We spent the first week of our honeymoon this past July in Capetown, South Africa and I am positive it will be somewhere we return again. The trip was wonderful and we have 4 memory cards full of photos to show for it. While I plan to do a more detailed recap of what we did/saw/ate while we were there, I wanted to write up a quick 5 day itinerary. This isn’t exactly what we did (but pretty close!) it’s more of an outline for what we would do if we went again and if you are planning a trip to Capetown, hopefully it provides some inspiration.
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront (V&A Waterfront)
I would recommend planning to spend at least an entire day here if not more. There is great shopping (hello favorable exchange rate if you’re on USD), restaurants, and plenty of entertainment.
Bo-kaap Walking Tour
This is the famous neighborhood with the colorfully painted houses. While it is beautiful there is also a lot of history about this neighborhood and that’s why I would recommend a tour as opposed to walking through yourself (although you can certainly do that too!).
Robben Island Tour
Robben Island holds an immeasurable amount of historical significance to South Africa and the Apartheid. This is the prison island that held political activists (including Nelson Mandela) who were caught in opposition to the oppression. I could go on and on and those two sentences don’t even do the significance justice, I highly recommend this tour and would make it a priority when planning your trip.
Day 3 was the one day we rented a car, and we walked to most everything else on the other days. If you’re going in their winter months I would plan to get up early for this day in order to fit it all in before sunset.
Climbing up took us about 2.5 hours, however we were passed a few times by people jogging up the mountain (I’m pretty sure they lived there and were in excellent shape) so I would plan for at least that amount of time going up if you’re in moderate to good shape. There is a trolley that you can go up and down in, we had planned ahead and bought a ticket to ride it back down to enjoy the views.
A beautiful garden that has one of every type of plant on the continent. While you could plan to spend an entire day here, it is seriously massive, I would recommend making a point to do the tree canopy walkway.
So, I had a few people look at me like I was insane when I said one of my favorite times in South Africa was spent seeing the penguins on Boulder Beach. Apparently they thought I was pulling their leg and that there are no penguins in Africa? We didn’t go to the official section of the beach because we arrived just before dusk and I’m pretty sure that section was closed. We went to a near by beach in Simon’s Town, and since it was dusk the penguins were coming in for the night so we were up close to them and one even walked right under where I was sitting!
No picture because we arrived after sunset, but this is the southern point on the Cape of Good Hope.
Stellenbosch/Franschhoek Winery Tours
I’m sure there are many commercial companies with tours that are per-planned, but since it was our honeymoon we arranged for a tour through our hotel. It was actually reasonably priced for all we got, so I would look into booking through your hotel when planning your trip. We only made it to 4 wineries, our guide said his record was a lady who made it to 7! I have no idea how she made it though because the places we visited poured the most generous size “tastings” I’ve ever had. I would plan on doing 3-5 wineries and each place was around 5-10 dollars USD.
I would recommend leaving the last day “open” with no set schedule. There are museums and galleries throughout the city and you could even head back and spend more time at the V&A waterfront. In all three countries Tyler and I have traveled to this past year we have ended up with a day of just wondering and this is my favorite day we have spent in these places. We always end up ten times more than what we could have planned if we had mapped the day out in advance. When planning your trip I would put this day near the end of the week so that you have had time to adjust and can collect recommendations from locals in the beginning of the week for restaurants and other must see items.
I hope this helps if you are planning to visit Capetown and if you’re planning a trip anytime soon I hope I have at least convinced you to put it on the list of places you consider!