Best Cape Town Top Things to Do 1
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Best Cape Town Top Things to Do

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Greetings, Internet Stranger, and welcome to the Cape Town top things to do day! Some of you might be wondering what Table Mountain is doing on a list of the best Cape Town top things to do. After all, everyone who visits Cape Town can see it, and it’s super popular. Why do I think it’s unique enough to include?

Well, unique doesn’t mean obscure, and Table Mountain is the symbol of Cape Town. It’s unique because you can’t find a place like it anywhere else in the world.

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: Cape Town Top Things to Do

#1 TOP PICK

Best Cape Town Top Things to Do 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
AFRICAN FOOD TOUR
✔️ Delicious wine and food
✔️ Get off the beaten track

#2 PICK

Best Cape Town Top Things to Do 3

HOP ON HOP OFF BUS
✔️
See the whole city
✔️
Surprisingly affordable

#3 PICK

Best Cape Town Top Things to Do 4

ALL OTHER CAPE TOWN TOURS
✔️ Find your favorite!
✔️ Get the best deals

But after we visit Table Mountain, we’re going on one of the best off-the-beaten-track food tours in the world, and then we’re going to stuff our faces on some fine dining. Let’s not waste any more time!

cape town top things to do

Cape Town top things to do day

Morning: Visit Table Mountain

Again, some might be skeptical about the idea that Table Mountain is something we should do on a Cape Town top things to do day. But just look at that gorgeous shape on this rock formation! Name one other city that has something like that–I dare you!

See, told you it was impossible. So just follow me as I take you up Table Mountain first thing in the AM. I’ll even give you a special tour with…

Three Fun Facts: Table Mountain

cape town top things to do
1) Any Tips for Seeing Table Mountain?

Ugh, I have a grillion. Getting up Table Mountain successfully is a pain, but worth it. My first suggestion is that you should buy the Hop on Hop off bus and use that to get to Table Mountain.

Sometimes they close the mountain to cars, but they don’t close it to the bus, at least not as easily. So you should be fine. Buy the 2 Day Bus Ticket so you’ll have plenty of time to take advantage of the sightseeing.

Get the bus ticket in advance easily here.

Second, you have to buy your ticket for Table Mountain in advance here or else the lines will be insanely long.

They can be very long anyway, so if you arrive and feel like the lines are just too insane, go up the mountain another day and just spend the morning enjoying the views on the Hop On Hop Off Bus Stop. In fact, you can still get some nice views from the bus stop, like my photo above.

Final tip! Get there as early as you can so the line will be the shortest it’s going to be all day.

cape town top things to do
2) How Do I Get To The Top?

Aha! Here we have another of the treasures of a Cape Town top things to do day: the cable car up Table Mountain. It’s the only way to get to the top.

I took this photo above from my cable car, but it is not of my cable car; it is of the neighboring car. I do not know how to exit the cable car while it’s in motion and fly around outside taking photos, nor do I wish to.

I went to Table Mountain in the high season, just after New Year’s, so the line to get to the cable car was very long. It might not be as long while you are there. The cable cars are old and historic, but they can still move 800 people an hour, which is most impressive in my book.

While you wait on line, some local musicians will play music and dance to entertain you, so it’s a nice gesture to bring cash to tip them. The musicians spoke one of the local languages, Xhosa, and they tried to teach it to a shy European family who had trouble repeating the “clicks” used in Xhosa.

So practice Xhosa now, and that way you’ll be ready to demonstrate if the musicians call on you for the language lesson!

cape town top things to do
3) What Do We Do At the Top?

Check out the views!! They are truly some of the most spectacularly stunning panoramas that you will ever see on this or any other planet.

cape town top things to do

See! It actually does look like you are flying over the ocean from up here.

cape town top things to do

You can also go exploring to see the local plants, many of which or perhaps all of which are fynbos, the name for the local shrubby plants that can only be found in South Africa.

I feel like all the plants on Table Mountain are fynbos, but I’m not a fynbos scientists, so don’t quote me on this.

cape town top things to do

Just be sure to be down at the bottom of Table Mountain more than an hour before your tour starts. Keep in mind that there is sometimes a line to get on the cable car down the mountain, but it moves much faster than the line up, and the views are definitely better.

That should give you plenty of time to get to the food tour meeting place on time. You might have to take the Hop On Hop Off bus one stop to get an Uber, but that should be easy.

cape town top things to do

If this is too jam-packed an itinerary, just spend the whole day tramping on Table Mountain, taking a nature tour of Table Mountain and seeing the sights on the Hop-On Hop-Off bus, and go on the food tour another day.

