airport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar
Sign In
Brightly colored houses in the Bo-Kaap (former Cape Malay quarter) | © Brian Snelson / Flickr
Brightly colored houses in the Bo-Kaap (former Cape Malay quarter) | © Brian Snelson / Flickr
Save to wishlist

Why You Should Visit Cape Town in 2017

Picture of Lee-Shay Collison
Updated: 14 June 2017
Cape Town is one of the most visited cities in Africa. From awe-inspiring natural beauty and exciting outdoor sports opportunities, to a bustling art and design scene and an amazing local cuisine, here are just a handful of excellent reasons why you need to visit the Mother City in 2017.

A thriving art scene

The highly-anticipated Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) will be opening its doors this September at the V&A Waterfront. It will be the first major museum to showcase contemporary art from around the continent, and the largest art museum built in Africa in over a century.

Walking through the streets of Cape Town is like walking through a huge art gallery. Apartment blocks, buildings and bridges are brought to life with striking murals and graffiti by local street artists. There are also numerous art galleries, where you’ll be introduced to amazing sculptures, paintings and photography by local and international artists. Highlights include Gallery Momo, Whatiftheworld, State of the Art, and Ava, one of Cape Town’s oldest non-profit galleries.

A street mural depicting political activists Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Cissie Gool & Imam Haron. © guillaume inconito / Flickr
A street mural depicting political activists Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Cissie Gool & Imam Haron. © | © guillaume inconito / Flickr

A flourishing design hub

Cape Town was the World Design Capital in 2014, and it’s not hard to see why. Over the last ten years, countless design start-ups have sprung up in the city, offering ingenuity and style in interior design, architecture, fashion, transformative design, and community projects aimed at alleviating poverty. Most design studios are found in the artsy suburbs of Woodstock, Salt River and Observatory, and also in the CBD.

'Afro Chic' - The Striped Horse restaurant and bar, designed by Haldane Martin
Afro Chic: The Striped Horse restaurant and bar in Muizenberg © | Haldane Martin/Flickr

Natural wonders

Time and again, Cape Town has topped global travel lists for its unparalleled natural beauty. The Table Mountain National Park is the crown jewel of the city, with its iconic flat-topped mountain providing a stunning backdrop. However, there are many other natural landscapes to explore within the park’s extensive boundaries; from hiking at Cape Point to scuba-diving and snorkeling off the Sentinel in Hout Bay.

Table Mountain forms part of a national park © Warren Rohner / Flickr
Table Mountain forms part of a national park | © Warren Rohner / Flickr

A burgeoning foodie capital

Cape Town has undergone a gastronomic explosion with the recent addition of gourmet restaurants, gastropubs and food markets in the city. From burgers and craft beer at Redemption Burgers, to French fine dining at La Colombe, there’s something for all tastes. Be sure to book a table at modern food lab The Test Kitchen, which is rated South Africa’s best restaurant and the 22nd best in the world.

Artisanal food at the Neighbourgoods Market, Old Biscuit Mill © Gerrit Vermeulen / Flickr
Artisanal food at the Neighbourgoods Market, Old Biscuit Mill | © Gerrit Vermeulen / Flickr

Beyond the city

Within an hour, you can leave the urban landscape behind and unwind in the charming towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek or Paarl in the Cape Winelands. There are a number of tours available, and most wine estates offer fine dining and tasting centers, where visitors get to spend languid afternoons overlooking vineyards and mountains as far as the eye can see.

On the West Coast, the seaside towns of Langebaan, Paternoster and Saldanha Bay are havens for fishermen, water sport enthusiasts, and for anyone looking for a break from the city. In the south, the Garden Route stretches for miles on end, offering tranquil hideaways in lush valleys alongside the ocean.

Knysna Lagoon, Western Cape © Damien du Toit / Flickr
Knysna Lagoon, Western Cape | © Damien du Toit / Flickr

Extreme sports

Although best known for sightseeing, Cape Town is also a great destination for adventure lovers and adrenaline junkies. There are a myriad extreme sports and adventure activities based in the Western Cape, which ranges from mildly exciting to full-on extreme. Go sandboarding in Atlantis, quad biking in the Elgin Valley, or hot-air balloon over the Winelands. If you’re brave enough, try paragliding off Lion’s Head, sky-diving on the West Coast, or shark-cage diving off the southern Cape.

Paragliding in Cape Town © leyla.a / Flickr
Paragliding in Cape Town | © leyla.a / Flickr

Cultural diversity

Cape Town is a multi-cultural city where Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and other religions all co-exist peacefully. Each community has its own culture, which contributes to the city’s uniqueness, whether it be traditional food, fashion or music. Capetonians are known for their friendliness, so be sure to mingle and you’re bound to learn something new!

Brightly colored houses in the Bo-Kaap (former Cape Malay quarter) © Brian Snelson / Flickr
Brightly colored houses in the Bo-Kaap (former Cape Malay quarter) | © Brian Snelson / Flickr