Visit Cape Town in 1 week

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Elia Tabuenca García
@eliatabuencagarcia
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Looking for information for visit Cape Town in 4 days or 1 week? The must-see places in Cape Town? Where to sleep Cape? Where to go out in Cape Town? In this article I answer all your questions to make the most of your stay in Cape Town.








If you are in a hurry, you have a menu on your right, which you will find a little further down in the article. Anyway here is the plan from the article to visit Cape Town easily:


In this article discover:

  • A short interlude on the history of Cape Town
  • What to visit in Cape Town, what to see in Cape Town in 1 week
  • How to get to Cape Town from the airport
  • What to visit in Cape Town, ideas to walk around Cape Town?
  • Where to sleep in Cape Town
  • Visit Robben Island, the island where Nelson Mendela was imprisoned for 27 years.
  • Paragliding in Cape Town
  • Outdoor activities, paragliding, quads, rappelling ...
  • The currency: 1 euro = a little less than 10 rand. So 250 rand = € 25.

Access and print this illustration of Cape Town in large format through the guide, and facilitate your sightseeing schedule in an easy, clear and, above all, in a friendly way. ;)

1) History of Cape Town

The part of the "Cape Town tour" is right after the historical part.

The city of Cape Town, Cape Town or the Cape of Good Hope (which is a place feared by sailors because the waters are very rough) is located in the southern tip of Africa. Count the 11h30 flight between Paris and Cape Town. This is where Cape Town is located:




Founded in 1652, Cape Town is considered the mother city of South Africa, it is located in Table Bay, more precisely at the foot of Table Mountain. It was named in reference to the Cape of Good Hope located a little further south.


It was in the middle of the 17th century that the first settlers, the Dutch, Scandinavians, Germans and other non-British European settlers settled at the Cape of Good Hope. Two centuries later, in XNUMX, the British landed and drove them away.

The hunted, descendants of the first settlers who came to South Africa (Germans, Dutch, etc.), not to mention all the descendants of immigrants who have come to South Africa over the centuries and who share the same over time culture and the same language (Afrikaans) will be called Afrikaners or Afrikanders (more information here).

Afrikaners will flee north, with Bibles, herds, weapons, cannons and slaves, to find new spaces. This is where the memory of Afrikaners is born. In 1870, they discovered diamond mines and then, 15 years later, gold mines, which would attract Jewish and English bankers. Mines and factories are developed, but slavery has been abolished and therefore labor becomes expensive and scarce.

Then a law will be passed to give the best lands to the whites. The blacks are then expelled from their farm, allowing them to find cheap labor. Other laws will emerge to prevent equality between people of color and whites within church and state.




In 1899, British troops were attracted by the wealth of the mines in the Transvaal region, they attacked, the war lasted 2 years. Once again they are victorious, burning farms, fields and flocks, creating barbed wire, concentration camps (22.000 children die in the camps).


During the following years, impoverished Afrikaner farmers were forced to work in mines and factories. They share the soup kitchen, with hatred against the English. Afrikaners, although poor and white, do not want to mix with blacks and want better jobs and wages. Suddenly, in 1910, they reconciled with the English speakers and created a united state, attached to the Commonwealth, created the South African union.

Whites, in 1911, prohibited access to certain jobs for blacks (and until 1927). In 1912, a new law awarded 95% of the best land in South Africa to whites. In 1948, a law prohibited sexual relations between blacks and whites, as well as marriage.

In 1950, the government implemented Apartheid, the legalized racist. South Africa at this time was 3.000.000 whites and 11.000.000 blacks, mestizos, and Indians. The territorial bond (then nationality) and social status depend on the racial status of the individual.

Nelson Mandela was an icon of the movement against Apartheid, in 1962 he was found after 15 months of persecution, then imprisoned, 2 years later, on the day of his trial, he faced the death penalty. He will be in prison for life on Roben Island (which you can visit), there they will stay, he and his companions, 27 years old.

Nelson Mandela waged a tenacious struggle to end apartheid, in the end he was elected President of the Republic of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

One of the main causes of this internal emigration to Cape Town is the end of the apartheid policies that aimed in particular to limit migratory movements towards Cape Town and to confine the black populations in the Bantustans (the Bantustans were the regions created during the apartheid period in South Africa and Southwest Africa, reserved for black populations).

So far the history part, although incomplete, it seems to me that it is good to remember it so as not to forget… More information on Wikipedia Cape Town.

