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The old Clock Tower at the V&A Waterfront © South African Tourism/Flickr
The old Clock Tower at the V&A Waterfront © South African Tourism/Flickr

The Best Things To See & Do In Cape Town's V&A Waterfront

Picture of Lee-Shay Collison
Updated: 9 February 2017
Situated in the heart of Cape Town’s working harbor, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is the city’s most visited destination, offering a range of exciting activities, diverse cuisine and shopping for the discerning traveler. Follow our detailed guide to make the most out of your experience at this bustling attraction.

Shopping

The Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre is renowned for its world-class shopping experience in Cape Town. With more than 450 South African and international stores selling everything from fashion, jewelry and homeware to leather goods and groceries — you can literally spend hours here. The mall’s daily operating hours (9am to 9pm) is a bonus!

Shopping at the V&A Waterfront © Flowcomm/Flickr

Shopping at the V&A Waterfront © Flowcomm/Flickr

Food and Drinks

The V&A Waterfront has a great selection of fine dining restaurants, delis, cafes and casual dining eateries for all budgets and palates. Try the Cape Town Fish Market for fresh seafood, Karibu for authentic South African cuisine and Gibson’s for gourmet burgers, ribs and shakes. For a unique culinary experience, the V&A Food Market offers a variety of delicious artisanal food and craft beer sold by 40 vendors.

South African cuisine © Joe Ross/Flickr

South African cuisine © Joe Ross/Flickr

Ride the Cape Wheel

A ride on the giant observation wheel is a must when visiting Cape Town for the first time. From the safety of enclosed air-conditioned cabins, the 15-minute long ride provides fantastic 360-degree views of the city and harbor. 

Cape Wheel © David Stanley/Flickr

Cape Wheel © David Stanley/Flickr

Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium

Explore the incredible diversity of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans at this world-class facility. The Two Oceans Aquarium has a wide variety of exhibits featuring many species of fish and other marine life, including turtles and penguins. Visitors can also get up close with various sea animals at the touch pool, microscope exhibit and penguin encounter. 

Two Oceans Aquarium © Flowcomm/Flickr

Two Oceans Aquarium © Flowcomm/Flickr

Learn about the history of the V&A Waterfront

Discover the V&A Waterfront’s rich and varied history on the one-and-a-half hour guided walking tour of the expansive property the size of 180 rugby fields. Your tour, led by an experienced guide from local communities dressed in period costume will include some of the 22 points of historical interest including Cape Town’s first power station. The tour departs daily from the Chavonnes Battery Museum at 11 am and 2 pm. Bookings can be made at the V&A Info Center or the Chavonnes Battery Museum.

The old Clock Tower at the V&A Waterfront © South African Tourism/Flickr

The old Clock Tower at the V&A Waterfront © South African Tourism/Flickr

Museums

Take a step back in time at the Waterfront’s five resident museums, each one offering unique insight into Cape Town’s cultural and historical past. The Iziko Maritime Centre uncovers the history of the Table Bay Harbor, while the Chavonnes Battery Museum is about the history of Cape Town showcases the Archaeology ruins that has been buried for 140 years of an 18th-century fort built by the Dutch East India Company. The museum hosts international photo exhibitions and offers guided tours. Learn about the world’s most precious gem, from formation to the final polished stone, at the Cape Diamond Museum. From 2017, you’ll be able to experience contemporary African art at the highly anticipated Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. Rugby fans will enjoy a visit to the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum which pays tribute to South African rugby.

Chavonnes Battery Museum © Courtesy of Chavonnes Battery Museum

Chavonnes Battery Museum © Courtesy of Chavonnes Battery Museum

 Comedy shows

For the best laughs in town, an evening at the Cape Town Comedy Club is highly recommended. The restaurant-cum-comedy club features a host of South African comedians with regular appearances by international celebrity artists. 

For the best laughs in town, an evening at the Cape Town Comedy Club is highly recommended © Courtesy of Cape Town Comedy Club

For the best laughs in town, an evening at the Cape Town Comedy Club is highly recommended © Courtesy of Cape Town Comedy Club.

Boat Charters

Enjoy a leisurely cruise of Table Bay or tour of the harbor on one of the many boat charters at the Waterfront. Popular cruises include the Jolly Roger Pirate Boat and a champagne cruise aboard the Sea Princess at sunset.

Charter boats at the V&A Waterfront © Joe Turco/Flickr

Charter boats at the V&A Waterfront © Joe Turco/Flickr

Helicopter Rides

Enjoy a scenic helicopter flip over the Atlantic Seaboard or Cape Winelands with one of several charter companies based at the East Pier. The trips range in price and duration, from 20 minutes to two hours long.

Spectacular view of the Atlantic Seaboard from a helicopter © Werner Bayer/Flickr

Spectacular view of the Atlantic Seaboard from a helicopter © Werner Bayer/Flickr

Kids’ Fun

There’s no shortage of exciting and educational activities for the whole family at the Waterfront. Take a ride on Hamleys Express to the Watershed, hunt for gemstones at the Scratch Patch, play mini golf or see the harbor aboard Tommy the Tugboat. Other activities include a giant outdoor chess board on Pierhead Square, seal spotting, playgrounds, Artjamming and holiday activities.

Face painting at the Kids Ahoy Playground, V&A Waterfront © HelenOnline/WikiCommons

Face painting at the Kids Ahoy Playground, V&A Waterfront © HelenOnline/WikiCommons