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Cape Town

81 expert recommended attractions

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Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Cape Town 96 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Perfect for anyone who is a nature-lover or in need of open space. — Condé Nast Traveler

Kirstenbosch Gardens is located on the former estate of Cecil John Rhodes, on the eastern slope of Table Mountain — Michelin Guide

Situated on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch is the third-most-visited attraction in Cape Town and is without a doubt one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. — Frommer's

Located a ten-minute drive from central Cape Town, this modern Eden is devoted to indigenous plants, and you'll find about 5,000 of South Africa's botanical species here. — Concierge

The grounds have a tangle of walking trails... like the Bath in the Dell, a wild almond hedge planted by Jan van Riebeeck back in the 1600s, and a lane of gigantic yellowwoods. — Time Out

Cape of Good Hope

Cape Town 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Some 250 species of birds have been spotted here, including cormorants and a family of ostriches that hang out near the Cape of Good Hope, the southwestern-most point of the continent. — Lonely Planet

The vast, beautiful Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve was declared part of the Cape World Heritage Site in 2004. — Time Out

Best known for Cape Point, the farthest tip of the Cape Peninsula, this is an unequivocally striking slither of protected reserve that horns its way into the ocean. — Frommer's

This was our resting spot, the place where the Indian and Atlantic meet, where two birds flew on by without fear of the powerful waves that crashed. — Afar Magazine

Stop at Chapmans Peak, pose with the penguins on Boulders Beach, visit the seaside villages of Scarborough, Kalk Bay, and Simons Town, take the funicular up to the old lighthouse at Cape Point. — Travel + Leisure

Two Oceans Aquarium

Green Point & Waterfront 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

If you don't get a chance to observe the aquatic fauna while diving along the Atlantic or Indian Coasts, this aquarium is an excellent alternative — Michelin Guide

Given Cape Town's close proximity to the meeting place of the Indian and Atlantic oceans, its marine life is a major draw. Species range from sea urchins to ragged-tooth sharks, and... — Condé Nast Traveler

A guaranteed way to swim with sharks is to dive in the tanks at the Two Oceans Aquarium. — Lonely Planet

This aquarium is widely considered one of the finest in the world. Stunning displays reveal the marine life of the warm Indian Ocean and the icy Atlantic. — Fodor's

The most exciting attraction at the Waterfront...from the brightly hued fish found on coral reefs to exhilarating encounters with ragged tooth sharks. — Frommer's

Table Mountain

Cape Town 89 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

There are many trails for hikers to explore Table Mountain, with Cape Town stretching out beneath it — Michelin Guide

Around 600 million years old, and a canvas painted with the rich diversity of the Cape floral kingdom, Table Mountain is truly iconic. — Lonely Planet

This huge, time-sculpted slab of shale, sandstone, and granite that rose from the ocean some 250 million years ago is Cape Town's most instantly recognizable feature — Frommer's

You haven’t truly understood the scope of Cape Town until you’ve ascended Table Mountain and seen the city sprawled below, dwarfed as much by the steep mountain slopes as the huge expanse of ocean and sky — The Telegraph

A 10-minute ride from downtown brings you to the base of Cape Town’s landmark Table Mountain, named for its distinctive flat top. — Travel + Leisure

District Six Museum

City Bowl, Bo-Kaap & De Waterkant 88 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

An excellent and sobering account of the vibrant multicultural neighborhood destroyed under apartheid.  — Atlas Obscura

This Buitenkant Street museum is a tribute to a beloved slum that was knocked down during apartheid. — Condé Nast Traveler

While the exhibits are quite simple... its rendering of actual stories gathered and recorded from people who lived through it all is emotionally captivating. — Frommer's

The District Six Museum provides a chance to explore the old quarter of the same name. — Michelin Guide

It's impossible not to be emotionally touched by this museum which celebrates the once lively multiracial area that was destroyed during apartheid. — Lonely Planet

Robben Island

Cape Town 88 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This Unesco World Heritage site is preserved as a memorial to those such as Nelson Mandela who spent many years incarcerated here. — Lonely Planet

Aside from the heart-wrenching moment when you see the minuscule cell... much of the island tour can feel a touch formulaic. — Frommer's

Today, the on-site museum organizes daily tours of the island that begin with a 30-minute catamaran ride from the Nelson Mandela Gateway. — Travel + Leisure

Robben Island served as a place of isolation and imprisonment for over four centuries, but today it is a World Heritage Site and museum. — Afar Magazine

A bracing ferry trip to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent much of his 27-year sentence, puts South Africa in its historical context. — Condé Nast Traveler

