Boulders Beach African Penguins

Boulders Beach Cape Town is one of the most instagrammable places in Cape Town, South Africa and probably the whole continent of Africa.

Below is a selection of our favourites taken at Boulders Beach. If you have any ones that you love, tag, or post the link to them in the comments below.

Read our full Boulders Beach post here.

If you would like your Boulders Beach Instagram pictures featured on our account please tag @secretcapetown in your pic. We would love to see it.

  1. @travel_inhershoes – Aggie Lal
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Job description: Traveling the world, ticking off all the animals I can possibly kiss ☺️ :::: Didn’t think penguins 🐧 would make the list (and they technically didn’t cause they tried to bite me haha) but still it was an epic adventure with @livetheadventure #livetheadventure :::::: Ps – don’t forget it’s Aggie’s Giving Tuesday – send me a cause you’re passionate about that needs attention and I’ll share my favorite 3 on stories later today! ::::: The crew: @rayawashere @funforlouis @helenowen @zackkalter @nashgrier @g1avasis @chelseakauai @sam_kolder @michaelmoretti @jbxcreative @mijlof ::::: #bouldersbeach #capetown #penguins🐧 #🐧 #bucketlist #southafricaza

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2. @emmett_sparling – Emmett Sparkling

Boulders Beach Instagram

Amazing photo by @emmett_sparling

3. @chelseakauai

4. @clydeothomas – Flight

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Flight.

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5. @wildlifejosh

6. @marcocreates

7. @_bjornhansen_

8. @ciaranburke

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Pestering penguins at Boulders Beach #bouldersbeach

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9. @ajrin23

10. ?

Tag us or post a link to your pic in the comments, if we like it will will add it here or share it on our @secretcapetown instagram profile.

If only we could have a limitless budget to explore the Mother City! Until we figure out how to do this, we’ll have to keep an eye on our budgets. We’ve hunted down a few fun things that you can indulge in, without feeling guilty about your spending.

#1 Catch a Comedy Show at The Cape Town Comedy Club

Situated in the Pump House at the V&A Waterfront, you can get your dose of endorphins from top South African comedians including Alyn Adams, Nik Rabinowitz, and Dave Levinsohn. While you are enjoying the laughs, you can also order some food.

Tickets to weekday shows (Wednesday or Thursday) cost R95 and Sunday night shows are R60.

Visit capetowncomedy.com for more information.

#2 Have a Meaty Township Lunch at Mzoli’s

This unique culinary experience is situated in Gugulethu. So before you head over, remind yourself to not expect a flashy fine dining outing. In fact, there won’t even be knives and forks on the tables. And no waiters at your beck and call. It’s a down to earth authentically local experience. You can buy your beer or wine at the bottle store across the road before heading over to the butchery to select your braai meat. After you’ve selected your meat, head over to the braai grids, and wait for your freshly braai’d meat.

You determine the price of your meal. The average prices range from R89 per kilogram for the mutton chops and R60 per kilogram for the boerewors. And their homemade bread is a must, R10 per slice.

Visit the Mzoli’s Facebook page to stay in the loop with upcoming events.

#3 Catch a Movie under the Stars

The age of drive-in theatres are now a thing of the past, but the Galileo Open Air Cinema has put a fresh spin on outdoor movies. Imagine watching a movie at a wine farm. Or in Kirstenbosch Gardens! Other venues include the V&A Waterfront rooftop, Hillcrest Quarry in Durbanville, and various wine estates in Stellenbosch and Somerset West. They screen old classics and new blockbusters. Screenings are scheduled throughout the week during the summer months, from October to April. They also offer picnic baskets and there are food stalls as well.

Online bookings: a standard ticket costs R70 | Warm ticket with blanket included R79 | Comfy ticket with chair included R88 | Warm & comfy ticket with chair and blanket included R95

Visit thegalileo.co.za for more information.

#4 Have a Beer at Perseverance Tavern

It’s not every day that you get to sip a beer at the oldest surviving pub in the country. The Perseverance Tavern poured its first beer in 1808 and has remained operational ever since. For 28 years it went under the radar and only became an official pub with a liquor licence in 1836. In the beginning it also operated as a hotel. Surviving for more than 200 years is a feat to be cheersed with a beer!

You can buy a beer from R20.

Visit perseverancetavern.co.za for more information.

#5 Enjoy Theatrical Dining

This restaurant puts a new spin on “dinner and a show”. Your waitron will surprise you with their hidden talents. During the evening the waitrons spontaneously jump on stage and transform into a glitzy entertainer, wooing you with their sultry voices. If you are brave enough, and you know the lyrics, you can join them on stage! It’s a great way for students from the art schools around Cape Town to practice their performance skills, while saving money towards their studies.

You can determine your budget for the night, whether you simply want to pop in for a quick drink, or stay for a scrumptious meal.

Visit stardustcapetown.com  for more information.

#6 Visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

A visit to this world-renowned botanical garden is a must! Nestled against the slopes of Table Mountain on the Southern suburbs side, it feels like a little tropical forest in the city. The gardens cover five out of the six South African biomes. It was founded in 1913 with the main purpose of preserving and showcasing the country’s unique flora. Make sure you take a stroll to the top of the gardens and walk on the Boomslang walkway.

Entrance fees: R70 (adults) | R40 (students with valid SA card) | R20 (children 6 to 17 years) | Children under 6 have free access.

Visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens website for more information.

#7 Visit the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum at the V&A Waterfront

The museum opened in 2013 and has been bestowed with many international accolades. It offers an interactive experience of the South African rugby history. View the largest collection of Springbok memorabilia in the world! You can admire the Springbok jacket of Paul Roos, the original Springbok Captain, and listen to audio recordings of classic games.

Entrance fees: R75 (Adults) | R50 (Pensioners over 60 | R50 (students with valid SA card) | R50 (children 6 to 18 years) | Children under 5 have free access.

Visit sarugby.co.za  for more information.

#8 Visit the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA)

Another world-first in the city, a museum solely dedicated to contemporary African art. And the housing of the artwork is a masterpiece in itself. The old grain silo dates back to 1921. Thomas Heatherwick was the mastermind behind the conversion of the silo. Read the TimesLive interview with the innovative architect. There are a 100 gallery spaces to explore, so make sure you set aside enough time to admire the unique collections.

You can enter for free on Wednesdays between 10 AM and 1 PM (only for African citizens with a valid ID/Passport/Driver’s Licence); on Museum Night and Heritage Day (24 September) between 10 AM and 6 PM.

