1. Wine tasting
A trip to Cape Town should include a tour through one of the winelands. Whether you pick Stellenbosch, Paarl, Helderberg, Constantia, Durbanville, Robertson or Franschhoek. You can enjoy a tasting at many of the various farms. Costs vary from between free to R75,00 per person. At some estates they waive the tasting fee if you purchase a bottle on offer.
Many of the farms will include pairings – giving you the option of sampling wines, while nibbling on biltong, cheese, nuts, olives or chocolate.
2. Boat trips
When visiting the V&A Waterfront, you can select various boat trips and cruises. You can choose between catamarans, barges, steam boats, high speed rubber ducks and even a pirate ship! They will take you on a cruise through the harbour and out into the Bay. Costing from around R40,00 to R150, the cruises last about an hour and allow you to relax and enjoy the sights of the Waterfront and the sounds of the ocean, with Table Mountain creating a stunning backdrop. Keep your eyes on the water too, as you can see seals splashing about. Dolphins, whales, penguins and box jellyfish also get spotted. The harbour in Hout Bay is another great place to hop on board and take in the magnificence of Chapman’s Peak and Duiker Island. The Hout Bay boat trips are also cheaper, costing R70 for adults and R25 for children – and you’ll see far more seals, as Duiker Island is home to a large host of Cape fur seals that duck and dive through the water.
3. Two Oceans Aquarium
The southern tip of the African continent is the meeting place of two mighty and bountiful oceans, the Indian and the Atlantic Oceans. The aquarium is ideally positioned to showcase the incredible diversity of marine life found in these two Oceans. Situated at the V&A Waterfront and home to over 3000 inhabitants, you can come and find Nemo and Dory!
It is open all year round and ticket prices range from R97 to R125, depending on whether you are an adult, pensioner, student or child, with children under the age of four getting in for free. Your ticket is valid for the whole day, so you can easily spend the whole day in the aquarium, observing and learning about life under the water. There are currently 88 different species in the aquarium, including crabs, green sea turtles, blue rays, clown triggerfish, needle urchins, common octopus, box jellyfish – and, of course, penguins and sharks.
There are daily encounters with the African and rockhopper penguins and be sure to catch feeding hour at the I&J Predator Exhibit at 15:00.
4. Boulders Beach
To see the African Penguins in a natural environment, visit Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town. The cost is R60 (with children’s tickets at half the price). Boulders is home to more than 2 000 African penguins that nest, breed and waddle about the beach. The penguin beaches are protected and managed by SANParks (South African National Parks), ensuring the safety and conservation of the endangered, flightless birds. A walkway has been built to give visitors an up-close-and-personal view of these interesting birds. Don't be tempted to touch them as they do bite.
5. Walking tours of the City
There are daily walking tours around the city and from the Waterfront. The City tours start at Green Market Square and the Waterfront from the Aquarium. Tours work on a tip only system. Herewith some of the details:
Starts at 11:00pm 4:20pm
Our Cape Town tour of the heroes and villains of colonialism, drama and harmony and a great deal of personal insight in living and being a real Capetonian. Get introduced to the different era’s of Cape Towns and South Africa’s history and some of the people who shaped it.
Highlights usually are Company’s Garden - The oldest living citizen in Cape Town - The Parliament and the old president's house – Green Market Square – The Castle of Good Hope – The most spoiled citizens of Cape Town – The Slave Lodge
Starts at 2:00pm 4:20pm
See the colourful houses, smell the spices of the East, hear the mosques calling for prayer, let the Cape Malay food tempt your taste buds and get a feel of what else to do in Cape Town. On the way there we might even show you a hidden place to get a local beer...
Highlights usually are The oldest Mosque “Auwal Masjeed” – “Tuan Guru” himself – The old Tailors House – The different coloured houses – Biesmiellah Cape Malay Restaurant – The Atlas Spice Trading Centre – smell the spices of the east – The beautiful Chiappini Street – Passing through Long Street and Bree Street.
‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ George Santayana. Get introduced to the history of apartheid in Cape Town and the places related to it. Hear about the apartheid laws and the consequences they had. Hear about the struggle for freedom and what happened the day Mandela was released.
Highlights usually are St Georges Cathedral and Desmond Tutu – The Cape High Court and the “apartheid benches” – A stop by District Six – Mandela's first speech as a free man.
6. Cape Point
Winding your way through the Cape Peninsula, and stopping off at Cape Point to clamber up to the lighthouse, is a must-do when visiting Cape Town. Entry costs are R125 for adults and R65 for children, but bear in mind that the drive out of Cape Town will take you about an hour. It is well worth it, as you will realise when you take in the awe-inspiring scenery around you. However, don’t let anyone fill your head with the nonsense that it is the southernmost tip of Africa. This honour goes to Cape Agulhas, about three hours from Cape Town, which is also the point where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. On this trip you should encounter a troop of baboons. In the Park there are Eland, Zebra, Ostrich, Bontebok
7. Grab a beer
Whether you sip on a local draught or indulge in craft, there are plenty of places to enjoy a cold beer in Cape Town.
If you want to watch an important rugby or football match, Mitchell’s at the V&A Waterfront is a good bet and a great place to couple your cold beer with a delicious pizza. If you want to try something beyond the usual selection of Windhoeks, Castles and Black Labels, try the Beerhouse on Long Street. Never will the song 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall pop into your head quicker.
Other must-try places include &Union, Rafiki’s, The Power & the Glory and Hello Sailor.
8. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
Set against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens is home to an abundant variety of Cape flora. Tickets for adults are R50, while students pay R25 and children over six, R10. Once inside you can enjoy a cool, calm walk or throw out a picnic blanket and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. The ‘Boomslang’ was recently erected – a 130m long timber and galvanised steel walkway – letting you take a walk above the ground and through the treetops, while admiring the incredible views of the gardens and the city beyond. In summer, Kirstenbosch hosts concerts every Sunday just before sunset featuring local and international bands. Tickets are usually around the R100 mark, but sometimes less. The Galileo Open Air Cinema is also set up during summer, showcasing classic films while viewers snuggle under blankets and munch on food from local vendors. Moyo Restaurant is also fun with traditional African dishes.
9. Support local music
On the musical note, there are various places you can visit to support local music.
On the fringe of the city are Mercury and The Assembly, which regularly feature bands from across South Africa, with entry ranging between R30 and R100. Their drinks are also better-priced than in other parts of the city. If you want to spend even less, or nothing for that matter, you can go to De Waal Park in the summer, where free concerts featuring local bands are hosted on late Sunday afternoons. The Crypt is famous for jazz. Cafe Roux also hosts a great lineup
10. Old Biscuit Mill
You can easily spend more than R200 at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock.
Taking place every Saturday, entry into the market is free, but there is so much on offer – from coffee, smoothies, paella, cupcakes, macaroons, cheese, olives and honey to clothing, crafts, plants and jewellery, you can shop (and eat) till you drop. But if you’re just after an easy morning enjoying a cold beer or a hot breakfast while chilling with friends, you can easily stay below the R200 mark – just get there early, because by mid-morning it is overflowing with people