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What to Do During the Day in Cape Town

By Chris Boyle

View from Robben-Island

A wealth of memorable experiences await you in a city full of adventure, culture and beauty.

Whether you’re looking for solo thrills, family days out, fascinating history and culture, sporting pursuits, gourmet pleasures, or simply ways to enjoy the city’s majestic vistas in style, you’ll find something to tempt you in our pick of the best things to do in Cape Town.

Table Mountain (with Table Mountain Aerial Cableway)

The Sacr ed Circ le Deck venue on Tab le Mounta in

No visit to Cape Town is complete without an uninterrupted view of majestic Table Mountain, and with Elite Traveler’s tips on the best hotels and finest restaurants in prime locations across the city, it is a view you should be enjoying in abundance during your Cape Town stay.

However, the opposite view, from the Table Mountain summit across Cape Town, is not be missed either. The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway takes you to the summit in under ten minutes, and once there, myriad pathways will lead you to various jaw-dropping vantage points providing stunning views across the city and ocean. Private cable cars can be booked for the ascent to the summit, and the company offers a range of Table Mountain venues with unrivalled views – including lounge, boardroom, terrace and viewing deck options – which can be hired for private functions; the largest for up to 400 people. Hiring one of these venues is a sublimely exclusive way to meet with clients and colleagues, hold a celebration with friends, or simply enjoy the mountain privately with a loved one. Sunset cocktails on the Twelve Apostles Terrace, surrounded by majestic mountain peaks and an endless ocean panorama are particularly recommended.

Winelands Ballooning

The surrounding winelands are an integral and enduring part of Cape Town’s culture and identity, and there are many ways to experience them.

You might travel out for an evening of music and theater, tour the cellars and vineyards of prestigious wineries, or visit an acclaimed wine estate restaurant or spa. However, Extreme Scene offers a novel way to view the winelands, through an exciting sunrise hot-air balloon flight. With stunning vistas of the valleys and vineyards at dawn, and the intoxicating feeling of freedom and peace which ballooning brings, this is a unique and beautiful way to start your day in the Western Cape.

Robben Island Museum

View from Robb en Island © Cape Town Tourism

UNESCO-World-Heritage-listed Robben Island, once a place of banishment and captivity for political prisoners for more than 200 years, is the prison where former South African President Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his 27-year incarceration.

The museum that commemorates the history of the prison, and Mandela and others’ years of internment and sacrifice, makes for a sobering and challenging visit, and the importance of its commemoration is hard to overstate. South Africa has worked hard to forge a future as a united nation despite its brutal years of colonialism and apartheid, and a visit to Robben Island is a must during your Cape Town stay, in order to truly appreciate the epoch-making events that have made this nation what it is today.

+27 21 409 5100

Two Oceans Aquarium

Kelp Forest at Two Oc eans Aquar ium

With panoramic exhibitions showcasing the splendor and diversity of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the Two Oceans Aquarium is an excellent Cape Town day out, exclusively featuring wildlife from around the southern African coast.

Children will love the interactive Touch Pool, and for adventurous adults seeking a thrill there are opportunities to scuba dive with sharks! Private evening tours are available, perfect for avoiding the usual large crowds. As well as this, various exhibition rooms and spaces within the Aquarium can be hired for a private function, whether an informal business get-together in a striking, vibrant setting, or a quirky, exclusive romantic or family dinner surrounded by the wonders of the ocean depths.

+27 21 418 3823

Dock Road, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, 8002

La Route Des Vins

Wine estat e tours with La Route des Vins Kelp Forest

For true wine-lovers, an exclusive, personalized tour with luxury wine tour company La Route Des Vins is a singular experience.

Led by an experienced private guide with expertise and passion for the area, the tours are personal, flexible and tailored. Options include a relaxed drive through stunning vineyards and estates with time to wander and explore the surrounding small towns, and specialized wine tastings with top winemakers. Choose from tours that focus on champagne, or those offering a full gourmet wineland experience, with stops for wine tasting specially combined with a range of local delicacies and canapés, followed by lunch at one of the finest gourmet restaurants in the region. Tours can also be combined with an indulgent luxury safari, helicopter tours, or a visit to an exclusive golf club.

Pauline de Martini

+27 21 461 1069; +27 71 499 0768

Castle of Good Hope


The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest colonial building in South Africa today, and a stately 350-year-old reminder of the turbulent and formative years of the South African nation.

The contrast between the castle’s architectural beauty and the violent periods of history it has witnessed are reflected in the two museums it houses: the fascinating Military Museum and the impressive William Fehr Collection of historical paintings and antique furniture. The Castle of Good Hope is the place to visit to appreciate beautiful colonial-era architecture and art, and be immersed in centuries of challenging and absorbing South African history. Private tours of the Castle may be arranged on request.

Corner of Darling and Buitenkant Streets, Cape Town, 8001

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and renowned as one of the most magnificent botanical gardens in the world, Kirstenbosch is a stunning location for a day out; a sprawling green paradise set against the slopes of Table Mountain, bursting with rare and beautiful wildlife.

While an idyllic location for escaping the city bustle to enjoy a romantic stroll or an indulgent picnic brunch, the best thing about Kirstenbosch is that it is a strong supporter of Capetonian cultural life, hosting spectacular summer concerts and striking art exhibitions, enabling the Garden’s blissful surrounds to be enjoyed in a variety of ways by visitors. Dive in and make this majestic idyll a highlight of your trip.

+27 21 799 8783

Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town, 7725

Atlantic Beach Golf Estate

The exclusive Atlantic Beach Golf Estate offers an 18-hole course in an exceptional location with sublime ocean views for golf-lovers, and those looking to try their hand at the sport.

Guests will find a blissful setting for this most relaxed and sophisticated of sporting pursuits, with unique Cape wildlife and luxury facilities that include a full driving range, an indulgent day spa and luxury lodge, and the exclusive clubhouse and restaurant where, after an idyllic day’s golfing, spectacular views can be enjoyed over sunset cocktails. Perfect for lifelong golf enthusiasts and first-timers alike.

Lorraine Erasmus, Club Manager

+27 21 553 2223

1, Fairway Drive, Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, 7441

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