This post was most recently updated on April 20th, 2018

Cape Town, South Africa, is one of the leading tourist destinations not only in Africa but in the world. The reason is simple, yet compelling. There is a wide range of Cape Town attractions and activities that cut across diverse tastes and preferences, from natural sites to sites with rich historical significance.

What’s even better the destination has something for everyone; it is ideal for lone travelers, lovers, families and tour groups. It offers excellent breaks for business people, professionals, and government officials holding their meetings and conferences.

Suggested Tours:

Cape Town Tours

Cape Peninsula Tour from Cape Town

See all the top sights along South Africa’s Cape Peninsula on this full-day tour from Cape Town. With a mix of independent sightseeing and guided visits, you’ll have the flexibility to do the things you want to do, plus learn about the region from your expert guide.

From USD 76.24

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2 Day Western Cape Wildlife Tour

2-Day Western Cape Wildlife Game Drive and Route 62 from Cape Town

Go wild in the Western Cape on an overnight safari trip from Cape Town! With an expert game-ranger guide at your side, set out on a game drive to see Africa’s Big Five in the Klein Karoo, and then tour a working ostrich farm.

From USD $214.53

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Top 10 Cape Town Attractions (Find a hotel)

 

Table Mountain 

Table MountainThis mountain’s rich biodiversity is one of the most appealing reasons why visitors spend time here. Think of it, Table Mountain is home to the richest, yet tinniest plant kingdom; there are over 1,470 plant species in this 57-square-kilometer area.

This means more species per single square kilometer than are found in a tropical forest. Most interesting is that most of these plant species are endemic to the area and include endangered species such as Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos, Peninsular Shale Renosterveld, and many others.

You will not miss out on some interesting fauna too. Rock hyraxes, snakes, mongooses, a rare amphibian called Table Mountain Ghost Frog are just a few examples of animals you will come across here. Surely this is every nature-lovers’ paradise. In addition, from the top of the Mountain, you get a spectacular view of other neighboring attractions including Robben Island, the Atlantic Ocean, Devil’s Peak, the sweeping countryside and the Lion’s Head.




Cape Town Shark Diving

Observing the Great White Sharks up-close is one of the biggest reasons that you should visit Cape Town. Great White Shark Cage dives are exactly that; you dive into the sharks’ ecosystem but in the safety of a metallic cage. So, with your safety guaranteed you get the opportunity to see first-hand this legendary sea monster the safety. Despite their fearsome reputation as killer sharks, visitors are surprised to learn that these are majestic and beautiful animals to watch. Thanks to these dives, this is most likely the closest one will ever get to these sea creatures.

Despite their fearsome reputation as killer sharks, visitors are surprised to learn that these are majestic and beautiful animals to watch. Thanks to these dives, this is most likely the closest one will ever get to these sea creatures.

TourRadar – Best Prices on 400,000 Tours Worldwide

 

Robben Island 

This a place of great historical significance not only to South Africans but to humanity in general. This Island, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, is the unique symbol of the triumph against social, economic and political oppression. Visiting the Island gives visitors a unique opportunity to see first-hand the facilities used by past oppressive regimes to subdue the voices of the oppressed. Most importantly it is here at the Robben Island that South Africa’s former president and Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela spent 18 out of his 27-year jail term. In essence, this is more than just a destination; it is a living museum that affords visitors the opportunity to learn about the liberation struggle.

Most importantly it is here at the Robben Island that South Africa’s former president and Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela spent 18 out of his 27-year jail term. In essence, this is more than just a destination; it is a living museum that affords visitors the opportunity to learn about the liberation struggle.

Most importantly it is here at the Robben Island that South Africa’s former president and Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela spent 18 out of his 27-year jail term. In essence, this is more than just a destination; it is a living museum that affords visitors the opportunity to learn about the liberation struggle.

 

Kirstenbosch 

Kirstenbosch Botanical GardensThis destination takes visitors to the Kirstenbosch National Botanical garden which is hailed as one of the great botanic gardens in the world. Few, if any, gardens can match its grandeur. The 528ha estate includes a nature reserve and a cultivated garden It displays a wide range of plant life of the Cape Flora.

Plants, including endangered species from all the diverse areas and biomes of Southern Africa, have been introduced at Kirstenbosch. There are also high-quality visitor facilities in the garden including a gift shop, nursery, a bookshop, restaurants and a Zimbabwean stone sculpture exhibition.

