Last week Pedro and myself flew to Cape Town in the early hours of Sunday morning, and even though I am in no way a morning person, sacrificing a few extra hours of sleep to make the most of our time in the Mother City seemed worth it. We had been told that the weather was incredibly hot and so, so, SO beautiful. Cape Town is naturally an exquisite city and if you get the chance to visit, you really should. I’ve been there a few times and never have I been disappointed! At 07:30 we hopped on a plane and took to the clouds.
Although we were only there for three days, we made sure that we could get as much “touristy” stuff in as possible! It helped that we stayed with a very dear friend of my mom’s, who was more than happy to make our visit memorable. With that being said, here is my advice on making the most of three days in Cape Town.
Have an idea or list of things you’d like to see.
As soon as we knew we were going we started thinking about and searching for things we could do that were within a certain budget, but would still be amazing. The great thing about Cape Town is that everywhere you go, whether it’s a paid for activity or not, there is something beautiful to see. I mean hello – you get off the plane and you’ve got Table Mountain as your view! That’s not too bad, I’d say… 😉
For anyone who is on a budget like us, I would recommend finding the things that you can do for free. And I promise you, they’re not difficult to uncover! Our first stop was the V&A Waterfront, which is just so charming in itself. It’s got most the breathtaking view of the mountain behind the harbour, and the combination of the mountain with the boats in the blue water is quite a sight. You’ll also find many shops at the Waterfront that can keep you busy browsing for hours! After a lunch at the Mugg n Bean, we took a stroll around the Waterfront, and it was BUZZING that day! To be fair it was a Sunday, so we could’ve seen that coming. Nonetheless it was lots of fun and, of course, extremely picturesque.
In true tourist fashion, Clifton 4th Beach was next on our list. Again, a really enjoyable thing to do that did not cost a thing. Clifton 4th beach is absolutely gorgeous, words don’t do it justice! The whole atmosphere on the beach is so relaxed and calm, with a definite excitement in the air. The sand is white, the water is crystal-clear, and the backdrop is the mountain in all its glory. It’s truly such a heavenly part of Cape Town. One of the best things about this city is the best-of-both-worlds aspect you have, with the mountain on one side and the sea on the other. There are the prettiest paths and stairways leading down from the road, onto the beach. It kind of gave me the feeling of being in Greece, with the white houses and narrow passages. (I’ve never even been to Greece 😂 But I assume that’s what it’s like!) The people lounging on the beach reminded me of a typical summer holiday in the truest sense of the words, with the bright yellow umbrellas and the delicious-looking ice creams being devoured.
Organise to meet up with people you know, who are familiar with Cape Town
As I mentioned at the beginning, Pedro and I stayed with my mom’s childhood friend (how crazy!?), and she was so welcoming and eager to share the beauty of the city with us. It always makes it that much easier when you know someone who lives in the city you’re traveling to for two important reasons: 1. It makes finding accommodation simpler, and possibly cheaper. 2. It ensures that you will be able to visit local spots or areas that maybe only people living there would know about. It basically gives you some impressive advantages!
The area we stayed in was Fish Hoek, which was so convenient as it is not far from Simonstown, Kalk Bay, and Hout Bay – all places you’ll want to visit, or at least drive through! With the trusty guidance from my mom’s friend, we visited her favourite spots in these areas:
Lekker coffee shop: cute name, right? This little gem is situated in Kalk Bay and truly is the epitome of lekker. It has a very homey atmosphere, with the friendliest staff and yummiest menu. It looks out onto the ocean and seriously makes your morning pick-me-up one hundred times more satisfying!
Dalebrook tidal pools was the next destination on the list. Let me just say one thing before I continue. If you are not a fan of cold water, you WILL NOT be a fan of Cape Town seawater! It is so cold 😂 The thing that amazed me though is that the Capetonians love it and don’t even flinch! I mention this because there were two tidal pools that we visited, Wooley’s and Dalebrook, and they are both so beautiful, but naturally very cold. It is something that you must try and see if you visit – it really is like nothing I’ve experienced before. You’ve got this amazing pool that’s built around the rocks, and is filled by the seawater that comes with the crashing waves. A morning coffee, a quick run, and a dip in the tidal pools: a standard morning for some.
One other little coffee place I want to mention is called Salt. It’s also in Kalk Bay, but what makes it special is that their cappuccinos are R10 before 9:00! Don’t forget that if you’re ever in the area early in the morning. Their hot chocolate is also incredibly delicious and creamy, though that isn’t R10 regardless of time…
After your R10 cappuccino, go to the fish market where the pier and the lighthouse are. According to everyone there is usually a seal there, who has basically become the mascot of pier. Unfortunately he wasn’t around when we went – you can imagine how disappointed I was, seals are so cute! To compensate though, we met a little Yorkie at the lighthouse who was 8 weeks old! I can’t guarantee he’ll be there when you visit, but you know, you may be lucky. Even so, it is a beautiful place to stop and take in the scenery. The old lighthouse makes for an amazing backdrop too.
Be open to adventure and take it as it comes.
With such short visits like this, sometimes you can’t always plan everything and eventually you have to just go with the flow. This was us on our last day. But the unknown is ALWAYS part of the adventure! And the best way to discover and learn about any new place is to get lost in it. We ended up finding the most incredible sushi place for lunch in Muizenberg, and this was purely by chance! Before this though, we took our time driving around Simonstown, having a look at all the old buildings and cute restaurants. This is where you can find the cute, waddling penguins that you see all over Instagram, on Boulders Beach. There is also a whole lot of Navy history here, if that’s something that interests you.
We enjoyed our last few hours digging into sushi and then taking the most gorgeous, scenic drive back to the airport. The road looked out onto the vast, turquoise ocean, and it was breathtaking. We stopped for photos (obviously) and just took in the beauty that was in front of us. I think the road we travelled on was Old Boyes drive.
3 days in Cape Town doesn’t have to be too short if you go in with some sort of game plan. We had initial ideas of places we wanted to see, and by the last day we were happy to explore open-endedly. One last thing; if you are as obsessed with sunsets as I am, you will feel extremely excited with what Cape Town offers in terms of its sunsets. It just wants to show off 😉 But I didn’t complain…
Have you traveled to Cape Town before? Let me know what your favourite things to do and see are! xxx