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Philipp Petrescu

Philipp Petrescu

Berlin, Germany

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How to spent 2.5 days if first time in Cape Town

I am going to be in Cape Town soon for 2.5 days (Friday - leaving Sunday evening). What is a good plan to leverage the stay as much as possible regarding

  • Accommodation (design/boutique-ish, safe district, central)
  • Things to do / see outside 
  • Any good restaurant tips (upscale, south-african food)

Is it worth going a day to the winelands and stay sat night there? what else would be worth a daytrip?

Thanks!

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8 Answers

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  • Sean Twomey

    Sean Twomey

    Cape Town, South Africa

    like this

    TOP ANSWER

    Hey Philipp

    I'm excited about your visit to Cape Town - it is genuinely one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And I'm so lucky to call it my home.

    There are so many amazing things to do and see and the weather right now is perfect.

    Depends on how much you love wine and the winelands. With such short time in Cape Town, I would spend all my nights near the city and then use the red bus or do some other day trip out to Groot Constantia or Stellenbosch. It's not very far.

    Let me know if you have any other more specific questions and check out a travel site I run called ExoTravels. We've got a few Cape Town videos up there :)

    Enjoy your stay in Cape Town!

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    • Courtney R.

      Courtney R.

      What a great answer, Sean--I'm coming to you if I ever make it there!!! ·

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Green Point (attraction)
      iKapa 8001
    2. Cape Town Stadium (attraction)
      Fritz Sonnenberg Road Cape Town Western Cape 8051
    3. Oranjezicht (attraction)
      Cape Town Western Cape
    4. Camps Bay Beach (attraction)
      Cape Town 8005
    5. Table Mountain National Park (amusement park)
      Table Mountain National Park 8001 021 424 8181
    6. Waterfront Village (hotel)
      Mind Pearl House, West Quay Road, V & A Waterfront iKapa 8001
    7. Robben Island (island)
      Cape Town 7441
    8. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens (attraction)
      Wynberg NU (2) Cape Town 7800 217998783
    9. Boulders Beach (attraction)
      Simons Town Western Cape 7975
    10. Cape Point (attraction)
      Cape Point National Park Cape Town Western Cape +27 21 780 9204
    11. Groot Constantia (attraction)
      Off Constantia Road Cape Town WC 7806 021 794 5128
    12. Stellenbosch (city)
      Stellenbosch

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  • Brew Johnson

    Brew Johnson

    Manhattan Beach, California

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    Answering your questions in order,

    Accommodation: There are so many interesting parts of the city that are great to stay, but I'd break it up as: (1) the City Bowl area which basically sits on the slopes of the bowl created by Table Mountain and Lion's Head (and generally the areas of Gardens, Tamberskloof & Oranjezicht), (2) the city waterfront areas of the V&A Waterfront, Seapoint, Green Point, and (3) the high end beach "suburbs" of Bantry Bay, Clifton and Camps Bay. All of these places are great and have different benefits, but if you want a feel for the city, I would probably cross off Camps Bay and Clifton, which are very high end suburbs and focus on the other areas. My personal favorite area is the City Bowl. Here are my hotel recommendations broken out by area:

    City Bowl Area (all of these are small hotels with lots of character):


    City Waterfront Area:

    Beach suburbs (Bantry Bay, Clifton & Camps Bay):


    Things to Do:

    • Hike Table Mountain National Park or Lions Head Summit . I personally like the hike up Lion's Head a little better, but if you've never been to Cape Town before, I think Table Mountain is a must. The best way to do it is to hike up Platteklip Gorge and take the cable car back down. The trailhead for this trail is about a mile past the cable car station and the hike up will take about 45 minutes to an hour (lots of steps and pretty strenuous).

    • Do a day trip to the Cape Point with a stop at Boulders Beach on the way back to see the penguins. The drive is incredibly beautiful and there are interesting little towns along the way... Hout Bay , Kommetjie , etc. Some are worth a stop, some are worth seeing out the window as you pass by (play it by ear).

    • Visit Stellenbosch and the wine route. I personally think this is a must as the wine country here is incredibly beautiful and has a lot of historical significance. Stellenbosch is a university town and has a bunch of examples of Cape Dutch architecture. If you want to do a whirlwind tour, hire a car and driver for the day and visit: Morgenhof Wine Estate , Delheim Wine Estate , and Muratie Wine Estate , which are close to each other, but give you a great feel for: Cape Dutch architecture and the overall scenery of the area. If you are ambitious, you could probably do Table Mountain and this quick wine tour in 1 day. If you want to take more time, Boschendal Wine Estate is further afield but sits in an incredibly beautiful setting, but there are a bunch of gorgeous and interesting wineries in the area, so you could pick many to visit.

