Christmas in Cape Town – Things To Do During The Holidays
Can you hear the Cape Town Christmas bells ringing? The festive season is officially in full swing, and Christmas is right around the corner, which means the Mother City has gone into full festive season and Christmas celebration mode.
Christmas in Cape Town truly is like no other. Boasting a year-round mild Mediterranean climate, Cape Town’s festive season takes place during the Mother City’s vibrant summer months. Thereby adding a whole lot more fun and sun to your traditional Christmas celebrations. This means you can check vibrant and warm summer days, sun-kissed beach escapades, beautiful blue skies, stunning scenery, thrilling adventures and bucket-list worthy experiences, lovely late sunsets, and a cool laid-back summer vibe off your Christmas wish list! Trust us, you wouldn’t want to spend Christmas in Cape Town any other way.
From chilling on one of Cape Town’s beautiful beaches, and ticking an exhilarating adventure experience off your bucket-list, to watching the sunset from one of the Mother City’s best secret sunset spots, sipping on a sea-side cocktail, or indulging in a five-course waterside feast, the list of things to do in Cape Town on Christmas and during the festive season is truly endless!
Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered! Here are just a few ways you, along with your friends and family, can celebrate the festive season and Christmas in Cape Town.
#Enjoy a blissful beach day
There is nothing like being sun-kissed, sandy-toed, and salty-haired while soaking up all the Mother City sunshine as you enjoy a blissful day on one of Cape Town’s beautiful beaches. But there’s just something extra special about getting to do it while celebrating Christmas in Cape Town. Yes, in the Mother City, the festive season is all about cool summer vibes and chilled beach times and who are we to say otherwise?! Plus, the fact that the whole family can enjoy all the holiday season beach fun in the sun is just an added Christmas bonus!
Cape Town is home to some of the most breathtaking beaches in the world, with people travelling from all around the globe to experience the Mother City’s beach magic first-hand. Whether you’re looking for a stunning secluded beach escape, long stretch of white sand, something a little cooler and quirkier, the perfect fun-filled family Beach, the ultimate surfing hotspot, or a beautiful beach gem where you can simply sit back, relax, and soak up the glorious Mother City sunshine, Cape Town has the perfect beach for every beach lover at heart.
While some of our beach favorites are Clifton Beach, Llandudno Beach, Bloubergstrand, Big Bay, Boulders Beach, Beta Beach, Bakoven, Water’s Edge, Camps Bay, Muizenberg Beach, Sunset Beach, and Windmill Beach (to mention merely a few), we’ve put together the Ultimate Cape Town Beach Guide to ensure you find the ideal beach for you. Click here to check it out!
#Attend a Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert with the whole family
Nothing says the Cape Town holiday season is finally here quite like the start of the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert Series. Besides, there’s no better way to celebrate the vibrant summer season than to the cool beats and epic sounds of some of the best local and international music acts in the shade of Table Mountain. Plus, the fact that you get to live your very best Summer Sunset Concert life in one of the most stunning settings in Cape Town, the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, with all your fiends and family just makes it all the more special.
With an incredible jam-packed line-up to look forward to this year, attending one of Kirstenbosch’s Summer Concerts is definitely one of the best things to do this festive season and Christmas in Cape Town. Check out our ‘Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert Series’ blog for everything you need to know.
#Explore & taste your way through the Cape Winelands
What would the Cape Town festive season be without tasting some of the Western Cape’s most unique, award-winning wines?
Wine tasting when in Cape Town is not only a cherished past time, it’s one of the best things to do during your holidays too. As they say, in Cape Town, any time is wine time! The Western Cape is home to the largest, and certainly the most unique, wine producing region in Africa after all – making it any wine lover’s dream destination.
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a die-hard wine enthusiast at heart, you’ll undoubtedly fall head-over-heels in love with the stunning Cape Winelands, its beautiful surrounding scenery, its remarkable vineyards, its captivating charm and allure, as well as its excellent wine selection of course.
The Cape Winelands is known for its incredible wine routes, exciting food and wine pairing combinations, pristine wine tasting experiences, and world-renowned culinary pursuits. This ensures that you have everything you could possibly want and need to enjoy a fun and memorable day out exploring the wonderful Cape Winelands.
