Travel guide to Cape Town, Cape Town Central
Both the New York Times and the Guardian have ranked Cape Town as the world's number one vacation spot and for good reason. Cape Town is a multicultural, cosmopolitan city which boasts trendy cafes, restaurants and boutique shops as well as a plethora of attractions and activities, which will keep you entertained on weekend getaways to Cape Town. Better yet, the sheer beauty of Cape Town's peninsula, beaches, waterfront and mountains is sure to take your breath away!
Cape Town highlights:
If your time is Cape Town is limited, make sure you don't leave without visiting Table Mountain, the Robben Island Museum and the V&A Waterfront.
Table Mountain, which is one of Cape Town's most recognizable features, is one of the 7 Wonders of Nature and boasts spectacular, panoramic views of Cape Town and Robben Island. Whilst, it's possible to hike to the summit on your own or as part of a guided tour, you might be interested in taking in a scenic, five minute cable car ride to the summit on a historic aerial cableway. If you see yourself as the adventurous type, you may also be interested in abseiling down one of the mountain's cliff faces with Abseil Africa.
The Robben Island Museum
Robben Island, is a short 5.5 mile ferry ride from Cape Town, with numerous guided tours departing from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront each day. Each tour is conducted by a former political prisoner, so you'll be able to get a real insight into what prison life on Robben Island was like. You'll also learn about Robben Island's most well known prisoner, Nelson Mandela's 18 year stay on the island and get to visit the quarry where he and his fellow inmates were forced to endure hard labor.
The V&A Waterfront, which was developed on former docklands has revitalized Cape Town's waterfront and boasts an outdoor amphitheater, a luxury cinema, an aquarium, multiple museums and over 80 eateries. It's also Cape Town's premier shopping destination, as it's home to numerous shopping centers, including the Watershed, an African craft market where you can pick up a variety of souvenirs such as hand blown glass jewelry, handmade instruments and artwork. Alternatively, the Clock Tower Shopping Center boasts a variety of high end stores including the only jewelry store in the world to specialize in Tanzanite jewelry.
If the sound of riding down a giant white sand dune with a large board strapped to your feet, excites you then head to the Atlantis Dunes which are located just forty minutes from Cape Town's city center.
Take a Bo-Kaap cooking class
Bo-Kaap is a suburb in Cape Town which is home to the descendants of slaves from Malaysia and Indonesia as is known for it's brightly painted houses. If you're researching weekend getaways around Cape Town, you may be interested in visiting Bo-Kaap and taking a Bo-Kaap cooking class where a local woman, will welcome you into her home and teach you how to use spices and herbs such as cardamon and coriander, to create mouth watering Malay recipes.
Dance the night away
In Cape Town, music is an integral part of everyday life. If you're interested in dancing the night away to African dance music, head to Club Africa which is a popular night spot.
Whilst Cape Town may not be known as beach destination, it offers a variety of breath taking beaches where you can spend your weekend getaways in Cape Town swimming and engaging in water sports such as snorkeling, surfing, sailing and scuba diving. Just make sure to take a rash vest or hire a wet suit, as the water temperature may be a little chillier than you may be used to.
Camps BayCamps Bay is a picturesque, white sand beach which is lined with palm trees. As it's fairly sheltered it's the perfect location to sunbathe or engage in a friendly game of beach volleyball. Directly across the road you'll find a variety of cafes, bars and restaurants which offer al fresco dining.
Clifton BeachClifton Beach is a hot spot which is popular amongst the who's who of Cape Town and is often ranked as one of the world's best beaches. It offers aquamarine water and powder white sand and makes the perfect picnic spot.
If crowded beaches aren't your scene, head to Beta Beach which is located just 10 minutes drive from Cape Town. As it is book ended by two large boulders, Beta Beach offers a secluded spot to sunbathe and swim.
Cape Town boasts a variety of international restaurants, such as Italian, French and Indian restaurants. However, if you're interested in sampling African fare you'll also be spoilt for choice.
Mama Africa is known for it's laid back ambiance and live music. If you're a big meat eater you may be interested in ordering Mama Africa's signature dish, Mama's Wild Game Mixed Grill, which contains crocodile, ostrich, springbok, kudu and venison. Alternatively, you may be tempted to try the Mozambique Chicken Livers, the Feta and Biltong Salad or Mama's Game Kebabs.
Marco's African Place
Like Mama Africa, Marco's African Place offers daily entertainment and specialize in African cuisine. Examples of the succulent dishes on offer include the Ostrich Fillet, the Jubula Patter, which is a vegetarian dish comprised of stuffed peppers and the Umleqwa. The latter of which is a local chicken based dish.
Eziko Restaurant, is a unique eatery as it's run by the Eziko Cooking and Catering School, which teaches unemployed locals how to cook and make a sustainable living. Examples of dishes on offer include Traditional Chicken Curry and Hearty Samp and Beans.
So if you're interested in weekend getaways to Cape Town, start researching your first getaway today as you can't go wrong choosing to visit a city which has been recently named as the world's number one vacation spot. Not only does Cape Town offer beautiful, rugged landscapes but it also offers a multitude of activities and attractions as well as a bubbly, multicultural, cosmopolitan atmosphere. So what are you waiting for? Cape Town's waiting for you!