5 Days in Cape Town
For a long time I can remember wanting to visit South Africa, particularly Cape Town. I had met a few too many great South African people in Sydney and the insta world made it look like a worthy time. So there I found myself in Cape Town with 5 days, and 5 days only.
By no means was my experience the usual backpacking track, I was lucky enough to have locals who both hosted me and showed me around which was undeniable epic.
I feel like I experienced a great balance of local knowledge mixed in with the tourist A-list.
So here is my tips and itinerary to
5 days in Cape Town!
1. Go in summer
Alas, I did not go in summer, but I can only imagine the vibe Cape town would put on. The fashion, the bars, the beautiful backdrop of the mountains and great food, you can really just tell the place would be booming. For those who don’t like crowds and happy with the cold, then winter is not bad at all to still visit.
2. Buy god damn locks, then lock it again
Unfortunately my arrival into Cape town consisted of losing much camera gear out of my checked baggage on a connecting flight. So don’t be like me and take ALL VALUABLES carry on and PADLOCK your bags. Oh and yeah, get travel insurance. It’s a MUST.
3. Have your wits about you
You’ll hear all the stories about the danger in South Africa. Being on my own I did have my wits about myself, however during the day I found it to be particularly safe! At night, don’t walk around with your phone in your back pocket, or a camera around your neck in fact at night, just get UBER’s everywhere it is cheap and better for piece of mind.
4. Hire a car
If you’re with a group or just want to explore on your own, look into hiring a car. It is affordable and often means you can explore on your own terms and enjoy driving the wonderful coast. Just take all belongings with you at every stop and lock the car.
Ok so now we have all the house-keeping out of the way, let’s get into the fun stuff!.
WHERE DO I STAY
100% book your stay with ONCE hostel. ONCE in Cape Town has all the vibe, tours, security and comfortability you’ll need. Check out the website and I assure you, you’ll be sold (I know I was). ONCE in Capetown is in the heart of it all and has an even more epic bar; YOURS TRULY attached to it. It is a hostel with both bunks and private rooms for the young traveller and story teller. As they say.. “We offer millennial travellers clean sheets and dirty adventures - a chance to get your shoes dirty while dancing at a local music festival or hiking a mountain.”
DAY 1 // VISTA WANDER – MARKET
DAY 2 // CAPE TOWN BY WATER AND AIR
DAY 3 // CULTURE, ART & TOWNSHIP
DAY 4 // CAPE TOWN BY ROAD
DAY 5// BREAKFAST & BO-KAAP
DAY 1 // VISTA WANDER - MARKETS
My day 1 was short and sweet. After putting through a police report, I had breakfast at the wonderful and picturesque Camp’s bay on the water. Camp’s bay is home to white sandy beaches with views of the Twelve Apostle Mountains. There are great restaurants with posh seafood, cocktail bars and trendy cafes. You can explore the natural rock swimming pools or enjoy the incredibly coloured sunsets with a drink in hand.
After breakfast at Camps Bay we drove up over the hill and checked out Signal Hill just past Lion’s head. You will see enthusiastic paragliders that will let you join them for a small fee! Cool lookout, one to tick off.
I then wandered the streets of Cape Town CBD on my own. I adventured around Kloof Street and Bree Street. These streets are the trendiest little hubs for art, fashion and cafes. I stumbled across some great African markets in Green Square, you can purchase bright coloured African art, clothes or cute African jewellery.
After a rest back at my crib for a few hours, I ventured back to Kloof Street and had a few (too many) drinks at Your’s Truly. An epic vibe bar, great drinks, DJ’s and so many great young millennials... feast your eyes on the epic human with even better fashion!
DAY 2. // CAPE TOWN BY WATER AND AIR.
In the morning I was picked up for a drive and shown around from Sea Point to V&A waterfront. On this drive you will again see some beautiful affluent houses right on the water front. If you’re a runner I suggest running a few KM’s along sea point promenade, it’s safe and beautiful. From Sea point in the car to V&A waterfront you’ll pass Green Point and see some stunning beaches and the stadium which was built for the 2010 FIFA world cup, it is spectacular.
V&A waterfront is where the CBD meets the sea and is South Africa’s most visited destination. It’s a working harbour that is also home to retail stores, commercial property, entertainment. You can eat well, play and shop! The place is bustling with tourists, there is street music and a safe feel good vibe.
I hopped on small boat with Ocean Safari to experience the marine life and views from the sea.
Our trip we saw dolphins, penguins, seals and a whale! Don’t be afraid of doing this in winter, they provide hot choccy on the boat! The best part? Its cheap! Only around $5 AUD! You’ll even get a thrill ride at the end.
Knowing me, the boat was great but just would not suffice on it’s own. I needed to see more, at greater heights. Unfortunately Table mountain cable car was closed so what did I do? Experience it all from air! Yep that’s right,
Helicopters Capetown is as you would imagine, insanely fun and beautiful. I’ll keep this short and let the pictures speak for themselves.