    • Robben Island and/or a Township tour: if you want more culture, history and to get an idea of how apartheid affected the country, then these should definitely be done. Re: township tours, I have done several tours, some of which were amazing and some of which were average or bad. It all depends on the guide. And if you do decide to do a tour, you need to find a colored tour guide named Brian Smith (colored means mixed-race in South Africa). Brian used to work for Grass Routes tours. He was one of the best tour guides I've very had. Unfortuantely, the last tour we did was not with Brian and it was actually dreadful and a waste of time/money. So, while I think a city and township tour should be done, because my last experience was so bad and you have such a limited time in Cape Town, I would say save it for another time unless you can find Brian Smith.


    Restaurants: definitely ask the hosts at your hotel as there are always little local neighborhood places that are incredible in Cape Town, but the following are all highly recommended (for different reasons):

    In Stellenbosch:


    Constantia (a suburb of Cape Town):

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    • JR J.

      JR J.

      Great answer! Thoroughness is impressive. Thanks for sharing all this!! ·

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Derwent House (hotel)
      14 Derwent Road Cape Town WC 8001 021 422 2763
    2. 2inn1 Kensington (hotel)
      iKapa
    3. An African Villa (hotel)
      19 Carstens St iKapa 8001
    4. Four Rosmead Hotel (hotel)
      4 Rosmead Ave. iKapa 7708
    5. Boutique Manolo (hotel)
      iKapa
    6. Blackheath Lodge (hotel)
      6 Blackheath Road Cape Town 8005 214392541
    7. Dysart Hotel (hotel)
      17 dysart street iKapa
    8. Glen Boutique Hotel (hotel)
      3 The Glen Cape Town 8005
    9. Ambassador Hotel (hotel)
      34 Victoria Road iKapa 8005
    10. 52 De Wet City Retreat (attraction)
      52 De Wet Road Sea Point 8005
    11. Atlanticview Capetown (hotel)
      iKapa
    12. POD Camps Bay (hotel)
      3 Argyle road, Camps Bay iKapa 8005
    13. Table Mountain National Park (attraction)
      Table Mountain Road iKapa 7925
    14. Lions Head Summit (attraction)
      Cape Town
    15. Platteklip Gorge (attraction)
      iKapa
    16. Cape Point (attraction)
      Cape Point National Park Cape Town Western Cape +27 21 780 9204
    17. Boulders Beach (attraction)
      Simons Town Western Cape 7975
    18. Hout Bay (attraction)
      0A Princess St Cape Town 7806
    19. Kommetjie (attraction)
    20. Stellenbosch (city)
      Stellenbosch
    21. Morgenhof Wine Estate (attraction)
      Stellenbosch
    22. Delheim Wine Estate (attraction)
      Stellenbosch 7599 021 888 4600
    23. Muratie Wine Estate (attraction)
      Stellenbosch
    24. Boschendal Wine Estate (attraction)
      021 870 4210
    25. Robben Island (island)
      Cape Town 7441
    26. Savoy Cabbage (restaurant)
      101 Hout St. iKapa
    27. Codfather Seafood & Sushi (restaurant)
      31 The Dr Cape Town 8005 214380782
    28. Blues Restaurant (restaurant)
      The Promenade, Victoria Road Cape Town 8001 214382040
    29. Den Anker (restaurant)
      V & A Waterfront iKapa
    30. V&A Waterfront (attraction)
      Breakwater Boulevard Cape Town WC 8002 083 302 2374
    31. Beluga (restaurant)
      74 Prestwich St Cape Town 8001 214182948
    32. The Test Kitchen (restaurant)
      375 Albert Road iKapa
    33. The Roundhouse Restaurant (restaurant)
      Round House Road Cape Town 8040 214384347
    34. Wooden Shoe (restaurant)
      220 Main Rd Cape Town Western Cape
    35. Rust En Vrede (attraction)
    36. 96 Winery Road Restaurant (restaurant)
      96 Winery Road Stellenbosch
    37. La Colombe (restaurant)
      Spaanschemat Street Cape Town 7806

