You are currently viewing Best places to visit in 7 areas of Cape Town (South Africa)

Cape Town, also known as the “Mother City”, is a vibrant metropolis of unparalleled beauty located in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Having been fortunate enough to call this city home for 7 years during my studies, I’ve come to know its every corner by heart.

Many expert travelers consider the city to be one of the best places to visit in the entire world! From the bustling markets, numerous music festivals, and the dynamic arts scene to the pristine beaches and lush Winelands, Cape Town has so much to offer you.

Here are some must-visit places in and around Cape Town — and as a bonus, I added 3 epic roadtrips you can do from Cape Town.


Overview of Cape Town

Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa and its legislative capital. It’s located close to the southern tip of Africa, where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet.

Location of Cape Town (image credit: Google Maps)


The indigenous Khoi-San people were the first inhabitants of this part of the world, until the arrival of Dutch colonizers in the 17th century.

Through the centuries, Cape Town has known the cultural influences of the Dutch, British, Malay, and African communities, resulting in a dynamic demographic mosaic and 11 official languages all over the country.

Resilience defines the strength of the South African people, who endured the oppressive era of the Apartheid system and bravely fought for freedom. Today, challenges and complexities persist in the post-apartheid era, but Cape Town stands as a true melting pot, full of natural and cultural wonders, attracting visitors from all continents.

The Cape Town metropolitan area’s population stands at over 4 million people, which is similar to Montreal. It’s the country’s 2nd-largest city and the largest in the Western region.

Though the city is quite spread out, you can Uber almost everywhere, or embark on the Hop-on Hop-off sightseeing bus to discover the city’s treasures. 

Cape Town is quite safe for travelers, especially if you explore mostly during the day. Just watch your belongings to avoid petty theft and have the best time in the Mother City! 

Here are my 34 recommendations for the 7 main areas of Cape Town.

Map of the 7 main areas in Cape Town (image credit: Flytrippers)


1. Central Business District (CBD)

Start your adventure in the Mother City by strolling around the City Bowl, Cape Town’s dynamic city center. I’m starting with the CBD, as it has so much to offer and is the longest of these sections.

Cape Town City Centre, South Africa (photo credit: Zoë Reeve)


There are 3 main streets that you should not miss: 

  • Loop Street
  • Bree Street
  • Long Street

These long roads span the city from one end to the other, but with the right shoes, you can easily walk everywhere. 

Long Street transforms into a bustling hub for nightlife after dark. This is especially the case on weekends, but truth be told, it is a street that almost never sleeps.

Bree Street is adorned with artisanal shops, restaurants, microbreweries, and bars.

Loop Street is where you’ll also find plenty of souvenir shops and cafés.

The big Company’s Gardens is a heritage site, ideal to escape the busy roads of the City Bowl for a little while. 

Upon exiting the garden, you’re only one block away from the South African Houses of Parliament — did you know that Cape Town is just 1 of the 3 capitals of South Africa?

House of Parliament, South Africa (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


There are also many museums in this area, including the National Art Gallery, the South African National Museum, the Planetarium, and the National Library

First Thursdays is a free cultural event that takes place on the first Thursday of every month. You can walk between the art galleries, museums, and bars of Cape Town CBD until late. 

The event initially focused on making art more accessible, with art galleries opening their doors to the public from 5 to 9 PM on that day. Nowadays, the event has transformed into a dynamic cultural extravaganza. 

The celebration has expanded to include restaurants and independent shops. It culminates in a lively street party on Bree Street. It’s an absolute must for a night filled with creativity and festivities!

Bo-Kaap is a must-include stop on your itinerary. It offers not only delectable Cape Malay cuisine but also a feast for the eyes with its iconic brightly colored homes and charming cobblestoned streets.

Bo-Kaap, South Africa (photo credit: Kyle Waterston)


The V&A Waterfront is another location you cannot miss. Cape Town’s waterfront area offers a diverse range of attractions and activities for locals and visitors alike.

From the numerous shops to the new Time Out Market, the huge Ferris wheel, the aquarium, and the many boat tours available, you should spend a full day there because there is so much to do in this incredible area! 

V&A Waterfront, South Africa (photo credit: Sebastian Canaves)


You can visit the Zeitz MOCAA, the world’s largest museum of African contemporary art, as well as the trendy Oranjezicht City Farm Market. South Africans’ love for farmer’s markets shines at these vibrant gatherings where people converge for live music, tasty food, and refreshing beer. 

Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen offers surprising cocktails that are worth the detour, as it is regularly mentioned among the best in the world.

Another noteworthy option is the Old Biscuit Mill situated in Woodstock, Cape Town’s lively “hipster” neighborhood.

Woodstock, South Africa (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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2. The Mountains

Before we move on to another suburb, let’s take a moment to discuss Cape Town’s iconic mountain chain, accessible from the City Bowl.

Table Mountain, an incredible natural wonder and a powerful symbol of Cape Town, is a testament to the breathtaking beauty that nature can sculpt.

Table Mountain, South Africa (photo credit: Thomas Bennie)


Its distinctive flat top attracts visitors from all over the world, and the views from up there are unmatched. 

You can take a ride in the cable car, or attempt a very challenging hike, which is not recommended unless you are an experienced hiker. 

Moderate hikers should go to Lion’s Head instead. It only takes 1.5 hours to climb, and you’ll also be rewarded with 360-degree panoramas, such as views of the City Bowl, Table Mountain, the Atlantic Ocean, Robben Island, and the Twelve Apostles mountain range.

Lion’s Head, South Africa (photo credit: Leo Moko)


Finally, Signal Hill does not require any walking as you can take an Uber, or the Hop-on Hop-off bus to the top. Perfect for sunsets or paragliding!


3. Atlantic Seaboard

Still very close to the city center, but with stunning views of the ocean, this coastal area is perhaps the most desired in the whole city.

Green Point has a lively social scene with diverse rooftop bars and restaurants. It’s known for its open-minded atmosphere, making it an inclusive place for the LGBTQ+ community, especially during the annual Cape Town Pride.

Green Point, South Africa (photo credit: Stephan Nell)


The promenade in Sea Point is your go-to place for a jog or a morning walk by the ocean, before lunch at the Mojo Market. Open every day, the market offers a large variety of food, including local delicacies, as well as live music on weekends. During the week, it’s a great location for remote work. 

A little bit further south, you’ll find some of the most famous beaches in the Mother City: the 4 Clifton beaches, Camps Bay, and Llandudno

Clifton Beach, South Africa (photo credit: Jean-Baptiste D.)


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4. Southern suburbs

The southern suburbs of Cape Town are mostly residential, but you can still find quite a few points of interest worth visiting, such as the Newlands Forest.

Newlands, South Africa (photo credit: Marlin Clark)


Famous for its indigenous South African flora, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden showcases a diverse collection of fynbos, proteas, cycads, and indigenous trees. It’s a must for all nature lovers who love to discover new types of plants. 

In summer, the splendid garden transforms into a giant outdoor music venue for the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts series.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, South Africa (photo credit: Joshua Kettle)


Rondebosch is the student heart of Cape Town, as it includes the 3 main campuses of the University of Cape Town, also called UCT, the best university on the African continent. 

UCT’s architecture is gorgeous, especially the Upper campus, and it’s open to the public. Do not hesitate to go walk around or take a guided tour to learn about its rich history. 

University of Cape Town, South Africa (photo credit: Shawn Harrison)


You can also catch a performance at the Baxter Theatre, or visit the Irma Stern Museum. If you want to go on a shopping spree, the Cavendish Square in Claremont is a popular mall with over 180 stores.

Finally, do not leave Cape Town without visiting Constantia, one of the oldest suburbs in the city, renowned for its picturesque vineyards and award-winning wine estates.

Groot Constantia, South Africa (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


There, you’ll find Groot Constantia, the oldest wine estate in South Africa, established in 1685. Don’t drink and drive! Just take an Uber to go wine tasting. Alternatively, the Hop-on Hop-Off bus also drives through the Constantia Valley.

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Nice free hotel! The Protea Hotel Cape Town Mowbray costs just 8,100 Marriott points per night (40,500 for 5 nights). The welcome bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card gives you 53,000 points (or 106,000 if your travel companion takes advantage of it too)!

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5. Southern Peninsula

Cape Point, positioned at the southwestern extremity of the Southern Peninsula, captivates with its dramatic headland featuring towering sea cliffs and breathtaking panoramic views.

Cape Point, South Africa (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


Not too far, the Cape of Good Hope is significant geographically as for a long time it was believed to be the famous meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans — it’s actually in Cape Agulhas about 150 kilometers away.

On your way there, take your time to enjoy Chapman’s Peak, a scenic coastal road that winds along the mountainside, from Hout Bay to Noordhoek.

