Maidens cove Cape Town

A Perfect Cape Town Itinerary: Three Days, Five Days, 1 Week

Without question, Cape Town is one of my favorite cities in the world. This perfect Cape Town itinerary is perfect for anyone with 1 day all the way to 1 week or more. Cape Town is an incredible melting pot of African, European, and Indo-Malaysian cultures that have mixed for centuries in this beautiful city. Cape Town is also one of the only cities in the world where you can find towering mountains that transition perfectly into mesmerizing beach.

Cape Town has fast become one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. There is a world class dining scene, trendy cocktail bars, beautiful cafes, and a booming craft beer scene. If that wasn’t enough, Cape Town is just a half hour away from the most beautiful wine region in the world in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek which can easily be done as a day trip.

I lived in South Africa for many years and Cape Town was my favorite place to visit so I’ve been to Cape Town countless times. This guide will help you plan your perfect trip to the Mother City all the small things I learned while visiting. Whether you have one day or one week, you can use this guide as a way to structure your visit to Cape Town.

Cape Town is a must visit sight in South Africa and it can be combined for a much longer stay in the country. If you’re planning to spend a week or two in South Africa, make sure to read my South Africa Itinerary which combines the best of Cape Town with the winelands, the Garden Route, safaris, and more!

Day One In Cape Town

For the purpose of this post, I will assume the that day one is a full day. It’s likely you’ll arrive the previous day jetlagged and tired anyhow so just prepare yourself for a full day on day one.

The first day in Cape Town will be dedicated to exploring the city. Cape Town isn’t a historical city with huge cathedrals or museums like cities in Europe but there’s enough to keep you busy for a day.

Viewpoint at Maiden’s Cove

Located just between Camps Bay and Clifton, Maiden’s Cove is a breathtaking viewpoint away of Camps Bay and the 12 apostles. There is ample parking here if you’re driving, or you could just walk from Camps Bay or Clifton.

There are rocks along the beach that you can walk on as well if you’re feeling a little adventurous. Come here for the sunset or any other time of the day if you want the most amazing photos and views of the apostles mountain range.

A lot of the most quintessential and famous photos of Cape Town are taken from here and if this isn’t a reason to visit Cape town, I don’t know what is.

Maiden's cove camps bay cape town
What a view…

District Six Museum

The District 6 Museum is a perfect way to start your trip to Cape Town by understanding the history of the city and country. South Africa was part of a brutal Apartheid regime that systematically segregated people based on color.

It was written into the constitution of the Government that people would be of lower class and it could only be as such. One of these segregation tactics was to force people of a certain color to live in a certain area; always far away from the ruling white class.

District 6 was one such district in the center of Cape Town where its citizens who called it home for generations were forcibly removed from their homes in the 1970s. 60,000 people lost their homes and were relocated to the Cape Flats 25km away.

This happened all over South Africa and the District 6 museum touches on the history and plights of the past. It’s not dissimilar to the Apartheid museum in Johannesburg which is a must visit.

Bo-Kaap Neighborhood

Located at the base of Signal Hill, the Bo-Kaap neighborhood is famous for its colorfully painted houses and cobblestone streets. It was formally known as the Cape Malay Quarter, a township during the Apartheid era. The residents of this neighborhood can still trace their roots back to the Malaysians, Indians, Sri Lankans, and African people brought here by the Dutch as slaves back many centuries ago. The inter-mixing of these various groups through the generations resulted in the “Coloured” demographic.

Bo Kaap with table mountain the distance
Bo Kaap with table mountain the distance
Bo Kaap cape town south africa
Bo Kaap neighborhood

Coloured, while considered racist in most other parts of the world, is actually a totally acceptable term in South Africa. Coloured, aka mixed race people, proudly refer to themselves as coloured. Sample some delicious Cape-Malay style cooking while in this neighborhood and take plenty of pictures!

Optional free walking tour in Cape Town:

You can visit Bo Kaap easily on your own, or you can join the wonderful free walking tour in Cape Town that runs every day. This tour wonders through the city center and passes through neighborhoods like Bo Kaap.

Day Two

Day two of the Cape Town itinerary includes a visit to the famous (or infamous) Robben island. You’ll learn about the history of Apartheid which is still a relatively recent era in South Africa’s history and there’s no better place to do it than the prison of Nelson Mandela.

