Essential Things To Know When Visiting Cape Town

Cape Town is one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations, and it’s earned dozens of travel accolades for its beaches, mountains, intriguing history, wine farms, and celebrated culinary attractions. In spite of its popularity, there are several important things to know when visiting Cape Town. Front of mind for many travelling to Cape Town is Cape Town safety, but with a few travel tips under your belt you can easily have a remarkable stay in this beautiful corner of South Africa. It’s no exaggeration to say that there are hundreds of things to do in Cape Town, many of which are easily accessible from the Cape Town City Centre. But some are slightly further afield, for which a few Cape Town travel tips will come in handy. But regardless of your interests or length of trip, there’s likely to be something in the city that’ll capture your attention and have you returning to the city for more!

Choosing where to stay

Cape Town is a convenient city to get around in, particularly if you stay in the Cape Town City Bowl. Although you could stay in a variety of locations, the City Bowl suburbs, or those along the Atlantic Seaboard, are the best areas to stay in Cape Town, particularly if you are a first time visitor to the city and looking for views, comfort and convenience. Although you will still have to travel to reach many Cape Town attractions, these suburbs are central enough to be able to reach the best of them in an easy drive or walk. If you’re looking to stay closer to the wine farms, a night or two in nearby towns might offer a good break from the city. Franschhoek in particular is well-geared towards visiting tourists, and there are several notable wine farms with celebrated restaurants dotted throughout the fertile valley. Likewise, the quaint coastal villages of Muizenberg, Kalk Bay or Scarborough are perfect for escaping the heat during the middle of summer.

What to do

Picking things to know when visiting Cape Town might just be the most difficult part of your journey. There are some attractions that any Cape Town travel guide will tell you to visit - Table Mountain, the city’s numerous wine farms and beaches, Robben Island and the V&A Waterfront, and the famous penguins at Boulder’s Beach, along with a visit to Cape Point. These activities can easily fill up even a long trip and are a good place to start, though one of the most useful Cape Town travel tips to put into action should be to focus on what appeals to your interests and to allocate enough time to soak up each activity rather than try and tick everything off in a single trip - because as every local will tell you, it’s just not possible! Cape Town’s nightlife is also a popular drawcard, and there are several options to consider. If you enjoy a casual drink there are dozens of notable bars dotted throughout the city, the most popular of which you’ll find on Kloof Street and Bree Street. There are also several bars and restaurants along the Camps Bay strip, though these are generally targeted at tourists with prices to suit. If you’re in need of more than just a casual drink or cocktail, there are some popular nightclubs to consider in the area as well, along with a few in the Cape Town City Bowl with bustling dance floors that stay open until late.

Where to eat

Food has become a regular feature on many Cape Town visitors’ lists, thanks to a number of world-class restaurants opening up around the city, and on Cape Town’s numerous wine farms. There are several high-profile restaurants to visit close to Cape Town, including the likes of The Test Kitchen, Pot Luck Club, Chef’s Warehouse, and recently-opened FYN, all of which offer exceptional cuisine. Many wine estates are also home to some of the country’s most celebrated restaurants, including La Colombe and Foxcroft. But one of the better known facts about Cape Town is that it’s equally possible to take a walk down Cape Town’s Bree Street where you’ll find a good cup of coffee and a tasty meal for significantly less, and there really are flavours to suit every taste here. Whatever your vibe, be it plant-based or you’re looking for some classic Cape Town flavours, you’ll probably find it on Bree.

Staying safe

Cape Town safety is top of mind for many visitors to Cape Town. Although South Africa does have a crime problem, it’s unusual for this to impact on visitors. Most of the country’s serious crime affects residents living in areas few tourists visit, and Cape Town is no different. Still, there is petty crime that can affect tourists, particularly in busy urban areas. As such, it’s important to be alert at all times - do not leave belongings unattended, refuse assistance at cash machines, and be alert to anyone who seems suspicious. In the Cape Town inner city there are uniformed security officers around who can assist you if you are unsure of anything, and most Cape Town attractions are suitably safe and secure. For female travellers, walking alone at night is best avoided, and as such Uber drivers don’t bat an eyelid if your journey is only a few minutes long, especially if you’re out in the city at nig

How to get around

Getting around Cape Town can be difficult. If you are comfortable behind the wheel of a hire car, then there are several options available throughout the city, including at Cape Town International Airport. But if you’re concerned about Cape Town safety, the most reliable way to travel is to make use of Uber. Distances in the city are typically short and fares low, which means it’s a safe and convenient way to explore the city. If you’re thinking about heading further out of town, such as on a day trip to Cape Point, then it may be worth considering booking an organised tour.

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