 

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront

Victoria and Alfred WaterfrontAttracting well over 24 million visitors per year Victoria and Alfred Waterfront has something for everyone. Though of more as a shopping destination this location is divided into 5 shopping districts: the watershed, Victoria Wharf, the Alfred Mall, the Clock Tower, Pierhead and the Breakwater Point. All these constitute well over 450 stores where you can find anything from big international brands to local designers.

Anyone who wants a taste of local talent and crafts the Watershed is the place to go. If
its jewelry or art you are after, the Alfred Mall and Piehead have more than anyone would expect. Lined in the same area are excellent eating joints ranging from restaurants, fast-food outlets, coffee shops and even bars. For sundowners, the Shimmy Beach Club or the Grand café & Beach offer
mind-blowing views.




Cape Point 

Visitors to Cape point a treated to an assortment of views ranging from the towering cliffs, breath-taking bays, endemic fynbos, rolling green hills and valleys and beaches. Beyond these, there are numerous other must-sees including old and new lighthouses. For instance, the New Lighthouse, built in 1919 with a candlepower of 19 million is the most powerful light in the African continent.

At Cape Point, one can look out for pelagic birds, eland, zebra, chacma baboons, plus many species of small mammals and reptiles. Shoppers have a field day in the three wonderful stores where they can shop for curios, memorabilia, and keepsakes.

Suggested Tour: Faces of Cape Town

 

Clifton Beach 

Clifton Beach Cape TownA quiet and un-spoilt local’s beach located at the northwest tip of the country’s Cape Peninsula is yet another one of the top Cape Town attractions.

Clifton Beach is lined with swaying palms as well as serviced and self-contained low-rise holiday apartments on the beachfront. This beach is a haven for jet-setters and international hipsters. Here one can walk for miles on end in an environment of natural beauty offered by the rainforest clad mountains.

Visitors find this to be a perfect location due to its sprawling and clean environment, the reflection of the African sunshine off-white sand. What’s more, a distinct feeling of mystique is felt here thanks to the mystique of Table Mountain which hovers gorgeously in the background. Sunbathers in their bikinis and Prada sunglasses are a common feature at the Forth beach of Clifton Beach.

 

Bo-Kaap – Museums of South Africa

bo-kaapThe remaining remnant of Walendorp, this museum offers a charming setting for the intriguing traditional cape Muslim lifestyle. The most captivating exhibit is the collection of black-and-white photos of the areas local lifestyle displayed across the yard and in the rooms upstairs. The history of this area reflects the intricate political processes in this country under the Apartheid years.

 

Penguins at Boulders Beach 

Penguins in South AfricaThough Cape Town has no shortage of beaches, it is Boulders Beach near Simon’s Town that steals the show, at least in one aspect; it’s only Boulders Beach that offers the most remarkable viewing point of the African Penguin. These fascinating creatures, formerly referred to as jackass penguins, are the only penguins found in Africa. Though a small public beach is set apart away from the penguin colony, this does not stop these delightful animals from finding their way to where the people are. It is not unusual to have a penguin darting around your legs or sitting on your beach

These fascinating creatures, formerly referred to as jackass penguins, are the only penguins found in Africa. Though a small public beach is set apart away from the penguin colony, this does not stop these delightful animals from finding their way to where the people are. It is not unusual to have a penguin darting around your legs or sitting on your beach

Though a small public beach is set apart away from the penguin colony, this does not stop these delightful animals from finding their way to where the people are. It is not unusual to have a penguin darting around your legs or sitting on your beach towel. Away from the Penguins, the beach is a superb place to set your camp for the day. Little ones find it fun to climb over the rocks and play in the rock
pools.

 

Castle of Good Hope 

This is a landmark of Cape Town and is a perfect example of “star fort”. Castle of Good Hope, built the 17th century, is the oldest existing colonial structure in South Africa. Thus, it is considered to be an excellent example of a DEIC architecture preserved from the 17th century in the world. What’s more important and attractive to visitors is its sentimental and historical significance; its location marks the original shoreline before the Table Bay coastline was changed by years of land reclamation. Popular with local and foreign visitors alike, photography and art exhibitions, as well as the city’s premier events, are often hosted here.

 

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