Your Weekend Guide to Cape Town, South Africa
Hiking, beaches, markets, sunsets and craft beer - what more could you wish for?
We’re of the strong (and possibly slightly biased) opinion that when it comes to natural wonders, you can’t do much better than beautiful Cape Town. Cramming the immense number of activities that this wonderful city has to offer into one short weekend is definitely a tricky task, but we’ve done the hard part for you and outlined the best way to fit in all the Capetonian highlights in just a few days. If you like hiking, beaches, markets, sunsets and craft beer (who doesn’t?) then this is the itinerary for you.
Start your weekend off with a bang – take a trip to spectacular Cape Point, the Southernmost tip of Africa, and the spot where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. If you can drag yourself out of bed early enough, try and make it there for sunrise – any drowsiness you might be feeling as you climb the short, steep hill to the lighthouse will instantly fade away as you watch the sun peek over the spectacular cliffs beneath you.
After you’ve had your fill of Cape Point goodness, head to nearby Boulders Beach, where you can get up close and personal (we’re talking close enough for selfie-snapping) with the resident colony of African penguins. For lunch, head to nearby Muizenberg Beach, a favourite with surfers and tourists alike and famed for its colourful beach huts. Prepare yourself for what might be the best falafel you’ve ever eaten at Yoffi Falafel,, which you can munch as you watch the waves roll in.
When you’ve filled your belly, head for the world-famous Chapman's Peak Drive, a winding, 9 km long coastal road carved into a mountain face. If you’re feeling up to it, you can take a hike, otherwise, just kick back, enjoy the scenery, and wait for the sun to sink down into the ocean from one of the many pull-outs along the drive.
If you’re up for a big night out, head back into the city and hit up Beerhouse, aptly named for its selection of over 100 different craft beers. You can progress from here to nearby Long St, Cape Town’s party hub.
Start your morning off slowly with a visit to Cape Town’s best weekend market, the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock. Spend your morning sipping coffee/craft beer/cider and filling yourself with delicious foods while you browse through vintage clothes and jewellery stalls with the coolest crowds in Cape Town.
After this, it’s time to tackle Cape Town’s most famous icon: spectacular Table Mountain. If you’re up for a hike, you can take one of the many routes up the mountain, which vary in difficulty from the relatively tame Platteklip Gorge to the challenging scramble route of Kloof Corner. If you’re not, you can hop in the Aerial Cable Car to the mountaintop, where endless and incomparable ocean, mountain and city views await.
If you opt out of hiking Table Mountain, consider an afternoon walk on the nearby Pipe Track. This mostly flat out-and-back route snakes along the front side of the mountain, offering walkers views over glitzy Camps Bay and the Atlantic Seaboard.
After this, take a short drive over to Signal Hill, where you can find yourself a spot to sit and watch the sun go down.
Rise nice and early (at least 1.5 hours before sunrise) and take a hike up Lion’s Head. This short and sweet hike is a favorite among Capetonians, and is definitely our pick of Cape Town’s array of fantastic climbs. Make the climb in the dark and you’ll be treated to what may just be the best sunrise of your life – after all, how often do you get to watch the sun come up from the top of a mountain?
Midway through your descent, take a short detour to check out Wally’s Cave, where you can snap some awesome photos of Table Mountain in the early morning light. All this before 9AM!
When you’ve made it back down to sea-level, head to nearby Origin Coffee in trendy De Waterkant for some of Cape Town’s best coffee and a hearty, post-hike breakfast.
Spend the rest of your afternoon soaking up Cape Town’s pristine beaches in Clifton or Camps Bay, but be warned – even in the height of summer, the water here is ICY! If you’re not keen on swimming in arctic temperatures, take a picnic, catch some rays, or join a game of beach volleyball.
If you’ve still got some energy, take a quick drive to the Seapoint Promenade. This 3.5 km-long paved waterfront walkway is busy at every hour of the day, with joggers, walkers, and sunset-watchers enjoying the ocean views. Either take a walk or stake out a bench with good views, and enjoy the magic of one last Cape Town sunset.
This is really just a quick sample of the many wonderful things that you can fill a weekend in Cape Town with - if in doubt, head out and explore the diverse array of amazing activities and adventures that this city has to offer. Enjoy!
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.