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  • like this

    There's so much to do in Cape Town - 2.5 days will fly by! Hopefully you have great weather, as that can play a role in what you can/can't do. I was there for my honeymoon and we stayed at the Cape Grace Hotel & Spa - it's very central - located in the Waterfront part of town, just a few short steps from the Victoria & Alfred restaurants/shopping/etc and we always felt very safe. Perk of staying there is the car service that takes you anywhere in the city within a certain distance (I want to say 10km). This covered everywhere we went, pretty much, outside of The Cape Of Good Hope . Getting to the top of Table Mountain National Park and/or Lions Head Summit are musts. If you like to hike, the hike up Lion's Head is really great with amazing views. The Cape of Good Hope is another beautiful place with hiking opportunities. You can also Abseil down Table mountain - something we really wanted to do but couldn't because of the weather. The restaurant at Cape Grace - called Signal at the Cape Grace - is phenomenal. Upscale, with unique dishes. We also tried The Roundhouse Restaurant near Camp's Bay - food was excellent and the view of the Twelve Apostles Hotel is breathtaking.

    Hope that helps! Enjoy your trip!

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    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Cape Grace Hotel & Spa (hotel)
      West Quay Road Cape Town WC 8001 214107100
    2. The Cape Of Good Hope (attraction)
    3. Table Mountain National Park (amusement park)
      Table Mountain National Park 8001 021 424 8181
    4. Lions Head Summit (attraction)
      Cape Town
    5. Signal at the Cape Grace (restaurant)
      iKapa
    6. The Roundhouse Restaurant (restaurant)
      Round House Road Cape Town 8040 214384347
    7. Twelve Apostles Hotel (hotel)
      iKapa

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  • Lara Moses

    Lara Moses

    Cape Town, South Africa

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    Hi Philip

    Two and half days in Cape Town is a very short time. I'd suggest touring on the Cape Town CitySightseeing Bus. It has two routes and takes you to all the best spots in and around the city.

    Must-see are: Table Mountain National Park , Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens , Boulders Beach , Cape Point and Robben Island . The bus stops at all these destinations.

    Accommodation: There are many amazing boutique hotels in and round the city. I'd suggest staying just outside the city in Green Point , Vredehoek or Camps Bay . The city is easily accessible via taxi cab in these parts of the city.

    Food: If you are look for great traditional food try Moyo at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens . All other restaurants within the city are pretty good too. Long Street has a wide variety of restaurants that cater for everyone.

    The Cape Winelands is about an hour outside of the city. It would be worth going but it would take up the bulk of your trip. I'd advice the Constantia Winelands (along the route of the CitySightseeing Bus). It is only 20 minutes outside the city and is easily accessible with a taxi cab too.

    Hope you enjoy your stay in this amazing city.

    Regards,

    Lara, co-founder at ExoTravels.com

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    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Table Mountain National Park (amusement park)
      Table Mountain National Park 8001 021 424 8181
    2. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens (attraction)
      Wynberg NU (2) Cape Town 7800 217998783
    3. Boulders Beach (attraction)
      Simons Town Western Cape 7975
    4. Cape Point (attraction)
      Cape Point National Park Cape Town Western Cape +27 21 780 9204
    5. Robben Island (island)
      Cape Town 7441
    6. Green Point (attraction)
      iKapa 8001
    7. Vredehoek (attraction)
      iKapa
    8. Camps Bay (attraction)
      iKapa 8005
    9. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens (attraction)
      Wynberg NU (2) Cape Town 7800 217998783
    10. Long Street (attraction)
      Long Street iKapa 8000
    11. Cape Winelands (attraction)
      West Coast Road Cape Town
    12. Constantia Winelands (attraction)
      iKapa

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  • Sarah Fairhead

    Sarah Fairhead

    Cape Town, South Africa

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    Hey, you are going to love Cape Town. My top recommendations would be...

    Kalk bay, walk in the harbour, have lunch at harbour house and tea and pastis de Nata at Olympia Cafe

    Hout Bay- drive over chapmans peak, best calamari in the world and amazing view at chapmans peak hotel.

    &Union for a craft beer and a cool vibe on a Friday evening. Kloof Street House, also cool vibe and delicious food.

    Hike up Table Mountain National Park, either Indian venster if u very fit or skeleton gorge if u not as fit. Don't do platter klip, that's the route all the tourists take, overcrowded and not very scenic. Best is to hike up and walk down.

    The Old Biscuit Mill in woodstock on a Sunday is an awesome market- clothes food etc. Hout Bay also has a great market.