Let's go now to Discovery of Cape Town.

2) Visit Cape Town in 4 days

Cape Town is fortunate to have a more than pleasant geographical location, an exceptional natural environment, the mountains and the ocean. The atmosphere is very nice, very festive, which makes you feel very good there. Not to mention, old Cape Town has preserved its old-time architecture.

To get started, here is a custom GoogleMap to help you become more familiar with Cape Town:

  • Cape Town Beaches

These are two very beautiful beaches in Cape Town. A stone's throw from the center of town, you have Clifton Beach and Camps Bay. This is where they are (GoogleMap):

For starters, you have Clifton Beach, a very beautiful beach with white sand and made up of small coves. Wait 15 minutes by taxi.

Then you have the famous and beautiful Camps Bay beach. A very large white sand beach in front of the “12 apóstoles” (the 12 mountains). It is also a very nice place because you have many bars and restaurants, ideal to have a good time ...

It's a bit like Cape Town's Saint Tropez, you'll have plenty of options when it comes to entertainment. Camps Bay attracts the jet set, golden youth, and many tourists during peak season. Anyway, you got it, it's a festive place.

If you walk along the coast, you will definitely come across Shark Spotters. They are easy to identify as they monitor the beaches with binoculars to alert surfers for sharks. In short, be careful and check out the ocean sentinels ...

  • Cape of Good Hope

Even if the Cape of Good Hope is not the southernmost point on the African coast, it is a windswept place, due to the meeting between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean, so be careful that breath!

As you can see from the map below, the Cape of Good Hope is over 60km from Cape Town, so don't try to do it on foot!

On the other hand, if the idea of ​​a long bike ride tempts you (for the experts), take a look at this excellent article by Jb, he will answer all your questions about this little bike trip to the Cape of Good Hope. .

In part 3 I give you three ideas for walks including the Cape of Good Hope with a GoogleMap to follow, I invite you to move on to the next part so as not to repeat myself ...

Anyway, know that for this visit, count a good day to take advantage of the different points of view that this magnificent site offers you. It is best to rent a car.

  • Visit Cape Town and its surroundings by convertible bus

It is a good idea to tour Cape Town with the City Bus “Hop On- / Hop Off” which allows you to stop at each station to visit and resume your visit by getting on a little later. if you are interested in this bus trip. But know you have it via the Cape Town pass (more info here).

The many buildings in the city center are from the colonial era.

But this ride will also take you off the beaten track! You have two lines, the red line and the blue line.

The red line has a journey of 120 minutes and the blue line of 135 minutes. Both can be used by those who have a Hop On Hop Off ticket (1 or 2 day ticket, your choice) if you are interested in this bus trip. 

The "cable car" - that is, the funicular that takes you to the top of Table Mountain - can be obtained from the City Sightseeing office or via the Hop on Hop off bus driver, but you won't skip the line. By account if you want the “cable car” ticket with skip the line.

And therefore, knowing that you are also paying with the City Sightseeing organization, you could also take the skip-the-line version. But note that you also have it via the Cape Town pass (more info here).

  • To see the complete plan to download the pdf:

Find out more about this bus trip in this nice article by Sophie.

  • Downtown and the promenade

The best way to visit the center of Cape Town is to simply take a walk. On the menu, buildings and shops. It's not really what I liked the most, but it still needs to be done.

In Cape Town, it's like in England, you drive on the right.

The most beautiful places are around the harbor, Victoria and the Waterfront. There you will find many restaurants to relax. The environment is very pleasant because it is a fishing port, therefore very lively (dancers and singers are always present to attract tourists ...).

Here's a nice photo of the Waterfront district:

Again, this is where you will take the boat to visit Roben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years for fighting apartheid. on this visit. But know that you have it through the Cape Town pass with the boat included (more information here).

  • Kirstenbosch Garden and Sunday Night Concert

130 meters long and 10 meters high, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden Sky Bridge is a path that allows you to climb above the trees and have a really great panorama. This garden is one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world, it goes without saying that it is worth the detour.

Please note that during the summer season (generally from November to April), every Sunday there is a concert by very famous groups from South Africa and also by international stars.

Families, young and old, gather there with a picnic and a bottle of wine to attend these musical performances in a more than pleasant context.

Here is the program or through this link.

  • Cape Town History: 3 Museums to Do

During your stay in cape townIt can be fun to visit one of Cape Town's three must-see museums. Although Cape Town has a very pleasant quality of life, it has witnessed a more than tragic past.

