Recommendations: Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is an unbelievable city, Samantha and I both agreed that we could live there and in terms of cities we visited, it's toward the top. It's actually not that big but when you combine it with the surrounding areas, there is a lot to do and see. I broke up my recommendations of things to do within in the city and the surrounding areas. Below is some recommendations on Cape Town proper (well mostly proper).
|City of Cape Town atop Table Mountain|
Where to Stay:
- Cape Grace: We didn’t stay here but it was one of my top options. It’s located right in the waterfront and it's is supposed to be one of the nicest hotels in Cape Town (it looked that way from the outside). It’s also where the Obamas stayed when they went to Cape Town.
|Cape Grace hotel with Table Mountain in the background|
- Manna Bay: This used to be someone’s mansion that was then turned into an 8 bedroom boutique hotel. It is located right under table mountain and has sweeping views of the city. The service was phenomenal and it was a 10 minute uber ride to all parts of the city. Aim for the Versailles room if you can.
|Samantha and I on the balcony of our room in Manna Bay|
- Ellerman House: I also really wanted to stay here but it was already full when I went to book. It’s another small boutique hotel located right on a cliff overlooking the ocean by Clifton Beach.
Where to Eat:
- Codfather: If you are craving sea food, this is the place to go. It's menuless where you go up to a counter and pick any type of fish that your heart desires. It’s located right in Camps Bay so it's a perfect option after an aperitif on the Main Street as the sun is going down.
- Kloof Street House: Located on one of the more popular streets in Cape Town, this place has an awesome vibe that is worth checking out even for a drink.
- Den Anker: A perfect pit stop for a drink if you are in the waterfront as their outdoor tables provide wide ranging views of table mountain and the waterfront. The seafood was also really good so don’t hesitate to get oysters, mussels and the kingklip.
|Samantha and I at Den Anker|
- Test Kitchen & Pot Luck Club: We couldn’t get into Test Kitchen (top 50 in the world) or Pot Luck Club but from everything I have heard, these places are amazing so if you can get in, you should go. As an FYI, they are part of the same restaurant group.
What to Do:
- Sunset Drinks in Camps Bay: Camps Bay has an a very trendy vibe to it; it reminded me a lot of PB in San Diego and also Santa Monica. It has one main strip with outdoor bars so going for a drink as the sun goes down is a must.
|On the main strip in Camps Bay|
- Table Mountain (Hike the Platteklip Gorge Trail): Getting to the top of table mountain is a must when in Cape Town. You can either take the cable car up (buy tickets online ahead of time) which takes five minutes or you can hike up. We hiked up which took a little less than two hours (hour forty) but the disclaimer I am giving you is that it's not an easy hike. We are happy we did it but it’s definitely not for everyone. If you are going to hike up, do Platteklip Gorge trail as it is supposed to be one of the easier ones yet it still will take a lot out of you. We moved rather quickly as we hiked because we were worried about timing so if you go at a little bit of a slower pace and plan for 2.5 - 3 hours, it may be more manageable. If you can do the hike you should, it's more gratifying when you do get to the top as the views are stunning. When you up there, you can spend about 45 minutes taking it all in and they also have a restaurant if you need a post hike beer.
- Beach at Clifton: Cape Town is known for it’s beaches so you have to go to at least one. Clifton four is one of the more popular options which was where we spent an afternoon. You go for the sun and people watching as the water is freezing.
|At the beach in Clifton|
- Visit the V&A Waterfront: The waterfront is one of the more popular things to do in Cape Town and I could see why. You can spend an afternoon walking around, shopping, or finding a place to eat. We spent a few hours doing all of the above which was plenty of time here - worth a visit.
- Bo Kaap: This colorful neighborhood is worth at least an hour visit even if it’s just to walk around. It's a multi-cultural neighborhood with vibrant buildings and good food or at least I heard that as we didn't have time for a bite. Whether you are eating or not, there is a main street you can get dropped off on and then zig zag through a few different streets to take instagram caliber type photos.
|Colorful houses of Bo Kaap|
- Shop at Watershed: When you are down in the waterfront, you should make your way to the watershed. It’s pretty easy to find and contains a number of local shops and artists with plenty of things to buy. Our safari had these amazing wine glasses made out of recycled glass that were made in Swaziland and the only place that was selling them was a small local shop in the Watershed. Of course we found it and took 6 home (to match the 7 bottles of wine we brought home as well).
- Climb Lions Head: We did Table Mountain instead but I have heard this climb is also one worth doing, specifically before sunrise. Supposedly it takes about 90 minutes to get up and can get a little dodgy at times.
|Lions Head from Camps Bay Beach|
|Manna Bay was literally at the foot of Table Mountain|