Alternatively, pay half-price (R95) on the first Friday of every month between 4 PM and 9 PM

Visit www.zeitzmocaa.museum for more information

#9 Explore the City on a Bicycle

There’s just something about getting on a bicycle that reconnects you with your adventurous side. This is a nifty way to explore the city from a unique perspective. The UpCycles bikes are classic Dutch-style, single speed bikes, with back pedal brakes (important thing to know, so you don’t panic when you can’t find the brakes!) Their upright shape and sprung saddles will keep you comfy while you admire the city views. They also have bikes with child seats. They also offer more advanced mountain bikes, aluminium road bikes and pedal assist ebikes (on request for pre-booking). Their drop-and-go stations are located at The Pavilion on the Sea Point Promenade, Breakaway Café (Waterkant Street Fan Walk), Silo 5 (V&A Waterfront Silo District), and Camps Bay (Bay Hotel). You can hire the bike at one station, and return it at another.

Bike hire: one hour costs R75 or two hours for R110 (if you want to go a little over your cheapie budget)

Visit upcycles.co.za for more information

#10 Swim at the Long Street Baths

The Long Street Baths date back to 1908, a true historic gem. Although the interior has been upgraded, the original look is preserved. It has a 25m indoor heated pool that’s perfect for a quick morning or lunchtime workout session. The Turkish bath section has specific times dedicated to men and women. Tuesdays from 10:00 to 14:00 are exclusively for the ladies.

Turkish baths entrance R64 per hour or R120 per 4 hour session
Indoor pools entrance R23 (Adults) | R12 (Children) | free for pensioners
Hot baths/showers entrance R19 (Adults) | R19 (Children) | R19 (Pensioners)

Visit capetown.gov.za for more information.

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Cape Town is a playground for everyone. There is plenty of indoor and outdoor fun to be had. We’re not going to list the obvious family fun options. But for in case you’ve forgotten: ten blue flag beaches, endless mountains to conquer, the Top 10 Parks in Cape Town, and Cape Town’s 19 Amazing Tidal Pools.

Family-Friendly Things to Do in Cape Town

Let’s tell you about more fun things to do with your family in Cape Town. There are a lot of options that will entertain both the kids and the grownups.

#1 Go Karting

Create a friendly competitive moment with your older kids. Who can do the quickest lap? The Kenilworth Karting track has become an old favourite institution in the city. And there is also another track to try at Century City.

Visit karting.co.za for more information.

#2 The Clay Café

Let the creativity run rampant, each family member creating their own masterpiece. Best part, you get to keep your crockery creation afterwards. Don’t worry if you’re not too creatively inclined, the helpful staff will teach you a few tricks. Stop for a bite at the restaurant afterwards to chat about the experience and admire each other’s artwork. There is also a huge outdoor play area for the kids to blow off steam after sitting still.

Visit claycafe.co.za for more information.

#3 College of Magic

The school has been teaching people the art of magic since 1980. It will stimulate both your kids’ minds and your own. Junior courses are hosted on Saturday mornings and adult courses on Thursday evenings. You can also simply sit back and watch the experts put on a mesmerizing public show. These magical performers can also be booked for a private show at a kids or staff party.

Visit collegeofmagic.com for more information.

#4 Rush Trampoline Park

Reconnect with your inner child alongside your kids at this indoor park. The wall-to-wall trampolines are sure to burn some calories, keeping you fit and make the kids sleep like angels afterwards. They have two branches in the city. One is situated at Stadium on Main in Claremont, on the third level of the parking lot. The other is in the Greenstone Mall, corner of van Riebeeck and Modderfontein Road. Besides the wall-to-wall trampolines, there are also three basketball slam dunk lanes, two dodgeball courts, two long trampoline lanes for epic flips,  plus a battle beam and more.

Visit rushsa.co.za for more information.

Insider info: get free entry with a City Pass

#5 HintHunt

A unique way to bond as a family, if your kids are over the age of 9. Older kids above 15 can also crack the mysteries on their own. You’ve got 60 minutes to figure out the mystery to escape the room. Don’t worry, it’s not a small confined space, so you won’t feel claustrophobic while solving the riddles and puzzles. With enough team work, you can crack the code before the hour is up!

Visit hinthunt.co.za for more information.

#6 Cave Golf & Scratch Patch

Putt-putt is one of those fun activities that can be enjoyed by all ages. Spice up the traditional game in a cave setting at the V&A Waterfront! Before or after the game, stop at the Scratch Patch, and let the kids discover the wonder of gemstones while hunting for their own ones. There’s another branch of the Scratch Patch in Simonstown.

Interesting fact: close to half of the world’s gemstones are found in South Africa

Visit scratchpatch.co.za for more information.

#7 Bugz Family Playpark

This is a kid’s paradise! The expansive park features outdoor and indoor play areas, suitable for kids aged 2 to 10. Entertainment includes a water slide, choo-choo train, quad bikes, swing horses, real horse rides, a tree house, and even a castle. If you’re lucky the Bugz characters will make a special appearance. And don’t forget to watch the magic show. Fun galore!

Visit bugzplaypark.co.za for more information.

#8 ZipZap Circus School

Ever dreamed of running away with the circus? Well, here you can sample the circus life. Best of all, the programs are hosted free of charge. They are funded by organisations and individuals passionate about the Zipzap vision. The programs are customized for various age groups, from kids to adults. If you rather want to watch the experts entertain you, pop in at one of their shows during the year.

Visit zip-zap.co.za for more information.

#9 The Blue Train Park & Putt-Putt

No, this is not the famous train that travels to Gauteng. It’s a smaller one with an epic location next to the ocean, in Sea Point. The train has been operating for 50 years, maintained by the Sea Point Rotary Club. Both kids and adults can ride the fun train. Before or after your ride, squeeze in a round of putt-putt with a sea view. You can park next to the putt-putt course and walk along the Promenade to the train.

Visit thebluetrainpark.co.za or puttputtcapetown.co.za for more information.

#10 Imhoff Farm

A farm outing is always fun for city dwelling kids. Situated in Kommetjie, the expansive space has something for everyone. The kids can play at the Higgledy Piggeldy petting zoo while the adults relax at the Blue Water Café. And pop in at the Old Cape Wine Shop before you leave. Other activities offered include Imhoff Equestrian Centre with outrides on the Noordhoek Beach. Plus a very unique experience – riding a camel! You’ll score brownie points with the kids for the rest of the year. You can also host a kids party at the farmyard.

Visit imhofffarm.co.za for more information.

Share the Family Fun with Secret Cape Town

Remember to share your epic Instagram pics with us! Tag @secretcapetown or use #secretcapetown to be featured with our #guesswhere.