Every weekend, the Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay welcomes hundreds of visitors with handcrafted delights, delicious food, and unique artwork. It’s a lovely meeting place for locals and tourists. You can buy silver jewelry, get hair wraps, eat high-quality biltong, and listen to live music. 

Hout Bay is also the departing point for the Seal Island cruise to Duiker Island. It’s quite impressive to view thousands of Cape Fur Seals in their natural environment.

Another notable attraction in the area is the Clay Café, an artistic restaurant where you can paint on ceramics while enjoying homemade-style food. Of course, you can come back later to collect your masterpiece once it has been cooked in the oven! 

Last but not least, Noordhoek Beach is simply drop-dead gorgeous, ideal for relaxing walks and horse riding.

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  • The Southern Peninsula is not a major nightlife hub


6. False Bay

False Bay is renowned for its beauty, dreamy beaches, diverse marine life, and peaceful lifestyle, though it gets very busy on weekends and public holidays.

False Bay, South Africa (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


Do not fear the great white sharks — attacks are very rare and the shark spotting program in place is very effective.

Muizenberg Beach is a surfer’s paradise, especially good for beginners because of its gentle waves.

Most of the fun unfolds in the Surfer’s corner, but don’t forget to take the iconic selfie with the candy-colored Victorian beach houses.

Muizenberg Beach, South Africa (photo credit: Quaid Lagan)


Further south, the Kalk Bay Harbour and its village are quite charming, and they’re my favorite location in enchanting False Bay.

The streets are adorned with vibrant Victorian houses, eclectic art galleries, trendy hipster shops, and charming antique stores. Culinary delights are also abundant, making it a gastronomic haven.

When you pass the beautiful beaches of Fish Hoek and Glencairn, you arrive in the historic naval town known as Simon’s Town.

It’s home to the South African Navy Museum, as well as Boulders Beach, the world-famous African Penguins colony in Cape Town.

If you haven’t seen the penguins, can you even say you’ve been to Cape Town?

Boulders Beach, South Africa (photo credit: Fungai Tichawangana)


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7. Table View

As its name suggests, Table View is celebrated for its breathtaking panoramas of Table Mountain across the bay, and for being the gateway to the West Coast.

Table Mountain, South Africa (photo credit: Simone Dinoia)


Bloubergstrand is a popular beach among water sports enthusiasts, notably kite surfers, and beach lovers seeking a picturesque setting. 

The beachfront has various restaurants and cafés where you can feast and enjoy panoramic views.

Bloubergstrand Beach, South Africa (photo credit: Sharaan Muruvan)


In Milnerton, take a moment to appreciate the serene lagoon, or refine your golf skills at Cape Town’s most enchanting golf course.

Canal Walk, one of the largest shopping malls in Africa, is located in Century City, only a 10-minute drive from the entertaining Grandwest Casino.

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Bonus: 3 epic roadtrips from Cape Town

Flytrippers loves to give you more for your money, so here’s a bonus section.


1. Stellenbosch

Only a 45-minute drive from the City Bowl, Stellenbosch is the heart of the Cape Winelands, one of the world’s premier wine-producing regions.

Stellenbosch, South Africa (photo credit: Nenad Gataric)


On top of that, you can stay at another Marriott hotel that costs very few points. The Protea Hotel Stellenbosch and Conference Centre costs as little as 8,000 points per night (40,000 points for 5 nights).

Price of the Protea Hotel Stellenbosch and Conference Centre (image credit: Marriott)


2. Langebaan, West Coast National Park & Atlantis Dunes

Explore the pristine beauty of the West Coast National Park and look for animals. The park is well-known for its diverse birdlife and stunning landscapes. 

Spend the night at Club Mykonos in Langebaan. On your way back to town, stop at the Atlantis Dunes, where sandboarding and 4×4 adventures await.

West Coast National Park, South Africa (photo credit: Tania Melnyczuk)


3. Garden Route

This route is one of the most famous roadtrip itineraries in the entire world.

It actually starts in Mossel Bay, which is at least a 5-hour drive from Cape Town. Yet, Knysna, the Cango caves, and the mesmerizing Tsitsikamma National Park should be on your bucket list if you are staying in the Western Cape for an extended period of time. 

Garden Route, South Africa (photo credit: Faisal Alhassan)


There are several Marriott hotels along the Garden Route:


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Having lived in Cape Town for 7 years, I am in a good position to tell you that this city is amazing. If you are traveling all the way to the south of the African continent, make sure to include Cape Town on your trip itinerary!


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Featured image: Cape Town, South Africa (photo credit: Tobias Reich)

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