One Day in Cape Town Itinerary – Top things to do in Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is located on the southwest coast of South Africa and known for its iconic Table Mountain which sits over the city. Cape Town also has a variety of activities to offer, from beautiful beaches and mountains to stunning gardens and its popular harbor. These attractions, along with its Mediterranean climate, make it one of the most popular cities to visit in South Africa and Africa in general.

One day in Cape Town Itinerary

Guest post by Stacey Gilkes
Blog: Wandering Bajan

 

What’s the best time to visit Cape Town?

Since Cape Town is in the Southern Hemisphere, its summer months are from October to April. This is when it will be nice, warm and dry, ideal for a Cape Town trip. The peak time for tourists tends to be around December, so if you book your trip in the later months such as March to May you are more likely to avoid the crowds.

Cape Town
Cape Town, Author: Willem van Valkenburg, Source: Flickr

 

What’s good to know about Cape Town?

Cape Town is famous for its harbor and well known landmarks such as Table Mountain and Cape Point. The iconic Table Mountain’s flat-topped summit reaches just over 1000m in height, with Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head on either side forming the “City Bowl”. To the south is a mountainous spine jutting into the Atlantic which forms Cape Point, and this has been said to be the place where the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean meet. This point varies between the south and southwestern Cape coast.

Cape Town Panoramic View
Cape Town Panoramic View, Author: Joe Turco, Source: Flickr

Nobel Square on the V&A waterfront features the four South African Nobel Peace Prize winners, Nelson Mandela, Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, F.W. de Klerk. Three former inmates of Robben Island have gone on to become Presidents of South Africa, the most recent being Jacob Zuma who succeeded Nelson Mandela and Kgalema Motlanthe.

 

One Day in Cape Town Itinerary

Top things to do in Cape Town, South Africa

Follow this guide and make the most of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do during your one day in Cape Town.

 

A Quick History Lesson

The first thing you should check out is Robben Island, the place where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 of the 27 years he was behind bars, along with other political prisoners. Book the 9 a.m. tour and get out there nice and early. Learn and understand a bit of the South African history, and see how these prisoners lived on the island.

The entrance to the Robben Island
The entrance to the Robben Island, Author: April Killingsworth, Source: Flickr
Robben Island Bunk beds
Robben Island Bunk beds, Author: Jochem Koole, Source: Flickr

 

Lunch on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

The tour will take about 4 hours, so by the time you get back you will be hungry. Grab a quick lunch on the V&A Waterfront at Willoughby & Co or Den Anker and make sure you try some fish and chips! There are lots of options along the waterfront if seafood is not your thing, however. Take a quick walk along the waterfront after lunch and continue exploring. Then from here it’s time to grab a cab.

Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Author: John Hickey-Fry, Source: Flickr

 

Bird’s Eye View of Cape Town

It’s about a 30-minute drive to Table Mountain from the V&A waterfront. Grab your tickets for the cable car and wait in line for an awesome 5-minute ride up the mountain. Grab any spot near a window on the cable car – the whole thing rotates the entire way up the mountain, so you get 360 degree views. Go outside and take in the aerial views of the stunning Cape Town.

Cable Car Ride to Table Mountains
Cable Car Ride to Table Mountains, Author: Christopher Griner, Source: Flickr

After lots of photos and selfies, you can choose between three different hikes at the top of Table Mountain to take in the flora and wildlife around the area. You can also grab a guided walk around Table Mountain where you can learn a bit more about the mountain and the Cableway. If hiking is not quite your thing, then grab some drinks at the restaurant and just relax.

Table Mountains Cape Town
Table Mountains, Author: David Stanley, Source: Flickr

 

Sample South African Wines

You cannot visit South Africa without tasting some wines, so go down to Belthazar Restaurant and Wine Bar for dinner. They have loads of different wines available by the glass. If wine isn’t your thing then head to Ferryman’s Tavern where you can find plenty of beers to choose from and live entertainment.

 

Where to stay in Cape Town?

Radisson RED Hotel V&A Waterfront

Radisson RED Hotel V&A Waterfront is a unique lifestyle hotel focusing on art, fashion and music. Furthermore, it hosts temporary art exhibitions and live music. It’s perfectly located, only a short walk to the V&A Waterfront. The hotel features a rooftop sun terrace with a great view of the sea. All rooms boast modern furniture, wall art and trendy details.

Book here
Radisson RED Hotel V&A Waterfront Cape Town
Radisson RED Hotel V&A Waterfront Cape Town
Radisson RED Hotel V&A Waterfront Cape Town
Radisson RED Hotel V&A Waterfront Cape Town

Mojo Hotel

Being attached to an enclosed market area with a food mall is what makes the stay at Mojo Hotel so interesting. The whole place is hip, located in the great Sea Point neighborhood, only a short walk to the beach area. The modern rooms provide stylish and comfortable stay.

Book here
Mojo Hotel
Mojo Hotel

La Splendida Hotel

La Splendida Hotel provides bright and modern rooms offering views of Robben Island and the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding area. It’s perfectly located, just next to the bustling Mouille Point promenade.

Book here
La Splendida Hotel
La Splendida Hotel

Find the Best Hotel Deals in Cape Town

 

Extra tips for visiting Cape Town

– Be aware of your surroundings, the areas above are quite safe due to the amount of tourists around, but you can never be too careful. Crimes are usually opportunistic, so do not leave handbags open or cell phones in your back pocket. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry so you don’t draw attention to yourself.

– Enjoy every moment, Cape Town has such a cool vibe it’s hard not to love this city.

– Make your trip to Cape Town even more exciting! Check out Tripadvisor for all the activities and organized tours in Cape Town or around the area. Make sure to purchase your tickets to all the attractions right away to skip the queues.

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Cape Town South Africa Top things to doCape Town South Africa One day itinerary

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MAKE SURE YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED

Here are some of the top travel items you must bring to your next trip. These items will make your trip a lot more relaxing and you’ll surely get rid of some extra hassle.

Make sure to travel light, safe and stylish following our travel item guide for 2018.

Stacey Gilkes
Stacey Gilkes
Travel Blogger at

Stacey is a personal trainer from the small island of Barbados. She studied Chemistry at the University of the West Indies. She built her own personal training business which allows her to pursue her other passion, travel. Within the last couple of years she has been to South Africa, Peru, New Zealand and Iceland with many more places on her bucket list! Follow her travels at www.wanderingbajan.com!

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