Cape Town is one of the world’s most striking cities, stunningly set between the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Table Mountain on the other. It’s home to a sophisticated V&A Waterfront and colorful neighborhoods such as Bo-Kaap. Here’s how to make the most of a 24-hour visit.
Morning: Go Up Table Mountain
Beat the heat and get a great perspective on Cape Town by heading up Table Mountain first thing in the morning. The views from the top take in the entire city and its surroundings, but the skies tend to get cloudy later in the day. If you’re feeling active, climb to the top on a (fairly challenging) guided hike or cycle down on a guided bike tour. Otherwise, join a tour with skip-the-line tickets for the cable car so that you don’t waste time in the often long lines. Some tours include Table Mountain as part of a larger city tour.
Afternoon: See the City’s Sights
Get your bearings and absorb some history with a sightseeing tour. Hop-on hop-off bus tours allow you to experience the highlights with the added flexibility of being able to set your own itinerary—you can get off at any of the stops and spend as long there as you wish. Most tours offer a selection of different routes, and some go out of the city and into the surrounding Cape Winelands. Alternatively, a private guided tour also offers the flexibility of customizing your itinerary with the added benefit of more in-depth exploration.
Night: Immerse Yourself in Local Culture
Get a taste of local culture on a themed evening experience. For an insider’s view of local culture, try a jazz tour that takes you into homes of local musicians and noted nightspots to listen to live performances—most also include dinner, often at the musician’s home. Another option is a dinner and traditional show experience—shows typically feature drum performances and dancers plus a hearty meal of pan-African dishes.