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Tranquility Cracks, Table Mountain

Table Mountain National Park

Photo Caption: Do you know where this is? This is one of the most secluded and difficult places to find on Table Mountain. Even if you are standing with a GPS right in front of it, you might still miss it. Any ideas?

Can you see the shape of Africa? Try flipping your phone upside down. To learn more about this location check out our website. Link in bio. 📷 @lisolette_d #tablemountainview #lionshead #lionsheadct #whereistablemountain #tablemountainnationalpark #hikingsouthafrica #campsbay #yogapose #secretcapetown #guesswhere #guesswherecapetown #travel #southafrica #travelgram #africa #hiking

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There are many hidden gems in Table Mountain. One of which is a series of interlinking deep and narrow slits and fractures between rocks called the Tranquility Cracks. The Tranquility Cracks are considered one of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets. This labyrinth of corridors filled with indigenous Yellowwood trees is not visible from the outside, making it more difficult to find. But once inside, you can have fun squeezing through the narrow corridors. There are several passages and interesting viewpoints to find.

The Tranquility Cracks is situated approximately halfway along the Twelve Apostles Spine route. There are a number of trails to reach this surprising hidden wonderland, but the easiest and safest is via Corridor Ravine. The trail begins on the Pipe Track above Camps Bay and ascends the Corridor Ravine. Once you reach the top, turn left toward the Tranquility Cracks.

The hike to Tranquility Cracks provides some of the most beautiful views of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Camps Bay. In addition, the tranquility and serenity of this secret place makes it a perfect spot to relax on a warm sunny day and to enjoy a picnic while appreciating one of the best views in Cape Town.

The Tranquility Cracks are definitely worth exploring and it makes for an excellent destination for a hike on Table Mountain.

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Hiking Groups In Cape Town

Cape Town, Western Cape

Photo Caption: Can you #guesswhere this photo was taken from? You need to know #capetown pretty well, but the clue is in the distinctive mountain peak….

Looking for people to go hiking with or trying to get outdoors more often? Read our latest post on the top 5 hiking groups in Cape Town.  📷 by Dibert Theron from @unsplash. #mountain #hiking #capetownhiking #12appostles #secretcapetown #guesswherecapetown #mountainview

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top 5 hiking groups in cape town Llandudno Tim Johnson
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Top Five Hiking Groups in Cape Town

Some things are just more fun when you do it with a group of people. And when it comes to hiking, it is also much safer in a group. Joining a hiking group is also a great way to meet new people. Nature lovers in Cape Town unite almost every weekend to explore the many wonders found a mere stone’s throw away from central Cape Town.

Fun Hiking Groups in Cape Town

Whether you are looking for a challenging hike, or simply a leisurely stroll, one of these hiking groups in Cape Town will have the right partners that will want to explore with you. If none of the options below catch your fancy, there are some more niche hiking groups in Cape Town on meetup.com.

https://www.meetup.com/topics/hiking/za/cape_town/

#1 Meridian Hiking Group

meridian.org.za

This is a great option for a family-orientated hike. The Meridian Hiking Group was founded in 1989 and over the years it has remained an exclusive group of passionate hikers. At the moment, the group consists of just over 200 members. Although exclusive, they are always willing to welcome a new hiking enthusiast.

Based in Cape Town, they regularly arrange free hikes you can join, as well as scheduled weekends away and special conservation activities. Fill in the membership form to join and keep an eye on their calendar to stay in the loop with upcoming weekend trail hikes.

hiking-groups-12-apostels-cape-town

Photo by Christian Perner

#2 Cape Union Mart Hiking Club

cumhike.co.za

This group is great for all fitness levels. You can choose the hiking intensity level according to what you feel comfortable with. Joining the Cape Union Mart Hiking Club is a great way to systematically challenge yourself to attempt more advanced hikes. They schedule more than 120 hikes a year, each fascilitated by one of their 20 experienced hike leaders.

