12 Apostles Peaks, Table Mountain, Cape Town
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12 Apostles Peaks, Table Mountain, Cape Town

© 123rf.com / Jurgen Hansmann

Cape Town travel guide

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Cape Town Local time

Cape Town is a city that proves you really can have it all. Whether you want endless sandy beaches, top notch vineyards, gourmet restaurants or magnificent nature, Cape Town’s got it.That isn’t even the half of it, though. South Africa’s oldest city really is a stunner, helped by a dramatic natural setting that includes sunset views stretching out over the undulating ocean.

On the ground, Cape Town’s suburbs sprawl but are still surprisingly manageable, with most tourist attractions clustered close together. You can't walk far without stumbling across markets selling African crafts, independent art galleries, fascinating museums or some of the continent’s best restaurants.

The city centre has lots to keep you occupied, whether you’re in lively Long Street, wandering among the colourful houses of Bo Kaap or walking around the European-influenced De Waterkant.

Many tourists stay in the City Bowl, where you’ll find the leafier suburbs of Gardens below Table Mountain, and Tamboerskloof below Lion’s Head; or on the Atlantic Seaboard, with its close proximity to the promenade and beaches.

The waterfront is always bustling with visitors and locals enjoying the shops and restaurants or waiting to board the ferry to Robben Island to see Nelson Mandela’s former prison cell.

Outside the city, the Cape vineyards offer a glimpse into another world; a verdant landscape lined with vines, historic wine estates and towns such as Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek.

There’s another world beyond the city limits: the townships, which the majority of Cape residents call home. Some are uplifting, others less so, and nearly all can be visited on responsible township tours.

So, no matter if you’re after chasing the colour and carnival of the chaotic city centre or sipping a Chenin blanc among the casks of a Stellenbosch wine estate, Cape Town can be uncorked, savoured and enjoyed time and time again.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.