 

When exploring Cape Town, it’s easy to get stuck on the major tourist attractions. Table Mountain, the aquarium, Boulder’s Beach, Robben Island. And although you will definitely not be disappointed when visiting the iconic tourist attractions, if you stay in the Mother City, you might feel the need to spice things up a bit.

Dig A Bit Deeper into The Mother City Fun

We’ve found a few alternative activities to enjoy. From foodie fun, to outdoor activities, to learning new skills. Cape Town truly has something to offer every type of person.

#1 Tuning the Vine – Inner City Wine Route

You don’t have travel all the way to the Stellenbosch winelands to taste good wine. Now you can simply venture into the CBD and embark on an inner-city wining adventure. The route meanders between 13 venues, each offering you a snippet of their best wine selections. Meander from Tjing Tjing Torii, to Publik Wine Bar, to House of Machines and other distinguished venues tucked away in the city centre. The event occurs once a month, at R150 per person. Your wine tasting will be infused with wine-tasting challenges, food pairings, and live music. The ticket includes access to the various venues, a glass, and a tasting map.

Visit tuningthevine.co.za to stay in the loop.

#2 Visit the R10 Restaurant

The Xpresso Café believes that good coffee (and tea) should be affordable. And a cup of good coffee (or tea) should be accompanied by a yummy munchie, also at an affordable price. So, they decided to make everything on their menu, yes you heard right everything, only R10. The concept keeps things plain and simple, but delicious. They are open Mondays to Fridays from 7am to 6pm, on Saturdays from 7am to 4pm and Sundays from 8am to 1pm. They have branches in Durbanville, Canal Walk, Cape Town CBD, Cape Gate, Stellenbosch, N1 City, Vangate Mall, and Table Bay Mall.

#3 Life-size Chess in The Company Gardens

Feel like you’ve fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole and pretend you are part of a Wonderland scene with this oversized chess set. It’s situated close to the Company Gardens Restaurant. If you feel a bit tired after dragging the big pieces around, pop in at the restaurant for a refreshing beverage. It was recently revamped by the Madam Zingara group, breathing a breath of fresh air into the eatery with its sought-after location.

#4 Embark on A Real Life Treasure Hunt

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FAQ: where are #wildgoosechasegames played, which venues? A: the most popular venues in #CapeTown for standard games on foot are at the @vandawaterfront and Cape Town City Walk Route, starting in the Company Gardens. @KirstenboschNBG along with @tablemountainca are also proving to provide spectacular settings for games. In #Johannesburg, the game at the #Waltersisulubotanicalgardens is great fun. But games can be customised to be played at any venue or property- it all depends on the client's needs. . .#scavengerhunt #teambuildingwithadifference #teambuilding #corporateteam #corporateevent #funfunction #yearendfunctions #stafffunction #conference #icebreaker #breakaway #planning #capetownmag #capetown #communication #strategy #creativity #discovery #fun #challenge #gameon #laughter #competition #capetownbig7

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The Gallivanting Goose is a fun treasure hunting concept. Explore areas you’ve seen a hundred times before in a fresh new way. At the start of the hunt, you get a special smart device loaded with the game and used for navigation. Choose between the following venues: V&A Waterfront, Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town City Walk, Hout Bay, and Stellenbosch. Do you have the strategic, navigational, and problem-solving skills it takes to be the winning team?

Visit thegg.co.za for more info.

#5 Smash A Few Plates

Every month, on the last Saturday, you can fill your tummy with great Greek food and then party like only the Greeks can. Drink ouza, say “opa!” and decadently break a plate.  Hosted at Mykonos Taverna, in Sea Point, this popular Greek restaurant is a firm favourite in the local culinary scene. So, make sure you book a table to avoid disappointment.

Visit mykonostaverna.co.za for more information.

#6 Hike to The Kleinplaas dam

Cape Town is full of hiking opportunities, tucked away within the city borders. If you are looking for a leisurely weekend outing that the whole family can enjoy, this is a great option. The dam lies in the Redhill area, situated above Simon’s Town. Along the way there are also interesting old ruins to explore.

#7 Learn to Salsa

Dancing is a fun couples’ activity to do. The Que Pasa dancing school hosts fun free dance classes every Friday night at La Prada, 107 Bree street (CBD), starting at 21:00. Or join at Jade Bar, 39 Main road (Greenpoint) on Sunday nights, starting at 20:00.

For more info, visit quepasa.co.za

#8 Fine Dining on Peaceful Waters

The V&A Waterfront has a magical vibe. It’s always abuzz with activity. And now an even more exciting restaurant has entered the scene, a first of its kind in the city. The Alba offers you a floating restaurant experience. While you are feasting, you can stare out over the calm waters of the harbour. The 22m long cruise boat can seat 72 people for an unforgettable dining experience. It’s designed as an all-weather boat, so come rain or sunshine, you can enjoy a unique dining experience. Plus, it operates every day of the year. You can also book out the Alba for your private function. The cruise and dine options range from R495 to R695, depending on the time of day.

Book your floating seat now!

Related: Top 10 things to do at the V&A Waterfront

#9 Become A Chocolatier

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I think it’s safe to say that Lindt can now employ me 🍫🧁.

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Lindt chocolate is a world-famous brand. If you are a hardcore chocolate fanatic, you most likely have an opinion on the various types of chocolate they create, with the cocoa percentage varying from milky sweet to darkly bitter. You can book a class to learn how to make your own chocolate delights with the delicious Lindt chocolate. Classes range from R345 to R475. Choose between making truffles, cupcakes, a cake, macarons, or a fondant pudding. They also offer kids chocolate making classes.

Visit the chocolate studio website to book now.

#10 Explore the Abandoned Zoo

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E N E R G Y

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Did you know the city once had a zoo? It was functional from 1931 to 1975. Cecil John Rhodes requested it, and it included animals from his own menagerie. Situated close to the Rhodes Memorial it makes for an interesting exploration adventure with friends. Investigate the eerie remains of the old cages and other structures. Back in the day it was very popular and offered free access to the public. Look out for the lion’s den, it is the most distinguishable structure.

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There’s so much to do in Cape Town. And unless you have a sugar daddy (or mommy) refilling your wallet every day, your budget will not be happy with you going on an endless spending spree. Luckily there are ways to still have fun and not break the piggy bank.

We’ve sourced a few fun activities that are cost effective, but still guarantees priceless entertainment.