South African Jewish Museum (Gratuit)

A very moving museum that will allow you to learn more about the history of the Jewish community in South Africa. Go see the documentary on Mandela which is very well done. Be sure to take a tour of the beautiful synagogue. More info here.

District Six Museum

This small museum shows how an entire neighborhood was destroyed and emptied of its inhabitants under apartheid. Managed by the association for the defense of the ancient inhabitants, it delivers a lot of moving testimonies.

Justin's comment:

For me, the best museum in Cape Town. This museum allows you to know the history of this district (District Six) that was completely destroyed, but also of Cape Town and the construction of apartheid. It is the history of this district that is exhibited in this small museum. Although it is in English, there are many images, which makes it very pleasant to visit it even with young people. More info here.

Robben Island, Nelson Mandela Island

Located 15 km from Cape Town, Robben Island is a small flat island, famous for being the place where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. Now it is also listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Of course, you can visit it. .

First it was transformed into a leper colony (a place of isolation and care for leprosy patients), a prison and then a museum. As you can see, it is very close to Cape Town.

You can go to visit Robben Island as well as its museum, the prison ... the visit lasts 3h30. As you can imagine, it is a very moving visit, because you will “walk” in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela, you will see his cell and the places where he performed forced labor. on the tour or here.

A former detainee will take you to the high security neighborhood and tell you anecdotes about the lives of the prisoners.

Visiting the island also sees a Cape penguin colony, and the boat ride from the Waterfront will give you stunning views of the city and Table Mountain.

The starting point to take the boat is Waterfront by the sea.

  • Bo-Kaap district, the Malay district

Located on the slopes of Signal Hill is the Malay Quarter: that is, the ancestors of its inhabitants were Muslim slaves from Malaysia, India and Indonesia. A neighborhood with colored houses.

  • Two super cool markets: the neighborhood produce market and the green market

The neighboring goods market

Housed in a former cookie factory, the neighboring produce market (the best) is a true Cape Town institution, you can't miss it. The atmosphere is crazy, exhibitions, shows! So meet up with the small local producers, every Saturday morning from 9am to 14pm for lunch, you won't be disappointed;)

Take the opportunity to buy some local products or just fill your stomach with good fresh products!

Dirección: The Old Biscuit Mill - 373 Albert Road - Woodstock. Lien GoogleMap.

The green market:

You also have the Green Market that is open every day, you will find mainly African crafts.

Stroll through this market, it is very nice.

More information about Cape Town:

  • The temperature never drops below 15 degrees, even in winter.
  • Youth hostel / dormitory, price for one night: 150 ZAR / pers, room 350/400 ZAR.
  • End of March / April: good time to visit Cape Town
  • December and January: high season
  • If you want to see whales, the season is: May / June or November / December
  • The cost of living is much lower than in France.
  • The Cape Town pass is interesting (more information here).
  • Travel forum
  • For excursion ideas.

3) Four ideas for a trip to visit Cape Town

Let's start with a simple hike, to warm up your calves new to Cape Town.

  • Paseo Sea Point y Green Point

For this hike, I advise you to go there at the end of the day to enjoy the sunset. Take a bottle and some belins, guaranteed atmosphere!

This is where people meet after work, a nice space where people have a good time. We are going to play sports, but also to have fun, have a picnic ...

It is in Green Point that the large stadium built for the 2006 World Cup is located. In Sea Point you will find a very lively street, day and night.

  • For excursion ideas.
  • Walk to the Cape of Good Hope

Here you have a walk to do that will take you a good day, on the other hand you will have to get up early enough to enjoy this beautiful day that awaits you. It will take you a full day to do this "excursion" to the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Point.

Although the Cape of Good Hope is not the southernmost (southernmost) point of the African coast, it is a place swept by the winds due to the meeting between the Indian Ocean and the Ocean. Atlantic so be careful, blow strong!

So why a full day?

Well simply because before reaching the Cape of Good Hope you will pass many places to see, and believe me it would be a shame not to take a little time to visit them.

  • Here is the GoogleMap plan for our hike to the Cape of Good Hope:

Come on, first destination, direction Muizenberg and its bay "False Bay". Numerous great white shark attacks have been reported here, so be careful ...

A little further south, you have a somewhat quieter beach, Saint James Beach. More suitable for children ...

Then head to Boulders Beach, where the penguins have taken position (a little further south of Simon's Town). Go take a look, the beach is beautiful although paid and signposted, it is very beautiful.

