Let’s Talk Cape Town: An Insider Guide to the Mother City over the Holiday Season

Imagine waking up each morning to the breathtaking view of yachts floating on a turquoise ocean, followed by a morning breakfast on Table Mountain and an afternoon wine tasting lunch on a wine farm in Stellenbosch. End the evening off with sundowners on Llandudno beach, and dinner at one of Cape Town’s award-winning restaurants. It’s all possible in Cape Town.

Few places in the world offer the entire holiday package: ocean, nature, history, adventure, food, wine, wildlife, nightlife, and sun. Topping the World’s Greatest Cities list by the Telegraph Travel Awards, and named the Top City in Africa & the Middle East, as well as one of the Best Places to Visit by US News & World Report—here is what to see, do, and where to eat and be merry over the holiday season.

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Get an Aerial View of the City and Beyond

Set along the ocean, Cape Town sits seductively under and around one of Earth’s Seven Wonders—Table Mountain. Towering tall at 1,000 meters, Table Mountain offers the perfect plateau for panoramic views that stretch over the city, the coastline, and even Robben Island. Jump on a cable car to enjoy an easy glide up or take one of a few hiking trails that lead up to the top.

The Beach Life is so St Tropez

Bubbling beneath the surface of Table Mountain is the subject of countless award-winning travel photos—Cape Town’s golden white beaches. Although the city boasts two glittering coastlines with the False Bay stretch equally alluring, the Atlantic Seaboard features a strip of beaches that stretch for kilometres, with Clifton, Camps Bay, Llundudno and Sandy Bay leading taking the accolades. Backed by yachts floating on turquoise waters, dolphins swimming, the Twelve Apostles, Lion’s head, and a palm-lined stretch dotted with chic eateries, tapas bars, and cocktail boutiques, this exclusive holiday stretch offers the entire package.

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Hiking, Surfing, Paragliding, Shark Cage Diving, and Wildlife

Cape Town, with its oceans and rivers, cliffs and peaks, valleys and forests, and golden sand beaches, is not short of outdoor adventure. In one day, you can tan, surf, hike, go paragliding off Lions Head, and end the day off on a yacht docked off Clifton’s famous 2nd beach. With outdoor adventure part of the cities DNA, hike or bike the wilderness trails at Jonkershoek Nature Reserve or Bungee jump off Bloukrans Bridge, the 4th tallest bungee jump in the world.

Book surfing lessons in Muizenberg, or head out to Birkenhead Peninsula for a great white shark cage diving experience. For a slower pace, experience the fascinating wildlife of the Cape Peninsula, or indulge in a spa treatment at one of many award-winning spas. Take a private tour of the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point—home to hundreds of species of birds, and bucks, baboons, and Cape zebra. Do a spot of kayaking or scuba diving or visit the penguins at Boulders Beach.

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The Wine and Dining Scene is Gastronomical

Appreciated not only for its natural cosmopolitan lifestyle but Cape Town is also the number one food city in the world in the Condé Nast highly acclaimed Readers Choice Awards. Although the restaurant scene changes faster fast, there are plenty of options on the menu. Whether you are looking for a gastronomical 5-star experience or breakfast, lunch and dinner, take a walk down Bree Street for a pick of the trendiest local eateries in the city. Feast on fresh fish and oysters at the Harbour House at V&A Waterfront, Hout Bay, or The Twelve Apostles Hotel in Camps Bay.

Alternatively, for some world-class wine tasting, trek to Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek and Constantia—Cape Town’s Nirvana for wine connoisseurs. Swirl, taste and enjoy some best and oldest wine brands in the world—from Groot Constantia, Steenberg, Spier, Constantia Uitsig, Meerendal, Buitenverwachting, Vergelegen, Durbanville Hills, Diemersdal, Degrendal, Morgenster, and so many more.

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A Mecca of Markets

To shop all the top international and local designer brands, walk around the V&A Marina—South Africa’s most prominent real estate success story and most valuable land in the country. For an authentic shopping experience, and a collection of art, crafts, décor, fashion and jewellery, explore the Mecca of markets—Hout Bay Market, the Old Biscuit Mill Market and Kloof Street Market.

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Drumming, Bands, Jazz, and Soulful Tunes

A music enthusiast’s paradise, the Mother City, is always abuzz with beats. Evenings, you can join the locals on Camps Bay and Clifton beach, beating drums and throwing fire, or catch live jazz at Alliance Francaise, Asoka or Hout Bay Manor. For local flavour, check out Alexander Bar in Strand Street or soak up some soulful, funky deep house tunes at one of many tapas bars in Kloof Street, Greenpoint and Camps Bay. For dinner and a laugh, head down to the comedy club in the V&A Waterfront.

Kirstenbosch Gardens is a MUST

If you want to spend the afternoon with family and friends, grab a blanket, picnic basket and veno, and head down to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden for local bands. Remember the Drive-In? Pack the family into the car and visit GoDriveIn Movies and Roadhouse for old classics, food trucks and state-of-the-art VR gaming arcade. If your kids enjoy the surf, take part in the Wavescape Surf & Ocean Festival over December, featuring a drive-in film festival, surfing master classes, exhibitions, and more.

The Mother City Never Sleeps

As the number one city in Africa for business tourism, Cape Town offers something for everyone. From climbing Lions Head, sampling Cape Town’s finest award-winning wines, horse riding on Noordhoek beach, surfing lessons in Muizenberg, kayaking with penguins at Boulders, and indulging in fish and chips in Kalk Bay to trying the restaurants on trendy Bree and Buitenkant Street—what’s not to love about a holiday in Cape Town over the festive season!

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