60 Places in Cape Town

60 Places

To visit in & around Cape Town

“The fairest Cape in all the world” 

Sir Frances Drake • 1580
offers many interesting places to visit. 

Here are 60 worthwhile ones, both well known and less known.

Two Oceans Aquarium

The first aquarium open to the public in Cape Town was the small Marine Biological Research Station at St James established in 1912 but, by the end of the 20th century, the Mother City needed a modern aquarium. The dream of two brothers became a reality in 1995 with the opening of the Two Oceans Aquarium - one of the finest aquariums in the world, showcasing over 8000 unique marine creatures of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Location: Portswood Square, V&A Waterfront.

Location: Portswood Square, V&A Waterfront 

Information: 021 418 3823 www.aquarium.co.za 

Price: Varies for adults, children, SA pensioners  and students.  

V&A Waterfront

The harbour was built between 1860 and 1920 and the area is notable for its outstanding heritage buildings. The V&A is one of the most successful waterfronts in the world. More than 100 restaurants and an abundance of entertainment make this Cape Town’s number one tourist attraction.

Shopping Hours: 9am to 9pm. 

Contact: Head Office, 2nd Floor, Victoria Wharf, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town 

Information: Tel: 021 408 7600 • www.waterfront.co.za 

Price: Entrance free, the rest depends on you.

Ysterplaat Airforce Museum

The museum covers the full period of the SAAF’s existence and its operational activities, as well as military and civil aviation in the Cape. In addition to aircraft, weapons, engines, uniforms etc. there is a small display of Royal Flying Corps memorabilia and a gift shop. 

Visiting Hours: Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 3.30pm and on Saturday from 8.30am to 12.30pm
Closed on Sundays and public holidays.
Location: Ysterplaat Air Force Base. 

Information: Tel: 021 508-6576 • www.saafmuseum.org.za
Price: free

Table Mountain

This landmark needs no introduction and is a must for anyone visiting or living in Cape Town. The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway is the fastest way to the top of Table Mountain. Visit their extensive website for information and special deals.
Visiting Hours: Weather permitting, first car up is 8am or 8:30am, last car down between 6pm and 9:30pm depending on season.
Further information and contact: www.tablemountain.net 

Information: Tel: 021 424 8181
Location: Tafelberg Road, Cape Town
Price: fee 

Lion’s Head & Signal Hill

Lion’s Head is undoubtedly the most climbed peak in South Africa. At 670 m high, it flanks Table Mountain on its right and has a 360 degree view of Cape Town. The most walked route is the Spiral Path which has some interesting sections with a chain ladder which can be bypassed. 

Location: Drive up Kloof Nek Road; at the top, turn right towards Signal Hill; the parking area is near a wooden hut and boomed gate. 

Information: Falls within SANParks.
www.friendsoflionshead.org.za is an interesting site to visit.
Price: free but remember to tip the car guards.

Clifton Beach

This is a blue flag status beach frequented by the rich, the famous and the beautiful. There are four distinct coves with pristine sand, surrounded by granite boulders and quaint multi-million Rand beach cottages. This is a favourite spot for sundowners and for people who want to be seen in the right places. Each beach is reached by flights of steps from Victoria Road (not great for wheelchair-bound visitors). 

Location: Victoria Road (The Ridge), Clifton 

Information: www.aboutcapetown.com/beaches.htm 

Price: free

Camps Bay Beach

Another trendy beach on the Eastern seaboard is this long sandy beach accessed directly from the road. Parking can be a problem in summer. The road behind the beach is lined with cafes, restaurants and a few small grocery stores, making snacks and lunch easily obtainable. This beach, with its tidal pool, is generally family-friendly. 