#1 Take a Hop-On Hop-Off Train Trip

Cost: R35 for hop-on, hop-off ticket

The Southern Line train travels between Cape Town city centre and Simon’s Town. Although caution to safety has to be taken when travelling on the trains, this particular line is geared towards tourists and in a very good condition. It’s a great way to see the variety of Cape Town city life whizzing past you. You will also be treated to epic ocean views between Muizenberg and Simon’s Town. With the hop-on, hop-off ticket you can stop in Muizenberg to surf (or watch the surfers); stop in Kalk Bay for an affordable fish and chips lunch at Kalky’s, right on the working harbour edge; and end your adventure in Simon’s Town with a visit to Boulder’s Beach.

View the train schedule

#2 Visit the Rondevlei Nature Reserve

Cost: R12 (adults) | R6 (kids)

A little nature spot hidden within the city borders! Situated in Grassy Park, it’s about 20 minutes’ drive from the city centre. The reserve was established in 1952 and covers 290 hectares. It features a museum, viewing towers, bird hides, picnic spots, and a special network of footpaths. The reserve boasts with about 256 indigenous plant species and 20 mammal species including Cape Clawless Otters, Large-Spotted Genets, Cape Grysbok Porcupines, and Eland. Plus, the most famous inhabitants, hippos!

For more information, visit zeekoevlei.co.za

#3 Traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

Cost: R30 for a mini ceremony

Cape Town is a truly cosmopolitan city, embracing a wide variety of cultures. This Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony is a unique experience, offering you a first-hand idea of what life in Ethiopia is like. The Addis restaurant will transport you to the country for a moment, with their authentic Ethiopian furnishings and music.

For more information, visit addisincape.co.za

#4 Create Your Own Cool Runnings Toboggan Moment

Cost: from R48.50

It’s the only African track of its kind. If you’ve seen the movie, you know that you don’t need snow to enjoy this adrenaline-filled activity. Situated in Tygervalley, it is a stainless steel 1.25km track with 17 s-bends, exhilarating corners as well as a tunnel. You get to regulate your speed, so it’s perfect for hard-core and wannabe adrenaline junkies. The sled can take two people, great for a family activity.

For more information, visit www.coolrunnings.capetown

#5 Iziko Museums

Cost: Between R20 and R50

From South Africa’s natural history, to cultural treasures – the Iziko Museums preserve a variety of specimens for you to admire. List of museums, scattered across the city: Bo-Kaap museum, Groot Constantia Manor House, Koopmans-De Wet House, Maritime Centre, Michaelis Collection at the Old Town House, Planetarium, Rust en Vreugd, SAS Somerset, Slave Lodge, Social History Centre, South African Museum, South African National Gallery, Bertram House, and the William Fehr Collection at The Castle of Good Hope. Read our post about The Iziko Museum Mile

For more information, visit iziko.org.za

#6 Groot Constantia

Cost: Free to enter, R50 for wine tasting

It is the oldest wine estate in the Cape, boasting with formidable Dutch architecture. The first wines were produced in 1685, under the supervision of Simon van der Stel, and it has continued producing fine wines without interruption ever since. You can pop in at the Groot Constantia manor house Iziko Museum, before indulging in wine tasting and a delicious bite at one of the farm’s two restaurants. If you want to be more active, try one of the trail running routes meandering through the leafy grounds.

For more information, visit grootconstantia.co.za

#7 City Sight Seeing Harbour Cruise

Cost: R45

Although the other City Sightseeing tours are over a R100, these ones tick the box for being super cheap. You can choose between the harbour or canal cruise, both departing from the V & A Waterfront. The harbour cruise will take you out at sea, exploring the working harbour of the city. With the canal cruise, you can explore the little canals meandering between the Waterfront and CBD. Both will offer you a unique perspective on the city.

For more information, visit citysightseeing.co.za

#8 Braai at Oudekraal

Cost: R31 (adult) | R16 (child)

One of those truly South African activities. Add a new element to your usual braai with epic views. This spot lies between Camp’s Bay and Llandudno. It features cosy little coves between the robust boulders, with beautiful beach stretches. There are more than 40 braai spots available. Some have grids, but it will be safer to bring your own along. And make sure you head over early, it’s a very popular spot.

Visit the SanParks website for more information

#9 The Labia Theatre

Cost: R50 or R40 with Fanatics card discount

It is South Africa’s oldest independent art-repertory cinema. They focus on showing mostly foreign films, independent movies, and historical cinema as well as alternative plus art circuit films. So it’s like going to Cinema Nouveau, but in a stylish retro cinema. There are also regular film festivals to expose yourself to thought-provoking cinema. Plus, you can order a glass of wine and a nibble to enhance your movie experience (and take it into the movie!).

For more information, visit labia.co.za

#10 Mountain Biking in Meerendal

Cost: R30

An outing in the winelands is always fun! The picturesque wine farm has created tracks to explore the beautiful area. The route is mostly flat and easy, but it does include a few hills that can be challenging for novices. But the spectacular views will definitely make up for the hard work!

For more information, visit meerendal.co.za

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Feature image courtesy of @mad.living

Cape Town is surrounded by amazing surfing options, the ocean wrapping itself around the city borders. The wind patterns around the coastline varies, offering surfers a chance to pick and choose what kind of surf conditions they want to test out. And at Cape Point the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet each other, which also creates unique weather patterns.

The following is our pick of the best surfing spots in Cape Town. We also list the experience level for each Cape Town surf spot. We recommend keeping an eye on magicseaweed.com for up to date surfing conditions.

#1 Muizenberg

Beginner

Situated in False Bay, it’s about half an hour’s drive from the CBD. Surfer’s Corner is a great starting point if you’re new to surfing, or if you are a long-boarder. The Muizenberg waves form clean lines and are usually gentle. If the wind starts to blow in a northwesterly direction, nice barrels are formed. The beach is very popular. You can grab a beer or coffee  after a good surfing session from the restaurants lining the beachfront.

#2Long Beach

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saturday situation

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Intermediate to Experienced

On the other side of the Table Mountain range, lies Kommetjie, another firm favourite of local surfers. It’s roughly a 40-minute drive from the CBD. Once the southwesterly wind starts blowing, the surfing conditions become perfect, when the swell is strong enough (and most of the time it is) With the waves breaking both left and right, it creates ideal circumstances for both natural- and goofy-footers.

#3 Scarborough Beach

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Holidayze 💙☀️

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Intermediate to Advanced

Situated 45 minutes from the CBD, this almost-secret surfing spot is rarely overcrowded. The conditions are perfect for surfers as well as body boarders. It’s a stunning location, with the looming mountains as a beautiful  backdrop for your surfing session.

#4 Crayfish Factory

Advanced

Close to Scarborough, but with more tricky conditions to manoeuvre. Known as just “the factory” under the locals, it’s a great spot to challenge your surfing skills. Waves can reach up to 15 feet at times. You’re guaranteed the most epic surfing experience when the north or northeasterly wind starts blowing. Because of the big waves, you need very good paddling skills to surf here.

