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How to spend 24 hours in Cape Town: The Ultimate Guide

The one thing everyone says about Cape Town is that it’s like no other city they’ve ever been to. Cape Town has history, with a massive slice of culture and scenery to fill up your camera roll. I’ll go as far as to say that there’s nothing the Mother City doesn’t have. If you’re planning a stopover in my hometown, here’s how to spend 24 hours in Cape Town. Don’t miss the list at the end of the post with more hotspots in case you have extra time in the Mother City.

Have breakfast at Cafe Paradiso

There’s nothing I don’t like about this spot. It’s a quiet oasis in the middle of the city. I find it to be the perfect mix of world-class restaurant with touches of home. The white linens and deep wood finishes and furniture has a cozy and comfortable feel. But the food is top notch and tasty. The food is well prepared, the staff is friendly and the location is picture-perfect.

Location: 110 Kloof St, Gardens, Cape Town

Operating times: Monday to Saturday: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM. Sunday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM. Public Holidays: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Stop by Table Mountain

How to spend 24 hours in Cape Town The Ultimate Guide michalah francis table mountain - michalah francis

No trip to Cape Town is complete without a trip to one of the New7Wonders of Nature. 1085 metres above ground you’ll get a view of Cape Town like nowhere else.
How to get up the mountain:

  • Hike up Table Mountain. There are various routes that can be taken up the mountain, so be sure to check them out before the time. You can also get a guide so that all you need to think about is the next step and the view ahead. The shortest hike is 3 hours and the longest is 6, so be sure to plan your time according to which route you choose.
  • Not much of a hiker and don’t own boots? No worries, there’s a cable car for that! 1 ticket and 5 minutes later, you’ll do a quick ascent of this national landmark. To make the trip extra special, the cable car turns 360 degree for the entire trip giving you unspoilt views all the way up. Treat yourself to some cake, a walk about on top and some memorable photos!

Location: Upper Tafelberg Road

Operating times: Weather Dependent

Go from one national wonder to another, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

You’ve seen the mountain now you need to see the garden – all 528 hectares of it. Visitors are welcome to bring in food and blankets to enjoy a picnic there. So if you’re feeling like a snack after your trip to Table Mountain, be sure to enjoy them here! Take a walk around and be sure to check out the boomslang and take an infamous photo on the bridge.

Local tip: every Sunday during Summer they host sunset concerts for everyone to enjoy. So make this the final item on your list and you can enjoy this national garden with live music!

Enjoy world class shopping with a view at the V&A Waterfront

How to spend 24 hours in Cape Town- The Ultimate Guide michalah francis

The waterfront is a shopping experience like no other. Inside the mall you have everything from local craft boutiques, to South African chain stores and high end like Louis Vuitton. Outside, you have a harbour with Insta-perfect views of the Atlantic Ocean and if you really want a unique experience, you can also go SUP’ing in the canal. How’s that for a one-stop spot? If you’d like to see the Mother City from the sea, take a trip on a boat and get up close and personal with some seals too!

Location: 19 Dock Rd, Cape Town

Operating times: Monday – Sunday 9am – 9pm

Party in the centre of Cape Town

How to spend 24 hours in Cape Town The Ultimate Guide michalah francis

You’re not getting the full experience if you don’t dance the night away at one of the many clubs in the city centre. Start with dinner in Sea Point, enjoy pre-drinks in Waterkant, then make your way up Long Street. Be ready to hear everything from Afropop, EDM, jazz, R&B and a few classics too. You never know where you’ll end up once you hit this long road. Be sure to keep your wallet close by but have a great time!

Location: City Centre

Operating times: when 1 tequila turns to 10

Oops! The weather just changed! The one thing that will happen is four seasons in one day, so just in case you need alternative ideas, here’s where to head to:

  • Visit the old Biscuit Mill for fresh produce, live music and enough food options to make you dizzy.
  • Zeitz Museum has contemporary art installations that could easily take hours to walk through.
  • Hike Lion’s Head to get a shot on top of one of the most Instagram’d places in CPT.
  • Camps Bay is the place to be if you want stunning ocean views and a tan.
  • West Coast National Park is only about 2 hours out of the city, but the landscape is well worth the day trip.
  • Bo Kaap and it’s colourful buildings also has incredible stories that you can learn more about with a guided tour through one of the oldest areas in the city.

How to spend 24 hours in Cape Town_ The Ultimate Guide michalah francis

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