8 Things to Do in Cape Town
Remember the phrase “there are places to go, things to do, and things to see”? Well, the amazing masterpiece called Cape Town is one of such places that this phrase applies to. Often called the “Mother City” for her unique culture, people and history, Cape Town has been firmly tacked on the tapestry of the world maps as a popular tourist destination. Voted “Best City in the World” by the Telegraph, many of her beautiful and popular sights including mountains and wine regions are must-visit places. Besides these are the museums, galleries, restaurants and bars, enough to keep you busy whenever you are in Cape Town.
For your delight, here are 8 of the best places to eat, relax, celebrate, and shop in Cape Town.
Get Tasting and “Flaving”
For those who love the flavour of African cuisine, Cape Town’s bistros and restaurants offer a broad and diverse fare, from spongy Ethiopian injeras (flatbreads), Mozambican peri-peri prawns, Xhosa fare to Marog (African spinach), and even Cape Malay cuisine which includes chicken kalya, samosas, amangina (chicken feet), lamb denningvleis, braaivleis (barbecue) and Malay curries. Cape Town is indeed the perfect place for those who love to eat meat with a wide range of scaled, furry and feathered beasts, all served with mealie meal porridge and a side of samp.
Relax at the Perfect Spot
If you want some undisturbed rest, the perfect place is a secluded sandy shore. Places like Beta Beach, Oudekraal, Smitswinkelbaai, Tietiesbaai are great relaxation spots for tourists and enthusiasts. Beta Beach is just a ten-minute drive away from the city’s centre. Flanked by huge boulders, it is perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Right next door to Beta Beach is Oudekraal, with a protected cove at the bottom of a steep set of stairs and surrounded by a thicket of milkwood trees. But as Oudekraal forms part of Table Mountain National Park, there’s an entrance fee of R10.
Further out of town is Smitswinkelbaai, which lies in the direction of Cape Point. It is a lush valley that has calm water, excellent for snorkeling. To get to Smitswinkelbaai, watch out for the tiny graveled parking area by the side of the road between Simon’s Town and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve – cross the road and walk downwards along the overgrown footpath until you get to the isolated, beautiful, and unspoilt valley.
Find the Heart of the Art Scene
Located at the foot of the foot of Devil’s Peak, the suburb of Woodstock is fast becoming the centre of art in Cape Town. Here, worn Victorian buildings undergo facelifts while derelict warehouses are transformed into swish art galleries that line the streets. They include the Goodman Gallery Cape, which has established some of the biggest names in South African art, as well as Indie outfit “What if the World” and Bell-Roberts.
Visit the Cape Winelands
Paarl, Stellenbosch, Franshhoek, Montagu and Robertson are some towns in the famous Cape Winelands, only an hour’s drive from Cape Town, and with picturesque vineyards and towering mountains. Cape wines enjoy an impressive reputation and the Winelands are home to most of South Africa’s premier wine estates.
The good news is that almost every estate and winery offers wine-tasting. Well recommended wine estates are Stellenbosch American Express Wine Route and Fairview Wine Estate. However, keep in mind that the Winelands have much more to offer than wine presses and vineyards. They offer scenic views and some of the best relaxation spots.
Pick Up Some Local Jewelry
Cape Town is not only rich in metals and precious gemstones, but also in artistic and jewelry talent. Places like V&A Waterfront, Jewelry Avenue, Tinsel and Olive Green Cat, offer quite a number of cutting-edge jewelry designs. To get a fascinating insight into gems from the African continent, Afrogem is an excellent option for a factory tour while the Gold of Africa Museum contains the largest collection of African gold objects in the world.
Eat Some Fish or at Least Something Fishy
Some of the world’s premium tuna can be found off the shores of South Africa. Fresh tuna (just-seared) is a favourite. Note that Capetonians prefer line-caught fish, so if cob or yellowtail fish is on offer, please try it out too. For prawns, order yours spicy to fully enjoy the flavour. Places to be begin include Ocean Basket, Texies, Nobu, Miller’s Thumb and Willoughby & Co.
Take a Lesson in South African History
For those interested in South Africa’s period of apartheid which ended in 1990, District Six Museum and will make rewarding experiences. District Six is an award-winning community museum that documents events revolving around the ruling government’s declaration of the area for “whites only”, forcing more than 60,000 residents out of their homes and shipping them out to the Cape Flats while reducing their homes to rubble.
Robben Island is an inspirational symbol of centuries of oppression. The island has become synonymous with Nelson Mandela, the former leader of the free and democratic South Africa who spent 18 years in the maximum security prison on the island.
Bob in the St-Tropez of Cape Town
This sophisticated cove offers quite an array of posh bars and restaurants, Riviera-style palm trees and yachts bobbing on the waters. There are also rows of ritzy drinking holes down the stretch of Victoria Road. In addition, at the northern and less eventful end of St-Tropez, you will find beach surfers waiting for the perfect wave; and if you want to practice your bobbing skills, the tidal pool at the southern end of the cove is just right.
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