Robben Island visit in the morning

Robben Island is a small island located in Table Bay, just off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. The island has a long and rich history, dating back to the early days of the Dutch settlement at the Cape of Good Hope.

In 1652, the Dutch East India Company established a refreshment station on the island, and it soon became an important way-point for ships travelling to and from the East. In the 18th century, the island was used as a hospital for lepers, and later as a prison for political prisoners.

Today, Robben Island is a World Heritage Site and museum, dedicated to telling the story of its fascinating past. Visitors to the island can tour the prison where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years, as well as see the lime quarry where prisoners were forced to work.

The island is a powerful reminder of South Africa’s complex history, and is well worth a visit for anyone interested in learning more about this important period in time.

You can book a ferry and tour combo to Robben island. This ferry runs multiple times a day and the price of the ticket includes the guided tour through the island. The ferry leaves from the V&A waterfront. All in all, the tour will take 4-5 hours. Advanced booking is highly recommended during peak season months.

V&A Waterfront

Upon your return from Robben island, you can explore the V&A waterfront and have a nice lunch overlooking the harbor.

The V&A Waterfront is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cape Town. With over 80 stores and restaurants, there is something for everyone at this vibrant destination. Be sure to check out the Two Oceans Aquarium, the Cape Wheel, and the Nelson Mandela Gateway while you’re here!

waterfront table mountain
Beautiful Cape Town waterfront overlooking Table Mountain in the distance

The V&A Waterfront is a great place to spend a day or two. There are plenty of things to do, including shopping, dining, and exploring the area. The Two Oceans Aquarium is a must-see for animal lovers, while the Cape Wheel offers stunning views of the city.

If you’re looking for something more historical, be sure to visit the Nelson Mandela Gateway. No matter what you’re interested in, you’re sure to find something to do at the V&A Waterfront.

Table Mountain

One the absolute best things to do in Cape Town and undoubtedly one of its top attractions, Table Mountain was recently voted as one of the new wonders of the world. It’s not hard to see why. Its impossibly flat peak is visible from all of the surrounding area and is perhaps the most iconic landmark in Cape Town. Sandwiched between Devils Peak and Lions Head, Table Mountain stands 1km above sea level. It is also one of one of the oldest mountains in the world being hundreds of millions of years older than even the Himalayas.

Then there are the views. Panoramic views of Cape Town, all the way down to Cape Point can be seen from its peak allowing for breathtaking photos.

Table Mountain seen from Lions Head.
Table Mountain seen from Lion’s Head.

Cable car up Table Mountain

Unlike Lion’s Head, which can only be hiked, there is the incredibly popular table mountain cable car that will take you straight to the top. Two cars, holding 60 people a piece go up and down this thing and it’s only a short 7 minute ride.

The line to get on the cable car. Left and ride sides are both lines!
The line to get on the cable car. Left and ride sides are both lines!

Tickets can also be purchased ahead of time online, but you still need to wait in line. Wait times can be quite long during the peak season months so make sure to plan accordingly.

Cable Car table mountain cape town
Table Mountain Cable Car in action!

If you want to hike Table Mountain, this is also an option. You’ll need to budget at least 1.5h to hike which consists mostly of big stairs. You can then take the cable car down to save time. Make sure to read my detailed post about hiking Table Mountain for this!

Day 3 – Cape Town Itinerary

Day 3 will be spent primarily on a day trip to the wonderful Cape Point National Park. This scenic national park at the southern tip of Africa is the infamous meeting point of the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean. There are many other great sights along the way like the penguins at Boulder’s beach and the stunning views from Chapman’s peak. This is one of my favorite things to do from Cape Town!

If you have a rental car, this will be very easy and you can do it at your own pace. Otherwise, there are many day tours that will pick you up from your hotel in Cape Town and visit the following places.

A Day Trip Itinerary for Cape Point from Cape Town

So now that you’re keen and ready for visiting Cape Point, this is how I would arrange the day. This is of course really only applicable if you’re self-driving or you have a private driver taking you around. If you go on an organized tour, then you’ll follow whatever schedule they’ve laid out for you.