Deck chairs and umbrellas are available for daily rental.
Location: Camps Bay 

Price: free

Llandudno Beach

This is a stunning beach of white sand and huge granite boulders surrounded by mountains. There are no shops or commercial activities, only expensive residential property. It is popular with surfers, rock climbers (in the form of bouldering) and sun worshippers. Swimming can be dangerous, with rough seas and extremely cold water. (Check that the life guards are on duty). It is named after the North Wales seaside resort of Llandudno, which means ‘Parish of Saint Tudno’. 

Location: Between Hout Bay and Camps Bay. 

Price: free

Click to enlarge

Leopard’s Rock

When visiting Hout Bay beach, which is worth a visit in its own right, you will see a statue of a leopard. Look out for it on the left hand corner just where the road starts climbing up from Hout Bay towards Chapman’s Peak. This statue was created by a local artist, Ivan Mitford-Barberton, in the 1930’s to commemorate the last leopard spotted in Hout Bay on Little Lion’s Head in 1937. The 295kg bronze statue was placed on a 545-540 million year old granite corestone pedestal in March 1963 by the Divisional Council. Pepsi-Cola supported the project and donated the bronze. 

Location: East end of Hout Bay Beach (Chapman’s Peak side) 

Price: free

Duiker Island

Take a boat cruise from Hout Bay Harbour around the spectacular Sentinel Peak to a small island packed with Cape Fur Seals. See them in their own environment. The journey will take about an hour. Check the charter company’s website for departure details. Location: Departure and return to Hout Bay Harbour; Duiker Island located just off Sentinel Peak.   

Information: www.circelaunches.co.za • 082 5522 904 

Price: Small fee

World of Birds

World of Birds is the largest bird park in Africa and one of the few large bird parks in the world. Over 3000 birds of 400 different species, as well as small animals, monkeys and reptiles, are uniquely presented in more than 100 large landscaped walk-through enclosures, allowing you an intimate experience with these creatures.
Location: Valley Road, Hout Bay.
Information: www.worldofbirds.org.za
Trading Hours: Every day from 9am to 5pm.
Price: fee  

Mariner’s Wharf & Hout Bay Harbour

Hout Bay is famous for its harbour and Mariner’s Wharf, which is the first harbour-front emporium in Africa and the Southern Hemisphere.  Huge quantities of lobster, tuna and snoek are landed here and the ambience of its fisheries and history is memorably captured at Mariner’s Wharf. Overlooking a beautiful beach and bay, it’s the ideal place to relax, enjoy a good meal and shop – indeed, well worth the visit! 

Location: Harbour Road, Hout Bay 

Information: “Embracing Hout Bay” - editor Gwynne Schrire 

Price: Free access and parking for Mariner’s Wharf. Restaurant prices dependent on your choice. 

Kronendal

This is one of Cape Town’s well-known early homesteads, which beautifully captures its period. In 1715, Kronendal was granted to Matthys Bergstedt but it was only converted into a farm near the end of the century when Johanne Guilliam van Helsdingen built the homestead and the historical gable, which was strongly influenced by that of Groot Constantia. Rumours abound about the ghost of Elsa Cloete who died there of a broken heart. Many have reported seeing a ghostly figure in one of the estate’s windows. Kronendal was declared a national monument in 1960 and is a provincial heritage site.  

Location: Main Road Hout Bay just past Victory Road. 

Information: www.artefacts.co.za 

Price: free to view

Noordhoek Farm Village

Cape charm under old oaks, things to see, restaurants, shops and play area for the kids: with all this, you still feel you are visiting a classic old Cape farmstead. This has to be one of the stops when touring the Cape Peninsula or a must for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Location: Just as you leave the Southern end of Chapman’s Peak Drive on the left hand side. Information: www.noordhoekvillage.co.za • 

Tel: 021 789 1390 

Price: entrance free, the rest depends on you.

Fish Hoek Valley Museum

This is a small quirky museum that houses a treasure of information about early Fish Hoek, displays on whales and dolphins and the history of Peer’s Cave, including local stone age implements. It is a private museum. Talks on Peer’s Cave or local history can be arranged for groups of up to 

20 people. 

