14 Random Insider Faves from Cape Town

Everyone knows about Table Mountain and the Waterfront, but what about the hidden secrets waiting to be discovered in Cape Town? For all the out-of-towners and overseas visitors, here’s  the lowdown from locals on where to go and what to do next time you’re in the Mother City.

Cape Town's hidden secrets
Cape Town’s hidden secrets. Photo: Zach Zinn

1. Drive to Constantia Nek

Stop at the circle to buy some grapes, and then bundu-bash into the trees to find the easily missable Art in the Forest gallery. More info: www.artintheforest.com

Art in the Forest
Photo: FB / Art in the Forest

2. Grab a movie at the Labia

First opened as a theatre for live performances in 1949. Now showing honest-t0-goodness flicks. More info: www.thelabia.co.za

The Labia Theatre
Photo: FB / Labia Theatre

3. Hang out at the South African National Gallery

Now exhibiting William Kentridge: The Refusal of Time, among other things. A walk and tea (even if you don’t drink it normally) in the Company’s Garden afterwards is crucial. Bottom line: Both are just lekker places to hang out. More info: www.iziko.org.za/museums/south-african-national-gallery


South African National Gallery
South African National Gallery. Photo: Iziko.org.za
Hang out in the Company's Garden, Cape Town
Hang out in the Company’s Garden, Cape Town. Photo: Mozhdeh Mazhari

4. Jog or walk from Sea Point to Clifton

Or just laze high above the sea – taking lots of breaks to drink in the view.

Clifton, Cape Town
Clifton, Cape Town. Photo: Bruce Marais

5. Wander (while keeping your wits about you, though!) through Woodstock, Salt River and Observatory

New stuff is opening all the time, art galleries, Superette, the Biscuit Mill, the Tap Room Craft Beer Pub & Restaurant – oh, just go and explore!

Biscuit Mill, Salt River
Biscuit Mill, Salt River. Photo: Bruce Marais
Albert Road, Woodstock
Albert Road, Woodstock. Photo: Ravi Moodley

6. Take your time over a coffee and croissant at the Olympia Café, Kalk Bay…

followed by a walk through the harbour across the road to check out the seals. At Artvark, find one of the best shops for the latest in carefully sought-out local art, sculptures and much more.

Seal at Kalk Bay.
Seal at Kalk Bay. Photo: Alan Rudnicki

7. Browse through Clarke’s Bookshop, Long Street…

if you happen to be one of the people not there during its nighttime festivities.

Clarke's Bookshop
Clarke’s Bookshop Photos: clarkesbooks.co.za

8. Go search for flamingoes…

in the vlei at Muizenberg or Noordhoek lagoon, and if you don’t find them take a hike down to Diaz Beach at Cape Point.

Flamingos at sunset on Lagoon Beach, Noordhoek, South Africa
Flamingos at sunset on Lagoon Beach, Noordhoek. Photo: Rob Tarr – https://www.fb.com/robtarrphoto
Flamingos at Milnerton
Flamingos seen here at Milnerton Lagoon. Photo: Alwyn Smit

9. Learn to cook Cape Malay food in the Bo-Kaap

Or just go there and eat it! Bobotie, samosas, chilli bites, pickled fish, malva pudding, the list goes on.

Bo-Kaap
Bo-Kaap. Photo: Hester SophiaEsta Marais
Malva Pudding
Malva Pudding. Photo: tastyrecipes.sapeople.com

10. Soak in the view and the sounds at Summer Sunset Concerts

If you happen to be lucky enough to visit Cape Town during one of the open-air concerts at Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden, go park on the lawn and listen!

Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert
Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert. Photo: Anthony Kotton

11. Rent a scooter…

to see the Cape with the wind in your hair or get in the sidecar of Cape Sidecar Adventures. More info: www.sidecars.co.za

Cape Sidecar Adventures
Cape Sidecar Adventures. Photo: sidecars.co.za

12. Hike up Lion’s Head for moonrise or sunrise

Still talked about as one of the most amazing hikes around, and smack in the middle of the city.

Lion's Head, South Africa
Lion’s Head, South Africa. Photo: Dominique Graaff

13. Visit the humble District Six Museum

Be taken through the life of the colourful but blighted suburb that by 1980 was torn down and still remains unbuilt on.

District Six Museum
Photo: districtsix.co.za

14. Do lengths or loll inside or alongside the 50-metre Sea Point Swimming Pool…

where waves sometimes crash on you and model shoots happen often.

Sea Point Swimming Pool, Cape Town
Sea Point Swimming Pool, Cape Town. Photo: Keri Petrie