Is Cape Town worth seeing?The hidden gems of the mother city
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Is Cape Town worth seeing?The hidden gems of the mother city

Is Cape Town worth seeing? Discover the hidden gems of the mother city. Why is Cape Town called the mother city?  Because, the city has several unique terms and nicknames. Where did they come from? Most date back to the 19th century, when the spice route ran through the city. The city of Cape Town had its origin in 1652. In short, The Dutch East India Company played a crucial role in the development of Cape Town. However, it was the first European settlement in Africa. The company dealt with transporting goods to the east. Also in transportation, they used the shores of Table Bay, where they moored ships.

Cape Town is one of the three capital cities of South Africa. The population is almost 5 million people. You’re probably thinking, what time is it in Cape Town, South Africa? The whole country uses SAST time.

Read: Cape of Good Hope, an exciting trip to the tip of Africa

Is Cape Town worth seeing?The hidden gems of the mother city

Mother city meaning

Indeed, it’s a term very often used by tourists and residents. Most often, it emphasizes the feeling of being at home. Furthermore, the voice of the media has been significant. That’s when the mother city’s meaning began to take shape. In 1930, a Cape Town paper wrote that the coastal town was the only one wite the metropolis title. In addition, the word ‘metropolis’ comes from Greek and means mother, ‘polis’ means city. Finally, they called Cape Town with an enthusiastic mother city. There is also a term ‘the cape of storms.’ That’s because of the unpredictability of the weather due to the Atlantic Ocean.

Cape Town places to visit

What places does Cape Town offer to visit? Also my answer will be concise – there are a lot of magical places to visit in Cape Town. So I decided to collect them below and mention more. Here, you will find places to visit in Cape Town with prices. So far, no place in the world has impressed me as in the mother city. There are quite a few places, so I decided to collect them below and mention more. Hence, I was most impressed by flora and fauna, which is highly diverse in South Africa. Similarly, the country’s showcase is its majestic landscapes. There are nearly 1,300 different species of flowers in the country. But more about that later. Even so , I am inviting you for a virtual walk around Cape Town. Mother city is a place I still want to return to and see more. What is the best way to see Cape Town? See below. There are many places to visit in Cape Town for couples.

Table Mountain cable car 

Without a doubt, Table Mountain cable car is one of the most recognizable places in Cape Town among the main tourist attractions. A cable car takes tourists up Table Mountain. As a result, you’ll get a unique view of Cape Town from the top. The cable car will take you to the top in less than 5 minutes. The cable car begins its run at Tafelberg Road to Table Mountain. Take the free shuttle from the Lower Tafelberg Road stop (this service is currently suspended). More than 28 million passengers have used the cable car. Each carriage can take 65 tourists. Nearly one million tourists worldwide travel to Table Mountain each year. Moreover, the cable cars move on a double rope. That allows the vehicle to maintain better stability in stronger gusts of wind. Finally, you can find the current price list Table Mountain aerial cableway website

Is Cape Town worth seeing?The hidden gems of the mother city

Waterfront in Cape Town 

Also Waterfront is one of Cape Town’s most visited sites and main attractions. V&A Waterfront, for that, is the full name, is a mixed-use area. For example, it is the most visited place in Africa. Around 25 million tourists visit the V&A Waterfront every year. It is located in the old harbor with a fantastic view of Table Mountain as a backdrop. At the same time ,it is a favorite place for tourists and locals to visit. What to do in Waterfront Cape Town? To get to know this place better I recommend a walk or a tour with a professional guide. In short, you will learn about the history of the Waterfront, find out more about the clock tower, New Port Captain’s Office, or the Pumphouse. It takes more than 3 hours to explore the Waterfront. 

Is Cape Town worth seeing?The hidden gems of the mother city

Where is the Waterfront located? 

Address:  19 Dock Road, V&A Waterfront Cape Town

Waterfront Cape Town Shops 

Furthermore, The Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre is the most famous waterfront mall. However, it’s among the most recognizable malls in Cape Town. There you will find nearly 450 South African and international shops. They mainly sell clothing, jewelry, leather goods, and food items. Opening hours for this mall are 9 am to 9 pm.

Waterfront Cape Town Restaurants

In particular, the Waterfront in Cape Town is famous for its fine dining restaurants. Fans of good taste will always find something for themselves there! In this case, The V&A Waterfront has a vast selection of restaurants and cafes. I highly recommend the Cape Town Fish Market if you are looking for fresh seafood or South African food. On the other hand, the V&A Food Market is a place where you will have an unforgettable experience. I especially recommend this place to fans of traditional food. You can also find handcrafted beer there.  

V&A Waterfront Cape Town Hotels

Where to stay near V&A Waterfront? The V&A Waterfront offers leisure and business travelers an impressive selection of hotels in Cape Town, located in exceptional surroundings. However, they are located within walking distance of the Cape Town City Center and the surrounding suburbs of Sea Point, Mouille Point, and Greenpoint.

