10 Must-Do’s In Cape Town That Are Totally Worth It

Lions Head, Table Mountain, old wineries, and really good meat. There’s never a dull moment in Cape Town, especially with these 10 amazing must-do’s!

The view of Twelve Apostles from Lion's Head Peak in Cape Town, South Africa.
Photo: Zoe Zaleski

1. Hike up Lions Head.

If you are up for a short but challenging hike, then you must not miss out on climbing up Lions Head. In the beginning, it may seem like a simple stroll alongside the mountain, but as you get higher, prepare for some rock climbing. Best time to go is around sunset! It takes about an hour to two hours to hike up. Remember to bring two bottles of water and a snack!

The Hike up to Lions Head, Cape Town, South Africa. Frances Tao
Photo: Frances Tao

2. Visit Table Mountain.

One cannot visit Cape Town without taking a cable cart up to Table Mountain. If you are adventurous and daring, you can also hike up Table Mountain. It takes roughly around four-five hours to get to the top if one is walking, so make sure to start early!

Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa. Frances Tao
Photo: Frances Tao

3. Take Malay Cooking Tour in Bo Kaap.

Want to experience first-hand Malay culture and cooking? Then you must take the Malay Cooking Tour with the famous Zainie Misbach. She is a Bo-Kaap local and is passionate about preserving the Cape Town Malay culture. She will introduce you to the spices and ingredients that will be going into the dishes, and give you the opportunity to cook them.

Malay Cooking Tour, Cape Town, South Africa. Frances Tao
Photo: Frances Tao

4. Take a Wine Tour to Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.

Cape Town has a history of having one of the best wineries and wine farms. Take the day tour to Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Each winery is different and provides the most beautiful views. The hosts are very friendly, and love meeting new people.

5. Take a tour to Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope.

Let’s just say the visit to Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope are what made my experience traveling to Cape Town worthwhile. Prepare to bring comfortable walking shoes because the roads can get rocky. Also, if you’re lucky, you may run into Baboons!

Cape of Good Hope, Cape Town, South Africa. Frances Tao
Photo: Frances Tao

6. Have lunch/dinner at Paranga after tanning at Camps Bay.

After tanning at Camps Bay, walk to have lunch or dinner at Paranga. It is beautifully set up with a cabana theme where there is a roof, but the front is completely open for the ocean breeze. While relaxing and enjoying the view, you should pair it with a seafood platter and a Bellini. Bellini is a refreshing drink with a dash of either peach or strawberry extract and sparkling wine; perfect for a hot summer day!

Paranga (Seafood Platter)
Photo: Frances Tao

7. Enjoy the nightlife on Long Street.

The nightlife on Long Street is always packed and busy with tourists and locals. Bars and clubs are all right next to each other on this street so you don’t have to drive from one place to another. Most clubs have balconies where people can take their drinks out for fresh air without actually leaving the club. Long Street is also very casual and on the cheaper end. You get the best for your buck!

8. Go to Mzoli’s.

Interested in trying Braai (South African Barbeque)? Then you must drop by Mzoli’s. It is located in the township, Gugulethu. I recommend going either for early dinner or during the daytime for safety precautions.

9. Tour the local townships, Langa and Gugulethu.

Although Cape Town is beautiful and well constructed, the neighboring townships are still facing quite a few hardships and are currently still under development. Take a tour around Langa and Gugulethu to have an eye-opening experience to see how the townships are and the opportunity to meet the locals. If you are daring enough you must try their local dish, Smiley, which is barbeque sheep head. Warning: the image might not suit for vegetarians.

10. Visit Signal Hill.

Signal Hill, also known as Lion’s Rump, is located in between Lion’s Head and Table Mountain. Visit it either during sunset, sunrise, or at night. I personally recommend going at night to enjoy the view of the city lights.

Frances Tao

France's travel style is super fast-paced and she's always with a camera on the lookout for the next go-to. South African will remain in a very special place in her heart. There are two things she can't travel without: an extra memory card and dry shampoo.

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