There are many magical destinations to visit in South Africa to capture the heart and soul of visitors here. But did you know that Cape town came #2 on Time Out’s list of must-have cities in the world to visit or call home. The Mother City recently experienced a staggering tourism season with more than 317 000 international passengers landing at Cape Town International Airport in December 2023.
As part of a global survey conducted by Time Out, Cape Town earned a coveted second place on the list of 50 best cities in the world. With its rich cultural history, vibrant community, impressive nightlife, and affordable foodie delights, it comes as no surprise why it is one the best cities to stay in or choose as your preferred holiday destination.
The ranking was based on a worldwide survey where thousands of city-dwellers voted on things like food quality and affordability, nightlife and cultural highlights of their cities. To gain valuable insight about the best cities, locals were asked questions about whether they are happy staying there, the ease of making social connections, and more. To find out what makes Cape Town one of the best cities worldwide to explore or make you home, read below.
Best Family-Friendly Spots in Cape Town
Cape Town is one of the greatest cities for family vacations because of its diverse range of activities and child-friendly spots to visit.
- V&A Waterfront – a mecca of restaurants, family entertainment like Two Oceans Aquarium, and shops where everyone can explore to their heart’s content and sample some of the best foods Cape Town has to offer.
- World of Birds in Hout Bay – one of the largest bird parks in Africa with a great selection of small animals and bird species. Kids can also enjoy interactive and educational shows.
- Exotic Animal World in Stellenbosch – explore this magical place with thousands of butterflies and a lavish tropical sanctuary.
- Green Point Urban Park – If family excursions and picnics are your thing, then Green Point Park with its fitness trail, kid’s playground and biodiversity garden deserve a spot in your itinerary.
Must-Visit Historic Tourist Attractions
Majestic Table Mountain with its flat surface, breathtaking scenery and rich array of fauna and flora like the Protea and “ fynbos” that are indigenous to the Western and Eastern Cape regions remains one of the top local and global tourist attractions.. Visitors can ascend Table mountain via one of the countless hiking trails or cable car rides which calls for a unique experience on its own, especially during sunset when you can admire Cape Town’s twinkling lights and magnificent city life from atop.
Apart from Table Mountain, there are many other tourist attractions that are worth a visit like the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape The Good Hope, an iconic destination that was sighted by Bartolomeu Dias in 1844 (the first European navigator to visit the Cape), and of course Robben Island where former South African president Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years of his 27-year prison sentence.
Foodie Delights in the Mother City
Cape Town is a gastronomic utopia that will please any hard-core foodie’s taste palate. From local seafood specialties like snoek and Cape Malay fish curry at V&A Waterfront to the trendy restaurants and eateries in Kloof street or a day visit to the award-winning wine tasting tours, there is something exciting for everyone to sample. The diverse culinary selection is testament to the diverse cultures calling Cape Town their home.
What makes a city truly great? The greatness of a city is a multi-faceted and subjective concept, one that is based on individual experiences and perspectives. However some of the most crucial factors are the culinary scene, overall quality of life, cultural diversity, recreational offerings, and economic opportunities.
Cape Town is not simply another destination. Once you’ve had the pleasure to visit the mother city with its breathtaking scenery, diverse and cultural attractions, generous culinary options, and friendly locals, you’ll experience for yourself why it is voted one of the best cities worldwide to live in or choose as a vacation destination.
Read more on ‘Why Cape Town is a Cool Place to Visit’.