1. Things to Do in Cape Town | Drive down Chapman’s Peak Drive
Chapman’s Peak Drive, about 25 kilometres from the city centre and affectionately known as “Chappies” by locals, is one of the most breathtaking driving routes in the world. This spectacular toll road, cut into the sheer face of Chapman’s Peak, which plunges to the sea, snakes its way for about nine kilometres between Noordhoek and Hout Bay, passing panoramic Chapman’s Peak point along the way. With 114 curves carved into the rock face, some of which are perched more than 500 metres above sea level, this is not a route for the faint of heart.
Around sunset, cars crowd the panoramic viewpoints as tourists stake out a spot to watch the sun set while sipping a cool drink in the time-honored South African tradition known as “sundowners.” Drive slowly and carefully, keeping an eye out for southern right whales and dolphins in the sparkling Atlantic Ocean below. The road was closed intermittently for several years due to rockfall hazards, but it has now been stabilised and is open every day except during severe weather events.
Chapman’s Peak Drive is the setting for the popular Cape Argus Cycle Race and Two Oceans Marathon, as well as being used for TV commercials. After admiring the magnificent sea views, hungry visitors can dine on fresh fish at one of Hout Bay’s excellent seafood restaurants.
2. Things to Do in Cape Town | The Noon Gun and the Sunset at Signal Hill
Signal Hill, located five minutes west of the city centre, offers stunning views of Cape Town, Table Bay, and the glittering Atlantic Ocean from its 350-meter summit. The hill, which forms the body of the adjacent Lion’s Head peak, was named for its historical use in sending signals to approaching ships by flying signal flags from here.
Many locals and visitors come to watch the sunset and stay after dark to see the shimmering lights of Cape Town illuminate. Every day (except Sundays and holidays), at noon, a cannon fired by an electronic impulse from the Observatory fires a single shot. This “noon gun” used to provide the exact time to ships anchored in the bay. Tourists are welcome to attend a free presentation about the Noon Gun’s history at the Lion Battery and then stay to watch the firing.
Those going to the top of the hill for sunset views should bring a jacket because it can get chilly after the sun goes down. On busy weekends and holidays, get there early to get a parking spot.
3. Things to Do in Cape Town | Visit the Old Biscuit Mill.
The Old Biscuit Mill, located in the heart of Cape Town’s trendy college neighbourhood. Woodstock, is open all week but especially lively on weekends when the Neighbourgoods Market takes place. The Old Biscuit Mill, self-described as a community for talented people to collaborate and share their passions, from food and art to clothing and homemade goods, is home to some of South Africa’s most creative artists and designers.
There are a variety of one-of-a-kind restaurants, food stalls, workshop spaces, and designer stores on the grounds. The Neighbourgoods Market takes over the parking lots every Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m. It has a full market atmosphere, with local artisans and designers selling their wares. There are also numerous food and beverage vendors. The Old Biscuit Mill also hosts festivals throughout the year.
4. Great White Shark Cage Diving
Great white sharks, one of the ocean’s most feared predators. Can be encountered in the chilly waters off Cape Town’s coast. Divers experience a rush of adrenaline as these magnificent creatures swim within inches of the thick bars of an iron cage.
Shark cage dives are available in Simon’s Town, Dyer Island, Mossel Bay, Seal Island, and Gansbaai. The “Great White Shark Capital of the World,” according to tour operators in Cape Town. Between April and October is the best time to see these magnificent creatures. Divers do not need to be certified because they are enclosed in custom-built cages. And a portion of the proceeds go towards shark research and conservation.
Those who prefer to observe these magnificent creatures from a safe distance can do so from the boat. For less daring animal lovers, tours of seal, dolphin, penguin, and whale watching are also available.
5. Things to Do in Cape Town | Visit the City Hall and the Castle of Good Hope
History buffs can visit two significant historic buildings in central Cape Town within a five-minute walk of each other. Cape Town City Hall, built in 1905, is a striking blend of Italian Neo-Renaissance and British colonial style. The 60-meter-high bell-tower, which included a carillon in 1923, was modelled after Big Ben in London.
The interior features beautiful mosaic floors, a marble staircase, and impressive stained glass. Take note of the balcony overlooking Grand Parade. Where Nelson Mandela, the country’s future president, addressed a jubilant crowd after 27 years in prison in 1990. Music lovers should also try to catch a performance by the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, which is based in Cape Town.
The Castle of Good Hope, located across the street from the Grand Parade, is South Africa’s oldest surviving stone building. It was built between 1666 and 1679 as the Governor’s residence and for the protection of the early settlers. But the castle, which is shaped like a five-pointed star, was never attacked. The William Fehr Collection, which includes paintings, porcelain, fine glass, ceramics. And furniture from the 17th to 19th centuries from South Africa, Europe, and Asia, is a highlight.
A short walk up Longmarket Street from the fort leads to Greenmarket Square. An atmospheric little cobbled plaza with a number of Art Deco buildings as a backdrop. Except for Sunday, shoppers can peruse the small flea market held here every day of the week.
6. Look around the Canal Walk Shopping Center.
Canal Walk, South Africa’s third largest shopping centre, is located in Cape Town’s Century City suburb, just off the N1. There are approximately 400 shops selling everything from clothing to jewellery, homewares to music, and children’s toys.
Wandering around the mall on a rainy afternoon is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. The mall has an opulent atmosphere and is bustling on the inside. There is a movie theatre nearby if you want to see a movie. There are also a variety of dining options. Grab a quick bite at the Food Court or a sit-down meal at one of the mall’s many restaurants.
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