Cape Town, South Africa was high on both of our bucket lists. The city did not disappoint. From thrill-seeking adventures to wonderful nature-friendly day trips, Cape Town has so much to offer travelers.
It was the first city on our list for our 13 day road trip through South Africa. We thought we should present our time in the city in the form of a 3 days in Cape Town itinerary. A guide for travelers who want to know what we were able to accomplish in our three days in the city, as well as the things we missed.
3 Days in Cape Town Itinerary
- Settled in and visited the V&A Waterfront for the sunset, to grab a bite, and do some shopping after our luggage never showed up from our flight from Hong Kong.
- Hiked up Table Mountain, had a meal at the top, and took the gondola down.
- Had a refreshment at Marco’s African Place.
- Toured the markets.
- Visited the V&A Waterfront.
- Day trip to Cape Point Nature Reserve, Boulders Beach, and Constantia Glen Winery.
- Ate at Mama Africa at night.
What We Did
This was the most intense hike we have ever been on. It does not have to be though. Make sure before you hike up Table Mountain that you download or get a map in town to know which hiking routes you should take.
We started our hike where our taxi driver thought to drop us off. We told him we wanted to be dropped off at the trail head, and he took us to the one he knew. When we started our climb, we met two other couples. One of which seemed to know what they were doing, providing directions to the other couple who were pregnant.
We thought if we just kept up with them, we would know where to go. Unfortunately because of our picture taking consuming lots of time, we fell behind and ended up on our own route. We would later be told it was the most difficult route to take. The Indian Pass.
Besides not knowing the routes, we came prepared with plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and a hat. Proper hiking shoes would have been better than our casual shoes that we had to wear because we had yet to receive our lost luggage.
Besides this little hiccup, Table Mountain was an incredible experience. We conquered the mountain, saw some incredible views of the city, had a meal at the top, and took the gondola to the bottom. This is a must-do when in Cape Town.
Cape Point Nature Reserve is a great place to visit for a day trip. Views, wildlife, a lighthouse, the ocean, a wonderful drive, you just cannot go wrong with this place. A short one to two hour drive from Cape Town and you can visit Boulders Beach to see the penguins before or after your visit.
Visit the lighthouse at the point and look out into the endless ocean, plus read about the history of the dangerous point.
Shop, eat, and watch the sunset from the waterfront.
Constantia Glen Winery in Cape Town was a place we decided to go to celebrate our 500 days of being together. If you plan to visit one of the many beautiful wineries around Cape Town, make sure that you book in advance. If Constantia Glen is on your list, make sure you book the outdoor seating on the terrace. The rolling mountain views are a pleasure to look at while eating your cheese platter and sipping the delicious wines they have to offer.
Do you love penguins? Then you will love Boulders Beach. You can see these penguins on the beaches here and even get up close and personal with them. Want to take a dip with them? You can do that too!
Grab a bite to eat and shop the quaint city of Simon’s Town while you are here.
What We Missed
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Hiking Lion’s Head and Signal Hill
Chapman’s Peak Drive
Cape Town Stadium for a Sports Event
Known for housing political prisoners, such as Nelson Mandela, Robben Island now offers visitors a trip through history, beautiful walking areas, and penguins! Luckily we got our penguin fill at Boulders Beach.
Rare plant species, walking trails, and views of the mountains, it would have been a wonderful place to visit. Unfortunately, it was lower on our list of things to do while in the city.
Our main goal with hiking was to hike up Table Mountain. Lion’s Head and Signal hill, though beautiful in their own respects, were secondary to the iconic mountain we were able to hike during our time in Cape Town.
We tried to find this drive, but completely missed it. It is suppose to be a coastal drive with stunning views wrapping around the mountains.
It would have been enjoyable to see some sort of sporting event among the locals and get right into the spirit of sport with them.
What We Did
Mama Africa was suggested to us by our host. We wanted to go somewhere for a meal and some music, and this was the place to be to join in the nightlife of Cape Town. We ordered alligator for the first time and had some drinks while sitting front and center to enjoy a local band. We even walked out of there with their CD to listen to on the rest of our road trip through South Africa.
There are a lot of different restaurants for you to visit if you are looking for a wide variety of food in a pleasant environment of a shopping mall on the waterfront.
We went here for a refreshment after our terrifying hike up Table Mountain. We got into a taxi at the base of the gondola down the mountain and asked the driver where we could go for a drink. He took us to Marco’s thinking there may be a show shortly, however it seemed that they do not do shows until night time, so we missed out on that. Though the quiet atmosphere was welcoming after an exhausting hike.
What We Missed
- For the Healthy Travelers
Number one on the list of Cape Town restaurants on Trip Advisor, this looks like a good competitor to Mama Africa with African food and shows. This one definitely would have been a great dining experience.
Health Travel Junkie has written about several different suggestions for healthy eating in Cape Town.
Recommended by our host for shopping for necessities since our luggage was not going to arrive for at least a day, we went here when we first arrived to Cape Town and the next evening. There is nothing traditional about this place, but provides a nice waterfront view of the sunset at night and a pleasant atmosphere for some clothing shopping, good restaurants, and some souvenirs.