    The Sea Point Promenade Park for walks in the evening is beautiful. Walk then have a drink at Winchester Mansions Hotel.

    In the wine lands, Babylonstoren Chalets u really shouldn't miss. Franschhoek is the best of the wine lands areas though if u aren't going to do them all. Google the winelands train that goes through the franschoek area.

    If u are doing a day trip out of Cape Town, Paternoster is lovely, beautiful beaches and lovely restaurants. Especially gaaitjies.

    Enjoy xx

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    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      Good stuff, Sarah! Great to hear this from a local :) By the way, the Trippy team has helped you geo-tag all of the other places that you mentioned so that they all appear on your map! ·

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Cape Town (city)
      Cape Town WC
    2. Olympia Cafe (restaurant)
      Main Road Cape Town Western Cape
    3. Hout Bay (attraction)
      0A Princess St Cape Town 7806
    4. &Union (attraction)
      110 Bree St iKapa
    5. Kloof Street House (restaurant)
      30 Kloof street iKapa
    6. Table Mountain National Park (attraction)
      Table Mountain Road iKapa 7925
    7. The Old Biscuit Mill (attraction)
      375 Albert Rd. Woodstock 7925
    8. Sea Point Promenade Park (attraction)
      Beach Road Sea Point
    9. Winchester Mansions Hotel (hotel)
      221 Beach Road, Sea Point iKapa 8060
    10. Babylonstoren Chalets (attraction)
      022 482 2179
    11. Franschhoek (attraction)
      Church St Franschhoek
    12. Paternoster (city)
      Paternoster

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  • like this

    I stayed at Ashanti Lodge which has private rooms that while simple, are still stylish. The Backpack is meant to be the most upmarket hostel. I'd recommend staying in Gardens area as it is safe (I walked around after nights out at 3am on my own and felt fine - that might have been the alcohol talking though).

    In terms of places to eat there is the best steak house in the city next to Ashanti Lodge called Nelsons Eye . Very rustic and not cordon bleu service but the food is undeniable.


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    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Ashanti Lodge (attraction)
      11 Hof Street Gardens
    2. Nelsons Eye (attraction)
      9 Hof St Gardens 8001

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  • like this

    Taking a trip to the winelands in Stellenbosch (approx. 45 minute drive outside of Cape Town or 1.5 hour train) is definitely worth it. Some vineyards I highly recommend for wine tasting, as well as amazing lunches, are Asara and JC le Roux. If you prefer to eat at a local cafe The Blue Crane & The Butterfly or Postcard Cafe are excellent choices with a wide selection of lunch food. For dinner I recommend Man'oushe Restaurant (the freshest food, fun environment, great chef). Then if you are spending the evening (choices of higher end hotels or low key backpackers) there is a wonderful brunch place called The Old Bakery. There may be a bit of a wait but it is definitely worth it.


    If you prefer to stay in Cape Town for the entire weekend, I strongly suggest you hike Lions Head Summit. Although Table Mountain is more known, Lion's Head is a more engaging hike with a view like no other. On Sunday morning head over to The Old Biscuit Mill for a food market that is incomparable to anything you've had before. Homemade gourmet goods, champagne and oysters, and even a clothing/crafts market too! Great bars on Long Street for night life. This is a trip you will love no matter what you do!

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    • Brew J.

      Brew J.

      Great tips. ·

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Stellenbosch (city)
      Stellenbosch
    2. Cape Town (city)
      Cape Town WC
    3. Asara (attraction)
    4. JC le Roux (attraction)
      Devon valley road Stellenbosch
    5. The Blue Crane & The Butterfly (restaurant)
      146A Dorp Street Stellenbosch 7600
    6. Postcard Cafe (restaurant)
    7. Man'oushe Restaurant (restaurant)
      ERF1252 Andringa Rd Stellenbosch 7600
    8. The Old Bakery (attraction)
      Lincoln Rd, Lakeside iKapa 7945
    9. Lions Head Summit (attraction)
      Cape Town
    10. The Old Biscuit Mill (attraction)
      375 Albert Rd. Woodstock 7925
    11. Long Street (attraction)
      Long Street iKapa 8000

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  • like this

    Definitely go to Clarke's Bar & Dining Room for brunch. And there are some great properties on Airbnb to check out.

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    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Clarke's Bar & Dining Room (restaurant)
      133 Bree St. iKapa Western Cape 8000 +27 21 424 7648

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