Information: www.fishhoek.com/museum.html 

Location: 59 Central Circle, Fish Hoek 

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am to 12.30pm 

Price: small fee

Noordhoek Beach

This beach is found in the quiet corner of Noordhoek; it can’t be missed due to its size. The beach is very popular with walkers, horse riders and surfers. There is a well-known wreck of the Kakapo on the beach. The beach has soft white sand and the views of the bay are spectacular. Location: Turn into Avondrust Circle from Noordhoek Main Rd; take the first right turn into Beach Rd which takes you to the beach. 

Information: www.uncoverthecape.co.za/local-attractions/beaches/noordhoek/ 

Price: free

Imhoff’s Farm

Imhoff’s Farm is a historical Cape farmstead (about 1743) that has been turned into a tranquil must-stop-and-spend-some-time venue on the Peninsula tourist route. There is something for everybody: restaurants, shops, a snake park and activities such as camel rides, horse rides and paintball. With all this to offer, it still retains an old-world restful charm. 

Information: www.imhofffarm.co.za 

Location: Halfway between Kommetjie and Sun Valley (opposite Ocean View) 

Price: Free but a whole lot to spend money on.

Slangkop Lighthouse

Slangkop (meaning Snakehead) Lighthouse in Kommetjie has been burning brightly since 1914; it became fully automated in 1979. The tower’s light shines 33 nautical miles out to sea from its 33 m circular construction. It is the tallest lighthouse in South Africa.
Information: www.capepointroute.co.za/moreinfoOther.php?aID=109
Hours: 30-minute tour, Monday to Friday from 10am to 3pm
Booking: Tel: 021 783 1717
Location: Lighthouse Road, Kommetjie
Price: small fee

Cape Point Ostrich Farm

This is a working farm and visitors are welcome. The only way to see the farm is by joining their tours. There is also a restaurant which specialises in - yes - ostrich, but booking is essential. Ostrich products such as leather goods and egg art can be purchased at the in-house shop.
Location: M65 south, 400 m north of the entrance to 

Cape Point National Park.
Information: www.capepointostrichfarm.com/
Tel: 021 780 9294
Price: Booking for tours.

Hout Bay Museum

This museum has displays on the history of the Hout Bay valley and its people, focusing on forestry, mining, and the fishing industry up to modern times. The museum also organises weekly guided nature walks into the surrounding mountains. It is a small rustic museum and is mainly for people who want to learn more about Hout Bay’s history.
Location: 4 Andrews Road, Hout Bay, 7872 • 021 790 3270
Price: small fee

Chapman’s Peak Drive

One of the most breathtaking drives in the world, the 9km route, with its 114 curves, skirts the coast halfway up the sheer cliffs of Chapman’s Peak. Construction of the road started in 1915 and took seven years to complete. The road was opened to traffic on Saturday 6 May 1922. It was closed in 2000 due to rock falls and was extensively modified to make it a safe toll road. 

Location: Between Hout Bay and Noordhoek. 

Information: www.chapmanspeakdrive.co.za/history.php 

Price: toll fee (check that the drive is open) 

Cape Point

The official name is the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. What more can be said than that it is the most visited tourist hotspot on the Cape Peninsula after the Waterfront. It is the most south-westerly point of Africa and also the most southerly point of the Peninsula. As well as visiting the Point, there is a whole game park to explore. 

Location: The furthest place south on the Cape Peninsula 

Information: www.capepoint.co.za 

Hours: 6am to 6pm  
Price: Entrance fee.

