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Table Mountain summit © Meraj Chhaya/Flickr
Table Mountain summit © Meraj Chhaya/Flickr

How To Spend 24 Hours In Cape Town

Picture of Lee-Shay Collison
Updated: 9 February 2017
Cape Town is the perfect destination for a one- or two-week vacation, so it may seem like an impossible task to explore the city in only 24 hours. Fortunately, Cape Town has a great hop-on hop-off bus system that will enable you to check out major tourist sights in under a day.

CitySightseeing South Africa is the only sightseeing bus service in Cape Town, and it is the best and most inexpensive way to see the city in a short amount of time. We recommend that you take the Cape Town Red City Tour, which begins at the bustling Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.

9am

It’s going to be a long (but exciting) day, so be sure to fuel up at one of the many coffee shops or restaurants at the V&A Waterfront before hitting the road! Your first stop is Long Street in the city center, known for its shopping opportunities and vibrant nightlife.

Long Street © Jorge Láscar/Flickr

Long Street © Jorge Láscar/Flickr

The longest street in Cape Town (hence its name) is characterized by 200-year-old Victorian buildings that have been revamped and converted into hip bars and restaurants, trendy boutiques and hotels, and apartment blocks. Long Street is best explored on foot, so take some time to browse and take pictures. Greenmarket Square is also within walking distance.

Next, head to the Pan African Market at number 76 Long Street. Here you will find shelf upon shelf of colorful African arts and crafts, curios, and souvenirs sold by informal traders from 14 African countries. Spend some time browsing and pick out your favorite items — don’t forget to bargain for a lower price!

Greenmarket Square © Debbie Louise Lloyd/WikiCommons

Greenmarket Square © Debbie Louise Lloyd/WikiCommons

11am

A short ride on the Red Bus will take you to your next stop — the Jewel Africa store situated in the historical Bo-Kaap. This iconic neighborhood is famous for its traditional Muslim community, cobblestone streets, and brightly colored houses set on the slopes of Signal Hill.

Take a walk to the Bo-Kaap Museum and explore the various exhibitions on the history of the area. After this, you’ll probably be famished, so head to Bo-Kaap Kombuis or Biesmillah for delicious authentic Cape Malay food.

Bo-Kaap © David Stanley/Flickr

Bo-Kaap © David Stanley/Flickr

2pm

A day in Cape Town would not be complete without a visit to Table Mountain! Hop off at the famous Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Station and catch a revolving cable car to the mountain summit.

Situated in the majestic Table Mountain National Park, the cableway offers panoramic views along its five-minute journey to the top. At the summit, take pictures and marvel at the spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, Lion’s Head, Signal Hill, and the entire city.

There are many picturesque pathways to wander through the mountain’s indigenous fynbos; alternately, you can have a drink and snack at the restaurant or simply relax and enjoy the views and fresh air.

Table Mountain summit © Meraj Chhaya/Flickr

Table Mountain summit © Meraj Chhaya/Flickr

4pm

At the lower cableway station, take the Red Bus to the famous beach suburb of Camps Bay.

Take a walk along the beautiful white-sand beach, and if you’re feeling up to it, take a dip in the sea! The Atlantic Ocean is icy-cold year-round but thoroughly refreshing on a hot summer day (November through March).

Camps Bay Beach © Derek Keats/Flickr

Camps Bay Beach © Derek Keats/Flickr

Camps Bay is your final stop before heading back to your hotel, so go ahead and spend a good couple of hours here. Enjoy delicious cocktails and dinner at one of the restaurants along the beach road and watch the sun set over the ocean.

If you’re staying at the President Hotel or Winchester Mansions, you’ll be happy to know that the Red Bus stops at these points along its return route to the V&A Waterfront.