Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden – Image courtesy of DidierB/Wikimedia Commons
Must-see attractions in Cape Town
Cape Town offers a range of must-see sightseeing attractions for inquisitive couples celebrating a honeymoon or romantic getaway.
Journey to the top of Cape Town's defining landmark in a state-of-the-art gondola – a 6-minute trip with superlative 360-degree vistas – and discover one of southern Africa's most impressive natural wonders.
Alternatively, hike one of the many tracks to the summit: try the Platteklip Gorge trail, one of the safest and most popular routes to and from the mountain.
Then, follow more than 2km of marked trails from the 1086m-high summit through the Table Mountain National Park, enjoying breathtaking views of the city and Atlantic Ocean below.
More about Table Mountain. . .
Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope
Hike through rolling hills covered with fynbos (shrubs) to the famous Cape Point on the Cape of Good Hope: spot wildlife such as baboons, eland, red hartebeest, bontebok, ostriches and zebra along the way.
Alternatively, take the funicular rail or drive the 12.5km-long paved road to the tip of the peninsula and the viewing platforms that surround the old lighthouse. Enjoy spectacular ocean views from the towering 180m-high cliffs as thousands of seagulls wheel below.
More about Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. . .
Castle of Good Hope
Explore inside and along the ramparts of the oldest colonial building in South Africa – a five-pointed, star-shaped castle designed as a Dutch fortress and built in 1666.
The Castle of Good Hope is still used by the South African Defence Force: see the changing of the guard (or Key Ceremony) at 10am sharp, then peer into the underground cells and tour the Military Museum. Don't miss the William Fehr Collection, a superb collection of colonial Cape paintings, furniture, antiques and artefacts.
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Join a guided tour of this former prison island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997 and one of Cape Town’s most popular attractions.
Walk through the old prison, peek into Nelson Mandela’s cell, see the lime quarry in which Mandela and many other political leaders slaved and the church that was once home to a leper colony. Don’t miss the moving exhibition of Cell Stories in the prison’s A-section, where each of the 40 isolation cells contains an artefact and story from a former political prisoner.
More about Robben Island. . .
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Stroll through a showcase of South African flora set on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain and overlooking Cape Town. The park features several popular walking trails that lead along and up through the mountains, including a trail to the summit of Table Mountain.
Kirstenbosch was established in 1913 to preserve the local flora and, even today, almost all the species grown are indigenous, including fynbos plants such as proteas, ericas and restios. A large indoor greenhouse exhibits plants from different regions, including savanna, fynbos and karoo.
More about Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. . .
Two Oceans Aquarium
Meet the denizens of the deep at one of the finest aquariums in the world, home to more than 3,000 live marine specimens.
Swim alongside large, ragged-tooth sharks in the predator exhibit (but only if you hold a PADI Open Water Certificate), explore the five-story kelp forest, get hands on with shells and anemones in the touch pool, see pulsating moon jellies and spider crabs, and check out the endangered jackass penguins.
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This boulder-strewn white-sand beach is famous for its resident colony of around 3000 African penguins, which inhabit a fenced-off section of the beach easily seen from the two viewing platforms. Nearby are several idyllic secluded beaches edging small coves framed by giant granite boulders.
The waters here are two to three degrees warmer than on the Atlantic coast and offer excellent snorkelling and swimming for families with children. Boulders Beach is located on the outskirts of Simon's Town, around 30km from Cape Town, a 45-minute drive.
More about Boulders Beach. . .
South African National Gallery
Examine a fascinating collection of South African artworks, paintings and cultural artefacts reflecting South Africa's turbulent history.
Look out for the Ndebele beadwork and knobkierries (fighting sticks). The gallery is considered by many people to be the country's premier art museum.
More about South African National Gallery. . .
Gold of Africa Museum
Gain an insight into the history and artistry of African gold, complete with several glittering exhibitions.
More about Gold of Africa Museum. . .