Lighting up the southwest tip of Africa, charismatic Cape Town is dominated by stunning views of Table Mountain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site - and one of the seven wonders of the natural world.
Beneath this uniquely beautiful backdrop lies a little city that packs a big punch. Established in 1652 with the arrival of Dutch settlers who established a halfway station for passing ships, Cape Town is known as Africa's "Mother City."
Not surprisingly, it has a complex colonial history: but this unique heritage has resulted in a truly magnificent diversity. Modern Cape Town is vibrant, fun, and cosmopolitan - with unique culture, music, galleries, restaurants, shops, and museums – and a choice of pristine white beaches.
The lovely, historic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront has been transformed into a buzzing modern marina full of stylish eateries and boutiques. Venture away from the ocean to explore the genteel, cobbled walkways and colonial buildings: as Africa’s oldest city, Cape Town is simply bursting with fascinating history, sights, and experiences.
A magnet for food lovers, it offers a dazzling range of culinary delights. The traditional Cape Malay cuisine - with dishes like bobotie - is served in many neighborhood restaurants, while a growing number of charming artisan outlets - like the magnificent Oranjezicht City Farm Market in Granger Bay - showcase local organic produce.
Cape Town loves a good party – and there are plenty of colorful festivals to choose from throughout the year. The Cape Town Carnival – held in March - is a glamorous celebration of African identity and creativity, featuring floats, musicians, and performers.
With so much going on in the city's heart, it might be hard to tear yourself away from the action. But many unique nearby attractions are very well worth a day trip.
Head off to explore the famous wineries – hundreds dotted around the lush, green countryside, backed by purple-grey mountains. To the north, the landscape flattens out - with long straight roads leading to foodie towns, whitewashed coastal villages, and an easily accessible national park.
Dip into all the artisan foodie delights in charming Darling with its eco-friendly craft brewery. Explore the stunning wild birds, flowers, zebras, and antelopes in the West Coast National Park.
Take a spin along Clarence Drive: between June and November, there’s a good chance you’ll spot whales playing below in the bay.
Or get your adrenaline spiking, sampling the vast choice of outdoor adventures around Cape Town – like the excellent canopy tour over the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve outside Grabouw. A series of zip lines whiz you across deep ravines, creating a feeling of flying above the waterfalls and forests far below.
Book a trip to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for many years. Hike up Signal Hill with its unforgettable views of the Atlantic Seaboard: drop-down to dramatic Cape Point, where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet.
Set right beside the ocean and a private marina - with stunning sea views – the memorably stylish Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, Cape Town offers an excellent, centrally located base from which to explore the area. Wake to the soothing sound of waves gently breaking on the shore. Then take the complimentary shuttle, which takes guests to and from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront area - with its many attractions.
Relax after a busy day’s sightseeing in Tobago's Restaurant, enjoy the stunning sea view, unwind by the heated rim-flow pool – or at the Amani Spa. Cross the road to hit a few balls at a top-class golf course, walk to Cape Town Stadium and catch a game or a concert. Or gently stroll along the famous Mouille Point promenade.
Ideally located in the city’s happening Silo District, the excitingly innovative waterfront Radisson RED Cape Town is designed to appeal to all the senses of style-savvy guests...
Fantastic artworks feature boldly in every room, while the city’s renowned craft food and drink scene are celebrated in OUIbar + KTCHN - and on the fabulous rooftop pool and terrace. Enjoy exceptional views of the city, Table Mountain & the waterfront, chilling with a lazy cocktail as the sun sets over the horizon.
An easy walk from the buzzing V&A Waterfront, Radisson RED Cape Town is just minutes from many main visitor attractions, within easy reach of the airport.
Only in Cape Town! 5 Unique Attractions
Around 600 million years old and carpeted with the rich diversity of the Cape floral kingdom, Table Mountain is the showstopper of Table Mountain National Park and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain
This stylishly renovated, historic working harbor has a spectacular setting, plus an exciting variety of great shops, restaurants, bars, cinemas, and cruises. www.waterfront.co.za
Zeitz MOCAA Museum
The Waterfront's old grain silo has been transformed into a state-of-the-art museum, home to the contemporary Southern African art collection of entrepreneur Jochen Zeitz and the museum's dazzling collection, plus loaned works. www.zeitzmocaa.museum
A UNESCO World Heritage site, preserved as a memorial to Nelson Mandela and others who spent many years incarcerated here. You can only visit on tour, and booking well in advance online is highly recommended. www.robben-island.org.za
Boulders’ Penguin Colony
This picturesque area is home to a delightful colony of 3000 African penguins. A boardwalk runs from the Boulders Visitor Centre to Boulders Beach, where you can get down on the sand and mingle with the waddling penguins. www.tmnp.co.za
When to Visit
November to March is the high season – an excellent time to enjoy the beautiful beaches and outdoor activities. March to May is ideal if you prefer milder weather and fewer people.
How to Get There
Cape Town International Airport is the main airport serving the city.