Cape Town is known for being South Africa’s scenic cultural hub, dominated by talented creatives. You don’t only have to hang around in the city centre to be entertained. The Mother City boasts more than a handful of cool, diverse neighbourhoods with a lot to offer that are spread all over the city.

TravelGround has rounded up some of the most noteworthy neighbourhoods in Cape Town where you can expect to be inspired by unique beauty, creativity, eccentricity and excitement!

Kalk Bay


Ranked as number 1 on Forbes’ list of the 12 coolest neighbourhoods in the world this year, Kalk Bay put the Mother City on the map again for all the right reasons. This unique seaside haven is just far enough from Cape Town’s CBD to make you forget about the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Kalk Bay oozes eccentric vibes with its colourful cafés, quaint art and clothing stores, vintage bookstores and restaurants that offer mouth-watering local cuisine.

Where to experience the coolness of Kalk Bay:

Kalk Bay Theatre


 

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Where? 52 Main Road

Once a handbuilt Dutch Reformed Church on Main Road, Kalk Bay Theatre is now one of Cape Town’s popular dinner-and-theatre venues. Guests can enjoy excellent theatre, comedy or a supper-club experience. You can even hire their venue for a personal event which they can tailor-make for you! Kalk Bay Theatre also offers great deals you shouldn’t miss out on. On Tuesdays you can purchase two tickets for the price of one, and on Thursdays they have a two-for-one dinner deal. Note that if the restaurant is full, the special won’t be available, so don’t sleep on it, purchase your ticket ahead of time so that you can have an entertaining theatre experience while enjoying a delicious meal!

Ice Café


 

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Where? 93 Main Road

Ice Café offers delicious homemade ice cream that is a big favourite among the locals. This family recipe contains natural ingredients only, and they offer unique flavours such as peanut butter, coffee, coconut, cinnamon and even liquorice! No matter what your flavour of choice is, you’ll definitely find it here, seeing that they change the flavours daily. This cute little café is even environmentally friendly in that they encourage customers to return plastic spoons and use paper tubs only.

Kalk Bay Modern Gallery


 

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Where? Olympia Buildings, 136 Main Road

If you’re an art enthusiast, Kalk Bay might just be your heaven on earth. Visit this gallery to see top artwork of local artists, like San Bushmen art, diverse photography, jewellery and textiles. Kalk Bay Modern Gallery is the perfect representation of the hidden talents that can be found among the locals in an eccentric neighbourhood such as Kalk Bay, and it’s a big support for creatives trying to get a message across. You can even enjoy a delicious breakfast at Olympia Bakery & Deli situated below the art gallery while admiring the local artistic talent.

Why not take a well-deserved break while exploring Kalk Bay? Check out these relaxing stays in the breathtaking Kalk Bay area:

Kalk Bay Sea Space | Modern Beach Apartment | Starfish Cottage | The Majestic Apartment

Gardens


Gardens is an inner-city suburb with old-worldly charm, views of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head that will stop you in your tracks, and plenty of things to keep you busy. Other than the ever-popular Kloof Street that’s lined with trendy and fancy bars, restaurants, galleries and more, you can also escape buzzing streets filled with tourists, and discover the more quiet spots this neighbourhood brings to the table.

Where to experience the coolness of Gardens:

The Labia Theatre


 

 

 

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Where? 68 Orange Street

Labia isn’t just like any other theatre, it is the oldest independent art cinema in South Africa. This quant cinema was originally opened as an Italian Embassy ballroom for live performances by Princess Labia in 1949, and for the past four decades it’s been a cinema for the more alternative films. Even though Labia is focused on keeping the ambiance of a charming antique cinema, it offers quality viewing and sound. If you’re a fan of critically acclaimed, alternative and controversial films, Labia will be your cup of tea.

They also offer great meal deals every day of the week:

Monday and Tuesday: enjoy two pastas at Societi Bistro, Orange Street for R110 (includes two movie tickets). Parties of three and singletons fear not, a single movie ticket and pasta can be arranged for *R55. Please book ahead to avoid disappointment.
Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday: enjoy two pizzas at Diva Cafė Ristorante, Buitenkant Street for R110 (includes two movie tickets). After 16:00 on Sunday.
Thursday: enjoy two burgers at Knead, Kloof Street for R150 (includes two movie tickets) or a burger and ticket for R55.

*Prices are subject to change.

The Company’s Garden


 

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Where? 15 Queen Victoria Street

Even though Company’s Garden isn’t really a secret spot for locals or internationals, it can always be seen as a go-to oasis in the middle of the city with activities that floats everyone’s boat. Seeing that this garden was built as a refreshment station for the trade route from Europe to the East back in the day, the Company’s Garden has a rich history that is well-worth learning more about. If history isn’t your thing, you can relax with drinks or food at the Company’s Garden Restaurant. You can also visit the South African National Gallery on the premises that exhibits the work of artists all over the world. It’s also more than enough to just sit on one of the many benches and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings while you watch some of the local artists’ live performances, or watch the squirrels jump from tree to tree.

City Bowl Market


 

 

 

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Where? 14 Hope Street

The City Bowl Market is the hidden place where all the foodies of Cape Town come together in order to celebrate sustainable, independent and quality food trade by the local community! This market is open every Thursday from 16:30 tot 20:30 and local traders come together to sell fresh food of the best quality. At this market, the focus is on variety, so don’t think you’ll see some everyday, average cuisine here! If you’re feeling a bit lazy to cook on a Thursday night, the City Bowl Market is sure to offer that specific dish or snack you’re craving for. While you’re enjoying the food, a live band will also be performing to create an even merrier atmosphere. Every last Thursday of the week, fashion and jewellery stores are also to be found at the City Bowl Market. The clothes range from new to vintage to uniquely designed ─ something for every fashionista.

