A friend has arrived from Canada and I get to play tour guide in Cape Town! Here is a summary of our first day exploring The Mother City.
Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront: With over 25 million visitors a year, the waterfront has become South Africa’s most popular tourist attraction. That being said, it was our first destination. Located right on the harbor, you can find anything from street performers, bars, restaurants, markets, hotels, a shopping center, an aquarium, comedy club, a ferris wheel, and a beautiful view of Table Mountain.
The Watershed at the V&A has been renovated into a beautiful space for local artisans with a vast selection of products, crafts, and specialty designs. The perfect place for gifts and souvenirs!
The waterfront is also home to the V&A Food Market, a foodie market experience located in the historical Pumphouse building next to Nobel Square.
[The Cape Wheel at the V&A Waterfront]
Mount Nelson Hotel: The most iconic luxury hotel in Cape Town, also known for Afternoon Tea. Whether you indulge in the lounge, terrace, or around the garden, this extravagant buffet of decadent treats is a must do! If Afternoon Tea doesn’t tickle your fancy, it’s still worth taking a peek inside.
[The lounge at the Mount Nelson Hotel]
Greenmarket Square: A historical square in the heart of Cape Town, this cobblestone square is one of the oldest markets in the city. Once used as a slave market, vegetable market, and a parking lot, Greenmarket Square is now where artists and vendors meet to sell a wide range of African crafts and souvenirs. You will find anything from paintings, jewelry, clothing, instruments, fabrics, home decor, and anything else you could possibly wan’t to bring home. A great place to chat with vendors and engage in friendly barter!
[Artwork at Greenmarket Square]
Earth Fair Food Market: Cape Town is home to many amazing markets and the Earth Fair Market is one of them! This particular market happens every Thursday at St. Georges Mall from 11am-3pm. It’s a great place to stop for lunch or to pick up fresh produce. Make sure you go early as it gets busy and vendors may run out of selection as the day goes on.
[Earth Fair Market during lunchtime]
Galleries, Boutiques, Cafes: The city is full of shops, bars, restaurants, art galleries, exhibitions, cafes, coffee shops, and whatever else you might stumble upon. Our favorite hidden gem of the day was a gin bar next to an art exhibit, where you have to enter through a courtyard restaurant that is located behind an artisan chocolate shop. The best way to get to know a city is to get lost and explore!
[Load shedding exhibit at Commune.1]
Cape Town Comedy Club: What better way to end the day than a good laugh at Cape Town Comedy Club! A few drinks, comedians, and a drug queen singing current hits with a twist will leave you feeling giddy. Located at The Pumphouse at the V&A Waterfront, it is a great stand-up comedy venue in the city. Be sure to check out their website for special shows and events.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain