The Insider Guide to Cape Town

by Lauren Morling on 21 December, 2013 · 2 comments

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There are plenty of guides to Cape Town that beckon visitors to the main tourist attractions, but if you’re visiting during peak season, these are some of the places you may wish to avoid. After all, some of the most worthwhile places are the ones that not many people know about. So if you’re looking to escape the crowds and enjoy the best of the best like the locals do, then follow our insider’s guide to Cape Town:

The Rumbullion

Where to eat:

For centuries, the terraces at The Roundhouse above Camps Bay have been fondly dubbed “The Rumbullion”; an English term for a riotous good time, and that is exactly what you’ll get. The Rumbullion offers a laidback picnic style atmosphere on the terraces and lawns where you can sit back and enjoy the unmatched views of Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles as you dine on cuisine under the ancient pomegranate trees. The gardens are great for kids.

Sweet Orange Guesthouse (TG)

Where to stay

Sweet Orange Guesthouse is a classic Victorian home located in the coastal suburb of Sea Point. They have a variety of cosy standard, superior, and bachelor suites on offer, each equipped with en-suite bathrooms. Along with offering the ideal base from which to explore the Mother City, Sweet Orange also boasts a tranquil garden with a splash pool for when you’re needing a day to yourself. Find out more.

Canal Walk (Wikipedia)

Where to shop

If you’re the type of traveller who likes to have plenty of souvenirs, canal walk shopping mall is your best bet. Located between the Cape Town and Bellville CBDs, Canal Walk is one of Africa’s leading retail malls where you can pick up just about anything, from clothing and food, to electronics and gifts. For those with a little more money to spend, the V&A Waterfront offers hours of shopping fun!

Chapman's Peak by tipsfortravellers (Flickr)

Where to “chill out”

If you’re looking to spend a lazy day in the sun, pack a picnic and a bottle of champagne and enjoy the magnificent views over Hout Bay and Noordhoek from Chapman’s Peak. There are plenty of picnic and braai spots on the grassy banks!

Acrobranch Constantia

Where to go with the family

Enjoy some family tobogganing at Cool Runnings, where you can shoot down the tracks at speeds of up to 40km an hour! Once you’ve worked up an appetite, the kiosk provides some rewarding refreshments. We also love Acrobranch Constantia and Bugz family Playpark.

Shimmy Beach Club

Where to drink

Shimmy Beach Club near the V&A Waterfront has fast become known as the “place to be” in Cape Town. With a fine dining restaurant, tasting rooms, 2 bars, an outdoor stage, undercover kiddies’ area, and a sprawling deck that leads down to an infinity pool and private beach, Shimmy’s has to be experienced to be believed. End the day with a celebratory glass of bubbly from the champagne bar.

The Old Biscuit Mill

What to do on a Saturday morning

The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock is always bustling, offering the best local products that Cape Town has to offer. With day and night markets, a range of workshops, designer stores, and a fantastic line up of festivals and productions, you’ll be torn to leave.  Other markets we love include the Blue Bird Market in Muizenberg and the City Bowl Market on Hope Street.


Where to act like a local and enjoy a South Africa braai

If you’re after a night of fun where you can blend in with the locals, you need to visit Mzoli’s. Situated in the heart of the Gugulethu Township, Mzoli’s offers a truly South African experience. It might be described as part restaurant, part butchery, part nightclub, yet it is neither by any conventional means. It’s purely the best place to hang out with other fun loving “Saffas” while enjoying a drink and a braai, which can quickly turn into spirited table dancing. At Mzoli’s, there is no need for table manners as there are no waiters, cutlery, or seating arrangements.


Where to go for a date

Kirstenbosch Gardens is and always will be top of the list for lovebirds. With sprawling gardens full of the most beautiful, fragrant plants, the gardens also host summer sunset concerts and an open air cinema in the grassy amphitheatre. Pack a picnic, pop open a bottle of wine, and soak up the atmosphere.

Planning a trip to the Mother City? TravelGround offers a range of accommodations in Cape Town to suit all needs and budgets!

Sharon December 22, 2013 at 9:59 am

Defs the most vibrant, scenic secret in the Cape in Hout Bay is Bay Harbour Market…!


Lauren Morling December 23, 2013 at 8:03 am

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for reading our post. Yes, we have to agree on that one! :)

Have a lovely Christmas,


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