Note that this market will be closed from 14 December 2018 to 11 January 2019.

Why not take a relaxing break in the Gardens, surrounded by views of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head, and all amenities needed for a comfortable stay? Check out these wonderful places:

Valentine Villa | Albany 12 | Six on Scott | Gap Lodge

Hout Bay


Hout Bay isn’t fondly called “The Republic of Hout Bay” by the locals for no reason – this seaside suburb has had its own culture since the first colonists set foot in Cape Town, starting out as a settlement for the timber industry. This quaint suburb is one of the best places in the Mother City you can have a fun-filled day with the whole family! From seeing more than 400 species at World of Birds, to taking a relaxed, scenic drive on Chapman’s Peak on a Sunday afternoon, you can’t go wrong with exploring Hout Bay.

Where to experience the coolness of Hout Bay:

Seal Island Trip


 

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Where? Hout Bay Harbour

Yes, we all know these cute mammals are only a pleasure to watch while they’re lazily basking in the sun, but have you ever seen them in action in the water? You can take a boat trip from the harbour in Hout Bay to Seal Island, the home of seals and, of course, the Great White. The boat has a glass bottom through which you can witness the seals playing and swimming in their favourite hangout spot. You might even be lucky enough to see the shadow of a Great White swimming past closeby…

Clay Café


 

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Where? 4080 Main Road

After the tragic fire at Clay Café in June this year where some rooms burnt down, this cafe is back and better than ever! This little cafe is the perfect representation of the uniqueness of this beloved suburb. If you’re struggling with ideas for the perfect gift for a loved one this Christmas, this might just be what you’re looking for! Here you can choose any piece of ceramic, like a bowl, cup or plate that the cafe provides, and paint anything your heart desires on it. They also have several helpful guides to help you create the perfect flower landscape if you don’t necessarily feel like Picasso with a paintbrush in your hand. Clay Café even has a playground for the kiddies, so bring the whole family, get creative and warm a loved one’s heart with a simple, yet personal gift.

The Workshop Pub


 

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Where? Helio Trust Building, Main Road

The Workshop is, without a doubt, one of the most intriguing places in Hout Bay, if not Cape Town, to get a drink at. Be sure to only bring your best friend with you, as this is literally the smallest pub in Africa! This little pub offers all your favourite drinks and it’s a favourite among locals to soothe some mid-week blues, or to end off a fun night out with your bestie the right way.

Stay at these wonderful places in Hout Bay while on a trip fun-filled trip in this unique neighbourhood:

House Cherry | Villa La Louise | The Salt House | Flora Bay Resort

Woodstock


It’s hard to imagine that this current concrete jungle originally began as an area with a few fishermen houses and farm cottages. Woodstock developed in many different ways, and today it’s an upcoming, hip and happening neighbourhood where gentrification has played a major role in what it is today. Woodstock is best explored by foot where you can experience the interesting streets and locals first-hand, so put on your walking shoes and find out what this diverse area has to offer.

Where to experience the coolness of Woodstock:

Juma’s Graffiti Tours


 

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Where? 66 Albert Road

If you’ve driven through Woodstock before, you’ve surely noticed the fantastic graffiti all over the buildings in this neighbourhood. Juma Mkwela offers a two-hour Woodstock Graffiti Tour where you can admire these artworks from nearby while learning more about the artists who brought some colour to this concrete jungle. There’s no better way to get to know the best secret spots than by exploring an area on foot.

Vintage Shopping


 

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Where? Everywhere in Woodstock

Does second-hand items with an interesting background story make your heart beat faster? Then you should definitely set out a day to check out all the vintage magic Woodstock has to offer. Tucked between the bars and cafés, you’ll find the cutest gems with the most intriguing vintage items for sale, whether it’s clothes, toys, books or ceramic pieces. These stores include Muse Vintage Emporium on Albert Road, Collect Mea Story on Victoria Rod and Dress Me Up on Roodebloem Road. Music lovers would be thrilled to hear that a few old-school vinyls are also sold at Dress Me Up that will really take you back in time!

Pop in at ReCreate


 

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Where? 6 Stowe Street

Just down the road from the popular Old Biscuit Mill, you’ll find ReCreate ─ an interior design studio that redesigns furniture or homeware that you may find old and useless in your house into something quirky and functional. Katie Thompson, the owner, aims to turn trash into treasure! Here you’ll see interesting things like old golf clubs turned into towel rails, a suitcase that is now an eccentric coffee table or couch, and a glass bottle turned into a handy lamp! If you need some inspiration for unique interior, come and have a look at these one-of-a-kind pieces!

Why not make a weekend out of exploring the artsy Woodstock and surroundings? You can stay at these lovely places:

Afribode Skye Cottage | 6 Rhodes Avenue | Wish U Were Here | Woodstock Cottage


Cape Town is a diverse city that offers endless entertainment and breathtaking beauty that would steal anyone’s heart. Every neighbourhood is an extraordinary example of the many different cultures that reside in this awe-inspiring city.

Whether you’re a local or just visiting, make sure to explore at least one of the cool neighbourhoods of Cape Town, who knows, you might even find another hidden gem on the quirky streets of the Mother City!

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