Boulders Beach

One of the best places to see the African penguin up close and in its natural habitat. Well-made viewing platforms and boardwalks enhance this experience and are suitable for wheelchair-bound people. This is also one of the popular family beaches, out of the wind and with many little spots you can have to yourself. There is excellent swimming and diving. Location: Just past Simon’s Town. The 

beach can be reached from Seaforth Road or Bellevue Road. Information: www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/tourism/attractions.php Hours: Visit their website as these change throughout the year.  Price: small fee 

Seaforth Beach

This is a small, beautiful family beach with large green lawns. Like Boulders, it is protected from the wind. Seaforth is a very safe swimming beach with diving opportunities in and around the massive submerged granite boulders. The beach is great for kids and the lawns offer lovely picnic spots. There is also a restaurant that overlooks the beach. Seaforth Beach is also a prominent nesting site for about 150 penguins. Before this beach became a leisure destination, it was one of the first established whaling stations on the Cape Peninsula. Because of the dreadful smell of dead whales, the operation was moved to Kalk Bay in 1807 and then on to Muizenberg. All whaling in False Bay stopped in 1935.  Location: Just past Simon’s Town. It can be entered from Seaforth Road 

Information: www.simonstown.com 

Hours: open all the time  

Price: free

Scratch Patch

Gemstones for Africa! Lie down in a carpet of gemstones, buy the ones you choose - this is a treasure trove for kids and a lot of fun. For the adults, many different gemstone products are for sale. The stones are tumble-polished on site in the world’s biggest gemstone factory that processes some 150 varieties of stones from all around the world. Location: Just outside Simon’s Town on Dido Valley Rd
Information: www.scratchpatch.co.za 

Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:45pm; Saturday/Sunday/Holidays: 9am to 5:30pm  

Price: free but bring money for a bag of treasure.

Kalk Bay

Kalkbaai (Dutch/Afrikaans) means “Lime Bay”. The name derives from the deposits of mussel shells that were found here. Early settlers burned these to make lime for construction. This little village, surrounding a working fisherman’s harbour which was build in 1913, has managed to keep its old-world feel. A popular holiday getaway for townsfolk a hundred years ago, it has now become the place to get away from it all for the afternoon. Visit art galleries, bookshops, restaurants and secondhand shops, or just walk down to the harbour and see what the catch of the day is. 

Location: Between Fish Hoek and Muizenberg 

Information: www.capepointroute.co.za/seeit-kalkbay.php 

Price: free, lots to do and see.

Fish Hoek Beach

This is considered one of the best family beaches in Cape Town, with warmer water than the Atlantic side and shallow water with no dangerous sea currents. Shark attacks have occurred here only because people have ignored the shark spotters but, since 2014, removable shark nets were installed in the western corner of the beach, covering an area of 3 soccer fields. This type of net is the only net installed in the world where the net extends all the way to the sea floor and is deployed and retrieved every day. The famous Jager’s  Walk (Cat Walk) is a popular walkway where you can swim in rock pools or sit on grass lawns or seats and enjoy the view. This beach is on the main railway line from central Cape Town. Parking is provided at a small fee. 

Location: Between Simon’s Town and Muizenberg 

Information: www.fishhoek.com 

Price: free

Rhodes Cottage

This humble cottage was where Cecil Rhodes, one of the richest men in the world in his time, spent his last days. This man shaped Southern Africa like no one else, had two countries, which he virtually owned, named after him and was a colossus in the diamond industry. He was the ‘poster boy’ of colonisation. 

Location: 242 Main Road, Muizenberg 

Information: https://rhodescottage.co.za/

Price: donation

St James

St James was once the place of the rich and famous from the gold and diamond days but, today, it is better known for its small cosy beach with its colourful picture-postcard bathing boxes and tidal pool. Enjoy a long scenic walk from Kalk Bay to Muizenberg, right on the water’s edge, on a well-made walkway. This beach can be very busy in summer. 