Here are some of the most popular & renowned wine routes in the Western Cape:
- Stellenbosch wine route
- Wellington wine route
- Franschhoek wine route
- Helderberg wine route
- Breedekloof wine route
- Constantia wine route
- Durbanville wine route
- Elgin Wine Route
- Little / Klein Karoo wine route
- Tulbagh wine route
- Darling wine route
- Walker Bay wine route
- Cape Agulhas wine route
- Cape Point wine route
- Olifants River Valley wine route
- Paarl Vintners wine route
- Robertson wine route
- Swartland wine route
- Worcester wine route
Check out our ‘10 of the best wine tasting experiences in Cape Town’ blog for all your wine tasting pleasure.
#Go on the Franschhoek Wine Tram
If you’re looking to do something a little more adventurous, which still involves wine of course, going on the famous, and dare we say legendary, Franschhoek Wine Tram is without a doubt a NOT-TO-BE-MISSED experience for avid local and global wine lovers this Cape Town Christmas and holiday season.
By far the best, and certainly the most exciting, way to experience everything the renowned Franschhoek Wine Route has to offer is by going on the iconic Franschhoek Wine Tram. It combines the breath-taking scenery of Franschhoek with the region’s exceptional range of world-class wines for a truly unique and unforgettable hop-on-hop-off Cape Town wine experience – an exhilarating Cape Town wine adventure in every way!
The Franschhoek Wine Tram is a combination of a double-decker bus and tram ride that allows you to hop on and off at the various wine farms on your chosen itinerary. All you have to do is pick your wine route, sit back, and enjoy the sweeping vineyard and mountain vistas as you make your way to your destined wine farms. There are approximately 8 different routes / lines to choose from with each route including anywhere from 6 – 10 Franschhoek wineries that you’ll get to visit. Click here to find out more about the various Franschhoek Wine Tram lines / routes.
You are free to hop on and off at the various wine estates on your route. Once you hop off at one of your chosen wine estates, you have a 35 – 60-minute time window before the next bus or tram arrives. You are more than welcome to stay for an additional hour or two at any of the wineries, however, this means you’ll need to forfeit another winery along the way – it’s completely up to you!
One thing is for certain, the Franschhoek Wine Tram is one Cape Town bucket-list adventure everyone should get to experience at least once in their lives – Why not this Cape Town festive season?
- Location: Franschhoek Square, 32 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek, Western Cape
- Contact details: 021 300 0338 | [email protected] | www.winetram.co.za
- Tickets: You can book the tickets online here| Or visit their website for more information and everything you need to know
- Click here to find out more about ticket pricing, bookings, hop-on-hop-off tour tips, and all other need-to-know information.
Yes, we know what you’re probably thinking ‘who wants to go hiking during their holidays? They must be crazy!’, well, the better question to ask is who DOESN’T want to go hiking during their Cape Town holiday? Or what about a Christmas day hike? Even better! Point is, going hiking in Cape Town is an absolute MUST!
The Cape Town hiking scene is thriving, thrilling and like nothing you’ve experienced before. Plus, there is no better way to explore all the scenic beauty, landscapes, mountain ranges, fauna and flora, and natural gems the Mother City has to offer than by going on the ultimate hiking adventure.
To top it off, Cape Town boasts an extensive and exhilarating variety of hiking trails to choose from, catering to all fitness and experience levels – This means no excuses!
Here are some of the top hiking trails in Cape Town:
To add a bit more thrill to Cape Town’s already exhilarating hiking scene, here are a few exciting overnight hiking trails avid hikers can look forward to.
If you’re a beginner hiker looking to experience and explore some of Cape Town’s best and beautiful hiking trails, the Mother City has an incredible array of hiking trails for you too (even if you’ve never hiked a day in your life). Here are some of the best Cape Town hiking trails for beginners that you should absolutely add to your Cape Town hiking adventure bucket-list.
Wait, there’s more! If you’re a head-over-heels sunset lover, here are some of the best sunset hikes in Cape Town – Cape Town is known for its sensational sherbet-coloured sweep-you-off-your-feet sunsets after all. To top it off, we’ve got the kiddos covered too with an amazing variety of kid friendly hikes and walks in Cape Town. Now absolutely EVERYONE can join in on the Cape Town festive season hiking fun and games!
