Cape Town, South Africa: Travel Guide

Penguin watching, nature parks, museums and other must-see attractions on our list!
The awesome backdrop of the world-famous Table Mountain helps to make Cape Town one of the most enchanting cities on the planet. South Africa's most popular tourist destination is also a place rich in culture, history and nature so you're bound to find something to captivate you. Read on to discover the highly recommended attractions on our list!

Weather/ when to go:

Cape Town enjoys a typically Mediterranean climate with warm and dry summers and mild winters. The summer months (November to March) can be extremely warm at their peak -- don't forget to pack plenty of sun cream!

Do & see:

Don't miss these top attractions while you're in Cape Town!

Table Mountain National Park

Covering about three-quarters of South Africa, Table Mountain National Park is an iconic landmark of the city. The main attraction is, of course, the 1086 meter-high flat-topped Table Mountain, which dominates the South African landscape. You can hitch a ride to the top and back on the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway. At the top, you can take in spectacular views of Cape Town city and beyond and go for walks or hikes. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can even abseil down a cliff face!

The V & A Waterfront

The harbor is named after Queen Victoria of England and her son Alfred (V & A) and dates back to 1860. Here you'll now find attractions, museums, shops, restaurants and nightlife. Prominent highlights include the Two Oceans Aquarium but you can also get involved in boat trips and harbor cruises or just shop and take in the atmosphere. Live entertainment is usually on offer and is mostly free.

Robben Island Museum

Robben Island was used for hundreds of years as a place to banish criminals, lepers, the mentally ill and other undesirables. One of its most famous prisoners was Nelson Mandela, who spent 18 years here. It has been a World Heritage Site since 1999. Along with the District Six museum, it's a fascinating reminder of the country's Apartheid history.
Address: Robben Island

District Six Museum

Want to find out more about the history of South Africa? This museum is a must-visit highlight. At one time, District Six was designated a 'white-only' area. This led to tens of thousands of people being evicted from their homes and transported to the Cape Flats. The homes were then demolished. The museum has a memorial hall and interactive exhibits to tell the story of how this community was destroyed. There is a heavy emphasis on stories from those affected.
Address: 25A Buitenkant St

Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve

The nature reserve was made part of the Cape World Heritage Site in 2004. The park features trails leading to shipwrecks, tidal pools and lighthouses. Along the way, you'll see wonderful wildlife including cape mountain zebra. Not a fan of walking? The Flying Dutchman funicular will get you from Cape Point to the upper lighthouse.

Castle of Good Hope

This is South Africa's oldest surviving colonial building became a national monument in 1936. Dating from the 17th century, it was built by the Dutch East India company with the aim of thwarting attacks and subsequently became the center of the Cape’s civilian and military activities. Access to the Castle was impossible at high tide so it was a highly effective defense. Check out the Castle Military Museum, which pays tribute to the Cape's military history. Guided tours are available daily for the Castle and the museum.
Address: Castle St Cape Town 8001

St George's Cathedral

Also known as the People's Church, this cathedral played a key role in fighting back against the Apartheid regime. Church members welcomed worshippers from all races, with large numbers coming to listen to speakers like Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The stained glass windows feature a lily-white Jesus, a black Christ and a Mahatma Gandhi panel.
Address: 5 Wale St Cape Town 8001

Boulders African Penguin Colony

This penguin colony is one of the few places in the world that you can get up close to penguins on the mainland. The boardwalk at Foxy Beach is arguably the best place to watch them from. There is an entrance fee, which goes towards the conservation of the penguins living here. The African penguins who call this area home are endangered. You may also be able to see whales, seals, sharks and dolphins in the bay.

Two Oceans Aquarium

Here you'll find a wide range of sea creatures from clownfish (think Finding Nemo!) to sharks and stingrays.
Address: Dock Rd V & A Waterfront

Cape Town Bus Tours

Taking a tour of the city on a sightseeing bus is an easy way to take in some of Cape Town's main attractions. Buses frequently depart from outside the Two Oceans Aquarium so you should find it simple to hop on one. It's flexible -- you can jump on and off to explore the attractions that take your fancy. If you choose the two-tour ticket option, you get free access to the Night Tour (if you're visiting between September and April) and the City Sightseeing Canal Cruise. Tour commentary is available in several different languages.

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