#5 The Hoek

Advanced

Situated about 30 minutes from the CBD, close to the Noordhoek beach, this spot is only ideal in the summer. But during these three months, it provides epic tubing opportunities. Get ready to take on the tubes when the South Easter starts blowing.

#6 Dungeons

Advanced Only

Situated about 30 minutes from the CBD this right-hander spot is for hardcore surfers only. You need to travel by boat from the Hout Bay Harbour to reach it. The Cape Town surfing spot was put on the map by the Red Bull Big Wave Africa competition. You can only attempt to master these waves as a tow-surfer, as the waves can reach up to 60 feet. Read more about it in our post here.

#7 Llandudno

Intermediate to Advanced

Situated about 15 minutes from the CBD, you will be mesmerized by the beauty of this beach, tucked away at the bottom of a hill. Big boulders hug both sides of the cove, framing the serene blue ocean perfectly. It creates great hollow waves to stretch your skills.

#8 Glen Beach

Advanced

Situated around the corner from Llandudno, this spot is also only suitable for highly-skilled surfers. The hollow waves here are very powerful. It lies between the Clifton beaches and Camps Bay. Remember to look up at the Twelve Apostles mountains to take in the full beauty of this stunning Cape Town surfing spot.

#9 Big Bay

Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced

The experience level is dependant on the swell’s size. This beach is about 30-minute drive from the CBD, towards the West Coast. It lies between Bloubergstrand and Melkbosstrand. It is also a very popular windsurfing spot. The most ideal surfing conditions occur when the easterly or southeasterly wind starts blowing. Stop at Doodles or Pakalolo on your way back for a refreshing drink.

#10 Derdesteen

Intermediate

Situated 30 minutes from the CBD, it also lies on the way to the West Coast. It’s a great secret surfing spot. With multiple take-off points, you won’t be brushing shoulders with your fellow surfers when it gets busy. The spot is most suitable in autumn or winter with less hardcore winds than in summer. During these two seasons the seabed is also shaped for the ultimate surfing experience.

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If you embrace everything that Cape Town has to offer, you can literally be kept busy 24/7. But trying to soak up all the awesome things the city has to offer, can chew a big hole in your wallet. So, we’ve collected a few activities that you can do that won’t cost you a cent!

The sheer natural beauty of the Mother City is always available, but not everyone thinks that hiking up Lion’s Head makes for a fun outing. We’ve gathered a mix of activities for you. From outdoor fun, to cultured fun, to a bit of education mixed in.

Free Activities in Cape Town

Whether you are an outdoor junkie, or rather prefer indoor fun, there’s free things to do in Cape Town for everyone.

#1 Green Point Urban Park

The stunning community park is situated close to the Cape Town Stadium. It includes a wetlands area, attracting many bird species. Expansive pathways meander past the lush green lawns and little bushy nooks. A perfect space to escape city life for a moment of nature infusion. Read our other post  Top 10 Parks in Cape Town for other ideas as well.

#2 Sea Point Promenade

There’s a wide pathway that enfolds the side of the Atlantic Ocean, starting in Sea Point and ending close to the Waterfront. Almost any time of day you’ll see people using this nifty path to get some fresh air while appreciating the ocean views. Walkers, joggers, cyclists – it’s a favourite of both locals and tourists. At the beginning of the promenade there is a little hub of food stalls, close to the public swimming pool. Grab an ice cream and start enjoying the vibe. You could even stop at the outdoor gym if you feel guilty about the extra calories. Another fun activity along the way, is the putt-putt. It’s not free, but still very affordable at R28 per person.

#3 Cecilia Forest

It’s not often that you find a forest hidden in a city neighbourhood. This magical place is tucked away in Constantia, at the Constantia Nek. There are clear paths winding through the trees, suitable for all levels of fitness. It is also a dog-friendly area, as long as you keep your four-footed friend on a leash.

#4 The Company’s Garden

Another great nature spot to escape from the busy city life. The gardens date back to the days of the early Cape Settlers. It was used as a big veggie garden, stocking up the ships before their next voyage. You won’t find any carrots growing anymore, but the beautiful garden has been transformed into a lovely park. There are also a few museums that you could pop in to while you stroll among the trees. The SA Museum offers free entrance on public holidays.

#5 Centre for the Book

After you’ve soaked up all the fresh air of the Company’s Garden, pop in at this section of the South African National Library, situated on Queen Victoria street. It houses a big collection of books by local and foreign authors. The little reading rooms offer you a perfect spot to lose yourself in a good book for a few hours, in complete silence. Events are hosted regularly, check with the front desk to find out what’s coming up in the near future. Or check in on Facebook for upcoming events.

#6 De Waal Park

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heaven is a dog park at golden hour.

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Situated in Oranjezicht, on Camp street, you can get another quick nature fix. As the sun goes down, you can also get some extra free entertainment, watching the city dogs enjoy their moment of outdoor fun. There’s a big fountain in the middle, with great old-world charm, as well as great jungle gyms to keep the kids busy. In the summer time free music concerts are hosted in the park. Keep an eye on the upcoming show on the Concerts in the Park Facebook page.

#7 Do a Free VoiceMap Tour

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Powerless traffic lights at #openstreetsct

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VoiceMap is an innovative audio tour app, that turns your phone into your own personal tour guide. It makes use of your phone’s navigation services to guide you step by step through an area. They have a variety of free tours available, scattered across the city. These include the V&A Waterfront, Blouberg Strand, Constantia Winelands, and Woodstock. Read more about them in our post here.

#8 First Thursdays

Book out the first Thursday of every month for your dose of art and culture. The inner city art galleries remain open after hours, with special exhibitions (and of course a free glass of wine) Other businesses in the area host live music events and special activities for the evening. You can pick and choose what you want to see and do. The event creates a great vibe in the CBD. Check out the First Thursdays website to see what is happening at the next event.

#9 Take in The Sights with A Free Walking Tour

If you prefer a tour guide showing you around, you can join one of the city’s free walking tours. The tour options include the Bo-Kaap, District Six, a historic or street art tour, as well as exploring the promenade on a bicycle. The tours will offer you unique perspectives of the Mother City. Check the Nielsen Tours website to find out where each tour starts.

P.S although the tours are free, you can offer your tour guide a tip as a thank you for the great experience.

#10 A Sunset on the Beach

An outing on the beach is another great freebie outdoor outing you can enjoy. And sunset in Cape Town is an event on its own! Pack a picnic basket and wait for the sun to slowly sink down over the horizon. There are a variety of beach options to choose from. We’ve hunted down the best secret beaches in the Cape for you.