#Visit the African Penguin Colony at Boulders Beach
Seeing the remarkable African Penguins in their natural habitat is by far one of the top family friendly things to do in Cape Town this Christmas and right throughout the festive season. Home to a thriving population of African Penguins, Boulders Beach is one of the only places in the world where you can get up close and personal with these cool and charismatic ocean locals – making visiting the African Penguin colony at Boulders Beach a bucket-list worthy experience in every way!
Besides seeing the African Penguins from the African Penguin Viewing Site in Boulders Beach, you can enjoy a variety of other once-in-a-lifetime adventures such as swimming, kayaking or enjoying a laid-back beach day with them right by your side.
In addition to Boulders Beach, Stony Point Nature Reserve in Betty’s Bay is home to an African Penguin viewing site as well as one of the largest successful breeding colonies of African Penguins in the world.
**Note: Visitors will need to pay an entrance fee (which forms part of a conservation project) to gain access to the African Penguin Viewing Site and Boulders Beach. Your ticket is valid for the entire day. You can choose to exit and re-enter as it suits you (this only applies to the day your ticket was purchased).
**Visit the SANParks website for more information regarding Boulders Beach’s Conservation Fees.
#Spend the day at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
If you’re a head-over-heels nature lover, a visit to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens should definitely be right at the top of your Cape Town Christmas and festive season bucket-list.
The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens is acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens in the world. It has also won the highly esteemed ‘International Garden of the Year’ award, and to be honest, very few gardens can compare to the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch. This is one Cape Town natural gem that is every bit as magnificent as you think.
Located right at the base of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch is one of the most incredible displays of indigenous natural beauty you’ll find anywhere in the city. It forms part of the Cape Floristic Region, also known as the Cape Floral Kingdom, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Besides its vast natural beauty and top Cape Town garden status, Kirstenbosch offers visitors an endless variety of things to do and see. Not to mention some exciting adventure experiences too!
Here is a sneak-peak of what you can expect on your visit to Kirstenbosch:
- Calling all wildlife and bird lovers! Kirstenbosch is home to over 125 bird species, making it any bird enthusiast’s dream come true. You will also encounter several reptiles, frogs, and invertebrates as well as amphibians such as the Chirping Frog, the Cape River Frog, and the critically endangered Table Mountain Ghost Frog.
- Avid hikers can enjoy a variety of hiking trails and walking routes. The Kirstenbosch estate can be explored via five trails of differing levels of difficulty. All are well-maintained, logged footpaths or gravel roads and are sign-posted. The Braille Trail and Boekenhout Trail are ideal forest walks for those pressed for time and the not so fit. The Stinkwood Trail is a relatively short exploration of the oldest part of the forest with some of the largest trees. The Yellowwood Trail and Silvertree Trail are long hikes that take you up to the waterfall and around the estate, through both forest and fynbos. It is also possible to climb Table Mountain from Kirstenbosch, up Nursery Ravine or Skeleton Gorge.
- Kirstenbosch boasts a variety of beautiful garden areas, including the Botanical Society Conservatory, art at the Sculpture Garden, and the Protea Garden, to mention just a few.
- For avid adventurers and thrill seekers, there are tons of hidden gems, secret spots, caves, waterfalls and so much more to be discovered and explored – so get ready for an adventure!
- Beautiful, lush lawns and large shaded trees perfect for picnics and kiddies running around.
- The famous Centenary Treetop Canopy Walk, also known as the ‘Boomslang’, has fast become a fan-favorite Kirstenbosch attraction for both the young and young at heart. The Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway is a curved steel and timber bridge that winds and dips its way through and over the trees of the Arboretum. The Walkway takes visitors from the forest floor into and through the trees and bursts out above the canopy, boasting spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and Garden.
- The cyad amphitheater which features life-size models of dinosaurs – this is a real winner with the kids!
- Kirstenbosch also has a variety of restaurants to and curio shops.
#Learn to surf the cool Cape Town waves
Why not tick a majorly thrilling experience off your bucket-list this Christmas in Cape Town by learning to surf the cool Cape Town waves like a real pro?
