safari Tours from Cape Town

Wildlife Safari Tours from Cape Town

Cape Winelands Tours from Cape Town

Cape Winelands Tours from Cape Town

Top activities in Cape Town

Cape of Good Hope-Cape Point & Penguins Private Tour from Cape Town

Special Offer

African Story Wine Tours

African Story Wine Tours

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From
$86.43
5-Day Garden Route with Addo National Park Small Group Tour from Cape Town

Special Offer

2-Day Glamping South African Wildlife Safari Small Group Tour from Cape Town

Special Offer

Cape Town Airport Transfers

Cape Town Airport Transfers

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$24.26
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Cape Peninsula Tour from Cape Town

Cape Peninsula Tour from Cape Town

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From
$100.23

Recent reviews from experiences in Cape Town

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Fascinating and deeply amazing!
Eduard_Gorkh, Feb 2021
Cape of Good Hope & Penguins Small Group Tour from Cape Town
All the sights we've visited were breathtaking and unbelievably miraculous, and it was a pleasure to see Alain as fascinated as we were.
star-5
Great day tour!
Maryam_F, Mar 2020
Cape of Good Hope & Penguins Small Group Tour from Cape Town
Great full day tour to see the highlights of Cape Town!
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Best experience
Roshan, Mar 2020
Cape Town City Sightseeing Official Hop-on Hop-off Bus tour
Hassle free way to see all of Cape Town...!
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Table Mountain
Loupsylvestre, Feb 2020
Cape Town City Sightseeing Official Hop-on Hop-off Bus tour
Plan to visit Table Mountain early in your trip so that you have time in case of bad weather or high winds.
star-5
Penguins everywhere. Excellent tour.
Tai_T, Feb 2020
Cape Point and Boulder's Beach Penguins Tour: Including Park fee
City Sightseeing is an excellent way to see Cape Town.
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Amazing Kayak Tour Experience
Atusa, Feb 2020
Atlantic Outlook Kayak Tour Cape Town
Our guide was super friendly, funny and informative and gave us recommendations for other activities to do in Cape Town.
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Safe, fun, and convenient!
Shelby, Feb 2020
Cape Town Airport Transfers
He was so friendly and gave us a lot of useful information and tips about what to do and what not to do in Cape Town.
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Sharks ahoy
Andrew_S, Feb 2020
Shark Cage Diving and Viewing from Cape Town
Also lucky enough to see sharks up close.
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sunset
edbrager, Feb 2020
Private Cape Town City Evening Tour
This was a great way to see Cape Town at night.
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Sail Away
sussiepalmer, Feb 2020
Sailing in The Bay (One Hour)
Great way to see Cape Town from the water!
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Private Tour the Way to GO!
cdn54, Jan 2020
Table Mountain, Boulder's Penguins & Cape Point Private Tour from Cape Town
Our guide Peter went out of his way to make the day very special and to make sure we got to see and do all of the activities advertised.
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Gorgeous views of Cape Town. A must do!
jazz2jazzy168, Jan 2020
Cape Peninsula, Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point Scenic Helicopter Flight
Best way to see scenic Cape Town.
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Garden Route Tour January 2020
henno1352, Jan 2020
5-Day Garden Route with Addo National Park Small Group Tour from Cape Town
A comprehensive trip along the coast to Jeffrey’s Bay and back to Cape Town along Route 62 but attempting to squeeze too many activities in the allotted time.
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Day Safari from Cape Town
sjhoppy, Dec 2019
Aquila Game Reserve Wildlife Safari from Cape Town
We managed to see Ostrich, Springboks, Hippos, Rhinos, Lion.
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Going in Safari to Aquila Reserve
josejuan68, Dec 2019
Aquila Game Reserve Wildlife Safari from Cape Town
And it was a great to see the animals free...
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Great Deal to Tour Wine Country
752jerryd, Nov 2019
Stellenbosch Half Day Wine Tour
A great way to see the wine country just outside Cape Town.
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Awesome Bike Ride
VOFIVE, Sep 2019
4-Hour PRIVATE Cape Town City Cycle Tour
A nice way to see the sites in the city of Cape Town.
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Nice Tour
Cphwilliams, Aug 2019
The 10 Tastings of Cape Town With Locals: Private Food Tour
We didn't quite get to all 10 tastings but it was a nice way to see Cape Town, nonetheless.
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Airport transfer to hotel
thetourist200, Jun 2019
1-4 Passenger Private Cape Town Airport Transfer
Would recommend to visitors to Cape Town
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Incredible!!!!
Explore36331454925, May 2019
Cape of Good Hope-Cape Point & Penguins Private Tour from Cape Town
An amazing tour in Cape Town for those who have little time to visit or even whoever wants to have an overall about the city and the surrounding area.

Frequently Asked Questions