With the great Table Mountain providing the backdrop for this stunning seaside port city, Cape Town is an outdoor lover's delight. With plenty of hiking and trekking nearby, as well as national parks and wildlife excursions, the capital of the Western Cape is the perfect introduction to the rugged and wild landscapes of Africa. Linger around Cape Town for a few days to soak up the history, culture and geographical wonders the city has to offer. With dozens of world-class restaurants, hair-raising gondola rides, and emotive museums there's no reason why you shouldn't give Cape Town at least 48 hours to explore.
8 AM BREAKFAST AT THE BORAGE BISTRO
7B, PORTSIDE BUILDING, CNR BUITENGRACHT STR & HANS STRIJDOM AVE. CPT FORESHORE, CAPE TOWN, 7500
Wake up early and hit the streets. Cape Town is an early morning city and there is plenty to do so let's get moving! First, head over to the Borage Bistro, which occupies the bright, sunlight-filled lower level of Cape Town's Portside Tower. This urban-chic restaurant serves up delicious food at fair prices (R35-R65). Chow down on pastries, eggs benedict, french toast and breakfast burritos, or opt for a healthy treat like yogurt and muesli or seasonal fruit salad.
10 AM THE VICTORIA & ALFRED WATERFRONT
BREAKWATER BLVD. V & A WATERFRONT, CAPE TOWN, 8002
Now that you've filled up on a hearty breakfast, it's time to walk some of it off. Take an hour stroll around the harbor where you can find lots of interesting museums and sites. Head to the marina and keep your eye peeled for seals, basking and barking in the early morning light. Next, head over to the 2 Oceans Aquarium at V&A Waterfront to spy 3,000 species of sea creatures including sharks, turtles and penguins. You can also check out some of the historical sites like the Maritime Museum and the beautiful old clock tower. While you're walking, take in the amazing street performers, which may include drummers, African dance and local instruments.
12 PM THE MARKET ON THE WHARF
BREAKWATER BLVD. V & A WATERFRONT, CAPE TOWN, 8002
The Waterfront Market On The Wharf was the first permanent bazaar in Cape Town and it is alive and buzzing every day of the week from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm. There are about 50 stalls to check out here so take your time. Try one of the local craft beers and grab a spot on one of the outdoor picnic tables to enjoy views of the harbor and Table Mountain (don't worry, we'll get there too). It’s a great chance to eat your way around the world with Thai food, German pretzels, American pork sandwiches, and “Pimp My Biscuit" cookies for dessert... and don't worry, there are plenty of local specialties like bunny chow and boerewors, as well.
2 PM TIME FOR A BIT OF HISTORY
DISTRICT 6 MUSEUM 25 BUITENKANT ST. CAPE TOWN, 8001
Once again, you're full from all of the delicious food that Cape Town has to offer, so it's time to walk it off. Pick up a map from the tourism stand at V&A Waterfront and circle the museums of interest. We highly recommend the District Six Museum (cost: R30, opening times: Monday: 9am - 2pm, Tuesday - Saturday: 9am - 4pm), which paints a chilling picture of the history of Apartheid in South Africa.
4 PM BO KAAP MUSEUM
SCHOTSCHE KLOOF, CAPE TOWN, 8001
From there, walk over to the Bo Kaap Museum (cost: R10, opening times: Monday - Saturday: 10am - 5pm), located in a colorful, cobblestone neighborhood. This museum celebrates the culturally diverse center of the city, and the Islamic contributions to South African culture, such as architecture, carpentry and tailoring.
6 PM DINNER AT BO-KAAP KOMBUIS
8001, 7 AUGUST ST. SCHOTSCHE KLOOF, CAPE TOWN, 8001
You may have been tempted by international foods during breakfast and lunch, but now it's time to sample some of the food that made the Cape culinary scene famous. Traditional, spicy and tasty, you can start with South African style tapas like samoosas and dhaltjies (deep-fried chili and spinach bites). For your main course, consider one of their prawn or lamb curries or the house specialty of slow-cooked lamb cubes in tamarind paste served with veggies and mash.
8 PM EXPERIENCE CAPE TOWN'S NIGHTLIFE AT THE WAITING ROOM
273 LONG ST. CAPE TOWN CITY CENTRE, CAPE TOWN, 8000
If you've still got some energy after exploring "The Mother City," consider popping into The Waiting Room, a funky and hip rooftop bar above Café Royale on Long Street. A buzzing vibe of urban cool, it has a chic design that’s the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner and live music. The outdoor deck makes for one of the coolest places to meet, and on Saturday night, it’s one of the most happening clubs in the city.
10 AM WAKE UP LATE AND HEAD TO FOUR & TWENTY
23 WOLFE ST. WYNBERG, CAPE TOWN, 7800
We're not sure if the name of this cafe hints at a serious munchies craving, but one thing is for sure, the food here is fantastic. If you're feeling a bit hazy from the night before, there's nothing better to clear the fog than a delicious, low-carb eggs benedict where you’ll find a sumptuous mushroom and aubergine rösti with truffle oil in place of toast.
11 AM HEAD TO TABLE MOUNTAIN
PLATEAU RD, SIMON'S TOWN, CAPE TOWN, 7995
You've been looking up at this stunning natural landmark for over 24 hours now, so it's time to go and see it up close. We recommend taking the gondola up to relax and enjoy the views, then hike down via the windy dirt trail. A little exercise will help cure that hangover and the views are spectacular, as well. While you're at the top, take the time to walk around Table Mountain National Park, which has plenty of wildlife to see including dassies and orange-breasted sunbirds.
3 PM ROBBEN ISLAND MUSEUM
ROBBEN ISLAND, CAPE TOWN, 7400
It's time to learn some more about the history of the area. This tiny atoll bobs in Table Bay just a few miles west of the coast of Bloubergstrand. The name is actually Dutch for "Seal Island," but Robben Island is not really famous for its seals. This is where the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, was imprisoned for 18 of the 27 years that he served behind bars before the fall of the Apartheid in 1994. Today, you can tour the prison and even see the cell where he was detained. Ferries leave the V&A Waterfront 6 times a day, with the ride taking about 30 minutes each way. Hop on the 3:00 pm sail for R150 and allocate about 2.5 hours to this incredible island prison.
7 PM DINNER AT THE BLACK SHEEP
Daily specials can be found on the blackboard at this buzzing, hotspot, but come early to ensure that everything is still on the menu because once they run out; it's gone for the day! Bring a few friends and try the 7-hour pot roast larded leg of lamb in sherry and onions with boiled fingerlings. If you don't have a large enough group to take on such a feast, consider the roast polenta w/ courgettes, artichokes and caper dressing or the lentil coconut curry with roast butternut, chard, cherry tomatoes & grilled halloumi.
9 PM THE POWER & THE GLORY BAR
13 B KLOOF NEK RD. GARDENS CAPE TOWN, 8001
Since you just finished dinner at the hipster-esque Black Sheep, let's continue the night in style. It’s a quick 5-minute walk to The Power & The Glory bar with as many regulars as Cheers, or Moe's from The Simpsons. It may seem like everyone knows each other’s names, but don't feel left out. Get friendly with the locals and enjoy some fantastic cocktails with jars of peanuts to snack on and cheers to a great weekend in Cape Town!