Whether you’re an avid surfing pro looking for your next big wave or a surfing first timer, Cape Town is the ultimate surfing hotspot. Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, coolest waves, and a stunning year-round mild Mediterranean climate, Cape Town has fast become a highly sought-after surfing destination for surfers from around the world.
The famous Muizenberg Beach Surfer’s Corner is one of Cape Town’s favorite and most popular local surfing spots as well as the best place for learning how to surf – it welcomes surfers of all ages and experience levels to join in on the surfing fun.
The laid-back sea-side town of Muizenberg embodies Cape Town’s surfing culture in every way, which means you can find a variety of places to rent wetsuits, surf boards, and take up some surfing lessons.
In addition to being one of the coolest surfing hotspots, Muizenberg Beach is one of Cape Town’s best blue flag swimming beaches. Thereby making it the perfect place to enjoy a fun-filled Christmas beach day with the whole family. Muizenberg Beach is also home to the famous and colourful Muizenberg Beach Huts / Bathing Boxes which is one of the most ‘Instagrammable’ spots in Cape Town and perhaps the world.
**If you’re looking for more great surfing spots in Cape Town, click here to check out our ‘Top 5 Coolest Surfing Beaches in Cape Town’ blog!
#Take an afternoon drive along Atlantic Ocean Drive
Why not celebrate Christmas in Cape Town with a stunning scenic drive with the whole family? Cape Town is home to some of the most beautiful coastal drives in the world, one of which is the spectacular stretch from Cape Point to Kommetjie. Boasting an untamed and unapologetic natural beauty and hidden gems like Scarborough and Misty Cliffs along the way, this magnificent Mother City coastal gem is worth every second spent marveling at its beauty.
While Chapmans Peak Drive is certainly more well known, this lesser-known sightseeing treat might just steal your vote and perhaps your heart too! Make sure you stop at all the beautiful beaches and incredible ocean-side towns along the way – You definitely won’t regret it!
#Go Sandboarding at the Atlantis Dunes
Trade in snow for sand this Christmas in Cape Town by going sandboarding at the famous Atlantis Dunes with the whole family.
Going sandboarding is one of the most sought-after adventure experiences for thrill seekers and adventure enthusiasts as well as anyone looking for something fun and exhilarating to do. Located approximately 40-minutes from the city center, the Atlantis Dunes is the ultimate sandboarding mecca. It is also one of only a handful of sandboarding locations in the world, undoubtedly making it a must-do bucket-list worthy activity you can enjoy this festive season in Cape Town.
The ever-shifting dunes of Atlantis range in size of up to 35 meters and invites people of all ages and experience levels to join in on all the sandboarding fun. Even if you’ve never sand boarded a day in your life, the experienced guides will be right there to help you out along the way.
#Go Cave Exploring – The ultimate Christmas adventure!
Are you eager to add some major thrill to your Christmas in Cape Town? Well, then there is no better time to go on the ultimate Cape Town cave adventure than during the Mother City’s vibrant holiday and festive season! Cape Town is home to several seriously cool, absolutely extraordinary, and down-right thrilling caves – All of which deserve a top spot on your Cape Town adventure bucket list. Only if you’re up for it of course?
There is no doubt that going on the ultimate Cape Town cave quest is by far one of the most adrenalin-inducing outdoor things to do in Cape Town for avid adventurers from all around the world.
Here are a few of Cape Town’s top caves to explore:
- Difficulty: Easy
- Fitness level required: Low -Moderate level of fitness required
- Start point: Boyes Drive – Echo Valley
- End Point: Boomslang Cave above Kalk Bay
- Average time to the top: Approximately 2 – 3 hours (depending on your fitness and experience level)
- Approximate route distance: +/- 3.9km
- Child-friendly: Yes
Boomslang Cave is one of Kalk Bay’s coolest hidden gems. As it’s a relatively easy hike, it is great for less experienced cave explorers, novice hikers, families with curious and active kiddos, and eager adventurers keen to get out and explore.
Found above Kalk Bay, Boomslang Cave tunnels right through the mountain – making it quite a thrilling experience to tick off your adventure bucket-list.
