Strikingly beautiful and separated by a barrier of mountains, Cape Town looks and feels different from the rest of South Africa. Its unique topography offers a range of activities, from windsurfing and mountain climbing to wine tasting and sun bathing. But Cape Town's real draw is its vibrant multiculturalism. Watch Zulu groups singing and dancing as you shop or dine at the V&A Waterfront; mingle with Cape Town's Muslim community in Bo-Kaap; and party European-style in cool clubs around Greenpoint.
Things to Do
Take a ride on Table Mountain Arial Cableway to put the Mother City into perspective and see the ocean's waves sprinkling Greenpoint Stadium. The neighboring V&A Waterfront is the essence of African chic, alluring visitors with its unique shopping, entertaining and dining possibilities. Escape to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, where indigenous flora provides the backdrop to summer concerts. Hop on a ferry to the Robben Island Museum, which serves as a reminder of the country's struggles and is a World Heritage Site.
Bead's the word in Cape Town when it comes to souvenirs. Ethically produced collections of jewelry and ornaments are displayed in Bo-Kaap. For tribal paintings and ingenious sculptural work, visit bustling Greenmarket Square, fringed by intricate Cape colonial architecture; you'll see similar items with higher price tags at the V&A Waterfront. Taste and then buy wine in the well-established wine estates around Stellenbosch or in Darling's up-and-coming wineries.
Nightlife and Entertainment
With a picture-perfect coastline, the best way to start the evening in Cape Town is with a sundowner (a drink taken around sunset). Walk off the beach and sip beer with local surfers in Table View. The setting is more champagne cocktails in Camps Bay, so dress up to enjoy the airy terraces. After dinner, everyone is drawn to Greenpoint and Mouille Point, where the bar and club scene remains reliably trendy.
Restaurants and Dining
In vogue and affordable, dining out is a favorite with Capetonians, and a must for travelers who want to truly experience the city's diversity. Bring a bottle of wine to a seafood restaurant in Hout Bay, where you'll find the freshest catch of the day. Full-flavored game meat is served in Long Street and for original Cape Malay curries, there's only one place: Bo-Kaap. Order a familiar dish from a continental menu at the V&A Waterfront.