Cape Town is one of the most vibrant, busy and beautiful cities in the world. With 11 official languages (and many more unofficial ones), South Africa is a melting pot of culture and a place that an intrepid explorer could take many years to fully come to know. If you’re only here for a short while, make sure to sidestep the tourist traps and head straight toward these worthwhile, authentic experiences.
Explore (and indulge in) The Cape Winelands
One of the things that makes Cape Town so special is its provincial, Mediterranean climate. This is also why the Cape Winelands is one of the world’s most famed wine-producing regions in the world.
If you’re interested in tasting some of these famous wines straight from the vineyard, head North-West out of Cape Town toward Stellenbosch and find yourself in the rolling hills of Cape Town’s Magnificent winelands. Even if you’re not a wine drinker, the region also produces delicious cheeses and is home to award winning breweries like Stellenbrau.
Find A Secret Beach
While the Mother City’s more famous beaches are often swarmed by crowds in the summertime, the long coastline that stretches down the peninsula is home to many small coves that offer pristine white sand, and warm turquoise water.
The Atlantic Seaboard (which hems the CBD) has water so cold it’ll give you a headache, False Bay is a lot warmer due to the comparatively shallow sea floor. The further south you go, the more secluded and spectacular the beaches are. You might even meet some penguins.
Learn To Surf
If simply sitting on the beach enjoying the view and a few online bingo games in Australia isn’t enough for you, head down to Cape Town’s Muizenberg beach and spend the day learning to surf Cape Town’s world-class waves. The instructors are friendly, passionate, and will probably invite you back to one of the beach bars for a beer overlooking the swell.
Hike Table Mountain
While Table Mountain is usually pictured from the CBD side (where it looks like a table), the back of the mountain is wreathed in exquisitely beautiful forest. Find the start of the Cecilia Forest trail and find yourself walking alongside a gurgling stream beneath a glorious canopy. Upon reaching the summit you’ll find yourself on the banks of a cool, swimmable dam. The hike is about four hours in total, so make sure to pack snacks and plenty of water.
Brunch In Style
Nothing is more Cape Town than a good Saturday brunch. Join Cape Town’s regular crowd of students, artists and young professionals and stop in at Clarke’s on Bree Street for a 10am mimosa. If liquid brunch is a little too wild for your vacation, consider Blue Cafe in Tamboerskloof, a quaint cafe with tables laid out on the sidewalk and views across the city.