One of South Africa’s three capital cities, Cape Town is a cultural melting pot with a diverse population and a rich history. Travelers to the coastal city can make the most of its stunning natural setting—the omnipresent peak of Table Mountain is the biggest draw, while Cape Peninsula to the south offers miles of white sand beaches, ocean views, and surf-worthy waves. Cape Town’s many attractions are spread out over a large area, and guided tours with seamless transportation help visitors see multiple sights in one day. For those with more time to spend in the area, day trips take in the nearby Cape Winelands or Robben Island, and multi-day tours set out along the famous Garden Route.
Cape Town Weather (When to Visit)
Cape Town's summer season (December – February) sees the most tourism, with travelers flocking here take advantage of the city's sprawling beaches and outdoor attractions. You'll want to book your accommodations several months in advance to ensure availability. The weather during this season is warm but not overwhelming, with average daytime highs ranging from the mid- to high 70s.
Autumn (March – May) is an ideal time to vacation to Cape Town. The temperature drops, and the tourist exodus signifies the start of the annual wine harvest. Many of the wineries in and around Cape Town allow visitors to participate in the gathering and juicing of grapes. Even if you're not into wine, fall is still a great time to visit. Daytime temperatures range from the high 60s to mid-70s, and hotels begin to lower their prices in preparation for the low season.
Best Cape Town Area Beaches
Camps Bay Beach
Camps Bay – the best-known beach on the Cape Town coast. Both locals and visitors flock to this palm-lined strip for people-watching, to play beach bats or volleyball, walk their dogs or catch a tan while gazing up at the dramatic peaks of the Twelve Apostles range, part of Table Mountain.
Blouberg Beach & Big Bay
This is one of the world’s best kite surfing destinations and hosts an international competition every year. It’s a great place to enjoy wind-related water sports as well as surfing. Small Bay offers a quieter atmosphere which is better suited for families and sunbathers.
Muizenberg is probably Cape Town’s ultimate family-friendly beach with its warmer water, Blue Flag status, and quaint and colourful Victorian bathing boxes. This beautiful stretch of coastline is popular with families, dog walkers and surfers. If you want to get some surfing lessons while on vacation in Cape Town, then this is the place.
Llandudno may be a bit off the beaten track, but this spectacular beach is certainly a favourite among locals. A narrow road winds its way down through an exclusive hillside neighborhood to a soft sandy cove where you’ll find children building sandcastles; groups of friends playing beach bats and frisbee; surfers carving patterns on the waves; and waggy-tailed dogs bounding about.
This soft-sand beach and slightly warmer sea (it’s on the False Bay coastline) are home to a large colony of endangered African penguins. These endearing birds have become minor celebrities and visitors flock to watch them strut their stuff between the hulking granite boulders – a highly entertaining sight to see.
Cape Town Recommended Tours & Activities by Viator
Cape Point and Boulder's Beach Penguins Tour
Visit a penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve all in one day during this tour, including round-trip transport from Cape Town. First, catch sight of the endangered African penguins on the beach, and then travel over to Cape Point in the nature reserve. Spend ample time at Cape Point, and keep an eye out for ostrich, antelope, and whales. You can also take part in an optional hike in the reserve if you choose. Learn more about the Cape Point & Boulders Beach Penguins Tour.
1- or 2-day Cape Town Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus tour
Explore Cape Town at your own pace with a full-day hop-on hop-off bus pass. Journey around four different bus routes, stopping at attractions such as Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Table Mountain, and the Cape Winelands, and spend as long as you wish at each. Enjoy a city walking tour or upgrade to include a Signal Hill sunset tour and a boat cruise to Seal Island. Learn more about the 1 or 2 Day Cape Town Hop On Hop Off Tour.
Full-Day Cape Point & Cape Peninsula Sightseeing Tour from Cape Town
Drive and hike around the Cape Peninsula during a full-day sightseeing tour with a focus on the region’s natural attractions and lots of fun options to choose at your own expense. Visit Boulders Beach, Cape Fur, and Cape Point Nature Reserve, and see a penguin colony as well as other wildlife. Private transportation and commentary from your guide ensure a comfortable and informative tour, making it ideal for first-time visitors. Learn more about the Cape Point & Cape Peninsula Sightseeing Tour.
Private Tour of Penguins, Cape of Good Hope & Peninsula
The owners do the tours themselves and seldom farm out tours. They go to places where most others do not especially in Cape of Good Hope and the little towns beyond. They will elaborate on history, people and current affairs as it is and not dress it up. They will always conduct the tour to suit the people on board re – their interests, pace and ease of conversation. Learn more about the Private Tour of Penguins, Cape of Good Hope & Peninsula Tour.
Cape Peninsula Guided Private Day Trip from Cape Town
With spectacular coastal scenery and world-famous natural features, the Cape Peninsula ranks among the most beautiful corners of South Africa. On this tour, reach top attractions including Chapman's Peak, Hout Bay, and Kommetjie in comfort by private vehicle with your guide. With round-trip travel from your Cape Town hotel included, gaze over Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles, and see the best of the Cape Peninsula in one day. Learn more about the Cape Peninsula Guided Private Day Trip.
