Affectionately referred to as the "mother city" of South Africa, Cape Town is one of those sophisticated tourist destinations that should be on every traveller’s bucket list. This is an inspiring and exciting city that is jam-packed with attractions and entertainment to suit every type of visitor and every kind of budget. With an impressive collection of museums, art galleries and theatres as well as a fantastic range of options for shopping and dining, this multicultural metropolis leaves other South African cities floundering in its wake. Combine this with an abundance of unique flora and fauna and stunning scenery and you have all the ingredients for a truly exceptional trip.

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront sits in the heart of Cape Town’s historic harbour and is the ultimate destination for those who seek the unusual combination of retail therapy and culture. Excellent shops, bars and restaurants sit happily alongside historic museums. From here, hop on a ferry to Robben Island where President Mandela spent decades as a prisoner. Guided tours of the prison offer a stark reminder of his struggle – sobering, but not to be missed.

No visit to Cape Town is complete without making your way to the top of the iconic Table Mountain. Whether you choose to ascend in style in one of the pretty cable cars or you decide to tackle one of the tramping trails, make sure you get to the summit! From here, climbers will be rewarded with stunning views of the city and the ocean as it stretches greedily out to the horizon.

For another view that is out of this world, make your way to the coastal cliffs that make up the Cape of Good Hope. This unique vantage point offers exceptional views that are awe-inspiring and humbling in equal measure.

From here, make the short journey to Boulders Beach. Kick back on the blindingly white sand, build castles with the kids or float in the turquoise waters. This area is also home to a unique colony of endangered African penguins so make your way along the boardwalk to Foxy Beach and pay them a visit.

Finally, if you are seeking time out from the bustle of the city, plan a trip to the magnificent Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Learn about the conservation of indigenous flora while enjoying a relaxing stroll around the perfumed gardens. This is the perfect way to recharge your batteries for round two.

Known for

Tour, Mountains and Museums

Explore map

Where to stay in Cape Town

Camps Bay
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Camps Bay

Mountains, Beaches, Safaris

Sublime mountain scenery and a lovely beach make this stylish neighbourhood one of Cape Town’s favourite seaside destinations .

Sea Point
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Sea Point

Mountains, Sightseeing, Wineries

Bring the kids to the playgrounds and cafés in this dynamic, rejuvenated coastal area in the shadow of a mossy mountain.

Hout Bay
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Hout Bay

Swimming, Coral Reefs, Seafood

Browse stalls and enjoy live music in the harbor market, trek along the mountain trails and surf atop Atlantic swells.

Bo'Kaap
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Bo'Kaap

Friendly People, Dining, Mountains

Learn about the rich Malay culture and history in this lively and quirky area of museums and brightly painted buildings.

Top hotels in Cape Town

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for The Table Bay Hotel
The Table Bay Hotel
5 out of 5
Quay 6 Victoria & Alfred, Cape Town, Western Cape
NZ$367/night
27 Aug. - 28 Aug.
4.7/5Exceptional! (384 reviews)

This family-friendly Cape Town hotel is located on the boardwalk, within a 10-minute walk of Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and V&A Waterfront. Two Oceans Aquarium ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (384 reviews)

"Beautiful area and property. Within walking distance to many attractions. Incredible breakfast."…"

Reviewed on 17 Aug. 2019

The Table Bay Hotel
Image for Road Lodge Cape Town International Airport
Road Lodge Cape Town International Airport
2 out of 5
Adjoining BP Service & Filling Station, at Cape Town International Airport, Cape Town, Western Cape
NZ$74/night
30 Aug. - 31 Aug.
3.7/5Good! (1,351 reviews)

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of University of the Western Cape, Cape Town Science Centre, and Access Park. Newlands Stadium and ...