We used B4iTravel (this is an affiliate link) to pay for our SIM cards in advance and to pick them up in the airport. It was convenient. We walked into the phone store, they had our information, and we picked up the SIM cards and had them in our phone before we even left the airport.
This is our ideal choice wherever we go. We are fast travelers. With limited time at each destination, we need something that is going to get us from point A to point B with minimal friction. That means not needing to walk and wait to catch the next bus or train and not needing to wait for a taxi or Uber to arrive.
We went through Hertz, made sure to get an automatic car. Our small Volkswagen hatchback was a great car for our road trip and served us well when needing to take our day trip while in Cape Town.
However, there are times when you are in a major city that it makes more sense to use other means of transport.
Uber was a great resource to have in Cape Town. Especially at night time when we did not know where we were going and did not know where to park. Instead, it made more sense to just call for a ride and to get us to where we needed to go.
Especially useful when having some drinks.
We actually did not use any public transit while in Cape Town.
Cycling is always an option besides walking around, though many opt to not take this route especially when you are short term traveling. However, if you have the time and want to really explore the country or city by being as close to the ground as possible, cycling may be the option for you. Click here to learn more about cycling South Africa.
Our host was amazing. He helped us with information about the city and provided us with lots of great advice. His private room he offered us was more than good enough for our time in Cape Town.
Not only this, but the view of the city was unbeatable. This particular AirBnB is situated at the top of the lovely and colorful area called Bo Kaap. It is around Signal Hill, and provides an amazing view of the entire city with Table Mountain across from it.
We would stay here again, without a doubt.
Cape Town in 3 Days
Cape Town was an amazing adventure for us. From the terrifying hike up Table Mountain to the relaxing wine tasting at Constantia Glen, we savored every experience while in the city. That being said, three days in the city was not enough. If you plan to visit the city, make sure you take your time in this city. Get done what you want to get done and move on to the next one.
This wraps up our 3 days in Cape Town itinerary. We wish we could have stayed for longer. There is still so much more we wish we could have accomplished while here. We would love to hear from you if you what you did while in Cape Town. Leave a comment below.
We would love to hear about your experience while in Cape Town or to answer any questions you may have about your future trip. Leave a comment below!
Continuing on from our one day itinerary from Cape Town, South Africa, we left the Cape Point Nature Reserve to see the penguins at Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town, and finally to the Constantia Glen wine tasting in Cape Town.
Day tripping from Cape Town to Cape Point. Such an interesting history here. Looking out into the ocean was calming. A must-see location if you are in Cape Town. See more from our travels throughout South Africa: https://tothenationsworldwide.com/category/africa/south-africa/ . . . . . #Travel #Wanderlust #TravelBug #TravelBlogger #TravelPhotography #TravelDiary #TravelersJournal #TravelLife #TravelPics #TravelAddict #digitalnomad #NatGeoTravel #NatGeoYourShot #ForbesTravelGuide #BBCTravel #GuardianTravelSnaps #BeautifulDestinations #BestInTravel #AwesomeEarth #TheGlobeWanderer #LonelyPlanet #Worlderlust #ExploringTheGlobe #CNTraveler #CapeTown #SouthAfrica #CapePoint #CapeofGoodHope #CapePeninsula #OceanView
This is THE perfect full day itinerary to get away from Cape Town if you need a day trip. We began with driving from Cape Town in the morning to Cape Point Nature Reserve to see the views of this iconic area. After that one and a half hour drive and spending a couple hours there, we made our way back in the direction of Cape Town to see the penguins at Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town which is a MUST! Then, continuing on towards Cape Town, we had reserved a table at Constantia Glen Winery to do a wine tasting with wonderful scenery.
Who wants to go swimming with the penguins?? Swimming with the penguins at Boulder’s Beach, Simon’s Town, South Africa See more from our travels throughout South Africa: https://tothenationsworldwide.com/category/africa/south-africa/ . . . . . #Travel #Wanderlust #TravelBug #TravelBlogger #TravelPhotography #TravelAddict #DigitalNomad #TravelCouple #southafrica #capetown #simonstown #bouldersbeach #IAmaTraveller #creativetravelcouples #travelisthenewclub #traveldudes #travelawesome #wonderfulglobe #igshotz #exploretocreate #travelandlife #huntgram #worldplaces #ig_udog #udog_peopleandplaces #bestvacations #theworldshotz #travellershouts #passionpassport #marbltravel
Constantia Glen Wine Tasting
Cape Town is known for its wines. They have exploded onto the wine scene. Not that I know a lot about wine, but if you research really quickly you can see that Cape Town wineries have really grown in popularity over the past decade. I definitely recommend doing what we did not and visit as many wineries as possible in Cape Town to get a taste of them. You can never go wrong with a little wine.
However, with the way that we travel, we try to make the most of our time and taste a little bit here and there. With this being the case, we booked a table at Constantia Glen Winery for our 1000th day together!