Location: Between Kalk Bay and Muizenberg 

Information: www.capepointroute.co.za/seeit-stjames.php 

Price: free

Casa Labia Cultural Centre

Built in 1929 to reflect the spirit of 18th century Venice, Casa Labia, now a national monument, is the former Muizenberg residence of Count and Countess Natale Labia. Presently, it has been turned into a most exquisite multi-functional cultural centre and upmarket venue, complete with a modern art gallery, Casbah Design Boutique and an Italian café.  Visiting hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 4pm 

Location: 192 Main Road, Muizenberg  

Information: www.casalabia.co.za 

Price: free

De Post Huys

De Post Huys, built in 1673 by the Dutch East India Company, was used as a signal house and fort and is probably the oldest existing building in South Africa, considering the Castle of Good Hope was only declared finished in 1678. This rustic little building has seen the Battle of Muizenberg (1795) during which it came under fire from British forces, the first road to Kalk Bay and the building of the railway. 

Information: https://www.capetown.travel/listing/het-posthuys-museum/ Location: Main Road, Muizenberg
Price: fee 

Ou Kaapse Weg

Despite its name, Ou Kaapse Weg (Old Cape Road) was only built in 1968. There was an old wagon track that went over the mountain, but this is situated behind the Naval Base under Steenberg.  There is a viewing area at the top of the pass on the right hand side which gives magnificent views of Constantia, the Cape Flats and, on a clear day, the whole of the Cape Fold Mountains. 

Location: Between Fish Hoek and Constantia over the mountain  

Price: free

Silvermine Nature Reserve

World of Birds is the largest bird park in Africa and one of the few large bird parks in the world. Over 3000 birds of 400 different species, as well as small animals, monkeys and reptiles, are uniquely presented in more than 100 large landscaped walk-through enclosures, allowing you an intimate experience with these creatures.
Location: Valley Road, Hout Bay.
Information: www.worldofbirds.org.za
Trading Hours: Every day from 9am to 5pm.
Price: fee  

Constantia Glen

A picturesque wine estate nestled between Constantiaberg and Table Mountain makes for the perfect setting, just a short drive from the Cape Town city centre. Constantia Glen has a tasting room and restaurant with an array of wine tasting options to choose from and anà la cartemenu with something for everyone. Dishes range from generous main meals to wood-firedflammkuchenand their famous cheese and charcuterie platters.
Location: Constantia Main Road
Information: www.constantiaglen.com•Tel: 021795 5639 

Hours: Sunday to Thursday 10am - 6pm, Fridays & Saturdays 10am - 9pm

Price: fee per tasting 

Click to enlarge

Groot Constantia

This was one of the first wine farms to be established in South Africa in 1685 by the governor of the Cape of Good Hope, Simon van der Stel. What a masterpiece he created! This is the finest example of a Cape Dutch wine farm and must be visited. Today it is still a working farm but is geared for tourists and wine lovers who can walk away with some of the finest wines. Location: Turn off Constantia Main Road (in Constantia) into Groot Constantia Road; follow this road to the end. 

Information: www.grootconstantia.co.za • 

Tel: 021 794-5128  

Price: free, small fee for museum

The Alphen

The Alphen is one of the original homesteads in the Constantia valley and is awash with old-world charm. It dates back to the Dutch East India Company and, since then, more land has been acquired to make a magnificent estate. After changing hands a few times, it ended up belonging to one of the best-known wine families, the Cloetes. The Alphen is most known for its pub and hotel. 

Location: Alphen Drive, Constantia 

Information: www.alphen.co.za • www.newcourtatalphen.co.za/history.htm  

Price: free to view, pay to drink and eat.

Arderne Gardens

This little jewel in Claremont has one of the most diverse and valuable collections of exotic trees in all of South Africa. It now officially includes one of the largest trees in Africa, the Moreton Bay Fig. This tree, along with five others, was designated as a ‘Champion Tree’ in 2008. The garden is extremely popular for wedding photographs – with a backdrop of big trees, lawns and ponds, it is hard to find a better location. 

