Cape Town is the capital of South Africa and a coastal city that will quickly impress you with everything it has to offer. It’s an amazing destination for wine lovers, for the adventurers and for those who love to photograph breathtaking spots!
Cape Town is on top of my favorite places around the world and I’m sure it will be one of yours once you get to explore it.
This was my first city in South Africa, it is truly beautiful and I want to share some things that I hope can help you to enjoy Cape Town as much as I did!
When you get there
Cape Town International Airport (CPT) is the third busiest airport in Africa and is approximately 20 km from the city center. There are taxis, shuttles and Uber available to get to the city. If you are not renting a car I would say that Uber is the best choice and also an inexpensive one.
*If you are from Costa Rica you don’t need a visa to entry South Africa, if you are from another country check if you have to get your visa on arrival or before.
If you can drive my advice is to rent a car, even tho taxis and Uber are not expensive, the best way to move around Cape Town is to drive your own car, many places that you probably would like to go to have long distances and public transportation is not as good as other cities/countries.
Currency , ATMs, credit/debit cards
The currency in Cape Town is the South African Rand and is around 14.41 South African Rand for every $1 and 16.51 for every 1€. Cards are accepted pretty much everywhere but when it comes to ATM’s be careful, when I was there I heard about some locations that are not very safe to withdrawal money from so just make sure to ask somebody at the place you are staying what ATM’s are better to avoid.
Where to stay?
If you love the beach and stunning views then Camps Bay is the place for you to stay, specially if it’s summer. The vibe here is really cool and you have the ocean right there. Another thing I really love about Camps Bay are the views you have of the Twelve Apostles Mountains, just amazing!
If you want a more central location in the city then V&A Waterfront and Long Street are the places you want to stay. Anything you might need you have it close, lots of shops, bars, restaurants, etc. But no worries about not being next to the beach, even tho if you stay in this area Camps Bay is really close (like a 20 minutes drive or so).
Where to eat?
There’re plenty of good places to eat in Cape Town no matter what part you stay at and eating good doesn’t mean spending a lot of money in this South African city, here some of the places I really liked:
- Royale Eatery: This place has the best milkshakes ever and their gourmet burgers are so so good – they also have veggie burgers – I recommend you to go with a good appetite because the shakes and burgers are big! Address: 273 Long St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa.
- Galbi: If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably noticed by now that I love Asian food and Galbi is an amazing Korean BBQ with a South African twist and a really cool ambiance. It’s better to make a reservation because it gets pretty busy. Address: 210 Long St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa.
- South China Dim Sum Bar: Now that we started talking about Asian food, this one might go unnoticed if you pass by it but please stop and get in… South China Dim Sum Bar it’s an authentic dumpling restaurant with a small menu but so worth to try everything in it! Address: 289 Long St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa.
- V&A Food Market: A great choice for lunch, brunch or even for dinner. In this food market you’ll find many yummy options of food/drinks all in one place. Address: 34a Dock Rd, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa.
- Café Caprice: The best thing about this place is the view, it is facing the beach at Camps Bay. It’s perfect for brunch on Sundays or to watch the sunset with a glass of wine. Address: 37 Victoria Rd, Camps Bay, Cape Town, 8005, South Africa.
- Mama Africa: This restaurant has typical South African dishes besides the unique atmosphere you get to experience. Every single night there’s a band with live African rhythms that will put you in a perfect mood. If you are in Cape Town make sure to visit Mama Africa for a different dinning experience. It’s better to make a reservation because it can get busy at nights. Address: 178 Long Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa.
- Mojo Market: Another food market that won’t disappoint, this one is on Sea Point and it has everything in one place. I really loved the sushi I found here, the Argentinian place and all the sweets available! Address: 30 Regent Rd, Sea Point, Cape Town, 8060, South Africa.
Things to do
So much to do and see in Cape Town that will keep you busy for several days. I really can’t wait to go back and get to do the things I couldn’t do the first time! Here are some of the places you can’t miss:
- Table Mountain: An spectacular iconic landmark of Cape Town, Table Mountain is unreal. It’s one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and is definitely a must do, you can’t leave Cape Town without seeing it, I promise you it’s impressive! The easiest and fastest way to get to the mountain is by the cableway, it takes around 5 minutes and it costs around R290 per adult. You can also hike to it but it takes longer and is not recommended to do it alone, if you do please be safe and go with more people. Book your ticket online to avoid long queues.
- Boulders Beach: A beach with penguins, what else there’s need to say! This was one of my favorite places in Cape Town, where else can you see penguins in the beach having fun and running around, pretty amazing right?! My recommendation is to drive to Boulders Beach but if you can’t then there’re tours available every day that can take you.
- Bo-Kapp: It’s a little colorful town formerly known as the Malay Quarter. There’re free walking tours available from the city, you can also go by yourself and stroll its cute streets while taking lots of pictures. If you have the chance, try the ‘Bo-Kaap Koeksisters’ which is a traditional Afrikaner dessert.
- Cage diving with Great White sharks: Cape Town is one of the few places in the world where you can do this, it’s a really exciting experience full of adrenaline. I did it for my birthday last year, I was super nervous but really excited at the same time. It’s once in a life time experience and if you are not too afraid go for it, it’s fun and you’ll never forget it! There’re a few days during the year that is not recommended to do it because the possibility of seeing them is low so check your dates before.
- Wine tasting: Cape Town is known as one of the best wine regions of the world so you can imagine how popular this activity is for travelers. There’re many tours available in the city or you can drive to Stellenbosch and do the wine tasting at your own pace.
- Cape of Good Hope: It’s a beautiful spot located on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula. The drive to get here is one of the most amazing drives I’ve ever had, there’re tours to Cape of Good Hope available from the city but I highly recommend to drive, you are gonna want to stop several times on the way.
I hope this guide helps you if you go to Cape Town, it’s an incredible city and I really recommend it, I promise you’ll love it too! If you have more tips or have suggestions leave them in the comments below, I would love to read them!
Remember you can also follow me on Instagram Travel_with_jennats where I share more of my solo travels!
Happy adventures 😀
Photos by me