Cape Town, South Africa is one of the most gorgeous cities I’ve ever visited. There are mountains and vineyards and beaches and… penguins. Cape Town is like if Miami mashed up with Cape Cod; beautiful coastal city, a little sleepy but with intermittent bursts of energy.
Although there are more than five things you should do if you visit Cape Town, here are the five you definitely should not miss.
- Experience a traditional braai: In South Africa there is a cooking style called braai. The closest thing in America would be BBQ, but this some how manages to be SO much better. We went for dinner at aMododa in the Woodstock area and the food was so flavorful and so cheap it simply cannot be missed. There was also music and beer.. I don’t think I need to say anything else.
- Tour Robben Island: You simply cannot go to South Africa without learning more about its intricate and some times dark history. The influence of Apartheid continues to permeate throughout the country. Robben Island is where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years as a political prisoner. The tours of prison itself are all lead by former Robben Island prisoners and include a visit to Mandela’s cell.
Tickets are sold daily from the tourism office at the V&A Waterfront. You can also buy them in advance online, which is actually what I recommend because they sell out quickly.
3 Eat, drink and delight your way through the Neighbourgoods Market: Every Saturday, the Neighbourgoods Market comes alive in Woodstock. I literally ate my way through the market while enjoying the live jazz being played, and sipping on the most beautiful Moscow Mule I’ve ever had. There were tons of people out enjoying the weather and the company of friends. In addition to being able to buy things to eat, there are also clothing, accessories and other product vendors.
4 Visit a vineyard: South Africa is known for its wines, and there is no shortage of vineyards in close proximity to Cape Town for you to visit. I chose Fairview Wine & Cheese in Paarl because it’s only a 40 minute drive away AND more importantly because they have goats. I’ve got a thing for goats. This vineyard may not be as scenic as others in Stellenbosch and but’s great place to experience the wines of SA. For 80 rand, the equivalent of $6USD and some change, you get a guided tasting in the private room with 8 wine & cheese pairings. All of that for SIX dollars! Who in their right mind would pass that up??
5 Have dinner at the Cod Father:Are you all noticing a theme yet? Cape Town has some great food, I can’t help but share it! The Cod Father is an awesome dining experience. Diners are able to select their seafood, fish market style and then it is cooked right then and there. Your selections are charged by the pound and served in a style perfect for sharing. Do not pass up on the butter fish, prawns or the grilled calamari. I have never had calamari so tender and flavorful. Also note, reservations are a must. You should honestly plan to make dinner reservations no matter where you are planning to go.
Honorable mention: Journey to the top of Table Mountain. This recommendation is a no-brainer. Whether you hike up or take the cable car, the top of Table Mountain offers some of the most spectacular views of this beautiful city. The header on this site is actually a shot I took from up there.
This list is simply a taste of what Cape Town has to offer. Have you ever been? What are your must see, do and eat recommendations for Cape Town?