Location: 222 Main Road, Claremont 

Information: www.ardernegardens.org.za  

Price: free

Newlands Brewery

Nestled at the foot of Devil’s Peak, and neighbour to the historic rugby and cricket ground, is the oldest operating brewery in South Africa and the home of great South African beer – Newlands Brewery. Lovers of superbly crafted beer are invited to experience a taste of brewing history, followed by a look into modern-day brewing methods, by joining a fully-guided tour. To book:
E-mail: newlandstours@za.sabmiller.com •
Tel:  021 658 7440
Location: 3 Main Rd, Newlands, Cape Town
Price: small fee for a guided tour, beer tasting and two free beers.

Kirstenbosch Garden

This world-famous garden ranks as one of the best and most beautiful botanical gardens in the world. It is unique as it showcases indigenous plant species; considering the Cape is a plant kingdom all on its own, it means thousands of plants to see that grow nowhere else in the world. Location: Rhodes Drive, Newlands
Hours: September to March: Monday to Sunday, 8am to 7pm

April to August: Monday to Sunday, 8am to 6pm
Information: www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch •
Tel:  021 799 8783
Price: fee



Montebello Design Centre

A must for creative types. It is situated in the old farm buildings of the historic site of Montebello. Today, the Design Centre is home to a broad spectrum of designers and artists, from jewellers to painters, film makers to landscapers. View the artists at work, visit the shops and wonderful restaurant. 

Location: 31 Newlands Avenue between Dean Street and  Anneberg Road  

Hours: normal work hours 

Information: www.montebello.co.za  

Tel: 021 685 6445 

Price: free to look, pay to eat 

Mostert’s Mill

The mill was built in 1796 on the farm, Welgelegen. The farm changed hands a few times and, in 1891, Cecil Rhodes bought it to consolidate his estate. On his death, it was bequeathed to the state. The mill fell into disrepair over a number of years. It was refurbished in 1935 and again in 1986. The mill was destroyed in a fire in 2021 but has since been restored. 

Location: Top of Rhodes Avenue, Mowbray Hours: The mill can be viewed from the fence as it is not open to the public but if you really want to go inside, become a member of The Friends of Mostert’s Mill or contact them for permission. 

Information: www.mostertsmill.co.za 

Price: free to view from the road.

Rhodes Memorial

This memorial was built by citizens of Cape Town for a man who likely influenced the history of Southern Africa like no one else. He was an empire builder, politician and farmer, and owned the biggest diamond empire in his day. There was a stage when he owned two countries which were named after him. Sadly, the well-known restaurant was destroyed by a runaway fire in 2021 and is yet to be rebuilt.  

Location: Rhodes Memorial Street, Newlands 

Hours: sunrise to sunset 

Information: www.rhodesmemorial.co.za • 

Price: free

Heart Transplant Museum

Visit the actual rooms at Groote Schuur Hospital where Christiaan Barnard performed the first successful human heart transplant in the world. The rooms and operating theatre have been restored in every detail as they were on 3 December 1967. This visit is by tour only, so book online on their website. A shuttle service will pick you up from your accommodation, if needed.
Location: Groote Schuur Hospital, Main Road, Observatory
Tel: 021 404 1967
Information: www.heartofcapetown.co.za
Price: fee

For more information

www.sanbi.org (click on Kirstenbosch)

Join the Kirstenbosch family

Become a member of the Botanical Society of SouthAfrica

Tel: 021 797 2090    •   info@botanicalsociety.org.za

Editing: Shelley Brown and Shelley Woode-Smith

Thanks to Alice Notten for photographs and information

© Richard Smith  • 9th edition, 2023  •  Gateway Guides

Richard Smith

083 260 2985

richard@gatewayguides.co.za

richardsmith.redzone@gmail.com

www.gatewayguides.co.za

www.historicaltimelines.co.za

© Richard Smith • Gateway Guides • 2023

Distribution: GoSeeDo • Printing: FA Print

www.gatewayguides.co.za   

All Rights Reserved    

Please contact us if you wish to engage with any of our products       

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

© Richard Smith
Citations available on request.