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Things to do in Cape Town

Mediterranean in style with an African feel, Cape Town is a magnet for outdoors enthusiasts. Indigenous flora grows at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and penguins inhabit Boulders Beach. On clear days, Table Mountain offers outstanding city views and if the temperamental Cape Doctor wind howls, test your windsurfing ability or go wine-tasting in Constantia. Both Robben Island and the South African National Gallery tell the story of the country's turbulent history.

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town
Entrance to the South African National Gallery. Photo by Christopher Havenga
1

South African National Gallery

History through art

Although small, the South African National Gallery near the Parliament building is the country's premier art museum, with exhibits that reflect South Africa's troubled history. Don't miss examples of the artworks once dismissed as 'craft', such as outstanding Ndebele beadwork.



Cost

R15; concessions R5

Opening Hours

Tue-Sun 10am-5pm

Address

Government Avenue, Company's Garden, Cape Town Cape Town 8001

Telephone

+27 (0) 21 467 4660

Transport

By taxi

Website

Iziko Website

Tourists viewing the prison on Robben Island. Photo by Hein Von Hörsten, © South African Tourism
2

Robben Island Museum

Long walk to freedom

Once a prison housing Nelson Mandela, today Robben Island is a living museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A series of exhibits, some in Mandela's former cell, trace and interpret the emotions and conditions of prisoners during apartheid.



Cost

R200; under 18s R100

Opening Hours

Ferries depart at 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm; tours last 3 1/2 hours

Address

Private Bag, Cape Town 7400

Telephone

+27 (0) 21 409 5100

Transport

By ferry from the V&A Waterfront

Website

Robben Island Museum Website

Groot Constantia Wine Estate, Cape Town. Courtesy of Groot Constantia
3

Groot Constantia

Wine route

Groot Constantia, 20km from Cape Town, is the oldest wine estate in South Africa, established in 1685. Sample up to five varieties of wine with a cellar tour or book an evening in period costume at the Manor House.



Cost

R28-R33

Opening Hours

Daily summer: 9am-5.30pm; winter: 9am-4.30pm

Address

Groot Constantia Road, Cape Town 7848

Telephone

+27 (0) 21 794 5128

Transport

By Car

Website

Groot Constantia Website

The cable car from Table Mountain, Cape Town. Courtesy of  Barbara Realini
4

Table Mountain Cable Car

Aerial views

Enjoy a bird's-eye view of the mother city and beyond with a ten-minute cable-car trip up Table Mountain. This table-shaped sandstone plateau is 1085 metres high and three kilometres wide but sometimes hidden by a cloud or 'tablecloth'.



Cost

R160 (return); concessions available

Opening Hours

Summer daily 8am-8.30pm (until 7.30pm Feb; 6.30pm Mar; 5.30pm Apr); winter daily 8.30am-5pm (until 6pm Sep-Oct; 7pm Nov)

Address

PO Box 730, Tafelberg Rd, Cape Town 8000

Telephone

+27 (0) 21 424 8181

Clownfish at Cape Town's Two Oceans Aquarium. Photo by Barbara Realini
5

Two Oceans Aquarium

Underwater world

Discover over 300 marine species, including fish, penguins, eels and turtles, at the Two Oceans Aquarium, Africa's largest, near the V&A Waterfront. The I&J Predator Exhibit showcases various different species of shark in more than two million litres of seawater.



Cost

R88; concessions R68; children free-R68

Opening Hours

Daily 9.30am-6pm

Address

Dock Road, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town 8002

Telephone

+27 (0) 21 418 3823

Transport

By taxi

Website

Two Oceans Aquarium Website

Bird of Paradise, a flower native to South Africa. Courtesy of Barbara Realini
6

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens

Cape flora

Home to indigenous South African plants, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens are nestled on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. 36 hectares of cultivated area showcase everything from medicinal to scented species. Learn how to conserve water at the Water-wise Garden.



Cost

R35

Opening Hours

Daily 8am-7pm (until 6pm Apr-Aug)

Address

Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town 7735

Telephone

+27 (0) 21 799 8899

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town. Photo by Walter Knirr, © South African Tourism
7

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront

All-day entertainment

A former working dock, the buzzing Victoria & Alfred Waterfront complex is today Cape Town's most popular entertainment centre. Eat, shop, watch movies or simply relax over a cup of coffee. Don't miss cultural performances at the outdoor amphitheatre.



Cost

Free entry

Opening Hours

Daily 9am-9pm

Address

Portswood Close, Portswood Ridge, Cape Town 8002

Telephone

+27 (0) 21 408 7600

Nosy penguins on Boulders Beach. Photo by Joel Brandon Bravo
8

Boulders Beach

Meet the penguins

Located south of Cape Town, near Simon's Town, Boulders Beach is the place to get up close and personal with a colony of Jackass Penguins, so called for their comical braying call. Drive on towards Cape Point to spot baboons.



Cost

R35

Opening Hours

Dec-Jan 7am-7.30pm; Feb-Mar 8am-6pm; Apr-Sep 8am-5pm; Oct-Nov 8am-6pm

Address

Simon's Town, Cape Town 7995

Telephone

+27 21 786 2329

Transport

By taxi

Website

Table Mountain National Park Website

Cape Point, South Africa. Photo by Walter Knirr, © South African Tourism
9

Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve

Ocean meets ocean

Cape of Good Hope witnesses a temperamental climate, stemming from its position at the crossroads of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Spot shipwrecks from the days of discovery voyages or diverse wildlife at the Nature Reserve.



Cost

R75

Opening Hours

Oct-Mar daily 6am-6pm; Apr-Sep daily 7am-5pm

Address

Cape Point Main Gate , Off Plateau Road, Simons Town, Cape Town 7995

Telephone

+27 (0) 21 780 9526

Transport

By taxi

Website

South African National Parks Website

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