#Klipgat Cave, Gansbaai
Nestled within the Walker Bay Nature Reserve, a mere three kilometres from the idyllic De Kelders fishing village, Klipgat Cave is another one of Cape Town’s best secret caves and coolest hidden gems.
Beyond its stunning surroundings and spectacular views, Klipgat Cave has quite a bit of history behind it. The cave reached cultural, historical and world heritage significance due to the 1992 excavation when 70 000-year-old human bones and stone tools were discovered within the cave. These bones and stone tools were believed to be left behind by the native Khoikhoi bushman. This undoubtedly adds an extra dose of mystery and thrill to your experience.
Besides its rich history, exploring Klipgat Cave is a real adventure. It boasts two chambers: The first chamber has a rugged rocky surface and leads to the ocean. The second chamber is made up of a small entryway that leads to the main cave excavation site. There is also a boardwalk that circles around the historical site.
**Extra tip: Klipgat Cave is regarded as one of the best whale watching spots in the Western Cape.
- Difficulty: Moderate level of difficulty
- Fitness level required: Moderate level of fitness required
- Start point: Tafelberg Road / Rhodes Memorial
- End Point: Upper Aerial Cableway Station
- Average time to the top: 1 – 2 hours one way starting from Tafelberg Road | 2 – 3 hours one way starting from Rhodes Memorial
- Child friendly: Yes
Famously known for its long horizontal crack in the Devil’s Peak mountainside, the iconic Woodstock Cave is one of the largest caves on Table Mountain. This not only makes it a top go-to cave, but offers avid cave explorers and adventures tons of space to discover everything it has to offer.
The hike to reach the Woodstock Cave is relatively easy and doesn’t require a great deal of hiking experience. Once you reach the cave, you will be well rewarded for your hiking efforts with a magnificent view, a shaded area to relax and recharge, as well as a small waterfall to admire and enjoy at your own leisure.
**Extra Tip: Don’t hike this route alone. It’s always best to hike in a group when hiking any of Cape Town’s hiking trails.
#Lookout Cave, Chapman’s Peak
The Lookout Cave is not only one of Cape Town’s top secret caves, but one of Chapmans Peak Drive’s most beautiful hidden gems and best secret sunset spots too. Like all of the Mother City’s best kept secrets, you may need to wander a little off the beaten path to find it.
Make your way along Chapman’s Peak Drive until you reach the famous Chapman’s Peak Lookout Point – This is where the real adventure begins! Positioned just below the pass, you’ll have to climb over the railing and carefully make your way down the mountainside to reach the Lookout Cave.
An extra bonus is that this Chapmans Peak hidden gem has enough space to enjoy a picnic and a few sundowners paired with one hell of a view.
#Stadsaal Caves, Cederberg
While you may need to travel a little outside of Cape Town to explore this hidden gem, it promises to be well worth the trip.
Located just over 2 hours outside of the city centre, the Cederberg Wilderness area is considered one of the most undisturbed regions of the Western Cape. With burnt ochre mountains, jagged sandstone rock formations and ancient San and Khoi rock art, it will feel like you’ve escaped to another world entirely.
The Stadsaal Caves is a series of caverns carved into the rock by thousands of years’ worth of wind erosion. These caves were entirely formed by nature and have been touched only by humans in the form of the ancient bushman paintings found on the walls inside. The Stadsaal Caves, together with other nearby landmarks such as the Wolfberg Arch and the Maltese Cross, are some of the most magnificent natural gems in the Western Cape.
How to get to the Stadsaal Caves: To get to the Stadsaal Caves, follow the N7 towards Citrusdal. Continue north from Citrusdal and take the Algeria turnoff to the right onto a dirt road. Continue to the Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve, the caves are located around 5km from the Algeria campsite. You will find a gate barring the entrance to the caves. The gate can be unlocked with the combination attached to your CapeNature permit.
**Important information: As the Cederberg Wilderness is a CapeNature reserve, you will need a permit to enter. You can purchase a permit at Driehoek Farm, en route to the Cederberg, or directly from CapeNature by contacting them on 021 483 0190. The cost of permits is R70 for adults and R40 for children.