Founded in 1991 they have just over 300 dedicated members. They schedule both weekday and weekend hikes. From a simple stroll in the fresh air, to a challenging hike that will leave you huffing and puffing, you will find something to fit your mood. Bookings can be made via their website or a direct email.

hiking groups-cape-town-kloof-corner-steps-path-tim-johnson-unsplash

Photo by Tim Johnson

#3 Mountain Club of South Africa

mcsacapetown.co.za

This countrywide organisation caters for people passionate about all things outdoors. From hiking, to rock climbing and bouldering, to mountaineering. By joining the organisation, you will gain access to exclusive hiking opportunities. The Cape Town Section was founded in 1891. They host over 200 activities each year, ranging from basic to advance hiking trails.

The MCSA is a non-profit organisation, dedicated to offering nature lovers access to the best hiking opportunities across the country. The Cape Town Section is the oldest club. Visit their website for more information about the process to become a member.

#4 Table Mountain Treks and Tours

tablemountaintrekstours.com

Unfortunately, each year there are numerous hiking accidents on Table Mountain. With its convenient access, situated in the heart of the city, many people misjudge the intensity of the hikes. There are various trails leading up the mountain, ranging from beginner to advance routes.

If you are a hiking novice, it’s best to join a group of hikers with a professional guide. Table Mountain Treks and Tours offer tours up Table Mountain, as well as other nearby hiking spots. These include Hoerikwaggo Trail, Lion’s Head, Platteklip Gorge, India Venster, Maclear’s Beacon and Echo Valley, Kasteelspoort, Skeleton Gorge, Devil’s Peak, Chapman’s Peak, Shipwreck Trail, and Noordhoek Peak. You can also schedule a private tour with them to other Western Cape areas.

lionshead-dusy-hiking-cape-town

Photo by Crystal Mah

#5 Hiking Cape Town

Hiking Cape Town Facebook Group

This is by far one of the most popular hiking groups in Cape Town, with over 6 000 members. Hikers of all fitness levels are welcome to join. Explore the mountains and rivers of the amazing Mother City with fellow nature lovers.

Hiking Cape Town hosts regular planned hikes. But you can keep an eye on the Facebook group for more spontaneously organised hikes as well.

Tips for Hiking in Cape Town

Firstly, Cape Town is infamous for offering you four seasons in one day. So always make sure you are prepared for almost any type of weather. Even in high summer, there can suddenly be a chill in the air from the wind factor. Especially when you reach the top of Table Mountain, 1 085m above sea level.

  • Never hike alone. If possible, aim for at least a group of four people.
  • Make sure you pick a route that is suitable for the fitness level, experience, and ability of the whole group.
  • Inform someone of your hiking schedule for the day, including routes and the time you expect to return.
  • Be prepared for bad weather. Take weatherproof clothing along, torches, proper hiking shoes, enough water, flask with warm beverage, and a big rucksack to fit everything so that your hands and arms are free at all times.
  • It’s best if someone in the group is familiar with the route. Alternatively, take a paper map or guidebook along. Don’t assume you can rely on cell phone signal.
  • Stick to the straightforward and well-used paths. If possible, rather use the same route back down, especially on your first hike on a new route. Don’t ignore danger signs and resist the urge to take short cuts through unfamiliar ravines.
  • Before starting your hike, decide who is the leader for the day. This is crucial for bigger groups.
  • Stick together and strike a pace that everyone is comfortable with. Don’t split up, even if the pace is slower than you prefer.
  • Keep a close eye on the weather and the time. Rather turn back if the weather starts changing suddenly, or if the route becomes too tedious for someone in the group to complete.
  • When you safely arrive back home, remember to tell the person you informed of your hike.

 

hiking-table-mountain-groups-cape-town-dibert

Photo by Dibert Theron

 

Emergency Numbers:

Emergency Services: 021 480 7700

Table Mountain National Park Security: 0861 106 417

General Emergency Services Number: 10177.

