If you have been following my latest adventures on social media, you will have known that I recently went to Cape Town! I also wrote a piece about why you should go (read it here) and my first farm hotel experience (read it here). If you’re here and reading this, you are either curious about Cape Town or already planning your trip (Lucky you!) If you’re a first time traveller or you’ve been to Cape Town before, I’m sure you’ll find something new in this very comprehensive personal guide I have curated for you. Continue scrolling to read my ultimate Cape Town guide and what you can’t miss while you’re there!
The initial reason I went to Cape Town was actually to attend a friend’s wedding. However, a few friends and I decided to make a trip out of it and experience Cape Town for the first time, since it’s quite a far distance away from Hong Kong. We booked our flight with Singapore Airlines from Hong Kong to Cape Town. There aren’t any directly flights available, so we had 2 stop overs (one in Singapore and the other in Johannesburg). From my experience, the 2 best options to get around Cape Town would be either by renting a car to drive around or Uber which is safe and reasonable priced. Once we arrived, it was very convenient to get an Uber ride to our accommodation. We even managed to negotiate with an Uber driver to take us for a day trip on a fixed price which ended up being cheaper than separate Uber rides.
If you have read my last blogpost here, I mentioned how we stayed in 8 different accommodations over our 16 day trip, which sounds like a lot but we wanted to experience different areas in Cape Town. We stayed in a mixture of Airbnb’s, hostels and hotels so my list of accommodations below are perfect for every type of traveller.
Camps Bay Retreat & Boutique Hotel | Located along the coast of Cape Town, this hotel allows you to get away from the crowd to this little retreat and sanctuary. With their relaxing in-house spa service and facilities, you will be sure to be rejuvenated after a stay here at Camps Bay Retreat.
Babylonstoren | Situated in the winelands, Babylonstoren is a luxury farm hotel like no other. A perfect weekend getaway and retreat for families or newly-wed couples. The estate is full of locally grown produced that they also served fresh in their restaurants as well. Read my detailed blogpost about my stay here!
The Silo | A beautiful 5 star hotel towering above the V&A Waterfront has a fantastic view of the city and harbour. This hotel is also build on to of Cape Town’s largest contemporary African art museum (Zeitz MOCAA). Be prepared to be pampered with a unique and luxurious experience here.
Homebase | If you’re travelling on a budget, this hostel is a great place to stay as it’s situated in a convenient location right next to Long Street (The party district) and only walking distance to other major monuments. They also have a huge selection of tour you can book through them and it’s the perfect way to meet fellow backpackers or travellers.
Airbnb on Long Street | There are plenty of Airbnb’s you can rent out for a cheap and reasonable price. This Airbnb we checked-in was located right in the city centre (on Long Street)
Cape Town is a melting pot for a buzzing food and beverage scene. With world renown chefs opening up restaurants to serve exquisite dishes, the food here is all the rave! I would come back to Cape Town to eat more, I would in a heartbeat. I was personally impressed with the standard of presentation, quality and flavours of the dishes they serve in this city. On a global standard, the dishes are very affordable and cheap for when you get compared to many cosmopolitan cities around the world. Here is a list of places I would highly recommend you try and book if you get the chance.
Roca, Franschhoek | An amazing place to wine and dine as you enjoy the sun setting behind the hill. I would recommend trying the springbok or ostrich dish that they have on their menu offer. Book in advance and request a window seat for the best seat in the house!
Lust Bistro & Bakery, Franschhoek | Everything on the menus is mouth-watering and I would highly suggest the freshly baked pizzas! Since this is also located in a wine estate, wine tasting and pairing is also worth trying here.
La Petite Colombe, Franschhoek | The sister restaurant of award winning La Colombe in Cape Town is one not to be missed! We had lunch here and they serve an amazing set menu of 5 or 8 courses which are all beautifully presented and exquisitely made. Highly recommend and book early!
The Potluck Club | Michelin Star Restaurant serving tapa styled Asian fusion cuisine while sat with a view of Table Mountain. This is a great place to try experimental dishes and cocktails with friends!
Mama Africa | Great atmosphere with traditional food in colourful, rustic setting with eclectic mix of live bands and drummers playing during dinner time. Booking is recommended!
Honest Chocolate | Just think chocolate everything! Honest Chocolate café offer cakes, shakes, coffee, drinks to name a few. This place is a must try for chocolate lovers to indulge in cocoa heaven.
Bertha’s | Amazing large outdoor dining area serving very fresh and cheap seafood platters and dishes right along the harbour side. This place is equality enjoyable in the daytime and evening.
Addis On Cape | A true Ethiopian experience with a big plate of Ethiopian cuisine to share, you also get to eat with your hands! This is a great way to experience the culture through food and have fun in a group setting.
As I have mentioned in my previous blogpost as well, Cape Town is a place where even 2 weeks are not sufficient to visit and see everything (at least not on my list!) If you have a limited amount of time to spend, you are in luck because I have highlighted the places you must not miss when you visit! I have spent some time in both the winelands, the city and the coast, so here are a few places I would love to go back to on my next trip!
Wine Tram Tour | If you are in the wine region, I will highly recommend spending a day and join the wine tram tour. They have many lines to choose from depending on your preferences, we joined the purple line and absolutely loved it! I would definitely do this again!
Table Mountain | A visit to Cape Town is not complete without visiting the majestic Table Mountain. You have the option to either hike or take a cable car ride up and down the mountain. We went there for sunset, and I will just say that it was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had up on that mountain looking down along the endless horizon.
Seal Snorkeling at Hout Bay | When will you ever get to swim with seals in the wild? I was so excited to swim with seals in person and it was just as exhilarating when I did. Beware that the ocean temperatures are not warm but you will be provided with all the gear including a warm cup of hot chocolate and cookie after the swim!
Robben Island | Only a 25 minute off V&A waterfront in Cape Town, this was the island that infamously held Nelson Mandela captive and imprisoned for 17 years. The tours are also conducted by ex-political prisoners of Robben Island with very touching and compelling stories to tell.
Penguin watching at Boulder’s Bay | Get up-close and personal with the penguin colony on Boulder’s Bay. During low tide, you can also go under a rock that reveals the beach where all of them hang around. Beware not to touch them, as they can also get aggressive with their beaks.
Bo-Kaap | Formerly known as the Malay Quarter. It is a former township, situated on the slopes of Signal Hill above the city centre and filled with photogenic colourful houses that line the streets in Cape Town.
The Company’s Garden | A park and heritage site located in central Cape Town with plenty of plantation and wildlife to see. This is a great place to take a walk or chill around the restaurant located within the garden.
Chapman’s Peak Drive | Drive down Cape Town’s most scenic routes on Chapman’s peak drive with a lovely view of the coast and curvy roads.
Aquila Safari & Spa | If you don’t have much time in the country but want to visit a safari, I would recommend going to Aquila and stay the night. Located 2 hours outside of Cape Town, this is one of the best options to go for when visiting Cape Town. Go for an all inclusive package that include a stay at the comfortable lodges, the 3 buffet meals and 2 game drives. This is an experience you will not want to miss!
Photography by my friend Belicia and myself 😊