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Things to do in Cape Town

Best attractions to visit in Cape Town

1. District 6 Cape Town - Cape Town

District 6 Cape Town

A trip to the District 6 museum is one of the best things to do in Cape Town if you wish to explore the rich historical heritage of this city. The museum was built to serve as a memorial to the events that took place in the apartheid era and to preserve the history and culture of District 6 before it was destroyed from the face of the earth. District 6 was the sixth municipal district of Cape Town, originally established as a peaceful mixed community of merchants, freed slaves, labourers, immigrants and artisans in the year 1867. It was a beautiful and vibrant centre that had close links to the city and its port. However, the process of marginalization and removals began in the early twentieth century when black South Africans were forcefully displaced in the year 1901. And during the 70’s, under the apartheid regime, more than 60,000 of the inhabitants of District 6 had to relocate to barren outlying areas, the Cape Flats. Houses and shops were then flattened and removed by bulldozers. To preserve the great memories of the vibrant centre, the District 6 Museum Foundation was established, showcasing an impressive and wide collection of historical materials including paintings, physical remains such as street signs and artifacts.

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2. Constantiaberg Mountain - Cape Town

Constantiaberg Mountain

Constantiaberg Mountain is a whalebacked mountain that is part of the Cape Peninsula in South Africa. It is located about 7 km from Table Mountain and is approximately 920 meters high, and is one of the most recommended things to do in Cape Town. The mountain makes up the range with Devil’s Peak as well along with sandstones dominating the southern side of the Cape Flats. The eastern slopes of the mountain are fringed with gum and pine trees of the Tokai forest and offer visitors a number of hiking trails. Gravel roads are used to harvest the trees and the trails also offer mountain biking and running options if they wish to exercise. If you want to be amazed by the amazing scenery that Hout Bay offers, then you will need to trek up to the west side of the slopes of the mountain. However, getting to the top will be well worth the effort and for more than just the scenery. Constantiaberg is home to several species of bird and plant species and is particularly known for the biome which cannot be found anywhere else. This includes other endangered vegetation that is native to Cape Town only. In fact, they cannot be found anywhere else in the world making the mountain a haven for botanists.

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3. St. George's Cathedral, Cape Town - Cape Town

St George s Cathedral Cape Town

St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town was designed by Sir Herbert Baker and was famously led by the Archbishop, Desmond Tutu. The cathedral still stands as a testament to the democracy in South Africa. Besides soul lifting music and bell ringers, it stands as a monument to the forces against the apartheid regime making it a must visit for history buffs and for everyone looking for things to do in Cape Town. Known as the oldest Anglican cathedral in the town, the church is located in Wale Street and if you want to hear the music that its bells and choir are famous for, then you should definitely pop in during Sunday mass. The tradition of Evensong has been a recurring one since 1857 and this includes performances paying homage to classical greats such as Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert. To get to the cathedral, head to the corner of Adderley which is located in Government Avenue in the centre of Cape Town.

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4. Afrikaans Language Monument - Cape Town

Afrikaans Language Monument

The Afrikaans Language Monument is based on Paarl Mountain and offers a blast to the past for tourists and residents alike. Erected in 1975 it represents the influence of several languages some of which include English, French, Malay, Dutch along with some indigenous African languages that contributed to the development of the nation. Tourists can take advantage of the available tours on offer but these are available as pre-bookings only. In addition, the Volksmond Coffee Shop is an ideal location for a light Sunday lunch, family time and a spectacular view of the Winelands. You can also buy picnic baskets while enjoying the amazing view along with the famous exotic garden that also offers a convenient access point to biking and hiking trails on the mountain. One of the most popular attractions are the full moon picnics and stargazing in the evenings during the Summers. Visitors to the monument also have access to two amphitheatres which accommodate both public and private events, so make sure that you do add a visit over here to your list of things to do in Cape Town.

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5. Walkers Bay - Cape Town

Walkers Bay

Walker’s bay is situated in the Western Cape province in South Africa and is considered to be the second major bay. It is particularly famous for its spectacular land-based whale watching tours that can be viewed from the shores of the Hermanus. Most of the species are the Southern Right whales and if you want to catch more than a glimpse of them then the best time to visit the area is during the winter and the spring. In fact, you can also go diving for Great Whites if you like to walk on the wild side. The tours are quite safe since they are spearheaded by trained and experienced guides, and you should definitely add this place to your list of things to do in Cape Town. The shores opposite to Walkers Bay also boast a Nature Reserve and the bay itself is protected so you won’t be able to fish there. It is basically a haven for naturalists and wildlife enthusiasts but you can also have fun watching the whales as they frolic in their natural environment. The tours are available in New Harbour in Hermanus and departure time is from 3 to 4 each day. However, the times may change according to the weather conditions and the time of the year so plan your trip wisely.

