Cape Town is not only the second largest city in South Africa, it is also considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the country. The metropolitan area encompasses a massive land area but the city center is relatively a small area.
Cape Town is a dream come true for nature lovers. This favorite tourist destination has plenty of attractions and activities. Perhaps, the most famous is the Table Mountain. The mountain and its surroundings are protected sections of Table Mountain National Park. The park has plenty of picnic spots as well as hiking and biking trails. One popular hiking route in the park is the Devil’s Peak, which is nearby the Cecil Josh Rhodes memorial. This area is very picturesque, but it is recommended that you don’t walk around this vicinity on your own as there have been cases of muggers reported here. You have the option of riding a cable car to the top of the Table Mountain or climb it. The most popular and most accessible climbing route is the Platteklip Gorge. Consider getting a guide if you’re an inexperienced climber.
Cape Town also has a couple of modern and entertainment attractions. One of them is the Two Oceans Aquarium where you can see watch sharks feed, experience scuba diving or just walking around the aquarium. Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is another tourist hit. This large shopping and entertainment complex has a wide range of restaurants, stores, and amusement attractions. The city also has plenty of galleries and museums for you to choose to visit like the District Six Museum, South African Jewish Museum, Galleria Gibello, South African Maritime Museum, and South African National Gallery.
While in the city area, make sure to drop by the South African Parliament, where a free entrance and tour around the compound is possible. During the tour, you will learn more about South Africa’s political system and history by visiting sections like the National Council of Provinces, the National Assembly and the old apartheid assembly room.
Other places of interest you will want to visit while in Cape Town, include the Castle of Good Hope, which is the oldest surviving building in the country, and the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Just southwest of downtown is the Bo-Kaap neighborhood, which was a historical abode for Muslim Southeast Asian Muslim descendants. Once named the “Malay Quarter”, this area is decorated with quaint streets, mosque, colorful structures and houses as well as a museum. Aside from getting good views of the town, you can also eat a sumptuous snack from one of the food stalls on the streets.
If you are a certified beach enthusiast, you don’t have to leave Cape Town to enjoy nice sand and gorgeous coastal water. Some of the finest beaches can be found in Flase Bay, St. James, Clovelly and Fish Hoek. There’s even a nudist beach called Sandy Bay.
If you are up for an adventurous excursion, take a boat ride off the coast of the city from Victoria and Alfred Waterfront to popular Robben Island. This island was once a prison for political prisoners during the apartheid times. Once you arrive on the island, you can participate on a tour, which will let show you the former prisoner quarters of notable African political figures like Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela.