Johannesburg is a popular city for those heading to South Africa, but Cape Town is also a destination we love to visit.
The first time Cape Town was ever mentioned was in the late 15th century by the Portuguese. However, it took almost 150 years before the Dutch came to the area to develop it so that travelers coming through can stop for supplies such as food and water before continuing their journey to Asia or coming back from. For a while, there was a lot of slave trade in the area until they were emancipated in the early 1800s. Then came the apartheid in the 20th century, and Cape Town once again became divided for decades until 1994. Even during the years of tragedy and war, Cape Town is still an interesting place to visit and safe for even solo travelers as long as you stay in the tourist areas and are cautious about your surroundings (which you should always be no matter where you go in the world).
If Cape Town is on your upcoming itinerary, here are a few things we recommend checking out while you’re there.
If you’re a wine lover and love the outdoors, booking a full-day wine tour is the perfect way to escape the city center. You can enjoy a beautiful tour of some of the best wineries in the area such as Stellenbosch, Groot Constantia, Paarl and Franschhoek to name a few. Aside from wine, the wineries also have ports and sparking options, full lunches and hors d’oeuvres. Check out African Story Wine Tours or Cape Town Wine Tours if this is something of interest.
District Six Museum
Are you a history buff? Or, you just want to learn a bit about the past? Head over to the District Six Museum located in the city center. If you don’t know much about the apartheid regime, then this is a great (yet very sad) museum with a lot of insight on what happened to the people who used to live in District Six, and how they were affected when they were forced out of their homes due to racial segregation. The District Six Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 4pm, and has an entrance fee of $3 to $5 USD depending if you want a guided tour or not (which we suggest you do for a deep dive into history).
Located at the Old Biscuit Mill, this market is a foodies heaven. You can uncover a multitude of delicious eats for cheap—from fresh oysters, smoothies, Shakshuka (North African tomato-based dish with harissa and spice), sandwiches, honey, baked goods, sweets and more. You can also shop for handmade items, crafts, clothes, etc, but the food is what brings people here. Neighborgoods Market is open Saturday only from 9am to 3pm.
Langa Township Tour
What better way to experience a culture than by visiting the local areas. Langa is the oldest township in Cape Town and can be visited by a guided tour. Aside from meeting the locals, you will witness the true socioeconomic divide in Cape Town, and observe traditional music and dance. It’s an eye-opening and humble experience that will leave you feeling a bit more connected to the other side of life not seen in the city.
The Gin Bar
A good way to wind down the night is at a bar. One of our favorites is the Gin Bar, a speakeasy that can only be accessed via a coffee shop called the Honest Chocolate Cafe. Once you get through and enter the bar area, you’ll be greeted by a small and cozy, rustic setting with a courtyard. It’s a very intimate setting and the gin is spectacular! Unfortunately, there are no other liquors aside from gin, so it might not be for everyone, but the overall atmosphere is lovely—plus the staff is friendly too.
Cape Town has had a lot of ups and downs since it was first established, but it continues to bring in tourists from all over the world. From fantastic tours to mouthwatering eateries, Cape Town has a lot to offer. So if you’re heading to this coastal destination, we hope this guide will inspire you to see more!
If this or any other destinations speak to you, we’d love to help you get there in comfort and put some savings in your pocket. Submit a flight request or contact your agent and we’ll find the best dates to travel there!