Cape Town is THE hotspot to be in South Africa, and it is an example of how different cultures can melt into a whole new and fascinating culture. That's why Cape Town is also referred to as "Mother City". The city pulsates culture, arts and cuisine with every inch, and it’s hard not to get impressed by the Table Mountain watching over everything. Not only do you have a lot to do inside the city, the outskirts also have a lot to offer with pristine beaches and mesmerizing landscapes.
It’s no surprise that Cape Town is a magnet for adventurous travellers who love nature but also city-life. Did you know, that from Cape Town you can even see Robben Island, the prison that once held Nelson Mandela captive? There is so much history around this city, and you will not get tired of exploring every inch of it during your stay in Cape Town.
Language and Currency in Cape Town
Did you know, that there isn’t only one official language in South Africa, but at least 35 different languages spoken in various regions of the county? However, English is one of the most common ones, along with Afrikaans and Xhosa. So you can be sure to get around with English in Cape Town, although you shouldn’t be surprised when you hear locals actually speaking Afrikaans or Xhosa with each other, depending on their background.
The currency in Cape Town is the South Africa Rand (ZAR). It is not very strong at the moment, so 1 rand is around 0,05€ at the moment (2021). You can simply withdraw money at the local ATMs, pay in shops directly with your card or exchange your local currency at banks or exchange bureaus in your home country or in Cape Town.
Getting around in Cape Town
In the city of Cape Town, the easiest and fastest way to get around is actually with Uber. The App is widely used and there are a lot of drivers, which means you can get an Uber in any part of the city any time of day.
If you want a little bit of an adventure, you can also use the minibus taxis that are mostly used by locals. This is a very inexpensive way of getting around in the city, but also not the most reliable! So if you have some time and just want to experience the “local” taxi scene, it sure can be a fun way to get around in Cape Town.
But if you prefer doing some sightseeing in a more organised way, there are double decker busses like MyCiti bus, that you can hop on to to get to know the most important landmarks of the city in a safe and relaxed manner.
Best things to do in Cape Town
Cape Town has a lot to offer in and outside the city. For those nature lovers visiting the city, a trip to the famous Table Mountain is a Must-Do! The Table Top Mountain is one of the most famous symbols of Cape Town overlooking the city. Did you know that the peak of Table Mountain is called Maclear's Beacon? To the left of Table Mountain, you can see the Devil’s Peak and the Lion’s Head to the right of it.
Another place worth a visit during your stay in Cape Town is the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. This Botanical Garden has a special focus on preserving the local fauna of Cape Town and Africa, showcasing some amazing plants you can only find in this region. It’s a beautiful place to spend some time strolling through the indoor and outdoor gardens, breathing in the history and diversity of African land.
As already mentioned before, one of THE historical places to visit in Cape Town is the famous Robben Island. This Island in Table Bay was used as a prison during apartheid times, and its most famous inhabitant was Nobel Prize winner Nelson Mandela. Nowadays, you can visit Robben Island and make a tour through the Museum, which encompasses many of the main places of the old prison.
Speaking of Museums - there is another Museum absolutely worth a visit, even if you are not usually interested in Museums: Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum. Bo-Kaap is a quarter of Cape Town most famous for its colourful historic houses and cobbled streets.
It used to be a formerly racially segregated area, and on top of that one of the oldest residential neighbourhoods of Cape Town. The streets represent a lot of the local history, and Iziko Bo-Kaap is one of the oldest houses in this special region. It’s a great place to visit to get a glimpse of the unique history the city went through in the past decades.
The best boat tours in Cape Town
If there is one boat tour you can really only do in the city of Cape Town, it’s shark cage diving! Yes, you read that right! It’s not a secret that there are a loooot of sharks around the South African coast, so it comes as no surprise that there are more and more local operators offering a safe and secure environment to actually meet these giants of the sea in their habitat.
Are you brave enough to dive down in a cage to see a real-life wild shark up front? You can do shark cage diving in False bay, Gansbaai
or Mossel Bay
. Choose whatever destination is closest to you and get ready for the adventure of your lifetime!
Where and what to eat
South African cuisine is especially known for different preparations of meat and dishes made from corn and other locally sourced ingredients. Modern cuisine in Cape Town is also very influenced by foreign tastes, creating an amazing fusion of African and European cuisine. Some of the most famous local dishes are for example Bobotie, a lasagne-like baked combination of minced meat, different spices and some sweet influences, or dried sausages known as Biltong and Droëwors.
If you want to eat regional dishes, there are a lot of great African Restaurants all over Cape Town. Some of the most famous ones are Lelapa and Mzansi in Langa or Madam taitou in the City Centre. Wherever you go to try some local cuisine, it’s always a good idea to ask the waiters for their recommendations on the best local food! Enjoy!
Enjoy the beautiful beaches in Cape Town
Cape Town is actually surrounded by two oceans, the Indian and Atlantic Ocean. This means that there are plenty of beautiful beaches to choose from around Cape Town. One of these beaches is Muizenberg Beach, which is especially popular amongst surfers due to the great waves you can catch at this beach. It’s also famous for the colorful beach huts and the long stretch of white sand, making it a perfect place to escape the city for a day!
Oh, talking about white sand - Glen Beach has even whiter sand than the other ones, giving you the feeling of being in the Caribbean. It is also well known for its surfing. The big boulders rising next to the beach make for an unique setting and at the same time protect beach-lovers from the south-eastern winds. It’s a hot spot for the “cool kids” of Cape Town and a great place to hang out and watch life pass by. There are shops as well as bars close by, so you can extend your stay at the beach into a night out!
Very close to Glen Beach you will find another famous beach of Cape Town, the Camps Bay Beach. This beach is slightly busier than Glen Beach, but also provides more infrastructure, making it a popular beach for families with kids. Here you have plenty of Restaurants by the beach to choose from, and at the beach you can also rent umbrellas and sunbeds.
Whatever you decide to do during your trip to Cape Town, we promise you will love this part of South Africa! Exciting landscapes and a lot of fun are guaranteed! For any further tips or requests, feel free to contact us anytime.