Best Cape Town Restaurants
The Hussar Grill $11 – 30
The Hussar Grill is famous for offering its customers an award winning experience built on excellent customer service, great food and smooth drinks since 1964. The house specialty is the Hussar Carpetbagger which is a dish combining stuffed fillet mignon with a combination of smoked oysters, Cheddar cheese and topped off with a brandy and wholegrain mustard sauce. Telephone: 27 21 438 0151 Web: The Hussar Grill.
Paranga $11 – 30
Eye level with the beach, Paranga offers amazing seaside views whether you sit outside in range of the ocean spray or in the cozy, intimate interior. With an enormous variety of food, all with a distinctly Capetonian feel, customers can choose from salad, sushi, seafood or selected meats. A particular favorite from the seafood section is the delectable grilled Kingklip with warm tartar and tomato sauce, fresh peas, diced potato, gem lettuce, boiled egg, fresh herbs and capers in lemon cream. Telephone: 27 21 438 0404 Web: Paranga.
Blues Restaurant & Bar $11 – 30
A landmark in the ultra-chic Camps Bay, Blues Restaurant & Bar serves some excellent Mediterranean cuisine in a restaurant with equally exceptional decor. The unique interior allows guests to feel as if they are stretched out on the beach as opposed to seated in a bar right next to it. From its opening in 1987 the restaurant and bar has hosted a number of TV celebrities, musicians, sports stars and politicians. However, with an energetic, informed and wonderfully friendly service at your beck and call, everyone feels like royalty here. Telephone: 27 21 438 2040 Web: Blues Restaurant & Bar.
Codfather Seafood & Sushi $11 – 30
With wood panelling and racks of wine on classically dusty shelves, the Codfather is a warm and open space with a roaring fire as its centerpiece and a sushi belt adorning one side. The menu is full of fresh and perfectly prepared seafood, making the restaurant a seafood lover’s dream. Telephone: 27 21 438 0782 Web: Codfather Seafood & Sushi.
Azure Restaurant $31 – 60
Overlooking the sparkling Atlantic Ocean between Table Mountain National Park and the iconic mountain range of the Twelve Apostles, Azure is a multiple award-winning restaurant forming part of the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa. With a menu that includes meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes, Azure restaurant brings to the table the best of African cuisine including the world renowned Cape Malay Curry which is an authentic Cape curry combining chicken and prawns in a sauce that is slightly sweet but also ferociously spicy. Telephone: 27 21 437 9255 Web: Azure Restaurant.
Best Cape Town Bars
This long-standing, local hangout is the laidback, grounded member of the Camps Bay family. Set back from the beach and committed to shunning the tourist trade, the come-as-you-are pub is open all year round and welcomes casual types for incredible pizza specials, great drinks deals, vibey live music and a little bit of boogie on select nights. Aspiring singers with a little talent and a whole lot of Dutch courage can take to the mic on Tuesday karaoke nights, and Thursday nights pay homage to students on a budget – think R10 Black Label and Castle droughts. Telephone: 27 21 438 2686 Web: Dizzy's.
Something of an institution in Cape Town, this ideally situated promenade café is the place to eat, drink and play in Camps Bay. Long associated with the trendy crowd, Café Caprice boasts well-stocked bars that keep thirsts quenched well into the evening with premium liquor and colorful cocktails made with fresh fruit and innovative infusions. Alongside drinks, the venue also dishes up a range of café-style eats, salads, platters and burgers, so guests can mix their tipple with some tuck. What’s more, a host of different DJs man the decks on weekend nights, playing a mix of house, lounge and commercial beats. Telephone: 27 21 438 8315 Web: Cafe Caprice.
Launched in February 2017, The District is one of the hottest spots in the city to party at. This Harrington Street haunt has become one of the premier spaces for events and live music. Managed by events management company, The Firm Cape Town, the venue has a large space which caters to a variety of music events, so you can expect a wide range of music from electronic, hip hop and live acts. Telephone: 27 21 461 2276 Web: The District.
Cocoon Cape Town
The 31st floor of Cape Town’s iconic Absa Building is home to this chic nightclub. Cocoon is all about glamour – here sipping on delicious cocktails while enjoying breathtaking views of the city is simply the way they roll. Besides the spectacular lookout, Cocoon Cape Town’s interior is a melting pot of enchantment featuring chandeliers, glass casings, lavish lounge seating and state-of-the-art contemporary finishes throughout. Expect a selection of music genres like hip-hop, house and electronic dance music in a sophisticated setting. Telephone: 27 21 421 0581 Web: Cocoon Cape Town.
Shimmy Beach Club
Stellar eatery by day and exquisite dance venue by night, Shimmy Beach Club is one of the most well-known entertainment spots in Cape Town. On summer nights, it’s hard to rival the atmosphere of a Shimmy Beach Club party as DJs spin their beats. Shimmy brings the beachfront to the dance floor! With two bars, an infinity pool, and private seating areas for VVIPs, there’s a little bit of magic to be found everywhere. Have a blast on the beach, lounge in the lap of luxury, or party until the sun comes up. Telephone: 27 21 200 7778 Web: Shimmy Beach Club.
Best Cape Town Hotels