Every chance I get, I make sure I spend that opportunity exploring the scenic beauty that is Cape Town. Despite being a Capetonian for more than two years, I must admit that I feel as though I have yet to truly explore Cape Town’s full potential because that requires extensive planning and, unfortunately, excessive spending. This past festive season, however, I did dedicate most of my days to visiting as many spots and travelling to various destinations as possible (alongside my partner, who was visiting from Europe).
From sunrise hikes to bobbing on the Atlantic Ocean and indulging in the finest gourmet meals, here is a no-hassle hot list of what you can do in Cape Town in just a day:
- Go on an early morning hike at Lion’s Head
Waking up just before 5am is a tall order, I know, but if you would like to experience the enigma of what I call “Saint Peter’s Magic” then a 50 minute scenic hike up Lion’s Head is just what you need. Journey up this iconic landmark with a group of adventure-seekers for the perfect early morning experience that will provide a sense of wanderlust for all your Instagram followers. For more, visit (insert link here) to read up on my previous Lion’s Head hike experience and what you need to make it worthwhile.
- Visit the Oranjiezicht Farmer’s Market
When you’ve snapped the perfect sunrise photo and descended from the peak of Lion’s Head your next post-shower visit should be the Waterfront’s Oranjiezicht Farmer’s Market. Here, you can enjoy the mid-morning market, choosing from a wide selection of food stalls for a filling breakfast which should include an energy-boosting smoothie or coffee. Situated right on Bay Road*, the market is free entrance and holds a melting pot of culture and foods perfect for the start to an already exciting day.
Luckily for you, you won’t have to walk too far for an exciting kayaking experience with Atlantic Outlook (which happens to be 2 minutes from the Farmer’s Market). For just R450 you will get to embark on an interactive 2-kilometer journey on open waters; providing a beautiful view of the Waterfront and Green Point. The biggest highlight, however, is having the opportunity to spot some curious ocean friends such as seals and dolphins who might stop by to say “hi”. The crew is also helpful, ensuring to guide you before and during the journey, making this an activity that is perfect for beginners.
- Have lunch at MAReSOL
By midday, you are having fun and enjoying the sun, but it’s now time for lunch and one of the best places on the V&A pier is MAReSOL. Enjoy a mimosa and ask for the catch of the day to re-energise and prepare for the next activity. This restaurant is also situated near the docks which is a bonus as you’ll want to have easy access for your next item on your to-do list, which is to…
- Sail from V&A to Green Point
Why have one opportunity to view the city landscape when you can have two? Boat tours are no doubt different from kayaking, providing you with the space to sit back and relax with a chilled glass of champagne whilst watching the sun begin to hang low over the horizon. Pricing can range between R150 to R450 per person depending on the add-ons and duration of your boat ride (Cruise IQ)
- How about a 10 min chopper experience?
If you enjoy the simplicity of people-watching in the mall, then how about the opportunity to do so thousands of feet in the air whilst looking down at the V&A pier? Granted that it is 10-30 minutes of flight, it is everything you can hope for and more. This experience varies between an ocean or city view, with the option to hover above the Cape of Good Hope, and ranges from R1 500 to R3 000 per person, per flight which you can easily book through Get Your Guide.
- Cycle along the Sea Point Promenade
Up Cycles provides an easy way to tour around the promenade from Sea Point to Camps Bay by bicycle. Dodge Cape Town’s summer traffic and get a head start on everyone as everyone heads to the beach. Costing between R80 to R320, depending on your desired duration, this activity offers the freedom to feel the breeze on your skin as you make your way to the beach for some ice cream and a much needed break.
- Have some fun in the sun at the Camps Bay beach
Cape Town’s coastline is an amazing place to be. It’s full of buzzing scenes and beautiful people, and what would the Mother City be without world-renowned beaches such as the Camps Bay? Unlike many other Cape Town shorelines, Camps Bay beach has access to a range of restaurants and bars which make for relaxing sunset sundowners. (names of two restaurants and more) offer distinguished menus which some vegetarian and vegan friendly options so you can enjoy the evening twilight with everybody. You will almost feel as though you are on the Miami strip.
- Enjoy dinner at the 12 Apostles
As the fun continues, head over to the iconic 12 Apostles Hotel ‘s Azure Restaurant for a buffet-style dinner which overlooks the ocean’s horizon and has the best view of the sun dipping just behind Lion’s Head. It is a sight to see! This is a five star, gourmet dining experience comes complete with impeccable service that will please families and gastronomes alike.
I must warn you though, this bespoke hotel is heavily focused on fine dining and the Azure Restaurant’s meals may cost a pretty penny, but it totally worth the good food, good vibes and good view. I mean, ultimately, you are a tourist – you deserve to spoil yourself with the finer things in life. (I need to find the name of the restaurant)
- Go out and paint the town, or Long Street, red!
Cape Town’s night life is like no other. Unique, sometimes wild, but ultimately a whole lot of fun! People here are always down for good times on a Friday night, and you have to experience Cape Town’s authentic six-to-six ethos by partying on Long Street. In this case, I would recommend BeerHouse, Bob’s Bar, The Dubliner if you are into Irish beer, Souk and Coco.