How to (really) enjoy Cape Town…Hidden local spots in the city.
Are you planning a trip to Cape Town? Then you’ve come to the right place! This stunning coastal city has so much to offer and you’re sure to have a great time. Here’s a list of the best things to do in Cape Town.
Begin your journey in the city centre and explore some of the incredible attractions. Of course, there are the obvious must-do and must-see attractions like Table Mountain, Clifton Beach, and other typical tourist things. But consider traveling sustainably this time, and engaging with the city in a way that will leave a lasting economic impact.
Did you know that to this day, Cape Town is considered the most racially segregated city in South Africa, stemming back from the apartheid era?
The city has not changed its city planning which was designed to keep white South Africans in the city center and blacks in the outer, impoverished areas called townships. Fueled by the high numbers of foreign investments, guarding of old money, and the city’s refusal to enforce or support affirmative action, the rich get richer and the poor, poorer. So when you’re in the city take note of the beautiful scenery and tourist attractions, but make an effort to research who owns all the establishments you patronize from your accommodation, and attractions, to the places you eat. And, if you want to truly travel sustainably, support black-owned small businesses to positively impact the economy and contribute to bridging the economic and racial divide.
1. Greenmarket Square
This age-old market is steeped in history and culture, bursting with colour, creativity and vibrancy. It’s the ideal place to pick up one-of-a-kind souvenirs and gifts; as well as traditional African art, fabrics, jewelry and handmade items. You’ll also find tasty local snacks and a range of fresh produce too. Crafters from all over Africa come here to sell stunning, handmade souvenirs.
2. V&A Waterfront
The V&A Waterfront is your mix of everything, international clothing outlets, fine-dining restaurants, and excursions like boat rides and shark diving. Another staple that gives the waterfront its charm is the performers, who are a much-enjoyed fixture. Marimba bands, human statues, dancers and choirs singing old-school jazz tunes remnant of musicians such as Lady Black Mambazo for small donations.
You also need to try these two award-winning, black-owned restaurants at the V&A Waterfront.
SIBA the Restaurant Owned and managed by celebrity chef, Sibahle Mtongana.
Emazulwini Restaurant by multi-award-winning chef and patron Mmabotho Molefe.
3. History and Culture
Learn about the local culture and history of the city by visiting the District Six Museum or Bo-Kaap, the colourful neighbourhood of the Muslim community. Stroll along the cobblestone streets of Bo-Kaap and take in the vibrant colours of the homes.
4. Eat and drink different!
After a busy day of sightseeing, sample some of the delicious food and drinks Cape Town has to offer. From fine dining to street food, there’s something for everyone. If you’re looking for an authentic experience, head to the local markets and enjoy flavours from around the world.
Klein Goederust by daring and pioneering entrepreneur, Paul Siguqa.
The Hot Skillet a city center gem.
5. More vibes, more life!
Enjoy the best nightlife in the city no matter your preference. If you’re looking for a sophisticated evening opt for a rooftop lounge on a weekday or a shisanyama (barbeque) daytime spot. If you’re in the mood to groove then visit one of the popular bars in Long Street and Kloof like Ayeyep or Saint Champagne Bar & Lounge.
Whatever you do, make sure you take in all that Cape Town has to offer. With its stunning scenery, vibrant culture, and delicious food, you’re sure to have an amazing experience. Enjoy your trip!