Cape Town City Guide: things to do in Cape TownAt the West side of South Africa, where the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean, is a beautiful place that many know as the “Mother City”. Surrounded by a spectacular coastline and beautiful nature with the imposing Table Mountain defining its landscape, many say Cape Town is the most beautiful city on earth. A melting pot of diverse cultures, the “Mother City” is a lovely blend of African origins, European influences and Asian migrations that make it incredibility multicultural.
With a number of inhabitants that has surpassed 3 million, Cape Town is the second most populated urban area in South Africa - after Johannesburg. It is the provincial capital of the Western Cape and, being home to the country’s parliament, it’s also the legislative capital of the country. Highly appreciated among world travellers, Cape Town welcomes more than 1,5 million of visitors each year. Being impeccably beautiful and energetic, it comes as no surprise that in 2014 it was named the best place in the world to visit by the New York Times and the British Daily Telegraph.
Offering many wonderful places to explore and numerous activities, Cape Town is sure to keep you entertained. The Botanical Gardens of Kirstenbosch, the colourful Bo Kaap neighbourhood as well as the Green Point Park are only a few of all the fascinating areas that define Cape Town. Enjoy one of Cape Town’s many outdoor activities: go surfing in the Atlantic, tandem-paraglide off Lion’s Head, abseil off the top of Table Mountain or try hiking or mountain-biking. Cape Town is the ideal place for bold and adventurous travellers looking to taste the magic of Africa.
Cape Town’s multicultural vibeIn the proudly multicultural Cape Town, diverse races and beliefs coincide in peace. Christians, Muslims, Jews and traditional Africans live harmoniously together, forming an charming diverse melting pot. Due to South Africa’s painful past, this conformity has been hard to achieve and remains quite delicate: almost everybody has a deep, often moving story to confess. This city became a “mother” for various pilgrims, from the offsprings of the original Dutch colonists and the Cape coloured community to the European Jewish migrants and the latest Xhosa from Eastern Cape. All these different origins and cultures combined with the magnificent landscape and a vivid atmosphere make this city impeccable.
Getting around Cape TownCape Town is a big city so walking isn’t always convenient. Most people drive here and you can do the same by renting a car or motorcycle to discover all the beauty the city has to offer. Driving in Cape Town (on the left!) can actually be seen as an experience itself, especially when in Chapman’s Peak Drive; one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world.
A popular way of transportation around town is hopping on one of the many ‘mini buses’ that drive around town. Super cheap, and an experience by itself. If you decide to visit more remote destinations, choose verified taxi services like Uber. For trustworthy local cab drivers, check with your hotel or friends, this isn’t Sweden. A railway system is also available in Cape Town but not always punctual, so avoid it when you need to be on time.
Another fast-growing mode of moving around Cape Town is the Rikkis Taxis which, on the contrary to the regular taxis, have fixed-rate fares rather than metered - convenient for long journeys or for sharing a ride with others. You can reach them with a simple call from your mobile, or use one of the yellow Rikki phones spread around the city.
Cape Town’s food & culinary traditionCape Town’s cuisine, just like its culture and design, is a wonderful blend of African, European, Cape Malay and Indonesian influences. Capetonian diet includes a lot of meat and specialties like the Dutch inspired stew Potjiekos or the traditional Bobotie. But there are plenty of traditional dishes without meat as well, like the Indian/Malay inspired Chakalaka, made of vegetables, beans, chillies and curry. Those who got a sweet tooth should definitely try a rich Melktert tart, as well as the Afrikaans fried and sweetened pastries called Koeksisters - sugary delight!
The city’s restaurant scene is rich and bustling with many international options. When it’s breakfast time, try some delicious goodies in a traditional bakery or enjoy a fulfilling brunch in a cool deli. From European bistros, tapas bars and Mexican restaurants to Asian fusion cuisine, you‘ll surely find something to please your appetite.