Guaranteed Sun and Africa's Answer to the Tate Modern – Why Cape Town Should Be Your Next City Break

Cape Town South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa // Photo by Kieran1/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

by Pippa de Bruyn, The Telegraph, January 22, 2018

Swap thermals for sunglasses to visit this celebrated South African city, says Pippa de Bruyn.

Go now

The sun is shining in Cape Town. Every day. Until 8pm. This is the season for sundowners on the beach, tanned limbs on the streets, and balmy evenings eating under moonlit skies. What more do you want? The Zeitz MOCAA– the museum of contemporary African art that opened in September, perhaps? A non-stop 12-hour connection, courtesy of BA (ba.com). 

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Read Pippa de Bruyn's complete guide to Cape Town

Cape Town city guide 

Stay here

A sprawling green oasis in the centre, the Mount Nelson (1) is my top city pick. Doubles from £307. For a more boutique experience, Cape Cadogan (2) starts at £177; or try An African Villa (3) from £109.

The best hotels in Cape Town

Walk here

Explore the 17th-century Castle of Good Hope (4), then pass the City Hall (5) – where Mandela gave his first speech – and head down Adderley Street to the Slave Lodge. Stroll through the Company’s Gardens (6), home to the National Gallery and Iziko South African Museum. Either cross Orange Street to the Mount Nelson for the best high tea between here and London, or double back down Long and up Wale to colourful Bo Kaap (7).

See this

Don’t miss the Zeitz MOCAA (8) in the Waterfront’s Silo district. Book online to avoid the queues and avoid busy Wednesday mornings.

Cape Town's best attractions

Try this

Leap off Lion’s Head hill (9) to soar on a paraglider over Camps Bay, the beachside suburb dwarfed by the jagged Twelve Apostles. No experience necessary (paraglide.co.za; 1,300 South African Rand/£78).

Top 10 | The world's best cities (according to you) 

Shop here

Pop into Mungo & Jemima (10) on 108 Long Street, then cross over to MeMeMe at 117A. Long Street is the best for shopping, although Loop and Bree have some goodies, too. 

Cape Town's best shops

Drink here

Screened from the street by hanging ferns, Up Yours (11) is an open-air first-floor balcony entertaining the coolest young crowd in town (G&T R40). If you like a more refined sort of place, The Stack (12), in an elegant Victorian building, has interesting cocktails (R80) and a bistro-style menu. On Feb 1, it’s First Thursday – pick a pavement table anywhere on Bree and watch the passing parade.

Cape Town's best bars and nightlife

Eat here

Get to dinky Chef’s Warehouse (13) 30 minutes before it opens (it doesn’t take bookings), and Liam’s superb “tapas for two” set menu (R700) will blow you away (chefswarehouse.co.za). Otherwise, feast on oysters at Seabreeze Fish & Shell (14) (seabreezecapetown.co.za; mains around R160) or the stuffed calamari (R88) on the piazza outside Maria’s (facebook.com/MariasGreekCafe).

Cape Town's best restaurants

Off the map

Kirstenbosch is more than a garden; for some it’s the most beautiful aspect of Table Mountain, the terraced lawns blending seamlessly into the forested mountain slopes. (sanbi.org, R65 entry). Summer sunset concerts are held here every Sunday; February’s line-up is stellar – see you there.

View our best escorted tours of South Africa

 

This article was written by Pippa de Bruyn from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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