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Wally’s Cave on Lion’s Head

Secret Cape Town

Photo Caption: There are a number of amazing caves and ledges that look out onto #tablemountain. Can you #guesswhere this one is in this epic photo by 📷 @picstagramms (Definitely one of the best sunrise hikes 😍 ) #guesswherecapetown #secretcapetown #capehiking #hikethecape #hiking #capetown #tablemountainview #canyouspottablemountain #whereistablemountain

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Lion’s head is not only one of the most iconic landmarks in Cape Town, it is also one of the most-visited hiking spots. Its magnificent views of the ocean, Camp’s Bay, and the renowned Table Mountain draws people from all walks of life. It has a number of hidden caves, the most popular of which is Wally’s Cave.

Wally’s Cave was once a secret spot on Lion’s Head. But the circular cave mouth with its breathtaking view of Table Mountain now draws hikers and adventure seekers like moths to a flame. Hikers go to Wally’s Cave at sunrise or sunset to take an epic silhouette shot with the mouth of the cave as a frame and Table Mountain as the perfect backdrop. The cave is sheltered and was named after a British-born honorary scout, Wally Struthers, who made it his mission to build up water pools and sheltered caves on the mountain.

secret cape town

Photo credit: @stormcloud06

To get to Wally’s Cave, you have to deviate from the main Lion’s Head trail. Take a left detour just before the first ladders and follow a well-trodden path until you reach the cave. But the Table Mountain National Park has closed the illegal access trail to Wally’s Cave after the death of a hiker. The increasing number of visitors has caused major erosion which has led to a high risk of falling rocks. For the safety of the hikers, Wally’s Cave is temporarily closed at the moment. Contact the South African National Parks for updates on the situation.

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Silvermine Nature Reserve

Secret Cape Town

Photo Caption: This beautiful dam lies at the top of a mountain right in the heart of #capetown. It has amazing hiking, trail running, dog walking and swimming opportunities. You’ll often find triathletes training in its waters and if you are lucky you might even spot some black eagles. #capetownliving #secretcapetown #guesswherecapetown #guesswhere #tablemountainnationalpark
Repost from @theo_erlangsen 📷 @angus Thompson

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The Silvermine Nature Reserve which forms part of the Table Mountain National Park is a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike. The reserve covers the section of the Cape Peninsula mountain range from the Kalk Bay mountains through to Constantiaberg. It got its name from the Silvermine River which starts in the reserve and runs to Clovelly.

It is not only an important conservation area for indigenous fynbos plants, it is also a popular place for walking, hiking, caving, rock climbing, mountain biking, and bird watching. One of the fun things to do in the reserve is to take a short and easy hike to the Elephant’s eye. There are also great rock climbing routes on the Muizenberg Peak for the thrill seekers. For those who enjoy mountain biking, the best trails are situated on the west side of the reserve. There are also several picnic and braai areas in the reserve for you to enjoy with your family and friends.

secret cape town

Photo credit: @natejweber

Located on the North side of the reserve, is the Silvermine reservoir, built in 1898 to supply water to Cape Town. The dam is considered by many as the main attraction of the reserve. It is a relaxing and beautiful spot for a picnic and a braai. People also enjoy taking a dip in the cool fresh water and a leisurely stroll on the wheelchair-accessible boardwalk around the dam.

Just a few minutes away from the city center, the Silvermine Nature Reserve is definitely the perfect place to unwind and take a short break from city life.

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Lion’s Head

Secret Cape Town

Photo taken at: Cape Town, Western Cape

Photo Caption: Where can you stand and feel like you’re on top of the world in Cape Town? Breathtaking 360 degrees views of the city. #amazingcapetown #ilovecpt #secretcapetown #guesswhere #guesswherecapetown #capetown

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Between Table Mountain and Signal Hill is a mountain called Lion’s Head, which resembles a proud lion overlooking the city of Cape Town. It is part of the Table Mountain National Park and considered one of the most popular hiking destinations in Cape Town. It offers stunning views of Camps Bay, the Atlantic, Table Mountain, Twelve Apostles, Sea Point, Signal Hill and the City Bowl.