Waterfront Cape Town Aquarium

Waterfront Cape Town Aquarium started in 1995; the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, is at the Indian and Atlantic Oceans intersection. It offers, therefore, a great diversity of species and presents more than 3000 marine animals to its visitors. In addition, it ranges from turtles to haddock to penguins. The Aquarium is divided into seven thematic galleries, each with extensive display cases: 1. the Atlantic Ocean Gallery; 2. the Indian Ocean Gallery; 3. the South African Fur Seal Gallery; 4. The Holcim Activity Gallery; 5. Predator Gallery; 6. Kelp Forest Gallery; 7. The Sappi River Meander Gallery. In Two Oceans, you will also have the opportunity, if you book in advance, to go on dives where you will have the chance to feed the fish or get up close to the sharks.

To sum up, aquarium waterfront opening hours weekdays 09h30 – 18h00, weekends and holidays 09h00 – 18h00.

Day ticket price for adults costs R210, for children 14 to 17 R160, children 4 to 13 R100. For example, children under the age of 4 enter the aquarium for free.

Helicopter ride Cape Town

Similarly, a helicopter ride is the most attractive and adventurous attraction in Cape Town. I recommend the helicopter flight to anyone who wants to see the sandy coast surrounding Cape Town. A company called Waterfront helicopter tours offers a variety of tours with scenic views. For example, prices for helicopter rides start from R1100. Flight times range from 12 to 48 minutes. Expect breathtaking views of the coast, Table mountain, Robben Island, or city bowl during your flight. Furthermore, all flights are private except combat flights. You pay to rent a helicopter. That means you can take your friends or family too. A maximum of 9 people can board. I especially recommend flying in the City Explorer package. To conclude, you’ll see what a unique city Cape Town is.

Address:  Shop 6, Quay 5, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

Open 7 Days a week: 9am - 7pm

Waterfront Cape Town Museums 

The Waterfront area is home to many museums with diverse themes. Of course, The Waterfront is often the first place in Cape Town that tourists visit. While there, you can see many fascinating museums. There you will see Cape Town in various shots and historical periods. For example, inn Iziko Maritime Centre, you will learn about the history of Table Bay Harbor, a place extremely close to you.  However, if you are interested in the mother city’s history, visit the Chavonnes Battery Museum. There you will discover the city at the turn of different centuries. After this visit, you will leave with many new experiences. There is an extensive collection of photographs in various time frames.

The Waterfront is home to the Cape Diamond Museum. There you will learn about the world’s most precious stone and the process of processing it. In this case, South Africa is famous for diamond mining. Secondly, The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is located nearby. The museum opened in 2017. Are you interested in sports? In particular, I dedicate the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum to all South African rugby fans. 

Comedy Shows Waterfront Cape Town 

Comedy shows are an integral part and showcase of the Waterfront.  If you like good humor and lots of laughs, you should visit Cape Town Comedy Club. Furthermore, many well-known and appreciated South African comedians and world-renowned artists perform there. 

Lion’s Head 

Why is it called Lion’s Head? It’s not clear because there are several plausible explanations. The famous mountain is one of the most prominent places in Cape Town. Lions Head is among the unique places to visit in South Africa. Signal Hill’s shape is often called “the lion’s rump.” Admittedly, it may resemble the hindquarters of a seated lion. However, you can’t see the head there! Lion’s Head and Signal Hill offer incredible views of Cape Town. The first reason for this naming is the shape of the mountain. Another argument is the possible loud and frequent winds in the area! A Sunrise hike at Lion’s Head is the best possible idea to get acquainted with the mountain. That’s also the most suitable time to take pictures. The light from the rising sun is soft and conducive to photography. Moreover, Cape Town sunrises are one of a kind. The fantastic colors of the light woke me up early in the morning. I was full of energy and motivated to work. 

Is Cape Town worth seeing?The hidden gems of the mother city

How much time do you need to hike Lion’s Head? 

Hiking on Lion’s Head is an excellent idea for a form of activity. The average climbing time is about two hours. The trail to the summit is open year-round. It is free of charge. The hike starting point to Lion’s Head begins from the parking lot. You will reach it by turning off Kloof Nek Road. Indeed, the hike to Lion’s Head is one of the most exciting experiences in Cape Town. These are the places most photographed by tourists while in South Africa!

Signal hill Cape Town

Further, Signal Hill is one of the most well-known spots in Cape Town. The mountain connects Kloof Nek to Lion’s Head. In the past, it was called Lion’s Rump. Signal Hill is very popular among tourists. The views of Cape Town, Table Bay, and the harbor encourage visitors to visit. The height of the mountain is 1,150 feet above sea level. It is a place eagerly used by paragliders because of the favorable conditions. Signal Hill got its name long ago when signal flags were flown from the mountain to send messages to ships in Table Bay. Today Signal Hill is known for its noonday gun, a loud cannon fired every day (except Sundays and holidays) at exactly noon. This tradition has been in place since 1806! Signal Hill is a great place to watch the sunsets in Cape Town. The hike takes roughly 1.5 to 2.5 hours up and down. How long is Lion’s Head hike distance? Cape Town’s Lion’s Head Hike is 5 kilometers long. That’s my favorite trail in Cape Town. In short, If you love longer hikes, I recommend Signal Hill to Lion’s Head walk.