Once in Cape Point it can be nice to get to the lighthouse by funicular or walking (on the other hand, it is not free). Along the way you will surely come across monkeys (don't be too smart about them) and ostriches.

On the way back (thus on the west side, perfect for the sunset), feel free to stop at the many car parks along the road to enjoy the magnificent views of the surrounding cliffs and beaches.

Take a walk on the beach at NoordHoek. Or like in this photo at Cape Point Vineyards. Address: Cape Point Vineyards Estate, Cape Town, 7979

Then take your time on the road to Chapman's Peak. In fact, the road to Chapman's Peak is really beautiful, it reminded me of my visit to Corsica elsewhere, so be careful, it is not uncommon for accidents not to mention the many motorcycles and bicycles ...

This is where these two points are: or in the image to enlarge the map.

He came to Hout Bay, which was originally a small fishing village and has now become a tourist spot thanks to its traditional harbor and its many restaurants and souvenir shops.

Too much for this ride. I think you have to do to have a good day! Bring water bottles and walking shoes!

If you are a deglingo and want to take this long bike ride, take a look at Jb's excellent article, he will answer all your questions about this little bike trip to the Cape of Good Hope.

Personally, I highly recommend that you rent a car to be able to make this trip.

This beautiful walk to the Cape of Good Hope (or Cape Point, or both!) Was inspired by Julien (if you want more information about this walk).

  • A convertible bus trip to discover Cape Town and its surroundings in a great way

It is a good idea to tour Cape Town with the City Bus “Hop On- / Hop Off” which allows you to stop at each station to visit and resume your visit by getting on a little later. if you are interested in this bus trip. But know you have it via the Cape Town pass (more info here).

The many buildings in the city center are from the colonial era.

But this ride will also take you off the beaten track! You have two lines, the red line and the blue line.

The red line lasts 120 minutes and the blue line 135 minutes. Both can be used by those who have a Hop On Hop Off ticket (1 or 2 day ticket, your choice) if you are interested in this bus trip.

The "cable car" - that is, the funicular that takes you to the top of Table Mountain - can be obtained from the City Sightseeing office or from the Hop on Hop off bus driver, but you won't skip the line. On account if you want the “cable car” ticket with skip the line. And therefore, knowing that you are also paying with the City Sightseeing organization, you better take it skip the line.

  • To see the complete plan to download the pdf:

Find out more about this bus trip in this nice article by Sophie.

  • Table Mountain Hike / Hike (chosen from the 7 New Wonders of Nature)

Even older than the Andes, the Alps, and even the Himalayas, Table Mountain has been named for its table-like shape. It is more than 260 million years old. It is better to climb Table Mountain early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid all the tourists, and the weather will be more favorable.

How to climb to the top of Table Mountain - Cape Town?

Culminating more than 1000 meters high, and also located a few hundred meters from the ocean, it goes without saying that at the top of Table Mountain the panorama is completely crazy. Allow half a day for the visit, 2 hours to mount it.

The solution that will harm your calves less will be to use the cable car (in addition to the fact that the view from them is very beautiful), it allows you to reach the top more easily. Count 225R. Note that with this ticket via Cape Town pass (more information here).

But the best solution is to climb Table Mountain starting from the very nice botanical garden at the bottom of the mountain, it is called the 'Kirstenbosch garden'. From there take the direction of Skeleton Gorge and then go down Platteklip Gorge.

Then take the cable car back down which is not far from Platteklip Gorge.

For more information, you can read Julien's article on VoyageurIndépendant website about this hike / hike.

 So far the ideas for hikes, if you've done it all, my hat is off! Time to go to sleep in Cape Town now!

4) Where to sleep in Cape Town

Where to stay in Cape Town?

Here are some addresses with a good quality / price ratio and above all well located:

  • The Town Lodge in addition to being well located, they offer discounted prices, to see!
  • The Victoria Junction is even better located and prices are still interesting depending on the seasons, so see too.
  • A hostel that I recommend Ashanti, you will find it on the internet.
  • The hotel where the TSF JAZZ team and I stayed is very beautiful, very elegant and enjoys a prime location on the boardwalk, Table Bay., Not cheap but necessary for everyone. Flavors!
  • Cheaper but full of charm, I also advise you to visit Cape Finest Guesthouse!

You can take a look at the apartments offered by individuals. I often use this type of site because it allows you to stay in a really small apartment, suddenly you have a kitchen, there is no time ... Look on Airbnb!

