Cape Town, the oldest city in South Africa, has abundant natural beauty, cultural attractions and famous landmarks such as Table Mountain. With so many things to see and do, be sure to plan your time wisely to get the most out of your trip to the Mother City. Here’s how to explore Cape Town in 48 hours.
Begin your itinerary with an urban adventure through the heart of Cape Town. Put on your most comfortable walking shoes and make your way up St. Georges Mall from the bottom of Strand Street. St Georges Mall is a bustling pedestrian walkway characterized by jewelry stores, coffee shops, department stores and traders selling various African trinkets and souvenirs. For breakfast, stop by the Motherland Coffee Company at the top of St. Georges Mall to fuel up on Arabica coffees, smoothies, delicious breakfast sandwiches, muffins and croissants.
Next, walk a short distance to Greenmarket Square where vendors from all corners of Africa have gathered to sell a wide range of traditional fabrics, sculptures, beadwork, clothing and paintings. After purchasing a souvenir or two, cross Wale St. and make your way to the historical Company’s Garden, home to the Houses of Parliament and other iconic buildings. Originally created by Dutch settlers in 1652, the Company’s Garden is a beautiful oasis that features rose and vegetable gardens, colonial statues and koi fish ponds.
Take a minute to enjoy the surrounding nature and fresh air. If you’re an art lover, browse the colonial paintings and contemporary artworks on display at the Iziko South African National Gallery.
From the Company’s Garden, walk to upper Long Street and take the MyCiti Bus to the Table Mountain Lower Cableway Station. Here be sure to catch a revolving cable car to the top of Table Mountain. Marvel at the 360 degree views of the Atlantic Seaboard and city before grabbing lunch at the Table Mountain Café. The café offers a variety of eats and drinks, including a hot buffet, salads, pizzas, beer, wine and sodas. Once you’ve taken loads of pictures, take the cable-car back down the mountain and head to the V&A Waterfront by bus or cab.
The V&A Waterfront is one of the most visited attractions in Cape Town where you will find a shopping center, restaurants, bars and other cultural attractions. Browse the mall or simply take a leisurely stroll along the harbor and enjoy the scenery. If you’re feeling up to it, visit the Two Oceans Aquarium, a state-of-the-art center that displays amazing fauna from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.
By the evening you’re probably famished from all the walking, so head to Bree Street, the new culinary capital of Cape Town. Bree Street is populated by numerous bars, coffee shops and restaurants that draw crowds of people that are eager to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and delicious food. Go to Bocca for the best pizza on Bree Street or The Odyssey Gastropub for tasty cocktails and burgers.
Start your day off with breakfast at the V&A Food Market where you’ll find a selection of artisan food, baked goods and other yummy treats. Cross over to the City Sightseeing office in front of the Two Oceans Aquarium to get your ticket for the Cape Town Red Bus Tour. The hop-on hop-off double decker bus is a great and inexpensive way to see Cape Town. City Sightseeing offers three different tours but consider taking the Blue Mini Peninsula Tour, which will take you around the Cape Peninsula. Hop off at the renowned Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden where you can spend hours wandering around the magnificent gardens nestled against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain.
Back on the Red Bus you can choose to hop off at the World of Birds or experience an authentic township tour of Imizamo Yethu. Continue on to Hout Bay, a historical seaside town, and enjoy a lunch of fresh fish and chips at Snoekies. Mariners Wharf is another great option that serves grills, seafood and curries. Afterwards, enjoy the fresh air by taking a walk along the Hout Bay harbor and beach.
Take the Red Bus to Camps Bay, an affluent seaside suburb set against an impressive backdrop of the Twelve Apostles mountain range. Camps Bay boasts one of the largest and most beautiful beaches in Cape Town. Opposite the palm-tree lined beachfront, locals and tourists can be found enjoying cocktails and meals at the many chic sidewalk cafés. End your Cape Town stay with cocktails and mouth-watering cuisine at Blues Restaurant or Paranga.