City Guide: Cape Town

Cape Town may not be the capital of South Africa, but is definitely the most interesting city when it comes to tourism. There are many reasons for why it is so interesting, colorful and has many faces: Cape Town definitely has a rich history, having been forming the city ever since. A lot has changed the past 20 years since the end of Apartheid.

In the South African winter (August), our exciting tour began: Two weeks in South Africa! Of course, the city of Cape Town was a must-visit on our tour. Three nights, three different hotels, three days to explore and experience Cape Town’s flair to the utmost!

Stumbling upon Company’s Garden

Following a recommendation to pay the Company’s Garden a visit, we took the opportunity on our first day.

Cape Town, South Africa

Company's Garden Cape Town Statue

Company's Garden Cape Town Statue

Surprisingly – at least for me – was the fact that there are many interesting and important buildings around. Cape Town’s Company’s Garden is a green oasis in between St. George’s Cathedral, the National Library and South Africa’s National Gallery Cape Town.

Cape Town St. George Cathedral

Special about Cape Town’s St. George Cathedral is the fact that it is still incomplete, yet the seat of the Archbishop of Cape Town.

South African National Library Cape Town

South African National Library Cape Town

The building of the National Library itself is stunning, but so is the collection of publications about South Africa! As long as the literature relates to South Africa, you can be sure it can be found in the National Library in Cape Town.

National Gallery South Africa Cape Town

Even though exhibitions are changing on a regular basis making it interesting to repeat a visit, you can be sure that a healthy mix of South African culture and history can be found – British, French, Flemish and Dutch Art included.

CitySightSeeing Cape Town

An extraordinary trip needs special ways to explore. Usually, we like it very much just to take the camera and go out. Honestly, we were unsure about this was going to work in Cape Town.

CitySightSeeing Cape Town Bus

Being a very young couple, being white and having a very obvious DSLR camera, we decided against exploring Cape Town’s corners by foot and chose City SightSeeing Cape Town, the only company offering this service in South Africa at all.

Waterfront Cape Town

This tour led us to Cape Town’s Waterfront first.

Quay Four Cape Town South Africa

 Waterfront Cape Town South Africa

Waterfront Cape Town South Africa

Shipping and thus the harbor is very important for the economy of Cape Town. Several touristic attractions like a helicopter flight are offered, but you also see how the waterfront became a business and its targeted group are the rich, being covered in a shining world. It’s nice to be there, but it’s not characteristic for South Africa.

Searching for the Clock Tower

The Clock Tower is one of the most famous landmarks in Cape Town.

Clock Tower Cape Town

More by accident than planned, we took a photo of it!

Business District and International Convention Center

The International Convention Center is a stop to hop off, but we stayed in the bus and just took some photos.

International Convention Square Cape Town

Cape Town Business District

Nice to look at, but “none of our business” to explore.

Table Mountain Cableway, a real “experience”

Taking the hop on hop off bus was the best decision we could make. Public transport is not recommendable, Cape Town is a big city, so getting from A to B with some explanations is absolutely great!

Cape town Golden Arrow

Public Transportation is not recommendable for tourists

Not that great was our mood when we hopped off to get up Table Mountain.

Cape Town Table Mountain

south africa, cape town

Table Mountain is so famous for being almost straight at its top and is thus an incomparable landmark of Cape Town. Thoughtful as we were, we already bought our tickets up online in advance.

Cableway Table Mountain Cape Town

The only problem was that the Cableway was closed for a couple of weeks before we arrived, so everyone wanted to get up. The queue was huge. Approximate waiting time for getting up: 2 hours plus.

Cape Town South Africa

View of Cape Town Table Mountain

Honestly, not with us. We wanted to use our time better than waiting the whole day for a ride. Second reason was the fog above Cape Town – we doubted heavily that we were able to enjoy the promised breathtaking views of the city …

12 Apostles and Camps Bay

Having gained some extra time through skipping Table Mountain (highly recommended to get up really early or to plan a whole day for that as we can safely say now), we spontaneously hopped off at Camps Bay.

Twelve apostles Cape Town

Camps Bay is the so-called wind-free zone of Cape Town. Lovely beaches where you will surely be asked to buy some art and the 12 Apostles in your back will be responsible for incredible views and unforgettable moments!

From tram station to toilet house

Earlier, tram rails led right next to the sea. Nowadays, there is just a promenade left.

Toilets in Cape Town

Very creative as I think, the former tram stations are now rebuilt to public toilet houses!

Stadium Green Point

As you may know, South Africa hosted the World Soccer Cup in 2010. For that special occasion, many new stadiums were built.

Green Point Stadium

One of those is Cape Town Stadium, also known as Green Point. With a lot of jumping effort, we even managed to get a good photo!

District Six

There is a novel called Hunger Games where District 12 (and 13) are razed to the ground. District Six in Cape Town reminded me strongly of that.

District Six South Africa

District Six South Africa

Having heard a moving explanation about the past of District Six which was basically about races, we understood why the area will probably be dead forever. It will work as a memorial. District Six will never be forgotten.

Robben Island

Robben Island is the place where political criminals were detained, so was Nelson Mandela.

Robben Island

However, our visit to Robben Island is a whole different story about which you can read here!

Castle of Good Hope

Last but not least, Castle of Good Hope was of our interest. Unfortunately, we came too late to be allowed to still enter.

Castle of Good Hope Cape Town

Castle of Good Hope Cape Town

Castle of Good Hope Cape Town 2

Dating back to the 17th century, Castle of Good Hope was declared as a historical monument about 80 years ago. It shows the importance of the Dutch being an Occupying Power.

I could write a whole novel about Cape Town, so if you plan on going, be sure to take enough time for Table Mountain and visits to museums as South African history is rich like none else. Not to forget about Cape Town being an “actual” city…


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5 Comments on “City Guide: Cape Town”

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