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Home » What To Do in Cape Town: 9 Must-See Places

What To Do in Cape Town: 9 Must-See Places

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Cape Town is the most beautiful, romantic, and visited city in Southern Africa. It is situated in an evocative setting with Table Mountain, called "Hoerikwaggo" by the locals, the "mountain by the sea", which slopes down towards the Atlantic Ocean and protects the city from a height of 1080 metres.

Even more extraordinary is that, next to the national park that covers most of the peninsula on which Cape Town is located, there is a pulsating metropolis with many museums and lively nightlife.

So are you ready to swim with the penguins at Boulders Beach, surf with the locals or visit the brand new MOCAA - Museum of Contemporary Art?

1) Bo-Kaap

This colorful neighborhood on the slopes of Signal Hill is one of the city's oldest and most atmospheric neighborhoods, with brightly colored Dutch and Georgian-style row houses concealing a dense network of alleys and lanes inhabited by Cape Town's Muslim community. The inhabitants of Bo-Kaap are the descendants of dissidents and slaves imported by the Dutch in the 15th and 16th centuries, generically called Cape Malays (although only a tiny percentage came from Malaysia). The streets not to be missed are Rose Street and Chiappini Street.

2) The V&A Waterfront

The Victoria & Albert Waterfront, called the Waterfront, is Cape Town's Victorian harbor and includes the city's busiest shopping area with restaurants, stores, cinemas, waterfront boulevards, and a bustling marina from which there are magnificent views of Table Mountain. In addition, there are many free outdoor events and concerts in a small arena in front of the sea during the summer.

Also on the Waterfront is MOCAA - Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art, the brand new Museum of Contemporary Art that opened in late 2017 in a 4-story former grain warehouse and is the most important Museum of Contemporary Art in all of Africa.

3) Robben Island

Located a few kilometers off the Waterfront, this island was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 was Nelson Mandela's "home" for nearly 20 years. Used to incarcerate government opponents and political prisoners since the mid-1600s, it became famous three centuries later when it was taken over by the Cape Town Prison Department and became the maximum-security prison where Mandela was incarcerated from 1961. The last prisoners were transferred to the mainland in 1996, and 1 year later, a museum was established on the island. To visit the island, book a tour on getyourguide.com to the Nelson Mandela Gateway located on the Waterfront.

4) Table Mountain

Table Mountain is a bit of a symbol of Cape Town. This 1087-meter-high peninsula is visible from almost every city corner and dominates the entire peninsula.

Table Mountain stands in the middle of Cape Town and is a naturalistic oasis full of wild animals and 1400 botanical species. The least challenging way to get up and down the mountain is by cable car, which climbs up the west side and offers thrilling views of Table Bay and the Atlantic. Once at the top, you can follow the various hiking trails or enjoy the magnificent views of the Twelve Apostles Range or the city.

5) Kirstenbosch Gardens

Slightly away from the center of Cape Town are the unmissable Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, the first botanical garden in the world to be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Established in 1913, they are among the world's greatest natural treasures and attract botanists from every corner of the globe. One of the unique features of Kirstenbosch Gardens is the Boomslang Tree Canopy Walkaway, a suspended steel and wood walkway that winds through the trees of the Arboretum, offering panoramic views of the garden and surrounding mountains.

6) Long Street

The dynamic Long Street is famous for being home to Cape Town's liveliest nightlife. Three hundred years ago, when Muslims settled here, it marked the city's urban boundary, only to become a seedy street of drunken bars and brothels in the 1960s. Amazingly it has survived and undergone a radical transformation, becoming a beautiful residential area full of stores, hostels, clubs, and restaurants. Treat yourself to an evening of live music at one of Long Street's many clubs, and you won't regret it!

Also, if a night of gambling is what you're looking for, the GrandWest casino -also known for being the largest casino on the continent- is the place for you.

On the other hand, if you want to stay in your hotel relaxed after a long day of touring, you can always turn to casinos.co.za, the platform that gives you access to the best online casinos in South Africa.

Whatever kind of gambling you are looking for, you will be able to find it here: the goal of such platforms is to make it easy and fun for you to play your favorite casino games by letting you use different payment methods and by offering you several attractive bonuses.

7) Clifton and Camps Bay

Table Mountain's rapacious sheer walls drop into the Atlantic Ocean for much of the western peninsula, pushing Cape Town's most luxurious suburbs into a small exclusive area clinging to the mountain's slopes. Clifton and Camps Bay are among the most luxurious areas in Africa, with magnificent seaside apartments and several white sand beaches alternating with wind-eroded rocky shores. These beaches are perfect for sunbathing (the ocean water is freezing!) or picnicking at sunset because it is from here that the sun pours into the ocean creating golden reflections on the sea and mountains.

8) Muizenberg

Muizenberg is a windy suburb that overlooks the sea near Cape Town, where the peninsula curves eastward on the shores of False Bay, and it is believed that surfing was originally born here. Once one of South Africa's most fashionable beaches, it's now somewhat decayed, but its colorful cabins from the turn of the century are among the most photographed and Instagram-worthy spots in Cape Town as you can see on capetown.travel.

On the beach, you'll find several surf stores that offer lessons and equipment rentals and several cafes.

9) The penguins of Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach owes its name to the boulders of rock that create small sandy inlets with transparent water, splendid for bathing. However, the main reason for going here is the colony of African penguins, one of the few colonies in the world on continental territories. The entrance to the reserve is through two gates at either end of the beach, from which wooden walkways depart to observe these magnificent and funny animals.

 

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