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a quick guide to cape town

a quick guide to cape town

few other cities in the world will give you the same feeling as cape town. with the sticking table mountain as the perfect backdrop, the bursting cultural scene, the world-class restaurants, the complex history and beautiful sandy beaches, the mother city is like no other. from the moment I landed, back in january 2020, it was love at first-sight. my three-night stay turned into a nine-day stay. I visited cape town again earlier this year and it was love all over again.

cape town

you’ll find an abundance of luxury hotels to choose from: you might want to check the silo, right next to zeitz moccaa, mount nelson, part of belmond hotels, future found. sanctuary or the marly and the bay hotels if you’re planning to stay in camps bay. but cape town is a city where guest houses or airbnbs with scenic views over the table mountain are just as popular.

zeitz moccaa

located in green point, one of my favorite neighborhoods in cape town, harper’s house is the sister luxury guest house to gorgeous george, one of the trendiest hotels in cape town’s CBD. dating back to 1892, the house combines architectural elements from the victorian era with touches of african heritage. from the beautiful interiors to the yummy breakfast that is served every morning, to the friendly staff, I can’t recommend this place enough.

home to world class restaurants and rooftops with some pretty scenic views, exploring cape town food scene is a delightful experience. here are some of my absolute favorites:

our local (117 kloof st.), hemelhuijs (71 waterkant st.), nourish’d (177 kloof st.), rosetta roastery cafe (101 bree st.), jarryd’s brunch and bistro (90 regent rd.)

our local (117 kloof st.)

kloof street house (30 kloof st.), FYN (37 parliament st. - 5th floor), the pot luck club (373-375 albert rd.), la tête (17 bree st.), grub & vine (103 bree St.), azoka (68 kloof st.), tomson (120 bree st.), see breeze fish & shell (213 bree st.), belly of the beast (110 harrington st.)

FYN (37 parliament st. - 5th floor)

openwine (72 wale st.), the nines (19 kloof st. - 9th floor), hugo social club (2 kings rd. - 9th floor), the bungalow (3 victoria rd.), the lawns at the roundhouse (round rouse rd.), gigi rooftop & bar (118 St. georges mall)

openwine (72 wale st.)

the nines (19 kloof st. - 9th floor)

hugo social club (2 kings rd. - 9th floor)

the bungalow (3 victoria rd.)


table mountain is arguably cape town’s number one attraction but lion’s head is no shrinking violet. while many locals and visitors like to hike both, lion’s head is not only easier and quicker but also gives you outstanding views over table mountain. I said “easier” but trust me on this one, it’s far from being “beginner’s level” as I’ve read countless times.

when it comes to city beaches, none that I’ve ever seen can top clifton. with its golden sands, crystal-clear waters and stunning views of the twelve apostles, clifton is the place to be. although clifton 4th stands as the most popular beach of the four, my favorites are the 2nd and the 3rd. after sunbathing for a couple hours, head to the bungalow, a cape town staple, to watch the sunset. the vibe is luxurious but somehow still low-key.

clifton beach

the zeitz museum of contemporary african art (ZEITZ MOCAA) is the largest art museum in africa and a must visit in cape town. housed in what was once a distinctive grain silo, the museum features temporary exhibitions with a dedicated space for its permanent collection with works from artists from across the african continent and diaspora.

I absolutely love sundays in cape town and I’m sure I’m not alone. to start the day off right, head to oranjezicht market, a farmers market that takes place at the waterfront every sunday, from 9 AM to 2 PM. you’ll find almost everything your belly desires including freshly baked bread and pastries (that includes our very own pastéis de nata), and goods from all across the globe.

oranjezicht market

from there, get an uber to kirstenbosch national botanical garden, an world heritage site, home to over 22,000 different plant species, and because it’s sunday, from december to march, you can enjoy their famous summer set concerts. all you have to bring with you is a blanket and a picnic basket.

kirstenbosch national botanical garden

no trip to cape town is complete without a visit to the winelands. and because wine states are a dime a dozen, it can be hard to choose where to start. if you decide to stay closer to the city, consider taking the constantia wine route, where you can delight yourself with a wine tasting at groot constantia, the oldest wine estate in south africa. beau constantia, constantia glen or klein constantia, to name a few.

however, if driving a little further is not an issue to you, then franschhoek and stellenbosch wine routes should be on your radar. during my last visit in february, I went to franschhoek with the sole purpose of having lunch at la petite colombe, the sister restaurant to la colombe. the restaurant offers a unique dining experience and the outstanding landscape just adds to the magic. throughout the gardens of the leeu estates you will discover an impressive collection of sculptures and will be able to enjoy an immersive wine tasting at the wine studio.

la petite colombe

stellenbosch wine route

while the city center and surrounds areas can be navigable on foot, some of the city’s highlights lie outside its limits. uber is incredible safe and reliable and also quite inexpensive, especially when compared to other destinations. but considering cape town is very sprawled out, you might consider renting a car. a little reminder: south africans drive on the left side of the road.

"uber ride", cape town

cátia santos reis "the world is yours but greece is mine” could be her mantra as cátia santos reis is yet to find a greek island she hasn’t fallen in love with. in the meantime, she keeps traveling the world. for CINCO editorial, the 34 year-old, will share her favorite things to do, visit and eat in every destination.

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