But don’t skip the food tour altogether! It really is a must see for your Cape Town top things to do day

cape town top things to do

Cape Town top things to do day

Afternoon: A Taste of Africa Food Tour

I’ve taken food tours all over the world, and the A Taste of Africa Food Tour was absolutely one of the most special and memorable. That’s because you are able to try cuisines prepared by people from many African countries who have moved to Cape Town and made it their home.

I will not give my guide a funny name like I usually do because he seemed like a very serious person, and I don’t think he’d like it. Instead I will call him Guide.

You can book this amazing tour by clicking here.

I don’t wish to spoil the adventure for you, I will give you a TASTE of what to expect with…

Approximately Top 5: A Taste of Africa

cape town top things to do
1) Tanzanian Food

Our first stop was at a restaurant where I got to sample Tanzanian food for the very first time. As you can see, it was a massive amount of food for one person: beef stew, vegetable curry, coconut rice, and fried kale. The food was all delightfully spiced without actually being spicy.

But it’s good that there was so much because Guide said it’s polite to leave a little bread on the plate to show that you were well-fed and just couldn’t finish the meal.

Guide also told me that you’re meant to eat with your hands, though there is a fork and knife provided if you need. I say, dig right in! It’s fun to try new ways of eating. And eating with your hands can be a very sensual experience, as my grandmother always used to say.

cape town top things to do
2) Ethiopian Food

I’m sure you’ll look at my photo above and agree that eating a meal in this garden must definitely be something for our Cape Town top things to do day. It serves Ethiopian food, which I have had in the United States, but not like this.

Guide indicated that this restaurant doesn’t serve their guests the same dishes every time they visit, so I can’t guarantee you’ll have exactly what I had.

But I can guarantee that you’ll get a delicious variety of vegetable stews, beef, collard greens, and of course that wonderful spongy Ethiopian bread called injera.

cape town top things to do

Injera is especially important in Ethiopian cuisine because you use the bread as a utensil to pick up the food. This injera had a wonderful tang, and Guide said it was because the restaurant imports the special flour so they can make proper injera. Don’t miss the chance to taste it!

cape town top things to do
3) Senegalese Coffee

This is also one of the Cape Town top things to do because it offers the chance to get a Cafe Touba. This is a special, very sweet coffee preparation from Senegal.

I met the owner, who immigrated from Senegal to South Africa all by himself speaking no English at all. But because he was so good at making this coffee, now he is able to own his own shop.

The owner told me that the story behind the coffee is that someone was trying to kill a king and used a dried ground-up root in the king’s coffee. But then the king thought it was delicious and didn’t die even a little.

Cafe Touba is usually made with a lot of sugar, but you can get it Halfway to Senegal or All the Way to Senegal.

I recommend getting it All the Way to Senegal, just for the experience, but be warned that it’s very sweet, but with a wonderful spiced taste from the djar, the dried up plant that did not poison even one king to death.

cape town top things to do
4) Bunny Chow

I hope you’re very hungry because we’re stopping here for a classic South African dish, bunny chow. Bunny chow is more commonly associated with the city of Durban, where we are visiting next. It’s basically a giant bread bowl filled with spicy meat curry. Messy, satisfying, and scrumptious!

Guide told me that bunny chow was a dish that came about because of apartheid. People of color were not allowed to use metal cutlery, so they needed a dish they could eat with their hands.

Plus, they were not supposed to eat meat, so they had to hide the meat in the bread. Honestly, how could anyone say these ridiculous rules out loud and not realize that they were going to be the villains of history for coming up with such a horrible system?

cape town top things to do
5) Chocolate

For the dessert stop, we hit up a chocolate shop for two pieces of locally made bean to bar chocolate. You can pick any two you like, but I selected the date chocolate and the peanut butter chocolate because Guide said they were the most local.

cape town top things to do

These aren’t included with the tour, but they also had politician heads made from chocolate. I’d definitely call seeing these part of our Cape Town top things to do day.

cape town top things to do
6) South African Wine

Of course, it can’t be a Cape Town food tasting without sampling some of South Africa’s famous wines! At this wine shop, we sampled one white and one red. Guide even asked me if I could figure out the notes in the red, and I didn’t disgrace myself because I could tell that there were cherry notes.

At least Guide agreed with me, but it’s possible he was just pretending that I’d been right to end the tour on a positive note.

cape town top things to do

And this is definitely one of the Cape Town top things to do because you can pose for a picture with the same South African wine that Napoleon liked to drink.

