Cape Town is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s biggest tourist destinations. The sites, activities, the history and culture there are endless reasons for a visitor to head to South Africa’s second most populous city. While most first-time tourists want to see the main attractions of the area (Victoria and Albert Waterfront, Robben Island, Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, etc.), some second, third and fourth time visitors would like to experience something a bit more local. If you’re looking for the best of Cape Town’s lesser-visited destinations, here is a quick list of our favorites:
9. Camps Bay: This Cape Town suburb is a long time favorite of both local South Africans as well as in-the-know foreign visitors. Lined with white sandy beaches, tropical palm trees, pristine waters and some excellent dive spots, this is one of Cape Town’s ultimate beach destinations. If you’re looking for a unique, local beach day, some fantastic marine life and unforgettable Cape Town nightlife, Camps Bay is your best bet.
8. Wine Farms: Any visit, whether it’s your first or fifth time to Cape Town, should include a tour of the area’s famous wine farms. Though there are seemingly endless destinations to choose from (both inside and outside of Cape Town), the most unforgettable areas have to be Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Constantia. Whether visiting one winery or taking a multi-day tour, the history, landscapes, foods and wines will have you completely captivated.
7. Cage Diving: This favorite Cape Town activity is not for the faint-hearted!! If you’re looking for the ultimate in adrenaline-filled adventures, cage diving is it. Head underwater with one of the ocean’s most infamous deadly creatures, the Great White Shark. With only a steel cage separating you from this man-eating beast, cage diving will be one of those experiences you’ll not soon forget (even if you want to!)
6. Long Street: Looking to get real local and have a great time? You’ll love Long Street. Filled with amazing cafés, bars, restaurants, shops and some notable architecture as well, this culture-infused main street is an unforgettable visit in the City Bowl section of Cape Town.
5. Bo Kaap Cuisine: Though this colorful, historic neighborhood is usually on most first-time Cape Town itineraries, there is one thing that is often overlooked: its food!! While many are captivated by Bo Kaap’s colorful buildings, picturesque streets, rich history and interesting Bo Kaap Museum, they often overlook the culinary draw. Bo Kaap is home to the area’s best Malay cuisine, with a number of delicious eateries to choose from, all boasting excellent hospitality and some even offering cooking classes.
4. De Waterkant Village: A new-age cultural hub of Cape Town, this Cape Quarter area is known for its unique ambiance, welcoming atmosphere, fantastic range in shopping, restaurants, bars, clubs and cafés, and is home to an amazing art scene as well. From its architecture to its atmosphere, De Waterkant Village is a new face in Cape Town that simply must be experienced by the adventurous traveler.
3. Lion’s Head: Almost all foreigners touring Cape Town pay a visit to the beautiful Table Mountain. Whether taking a cable car to the top or rappelling off its edge, a visit to this city icon is a must. But for those looking to take a great hike within Cape Town, Lion’s Head is your top option. Located between Table Mountain and Signal Hill, this 669-meter mountain is an excellent, moderate hike for any outdoor enthusiast visiting Cape Town.
2. Old Biscuit Mill: Located in the Woodstock suburb of Cape Town, this small village is home to a vibrant collection of day/night markets, workshops and stores, local restaurants and other artistic attractions. Meet some of Cape Town’s most talented designers, artists and photographers in this unforgettable side of Cape Town.
1. Wildlife: Cape Town is home to some excellent wildlife watching areas. Whether you’re looking for penguins (head to Simon’s Town), seals & sharks (look for the appropriately titled Seal Island- consequently where you’ll find sharks as well) or whales (the area is famous for its whale watching)- Cape Town has it all!
If you are looking to visit these or any other lesser-known Cape Town spots, the guidance of a fantastic Cape Town travel guide to take you around will definitely heighten the experience… after all they’re the professional Cape Town locals!!