9:00am – Leave Cape Town and drive towards Hout Bay

10:00am – Enjoy fish and chips at Snoeckies, enjoy Hout Bay beach

11:00am – Drive along Chapman’s Peak until you reach Boulder’s Beach

11:30am – Visit the penguins at Boulder’s Beach

1:30pm – Arrive at Cape Point, walk or take funicalar to the top of the lighthouse

3:00pm – Leave Cape Point and drive to Muizenberg Beach to look at the iconic colorful houses

5:00pm – Leave Muizenberg Beach back to Cape Town

6:00pm – Arrive in Cape Town.

Chapman’s Peak

From Hout Bay, continue along the main road climbing up towards Chapman’s Peak. Chapman’s Peak is the name of the mountain that hugs the coastline between Hout Bay and Noordhoek. It’s a 9km drive along the mountain side well above the ocean. It offers some of the most spectacular views in the world of the Atlantic and nearby beaches.

Noordhoek Beach
Stunning Noordhoek Beach on the Chapman’s Peak drive

Take it slow, soak up the views, and stop at the various lookouts to really enjoy the views! If you’ve road tripped the Big Sur in California, this really reminds me of that but a more stunning rendition of that.

chapman's peak cape town south africa

This is a toll road at you are able to pay with credit cards. The road is quite narrow so you’ll want to really pay attention to the road even though it is quite easy to get distracted by the beauty of the area.

Boulder’s Beach

As you exit Chapman’s peak, the next stop is at the iconic Boulder’s Beach in Simon’s Town. Boulder’s Beach is home to thousands of African Penguins that make a permanent home in these parts. Most people associate penguins with Antarctica which is not untrue. Those are the emperor penguins but there are many other species of penguins that reside in South Africa and South America.

Boulder's Beach Penguins Cape Town Cape Point
Guy swimming at Boulder’s Beach trying to get to the penguins.
Boulder's Beach Penguins Cape Town Cape Point

Boulders Beach located in the stunning naval town of Simons Town outside Cape Town is popular for the penguin colony found here. The scenery in this area is beautiful with panoramic views over the bay while a number of gorgeous restaurants and cafes as well as boutique shops line the streets making a trip to Simons Town the ideal day-trip from the Cape Town.

Boulder's Beach Penguins Cape Town Cape Point

Boulders Beach is home to a unique land based colony of penguins and they rule the rocks, ocean and sea here and humans are simply visitors. There is a beach here open to the public where you can swim next to the penguins if you’re lucky. In the summer months, this beach will get packed as it is very small and is a huge tourist attraction. I’d recommend bringing your bathing suits on the trip as you may feel the urge to swim towards the penguins.

Otherwise, I would go straight to the viewing platforms of the penguin colonies. The entrance fee is R150 or so as of 2019/2020 and this will likely increase as the rand depreciates. The main entrance can have long lines so the trick is to buy tickets at the small booth in the main parking lot and walk towards the main entrance.

Boulder's Beach Penguins Cape Town Cape Point

From the main entrance, you can continue to walk straight to the main viewing point, or right towards a more secluded viewpoint. Both viewpoints will afford you fantastic views of the penguin colonies and beach.

There’s not much else to do here besides walk a few steps and see the huge flock of penguins. Some of them get very close to people and aren’t scared. Do not touch them (obviously).

From Boulder’s beach, continue along the main road to the southern point in the peninsula. You’ll see signs to turn to as you drive up the mountains. The entrance fee is roughly R300 per person as of 2019/2020 and is subject to increase as the rand depreciates.

Amazing views right at the entrance of Cape Point
Amazing views right at the entrance of Cape Point

As you enter the park, you will immediately notice the breathtaking scenery and flora of the the mountains. There are a few places to take photos right off the side of the road here.

Cape of Good Hope

The first stop is the Cape of Good Hope. It is about 10 minutes after the entrance and the signs to turn right can be hard to read. You’ll find the iconic Cape of Good Hope signage on the rocky beaches. The sign reads the longitude and latitude of the coordinates where the Atlantic meets the Indian oceans. Expect big crowds here in the summer months!

Hike to the Cape of Good Hope as well!
Hike to the Cape of Good Hope as well!
View of the ocean from the Two oceans restaurant
View of the ocean from the Two oceans restaurant

Cape Point Lighthouse

Both the old and new lighthouses are quite a sight to behold. The Old Lighthouse, 238m above sea level, is easily accessible from the trail and funicular. The New Lighthouse, constructed in 1919 and electrified in 1936, is the most powerful light in Africa with a candlepower of 19 million.

