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Fans of the mountains, oceans and sunsets may dominate feeds as they Instagram the likes of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Clifton, Camps Bay and the shimmering Atlantic. But there’s also an urban charm sitting at the base of all the natural beauty that’s equally intriguing.
Of course, you should get out there to experience this all for yourself in real life. But if that’s not possible, here are 18 picturesque Instagrams to show you what you’re missing in Cape Town.
The Company’s Garden is a good starting point for any trip to Cape Town. It’s a historically significant location, home to monuments (albeit many controversial), a reinvigorated vegetable and rose garden, and three national museums. It’s a tranquil green lung that serves as a melting pot for the city’s residents and inner city workers.
On a typical weekday, the nearby St. George’s Mall has an electric atmosphere thanks to the people commuting to and from work, hawkers and market stalls selling their wares, and formal stores that open out onto the pedestrianised mall. But come the weekend, this architecturally beautiful stretch is all but deserted but equally intriguing.
Running parallel to St. George’s Mall is another historic Cape Town street, Adderley Street, home to the famous flower sellers.
The lower reaches of Adderley Street and St. George’s Mall may not be typical tourist hangouts, but the increasing number of residential units, restaurants and some of the city’s tallest buildings make it a fascinating place to visit, particularly during the week.
The V&A Waterfront may be the city’s most touristy attraction, but with sidewalk cafés, a vibrant atmosphere and stunning views, it’s an appealing and picturesque place to visit.
Many Cape Town coffee shops know how to make a good cup, and even more Instagrammers love photographing them.
The Sea Point Promenade is one of the most tranquil and picturesque regions of Cape Town. It’s within easy reach of the CBD and perfect for a late afternoon walk, run, or cycle.
Further along the Promenade are a selection of small beaches, perfect for sunset picnics and impressive Instagram shots such as this.
Clifton’s four beaches each have a unique atmosphere and spectacular views. In summer they fill up with locals and tourists looking to see and be seen, but they’re equally spectacular and photo-friendly during the cooler winter months.
Lion’s Head offers some of the perfect vantage points from which to capture the city. It can be particularly peaceful, and beautiful, on a day when low hanging cloud rolls over Signal Hill and the CBD below.
It’s also worth hanging around the summit of Lion’s Head until after dark to watch the city lights flicker on below.
Lion’s Head not only offers beautiful views, more often than not it is the beautiful view.
The view from the summit of Table Mountain may be one of the most photographed in the city, but with such a dramatic outlook across the City Bowl, harbour and surrounding oceans, and being just a five-minute cable car ride away, it’s hardly surprising.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that in spite of their picture-perfect locations, most of Cape Town’s harbours are still important places of work – for either shipping or fishing.
The Bo-Kaap, with its colourful houses and warm inner city suburban atmosphere, is a great place to explore on foot.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens offer some of the city’s most serene and beautiful terrain to explore on foot. The gardens can keep you busy for an entire day, with surprises such as the Boomslang Canopy Walkway hiding around every corner.
Cape Town’s CBD is alive, with the likes of Bree, Loop, and Long Streets, along with the smaller connecting roads that run perpendicular to these – packed full of charming coffee shops, thriving bars, popular restaurants, and consistently epic views.
Regardless of where you go in the city of Cape Town, the omnipresent Table Mountain will follow you around.