My Top CT picks

by Karisa

I’ve been getting quite a lot of enquiries from people coming to Cape Town, asking me what I would advise them to check out while they’re here…

So I thought, hey, why not put together a page of my top picks* in case other people have been wondering about the same thing.

I’m starting small, and will probably build to the list as I think of more things, but here goes:

Things to do/see in Cape Town:

  • Take a cableway ride up onto Table Mountain  (and in summer, do a sunset cableway ride instead, it’s half price from 6pm)
  • Climb Lion’s Head – it should take approx 40 to 60min to get up and another 30min to get back down.  The views from up there are incredible, so try hit it at sunset or sunrise.  There are some photos over here to show you what I mean.
  • Hit the beach – my favourites are Camps Bay & Clifton (any one of the 4 beaches there)
  • Walk/run/cycle the Sea Point promenade – ocean views, happy doggies everywhere, an outdoor fitness area, casual games of soccer, ice cream stands, bike rentals, weird & wonderful leaning wind blown trees, and a pretty great public pool complex.  You can see all of this here.
  • Visit the V&A Waterfront – this is a hot spot for shopping, eating, drinking, and more.  Take a little boat trip, book a helicopter ride, watch a movie, there are lots of options here.  Kids will also love the Two Oceans Aquarium.
  • Market exploring:  So many to choose from!  Capetonians really do love their markets.  Some I can recommend are: Earth Fair Market in St Georges Mall (every Thu); Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill (every Sat);  City Bowl Market in Hope St (every Thu eve & Sat), the V&A Market on the Wharf (open Mon – Sun) and then for these last 2 you have to head out of town, but they’re both a must:  The Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay (every Fri eve, Sat & Sun) & the Slow Market in Stellenbosch (every Sat)
  • Constantia winelands touring – yup, you don’t necessarily have to drive out to Stellenbosch or Franschhoek (although those are amazing outings to do), the Constantia wine route is a quick 20min from the centre of town and there’s plenty of great places to visit.  There’s a route map and full list of the farms (just click on Vineyards, then Farms) over here.  Some of my personal favourites are:
    Constantia Glen:  Great wines and the best cheese & charcuterie platter you’ll ever eat
    Eagles Nest:  Relaxed garden setting & a Shiraz that won the title of world’s best
    Beau Constantia:  Also a great selection of wines, incredible views & for the foodies out there, they also have a Chef’s Warehouse.
    Of course, drinking & driving is never a good idea.  So maybe look into a tour company like this one:  The Constantia Wine Tour  OR why not make use of the City Sightseeing Red Hop on / Hop off bus – you simply take the blue line and then do a change over to their purple line which then stops at Groot Constantia, Eagle’s Nest & Beau Constantia.
  • Then for a bit of local vibe, shopping, strolling, eating and general merriment, hit either Long Street, Bree St or Kloof Street.  There are lots of cool boutiques, eateries and bars to choose from here.  Just watch out for pickpockets, keep your phone & wallet safely stashed at all times.
  • Pop into our very own Newlands Brewery and get a tour of the place with a beer tasting and some complimentary pints.  All info over here.
  • The Springbok Experience Rugby Museum in the V&A Waterfront is a must for sports fans young & old.
  • And then for all the art lovers out there, don’t miss the brand new Zeitz MOCAA in the Silo District of the V&A Waterfront.

Where to eat:

  • Check out my top 5 meals of 2017 over here.  Some of my current favourites are listed there.
  • For a culinary treat, you have to try a good tasting menu.  My favourite is offered by La Mouette in Sea Point (6 or 7 courses and their tasting menu changes every month – check out one of my reviews here).
  • For a fun cook your own meat experience, I love taking people to Galbi just off Long Street.  I can highly recommend their Safari Set (which serves 2).  Hop on over to my Galbi review here.
  • For a meal right on the sand, The Grand Cafe & Beach is where you need to be.
  • Join the gourmet burger revolution – my picks would be either Jerry’s Burger Bar, Royale Eatery, the burger at the Devil’s Peak Taproom or IYO Burgers in Bree St.
  • For meat lovers, a great steak can be had at Carne. (there’s a few branches around town, I recommend the Constantia one just because the decor is something quite special – but all of them are good actually)

Where to drink:

  • I love popping in for a drink at any of these:  La Parada in Bree St, Tiger’s Milk (Kloof St or Long St), The Village Idiot in Loop St or Hank’s in Bree St.  The younger crowd will also love Arcade in Bree St.
  • If you’re looking for a bit of a dancing vibe, Harringtons or Aces ‘n Spades.
  • Café Caprice is a Cape Town institution and the most popular beach side drinking spot. Many a celeb has been spotted hanging out here and the busiest night by far is a Sunday eve (especially good after a long day on the beach).

Where to grab a good cuppa:

  • Origin Coffee Roasters in De Waterkant – while you’re there, also check out their Brew Bar
  • Deluxe Coffee Works – either in Church St or Roodehek St (they also provide coffee to many other Cape Town coffee spots)
  • Truth Coffee HQ in Buitenkant St.  This place was recently named the best coffee shop in the world for it’s cool steampunk design.  Definitely worth a look.
  • Yours Truly’s in Kloof St – garden setting out front, great vibe and Deluxe coffee is served. Nuff said.

Where to stay:

How to get around: 

  • Meter taxis:  Out of all the taxi companies here in Cape Town, I’ve always felt that Excite Taxis are the most affordable.  They just get quite busy at times, so if there’s time pressure, always call ahead and book a taxi for a specific time.  Call them on: 021 448 4444
  • MyCiti busses:  This new bus system really is great.  I recently went from town to Camps bay and back for only R14.40 – check out how I did that over here.  I also use their airport bus service regularly and it’s fantastically easy.  For all their route info and more, check out the MyCiti website.  The key thing is that you’ll need to get yourself a MyCiti card at one of the MyCiti stations and then load money onto that. You can’t use cash on the busses.
  • Download & install the Uber app onto your smartphone and use the UberX option (which is far cheaper than the UberBlack option)

Services of interest:

  • In need of a tan?  Contact my girl Tam from Glow Cape Town.  She does the best spray tan in town (in my humble opinion).
  • In need of a massage, facial, wax, mani or pedi?  Why not bring the spa to you with Beauty Direct Mobile Spa.
  • Need some work done around the house or office?  FixForward’s got you covered.  They’ll connect you with an expert tradesman, guaranteeing quality workmanship at a fair price.  They do everything from carpentry and tiling, to painting and paving.

* I will update this page from time to time with any new discoveries that I feel deserve a top pick mention.

Happy exploring everyone. 🙂