Captivated by Cape Town
4 days in Cape Town
I have to start this by saying 4 days in Cape Town is just not enough! However it was all we had so we really made the most of it! This city exceeded any of my expectations. I knew it was supposed to be amazing but I didn’t know how amazing it actually was!
We had 4 days here after our safari in Kruger. We stayed in Green Point which is an upmarket area and very central to everything. We were walking distance to the V&A waterfront which was perfect for nice breakfast cafes, coffee spots and a really nice area to explore and walk around.
Is it safe?
One of my major concerns was being safe in this city. We never had any issues, however I do think you have to have your wits about you at times. We walked around the city during the day and felt ok, however we got Uber’s everywhere else. Uber’s are easy and super cheap! If ever we felt uneasy in a certain area we would just stop and order an Uber, which was never more than a couple of minutes away. Saying that however, I was told not to walk anywhere at night. We were always careful to keep a strict eye on our belongings and never flashed our phones or any valuables in public.
4 days in this city
Cape Town is a lot bigger than I thought, and every area is so different! We only had 4 days and a massive list of things to tick off! I think you could spend a month here and still not see it all! I would recommend if possible coming to Cape Town over a weekend as there are so many markets and events on.
We stayed in Green Point - a very central location. We were a 10 minute walk to the V&A waterfront which is full of restaurants, cafes, the V&A foodmarket and shopping. One thing I noticed about Cape Town is that high end accommodation is relatively cheap, especially if you are heading in on a strong currency like the euro. We had a luxurious 2 bed apartment in the grand Cape Royal building for about €100 per night.
The V&A waterfront is a really vibrant place where locals and tourists come together. The place is surrounded by amazing music from various groups busking. One of our favourite cafes was called Vovo Volo. We ended up coming here for breakfast most mornings!
The V&A waterfront food market is a spectacle of amazing cuisines from all over the world. The Silo district just over the bridge from the V&A waterfront has a tonne of restaurants perched around the water. We ate at the Cape Town Fish Market one evening which is a great place to eat delicious fresh fish and sushi while you have your toes in the sand.
The Granary Cafe in the arty Silo Hotel is also a great place for a drink with views of Table Mountain and the water.
Sea Point and Clifton
Our first day in Cape Town we managed to tick quite a few destinations off our list. We headed to Sea Point for a stroll along the water and to check out the Mojo Markets- and indoor food and craft market. It’s quite small but has a large array of foods to suit everyone.
After a short stroll, we got in an Uber to check out Cape Towns prime real estate suburb of Clifton. Spread across 4 beaches aptly named Clifton beach 1, 2, 3 and 4, these stunning and quaint houses are located right on the waterfront. The beaches of Clifton are made of the whitest and softest sand. Even on a winters day, we were strolling with our shoes off and the sun shining. It’s really a stunning place! While we were there we were already making a plan to come back and spend a month in Cape Town, ideally hiring a little apartment in Clifton.
Bo-Kaap, also known as the Malay Quarter is one of Cape Towns most distinct neighbourhoods. There is so much to see, taste and explore. It is situated at the foot of Signal Hill, and was an area where rental houses were built and leased to slaves. These people were brought from Malaysia and were known as Cape Malays. All the houses had to kept white while on lease, so when this law was eventually lifted and the slaves were allowed to buy the properties, they painted them bright colors to express their freedom.
It’s is now a very funky area with some interesting art galleries and cafés, but still has a very authentic feel.
We discovered an amazing café called Batavia which was painted bright blue with a cute terrace out the front. The inside was just as vibrant as the outside, with amazing art hanging from every wall. They have delicious fresh juices, and although we weren’t hungry when we were there we forced ourselves to eat because the menu looked too good. We were right! Next time I would save myself and head back there for a full lunch!
Long Street is one of the main streets in Cape Towns CBD. It contrasts greatly between amazing boutiques, designer stores, and homeless people begging for your loose change. I feel this is a lot of South Africa though, the contrast is sometimes too hard to face, however in Long Street it seems to be quite hard to avoid. One thing that really set me back was that all the shops are protected by big metal gates, so you have to buzz to actually get inside. This is a completely foreign concept for me however just seems completely normal here.
One thing I love about South Africa, is their support for local designers and locally made products. Everywhere you look they are promoting the most amazing crafts and clothing that you know isn’t made in China. I went to South Africa with a backpack weighing 13kgs and came home with about 4 pieces of hand luggage and a backpack I could barely carry! I managed to stuff I coffee table in there - how I did I have no idea, but it was totally worth the back pain! It’s now sitting very prettily in my apartment in Spain!