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Life does not have to come to a standstill just because you are single. Luckily there are plenty of experiences in the city you can indulge in on your own, without the fear of someone looking at you funnily because you’re on your own. And let’s face it, everyone is so wrapped up in their own lives, no one will really even notice that you’re exploring on your own.

Check out our post Cape Town as a Solo Traveller for some inspiration to travel on your own.

#1 Visit a Museum or Art Gallery

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Zeitz MOCAA🌐

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Walking around alone in a museum or art gallery is a totally legit solo activity. Just make sure to assume an air of aloofness. In the City Bowl you can keep yourself busy for hours museum hopping on the Iziko Museum Mile. Museum included: Iziko South African Museum, Planetarium, Iziko South African National Gallery, Iziko Slave Lodge, Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum, Iziko Rust en Vreugd Museum, Iziko Koopmans-de Wet House, Michaelis Collection at the Old Town House, Iziko Maritime Centre, and the William Fehr Collection at the Castle of Good Hope.

There are various art galleries scattered across the city. Work your way through the list of top 10 art galleries in Cape Town. Opening nights are always a fun thing to join (free wine and maybe snacks) Also, make sure you pop in at the Zeitz MOCAA. The Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is a world-first. It has 100 gallery spaces to explore, so get ready for a lot of inspiration entering your eyes! Read our post to learn more about the museum.

#2 Tour the City

For this one, you’ve got a few options. Firstly, you can use the City Sightseeing bus to gallivant across the city. It stops at all the major tourist spots including Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens, Hout Bay, Camps Bay, and more. With the handy audio info on the bus, you will learn more about the Mother City while taking in the amazing scenery.

Or, you can decide to only focus on the inner city, with a free walking tour. All you have to do is arrive at the Motherland Coffee Company and join the tour. Tours are hosted every day of the year and depart at 11:00, 14:00, and 16:20. The tours work on a tip only basis. Choose between the Apartheid to Freedom Tour, Historic City Tour, and the Bo Kaap Walking Tour.

#3 Hire a Bike

Riding a bicycle is a great solo activity, and it will offer you a unique perspective on the city. UpCycles have Dutch-style single speed bikes, with back pedal brakes. Pop in at one of their drop-and-go stations and create your own route through the city, ending at another station. Start at one of the following points: The Pavilion on the Sea Point Promenade, Breakaway Café (Waterkant Street Fan Walk), Silo 5 (V&A Waterfront Silo District), and Camps Bay (Bay Hotel)

Visit upcycles.co.za for more information.

#4 Visit the Aquarium

Another great spot for a solo expedition. The fishies won’t judge you for arriving alone! The Two Oceans Aquarium is of world class standard, with diverse marine life to admire. Throughout the day there are different feeding sessions at for instance the penguins’ enclosure or the mantra ray tank. The exhibitions are truly magical. Walk through a glass tunnel while a tortoise leisurely swims overhead. Or wait for the formidable sharks to swim past you at the massive floor to ceiling tank.

Visit aquarium.co.za for more information.

#5 Join a Hiking Group

Cape Town is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true. There are countless hiking opportunities within the city borders. Although a solo stroll through nature can be very therapeutic, it’s safer to hike with a group of people. Luckily there are so many nature addicts, you have plenty of groups to choose from. Read our post about the Top Five Hiking Groups in Cape Town.

Alternatively, if you do want to get your solo nature dose, why not visit one of the Top 10 Parks in Cape Town? These are also tucked away within the city borders. You need to be vigilant regarding safety, but most parks are very popular, so there will be other people also enjoying the outdoors while you recharge on your own.

#6 Go To a Book Launch

A book launch is the perfect opportunity to mingle with likeminded people in a relaxed environment. You can easily blend into the crowd, and usually there’s free wine (if you need to ease your social nerves) The Book Lounge is a firm favourite of Capetonian book fanatics. They regularly host events relating to all kinds of literary things.

Check the Book Lounge upcoming events.

#7 Watch an Art Film

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With the Academy Awards Ceremony fast approaching, head to the Labia Theatre to see the nominated films on one of the 4 screens at this independent cinema. 📷:@carys.be 📽🍿#letsdothiscpt #capetown WHEN: Any day. WHERE: The Labia Theatre, Orange Street, Cape Town. WHY: Watch a movie at an independent cinema. #️⃣ #labiatheatre #independentcinema #thingstodo #ideas #explore #adventure #activities #getoutside #discover #food #drink #meetup #squadgoals #hike #fitness #health #culture #explorecapetown #mothercity #westerncape #mzanzi #southafrica #roadtrip #unplug #letsdothiscpt #dothis Tag or email us with your tip………………… 📩 Please note – we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss of life that may occur when following the tip for the day ✌️

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Going to the movies alone for the first time will feel like a strange endeavour. But after you’ve gotten over the awkwardness of it, you will most likely be hooked on it. And going to South Africa’s oldest independent art-repertory cinema will make you feel like a sophisticated singleton. They show both art movies and blockbusters. And you can order a glass of wine to sip in the movie!

Visit thelabia.co.za for more information.

#8 Join a Dinner Club

Dine4Six is perfect for singletons! The point of the experience is to pitch alone (or you can bring a buddy if you prefer) and make new friends around the dinner table. Each table has seating for six people, creating a unique setting for meeting potential new friends. Plus, you get to dine at the best restaurants in town!

Visit dine4six.com  to see upcoming events.
Download the app on the iTunes store or Google Play store

#9 Go To a Dancing or a Cooking Class

Learning to dance, is a handy skill to have. And you can also use it as fun way to make friends. Plus, don’t forget the exercise factor. Que Pasa offers various dance classes including salsa, swing, bachata, lindyhop, kizomba, tango, Cuban and Charleston. Over the weekends they host free salsa classes at La Prada (Fridays) and Jade Lounge (Saturdays).

Visit quepasa.co.za for more information

Not quite convinced about the dancing? Another fun option, is a cooking course. It’s a great skill to master, and an easy way to make friends with mutual interests. Stir Crazy Catering has created fun cooking classes that can enhance your culinary repertoire. These include Exploring Spanish Delicacies, Sushi Made Simple, Tastes of the Mediterranean, South African Cooking Safari, and more.

Check the Stir Crazy cooking class schedule.

#10 Visit a Local Market

An outing to a Saturday market is a truly Capetonian weekly event. It’s the perfect place to wander around on your own, without anyone really noticing you’re on a solo mission. You can also consider shopping for your weekly fresh fruit and veggies from a local supplier. Read our post about the Top 5 Farmers Market Experiences to see what all the fuss is about.

