How to spend 24 hours in Cape Town
Those who say that you cannot possibly get enough done in 24 hours when in Cape Town are clearly mistaken.
Cape Town is a popular destination for travellers from all over the world, offering a range of tourist attractions like the mountains, forests and beaches to wineries, restaurants and markets.
Here is how you can spend a day in Cape Town:
Your first stop starts all the way at the end of the Cape Peninsula. Try to get there when the gates open at sunrise as it is one of the best places to see the sun come up in the city ‒ not to mention a great time of day to walk the many trails in soft light. A major plus for going in winter is that the Two Oceans Restaurant at Cape Point offers a free children's meal with every adult main meal ordered. Plus two children ride free on the Flying Dutchman Funicular (the only commercial funicular in Africa) with every adult return ticket. A trip to the lighthouse is a must.
There are plenty of quaint cafés in Simon’s Town, on the way back towards the city along the scenic peninsula. While in this seaside village, a visit to the African penguin colony at Boulders Beach is not to be missed. You can see these tuxedoed seabirds from the Boulders Beach viewing platform and learn more about them at the visitor’s centre. Before you go, you can also visit the statue of famous seafaring dog Just Nuisance, the South African Naval Museum, or go on a boat trip to see whales, sharks and, of course, penguins. You could also introduce your friend to good old slap chips or get an ice cream cone to enjoy with a stroll along the seafront. But try not to overindulge as you don’t want a very full stomach for your next stop.
For a completely different take on your average city tour, why not see the city by scooter? Cape Town Scooter Tours takes you on a “5 km off-road scooter adventure and free-wheel from the side of Signal Hill into Bo-Kaap” and to “iconic Table Mountain for your final exhilarating downhill track”. The scooters are propelled by gravity, so this is an eco-friendly adventure. This experience will take up to two hours, with tours starting from 9 am, 12 am or 3 pm.
Late afternoon is a beautiful time of day to visit the glorious Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, especially on one of Cape Town’s brilliant sunny winter days. Take a stroll through the gardens, set against the eastern slope of Table Mountain, and take in the wide variety of Cape trees, fynbos, and other flora. While there, be sure to visit the Kirstenbosch Tree Canopy Walkway, fondly known as “the Boomslang”, for incredible views of the gardens and the southern suburbs.
Sundowners on the mountain
Yes, Table Mountain is an obvious attraction and it is firmly placed on the well-worn tourist trail. But there’s a reason for that and it shouldn’t be missed by any visitor to Cape Town. You’ll be doubling back a bit here, but it’s worth it to take the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway in time to be on the mountain at the best time of day: sunset. As a local, you’ll also know where to pick up the makings of an awesome sundowner picnic to take along and enjoy at the top, overlooking the city as twinkling lights begin to appear in every direction.