Boulders Beach

Cape Town 89 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Boulders Beach is home to a colony of African penguins, and kids and adults alike delight in watching them flop and frolic on the shore. Don't get too close though—they can bite. — Travel + Leisure

You can swim at either Seaforth Beach or Boulders Beach, which the penguins visit, but the best place to view them is from the raised boardwalk overlooking Foxy Beach. — Frommer's

After swimming in the transparent waters at Boulders Beach, near Foxy Beach, you can observe the large colony of Cape penguins — Michelin Guide

This picturesque area with a number of enormous boulders dividing sandy coves is home to a colony of 2800 delightful African penguins. — Lonely Planet

Cape Town's biggest penguin colony makes its home here in a protected cove, with visitors getting the rare opportunity of swimming alongside them. — Time Out

Iziko South African National Gallery

Gardens & Surrounds 88 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

African and European masters are on display in the permanent collection at South Africa's finest art venue, set amid the greenery of the lovely Company's Gardens. — Travel + Leisure

The permanent collection dedicates space to... art spanning the centuries, interspersed with traditional African beadwork and contemporary South African works. — Time Out

The gallery owns an enormous body of work... there's always something provocative—whether it's documentary photographs or a multimedia exhibit. — Fodor's

Attention is given to showing off a broad cross-section of art from the south of Africa, going both back in time and across genres. — Frommer's

We’d recommend the South African National Gallery, which features an outstanding collection of work by African, British, and Flemish artists. — Condé Nast Traveler

Groot Constantia

Cape Town 87 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The wine-growing estate of Groot Constantia was originally part of a much larger domain, created in the late 17C by the governor of the Cape on land granted by the Dutch East Indies Company — Michelin Guide

The enormous complex enjoys the status of a national monument and is by far the most commercial and touristy of the wineries. — Fodor's

Simon van der Stel’s manor house, a superb example of Cape Dutch architecture, is maintained as a museum at Groot Constantia. — Lonely Planet

The oldest winery in South Africa, Groot Constantia has a long history of producing some of the best wines in the world. — Afar Magazine

Through the years, the estate's wines have tickled the palates of kings and conquerors and had poets and authors waxing lyrical about their ambrosial eminence. — Time Out

Castle of Good Hope

City Bowl, Bo-Kaap & De Waterkant 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

A pentagonal fortress typical of the Dutch defense system adopted in the early 17th century... the oldest surviving building in South Africa. — Frommer's

Considered the oldest colonial building in South Africa, the Castle of Good Hope was built by the Dutch East Indies Company in the late 17C according to a star plan inspired by Vauban's constructions — Michelin Guide

Built by the Dutch between 1666 and 1679 to defend Cape Town, this stone-walled pentagonal castle remains the headquarters for the Western Cape military command. — Lonely Planet

Despite its name, the castle isn't the fairy-tale fantasy type but rather a squat fortress that hunkers down as if to avoid shellfire. — Fodor's

The military museum showcases several impressive pieces, interspersed with display cases. — Time Out

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Company's Gardens

East City Corridor 84 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

As old as Cape Town itself, this historic park dates back to the earliest European settlers in the 1650s. — Travel + Leisure

One of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets is also a great place to seek relief from a sweltering summer day if the beach is packed. — Fodor's

Plants from the four corners of the world are grown here. — Michelin Guide

These shady green gardens, which started as the vegetable patch for the Dutch East India Company, are a lovely place to relax. — Lonely Planet

A symbolic bell silently stands testimony to the slaves who tilled and toiled away in what was once a veggie garden providing sustenance for scurvy-stricken sailors. — Time Out

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South African Jewish Museum

Gardens & Surrounds 82 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Housed in the Old Synagogue—South Africa's first synagogue, built in 1863—this museum lies adjacent to the Cape Town Holocaust Centre and spans 150 years. — Fodor's

On the top floor are exquisite Judaic artefacts such as a solid silver replica of the Kimberley Synagogue; you can also discover interesting titbits about the diamond rush and ostrich feather boom. — Time Out

Opened by Nelson Mandela in 2000, this architecturally astonishing museum -- like the nearby District Six Museum -- celebrates the history of a particular South African community. — Frommer's

Home to not only to this imaginatively designed museum but also the the functioning and beautifully decorated Great Synagogue. — Lonely Planet

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Clifton Beaches

Sea Point & Camps Bay 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Giant granite boulders break up the four beaches at Clifton... they're almost always sheltered from the wind, they offer top sunbathing spots. — Lonely Planet

Clifton is actually made up of four beaches: the inventively named Clifton 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. These are Cape Town's most popular beaches, filled with sun-seekers in the summer months. — Travel + Leisure

