A Solo Traveler's Guide to Cape Town – Things to do Alone

By Melania Totaro, a solo traveller who was charmed into settling in captivating Cape Town 8 years ago.
Edited by Matthew Wears

There’s so many ways that you can experience my beautiful city of Cape Town, but solo travelling here has to be one of the best ways to see the city for just so many reasons. There are many, many things to do in Cape town that are so rewarding to explore on your own, and it gives you the opportunity to mix with the super friendly people that live in the city! I came to Cape Town eight years ago on my own, and I remember being so excited to arrive and as soon as I stepped off the plane, I knew it was where I wanted to stay. The people were so friendly and it was just so easy to make friends, so you won’t have any trouble finding people to talk to on your trip. To solo travel Cape Town is to go on your own adventure; you can choose to go out into the stunning countryside or explore vibrant city centre at your own pace, it’s completely up to you! This solo travel guide Cape Town is going to give you only the essential information that you need to know, including where’s best to stay, where to get great food and a few activities that you don’t want to miss on your solo travel Cape town adventure!

Where To Stay

Finding the right neighbourhood to stay is really important when staying in Cape Town, as there are certain areas where I unfortunately wouldn’t recommend you walk alone . Of course you’re going to want to stay somewhere that is not only really cool, but also safe as well! I really don’t think that the central neighbourhoods of Cape Town are any more dangerous than any other big city, but it pays to be sensible about things like this and I wouldn’t recommend exploring a neighbourhood without any prior knowledge of what it’s like first, just to be on the safe side. For anyone that ever asks me where to stay in Cape Town alone, or even with a group for that matter, I will pretty much always suggest Woodstock, it’s a little hipster area that has a whole load of cool restaurants and cafes right on your doorstep. There’s also some great accommodation around this area as well, there’s quite a lot of boutique rooms for rent that would make really cool bases on you trip, although if you’re looking for hostels where you can mix with other travellers, it’s probably not the place to be.

Where To Stay

If you’re looking for super social places to stay then you really won’t get anywhere better than the central area, especially around Long Street. There are so many cheap hostels that are much more budget friendly than staying in your own private room, and most of the top things to do in Cape Town are located just a small walk away, so you’ll be right in the centre of the action! Long Street itself is a really fun place to hang out, especially during the evening where it becomes one of the best things to do in Cape Town at night if you’re looking for a crazy night out! Although, it’s changed a lot since I first arrived, so for a less hectic but still vibrant atmosphere, you may prefer Kloof Street. Another place that is one of my top places to stay is Muizenberg, a small, super laid-back oversized village just outside of the main city. This is actually where surfing first started in Cape town, so as you can probably imagine it’s full of old, quirky surf shacks with loads of cool beach bars and restaurants to!

What To Do

If you want some ideas on a few solo activities in Cape Town, then there’s definitely some things that you don’t want to miss out on. First, I really can’t recommend going to see Table Mountain enough, it’s one of this city’s most beautiful and recognisable landmarks and everyone who comes here has to see it for themselves, it’s a must see. For the solo traveller, it’s a good place to go and meet people because it will be full of tourists and locals for you to mix with, and if you choose to hike it then you our bound to make some hiking buddies along the way! Another good option would be to hire a guide to join you on your trek around the mountain, they will be able to show you cool local spots, tell you bits of information about the area and give you someone to enjoy the beautiful scenery with to!

What To Do

Whenever I meet someone who wants to solo travel Cape Town, I pretty much always tell them to go a local cooking class, it’s such a fun and unusual way to spend an afternoon! Food is such a big part of the culture in South Africa and there are just so many dishes for you to explore when you get here, it’s always fun to get a little bit more information about how the food is prepared and of course taste is as well! Stir Crazy Cooking School is a really popular one that is great if you want a bit more of a chilled-out time, it’s not as serious as some of the other cooking classes, so it’s really great if you just want to go and have some fun! If you’re searching for something a bit different, I know exactly what to do in Cape Town alone that is totally unique; visit the Honest Chocolate Café! This is a must for anyone with a sweet tooth, and who knows, you might bump into someone with the same passion for chocolate as you!

What To Do

One of my favourite things to do in Cape Town alone is to head to the Woodstock area if you’re not already staying there, this is a really cool place that I would say is one of the best places for mixing with people as well as being a super interesting part of the city. I’ve already mentioned the huge selection of bars and restaurants in the area, but for solo travellers I don’t think there’s a better place to go than to a local market, such as the Neighbourgoods Market for example. This is held in the Old Biscuit Mill and has a whole load of different stalls for you to explore, expect to see independent fashion alongside organic food stalls that sell some of the best street food in the whole city. Another fun place to explore is the Good Company Market which is held in the Company Gardens every Sunday, this is a must do on my solo travel guide Cape Town because it’s such a chilled-out place with loads of really nice food and lots of super fun activities!

Where To Eat

You should never be stuck for where to go alone in Cape Town for food, there are loads of really great restaurants where you can try local dishes whilst mixing with different people. If you’re really going to solo travel Cape Town, then a stop at the Eastern Food Bizarre is an absolute must, this place is pretty much perfect for travellers who want amazing food but at a low price. I really, really love this place, and I know many travellers do also, a lot of people stop here for lunch during their days out, so you’ll always find a group of like-minded travellers there! Another popular food spot is the Ocean Basket Restaurant down on our beautiful waterfront, this is a chain that you will find everywhere but it’s really good if you want something really tasty, cheap and super-fast, I go there quite often to eat and I will say their seafood is really good for the price!

Where To Eat

Another one of my favourite things to do in Cape Town alone is to go to a local market, they are always a good place to come for food because you know the food is going to be delicious and at most markets the people are super friendly, in Cape Town you can strike up a conversation with anyone. The best market to eat at is the Neighbourgoods Market that I mentioned earlier, inside you will find some amazing restaurants, for example, Burrata has the tastiest pizza in the whole city for me, whilst The Test Kitchen has one if the best chefs in the world working there who create a whole load of interesting dishes! Bree Street is another place I would recommend coming for food, you will find a lot of travellers and locals around this area who either stop for lunch or come out to eat during the evening time!

What To Do In Cape Town Alone

Now, let’s end by going over some top tips for Cape Town; the main question I usually get asked is ‘is Cape Town safe to travel alone?’, and I would say yes, absolutely! Do try and stick to busy areas like the waterfront or Kloof Street though, especially during the evening time as you don’t want to be walking on your own. Another little tip would be to take money out inside the bank rather than at an ATM, it’s just little things like this that make your trip a much safer experience. For transport we have Uber, although I would recommend Taxify because it’s a little bit cheaper. We also have minibus taxis (but we just call them taxis) that you can ride in, some of these are unlicensed though. I still think it’s an experience that everyone who really wants to solo travel Cape Town should do at least once, but it really is better to use the minibus taxis with a local. If you do go it alone, I’d just recommend you only use these during the day time, you know where you want to get off (there are no official stops, you just ask the driver when you want to get off) and you keep any valuables safely in your bag.

Subscribe now and thank us later

Get travel tips from our hosts across the
world plus exclusive offers and discounts

Any questions?

If you’re unsure about anything you can
reach us on any of these channels.

Back to top