If you have been following my blog for a while (more specific, a year and a half) you are probably aware of two things being a) that Cape Town is one of my favourite cities and b) that I was living down there for a while. If I had to continue this list c) would definitely be the fact that I am missing this sunny place like no other and that I constantly think of going back. Cape Town has a very special place in my heart but the fact that I once called it home appears increasingly surreal. So much has changed since I came back but when I shut my eyes I can still feel the heat and the breeze of the sea. (Although the term ‘storm’ is probably more accurate, Cape Town is certainly a windy place.) The reason for me writing this post isn’t pure nostalgia though. I had been playing with the thought of writing another travel post for a while and whilst I was wondering about a suitable topic I suddenly saw an ad on the tube – it was advertising cheap flights to Cape Town. Well 500 quid is still a lot but I fully believe that it’s a price worth paying and the evidence is about to follow in this post, enjoy reading.
Cape Town has some incredible mountains. When you drive into the city you are simultaneously driving towards a formation of mountains and each one of them is very unique. If you want to see an incredible sunset, Lion’s Head should be your top choice, me and my friends once climbed up there in the late afternoon and although I am usually not one for hiking, this experience was simply mind-blowing. If you’d rather enjoy the comfort of your car you could drive up Signal Hill and the views from there are just as amazing, although it isn’t as high. And of course I have to mention the most famous mountain of hall, Table Mountain, which attracts tourists from all over the world. I have to admit that I took the table car up but if you like long hikes, you could climb up as well. The views from Table Mountain are extraordinary, just make sure to go up on a day where the sky is clear, Table Mountain can often be found wrapped in a ‘table cloth’.
Cape Town doesn’t just have the most beautiful mountains, the city is also home to the prettiest and most idyllic beaches. What I love most about the beaches in Cape Town is the diversity – there are quiet beaches, touristy beaches, small and private beaches and beaches that never seem to end. I was living in Cape Town for half a year and I don’t even think that I managed to visit all the different beaches – one more reason to go back, am I right? Cape Town’s most famous beaches are probably Clifton and Camp’s Bay but my personal favourites are Blueberg (as you get an incredible view over Table Mountain and as the area itself is amazing) and Muizenberg, a beach that is perfect for surfing. Muizenberg is also home to some beautiful cafés and restaurants, adding to the laid back vibe of the area.
The Waterfront is simply beautiful (I could insert a dozen pictures at that point), especially at night. The Waterfront is also home to a massive shopping centre, many cafés (my favourite one being Vovo Telo!) and probably the poshest restaurants in town. I think you’re getting the image, Capetonians love food. Which makes it the perfectly place but let’s come back to that a bit later. Although I wouldn’t go to the cinema if I only had a few days in Cape Town, I feel like I’m obligated to mention it: There is a VIP-cinema in the V&A mall and listen to this – it doesn’t cost more than a screening in a regular cinema. If that doesn’t convince you to visit the Waterfront, maybe a picture of pretty fairy lights will do the trick.
The Waterfront is located in the centre of the city but Cape Town has way more to offer than just its city centre – in fact if you asked me where to go I’d probably suggest an area outside the centre, such as Woodstock, Muizenberg or Kalk Bay. Kalk Bay is one of my favourite places as it is home to many alternative shops, vintage stores and – I feel like I am repeating myself- amazing cafés. I once had afternoon tea in a train wagon that had been turned into a café and that isn’t if the most unusual place in Kalk Bay. For my birthday we went to a cocktail bar where we could sit in the sand or on swings. #Birthdaygoals, that is all I can say. If you drive along the coast, you first pass through Muizenberg, than Kalk Bay and then through some other small towns – some of them are perfect for swimming in the sea, one of them is perfect for watching penguins breed. Which leads me to the next point.
Cape Town is the perfect place for road trips. The most famous and in my opinion best road trip is undoubtedly the one to Cape Point – if you want to know more about that, feel free to check out this post. The road trip to Cape Point leads you along some stunning beaches, some cute little villages to the famous Cape of Good Hope and of course, Cape Point itself. On the way back you can stop at Gordon’s Bay to pay the penguins a visit (I can highly recommend doing that) or to grab lunch at one of the restaurants in Simon’s Town.
I think it’s time to talk about the most important thing, food. Cape Town doesn’t only have the best restaurants, they are also fairly cheap. After I left Cape Town I found the concept of spending more than 7 Euros on food and drinks incredibly overpriced, and that says a lot. If you are a lover of food, Cape Town is your place. You find a huge variation of restaurants and cafés, from typical South African restaurants to the Chinese and even German cuisine. If you ever go to Cape Town, I will happily provide you with a list of my favourite places, just ask me. If you want to try something new, you could also go to one of the markets for lunch/dinner where they usually offer food from all over the world. I once had dolmadakia, samosas and basil tomato soup for dinner because I couldn’t settle on a particular cuisine. Cape Town doesn’t have a Starbucks (as far as I know), but they do have an equivalent and whilst I was living there I became addicted to Mugg&Bean and their chocolate chai – can Starbucks please adopt this concept?
It’s not only the food that is worth mentioning, though. Cape Town is also the place to be for wine-lovers (I certainly identify as one). If you are interested in wine tasting you could go to Constantia or drive up to Stellenbosch. No matter what you do, it will satisfy your wine cravings and you will learn about the production of wine at the same time.
Now that I have started to talk more about fashion on my blog, I feel like it deserves to be included on this list. I have already mentioned some vintage boutiques and the V&A mall at the Waterfront, but if you are serious about shopping, you should do a trip to Canal Walk. They got a really good Forever21 and whilst I was living a Cape Town, a River Island opened there too. Canal Walk also has a crazy food corner and a small casino for children (this sounds quite wrong but it’s basically like a fun fair) and a cinema, so you could easily spend an entire day there.
How could I talk about Cape Town without mentioning the festivals? Cape Town is the king – or queen? – of festivals and parades, in fact there are so many that it can be hard to keep track of everything going on. I went to the New Year’s Eve parade and to Cape Town Carnival and loved both events, they each had their very own character. The costumes of the Carnival Parade were simply fantastic, there were elephants and even a Chinese dragon. If you aren’t into parades, you could go to one of the festivals instead, they are regularly taking place in and outside of the city centre. If you get the chance to spend NYE in Cape Town, I would highly recommend it – the parade is crazy, people are putting up their tents at the side of the road days in advance so that they don’t miss anything. And the firework at the Waterfront is definitely worth seeing, too, although it’s best to arrive early. Very early.
Last but not least, the people. This sounds cheesy but never have I ever met so many interesting and friendly people in one place. Cape Town is home to many different cultures and is very rich of cultural heritage. You can easily dive into a different culture for a day and experience the different local cuisines and the different traditions. So if you go to Cape Town I can only advise you to look beyond the touristy attractions and to truly experience this multicultural place. Cape Town has a lot to offer and if you truly want to get to know this city, you’ll probably need years. That’s it, I’m going back.
Have you ever been to Cape Town? What is your favourite city? xx