Is Cape Town worth seeingThe hidden gems of the mother city

Clifton Beaches 

Clifton Beaches 1-4 are ranked among the best and most remarkable beaches in Cape Town. I think they are the most beautiful in the world. How many Clifton Beaches are there, and what is the difference between them? Below I list the differences between Clifton Beaches. The 1st beach is the least crowded. It lacks a cozy atmosphere. Next to it, there are exclusive apartments. The 2nd beach is the place where you can spend a few hours. 3rd beach is a popular meeting place for gays. 4th beach is a favorite, especially among families. Which beach is the best? Clifton 4th Beach is marked with a blue flag, and it is the most desired beach in South Africa. Camps Bay Beach is located nearby.

Hout Bay

Hout Bay is a fantastic seaside neighborhood in Cape Town. Let’s take a look at what this area of Cape Town offers? Massimos is one of Hout Bay’s most well-known restaurants. It is renowned for its delicious pizza and Italian cuisine. Also, The Lookout Deck is known for its delicious seafood. At Mariner’s Wharf, you’ll find the freshest fish in the area. That’s a restaurant with long traditions. Are you looking for a unique wine? Hout Bay Vineyards is a wine shop that sells a wide range of wines. There are red wines, sauvignon blanc, dry and delicate wines available. Guests can also partake in a wine tasting at the restaurant. Cheyne’s restaurant serves Pacific Island and Asian cuisine. The restaurant is trendy in Hout Bay.

Bay Harbour Market

In Bay Harbour Market, you will feel a breath of creativity and good energy. It is one of Cape Town’s hot spots over weekends and features live entertainment, food stalls, crafts, and a bar area. The Bay Harbour Market brings artisans, artists, and busking musicians together. Then aromatically infuses the scene with freshly-baked loaves of bread, local wines, craft beers, and other delectable treats.

Hout Bay is home to around 400 different bird species. The local beach is surrounded on three sides by mountains. It is a famous beach for families with kids. In addition, the breathtaking Chapman's Peak Drive is close.

Bo-Kaap

When I first visited this place, I wondered why the houses were colorful in Bo-Kaap. The colorful houses in Bo-Kaap were a manifestation of freedom by the enslaved people who inhabited the neighborhood. That’s a tiny residential area built between 1760 and 1840, formerly the Malay quarter. It was home to the Muslim community and formerly enslaved people. In 1834 slavery was abolished. Many enslaved people settled in Bo-Kaap. Most came from the Malay Peninsula. As a result, the origins of the Mussulman community we can explain. The Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum perfectly documents the local culture and Islamic heritage from the 19th century. I highly recommend this place when visiting Bo-Kaap. The colorful Bo-Kaap houses are on Wale Street. Are you looking for restaurants in Bo-Kaap? I highly recommend Kombuis with Malay food.

The Twelve Apostles Mountain Range

On the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, the Twelve Apostles mountain range forms the back of Table Mountain. The name comes from the fact that the mountain range has twelve easily distinguishable peaks. The Twelve Apostles range was named by Governor Sir Rufane Donkin after this impressively steep line of sandstone buttresses. The location has beautiful views and is ideal for relaxing at any time of day.

Is Cape Town worth seeingThe hidden gems of the mother city

SUMMARY

Cape Town is an African pearl tucked away in the continent’s extreme south. The city is a thriving tourist destination, set between towering peaks and oceans, with beautiful landscapes and beaches, a unique microclimate, and cheerful locals. I took a break from my daily routine to enjoy the region’s attractions, exploring the entire area from top to bottom. I will zoom in on surfing and wine tasting in South Africa in future posts.



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12 Comments

  1. A sunrise hike at Lion Head sounds absolutely amazing – it is so beautiful. I would also love to check out those gorgeous beaches.

    1. Sunrise at Lion’s Head in Cape Town is something amazing. I guarantee you that these beaches are the best in the world! You should go there 🙂

    1. After landing in Cape Town, you will find out how amazing the city is. I also recommend to see Stellenbosch 🙂

  2. I’ve always wanted to visit Cape Town. There’s so many gems you mentioned such as Bo-Kaap, Table Mountain, and Clifton Beaches. I’m hoping I make it there one day and I will save your post for future reference!

  3. Great guide! I would love to go back to Cape Town one day. I never visited the museums so they would be top of my list! 🙂

    1. Thank you! I haven’t been to any museum in Cape Town during my visit. I think that’s a good reason to go back there!