Cape Point

It’s an estimated 1.5h walk to the new lighthouse via the Lighthouse Keepers trail. From here you’ll get a great view of the 200m cliff face towering out of the ocean with the Old Lighthouse perched at the top. The views of the ocean from so high above the cliffs is absolutely stunning.

You can also take a funicular to the top of the lighthouse if you do not want to walk. It costs about R100 per person round trip and takes only 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, you could take the funicular to the top and walk down. Keep an eye out for baboons as they’ve been known to grace the area!

Cape Point

Cape of Good hope Hike

Cape of Good hope

From the main grounds of Cape Point, you can also do the Cape of Good Hope hike. This hike is roughly 1.5 hours round trip and ends at the Cape Point sign (see section above). Note that if you don’t have a private driver, you’ll need to walk back to the starting point. If you want to see the rest of the sights on this tour, you’ll need to start much earlier to have enough time to make it in time.

I’ve done this hike before and it is absolutely worth it if you have the time. There is a beach you can access that is devoid of people and the blindingly white beaches are a sight to behold.

Muizenberg Beach

Last on the list is the most iconic Muizenberg Beach. Drive back towards Simon’s Town and past it for another half hour until you reach the town of Muizenberg. Park your car anywhere near the beach and walk towards these brightly colored houses.

Beautiful drive along the coast to Muizenberg beach
Beautiful drive along the coast to Muizenberg beach
Muizenberg beach. Beautiful cape town
Muizenberg beach. Beautiful

These houses are empty wooden structures painted with bright varying bright colors right on the Muizenberg’s sandy beaches. I thought people used to live in these houses but they are all empty and far too small.

Muizenberg beach! cape town
Muizenberg beach!

The bathing box is a throw-back to the “bathing machine” of the 1800’s—a cart-like structure that was wheeled down to the water’s edge, allowing the ladies to change into their chin-to-ankle bathing wear and frolic modestly in the shallows.

Some huts, in recent years, fell into disrepair and with the threat of removal of the huts as recently as 2017, there was a huge public outcry.  The plight of the beach hut is close to the heart of every “Muizenberger” and together with the mountain, surfing and beach walks makes up the locals’ love and passion for this much loved attraction.

Bright, vibrant and very photogenic, these beach huts make for the ultimate Instagram photo. Whether you choose the ocean or the mountains as your backdrop, you can bet that no picture will turn out poorly. This is a great place to do a little photoshoot!

Sunset drinks at the Silo Rooftop Bar

If you’re visiting in the summer, you’ll have plenty of time when you come back to enjoy a beautiful sunset with top notch drinks. The Silo rooftop bar is the perfect place to do this. You’ll have unobstructed views of Table Mountain in a trendy setting. Just look at these views!

silo rooftop bar cape town south africa

Day 4 – Cape Town Itinerary

Day 4 in Cape Town is dedicated to another day of exploring more of Cape Town.

Kirstenbosch Gardens

With over 300 species of proteas, the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens is home to the largest collection of these unique flowers in the world. The Kirstenbosch Centenary Tree Top Canopy Walkway is also not to be missed when visiting this amazing attraction!

kirstenbosch botanical gardens cape town

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is an absolute must see attraction. Opening every day of the year, the admission fee is just R41 for adults. A wide variety of African plants mixed into the garden, with a walking path makes it easy to get lost during the afternoon.

When traveling to Cape Town for the Summer Season (from December through March), be sure to see a performance of the Kirstenbosch Summer Concert Series. Even with no musical experience it will certainly be worth it! Bring picnics with you and your guests and get to the stage early to secure your place on the turf to attend the music performance.

Oranjezicht Market

After soaking up the beautiful views of the Kirstenbosch gardens, make your way to my favorite farmers market in Cape Town in Greenpoint!

Oranjezicht City Farm is a non-profit urban farm and farmers market located in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa. The farm grows a variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers, and also sells eggs from their free-range chickens.

oranjezicht Market
oranjezicht Market

The market is open every Saturday from 9am to 2pm, and features live music, food trucks, and a kids’ play area. Visitors can also take tours of the farm or participate in workshops on topics such as urban agriculture and beekeeping.

