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1st time in Cape Town – any advice would be great 👍

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  • Pointofview

    Hi all, Just booked Cape Town with Virgin for 10 days at the start of November.
    We’ve never been before so any advice or tips on where to stay/what to do would be great.
    I’m currently a Hilton diamond member but only see one Hilton in the area so might have to think about booking with a different brand.

    JDB

    It rather depends on the sort of thing you want to do and whether you have a car. If you aren’t tied to a brand, you have lots of good options. Personally, we wouldn’t stay on the Waterfront as it’s very busy and an expensive tourist trap and staying in a shopping centre, even by the sea isn’t that appealing. Constantia is a great area to stay with lots of great restaurants. Villa Lion View and its sister Villa Coloniale are a couple of great options, for their settings, quality and service, but there are many other good ones. Also Camp’s Bay if you want to be by the sea, close to downtown/waterfront and Table Mountain cable car station. If you are into food Chef’s Warehouse restaurants at Beau Constantia (great vineyard views) and Tintswalo (on the water) are both exceptional and a fraction of UK equivalents – probably both nicest at lunchtime. Also Fyn downtown in the evening. Not so keen on La Colombe which many rate as food is a bit ‘safe’ and it’s rather austere and formal + boring setting vs the three mentioned. For great fish, the Codfather in Camp’s Bay.

    In terms of things to do, Robben Island, Table Mountain (go early during your stay if weather is good as it can be cloudy up there which rather spoils it) consider the fast pass, v expensive but can make a huge difference. If you have a car, the Chapman’s Peak drive is spectacular (Tintswalo is at the start). Even if you aren’t into gardens, Kirstenbosch is spectacular all year round.

    After that, there’s the West Coast and/or wine country both very worthwhile.

    NigelHamilton

    With 10 days, I would highly recommend building at least some of the Garden Route into your stay. At the very least take a day or overnight trip out to Stellenbosch etc. Cape Town is an excellent city, and probably one of the few cities where there is 10 days worth of stuff to do. JDB has hit most of the highlights, Robben Island and Table Mountain being “must do’s”. I would add some of the beach/bay areas to the South of the City, especially Boulder’s Beach where there is a Penguin colony and perhaps Hout’s bay. I also enjoyed (if you’re into the history of apartheid etc.) the District Six museum and an organised tour of the townships (you MUST go on an organised tour, don’t just drive in!) As long as you avoid the waterfront, you will find excellent food at exceptional prices by Europe standards. Finally, if you’re adventurous, you can also do “extreme” activities at a fraction of the cost that you would in Europe too (book locally), tandem parachuting (or is it paragliding) from Lions Head to Clifton/Camps Bay being a highlight, plus Kloofing (canyoning) Enjoy!

    ExpatInBerlin

    Highly recommend doing a wine tasting at the Constantia Glen vinyard. The most stunning views and beautiful wine (at a fantastic price!) Would advise booking ahead. The boat trip over to Robben Island and the prison tour is also a must. Friends of mine did shark diving on our trip and they would recommend it (though it wasn’t for me!)

    degsy

    Cape of Good Hope/Cape Point is a quality trip – fabulous scenery, and it seems like you can see the line where two great oceans meet

    Mouse

    The Waterfront is getting some not unearned stick but I would make an exception for Willoughby & Co as somewhere on the Waterfront worth visiting. Absolutely top quality fish at 1/4 to 1/3 of what you would pay for the same in London – great service too.

    Also, if you are moderately fit (can walk briskly for two hours with breaks) then I recommend walking up Table Mountain via Platteklip Gorge and taking the cable car down.

    JDB

    The Waterfront is getting some not unearned stick but I would make an exception for Willoughby & Co as somewhere on the Waterfront worth visiting. Absolutely top quality fish at 1/4 to 1/3 of what you would pay for the same in London – great service too.

    Also, if you are moderately fit (can walk briskly for two hours with breaks) then I recommend walking up Table Mountain via Platteklip Gorge and taking the cable car down.

