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Top Things To Do in Cape Town For First Timers

Visting Cape Town soon and wondering what to do in the best stop on the Garden Route in South Africa? On this post, I share the best things to do in Cape Town for first time visitors that need to be in your itinerary! #Africa #CapeTown #SouthAfrica

Planning a trip to Cape Town? Cape Town is one of the best destinations in the world, and while you could easily spend several months exploring the city and its surroundings, chances are your time in Cape Town is limited and you might want to stick to the basics (I promise you’ll want to be back, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore the rest of the area later!).

With that said, we’ve put together a list of the top things to do in Cape Town for first-timers. From penguins at Boulder Beach to hiking one of Africa’s most iconic mountains, here are the can’t miss activities in Cape Town.

Top Things To Do in Cape Town

The colorful houses in Cape Town

The colorful houses in Cape Town

Bo Kaap

Bo Kaap is one of the most Instagrammable places in Cape Town, and a must on your itinerary! You’ve probably seen pictures of its colorful houses and buildings already, but make sure you visit to take a few of your own. My advice? Get there as early as possible to avoid crowds and harsh sunlight.

lions head cape town south africa

Sunrise at Lion’s Head

If you can get up early enough then you really should check out the sunrise at Lion’s Head. This is a hike so it’s not for the non-outdoorsy type, but if you enjoy hiking then you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the gorgeous sunset if you hike up Lion’s Head in time to get a birds-eye view of the city.

Have a Beach Day

There are many beaches in Cape Town that you must make time in your itinerary for a day of beach hopping. Some of the popular beaches in Cape Town include Campus Bay, Clifton’s Beaches, and Muizenberg. Every beach is different, so make sure to check them all out!

The Gardens of Kirstenbosch

This is one of the best botanical gardens in the world! The Gardens of Kirstenbosch are located on the Eastern side of Table Mountain and are said to have over 7,000 different species of plants. Most of the plants here are endangered, so you may only get this once-in-a-lifetime chance during your visit to Cape Town.

Boulders Beach and penguins

Penguins at Boulder’s Beach

While I already told you about the beautiful beaches in Cape Town, did you know that you can see penguins chilling at the beach too? And yes, it’s really as cute as it sounds! Visit Boulder’s Beach to witness penguins up close and personal. Remember that they’re wild animals and endangered so don’t get too close though.

Go to the Top of Table Mountain

Table Mountain is one of the most iconic landmarks of Africa, so this should be the first stop on your itinerary! While hiking Table Mountain is a must for outdoor enthusiasts, those who prefer to take things slow can opt to ride a cable car to the peak.

Due to unpredictable weather patterns, you may not be able to make it during your current visit to Cape Town but perhaps put it on your bucket list so that you can experience the exquisite view down below.

Take a Helicopter Ride

Seriously, the views of Cape Town from above are stunning! We even saw a whale on our ride. It’s definitely a must!

Cape Point Peninsula

Enjoy a gorgeous view where the Atlantic Ocean meets land at Cape Point Peninsula. There are many things to do during your time here, such as a hike up to the old lighthouse at Cape Point or explore the Cape of Good Hope.

The Old Biscuit Mill Market

This is one of the coolest markets! Located in Woodstock, The Old Biscuit Mill is home to dynamic office spaces, a range of workshops and designer stores, decadent restaurants, food stalls as well as an inspiring line-up of day and night-markets, festivals, and productions. Explore the Old Biscuit Mill and meet some of South Africa’s most innovative and creative designers, artists, photographers, and connoisseurs of fine taste and décor.

Moreover, the Mill – as it’s affectionately known – houses some of the city’s most charming architecture and, since its revitalization over 10 years ago, has secured its spot as one of Cape Town’s favorite destinations

These are just some of the top things to do in this gem of a city. This beautiful area in South Africa will give you so many experiences and photo opportunities that you might up considering staying forever just like we did!

Have you ever been to Cape Town? What are some other wonderful things to do?

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