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Cape Town's Top Sights

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Near the southern tip of Africa, Cape Town can feel like it sits on the edge of the world. If you make the epic journey to get there, you'll be rewarded with some of the continent's most memorable experiences. You can watch penguins in their seaside habitat, soar to the peak of Table Mountain in a cable car, and sample wines from the region's legendary vineyards. From natural wonders to fascinating historic sites, here are Cape Town's top attractions.
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Cape Point, Cape Peninsula, Cape Town, South Africa
Mother Nature likes to show off her power in South Africa, and Cape Point is no exception. Watch the Indian and Atlantic oceans crash into each other several feet below the point as the wind rips through your hair. The drive to get there from Cape...
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Kleintuin Rd, Simon's Town, Cape Town, 7995, South Africa
Africa's only penguins come to Simon's Town to breed. In the early 1980s, an enterprising pair mated for the first time on Boulders Beach, and their tuxedoed descendants now number several thousand. To see the penguins in their natural habitat,...
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Tafelberg Rd, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa

Board the “aerial cableway” and you’ll soon be climbing 765 meters (2,510 feet) to the top of Table Mountain, with views of the city and Table Bay. The car rotates on its ascent, giving everyone a 360-degree view. At the summit,...

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Rhodes Dr, Newlands, Cape Town, 7735, South Africa
This famous botanical garden, created in 1913, was the first in the world dedicated to a country's own flora. The spectacular 90-acre plant haven forms part of a nature reserve that borders Table Mountain National Park. Besides numerous gardens...
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Kalk Bay, Cape Town, 7990, South Africa
One of Cape Town's most picturesque corners, this small fishing harbor sees boats sail in daily with their catches (often trailed by hungry seals waiting for tidbits). But recently, the area has also become known for its antique stores,...
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Stellenbosch, South Africa
Cape Town's winelands stretch from the city to the idyllic towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, which are often compared to California wine country's Napa and Sonoma. Stellenbosch is a university town of oak-lined streets and gracious old...
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71 Wale St, Schotsche Kloof, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
The Bo-Kaap was one of the few Cape Town neighborhoods to escape apartheid's bulldozers—the cluster of bright buildings, once known as the Malay Quarter, housed many of the slaves who worked for the 17th-century Dutch colonialists. You can also...
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Darling St & Buitenkant St, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Fearing a British takeover of its ill-gotten trading post, the Dutch East India Company built this star-shaped castle (known as Kasteel de Goede Hoop) between 1666 and 1679 to defend its territory. Now the oldest building in South Africa, the...
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143 Main Rd, Muizenberg, Cape Town, 7950, South Africa
Cape Town is driving country. It's cheap and easy to rent a car, and once you get used to driving on the left-hand side of the road, the Cape Peninsula is at your doorstep. From the city, head out to Muizenberg, then along the False Bay road to...
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25A Albertus St & Buitenkant Street, Zonnebloem, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
District Six was originally a mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, laborers, and immigrants. Marginalization and forced removal of the residents began early in the last century, and in 1966 it was declared a white area. By 1982,...
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Corner Caledon & Lower Buitenkant Street, District Six, Zonnebloem, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Started by Athol Fugard, South Africa's greatest living playwright, in a historic District Six building, this vibrant 320-seat cultural hub showcases plays, musicals, movies, and book festivals. You can while away time before a show at the...
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Hout Bay Beach, Hout Bay, Cape Town, 7806, South Africa
Hout Bay is basically Eden. This ecological utopia has everything a nature lover could want, from imposing mountains and miraculous views (check out the Twelve Apostles range) to World of Birds, the largest bird park in Africa, home to 3,000 birds...
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107 Bree St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
A once quiet downtown thoroughfare, Bree Street now has so many eateries that it is a sort of restaurant row. The feeding starts with breakfast and goes through lunch, afternoon snacks, drinks, and dinner at places like Bacon on Bree, Folk Coffee,...
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44 Long St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
Two streets down from Bree Street, Long Street has a very different vibe, with a lively mix of shops, vendors, Victorian buildings, and backpacker accommodations. The hipster/eclectic tone of the place is reflected in names like the Widow Maker...
