8 Reasons To Visit Cape Town

A South African holiday is a unique experience, the highlights of which include breathtaking safaris, stunning coastal drives and unique cultural encounters. However, to really see the best of South Africa, you have to visit Cape Town. This legislative capital of South Africa is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, and it makes an ideal holiday destination because it has something to suit every taste. There are many reasons it appears so often on lists of the most beautiful cities in the world, and below we discuss eight of them.

1. The Food!

If there is no other reason to visit Cape Town, it’s the food. Cape Town is the most reasonably priced, delicious city that I’ve been to. Given the melting pot of people that have populated the city over the years, the flavors are abundant, ranging from the brightly spiced beef-jerky-like snack of biltong to mouthwatering braais (barbecues) to exquisite classic French dishes.

Be adventurous and try something different like a fragrant Cape Malay curry or wild game like kudu, springbok, or zebra. The best part? It’s all priced at a fraction of the cost you’d expect stateside.

2. Best Wine in the World

All that food requires some world-class wines. Cape Town has gourmands covered with not one, not two, but three wine appellations producing some of the best Chenin Blancs and Pinotages you’ll ever taste.

Whether you prefer the quaintness of Paarl, the chicness of Franschhoek, or the heritage of Stellenbosch, be sure to visit at least one of the wine regions. Each is a short drive away. I recommend booking a night or two on a vineyard to truly become one with the terroir. Plus, some of the best food you’ll find in Cape Town is at the vineyards.

3. Table Mountain

Where else in the world would you be able to see this prominent landmark if not Cape Town? One can choose to either use a Cable car or go hiking. The Cableway is the easiest and quickest way, taking around 5 minutes and costs 255 South African Rands (ZAR) for a return ticket. This cable car gives a great 360 degrees view of Cape Town city, Robben Island and part of the Peninsular.

4. Brilliant Nightlife

Many have equated the scene on Long Street to that of Bourbon Street in New Orleans, and they’re not that far off. The only difference is that food and drink on Long Street is actually affordable.

Forgo the tourist trap of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and party with the locals on Long Street. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to catch a taste of the South African nightlife. I recommend Beer House for live music and an awesome craft beer selection.

5. Robben Island

Off the coast of Cape Town is the UNESCO-listed Robben island, a name that translates to ‘seal island’. It has a gruesome, but historically significant, past. This was the site of the prison where Nelson Mandela spend 18 years before the fall of apartheid—a fascinating reason to make sure you add Cape Town to your South Africa holiday itinerary.

6. Shopping

Cape Town is a well-known shopping destination especially popular with other African citizens. Many international brands which may not be available anywhere else in Africa find their way in Cape Town.

The most popular shopping mall is the Victoria & Alfred or popularly known as the Waterfront. If the waterfront is too touristy for you, then Canal Walk Mall in Century city is your other option.  Or head over to the hipster neighborhood of Woodstock for the Saturday morning Neighborhood Market at Biscuit Mill. Vendors are on hand selling everything from farm-fresh produce to artisan foods to crafts. Biscuit Mill is a cool place to check out with plenty of restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries showcasing the best of Cape Town.

7. Colorful Streets of Bo-Kaap (Malay Quarter)

South Africa is nicknamed the Rainbow Nation due to its cultural and ethnic mixture. These beautiful houses in the Bo-Kaap area of Cape Town are just another reason why South Africa is a rainbow nation.

This culturally diverse neighborhood on the foot of Signal Hill consists of Malaysian people, African, Indian and Sri Lankans who settled in the 16th century after being ferried by the Dutch from their original homes to work as slaves.

8. Pristine Beaches

Cape Town has a diverse and spectacular selection of beaches dotted along its Atlantic and Indian Ocean coastlines, each with their own distinct personalities and top attractions. Here are some of our favourites.

The pristine beaches of Cape Town are top among the reasons people make their way to the city every year. With the spectacular backdrop of the Cape Fold Mountain range, the Mother City’s beaches are of the most scenic in the world. There are a lot of beaches to choose from since the Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean borders the coastal city.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Cape Town, South Africa?

If you are planning a trip to Cape Town, South Africa, it is important to know when is the best time to visit the region. Typically, the best times to travel to Cape Town are between March through May and then again from September through November.

It is these two seasons where the region has the best weather and there are also less tourists. You will also be able to take advantage of lower prices for airfare and lodging accommodations.

However, tourists do need to be aware of one thing when they are making plans to travel to Cape Town. The seasons are reversed in the Southern hemisphere. This means that the summer season in Cape Town occurs during the same time of year as winter does in the United States.

With that being said, the most popular time to visit South Africa is during the summer but this is also the most crowded and expensive time to visit as well. It is not uncommon to find that the hotels are at capacity.

On the other hand, the Mother Land usually becomes much less crowded during June and August. This is when the weather turns cooler, and the constant rain quickly dampens outdoor activities and attractions that are frequented by tourists.

Visiting Cape Town Between December And February

The summer season in Cape Town, South Africa runs from December to February. It is during this time of the year when visitors from around the world decide to take advantage of the outdoor attractions and beautiful beaches that the city hosts.

If you want to visit the city during this time of the year, you will need to make all of your reservations several months ahead of time because hotels are booked out quickly.

The weather during the summer season tends to be warm, however, it is not brutally hot. The daytime temperatures during the summer averages around the mid to upper 70s.

Visiting Cape Town Between March And May

This is the ideal time of year for those who love wine. As the autumn weather brings cooler temperatures to the city, the tourists begin their mass exodus from the region. However, this exodus is also a sign that the yearly wine harvest is about to begin. The Cape wineries located around the city offer visitors the chance to take part in the harvesting and juicing of the fruit.

Even if you are not a lover of wine, this is still an ideal time of the year to visit Cape Town. The temperature in the day rarely reaches the upper 70s, and lodging is less expensive as the tourism industry begins to get ready for the slow season.

Visiting Cape Town Between June And August

This time of the year is the winter season in Cape Town, and it is also the season where there are very few tourists in the region. This means that tourists who do decide to visit during this time of year are able to save a lot of money in airfare and hotel costs as long as they do not mind the rain.

It is common for the city to see periodic rain showers that are accompanied by cold winds. However, with an average daily temperature in the 60s, it is still a great time of year to visit for those who enjoy cooler weather.

Visiting Cape Town Between September And November

During this time of the year, the city is alive with spring colors. You can take a trip to Table Mountain so you can see literally hundreds of plants that are bursting with vibrant colors.

Tourists will also enjoy warmer temperatures as the daily highs range from the upper 60s to the upper 70s.

As far as accommodations, tourists are still able to secure a good deal on hotel rates if they make their reservations at least a month ahead of time.

Visiting Cape Town, South Africa is a once in a lifetime journey for most. Choosing the best time of the year to visit will be dependent on your personal preferences.