Regularly voted as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town, on the southernmost tip of South Africa, has been named “Best city in the world to visit”, by both The New York Times and The Daily Telegraph (UK), and rightly so.
Founded in 1645, Cape Town is South Africa’s oldest city – named by locals as the “Mother City.” Its most iconic landmark is undoubtedly Table Mountain which forms a dramatic backdrop to the city. This unique flat-topped mountain is one of the oldest on Earth and a cable car ride or hike up to its plateau gives you some stunning 360-degree views over the city.
Cape Town was home to the inspirational South African president and national treasure, Nelson Mandela. Visit Robben Island, 7 km off the coast, and the cell where he was imprisoned for 27 years – mostly in solitary confinement – a sombre window into South Africa’s apartheid past.
A proudly multicultural city, Cape Town blends Afrikaner, native, and European sensibilities in a rich historical and cultural heritage of architecture, music, art, literature and culinary styles. Take a stroll through historic downtown, and visit the many museums, parliament and Cape Town’s oldest building, the Castle, a pentagonal fortress built by Dutch Colonists in the 17th century. Explore the rainbow-coloured suburb of Bo Kaap, the historic home of the Cape Malay people, brought in as slaves. Or visit the harbour area at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, and browse the shops. Known as a global foodie hotspot, Cape Town has many world-class restaurants and cafes offering everything from affordable tasty local cuisine to some of the finest dining anywhere, with South African wines now considered among the best in the world.
Cape Town is the only city to lie on two oceans, with one long coastline on the Atlantic and the other on the Indian Ocean. Together these provide a variety of beautiful beaches, including the perfect white sands of Clifton and Camps Bay. Take a beautiful coastal drive along the peninsula, including Chapmans Peak Drive, to the lighthouse at Cape Point. Stop along the way and visit the adorable but endangered African penguin colony on Boulders Beach. And spend an enchanting morning strolling through ‘the most beautiful garden in Africa’ – the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, a luscious green paradise renowned for its incredible biodiversity.
With a mild Mediterranean climate year-round, Cape Town is a sporting paradise, from surfing to climbing, caving, mountain biking, sailing, hiking, cruising, abseiling, scuba diving, paragliding and exhilarating zip-lining. It’s not just Big Five safaris that draw tourists to South Africa every year. You can have a fascinating wildlife experience beneath the waves here as well. Every year, southern right whales and humpback whales migrate into the warm Cape waters and put on a truly spectacular show. And for the adrenaline junkies, there’s the thrill of shark-cage diving.
With this much to see and experience, when choosing cities in the world to visit, make sure Cape Town is at the top of your list!