Spending a day in Cape Town

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Spending a day in Cape Town

It would really be a shame if you could only spend one entire day in the Cape Town city because there is so much you can do and get up to in the 17 odd hours you’re awake in a day after a seven-hour night’s rest. But make the most of every second you have and see as much of the city as you can. When you have another chance, come back and try something new.

And this isn’t just for tourists, Capetonians barely take time to truly explore their own city, but they really should.


Things to do in the morning

If you want to see as much as possible then you’re going to need to get an early start, so let’s say 8am the latest. And we’ll take it from there.

  • Bread Milk and Honey: You shouldn’t skip the most important meal of the day (especially with an action-packed day ahead) so head over to Bread Milk and Honey on Spin Street.
  • Hemelhuijs: Just off Waterkant Road heading right through the city from the N1, you’ll find Hemelhuijs. A beautiful place for breakfast and a breather before you start exploring the city. And the inside of this petite restaurant is dramatic and divine in décor and design that changes quite regularly.  
  • Truth Coffee: This industrial and steampunk designed coffee shop and its baristas are not your normal coffee experience. Voted the best coffee shop in the world two years in a row by The Daily Telegraph, it is definitely worth your while to visit and get your coffee-fix for the morning. Just don’t be the person to ask for sugar, even the sachets say “no sugar required”.
  • Bus tour: If you manage to fit in breakfast nice and early then head over to the V&A Waterfront to be in time for the 8am Open-top City Bus Tour. Your day will pretty much involve hopping on and off as you wish and seeing the entire city this way.


Afternoon missions

Okay, so now what happens after breakfast and before lunch? From 10am onwards it’s time to do touristy things.

  • Honest Chocolate: The perfect stop after breakfast. Honest Chocolate is on Wale street and offers “healthy” and delicious South African chocolate.
  • Waterfront: The V&A is tourist-central and there really is a lot you can do to keep yourself busy. You’ll pass Aston Martin and Ferrari dealerships when you drive around looking for parking and try to ignore the quiet engine of your little pre-owned car. But once you’re there and inside, there are over 450 stores to explore and make you feel better, a harbour to take a cruise, a trip to Robben Island or Seal Island, the Cape Town Wheel is there, Scratch Patch for the kiddies and you can even visit the aquarium around the corner.
  • One of the mountains: If shopping, sailing and drooling over beautiful cars isn’t your idea of fun then take to one of the mountains. Allow 90 minutes for hiking up Lion’s Head and a five to 10-minute cable car ride up Table Mountain (take the cable car – the view will be a lot better than the two-hour hike). The views at the top, however, are incredible and the best way to view the entire city and more.
  • South African Market: The SAM is on Shortmarket Street and displays all things local. It’s open until 6pm during the week and 3pm on a Saturday so just be sure not to miss it if your Cape Town day falls on a Saturday.


A place to watch the sunset

Grab a late lunch or early dinner (or late dinner if you’re here in the summer) and start settling down for the beauty that hits the city when the sun goes down.

  • Sea Point promenade: This is probably becoming one of the popular places in Cape Town. With cycling, putt-putt, outdoor fitness park, sculptures, beaches, food vendors and the perfect sunset view, it has it all.
  • Clifton: If you just want beach and sunset, find a supermarket and grab some goodies for a sunset beach picnic on Clifton 4th Beach. It’s a perfect way to unwind after a day of wandering and activities.
  • Signal Hill: Now, if you would prefer to watch the sunset with a bit of a bird's eyes view (and weren’t able to get up to Table Mountain for it) then you can drive your car up Signal Hill. Enjoy the view of the ocean without sand from the beach getting in every crevice.


Enjoying the nightlife

If you’re ready to place the cherry on top of a spectacular day, then prepare for some nightlife vibes.

  • Long Street: For true city nightlife, head to Long Street to find pumping music and something to drink. If you aren’t into the club scene but want to enjoy the city by night, hop over to Kloof Street from Long and be one of the many wandering souls out on the streets with restaurants to the left and right of you.
  • Shimmy Beach Club: If you want to keep with the beach theme after the sunset, go to Shimmy’s. It’s a more exclusive nightlife experience for those who can afford it.
  • The Crypt: If you just want to enjoy some live jazz music with a late dinner and a glass of red, then The Crypt at the bottom of St George’s Cathedral is where you want to be.

So, are you ready to take to the Mother City?


Cape Town