Oranjezicht City Farm is more than just a farmers market – it’s a community space where people can connect with nature, learn about sustainable living, and support local farmers.

I love going to the Oranjezicht farmers market on Saturdays. It’s such a great place to get fresh produce and meet new people. There’s always a great atmosphere, and it’s really fun to wander around and see all the different stalls.

I always find something new and exciting to try, and the prices are really reasonable. I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re ever in the area!

Enjoy the beaches of Clifton and Camp’s Bay

While visiting Cape Town, make sure to see one of the many stunning beaches the city has to offer. From Camps Bay to Clifton Beach, there is a beach for every taste and preference. Be sure to pack your sunscreen, swimsuit, and beach towel so you can enjoy a day in the sun!

Clifton 4th beach cape town
Clifton 4th beach. This picture is over New Years so it is PACKED. Normally, it is nowhere near this busy.

There are so many great beaches in Cape Town that it’s hard to choose just one. Camps Bay is a popular choice for its white sand and turquoise water, while Clifton Beach is perfect for those who want to escape the crowds. No matter which beach you choose, you’re sure to have a great time!

Keep in mind even though it might be very hot outside, the water temperatures at places like Camp’s Bay beach and Clifton Beach will be very cold to swim in.

Lion’s Head Hike

One of the must do activities in Cape Town is to hike up Lion’s Head mountain. The view from this mountain is superior to Table Mountain in my view and it’s one of my favorite places to enjoy the sunset.

Climbing Lion’s Head is not difficult but it requires a bit of physical fitness to make the journey up.

Climbing Lion's Head
Climbing Lion’s Head
Lion's head cape town south africa
Got a cool photo of this random guy playing the bagpipes

To get to Lion’s Head, simply drive on the road towards Signal Hill and the base of Lion’s Head will be located before you reach it. There is parking all on the side of the road and you’ll know where the entrance is just by the row of cars parked.

Hiking lion's head cape town
On my way the mountain

The hike up Lion’s Head is much easier physically than Table Mountain. Not only is it a shorter hike but it zig zag’s around the mountain whereas Table Mountain is a straight shot up. Lion’s Head is also a more fun hike in my opinion as there are some very minor rock climbing (chains and ladders) aspect to it!

Lion's head climb Cape Town
Climbing up Lion’s Head with the little obstacle course

All in all, the hike will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour. When you’re at the top, you’ll see many other hikers soaking up the views. There are no bars and no restaurants here, it’s completely untamed which I absolutely loved. During the summer months, the top can be quite packed but can you blame people for appreciating such stunning views?

On Lion's Head with a view
At the top and what a view it is!
Lion's head cape town south africa
What a view

To make it even more enjoyable, make sure to take some beers, or a bottle of wine from perhaps a previous day of wine tasting in Stellenbosch with you to enjoy at the top with incredible views of the Atlantic ocean and Cape Town’s city centre. I didn’t do this the first time and got serious FOMO by seeing all my fellow hikers cracking open beers and wine bottles. Fewer places in the world offer nicer views than Lion’s Head!

Can't beat having sundowners on Lion's Head!
Can’t beat having sundowners on Lion’s Head!
sunset drinks lions head cape town
It’s easy to find your spot at the peak of Lion’s Head. I found this little ledge to enjoy some sundowners!

I’d highly recommend this to anyone that wants to do something active in Cape Town, likes amazing views, or want to get actively romantic with their significant others like my friends did on their honeymoon!

Day 5 – Cape Town Itinerary

For the 5th day, it’s time to get out of Cape Town again and visit the most incredible wine region in the world. The Western Cape is home to numerous wine regions but my favorites are definitely Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. You could spend an entire trip just visiting the wine region of South Africa but for the purpose of this post, it’s just one day.

I’ve written in great detail about the South African wine region and I’ve spent many weeks traveling through the different wineries.

Visiting Stellenbosch

The wine region of the Western Cape is in my opinion, the most underrated wine region of the world. It’s not undiscovered by any means, but it is lost in the shadows of places like France, Italy, Mendoza, and Napa Valley. I can safely say that Cape Town’s wine region is more stunning than all of the aforementioned, not to mention a hell of a lot cheaper with wine tastings that average R50.

For those visiting South Africa, a visit to the wine region is an absolute must to sample delicious South African wine. I’ve visited many more wine farms than what I will list below so make sure to read about all of the wine farms I’ve visited in Cape Town.

Delaire Graff
Stunning Delaire Graff

While I’d highly recommend a few nights stay in the fabulous wine country, not everyone has the time so I’ve come up with the ultimate one to two day wine tour for those looking to do day trips from Cape Town. Although I’d like to think I’m a sommelier at heart, I am mostly just an amateur that likes to drink wine.

Almost all the wine I’ve had during my time in South Africa is great, I’m just focused on which wineries (they’re called wine farms in South Africa), are the most stunning and picturesque.

If you’re already planning to spend a few nights in the wine region after Cape Town, then there’s no point to do this as a day trip!

3 Day Cape Town Itinerary

If you don’t have as much time to explore Cape Town as my above itinerary, this 3 days in Cape Town itinerary will be perfect for you. Three full days is plenty of time to see most of the main sights. I would do two days of exploration within Cape Town and then one day to the Cape Point National Park.

This is my Cape Town 3 day itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town, explore Maiden’s Cove, Camps Bay, V&A Waterfront, and hike Lion’s Head
Day 2: Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens, Bo Kaap
Day 3: Cape Point Day trip

7 Day Cape Town Itinerary

If you don’t even more time, then follow my 1 week cape town itinerary which will help you maximize your time in the Mother city. With the extra days, I would take things at a slower pace and enjoy the natural wonders of Cape Town more.

In addition, I would also book a township tour to visit the numerous townships around Cape Town. These township tours are perfectly safe and they are incredibly informative and eye opening. South Africa has the worst income disparity I’ve ever seen. I sometimes wonder how it’s possible to have such prosperity in a place like Cape Town but complete squalid conditions a few kilometers away. Unfortunately it’s the reality the country still struggles through. However, some of my favorite times have been hanging out with friends in the townships.

Best time to visit Cape Town

Cape Town is a beautiful city and it is beautiful year round. There are no times of year that are “bad” per se to visit Cape Town but there certainly are times that are better than others.

Cape Town enjoys a Mediterranean style climate with defined winters and summers. In the summer months

Visiting Cape Town in the summer

The best time to visit Cape Town in my opinion is between November and March. The weather is warmest during this period ranging from 25 to 35 degrees during the way and cooling off to 15 to 20 degrees at night. The summer months are consistently sunny with few days of rain.

Summer is when Cape Town really comes to life with a constant bombardment of live concerts, festivals, markets and more.

I would absolutely avoid the holiday season however. The time around Christmas and New Year gets slammed with tourists from Gauteng (Johannesburg). The roads are mayhem and the prices for accommodation doubles. Restaurants are always booked out and it’s just not an enjoyable time of year.

Visiting Cape Town in the winter

The winter months in Cape Town are mild but more volatile. The months between June and August are its coldest and you’ll see temperatures hovering between 15 to 20 degrees at the high, and 10 degrees at the lows.

The weather is also much more rainy and cloudy during these months. You won’t experience depressingly cloudy days for weeks on end like in northern Europe but prepare for more rain and wind during this time.

Prices for accommodation generally tend to go way down starting from the end of April into the middle of September.

Getting in and around Cape Town

Compared to Johannesburg, Cape Town is a much smaller and easier city to get around. There is even a reliable bus system that goes throughout the city.

Using Uber in Cape Town

With the introduction of Uber, Cape Town has become significantly easier to travel without a car. The App is readily used by tourists and locals alike. It’s intended effects are on full display as it is much easier to get a taxi nowadays and you’re no longer at the mercy of the sketchy local cab drivers that always surely rip you off.

A ride from the airport to Camps Bay is R250-300 and rides within the city are R50-100. Uber is also a great way to go medium distances like visiting South Africa’s wine country. It’s easy to grab an Uber to Stellenbosch or Franschhoek for under R600 one way. When you’re ready to go to another wine farm, just use the app again and wine hop this way without having to risk bribing the South Africa cops. 

It’s a cheap way to get around and definitely makes life easier for the visitor that is not used to driving on the other side of the road.