Feel free to share your addresses in the comments, sharing is good!

5) Where to go out in Cape Town

If you want to know where to go out in Cape Town, here is a small list of addresses and districts that will allow you to spend a pleasant evening. Also, you should know that the addresses of the pajama parties that I gave you are close to these places, so they are in an ideal location.

Come on, where to party in Cape Town? Where to eat in Cape Town?

  • Where to party in Cape Town:

To party I can only recommend the street: Long Street, an ideal street for parties, you will find restaurants, bars and of course discos. On the other hand, be careful because there are pocket swords.

It also has the trendy neighborhood, Camp's Bay, which is a kind of little St Tropez or mini Las Vegas. On the other hand, it is expensive and it is not next! You have Café Caprice, very nice, especially on Sunday nights.

A really fun idea is to have a BusMoove party! You will understand, you start the night on a bus. A delusion that I think can make you laugh depending on your mood! Here are some sites if you are interested (Facebook page Cape Town Party Bus, redfunbus, piggyspartybus, partybuscapetown).

Okay, on the other hand, you don't need to contact me, because I haven't tried them, I came across this principle a bit by chance, and I thought it might be quite fun.

Off the beaten track, you can spend the night on the beach at NoordHoek (or rather on its heights). On the other hand, you will have to take the car, it is not close. Don't forget the picnic! Website: Cape Point Vineyards.

L'adresse: Cape Point Vineyards Estate, Cape Town, 7979

  • Where to eat in Cape Town?

Are you looking for a restaurant that allows you to discover unusual dishes, do I recommend Mama Africa? You can taste crocodiles, antelopes, ostriches or even kudu,… The atmosphere is very nice, and with a bit of luck you could have a band playing there. It's on Long Street.

Victoria and Albert Waterfront is a very nice and lively place around the harbor. In addition, the shops are open even on Sundays and until late. A good restaurant to discover South African wines: the Belthazar.

Of course you have the Goodneightbour Market (every Saturday from 9am to 14pm), called The Neighborgoods Market (great for brunch). In the same place as the Goodneightbour Market in Woodstock, at the top of the building, you have a tapas restaurant, this restaurant is called 'The Pot Luck Club'.

On the menu: spring rolls with crispy duck, Thai mussels, grilled shrimp ...

Kirstenbosch Garden and Sunday Night Concert

During the summer season (generally from November to April), every Sunday a concert of the most famous groups in South Africa and regularly of international stars is offered there.

Families, young and old, gather there with a picnic and a bottle of wine to attend these musical performances in a more than pleasant context.

  • Here is the program or through this link.

/! Note that in Cape Town you can get around quite easily and around the city by minibus. These collective taxis, called rikkis, constantly roam the metropolis. Stand on the side of the road and raise your arm.

Feel free to share your good addresses in the comments!

  • For excursion ideas.

6) Get to central Cape Town from CPT airport

  • Get to Cape Town from the airport by taxi:

To get to the center of Cape Town? I advise you to take a taxi (wait 15 minutes). On the other hand, choose one that has a meter and insist on the meter, otherwise you will be billed unreliably and thus scammed. You will find them at the exit of the terminal. You can also rent a car, you will also find them at the exit.

The taxis that you will see at the airport are actually licensed by the airport itself, in other words, they are metered taxis and are safe. The trip costs between R 200 and R 280 to the city center (approximately € 25).

1 euro = just under 10 rand. So 250 rand = € 25. In addition, the big banks are: Absa Bank, First National Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank.

  • Get to Cape Town from the airport by metro or bus:

You also have the option of taking the metro, but I heard it was a bit risky so I would avoid it. And as for the bus (My CiTitbus), you have to be careful if there are many people. Account 53 rand / pers. It will drop you in the city center in 20 minutes.

You can read on many sites that Cape Town is dangerous, personally I have not found that to be the case. Of course, if you go to places that are a bit scary ... Anyway, stay in tourist areas.

Once again, I advise you to take a metered taxi.

Well there you go, I think you have all the keys in hand to visit Cape Town in 4 days as it should be

Do not hesitate to leave a comment at the bottom of the page to give me your impressions, share a good address, a hotel, a bar ... Sharing is good;)

  • And what did you like the most about Cape Town?
  • Do you have an interesting address to share? A restaurant, a bar, a hotel?
  • Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page!

See you soon!

Maxence

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