The Cape Town Big 7 attractions in Cape Town characterise the perfect combination of picturesque beauty, fascinating history and elating activities that have come to define this beautiful part of South Africa. Cape Point, City Walk, Groot Constantia, Kirstenbosch, Robben Island Museum, Table Mountain Cableway and V&A Waterfront are the iconic destinations at the heart of the true Cape Town experience, and a trip to the city will not be complete without a visit to each of the Big 7. (capetownbig7.co.za)
Covered in endemic fynbos, it boasts a wealth of picturesque bays, beaches, rolling green hills and valleys. It's within the Cape Floral Region, a World Heritage Site, and as well as offering a fascinating profusion of vegetation there are huge numbers of pelagic birds as well as zebra, eland, and the many species of reptiles and small mammals.
1 h 22 min (59.5 km), by road via Chapmans Peak Drive
Things to do:
- Game, bird and whale watching (in season)
- Take the Flying Dutchman Funicular to the old lighthouse
- Spot the slew of shipwrecks surrounding the coastline
- Find and visit the new lighthouse further down the point
- Take a bush or nature walk through the reserve
- Swim in the tidal pools at Bordjiesrif and Buffels Bay
- Go fishing, surfing, and diving, in the surrounding waters
- Follow one of the clearly marked hiking trails
The City Walk
The vibrant Cape Town city centre is alive with fascinating stories of past and present, captivating public art, beautiful spaces, dramatic architecture, and a dynamic food and retail culture.
There’s simply no better way to explore this all than on foot, and walking the streets will bring the city to life before your eyes. The City Walk seamlessly connects you to the Cape Town CBD’s top sights and attractions through a collaborative community placemarking approach. You’ll leave with a newfound love and appreciation for the Mother City, and a strong desire to return.
16 min (10.8 km) without traffic, by road via Victoria Rd & M62
Things to do:
- Take a walking tour of the City Walk. There are daily walking tours departing from the front of the Taj hotel. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- City Walk Saturdays: Every third Saturday of the month. Be entertained by buskers, dancers, drummers, street art, gamers and more … all along the route. #walkcapetown First Thursdays: On the ﬁrst Thursday of every month restaurants, museums and art galleries in the CBD are open until late in the evening.
- Earth Fair Food Market: Every Thursday 12pm-6pm. Meet top quality traders selling a range of locally produced and artisanal food products. (Upper St George’s Mall, off Wale Street, opposite the cathedral).
- Enjoy public art: From statues to street art, the City Walk has a rich layer of public art. Pick up a map of the City Walk and explore the diversity of public art along the route. Maps available at Cape Town Tourism, Cape Town Partnership and from retailers along the route
Savour award winning wine in the Cape's grandest Estate. South Africa's oldest wine producing estate, established by Simon van der Stel in 1685, and a certified national monument. Groot Constantia offers delectable dining, a museum, art gallery and an award-winning selection of wines, all available for tasting.
19 min (16 km) without traffic, by road via Victoria Rd & Hout Bay
Things to do:
- Visit one of two tasting rooms to sample and purchase a selection of Groot Constantia’s award winning wines
- Take one of the daily guided cellar tours and tastings, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the wine-making process
- Explore the vast estate on foot – there are numerous walking paths, and joggers and dog walkers are also welcome to enjoy the surrounds
- Take a journey back in time and explore the grand Manor House museum, which houses displays portraying early years on the estate
- Combine a visit to Groot Constantia with a tour on the hop-on, hop-off City Sightseeing buses
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
South Africa's world-famous national botanical garden, set against the backdrop of Table Mountain and Devil's Peak, and home to more than 22,000 indigenous plants - part of the Cape Floral Kingdom. 36 hectares of landscaped gardens on the slopes of Table Mountain, and they blend in effortlessly with the natural vegetation, all of this a mere stone's throw from the buzzing city of Cape Town.
22 min (17.9 km) without traffic, by road via Victoria Rd, Houtbay road and Rhodes Dr.
