Cape Town Bucket List

We’re not city girls, but there was something about Cape Town…
All cards on the table – the only reason we were really there is so that I could see the penguins at Boulders Beach and Tarryn could visit her brother. We got a whole lot more than we bargained for!

What was supposed to be less than a week of sightseeing quickly built up into OVER A MONTH of exploring and experiences. Honestly, we could have stayed another month and still wouldn’t have scratched the surface of what Cape Town has to offer.

We’re not stupid. We know the average person doesn’t have a whole month to spend sightseeing in Cape Town. It’s for you “normal” humans that we have compiled this bucket list of out Top 7 things to do on your Cape Town visit.

Basically, you can squeeze all of these into a week and still have time to do the standard Cape Town things, like Table Mountain, Lionshead, Muizenberg, Boulders Beach and V&A Waterfront. These are the given ones that will be your Cape Town right of passage, but we found some secret goodies that nobody else mentions:

Zeitz MOCAA

Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa), what an experience!
The largest art museum in Africa, with over 9 floors.

The history of this museum is so interesting. The actual museum was once 56 storage silos for grain, built in 1921. Since then, the interior has been carved out of the silos with diamond lasers. Pretty cool, huh?

“The Interior is carved out of the shape of an enlarged grain of corn, resulting in a series of curved concrete lines, with light pouring into in through the cylindrical silo structures, giving visitors a cross section view of the inner workings of the old industrial site.”

This historic building was recreated into the art museum as a way of honouring the past and to showcase Africa’s cultural heritage.

My favourite part of the whole building has to be the roof. You can look up from the bottom floor, to this sky-light-type design. When you’re up there, it looks pretty solid, until you get up close and personal (like Tarryn did here).

The art work inside here is truly moving. Photos barely do justice to what you see and feel when you are inside, so go check it out!

P.S: South Africans get in for free on Wednesdays. It’s a pleasure.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

It doesn’t always need to be about adrenaline pumping mountain climbs or dramatic cultural experiences, when you are traveling. Sometimes, it is important to appreciate a simple walk through the garden.

Well… we like to be a little dramatic sometimes, so we picked the biggest flipping garden we could find! 

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens is unlike any garden you have ever seen. Filled with the most stunning flora and fauna, their gardens are crammed full of history. There have even been findings of cavemen tools, in the Kirstenbosch caves!

After a walk through the trees, along the Boomslang Canopy Walkway, and a slow stroll through the multiple majestic terrains on display, we had worked up quite an appetite. Absolutely everything on the local lunch menu is amazing. You could close your eyes, pick something and you would be happy! They’re that good!

Iziko Museum

First of all… This place has parking! We only noticed this once we had driven up and down the street beside the museum and decided on paying for parking in a nearby hotel. The street parking prices in Cape Town are next level ridiculous, so you can imagine our faces when we walked around to the next entrance and found an entire (mostly empty) parking lot for museum visitors. We didn’t say anything. We just looked at each other and burst into laughter. 

Iziko Museum has 6 glorious floors, packed with history and knowledge. Quite honestly, this may have been our favorite Cape Town experience…

With so many awe-inspiring exhibits, we only wish we had arrived early in the morning, instead of after lunch. We could have happily gotten lost in there for HOURS! Days even (They have a cool coffee shop with tasty goodies, so we could survive).

All in all, we want to know why this place isn’t at the top of the list for “Things to do in Cape Town”. Seriously, it should be up there with Table Mountain.

Also, who doesn’t want to take a dorky photo in giant pre-historic shark jaws?

Planetarium and Digital Dome

It was clear blue skies and sunshine when we embarked upon one of our most intriguing excursions while exploring the city of Cape Town, and it has made it onto our top 3 favourites!

The new Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome, a completely out-of-this-world experience!

Fun fact: It is the most advanced digital planetarium on the African continent.

We weren’t quite sure what to expect, so we moseyed toward the information desk to have a chitchat with the ladies. 2 tickets please. And… BAM! We were at the South African premier for a film on dark matter!