3.7/5Good! (1,351 reviews)

"Very peaceful environment. Staff are very friendly & helpful. Location near airport."…"

Reviewed on 21 Aug. 2019

Road Lodge Cape Town International Airport
Image for AC Hotel by Marriott Cape Town Waterfront
AC Hotel by Marriott Cape Town Waterfront
3.5 out of 5
Dockrail Road, Foreshore, Cape Town, Western Cape
NZ$197/night
6 Sep. - 7 Sep.
4.4/5Wonderful! (74 reviews)

Located in Cape Town City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and Long Street. Cape Town International Convention ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (74 reviews)

"Location was excellent; shuttle service to waterfront; extremely friendly staff"…"

Reviewed on 13 Aug. 2019

AC Hotel by Marriott Cape Town Waterfront

Popular activities in Cape Town

Table Mountain
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Table Mountain

Climb to the summit of this spectacular mountain and you'll be rewarded with sweeping views of Cape Town and the stunning surrounds of Table Bay.

Boulders Beach
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Boulders Beach

Discover pristine sandy beaches, unique rock formations and an endangered African penguin colony – just 40 kilometres south of Cape Town.

Robben Island
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Robben Island

Visit the cell where Nelson Mandela spent most of his sentence and explore the Table Bay island that has also served as a leper colony and a military base.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
Image for Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens

Visit this beautiful botanical garden to learn about cultivation and conservation while exploring the rich diversity of South Africa’s indigenous flora.

Cape of Good Hope
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Cape of Good Hope

Enjoy stunning scenery, rich cultural heritage and an eclectic variety of wildlife – all within reach of Africa’s most southerly tip.

Two Oceans Aquarium
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Two Oceans Aquarium

With sharks, rays, tropical fish and forests of kelp, this aquatic attraction provides deep insights into life under the ocean waves.

Top activities in Cape Town

Cape Town Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
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Cape Town Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

NZ$25

Ranking just under Johannesburg as South Africa's second-most populous city, Cape Town caters to nature lovers as much as culture enthusiasts. This hop-on hop-off tour grants you the flexibility to explore the city according to your own itinerary.

Marine Eco Tour from Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Image for Marine Eco Tour from Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

Marine Eco Tour from Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

NZ$92

We offer a boat based Marine Eco Tour from the V&A Waterfront with Hydrofoil technology on a stable platform. Encapsulated in this prolific marine eco system in Table Bay, Cape Town has numerous different species which include penguins, seals, dolphins, sunfish, whales and pelagic bird life that call this eco system home.

Green Point Dinner & Show Experience
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Green Point Dinner & Show Experience

NZ$96

Treat yourself to a magical evening in Green Point—a gorgeous seaside neighborhood nestled between Signal Hill and the Atlantic Ocean. Soak up the local flavor during a live dinner theater performance, and then delight in a sumptuous buffet featuring fine wines from the Cape Winelands region.

Cape of Good Hope Full Day Tour
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Cape of Good Hope Full Day Tour

NZ$109

A sightseeing drive to the Cape Point Nature reserve and around the Cape Peninsula is a “must do” day trip when visiting Cape Town. The magnificent Cape Point route is one of the great day tours from Cape Town.

Cape of Good Hope Half-Day Tour
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Cape of Good Hope Half-Day Tour

NZ$112

With a rugged coastline, species of African game, and endemic vegetation, discover the natural wonders of the Cape Peninsula on a half-day tour. Gaze out upon sweeping views of the coastline and enjoy the sight of roaming wild animals as you visit charming shoreline towns.

Cape Winelands Full-Day Tour
Image for Cape Winelands Full-Day Tour

Cape Winelands Full-Day Tour

NZ$123

In Stellenbosch, be swept away by breathtaking scenery and rows upon rows of wonderful, wine-producing vines. Travel inland to the lush, green countryside that forms the center of South Africa's wine-growing economy and visit 3 famous wine producers for tastings.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Cape Town

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Weirdest winter vacation destinations in the Southern Hemisphere

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Where to see penguins in the wild

Hundreds of adorable penguins await you in the wild, and here are the best places to see penguins in their natural habitats.

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