Things to do:
- Walk among the treetops on the Boomslang Tree Canopy Walkway
- Take a gentle walk along the various trails, paths and routes through the garden
- Pack a picnic basket and spend the afternoon with family and friends
- Use Kirstenbosch as a starting point for a hike up Table Mountain – there is access to Skeleton Gorge and Nursery Ravine
- Keep on the lookout for the vast number of birds, including breeding owls, guinea fowl and sugarbirds
- Take in a famous Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert on a Sunday evening
- Take a guided tour with a Kirstenbosch volunteer to learn amazing facts about South Africa’s famous flora
- Pick up great souvenirs and Kirstenbosch memorabilia at the on-site stores
Just over 5 miles offshore from Cape Town the island was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999, and over the centuries has been used as a prison, a hospital, a mental institution, and a military base. It is most famous for being a political prison during apartheid. Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of the 27 years he was imprisoned on Robben Island. Tours depart daily from the V&A Waterfront.
The departure point for Robben Island is located in the heart of the V&A Waterfront.
Getting to the V&A Waterfront - 20 min (12.4 km) without traffic, by road via Victoria Rd & M62.
Things to do:
- Explore South Africa’s political past in various Robben Island exhibition displays
- Visit Nelson Mandela’s prison cell, and tour the maximum security prison with an ex-Robben Island prisoner
- Tour the Robben Island surrounds in a guided bus tour
- Keep an eye out for African Penguins
- Pick up Robben Island and Cape Town memorabilia at the store in the Nelson Mandela Gateway
- Venture out to explore the surrounding V&A Waterfront, where you can dine and shop with views of the iconic island
Table Mountain Cableway
The amazing 360° views from the top of this 3563 ft mountain plateau, spanning the city, ocean, Robben Island and national park, is undoubtedly one of the world's greatest wonders and now also holds the title as one of the 'New7Wonders of Nature'. One of the world's most popular attractions offer a cable car which will take you to the top in just 5 minutes or you can spend several hours taking one of the scenic hiking trails.
14 min (8.8 km) without traffic, by road via Victoria Rd & M62.
Things to do:
- Join a free guided walking tour that happen on the hour from 09:00 to 15:00 daily, departing from the Twelve Apostles Terrace (below the Table Mountain Café)
- Take a leisurely walk along one of three signposted pathways to take in views from around the city, including the Atlantic Seaboard, the Cape Town City Bowl, Robben Island, the V&A Waterfront and the impressive Cape Town Stadium
- Download the free audio tour and explore the mountain at your own pace with running commentary
- Look out for the vast array of fauna and flora at the top – from the thousands of indigenous plant species to snakes, mongooses, lizards, numerous birds, and the ever-popular rock hyrax, or dassie
- Take the energetic approach – hike to the top via Platteklip Gorge, and sail down in style via the cable car
- Enjoy a light meal or snack from the Table Mountain Café, or purchase food and drinks to enjoy in your own spot, overlooking the city below
Situated at the foot of Table Mountain, within close proximity of the Cape Town Stadium and in the heart of Cape Town's working harbour, the V&A Waterfront offers the visitor an abundance of unforgettable experiences and is one of South Africa’s most popular destination attractions. Indoor shopping and entertainment venues seamlessly merge with ocean vistas and mountain views and the fresh sea breeze and warm African sun add zest to a cosmopolitan, vibrant atmosphere. More than 80 restaurants bring a fusion of international food, from rustic al fresco fish and chips to starched table-cloth cuisine.
20 min (12.4 km) without traffic, by road via Victoria Rd & M62.
Things to do:
- Shop till you drop at 450 stores
- Take in great views over the harbour and Table Mountain while you dine
- Charter a helicopter for an unforgettable flight over the Cape Town
- Enjoy a ride on The Cape Wheel by day or night
- Do a free self-guided historical walking tour
- Take a harbour cruise or sunset cruise
- Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium
- Jog the signposted 2.5km or 5km running route