An Alternative Guide to Cape Town

Blue Mandela by graffiti artist Mak1one
'Blue Mandela' by graffiti artist Mak1one | © Culture Trip

Cape Town has so much to offer, from amazing restaurants and bars to street art, markets and natural vistas. It’s a place that has enjoyed enormous growth since hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup and is now one of the world’s hottest destinations. Here are some must-visit places you need to know, in and around the Mother City.


One of South Africa’s biggest university towns is just a 30-minute drive away. Stellenbosch is a foodie paradise and close to some of the world’s best wine estates including Delaire Graff. The Dutch colonial architecture, chic restaurants, bars and cafés make this a great place to hang out on a warm day, of which there are plenty.

Sunset over Stellenbosch

Lion’s Head Peak

The alternative option to Table Mountain is actually far more fun to climb and just one of many insider tips you can find through The footpath winding around Lion’s Head gives you views of Cape Town and Camp’s Bay. There are two ways to reach the top, one which takes you past Wally’s Cave, a favourite hangout among locals and the perfect place to enjoy a morning coffee and watch the sunrise.

The walk up Lion’s Head peak

District 6

This up-and-coming neighbourhood in the foothills of Table Mountain is full of incredible street art, including Blue Mandela by graffiti artist Mak1one, a piece that was started the year Nelson Mandela died. There’s also an an eye catching piece by Faith47 – one of South Africa’s most celebrated street artists – which stretches up the side of a tower block.

Artwork by Faith47

High Tea at MannaBay

Perched high above Cape Town and with stunning views of the city and Table Mountain Mannabay hotel is the perfect place to unwind with a glass of bubbly and some sweet treats. High tea is served daily between 15.30 and 17.30 and is open to guests and visitors alike. Take a stroll through the gardens and try some of the chef’s incredible pastries.

Hope on Hopkins Distillery and Hoghouse

If you like gin then you’ll love Hope on Hopkins in Salt River. Founded by a husband-and-wife team, the small distillery produces some of the best gin in the world, including the Mediterranean Gin – infused with olives, rosemary, basil, thyme and cardamom, with overriding citrus notes and hints of juniper. Just down the road, Hoghouse does some of the best Texas-style BBQ outside of North America.

Hope on Hopkins distillery

Oranjezicht City Farm

For an alternative to Woodstock’s Old Biscuit Mill, head to Oranjezicht City Farm, which is located near the waterfront. The market is home to 200 businesses selling everything from homeware and jewellery, to fresh produce sourced from 28 local farmers and was founded by Sheryl Ozinsky, Cape Town’s former head of tourism. For midweek markets, check out Hout Bay.

Oranjezicht City Farm


This home-style, Mediterranean restaurant on Bree Street serves the most delicious food including falafel, aubergine, meatballs and rice, all served inside bespoke ceramics by Shirley Fintz. The team at Olami have been together six years, starting out in the Old Biscuit Mill and are now taking Cape Town by storm. It’s a warm, friendly place to enjoy some light and nutritious cuisine.


Food Jams

This home cooking concept inspired by music invites guests to enjoy a meal, meet new people and come together near the wood burning stove and under the vine canopy of a sweet, suburban home. Food Jams are social gatherings in which eating is only half the fun.

Food Jams

Ellerman House

If you’re an art lover and can’t wait until the opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in September 2017, then Ellerman House has everything you need. The hotel and modern art gallery owned by financier Paul Harris – who started collecting in the 1980s – is home to the biggest private collection of South African art in the world, with over 1,000 pieces and growing, including works by Frans Oerder, Dylan Lewis and Gerard Sekoto.

To organise tours to all of these places and more visit Africa’s leading tour operator, based in Cape Town, specialises in tailor made travel experiences in Southern Africa.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Edit article