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Cape Town

80 expert recommended attractions

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Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Cape Town 94 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Landscape gardens feature numerous varieties of flora from the Cape Floral Kingdom — National Geographic

Spectacular in each season, these world-famous gardens showcase stunning South African flora in a magnificent setting. — Fodor'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

The Cape Peninsula is one of the world’s six Floral Kingdoms, home to thousands of plants found nowhere else in the world. — Travel + Leisure

District Six Museum

City Bowl, Bo-Kaap & De Waterkant 91 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This award-winning community museum lays bare the time in South African history when the ruling government declared District Six a 'whites only' area. — Time Out

Housed in the Buitenkant Methodist Church, this museum preserves the memory of one of Cape Town's most vibrant multicultural neighborhoods. — Fodor's

As time passes and memories fade we all would do well to make the effort to remember. — Afar Magazine

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

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

Robben Island

Cape Town 91 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Made famous by its most illustrious inhabitant, Nelson Mandela... it is finally filling a positive, enlightening, and empowering role in its latest incarnation as a museum. — Fodor's

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

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

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

For nearly 400 years the island served as a place of banishment - not just for supposed criminals but also for many other unwanted members of society, including lepers. — Time Out

Iziko South African National Gallery

Gardens & Surrounds 90 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

Features a wide range of African, French, English and Flemish works of art. — Michelin Guide

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

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

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

Two Oceans Aquarium

Green Point & Waterfront 87 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

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

This underwater wonderland offers some of the most bizarre sea life you might ever care to meet... the I&J Predator Tank is the undisputed pièce de résistance,. — Time Out

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

You'll find separate galleries for Atlantic and Indian Ocean animals, and you can interact with penguins and—if you have scuba certification—dive in the predator tank alongside the ragged-tooth sharks — Travel + Leisure

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

Cape of Good Hope

Cape Town 86 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

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

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

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Company's Gardens

East City Corridor 86 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

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

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

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

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

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

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Table Mountain

Cape Town 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

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. A candidate for... — Frommer's

Table Mountain truly is one of southern Africa's most beautiful and impressive natural wonders. — Fodor'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

Most tourists opt to take the cable cars up to the summit (departures are dependent on wind and weather conditions, so keep your plans flexible), while the truly adventurous might hike up. — Condé Nast Traveler

Boulders Beach

Cape Town 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This series of small coves lies among giant granite boulders on the southern outskirts of Simon's Town. — Fodor's

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

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

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

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

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South African Jewish Museum

Gardens & Surrounds 84 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

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

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

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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Groot Constantia

Cape Town 82 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

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

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

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

Groot Constantia has become an essential stop for a mix of history and wine-tasting. — Frommer's

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Castle of Good Hope

City Bowl, Bo-Kaap & De Waterkant 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

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

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

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

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

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Table Mountain Aerial Cableway

Cape Town 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

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

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

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

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Cape Point

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

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

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

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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Boulders Penguin Colony

Cape Town 80 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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Greenmarket Square

City Bowl, Bo-Kaap & De Waterkant 78 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

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

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

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St. George's Cathedral

City Bowl, Bo-Kaap & De Waterkant 78 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

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

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

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

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

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Rhodes Memorial

Southern Suburbs 78 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

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

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

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

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Clifton Beaches

Sea Point & Camps Bay 78 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 four beaches of Clifton (named 1st through 4th) on the Atlantic coastline are impossibly beautiful. — Condé Nast Traveler

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

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Michaelis Collection at the Iziko Old Town House

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

A beautiful example of urban Cape Dutch architecture, the Old Town House is now home to the extensive Michaelis Collection. — Fodor's

Dutch and Flemish paintings and etchings from the 16th and 17th centuries (including works by Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Anthony van Dyck) hang side by side with contemporary works. — Lonely Planet

The Cape Dutch style of Old Town House, the setting for these masterpieces, was inspired by 17C Dutch architecture. — Michelin Guide

The first two-storey building ever to grace Cape Town's cityscape, this ornate 1761 Cape Rococo-style construction must have elicited quite a few oohs and aahs back in the day. — Time Out

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    16 museums and galleries
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    11 parks, gardens and outdoor attractions
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