#Waenhuiskrans Cave, Arniston
Located just off the sandy shoreline of Arniston, the Waenhuiskrans Cave is undoubtedly one of Cape Town’s best secret caves to explore. Arniston is a small seaside town on the coast of the Overberg region of the Western Cape, approximately 3 hours from the city of Cape Town. It is home to white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and a stunning shipwreck-strewn coastline rich in history and heritage. But, by far one of its best kept secrets and hidden natural gems is the Waenhuiskrans Cave.
Due to its secret location, the Waenhuiskrans Cave can only be accessed during low tide when you are able to make your way through the shallow waters to the entrance of the cave.
Inside the Waenhuiskrans Cave you’ll discover several rockpools, as well as plenty of rock-dwelling marine life that have decided to take up residence inside the cave. If you’re an avid adventurer and keen explorer, a trip to the Waenhuiskrans Cave in Arniston should definitely be on your Cape Town bucket-list.
**Tip: The Waenhuiskrans Cave can ONLY be accessed during low tide. For your own safety it is vital that you do not attempt the hike at any other point of the day. Take only the essentials along when making your way to the cave. Due to the slippery, seaweed-strewn rocks that lie beneath the water’s surface as you navigate your way to the cave, it is important that you wear shoes that are appropriate for traversing slippery rock beds. If you require any additional information on the tides, be sure to contact Cape Agulhas Tourism (028 424 2584 or 028 424 2883) – they will be happy to give you all the pointers and additional information you need.
Check out our ‘Top 10 Secret Caves To Explore In Cape Town’ blog for everything you need to know about Cape Town’s coolest secret caves.
#Kayak with African Penguins
Going kayaking alongside Cape Town’s cool and charismatic African Penguins is an experience that should be on everyone’s Cape Town Christmas and holiday season adventure bucket-list. Not only is it one of the most thrilling and unique ways to see the sights and scenery of the False Bay coastline (as most kayaking trips depart from Simon’s Town), but the best way to get up-close with Boulders Beach’s African Penguin Colony.
In addition to seeing Cape Town’s ultimate cool kids – the African Penguins of course – you’ll also have the opportunity to spot a few other members of Cape Town’s Marine Big 5, including Cape Fur Seals, whales, and dolphins.
**Did you know that Boulders Beach is one of the only places in the world where you can get up close and personal with African Penguins?
#Spend the day at Oudekraal Beach & have a braai!
Why not put a spin on things this festive season and celebrate Christmas in Cape Town with a ‘lekker’ traditional South African braai at the iconic and much-loved Oudekraal Beach?
Tucked away in a sheltered cove between Camps Bay and Llandudno, Oudekraal is not only one of the top beaches in Cape Town, but one of the best braai spots too. It has approximately 40 private braai spots scattered along the lawns above the sheltered cove and sandy beach below.
Oudekraal is also one of the top beaches for enjoying a fun-filled family beach day. The beach is surrounded by large granite boulders that keep big waves at bay, making it the ideal place to swim, especially for the little ones. The water is also calm enough for snorkelling near the shore – adding an extra dose of adventure and thrill to a fun family braai and beach day.
**Tip: Because of its popularity and stunning beach location, the braai spots at Oudekraal can get snatched up pretty quickly. It is important to arrive early to secure a top spot.
- Location: Oudekraal, Victoria Road, between Llandudno and Camps Bay
- Cost / Conservation Fee:
|CONSERVATION FEES FOR 1 NOVEMBER 2021 TO 31 OCTOBER 2022|
|South African Citizens and Residents (with ID):||R36 per adult per day
R18 per child, per day
Additionally: R25 per vehicle
|SADC Nationals (with passport):||R72 per adult per day
R36 per child, per day
Additionally: R25 per vehicle
|Standard Conservation Fee (Foreign Visitors):||R144 per adult per day
R72 per child, per day
#Enjoy a day at the Company’s Gardens
- Location: Company’s Garden, 19 Queen Victoria Street, Central, City Bowl, Cape Town, Western Cape
- Cost: Free
- Contact details: 021 423 2919 | 021 444 1901 | [email protected]
- Operating hours: Open daily from 7am – 7pm in Winter | 07:30am – 8:30 in Summer
Established in 1652 by the Dutch East India Company (VOC), the historical Company’s Garden forms a unique oasis in the heart of Cape Town’s inner-city. The Company’s Garden is not only one of the top and most beautiful gardens in Cape Town, it is also home to some of South Africa’s most important landmarks, including the Houses of Parliament, Iziko South African Museum and Planetarium, St George’s Cathedral, and the National Library of South Africa, to name a few.