Rent a car in Cape Town

highway cape town n2 driving
Driving into Cape Town from the airport. Follow the N2 all the way

Renting a car is a very popular option as well and my most preferred option. While you don’t really need a car in the city anymore, there are many day trips outside of Cape Town where a car is just better than an Uber. Cape Point and shark diving in Gansbaai are two that quickly come to mind. Also, having a car in the city makes getting from place to place quicker and more convenient.

They are readily available for rent at the Airport and the roads in Cape Town are in great shape. There are also many places in Cape Town proper to rent a car for the day (although this will cost more).

Drive a scooter around Cape Town

I’ve been to Cape Town many times and on one of my most recent trips, I started driving a scooter around town. One of my friends had been living in Cape Town for many years and she swore by her scooter. I rode scooters all day every day while living in Bali and absolutely loved the freedom so I thought I would give this a shot.

Cape Town Vespas signal hill

Turns out, it is an amazing decision to rent scooters in Cape Town. I did this over New Years when the traffic is unbearable and this was the best decision I ever made. I could easily skip traffic by going around cars and would reach anywhere I needed to go in Cape Town within 20 minutes. This probably saved me like 1h every day and maybe 2h on others which really is invaluable.

Cape Town Vespas scooter rental

On top of no not having to deal with traffic, the views from a scooter is just insane. Cape Town is already so beautiful but to see it from a scooter is even more so. Every morning, I would get up early and drive over Kloof Nek to Camps Bay and enjoy the breathtaking views of the ocean and mountains. It really didn’t get any better. In addition, it’s also a great way to make the day trip from Cape Town to Cape Point.

Cape Town scooter traffic
Skipping traffic in Cape Town. No better feeling

Driving around Cape Town in a scooter was also not scary at all. The traffic really isn’t fast moving and cars are more obedient than I thought. I would just avoid driving on the freeways, especially on windy days.

Unfortunately, scooter culture has never picked up in South Africa and there are very few shops that rent scooters. Cape Town Vespas is one of the best shops in Cape Town but you’ll have to pay premium prices as they are vespas (still much cheaper than renting a Vespa in the Amalfi Coast for example). Scooter Dr is another shop that rents scooters but you’ll need to provide a license that allows you to drive scooters that are 125cc and above (A1 in Europe).

Where to stay in Cape Town?

There are no shortage of amazing accommodation options in Cape Town. The city has options for travelers in all budget ranges from the $20 hostels, to the $2000 luxury villa in Clifton Beach. The cheaper options will likely be in the city center whereas the options with beach views in Camps Bay, Clifton, Seapoint, and Greenpoint will command a premium.

Houghton view guesthouse
Just breathtaking views of the Atlantic and Lion’s head from the private deck of my Camps Bay hotel!

Personally, I would elect to stay in the beach facing areas just because I think the views of Cape Town as just stunning and are worth the premium. I would stay away from staying in the V&A Waterfront just because of how touristy and congested it can get. It’s a great place to visit but there’s no point to stay there in my opinion.

Budget Options (Under $100)

  • Ashanti Lodge GardensThis is my favorite budget but not super budget accommodation in Cape Town. Located near the base of Table Mountain, this guesthouse has comfortable dorm rooms and private rooms, as well as a pool and cool common space to hang out with other travelers. It’s also close to lots of good restaurants and walking distance to Table Mountain
  • The B.I.G Backpackers GreenpointA great hostel option in Greenpoint offering modern and industrial accommodation options.

Middle End ($100-300)

Higher End Options ($300+)

  • 12 Apostles HotelOne of the most famous hotels in South Africa. The 12 Apostles is known for its luxury and high end finishes. Located in a hilltop area 2 km south of Camps Bay, this hotel offers stunning views of Cape Town, and peaceful serenity unlike any other.
  • South Beach Camps BayAn amazing luxury hotel just outside the main strip of Camps Bay. This hotel has an amazing infinity pool offering views of the ocean and the surrounding mountains. Some rooms even have a private pool.
  • Pod Hotel Camps Bay: One of the best hotels in Camps Bay with prime ocean views
  • MannaBay Boutique Hotel: Amazing boutique hotel in Oranjezicht at the base of Table Mountain offering stunning views

Ultra High End Options ($500+)

  • Silo Hotel: Super industrial and high end hotel in the waterfront area
  • One and Only Hotel: Very high end hotel in the waterfront with spectacular views of the city and Table Mountain

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