24 Hour Tip

Those are all the food tour secrets I can share for now. You’ll have to book the tour yourself if you want to find these places yourself.

Check rates and availability right here!

cape town top things to do

Cape Town top things to do day

Evening: Dinner at Aubergine

Aubergine is my favorite restaurant in Cape Town. I’ve been here twice, which is saying a lot considering I live all the way around the globe from Cape Town.

I think it’s one of the Cape Town top things to do because they serve so many special local ingredients. And the tasting menu is an amazing value considering the quality of the food, especially if you pair it with South African wines.

cape town top things to do

So as you can see, I had just gotten an iPhone 11 and still hadn’t figured out you need to give the camera time to take the picture and so my first course, the tuna, came out blurry.

But this was still a delicious dish because you can feast on the two different tuna preparations: raw tartare and seared tuna tatake. Trying the tuna two different ways in the same dish really helps you appreciate the flavor.

My next course was a fantastic octopus dish with international flavors like rice paper and a chili-cucumber granita. I wish I could show it to you, but that photo came out so blurry, I would be ashamed to show it on my blog.

cape town top things to do

I’m not sure I can prepare you for this decadence because we’re having three back to back meat dishes. The first is an Iberian pork loin with sauteed cabbage and pancetta.

It’s pork on pork! Iberian pork loin is just so packed with flavor; you can really sense the quality with every bite.

cape town top things to do

Our next course was a duck cannelloni served with a poppyseed and Cassis sauce. This was a unique twist on the way that duck is often served with a sweet sauce like cherries or a l’orange.

Plus it was served with duck ham, which is definitely a treat that should work its way onto more menus.

cape town top things to do

For the final meat course, we have a marvelous steak served with forest mushroom dust.

The best thing about this dish is how simple it was. That way all your attention can be focused on that perfect piece of medium-rare meat.

cape town top things to do

Of course there’s a cheese course before the dessert course. I mean, we only had three meat courses. Aubergine doesn’t want you to starve to death.

This was my first time tasting something called a Dalewood Hugenot cheese, which I assume was made by persecuting French Protestants. It’s got a charming nutty flavor and went down smoothly with Aubergine’s own Chenin blanc.

cape town top things to do

Finally the glorious dessert! Nothing says summer in January like a stone fruit dessert, and this was a roasted peach with orange and lemon-thyme ice cream served with a honey marshmallow.

The honey marshmallow was quite sweet, but then the orange and lemon thyme was much more tart and herbal, so the dish balanced out well. A deliciously orange end to a perfect day!

cape town top things to do

Cape Town top things to do day

Where to Stay?

Since we’re looking forward to a Cape Town top things to do day, why not start with a truly original hotel, one that is also home to the oldest vine in all Cape Town?

And if that’s what you want, you’re looking for the Cape Heritage Hotel. This hotel is uniquely beautiful, uniquely well located, and serves a uniquely delicious breakfast.

cape town top things to do

Yeah, the breakfast at the Cape Heritage Hotel is enough to make you crave fruit and yogurt. But they make excellent hot breakfasts to order too.

cape town top things to do

Click here for the a hotel that’s definitely one of the Cape Town top things to do.

Or if you want to find a hotel in the perfect location/price range, click here!

This search engine will help you find the perfect place to stay for your time in Cape Town. With plenty of options to choose from, I’m sure you’ll find something for your schedule and budget.

cape town top things to do

That’s a Cape Town top things to do day!

If you thought this article was funny, check out my hilarious travel guide Get Lost.

What would you do on a day in Cape Town? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in Cape Town? And is that the blurriest tuna you’ve ever seen? Please email me at stellajane@aroundtheworldin24hours.com and let me know!

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: Cape Town Top Things to Do

#1 TOP PICK

Best Cape Town Top Things to Do 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
AFRICAN FOOD TOUR
✔️ Delicious wine and food
✔️ Get off the beaten track

#2 PICK

Best Cape Town Top Things to Do 3

HOP ON HOP OFF BUS
✔️
See the whole city
✔️
Surprisingly affordable

#3 PICK

Best Cape Town Top Things to Do 4

ALL OTHER CAPE TOWN TOURS
✔️ Find your favorite!
✔️ Get the best deals

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY have 24 hours with a Cape Town top things to do day.

You can also try the best wine tour in Cape Town! You can try 24 hours in Cape Town. Or how about a wonderful day trip from Cape Town? You can take a Robben Island in South Africa tour. You can also experience the best food tours in Cape Town. Learn about the best Cape Town weather South Africa.

Best Cape Town Top Things to Do 8

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