    Sounds good! There is surprisingly little good fish in Cape Town as the restaurants in Johannesburg pay considerably more for it than the local market (as used to be the case in the UK, pre covid, pre Brexit when much of the good stuff went abroad) but a few restaurants, including the one I mentioned above and maybe this one have their own boats, so have a totally different range and quality of fish available.

    Matt

    I echo JDB’s advice to go up Table Mountain early in your trip – we left it to the end and it was windy so the cable car was closed. Haven’t made it back yet….

    I’d also agree with the suggestions to get out of Cape Town – 3 or 4 days was plenty there and there are some great places to go on the Garden Route and elsewhere

    strickers

    As everyone else has said, try to fit Robben Island and Table Mountain in early, it will give you time to reschedule if needed. If you want to keep the cost down at all have a look at The President Hotel, for steak Nelson’s Eye, make sure you book and for variety Mojo Market. Definitely worth heading out and about though, roads are good so renting a car for a few days is straightforward.

    Olly

    I’d recommend staying on or around Kloof St whilst staying in the city. Lively vibe with lots of nice bars and restaurants, and if you have a car easy to get to the myriad beach options (skip Camps Bay and head to one of the Clifton beaches instead).

    Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is a must visit, and we liked the weekend market in Woodstock for good street food and mooching around. As others have said, Boulders and a visit to Muizenberg/the False bay beaches is worth a day trip.

    Definitely worth a trip out to the wine region. Personally I preferred Franschhoek to Stellenbosch but they’re close enough that you can cover off both easily and can very much recommend Boschendal as a place to stay which is sat between the two of them.

    VinZ

    Just been there… 🙂

    Cape Town, stay a couple of days and do Table Mountain, Cape of Good Hope (fantastic!) and Boulders Beach to see the penguins. Stay at the Mount Nelson but you run the risk of not wanting to go anywhere else. Have lunch or dinner at Kloof Street House super hip and trendy. If you can’t find a table, stay at the bar for a drinks and have nibbles there – you’ll be fine.

    Then Stellenbosch, get a wine tasting (Spiers is great) and have dinner at Delaire Graff (the best meal and wine you’ll have). Stay at River Manor Boutique hotel, small, pretty, two swimming pools.

    Safari, no more than one night at Gondwana (but it’s quite far) or Kuganha tented camp. Gondwana is quite wild though!

    Hermanus if you want to see the whales (that should be the right time). Stay at One Marine Drive (same group of River Manor). Go to Cape Agulhas where the two oceans meet and Struisbai for the most amazing beach. But with 10 days you can drive to Mossel Bay, George, wilderness too along the garden route.

    Then the last day in CPT you simply relax and go to Clifton beach or Mount Nelson and you don’t leave the place like we did! 🙂

    Enjoy

    jek

    We also just have been there (and are still in South Africa). A few additions: As a foodie, I have to recommend Emazuwini (a very young, but very talented chef) and Urchin (just opened in December). A great day is taking the first (9am) tour of Robben Island, lunch (1:30) at Emazuwini followed by a visit to the Zeitz Museum (another must-do) and drinks at the Waterfront.

    Uber is safe and cheap.

    SGJNI

    I second almost all of the above particularly Franschhoek, an easy 1 hour drive from CPT.La Petite Colombe, Protege or Reuben’s if you are a foodie, even the new “branches” down at the V&A, The Pier or The Waterside The wine tram is fun but the wines on offer are not the best of what is available I think. Go to Boschendal for a picnic or platters and tastings, heaven!
    The V&A gets a bad wrap, yes its a tourist trap but a pint in The Ferryman’s is a lovely way to waste an hour people watching. Wouldn’t stay in The Mount Nelson but would certainly go for lunch out on the terrace or have cocktails in The Silo hotel!
    There a many wine estates a half hour drive from Hout Bay most with good inexpensive food.
    If any of the rental apartments down in the Marina suit your needs don’t hesitate, with eating out being so cheap you will only use the kettle!

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