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6. Table View Cape Town - Cape Town

Table View Cape Town

Table View lies in the north of the city’s centre and across the Rietvlei wetlands. This makes it an ideal spot for bird species some which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The location is particularly popular with families and boasts a vibrant community of friendly locals and the beachfront features a number of apartment blocks and several entertainment venues that you are sure to enjoy with friends. This includes a number of gorgeous beaches that boast every kind of amenity that can make your vacation in Table View a memorable one. So make sure that you definitely add this to your list of things to do in Cape Town. Some of the outdoor activities you can be privy to include the local racing circuit which is located at Killarney. Sailing and waterskiing are also available if you want to have a seafaring adventure and this includes kite surfing and regular surfing. Beaches such as the Big Bay and Dolphin Beach are tourist favorites with activities such as surfing, swimming and paddle skiing on offer. If you just want to catch some rays and get a good summer tan then these beaches are perfect for you. Just sit back, relax and book your trip to this tropical paradise today.

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7. Hout Bay Museum - Cape Town

Hout Bay Museum

The Hout Bay Museum is located at the Andrews Road and gives visitors a unique look at the cultural and natural history of the bay harking back to the prehistoric age. The area’s mining , forestry and fishing industries are also explored in the museum which can be found near the tourist office of the bay just off the main road. Besides the area’s industry, the Hout Bay Museum tracks the history of the location from 1652 onwards and particularly how it grew into a thriving fishing village. There is a wealth of information about the bay to be discovered in the museum and which history buffs can appreciate for themselves by exploring it. The museum also boasts a garden which features some of the local flora some of which are also medicinal in nature. If you are lucky you can get the chance to go on weekly guides and nature walks around the mountains which the staff arrange regularly. If you just want a blast from the past then you can visit the museum Monday to Friday; it is closed during public holidays and weekends though so best plan accordingly. Contact the personnel regarding tours to save time, because this is amongst the absolute must-do things to do in Cape Town.

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8. Grand Parade Cape Town - Cape Town

Grand Parade Cape Town

The Grand Parade in Cape Town is a prime location to discover the area’s rich history. Built by the Dutch in 1652, the grounds were notorious for the slave drives that were conducted there but it is particularly famous for being a platform for Nelson Mandela’s first address to the nation after his 27 years incarceration. The address was conducted from the balcony of the Old Town Hall and the grounds are also used for a market and parking space. In front of the Grand Parade lies City Hall which is popularly used for concerts as well as cultural events. The square of the Grand Parade is also surrounded by several notable buildings such as the Castle of Good Hope, the City Hall and the railway station of Cape Town. Mostly used as a marketplace, it is also a major spot for most political rallies. The location also underwent a major renovation before it became the venue for the FIFA World Cup back in 2010 so if you are a football fan then you are in for a treat when you visit. Plan your trip according to the events and the things to do in Cape Town and you will definitely have a rip roaring time whether you are with friends or family.

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9. Karbonkelberg - Cape Town

Karbonkelberg

Karbonkelberg is a beautiful peak that is in Cape Town, South Africa and is a part of the Table Mountain National Park. The place is considered to be an important landmark by the locals, and one can see the harbor at Hout Bay from its top. The topography of Karbonkelberg is unique because the winds blow up the sand on the peak, which makes it look like a dune. The locals as well as tourists make use of the structure of the place and surf down from here on their sheets and boards. Karbonkelberg has the Table Mountain National Park in the north, which consists of the lower table mountain and the Orangekloof nature reserve. Furthermore, it is surrounded by the Sentinel Mountains, the Kapteins' Peak, and the Atlantic and the Little Lions Heads (Klein Leeukop). The place is an important spot for outdoor junkies, as they visit for trekking and hiking. Not only this, Karbonkelberg is also often visited by adventurous mountain bikers, who love to explore the natural beauty that surrounds them. So don’t forget to visit the Karbonkelberg the next time you are visiting and looking for things to do in Cape Town, South Africa.

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10. Steenbras Dam - Cape Town

Steenbras Dam

The Streenbras Dam is a beautiful place in South Africa. Tourists can easily reach the place by crossing the Hottentots-Holland Mountains that is located above the Gordon Bay. For the longest time the place was used as a reservoir, but currently, it is the only damn that provides water to the whole city. The place has a hydroelectric plant and in the year 1979, the place started playing a role in providing electricity to the city. The Steenbras Dam was built in the year 1929 and is earth filled. It covers an area of 380ha and was named after steenbras, which is a fish that is found in South Africa. The sediment load of the place is not a lot, which is the reason why it supplies high-quality water. Currently, the government of Cape Town is taking measures to increase the capacity of the dam, for which they will be raising the wall and will strengthen it too. Make sure you visit the Steenbras Dam the next time you are in Cape Town.

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