Lion’s Head peaks at 669 meters above sea level and it’s about an hour and a half of relatively easy hiking to the top. The hike starts at the car park on Signal Hill Road. Follow the trail which circles around the mountain to get to the top. The hike is easy up until the point just before you reach the summit. To reach the summit, a fair amount of climbing is required. Luckily a series of chains and steel ladders were installed to assist you with the ascend and descend. Along the way you will also see epic paragliding launch sites.

secret cape town

Photo Credit: @emilesnyman

The name was given to it by the Dutch in the 17th century, they called it Leeuwen Kop (Lion’s Head). Signal Hill used to be called Leeuwen Staart (Lion’s Tail) – the two together reminded the first Dutch settlers of a crouching lion.

Hike up in the morning for a breathtaking sunrise or in the afternoon to experience a world famous Cape Town sunset. If you feel really brave, try the full moon hike and witness the amazing view of the sun setting over the sea and the moon rising over the mountains. Without a doubt, Lion’s Head is a big favourite of both locals and tourists who love a good hike and stunning panoramic views. Remember to bring your camera  for an unforgettable photo!

Top 10 V&A Waterfront

Top 10 Things to Do at the V&A Waterfront

Top 10 V&A Waterfront

Each year over 23 million people visit the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront. The complex features more than 450 retail stores. But it’s so much more than just a shopping mall, it’s also a working harbour with small boats and big container ships meandering in and out. And a big entertainment hub.

Stepping into the V&A Waterfront, a unique vibe enfolds you. It’s almost as if the air buzzes with creativity and a relaxed holiday mode, all year round. While you walk between the main mall and outside shops, you’ll be greeted by buskers filling the air with upbeat tunes.

History of the V&A Waterfront

It has come a long way since starting out as a small jetty in 1654. Jan van Riebeeck built it as part of his mission to establish a refreshment pitstop. But in 1858 a brutal winter storm wrecked more than 30 vessels moored in the make-shift harbour. After this incident, Lloyd’s of London refused to continue insuring wintering ships in Table Bay.

Prince Alfred (Queen Victoria’s second son) arrived in 1860 and started the construction of a breakwater, building Cape Town’s first official harbour. Till this day it is South Africa’s oldest working harbour.

In November 1988, Transnet decided to revamp the deserted docklands around the harbour. The area was transformed into retail and residential development, while the harbour continued operating.

Fun Things to Do at the V&A Waterfront

From shopping, to cultural activities, to entertainment for the kids – there is really something for everyone at the V&A Waterfront! You can spend hours here without getting bored.

#1 Explore the Waters

There are multi-million-rand apartments tucked away next to the canals running through the V&A Waterfront. If you’re lucky you might spot David Beckham, Madonna or Elton John on their African holiday. The Canal Cruise tour will point out the houses to you, while offering you other interesting facts about the area. Remember to bring your City Sightseeing tour headphones along for the ride. And look out for a pyjama shark while you float along.

 

The other fun water activity, is a boat cruise out of the harbour. Along the harbour edge you can browse the yachts and boats, deciding what kind of experience you’re looking for. Prices vary from cruise to cruise, there’s something for everyone’s taste and budget. The Jolly Rogers is one of the most popular cruises. Who wouldn’t want to set sail on a real-life pirate ship?

Alternative Adventure: view Cape Town from the air in a helicopter ride

 

#2 Keep the Kids Entertained

Start with a ride on the Hamleys Express train. The train station is situated across the Cape Wheel and travels all the way to the Watershed. With the right timing, your kids can also meet Hamley & Hattie Bear. Pop in to the store to buy a souvenir of the experience.

The Scratch Patch, situated across the Watershed, is a fun activity for the whole family. Scratch around for semi-precious stones and conclude the adventure with a round of Cave Golf. Round off the fun with a ride on a real Venetian carousel, situated near the Clock Tower. Unforgettable experience for only R10!