Mungo and Jemima is a store that sources locally made fabrics and produces beautiful dresses and clothing. And very affordable compared to European prices. It’s always nice to know that you are wearing something sustainable and actually supporting local communities.
WAG is another store that is so captivating! Even to go in there for a glimpse of their stunning African fabrics is worth it! They use the African Ankara fabrics and make them in store into amazing dresses and shirts.
The adjoining Kloof street boasts another range of amazing boutiques and hipster cafes and eateries. I came across a store called Ashanti Design which has the most captivating cushions, baskets and home ware. I bought a Bori Bori, which is like a mini bean bag, but the fabric is all made from t-shirt off cuts from companies such as GAP, Esprit and Benetton. They have a factory that makes them out in Madagascar where a lot of these companies have their factories, and they make sure the old fabric gets made into funky home ware rather than going to land fill! Such a genius idea! You can buy them flat packed so you just buy the filling when you get home, making it easy to squeeze into your suitcase.
This is one of the wine regions just outside the city. You can do an organized tour which takes you around to several different wineries, however we decided to get get Uber’s and do it ourselves.
The journey is about 45 minutes from central Cape Town and only cost us around €30 in an Uber. We focused on one winery that had markets and a stroll and drink in the town which is very beautiful.
We went to Audacia wines, where they host the Route 44 markets every Sunday. These markets were incredible, with a wide selection of crafts, homeware and clothing. There is a large section of different food stalls and of course, WINE! After strolling around the market and purchasing some more unnecessary things to take home, we sat in the sun with some sparkling wine listening to the live band. It had such an electric atmosphere yet chilled vibe. As I sat there with my sister and my mum, I thought ‘this is the definition of a perfect Sunday!’
We then headed into Stellenbosch town. With the beautiful colonial buildings and tree lined streets, this place transports you back to Europe. We strolled around and of course did some MORE shopping in all the fabulous craft stores. We then sat out on the sidewalk in a wine boutique cafe sipping on some local vinos. Absolute perfection!
This flat topped mountain is the most prominent landmark in South Africa. Because of Cape Towns ever changing weather it can be quite tricky to make it up here. If the visibility is poor or it is too windy the cable car won’t run. You can hike however since we were trying to cram so much in we thought it was best to take the cable car.
Having pre-purchased tickets and being let down by the mountain being closed the day before, we were very lucky with the conditions when we went.
After our day in Stellenbosch we decided to take the risk and raced back to Cape Town to try and get on the cable cars before they closed. We managed to get in the last group heading up for the evening. The Table Mountain Cableway is something spectacular in itself! Each of the 2 cable cars can carry 65 people which means they can transport 800 people up the mountain every hour. The floor of the cabin rotates, meaning everyone gets a chance of seeing the stunning view over the city and beyond. The view from when you finally reach the top is indescribable, and photos just don’t do it justice. To top it all off, we happened to have the most amazing sunset whilst we were up there! We purchased a couple of glasses of Rosé from the mountain top bar and sat watching the sky turn all shades of pink and red. There are some walks you can do once you are on the top of the mountain which is on my list for my return visit!
This is one of the oldest and hippest areas of Cape Town. This neighborhood began with a few fisherman’s house and farm cottages two kilometers east of Cape Town. It has been through many phases but today Woodstock is undergoing an urban renewal with many new buildings and businesses, making it a hip and trendy neighborhood.
Roodebloem Road is full of vintage and antique shops tucked amongst trendy eateries. As our cases were already full with coffee tables and bean bags, we headed straight to the Old Biscuit Mill to check out the local crafts and designer stores. They host a local Neighborgoods Market every Saturday, however we were here on a normal day meaning we could browse the shops without the crowds.
We came back back to this area that evening to have dinner at The Potluck Club, a very popular restaurant on the 6th floor with epic views of the city. The food here was really out of this world, and definitely a treat to ourselves to mark the end of our South African adventure. If wanting to come here it’s best to book well in advance as it’s a pretty popular place!
Cape Town Harbor
One of the many (many!) highlights of Cape Town was a sunset cruise we did on the cities harbor. We took a trip with Waterfront Charters, which led us to see Cape Towns best angles from the sea, donned with another incredible sunset. We sipped sparkling rosé whilst listening to music and cruising the coast. Oh and we happened to see a whale and seals! Talk about perfect moment!
Cape Town is really such a captivating place! The only thing that made me feel okay about leaving was knowing that I will be back!