Besides its historical significance, the Company’s Garden has established itself as the ideal escape from the hype and hustle of the inner-city. Boasting a vast array of trees and a diversity of fabulous flora scattered about, the garden offers visitors several shady spots and benches on which to sit back, unwind, and enjoy the peaceful and stunning surroundings.
While wandering the many scenic pathways of the Company’s Garden, you’ll come across several historical features such as historic statues, a Japanese theme garden, a well that dates back to 1842, and a vegetable garden that recreates elements of the original VOC garden. The Garden also boasts a rose garden, a bird aviary, water features, a restaurant, plenty of squirrels running about, and lovely lush lawns perfect for picnicking under the glorious Cape Town sun.
#Enjoy an outdoor Galileo Open Air Cinema movie screening
Known as Cape Town’s first and finest outdoor movie experience, a visit to The Galileo Open Air Cinema should be on everyone’s Cape Town holiday bucket-list. In Cape Town, the wildly popular and iconic The Galileo Open Air Cinema is synonymous with summertime bliss, as it brings movie magic to majestic venues across Cape Town throughout the vibrant Mother City summer season as well as special screenings on Christmas eve and Christmas day in Cape Town.
The Galileo invites both the young and young at heart to enjoy a memorable and magical outdoor movie experience underneath a canopy of stars and the Mother City moonlight.
Check out our ‘The Galileo Open Air Cinema’ blog for everything you need to know about this not-to-be-missed experience. You can also visit The Galileo Open Air Cinema website for more information, updates, along with their jam-packed movie line-up this holiday season.
#Snorkel with Cape Fur Seals at Hout Bay’s Duiker Island
Gift yourself with the ultimate adventure experience by ticking snorkeling with Cape Fur Seals off your bucket-list this Christmas in Cape Town.
Going snorkelling with Cape Fur Seals is by far one of the most exhilarating things to do in Cape Town all-year round. However, it is particularly enjoyable during the Mother City’s summer holiday season.
The famous Duiker Island, also known as Seal Island, in Hout Bay is home to thousands of Cape Fur Seals and the perfect destination for your snorkelling adventure. These playful ocean beings are known to be very interactive with divers and only too eager to show off all their tricks and twirls, making snorkelling with Cape Fur Seals an incredible ocean adventure experience you’ll never forget.
#Watch the sunset from Chapman’s Peak Look-out Cave
Add a bit of stunning sunset bliss to your festive season in Cape Town by watching the sun set over the glorious Atlantic from one of the Mother City’s best secret sunset spots – the Chapman’s Peak Look-Out Cave.
While Chapman’s Peak Drive is regarded as one of the most magnificent marine drives in the world and one of Cape Town’s top tourist attractions, few people are aware of the array of hidden gems and secret spots scattered along this captivating coastal road. One being the Chapman’s Peak Look-out Cave. However, as with most Cape Town hidden gems, you must be willing to wander a little bit off the beaten path to find it – Are you intrigued?
**How to get there: Make your way along Chapman’s Peak Drive until you reach the famous Chapman’s Peak Lookout Point. This is where the real adventure begins! As it is positioned just below the pass, you’ll need to climb over the railing. Carefully make your way down the mountainside until you find the Look-out Cave.
Once you’re there, it’s time to sit back, relax, and soak it all in. Besides being one of the top hidden gems in Cape Town, it is also one of the city’s most magnificent secret sunset spots, which means you are in for a real treat! An extra bonus is that there is enough space to enjoy a picnic and a few sundowners paired with one hell of a view.
#Take a sunset drive along the famous Chapman’s Peak Drive
While we’re on the topic of Chapman’s Peak and sunsets, taking a drive along the renowned Chapman’s Peak Drive at sunset is definitely one of the top things to do with the whole family this Christmas in Cape Town.
