Top Things To Do In Cape Town In Winter
Winter is coming – which means its time to get excited! The Mother City is filled with beauty, wonder, adventure, excitement, and a vibrant contagious energy, and this is no different during her stunning winter season. While the sun may set a little earlier, rise a little later, and the temperatures gradually start to cool down, Cape Town in winter is absolutely wonderful and not at all what you might expect.
Known as one of the Mother City’s best kept secrets, winter in Cape Town is when the city shows off an entirely different side of what it has to offer. Boasting an endless variety of things to do, see, explore, and experience, there is something for everyone to enjoy this winter season in Cape Town.
We’ve put together a list of some of the top things to do in Cape Town in winter – All of which should be added to your ultimate Cape Town winter bucket-list right away!
It’s time to hike! Did you know that winter in Cape Town is known as the ‘Green Season’? Winter marks the time of year when all the Cape flora come out to play and the vast Mother City landscapes transform into a glorious lush green paradise. This makes it the perfect time of year to get out there, explore the great outdoors, and discover all of the Western Cape’s stunning natural wonders and beautiful, yet equally thrilling, hiking trails.
Let’s be honest, there’s absolutely no better (or more fun or exhilarating) way to explore the Mother City’s unapologetic natural beauty and incredible biodiversity than by going on one of Cape Town’s many exciting hikes!
**Bonus: The milder, cooler temperatures mean you get to experience a lot more of what Cape Town’s hiking scene has to offer – Giving you the opportunity to tick a whole bunch of Cape Town’s best hiking trails off your hiking bucket list.
While we’re merely scratching the surface of the abundance of hiking trails in the Western Cape, 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.
Whether you’re a first-time hiker, eager mid-level enthusiast, or a die-hard highly experienced hiker at heart, here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when going hiking in Cape Town.
#Go Whale Watching
Winter in Cape Town is the best time of year to see Southern Right Whales. This undoubtedly makes going on a whale watching adventure one of the top things to do in Cape Town in winter.
Every year, between June and November, Southern Right Whales journey to the Cape shores to mate and calve, giving locals and travelers the incredible opportunity to witness these majestic ocean beings in their natural habitat. The Cape Whale Route is a 900-kilometre-long stretch of coastline that extends from Strandfontein near Muizenberg to Plettenberg Bay in the Southern Cape, giving you ample destinations and opportunities to enjoy incredible whale sightings.
Whether you choose to witness them from the shoreline, the perfect ocean view sunset spot or up close and personal on a boat-based whale watching ocean adventure, it promises to be a bucket list worthy experience.
**Tip: Here are the top spots & destinations for whale sightings in and around Cape Town:
- False Bay coastline
- Cape Agulhas
- De Hoop Nature and Marine Reserve
- Witsand (also known as “The Whale Nursery of South Africa”)
- The Cape West Coast: Lambert’s Bay; Strandfontein; Yzerfontein; Langebaan; Paternoster; Elands Bay; Saldanha Bay; Melkbosstrand & Doringbaai
- Overberg region: Struisbaai; Arniston; Stanford; Betty’s Bay; Gansbaai & De Kelders
- Cape Town: Llandudno & Hout Bay
- Garden Route: Stilbaai; Sedgefield; Nature’s Valley
#Go surfing, kitesurfing or kiteboarding
Cape Town is a hotspot for watersports, and it’s no different in winter. The bigger waves, wind conditions, and warmer ocean temperatures during the winter months of June – September makes Cape Town the ultimate surfing, kitesurfing, and kiteboarding mecca for locals and travelers alike.
For more experienced surfers, the Cape of Storms puts on an impressive display of heart-pounding swells during Cape Town’s winter months, which is bound to get your surf-loving heart racing. It’s no surprise surfers flock from all around the world to experience Cape Town’s winter wave magic first-hand.
Boasting an incredible and thrilling variety of local surfing hotspots ranging from beginner to advanced, means that absolutely EVERYONE can join in on the Cape Town surfing fun and games. Have a look at our ‘Top 5 Coolest Surfing Beaches in Cape Town’ blog for everything you need to know about Cape Town’s coolest surfing spots.
#Aerial Cable Way ride up Table Mountain
Going on an Aerial Cable Way ride up Table Mountain is one of the most sought-after experiences in Cape Town – Undoubtedly making it one of the top things to do in Cape Town in winter.
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. Whether you’re young or young at heart, going on an Aerial Cableway Ride up Table Mountain is one adventure that will be thoroughly enjoyed by all!
#Red Bus City Sightseeing Tour
Going on a famous Red Bus City Sightseeing Tour in the Mother City is definitely one of the top things to do in Cape Town in winter. The iconic Cape Town Red Bus Tour is the ultimate hop-on-hop-off experience. Stopping at some of the city’s top landmarks, hidden gems, and sought-after attractions, it is one of the best, and certainly the most fun, way to explore everything the beautiful, culturally diverse, and vibrant city of Cape Town has to offer.
The Red Bus Tour gives visitors the ultimate opportunity to tick some of Cape Town’s top destinations and sights off their bucket-list!
**Tip: There are a variety of Cape Town Red Bus City Sightseeing tours to choose from, visit their website to find out more.
#Enjoy a cool Cape Town market day
The Mother City is at the very top of her market game. This makes visiting one of her vibrant markets one of the best things to do in Cape Town anytime of the year, including during her wonderful winter season. Besides being a fun-filled day out exploring the city, the fact that Cape Town is home to such a unique variety of markets makes going on the ultimate market adventure that much more exciting. From fresh local produce, tasty treats and home-baked delights to art, crafts, thrifts, live music, and one-of-a-kind finds, Cape Town’s markets truly have it all!
**Tip: Here are some of our favourite markets that deserve to be on your Cape Town summer bucket-list: The V&A Food Market; The Watershed at the V&A; The Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay; Oranjezicht City Farmer’s Market; Root 44 Market; Cape Point Vineyards Thursday Night Market; the Old Biscuit Mill and Neighbourgoods Market.
#Visit Cape Point
If you’re keen to go on an exciting winter road-trip or tick an epic adventure experience off your Cape Town bucket-list, a visit to the renowned Cape Point is perfect for you! Located approximately 60km south west of the city of Cape Town, at the very tip of the Cape Peninsula, Cape Point is the ultimate destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
One of the perks of visiting Cape Town in winter is that it is Cape Town’s low season. This means fewer crowds, less traffic, and no long queues, making it the perfect time to visit some of Cape Town’s top attractions and natural wonders like Cape Point. That, combined with the fact that winter in Cape Town is known as the ‘Green Season’, means the glorious Cape Point Nature Reserve will be beautifully green, thriving and worth every second of exploring.
Situated within the renowned Table Mountain National Park, a declared Natural World Heritage Site, Cape Point is located approximately 60km south west of the city centre, at the very tip of the Cape Peninsula. Boasting jagged mountain peaks rising from the deep blue, plunging cliffs, an abundance of wildlife and a rich biodiversity and endemic Fynbos, it is a true nature lover’s paradise. Besides its unapologetic natural beauty, one of the best things about Cape Point is the fact that it offers visitors so much to do, see and experience – Making for the ultimate Cape Town winter adventure!
Top things to do at Cape Point
- Go hiking. Cape Point boasts some of the most thrilling hiking trails in the Western Cape. Have a look at our ‘Best Cape Point Hiking Trails’ blog to find out more about its beautiful and exhilarating hiking trails and nature walks.
- See the old Cape Point lighthouse.
- Take a ride on the famous Flying Dutchman Funicular.
- Embark on a cycling adventure.
- Go fishing (you will need a permit).
- Go surfing.
- Take a refreshing dip in one of its picturesque tidal pools.
- Witness its abundance of wildlife, birdlife, and marine life.
- Explore Cape Point’s rich biodiversity, stunning scenic surroundings, and vast natural landscapes. From jagged mountain peaks rising from the deep blue, towering more than 200 metres above the sea, and plunging cliffs to a spectacular display of wildflowers and endemic Fynbos scattered about, Cape Point is a remarkable natural wonder and National Park.
- Visit the Cape Point food shops and curio shops.
- Discover one (or all) of Cape Point’s secret beaches, all of which are largely unspoilt and untouched. Four of Cape Point’s stunning secret beaches include Buffels Beach, Diaz Beach, Maclear Beach, Olifantsbos Beach.
- Entry fee: Conservation Fees for 1 November 2020 to 31 October 2021: South African Citizens and Residents (with ID): R85 per adult per day / R40 per child, per day | SADC Nationals (with passport): R170 per adult per day / R85 per child, per day | Standard Conservation Fee (Foreign Visitors): R340 per adult per day / R170 per child, per day
Besides it’s wild unapologetic natural beauty and magnificent panoramic views, Cape Point offers visitors so much to do, see and experience. From thrilling hiking trails, nature walks, fun-filled family friendly activities, an abundance of wildlife, birdlife, and marine life to exhilarating adventure experiences, tons of hidden gems, tidal pools, picturesque secret beaches, the old Cape Point lighthouse, and the famous Flying Dutchman Funicular, Cape Point has it all!
**Tip: Some of Cape Point’s most beautiful secret beaches include: Buffels Beach, Diaz Beach, Maclear Beach and Olifantsbos Beach.
#Muizenberg Beach & It’s Colorful Beach Huts
Located along the vibrant False Bay coastline, Muizenberg Beach’s laid-back beach vibe, surf’s up approach to life and vibrant energy has made it one of Cape Town’s coolest coastal towns. It also boasts one of Cape Town’s top blue-flag swimming beaches, making it perfect for enjoying a lovely laid-back beach day with the whole family.
Besides its blissful beach status, Muizenberg Beach is home to the famous Muizenberg Beach huts, also known as the retro wooden bathing boxes. These cool and colorful works of art have not only become one of the most sought-after attractions for travelers and photographers from around the world, but it has claimed the title as one of the most ‘Instagrammable’ spots in Cape Town too. This makes Muizenberg Beach and its colorful beach huts a must-visit destination on any trip to Cape Town.
**Tip: Muizenberg Beach’s famous Surfers Corner is the best place in Cape Town for surfing first-timers to learn how to surf. If you’ve got ‘Learn how to surf’ jotted down on your Cape Town bucket-list – It’s time to seize the surfing day and surf your very first wave at Muizenberg’s Surfers Corner!