Bonus: Join a Meetup Group

Meetup groups are the easiest way to find your tribe. What are you into? Music? Dance? Fashion and Beauty? There are most likely already a group of people passionate about the same things you are. And if not, you can start your own group and gather people! Categories include Book Clubs, Career & Business, Film, Arts, Food & Drink and many more.

Check out the Meetup Groups in Cape Town
Download the app on the iTunes Store or Google Play Store

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You don’t have to try very hard to be romantic in Cape Town. The epic views and breath-taking sunsets are enough to make you feel all mushy and lovey-dovey. Beware, the city might make you fall even more in love with your sweetheart!

Best Dating Ideas in Cape Town

You can impress a first date, or revive your 50 year old marriage in this stunning city. We’ve gathered a few indoor and outdoor ideas for a spectacular date night.

#1 A Scenic Picnic

Top 10 Fun Things to Do in Cape Town for Couples Beach Picnic rawpixel unsplash

This one is an almost fool proof date idea. The only factor to contend with, is Cape Town’s notoriously fickle weather. You can either plan a picnic date and hope for the best. Or you can keep this as a spontaneous option when the weather plays along. For a beach picnic, we would recommend a sunset picnic. Read our post secret beaches for a few idea. Alternatively, try a picnic in one of the top 10 parks.

If you want to turn up the romance a notch, why not order a ready-made picnic from Dial-a-Picnic. They will pack the basket for you and even spread a blanket with cushions, ready for you to simply enjoy!

#2 Fine Dining Experiences

There are so many amazing eateries in the city, we will rather not influence your choice too much by our opinions. Instead, we will offer you a very handy way to find the exact restaurant to fit your unique needs. DinePlan. This nifty app has categorized the city’s restaurants for your convenience. Use filters such as cuisine type, price, ratings, and special attributes (such as romantic, great views, or sunsets) to find your ideal romantic rendezvous spot.

The app is very user-friendly. Choose your location, apply the filters and vila, you can simply select the restaurant you like the most. Download the app now on the iTunes or GooglePlay store

#3 Cape Winelands Exploring with Wine Flies

A trip to the winelands is by far one of the most romantic outings near Cape Town. They are conveniently located on the city’s doorstep. Or you could even try a few of the ones tucked away within the city’s borders, such as the Constantia Wine Valley or the Durbanville hills. Wine Flies will help you create an idyllic day outing, offering you a unique experience at a variety of wine farms in their repertoire. Their tours include the following options: a trip to Stellenbosch, the Elgin Valley, or even a little bit further to Matjiesfontein.

Visit wineflies.co.za for more information

#4 The Pink Flamingo Rooftop Cinema

If your sweetheart is a fan of the big screen, this date will score you big time brownie points! The little open air cinema is tucked away between vintage Airstream trailers (the only rooftop trailer park in the world) It’s situated on top of the Grand Daddy Hotel in the city centre. So not only will you get to watch a movie in a very unique setting, you can also enjoy panoramic views of the city. Your movie ticket includes the following: a welcome drink, and popcorn with a mixed bag of sweets. In winter you also get a blanket, plus hot chocolate. You can also order a gourmet food basket.

View the movie schedule

#5 Go Dancing

Top 10 Fun Things to Do in Cape Town for Couples dancing allefvinicius unsplash

This one can either be a once-off fun night out, or you can make it a weekly activity. Nothing says romantic like a good sultry dance! Each week Qua Pasa teaches a variety of dance styles including salsa, swing, bachata, lindyhop, kizomba, tango, cuban, and charleston. They also host weekly salsa parties at La Prada (Friday) and Jada Bar (Sunday).

Visit quepasa.co.za for more information.

#6 Live Jazz

There’s just something about jazz music. Combine that with champagne, and you have all the romance sorted for the evening. The Milk and Honey Bar is a champagne bar infused with Parisian flair. Situated at the bottom edge of the CBD in Bree Street, an outing here will for a moment feel like a transportation to a real Parisian street café. The stylish décor includes marble counters, formidable chandeliers, and brass trimmings. Every Wednesday night, they have a live jazz band playing.

Insider tip: book a table outside, you’ll still be able to enjoy the ambiance, but can talk to each other over the music.

Visit milkhoneybar.co.za for more information.

#7 Ice Skating

Top 10 Fun Things to Do in Cape Town for Couples Ice Skating

A fun outing as a relaxed first date option, or simply something zany to do as a couple. Situated at the GrandWest Casino, it’s an Olympic-sized rink. The rink is used for ice skating sports, but it’s open to the public on Wednesday to Saturday evenings. This one is a very affordable date night idea, which can be extending into something splurgier with a fancy dinner at one of the Grand West restaurants.

Visit icerink.co.za or the Grand West website for more information

#8 A Sunset Cruise from the V&A Waterfront

What’s more romantic than sailing into the sunset with your sweetheart? There are a variety of cruises embarking from Quay 5 at the V&A Waterfront. Very easy to find, follow the path between the amphitheatre (on your left) and the Cape Wheel (on your right). Options range from simplistic to extravagantly fancy, you can choose how much you want to spend as well as the type of sailboat you would like to set sail on.

#9 A Comedy Show

The Cape Town Comedy Club at the V&A Waterfront combines a comedy show with a delectable dinner. It’s situated across the Watershed, in the Pumphouse building, which dates back to 1882. Let the talented comedians, both famous plus up and coming, make you laugh till your tummy hurts.

Visit capetowncomedy.com for more information.

#10 Hot Air Balloon Ride

This one can be saved for a special occasion, as it is quite pricey. But you have to admit, silently floating in a hot air balloon over the magnificent winelands, is pretty darn romantic! Wineland Ballooning offers trips from November to April. You’ll lift-off as the sun starts rising over the horizon, a truly magical experience. Each trip is unique, as the wind determines the route. After safely landing again, you’ll be whisked off to the Grande Roche Hotel (Paarl) for a decadent champagne breakfast.

Tip: keep a Plan B option in mind, the ride is determined by safe weather conditions.

Visit the Wineland Ballooning website for more information

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Heritage Square - Top 10 Cape Town Courtyard Cafes

In the thick of summer, when Cape Town is heaving with visitors and locals let loose from their work cages, you might feel the urge to find somewhere quiet to hide. Here are a few wonderful Cape Town courtyards to try when you need to step out of the fray.