The tropics in Clifton? You could almost believe it from the nearly white sand and the turquoise sea lined with granite blocks that give these beaches an air of paradise — Michelin Guide

Some of the Cape's most desirable houses cling to the slopes above the beach, and elegant yachts often anchor in the calm water beyond the breakers. — Fodor's

The four beaches of Clifton (named 1st through 4th) on the Atlantic coastline are impossibly beautiful. — Condé Nast Traveler

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Klein Constantia

Southern Suburbs 80 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

If you've never tasted Constantia, a favourite of Napoleon, head for the Klein Constantia wine-growing estate which started producing it again in 1980 — Michelin Guide

Creating their beguiling range of wine that is served in some of the top restaurants in the world. — Time Out

Klein... means "small" in Afrikaans and indicates the relative size of this portion of Simon van der Stel's original 17th-century Constantia estate. — Fodor's

Klein Constantia is one of the oldest vineyards on the Cape, established in 1685 by then Governor Simon van der Stel. — Afar Magazine

Famous for its Vin de Constance, a deliciously sweet muscat wine... worth visiting for its excellent tasting room and informative displays. — Lonely Planet

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Table Mountain Aerial Cableway

Cape Town 80 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Meander along the pathways leading to the various jaw-dropping vantage points for views of Table Bay, Robben Island and Cape Point. — Time Out

The rotating cable car whisked us up to the flat top of the mountain, where a small restaurant and warm visitor shop are located. — Afar Magazine

The views from the revolving car and the summit are phenomenal. — Lonely Planet

This is a slick operation. Two large, wheelchair-friendly revolving cars that provide spectacular views take three to five minutes to reach the summit. — Fodor's

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Boulders Penguin Colony

Cape Town 79 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Watch as they waddle about, wade in the choppy water and play peekaboo from their twiggy burrows. — Time Out

Some 3km southeast of Simon’s Town, this picturesque area, with enormous boulders dividing small, sandy coves, is home to a colony of 2100 delightful African penguins. — Lonely Planet

This African beach is home to thousands of rare mainland penguins that are known for their annoying voice.  — Atlas Obscura

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Cape Point

Cape Town 78 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

A requisite on every Cape Town visitor's itinerary should be the half-day Cape Peninsula drive, taking in the beaches of Muizenberg, quaint seaside hamlets of Kalk Bay and Simon's Town. — Condé Nast Traveler

Cape Point is a dramatic knife's edge of rock that slices into the Atlantic. — Fodor's

The Cape Point Nature Reserve is filled with countless hiking trails ranging from a few hours to a few days long. — Travel + Leisure

You could spend the entire day just getting there and still not see all you want (and traffic has increased ten-fold in recent years), so plan your trip carefully based on your interests. — The Telegraph

When visiting Cape Point, it's important to remember to keep a safe distance, lock car doors and shut car windows, and generally treat them like the wild animals they are. — Afar Magazine

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Greenmarket Square

City Bowl, Bo-Kaap & De Waterkant 77 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

For more than a century this cobbled square served as a forum for public announcements, including the 1834 declaration abolishing slavery. — Fodor's

Note the magnificent buildings all around the square with Art Deco and Art Nouveau façades. — Michelin Guide

Hosts a lively and colourful crafts and souvenir market daily. — Lonely Planet

If you're looking to stock up on some cheap souvenirs—ostrich eggs, beaded giraffes, and printed fabrics—this is the place to go. Just make sure you bring your bargaining skills. — Travel + Leisure

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St. George's Cathedral

City Bowl, Bo-Kaap & De Waterkant 77 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Even if you're not religious, this beautiful Victorian structure inspires a bit of silence and contemplation about the human condition. — Time Out

It was in this Anglican cathedral that Desmond Tutu led the congregation in worship. — Michelin Guide

Commonly known as the People’s Cathedral, this was one of the few places of worship that was open to people of all races during apartheid. — Lonely Planet

This stunning cathedral was once the religious seat of one of the most recognizable faces—and voices—in the fight against apartheid, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. — Fodor's

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Rhodes Memorial

Southern Suburbs 77 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The classical-style granite memorial sits high on the slopes of Devil's Peak, on part of Rhodes's old estate, Groote Schuur. — Fodor's

The 49 steps, one for each year of Rhodes’ life, are flanked by pairs of proud lions; the top provides sweeping vistas to the Cape Flats and the mountain ranges beyond. — Lonely Planet

Rhodes Memorial sits on the foothills of Devil’s Peak and is a beautiful monument to one of Cape Town’s most famous businessmen, Cecil John Rhodes. — Afar Magazine

This grandiose shrine, dedicated to imperialist Cecil John Rhodes, was built on his favourite lookout point in 1912, two years after his death. — Time Out

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