South Africa 

Special thanks to Kerri Brown for the recommendations

South Africa is sure to steal anyone's heart. Such a relaxed vibe, so much to explore, hosting adventures of all sorts. Be careful, you may never want to go home.

CAPE TOWN

Things to Do

Bay Harbour Market: Although an outdoor tent, don't be fooled. The inside has all the food and handmade items you could want.

Beta Beach: Relaxing beach right off the coast of the city.

Boulder Beach: They've got penguins! Go say hey to the little homies.  

Table Mountain: Hike or take the cable car to the top for the best view of the city. Beware, the hike is strenuous! 

Camp’s Bay: Another beautiful coastline right by the city.

Cape Malay: Take a cooking class to learn all about traditional South-African delicacies. 

Cape of Good Hope: Visit the southern-most point of the Cape Peninsula.

Cecil Rhodes Memorial: Sitting on Devil's Peak by the university, check out the former Prime Minister's statue and gorgeous surrounding landscape. 

District 6 Museum: Get a crash course in the rich history of South Africa. 

Franschoek: French wine region about one hour outside the city.  The town is known for its boutiques, food, and world-class wines!

Hout Bay: Home to Table Mountain National Park and a great harbor market.

Kirstenbosch Gardens: Beautiful gardens!

Lions Head Hike: Refreshing day or night hike. Fantastic scenery during full moon.

Muizenburg Beach: Awesome beach to learn how to surf. 

Nelson Mandela Hotel: Go for their High Tea.

Noordhoek Beach and Sleepy Hollow: Offers horseback riding. 

Old Biscuit Mill: An awesome weekend market that has a wide variety of food and hand made items. Come with an empty stomach!

Signal Hill: Best at sunset or sunrise, offers stellar view of the city. Bonus, you can also go paragliding. 

Stellenbosch: Enjoy their wine tour. 

Markets

Old Biscuit Mill: Organic food market on a Saturday morning is excellent for food as well as jewelry, leather goods, etc.

Blue/Red Sheds at the Waterfront: Some really tight local items ranging from luggage to art to jewelry. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area

First Thursdays: Every first Thursday of each month, streets in the Central Business District  shut down for late-night  art  exhibitions. You'll find heaps of food vendors and bar patrons spilling out onto the street.

Green Market Square: For curios (potted) arts and crafts. Cool shops, like African Image on Church Street, pepper this market as well as a bunch of great galleries and shops.

Kalk Bay: Although not technically a market, Kalk Bay on a Sunday in particular is lovely to walk around. There’s authentic food and shopping and definitely worth the drive out -- especially if you’re keen to see the Penguins a little further out at Boulders beach.

Oranjezicht Food Market: Based in the Waterfront, vibrant way to start a Saturday morning.

Places to Eat

Breakfast/Lunch

Giovannis: Hip cafe and deli. Favorite spot to grab a coffee, hang at the bar and people watch. Full of local characters. 

Hemelhuijs: Fantastic brunch and lunch.

La Colombe: Probably the best wine selection in Cape Town . Beautiful setting, incredible food, and superb wine list.  

Loading Bay: Robust coffee and free-flowing open space. Acting as both an eatery and shop for curated men's fashion wear. Unique and inviting vibe, definitely worth doing at least once.

MannaVery stylish, great food with in-house bakery. Excellent breads.

Mount Nelson Hotel: Their high tea (afternoon tea) is iconic and a must for any tea fanatic.

NU: Health hot-spot. Get your smoothies, juices, salads, wraps, etc.

Olympia Café: In Kalk Bay, rustic afternoon restaurant. All ingredients are locally harvested and admirably fresh. 

Origin: Next to Loading Bay in De Waterkant, a lively area worth visiting. 

Rosetta: Only open weekdays, but arguably the best coffee in the city. 

Strandloper: About an hour and half outside the city up the western coast. If you’re up for a day trip, you'll need to book in advance as their large seafood barbecues are quite popular. 

Willoughby’s:If you’re in the Waterfront, go here for lunch.  Amazing sushi and excellent place for fresh fish. 

Lunch/Dinner/Cocktails

 

95 on KeuromContemporary Italian cuisine that's pretty damn good.  

Bukhara: Best Indian food you'll find in town.  

Bungalow: Ideal spot for when the weather is good. Great views of the sunset.  

Carne: Milanse-influenced marinates, prime spot for any steak or meat hankering. Pair your juicy cuts with their excellent wine list. 