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Government Ave, Company's Garden, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
South Africa's premier art museum houses South African, African, British, French, Dutch, and Flemish works. Selections from the permanent collection change regularly to let the museum showcase different pieces, such as those by local luminaries...
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Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Probably the most visited attraction in the city, the V&A combines many elements of the greatest commercial waterfront projects around the world. There are plenty of draws for tourists (the Cape Wheel, helicopter rides, boat trips to Robben...
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Granger Bay Blvd, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8051, South Africa
This popular food market takes place on Saturdays and has one of the best locations for a market anywhere, right on the sea near the V&A Waterfront. Under several marquees you'll discover a wide selection of organic produce, dried fruits, meats,...
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Sir Juice Building, 190 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
A colorful old working-class neighborhood near downtown that had fallen on hard times, Woodstock has been revitalized with a mix of galleries, artists' studios, boutiques, and restaurants. Much of the area's original vibe remains, however, thanks...
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32 Camps Bay Dr, Camps Bay, Cape Town, 8005, South Africa
In other places around the world it's known as the big bus, but in Cape Town and Johannesburg, it's the Red Bus, an open-topped double-decker that you can hop on and off of to get a better grasp of the city's layout; stops include the V&A...
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Touted as the continent's most important art gallery even before it opened in late 2017, the six-story MOCAA has a MOMA/Guggenheim feel to its design, built inside more than 40 old grain silos in the Cape Town harbor area. (On top of the structure...
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67 Fourth Beach Promenade, Clifton, Cape Town, 8005, South Africa
Cape Town is blessed with numerous beaches at its doorstep. Probably the most famous are in the suburbs of Camps Bay and Clifton, both on the Atlantic side of the city. Camps Bay feels like a compact Copacabana in summer (the water is pretty cold,...
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Paternoster, 7381, South Africa
About a two-hour drive north of the city lies the fishing village of Paternoster, well known for its lobster and seafood. The whitewashed fishermen's cottages, many of which have been done up beautifully and are available for short-term rental,...
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Almost any time of day, the Sea Point Promenade is filled with walkers and joggers, many of them residents from the apartments nearby. Though named after Sea Point, the best known of the areas the walkway fronts, the three-mile promenade begins in...
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78 Hout St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Started by a British master weaver almost 20 years ago, Mungo weaves a wide range of quality linens, throws, blankets, bedding, towels, and apparel, which are sold internationally. The company says that ethical trading and integrity underpin its...
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72 Waterkant St, De Waterkant, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Cape Town for a long time lacked the variety of African handicrafts and art that Johannesburg and cities farther north had in abundance. With more migrants has come an explosion of curios. While the three-floor Pan African Market on Long Street...
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24 Orchard Ave, Westlake, Cape Town, 7945, South Africa
Lying behind Table Mountain is the exquisite Constantia Valley, the first wine-growing region in the Southern Hemisphere, dating back to 1685, with eight award-winning wine estates. It is also a sought-after suburb, with large properties, bicycle...
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Hermanus, 7200, South Africa
Mostly known as the whale-watching capital of South Africa—southern right whales come here as early as June and stay for six months—the town, just over an hour from Cape Town, has lots to keep you busy between whale-spotting from its clifftops....
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Tafelberg Rd & Caeleway, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
There are many hikes on the mountains that form Cape Town's dramatic backdrop. The most popular path up Table Mountain is the Platteklip Gorge route, on the front of the mountain and with rock steps for most of the way. On the back of the...
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15 Queen Victoria St, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
The Company's Garden, in the heart of the city, dates back to the 17th century, when the Dutch used springwater running down from the mountain to establish a garden to grow fruit and vegetables for ships en route to the East. On Government Avenue,...
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Robben Island, Cape Town, 7400, South Africa

One of South Africa’s most famous sights is Robben Island, located seven kilometers (four miles) to the west of Cape Town. Its history as a prison is almost as old as the first Dutch settlement on the cape—dating back to the 17th...