EAT: MOZAMBIK RESTAURANT
DAY 3 // CULTURE, ART & TOWNSHIP
This was my favourite day of the trip and jam packed!
It began with checking out the Clay café in Hout bay. This is a popular restaurant ran by legends. You can choose a mould, paint, eat and drink! Does it get better? The kids can even run wild in the epic playground!
I then ventured off to see all parts of Cape Town, and that meant delving into it’s rich history. Apartheid only ended 25 years ago, so the divide is still very profound. Knowing this, I thought it was so important for me to go and experience art, townships and culture for myself. Who better to do it with then my girl Sophie! Sophie is an Australian who has been living in Cape Town for 3 years, not to mention the best god damn human ever.
Sophie took me to a place called Woodstock which was rich with street art. Woodstock did have the reputation of being I guess ‘dogdy’, however today Woodstock is loads safer and is home to copious amount of politically provocative art. We were shown around by a local who we literally found sitting on the street, his name was Ashely Smith. Ash was so passionate about the art and so funny, not to mention safe that it really was a fantastic authentic way to see Woodstock!
A Woodstock visit is not a visit without having a grand old time at The Old Biscuit Mill market.
These markets are bustling with food, music and great trendy fashion. We treated ourselves to a bottle of champagne and oysters, met some great people and had the best time. If you want to buy little gifts for family or some new clothes or just have a grand old Sunday – this is your place.
From Woodstock we hoped in a UBER slightly drunk for about $30 to Khayelitsha township. Khayelitsha is one of the largest growing townships in Cape town. Khayelitsha has a population of 391,749 and runs for a number of kilometres along the main highway of Western Cape.
We opted to have our township tour with Wandile from … and this guy is honestly the best.
Townships are humbling and awesome, despite what people think they are quite safe. We went to the Sunday session at ‘Rands’ and got our groove on with some amazing deep house beats. Sophie and I were the only white chicks in the place and not once did we feel uncomfortable, but included and loved. If you go to Cape Town please go here and just let go and immerse yourself!.
As the sun set, we decided to hesitantly leave Kayaletia and meet up with some more local legends for a sunset tour on a boat. This boat was not any old boat, in fact it was a pirate boat. Drinks, mates, sunset on the water at Cape Town just speaks for itself really.
Can you guess where I ended up after? Yep, back at Yours Truly.
DAY 4 // CAPE TOWN BY ROAD
Now I know many of you judge dating apps but this day was lead by someone I actually met on Tinder! He was happy to show me around and spend the day exploring. Like I said, have your wits, listen to your gut and you think it’s trustworthy than go for it.
In the morning, I Uber’d myself to a cute acai bowl heaven café called Nourished. I sat and enjoyed a brekky whilst waiting for Mr Tinder.
He pulled up, I hopped in and off we went.
1st Stop : Llandundno Beach
This beach is so beautiful surrounded by granite boulders which we ventured across, framed by mountains. It is a popular surfing beach (sad there was none that day). The surf can get dangerous but us Aussie’s would know how to handle it.
2nd Stop: Hout Bay Markets
The Bay Harbour oozes energy and creativity all in a little beautiful working harbour. The market really does celebrate the effervescence of Cape Town. There is live music, little weird and useful things, organic cotton fashion and an old school fishery vibes to it all. I got a cider, sat down with Jase (yes he has a name), bought myself and roommate some silver jewellery.
Just outside the markets there is a little hidden Gin Distillery that is relatively new. It’s tucked away behind an art gallery and the owners are deadest legends and know their gin! I recommend a tasting of all of them.
3rd: Chapmans Peak Drive
Chapmans peak is breathtakingly beautiful. Although we only drove half way of the 9km road it was mesmerising and stunning. You’ll need to pay a toll on the road as this road is a gateway to the south peninsula of Cape Town. A drive worthwhile!
DAY 5 // Breakfast & Bo-Kaap
The final day! In the morning I walked to the servo to purchase some flowers and gifts for my lovely hosts for letting me stay. The servo’s are epic btw, they have a Woolworths in there and everything you need!
When my lovely host Jade woke, we decided to go to brekky at Harvest Café & Deli in Bo-Kaap. See below
I then quickly visited the bright coloured houses of Bo-Kaap. This region was for the ‘coloured’ people during apartheid and when the people could own the houses they painted them bright colours for a sense of ownership.
Bo-Kaap is a must do and an Instagram glory. If you have time I recommend walking all the little streets to find all shades and colours!.
Just under Harvest café is a really cool and trendy fashion store; Bo-op. It stocks all local designers and cool trendy fashion. Great to check out.
So 5 days, did I do enough? Definitely not. I did not get to summit Table Mountain or see the wine regions, but all the more reason to return!
If you’re going to Cape Town I’m jealous. It’s unique and a good old time with even better and cool fashion.
Vibe, art, culture, scenery everything is epic in Capetown!! I suggest you put it on your bucket list!