Charango: Peruvian inspired meals.

Duchess of Wisbeach: Locals in the scene can always be found here, as it's known for being a rowdy time. Bistro-style food that isn't overly complicated. 

Hallelujah: Really fun Chinese/American-themed sharing plates. Strong cocktails and inviting atmosphere.

Soho in London: Walk-ins only so go early to put your name down; grab a drink next door at the Power & Glory while you wait.

Kloof Street House: Serves African inspired bistro food in a romantic setting. Gorgeous interior and comfortable bar to drink at before/after dinner.

Kyoto Garden: Best Japanese in SA. Expensive by local standards, but quality dishes and amazing menu. Can't go wrong here.

La Perla: Old-school Italian with killer location for sundowners (South African specialty cocktail) on the beachfront in Sea Point.

Potluck Club: Nestled above Test Kitchen. Tapas are their specialty. Reservation for both spots are necessary, book early!

Test Kitchen: Voted as one of Elite Traveler's 'Top 100 Restaurant' list. Clean, sleek and wooden-contemporary interior paired with inventive dishes, this is a must try.

The Dog's Bollocks, Clarke's, IYO and Café Royale:  All are known for their mouth-watering burgers.

The Roundhouse: Fine dining, beautiful location.

Mama Africa: Get your variety of traditional South-African meats, and try the flaming deserts!

Places to Drink

12 Apostles: Known for their refreshing sundowners. A bit further out of the city, about 10 minute drive past Camps Bay.

Aces and Spades: Energetic bar in the business district.

Asoka: Trendy spot for drinks, gets busy later with their resident DJ and dance floor.

Bascule Bar: Inside the Table Bay Hotel at the Waterfront, an awesome whiskey bar steps from where yachts are moored.

Café Caprice: On Camps Bay beachfront. Excellent venue to enjoy an evening drink.

House of Machines: Dual bar and coffee shop. Local biker bar, fun atmosphere, strong cocktails and live music.

Orphanage: Speakeasy cocktail bar in the business district. Vintage decor and soothing live music.

Planet Bar: Inside Mount Nelson Hotel, ideal for post-dinner drinks.

Publik: Wine bar that serves select South African wines. 

Shimmy's: In the docks near Waterfront. Quite popular on summer  nights.

Sideshow: Extravagant night club.

Cuba Cuba: Out of the city, but great mojitos and awesome drinks specials. 

Stones: BOGO  (buy one get one) drinks on Wednesdays. Billiards bar and casual, laid-back place to start your night. 

Tiger Tiger: Extremely fun nightclub. Great energy and tracklist.

One Up: Cheap shots on Wednesdays. Perfect to get you on their   dance floor. 

Places to stay

Hotels

Cape Grace Hotel

Taj Hotel Cape Town

Silos Hotel Cape Town

The Bay Hotel

Queen Victoria Hotel

The Commodore

Derwent Boutique Hotel

Each option here is affordable and accessible to the city. Book based on comparable rates, but honestly never had a bad experience at any of these establishments. 

Hostels

Cape Town Backpackers 

The Backpack Cape Town  

Atlantic Point Backpackers 

All three are safe and clean options for backpackers, or travelers that aren't looking to break the bank. Bustling with international travelers, all three are great for meeting new friends and getting groups to hit the town.

Transportation

Uber: The easiest and safest way to get around town. Accessible all over the city. 

Train: The train is a great way to get from the center of Cape Town to the suburbs. However, don't hop on after it gets dark - known for being dangerous. 

Work Spaces

Bread Milk Honey

Diva Pizza

Fork

Crush

Food Lovers’ Market

Trees Café

General Tips

Be safe: Just like any city, Cape Town can be dangerous. Watch out for pick pocketing, distractions around the shoes you're wearing, or anyone talking to you if you're near an ATM. Check with your local hostel or hotel if there's any streets nearby to steer clear of.  Hope Street is one that makes our list to avoid. 

CBD, Cape Town

Table Mountain, Cape Town

Jefferies Bay

Cape Town

Table Mountain, Cape Town

Boulders Beach

World of Birds, Cape Town

Signal Hill, Cape Town

Cape Point

Muizenberg Beach

Downtown Cape Town

Old Biscuit Mill

Muizenberg Beach

Cape Point

Boulders  Beach

Stellenbosch Winery

Downtown Cape Town

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