Alternative Adventure: the giant chessboard, situated on Pierhead Square

#3 Visit a Museum

There are a variety of museums scattered around the V&A Waterfront. These include the Cape Town Diamond Museum, Chavonnes Battery Museum and The Springbok Experience. Combine history and fun with a visit to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum. For the art lovers, a visit to the Zeitz MOCAA is a must. It is the largest contemporary African art museum in the world. Once a year, you can enter these museums for free, on Museum Night.

 

#4 Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium

Did you know, according to science the creatures in the aquarium will enjoy your visit as much you enjoy observing them? The Two Oceans Aquarium is home to over 3 000 aqua creatures. If you’re feeling daring, you can dive with the sharks at feeding time. Or if you’re a little less adventurous, feed the fish hiding in the kelp forest. There are only two Kelp Forest Exhibits in the world. And don’t forget to say hi to the penguins.

#5 Ride a Ferris wheel

The Wheel of Excellence is the first of its kind in South Africa, a great way to enjoy a unique perspective of the city. With the 360 view, you can spot both Table Mountain and Robben Island, plus on a clear day you can see all the way to Paarl. Spice up the experience with sparkling wine on an extended experience of an hour and a half.

#6 Browse a Market

There are three markets to choose from. The Watershed Market showcases unique craft, home décor and fashion products. At the V&A Food Market you can pick and choose from a variety of food styles, something for every taste bud. The Watershed and V&A Food Market are active every day. On Saturdays from 9am to 2pm, the Oranjezicht City Farm Market offers a selection of fresh food products and homemade crafts. All three markets are covered, so don’t let the weather put you off from visiting.

 

#7 See A Comedy Show

The Cape Town Comedy Club combines laughter with good food, the dinner theatre features world-class comedians. It is the only one of its kind in Cape Town. The club started out in 2005 as a pop-up, during the Cape Town Festival. Thereafter from 2007 to 2013, the club hopped around between venues across the city, finally finding its permanent home at the V&A Waterfront. It’s situated in the historic Pumphouse building, near the Watershed. Shows are hosted throughout the week.

#8 Paddle in the Canals

Stand Up Paddle boarding or SUP originated in the 1940’s, but it was perfected as a surfing alternative in the 1990’s. The calm canals of the V&A Waterfront are perfect to introduce you to the sport before you venture out into the ocean. Book a session with SUP Cape Town.

Alternative Adventure: A yoga session on a SUP board

#9 Watch the Seals

Where there’s a harbour, there will be seals. The fun-loving animals can be spotted at various points, enjoying a quick dip under the turning bridge or chilling on the special seal platform, situated outside the Shoreline Café.  It was built as a collaboration between the Aquarium and its founding partner, SAPPI. Stop for a quick bite, the restaurant has a great kids play area inside.

#10 Do a Free VoiceMap Tour

VoiceMap is an innovative guided voice tour concept. Starting at the Origin Coffee Bar you will be narrated step by step through the V&A Waterfront to learn more about the “Tavern of the Seas”, as the sailors of old called it. Download the V&A Waterfront tour and enjoy your very own guided tour.

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106 Longmarket Street, Central Business District

Secret Cape Town

Photo taken at: 106 Longmarket Street, Central Business District, Cape Town, Western Cape

Photo Caption: Another amazing piece of #streetart by @brianrolfeart in the heart of #capetown. This time a portrait of #nelsonmandela. Do you know where to find this piece in the #cityofcapetown ?

#secretcapetown #guesswhere #guesswherecapetown #guesswherect 📷 @d.dub_streetart
#brianrolfe

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This iconic masterpiece can be found in one of Cape Town’s oldest streets, Longmarket Street located in the Central Business District (CBD). Longmarket is a quaint street featuring diverse culture, Victorian buildings, thrifty marketplaces, restaurants, bars and other hangout places. Being one of Cape Town’s gems, the Longmarket Street is visited by both locals and tourists alike.

Among the highlights of Longmarket Street are fascinating street arts depicting diverse issues from wildlife conservation to human rights.  This specific phenomenal artwork of Brian Rolfe is in honor of the symbolic leader of the anti-apartheid movement and former President, Nelson Mandela. Brian Rolfe is a visual artist based in Cape Town, known for his exceptional artworks.