The ladies at the information desk had a really good laugh when they saw our jaws drop, eyes widen, smiles beaming, and (literally) leaping in the air with enthusiasm. Also, it was our first time in the planetarium, which added to all the hype.

I you love star gazing, learning about the planets, the galaxies, astrology, and everything in between, this place will rock your world! There are literally just no words that will adequately describe the experience. You just HAVE to do it.

The Creamery

Holy mother of all things dairy… our taste buds will never be the same!
Neither of us has ever been to Italy, but we can’t imagine that gelato could ever taste better than this?

The Creamery has 3 stores in Cape Town and will possibly be the thing we will miss most when we leave. With every flavour, from Mexican hot chocolate to millionaire shortbread, no other ice-cream will ever satisfy us again!

If we could convert our boot into a freezer and take a year’s supply of this stuff into Africa with us, we would… 

Seriously. You just can’t go to Cape Town and leave a Creamery virgin. You just can’t.

The Jolly Rodger Pirate Ship

Arrrrgh!
If you’ve ever wished you could hope aboard a pirate ship, this experience is all the motivation you need to get your butt down to Cape Town.

Yacoob Yachts caught our eye on our very first visit to the V&A waterfront. Out of all the activities we had on our list, this was immediately placed at the top! 

Complete with an onboard bar and a comical crew of scallywags, the experience was everything we imagined and more. The only thing to fault was that there was no rum… #whyistherumgone

To top off the majestic Cape Town views of Lionshead, Signal Hill and Table Mountain, we were greeted by two schools of playful dolphins. All in all, a Sunday afternoon doesn’t get much better than this 

Kalk Bay

Kalk Bay was one of those little treasures that nobody told us about… But then we arrived and it was awesome!

Visiting the Kalk Bay Harbour, In search of a decent fish and chips joint, we stumbled across Kalkys. This fish and chips joint gave us just what we were looking for – kickass fish and chips. You place your order at the tuckshop-style window, grab your food on those cheap tin plates, grab your plastic cutlery and enjoy. No sugar-coating. No amazing service. Just good food in a simple setting. It’s food for the soul, really… Taking dining back to basics.

Right next to Kalk’s, we took a walk around Kalk Bay Harbour, where we had our very first encounter with sealions! While these guys have become accustomed to humans, we were still warned to keep our distance. Hence, no touristy, look-at-me-kissing-a-sealion photos.

Coming out of the harbour and onto the main street has this magical feeling of stepping into an old school movie set. Other than the traffic, the old school architecture and assorted antique stores seem to capture a piece of the past that makes you wish you were wearing a cute 50s frock. How perfect would one of those be for a picture perfect moment, while you enjoy a milkshake on the pancake train!?!
(Yes… They have one of those)

 

Extra Sprinkles:

On top of all of these hidden (and not-so-hidden) gems, we found a few people that made our Cape Town stay that much more awesome. These cool cats are the people you want to call:

Awesome Backpackers – For a vibey, friendly and amazingly diverse base-camp. Great if you’re a budget traveler and love the more social environment. Also, free Netflix, WiFi and Playstation… Helloooo!

Enchanted Guesthouse – Stunning people, setting, breakfasts and right on the beach! It’s nice and central, but still tucked to the side enough to feel quiet and relaxing. They also offer a selection of exciting tour packages, for those that don’t want the hassle of planning their own schedule.

Jenni’s Western Cape Tours – Whether it’s a wine tour or a custom made hidden treasures tour… Jenni’s your lady! On top of having some great information on the area, she is also such a beautiful soul. We wish we could keep her with us all the time!

Adventure Seekers – If you want a mountain to climb or an adrenaline rush to the system, look no further! Brehnan will give you the ultimate adventure activity experience that you will never forget.

 

If you have found some hidden Cape Town treasures, we would love to hear about them! Tell us via Facebook or email and we can add it to our agenda for our next Cape Town trip 🙂

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