196 Victoria

196-Victoria-facade - Top 10 Cape Town Courtyard Cafes

If you’re looking for a peaceful retreat in beautiful surroundings, the approach to 196 Victoria might not immediately seem promising: persevere, and you’ll be delighted you did. In the middle of the bustling, restless, noisy urban Woodstock Main (Victoria) Road, you’ll see the gracious old façade. But once you step inside, you’ll find yourself in an oasis of calm that seems to be miles (perhaps centuries?) away from the street you’ve just stepped off. I first went there to see an exhibition by a local artist – wonderful work, exhibited in a light, clear space – and it felt like I’d stumbled, Narnia style, into a different world.

196 Victoria Courtyard - Top 10 Cape Town Courtyard Cafes196 Victoria was conceived as a hub where creatives and holistic health practitioners (and those who feed and water them) could work in a beautiful, conducive environment. The focus of the centre is on supporting physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. The building houses several artists’ studios (to the right as you walk in), a yoga studio, therapy rooms and workshop rooms as well as an extraordinary old world café room, an exhibition space, and, tucked away at the back, a courtyard café. The eatery has just changed hands, and the new Veg Kitchen and Coffee Shop opens in January. I’ll definitely be paying them a visit.

Café Ganesh

If you’re looking to put yourself into the thick of it rather than to escape, head to Café Ganesh in the heart of Observatory. Café Ganesh started by accident. Literally. Anthony Baker was knocked off his motorbike in the early 90s and was eventually paid out for his medical expenses in 1995. He took a 7-month trip to India (hence the name Ganesh), and decided to start a local eatery when he came home in late 1996.

An “Obs” institution since its inception, Café Ganesh serves up hearty food (think bobotie, umnqusho, pap ‘n veg) and even heartier conversation, Mzansi style, from before noon until the wee hours. The look is urban shabby chic, and the feeling is everyone’s welcome. Most of the action happens at the long tables in the main courtyard area (through the main Trill Street entrance) but Ganesh expanded some years ago to include an extra room, featuring work by well-known SA artists – don’t forget to check out the floors.

If you’re wanting something more tranquil and less “happening”, try the fabulous fare at the High Tea cake shop in Wynberg.

High Tea

High Tea - Top 10 Courtyard Cafes In Cape Town

Kerneels and Irma Brümmer started High Tea in Wynberg as a tea and cake shop in 2004, but it has since expanded. High Tea now serves up breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea in a really beautiful, peaceful English-styled garden. The baking is still done by Irma and her staff in a home-based kitchen. You can hire out the venue for functions or order custom-made cakes for birthdays, weddings or other special occasions.

High Tea - Top 10 Courtyard Cafes In Cape Town

If it’s a seaside courtyard retreat you’re after, make your way to the South Peninsula, where you’ll find the Courtyard Café in Kalk Bay or try the Winchester Mansions in Sea Point.

The Courtyard Café

Courtyard Cafe Kalk Bay - Top 10 Courtyard Cafes Cape Town

The Courtyard Café is set in a sheltered courtyard in Kalk Bay between the Artvark Gallery (through which you enter the café) and the Kalk Bay Theatre (which featured in the Secret Cape Town “Intimate Theatres” blog). The café has inside and outside areas, some of which overlook the bustling activity of Kalk Bay and the False Bay ocean beyond. The Courtyard Café prides itself on their healthy, high quality ethically sourced food, serving many inventive salads as well as vegetarian and vegan options.

Courtyard Cafe Kalk Bay - Top 10 Courtyard Cafes Cape Town

Winchester Mansions

Winchester Mansions in Sea Point is home to one of my all-time favourite courtyard hide-aways. I’ve been treated to a fabulous breakfast buffet there and it’s a perfect place for afternoon tea, but Harvey’s (as the restaurant here is called) also serves dinner in this uber-romantic courtyard setting. They offer Summer Serenade evenings during season on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 8, high tea on Saturday afternoons from 2 to 5 (R360 for 2) and their legendary jazz brunches on Sundays from 11 to 2 (R345 and you can help yourself to anything from the breakfast or lunch buffets) – just make sure you book in advance. If you’re after a spectacular sunset drink, the bar (with a stoep) at the front of the hotel looking out onto the promenade and the sea beyond is a winner.

Heritage Square

Heritage Square - Top 10 Cape Town Courtyard Cafes

Heritage Square houses an impressive range of places to eat or drink. There are several good restaurants (one specialising in chicken dishes, the other in beef), an upstairs drinkery, an innovative ice cream shop serving inventively boozy ice cream flavours such as whisky and orange peel alongside more traditional (and child-friendly) varieties, a cellar offering wine tasting, a coffee shop, and the Heritage Hotel which is adorned with a grape vine that has been growing there since the 1770s and still produces grapes. Whether you’re going there for a quick drink, a coffee, an ice cream or a full meal, it’s a wonderful venue – day or night.

Villa 47

Villa 47 - Top 10 Cape Town Courtyard Cafes

Villa 47 - Top 10 Cape Town Courtyard Cafes

Not far from Heritage Square in Bree Street, the Villa 47 courtyard has just been revamped into a fresh, modern terrazza with funky but comfortable-looking furniture, presided over by a great mosaic created by a young local artist. They specialise in Italian spritzers, snacks and meals and have several beers on tap. It seems like a perfect place to go for post-work drinks and stay for a good Italian dinner.

Honest and The Gin Bar

Honest Chocolate Cafe And Gin Bar - Top 10 Courtyard Cafes In Cape TownStill in the CBD, Honest Chocolate is a small, artisanal bean-to-bar chocolatier. The people at Honest are dedicated to ensuring ethical business practices and sourcing (local, organic and fair). The chocolate is handcrafted in Woodstock, and they set themselves apart from the rest by keeping their chocolate dark and minimally sugared. Their café shop is on Wale Street, with a few tables of indoors and a really pretty courtyard at the back (which is part of the original building) where you can sit and enjoy a breather and something dark, decadent and chocolatey at a table near the water feature.

If you’re a gin lover (which I confess I’m not) venture further and you will find the secret Gin Bar, which shares the courtyard with the Chocolate Café and offers a wide selection of local and international gins. You can try your hand (or taste buds) at identifying the huge variety of botanical flavours used, and experiment with different mixers and garnishes.

Jonkershuis

If you feel like going somewhere rural without leaving the city, the courtyard at Jonkershuis restaurant is a good bet. Situated in the heart of Groot Constantia, the oldest wine-producing estate in South Africa, the Jonkershuis is a relaxed restaurant with a leaning towards traditional Cape Malay dishes. There are various spaces within the venue, including a lovely courtyard area, but it’s definitely worth booking in advance. It’s a great place to take kids: there’s a children’s menu (as well as a vegetarian one) and plenty of space under the shade of the oak trees to run off any extra energy after lunch.