This work of art will always remind the people of Cape Town of Mandela’s contribution to the radical change of the country. Nelson Mandela is South Africa’s icon of democracy and social justice. He was a Nobel Peace Prize winner who stood up to those who sought to oppress others. Mandela was the first black president of South Africa and the first president to be elected in a Democratic manner. Guided by the principles of equality, justice, fairness, and peace for all, he negotiated the end of Apartheid in the country which brought peace to a racially divided country. He formed a multi-ethnic government to oversee the country’s transition. He also led the fight for human rights around the world.

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Tidal Pool at Maiden’s Cove

Secret Cape Town

Photo taken at: Maiden’s Cove, Cape Town, Western Cape

Photo Caption: There is nothing quite like the last of the suns light catching the #12apostles in #capetown. Do you know where this amazing pool is?

We love the perfect pattern made by the ripples in this photo by @picstagramms. Check out his feed for more great shots.

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Maiden’s Cove is a lovely beach known for its exquisite view of the Twelve Apostles, Camps Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. This scenic lookout point along Victoria Road is a popular swimming spot, as it has two tidal pools. The first tidal pool is located between Glen Beach and Camps Bay Beach. It is ideal for a leisurely day out with family and friends because of its braaing and picnic facilities. The second tidal pool is between Glen Beach and Clifton Fourth and is ideal for swimming and sunbathing on the surrounding boulders. This tidal pool is also perfect for snorkeling during low tide.

Maiden’s Cove also attracts divers as it is also one of the best free-diving spots in the Cape Peninsula. During the months of June to December, dolphins and whales are frequently sighted in the shorelines of the cove. Additionally, Maiden’s Cove offers a stretch of fine white sand, free parking areas, and toilets. It is also conveniently located near restaurants, bars, and cafés.

In the background is the Twelve Apostles mountain range, which is stretch of mountainous rock formations and is one of Cape Town’s most famous landmarks. The mountain range is named Twelve Apostles because of its twelve distinguishable buttresses. It extends from Table Mountain, above Camps Bay, in the direction of Hout Bay, to Llandudno.

Maiden’s Cove is definitely a must-see spot in Cape Town. So, bring your loved ones and don’t forget to take your picture-perfect shots of the boulders, tides, and the beautiful sunset with the magnificent Twelve Apostles as the pefect backdrop.

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Mojo Market, Sea Point

Secret Cape Town

Photo taken at: Sea Point, Western Cape, South Africa

Photo Caption: On Stage! Do you know where you can watch live music seven days a week in #seapoint while also getting a delicious meal from one of 25 food vendors in an amazing atmosphere? #guesswhere #secretcapetown #guesswherecapetown #capetown #seapointmoments #livemusic #capetownmusic #onstage

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A new addition to the Sea Point lifestyle, the Mojo Market houses 45 designer retail stalls, 25 food vendors, and also has a daily fresh goods section. Mojo Market is an indoor food and lifestyle market which offers something for everyone. This 2,000 square meter space on the corner of Regent and Clarens Roads is a permanent market which is open seven days a week from 9 AM to 10 PM.

Whether it is night or day, the Mojo Market is packed with people enjoying delicious meals or grabbing a drink with friends. Pop in to pick up fresh goods like bread, fruit and vegetables, or meat. It’s also a handy spot to hunt for designer clothes, leather goods, gifts, accessories, jewelry, and home-ware.  Another great treat, is the vibey evenings filled with live music.

The retail stalls in Mojo Market are a mix of local and international producers, offering unique and contemporary products. The market is also a good meeting spot for coffee lovers, with one of Cape Town’s best artisan coffee roasters offering their delicious brews. Enjoy a fresh cup of coffee from Mojo Coffee Collective.

The Mojo Market music initiative aims to feature incredible local talent in a series of free entry live shows, hosted throughout the week. Enjoy the music while filling your stomach with the amazing foods and drinks offered by the food stalls and bars.

This interesting, diverse retail and lifestyle hub should definitely be on your city exploration to-do list!