Named one of the most magnificent marine drives in the world, taking a drive along the picturesque Chapman’s Peak Drive should be on everyone’s bucket-list. Affectionately known as ‘Chappies’ by Cape Town locals, this captivating coastal road ribbons along the Atlantic coastline between Hout Bay and Noordhoek. Besides showcasing some of the most sensational panoramic views over the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll pass rugged mountains, picturesque white-sand beaches, and vibrant fishing harbours on your way.
If you’re looking to experience something extra special, a sunset drive along Chapman’s Peak promises to sweep you off your feet and capture your sunset-loving heart all at the same time. It isn’t known as one of the best sunset spots in Cape Town for nothing.
Besides its unapologetic beauty, there are a variety of hidden gems, look-out points, and picnic sites located at various points along the drive. Chapman’s Peak Drive is also known as one of the best places to spot the beloved members of Cape Town’s Marine Big 5. Make sure to keep a look-out for Cape Fur Seals, Dolphins, Southern Right Whales, and African Penguins.
** Important note: Chapman’s Peak Drive may be closed during severe weather, or because of road maintenance. Contact the customer service line (021 791 8220) or visit their Facebook page or website to check the current status.
- Location: M6 | Chapmans Peak Drive, Atlantic Seaboard, Cape Town
- Best time: Best during daylight hours | Particularly beautiful at sunset
- Cost: Chapman’s Peak Drive is a toll road, and as such requires as toll tariff fee. Each category of vehicle pays a different tariff and the tariff is applicable in each direction.
- Toll Details: Click here to find out more about the Chapman’s Peak Standard Toll Tariffs | Click here to find out more about Chapman’s Peak Day Passes | Click here to find out more about Chapman’s Peak Frequent User Benefits
#Go Stand-up paddle boarding
Time to tick another bucket-list worthy adventure experience of your list! Stand-up paddle boarding (also known as SUPing) is undoubtedly one of the most exciting, sought-after, and adventurous ocean experiences and things to do in Cape Town this holiday season. This incredible and down-right exhilarating paddle-boarding experience gives you the amazing opportunity to see and explore the private waterways of the V&A Waterfront, various canals, lakes, as well as the ocean from an entirely different angle. And guess what? It can be enjoyed by ALL and is ideal for both beginners as well as advanced paddlers alike, with the pace being entirely up to you.
When it comes to going stand-up paddle boarding in Cape Town, you can choose to either be led by an experienced SUP instructor (this is recommended for first-time / beginner ‘SUPers’) or decide to go your own way (perfect for more experienced ‘SUPers’).
The waters of Muizenberg are perfect for those who like to catch waves while on their SUP boards, while the quieter waters beyond the breakers at Clifton and Camps Bay Beach offer the most incredible views. For a more predictable and laid-back experience – perfect for beginner SUPers – venturing out on your stand-up paddle board, led by skilled and experienced instructors and guides, and exploring some of the city’s most amazing hidden canals, waterways, and lakes is one Cape Town adventure experience you definitely won’t soon forget.
**Note: While Stand-up paddle boarding might look like a relatively easy and tranquil activity from the shore, when you stand up on these thick boards, essentially trying everything in your power to stay up-right (utilizing those abdominal and core muscles like you never have before), you realise just how much focus, control, and effort actually goes into staying out of the water while SUPing. However, regardless of putting in some good ol’ effort and core muscle power, going stand-up paddle boarding in Cape Town is a thrilling bucket-list experience in EVERY way!
#Enjoy an Aerial Cableway Ride up Table Mountain
Going on an Aerial Cable Way ride up Table Mountain is one of the most sought-after experiences – Undoubtedly making going on an exciting Aerial Cable Way ride to the Table Mountain summit one of the ultimate family-friendly experiences and things to do in Cape Town on Christmas and throughout the holiday and festive season. The bonus is, it will be thoroughly enjoyed by absolutely EVERYONE – Locals, international travelers, globe trotters, avid adventurers and thrill seekers, the young wild and free, and the young at heart.
While admiring Table Mountain from below is every bit as beautiful, there are few things that compare to the view from the top of one of the New7Wonders of Nature. Plus, you get to tick something truly thrilling off your Cape Town bucket-list.
One thing is for certain, going on an Aerial Cableway ride up Table Mountain is one memorable experience and thrilling adventure you will absolutely never forget.