As soon as you drive onto the property at Constantia Glen Winery, you are amazed by the beauty of the vineyard and the surroundings. Rolling hills and rows on rows of grapes growing. Such a beautiful place.
To be completely honest, I do not quite remember the taste of each of the wines other than they were really tasty. From sweet to dry, each wine was delicious as it hit the tongue. Like I said before, I am not a wine expert. I just really really like wine.
We began with a couple of wines and a cheese platter. As soon as we tasted the wines, we knew right away that we needed to taste all of the wines they had on the menu and quickly ordered the tasting tray.
Well worth it. Probably the best decision we had made on this trip so far.
Do yourself a favor and when you visit a winery, do your best to taste every wine they have on the menu rather then ordering a single glass. That was a rookie mistake on our part, but it just meant more wine for us to drink.
I love cheese. Cheese and wine are such a good pairing, but I could have just settled for this cheese. I love me some wine, but when you get a plate of good cheese, I feel nothing can trump that. When you can have a plate of cheese AND wine… What else is there in life?
Tag somebody you would love to have dinner and a wine tasting with here. This was the view we were treated to while enjoying wine and cheese at Constantine Glen Winery in Cape Town, South Africa See more from our travels throughout South Africa: https://tothenationsworldwide.com/category/africa/south-africa/ . . . . . #Travel #TravelBlogger #TravelPhotography #TravelDiary #TravelLife #TravelPics #TravelAddict #DigitalNomad #TravelCouple #DigitalNomadCouple #creativetravelcouples #travelisthenewclub #traveldudes #travelawesome #wonderfulglobe #igshotz #exploretocreate #travelandlife #huntgram #worldplaces #ig_udog #udog_peopleandplaces #bestvacations #theworldshotz #travellershouts #passionpassport #marbltravel #CapeTown #constantiaglen
We booked the patio seats for this particular day as we read online that it is the best place to sit and enjoy the view of the vineyards and rolling hills. You will definitely want to make sure you do that. We could have sat inside away from these amazing views and that would have really sucked.
Such an amazing way to spend such a milestone together. 1000 days together, spending an amazing day together, and capping it off with a wonderful dish and amazing wines at Constantia Glen Winery in Cape Town. How much more could you ask for?
From the winery, we went back to our AirBnB before sunset to park the car. It was also the first time we saw our luggage! Our luggage that was lost from our first day in Cape Town. This was the second full day in Cape Town, but third day from when we arrived. Having to do a little bit of shopping for essentials, we were so happy to not have to do that again on this night and be able to change our clothes. Without needing to go back to the Waterfront to do some shopping, we knew this was our opportunity to go out on the town.
Have you ever had the chance to visit any of the wineries in Cape Town? What did you think? We would love to know your thoughts!
Our full day itinerary in Cape Town began with a trip to Cape Point Nature Reserve in the morning, a stroll to Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town to see the penguins in the early afternoon, and tasting wine at Constantia Glen winery in the late afternoon. This was the perfect day itinerary when you are staying in Cape Town.
However, after we returned from the winery to our AirBnB, we felt we still had some energy to go out on the town to have some dinner with entertainment. Almost everyone we talked to about where we should go for this said Mama Africa in downtown Cape Town. We called in advance and booked a table at this restaurant and were excited to see what the night on the town had to offer.
Eating at Mama Africa Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa
Food is important to us when we are traveling. Natalie does an amazing job of finding the best places to go whenever we visit a new city. She does excellent research and it is the first thing she asks locals. This is how we knew that we needed to go to Mama Africa
In fact, it is recommended you book at least 24 hours in advance as it is an extremely popular spot. We were not disappointed by it.
After returning to our AirBnB, we knew that we needed to take advantage of this night and we hoped on getting changed and ready to get out to downtown Cape Town.
We called an Uber and left to the restaurant. Upon entering, we were greeted to a lovely atmosphere of people having a great time and lovely wooden interior.
Of course, where you sit is extremely important. With a great waitress that was willing to relocate us to the front of the stage area, we knew we were in for quite the treat once the band was to begin performing.
It was a celebration night for us, as it was our 1000th day together and our last full day in Cape Town. So, we ordered up a local beer and a cocktail and took a look at what Mama Africa had to offer for food.
Immediately, the alligator was the most appealing thing to me on the menu. I had never tried it before and now seemed like as good an opportunity as ever. Natalie ordered the familiar chicken wings.
By the time the food came, the band took the stage and the atmosphere of the place was turned up several notches. With enjoyable drums, xylophones, and singing gracing our ears, the time spent at Mama Africa could not be matched by any other place we dined out at during our entire time in South Africa.
We even purchased a CD for the remainder of our journey of the bands performances. Needless to say, we were impressed.
The performance was wrapped up with a single file line around the bar of ongoing chants and praises and ended with a standing ovation. We got a photo with the band, visited the souvenir shop in the bar to get a hand-made bag, hailed an Uber, and were off to our AirBnB.
Oh, and the alligator was delicious. Greasy, tender, and utterly satisfying. The plate was about $20 USD, but the experience was priceless.
Mama Africa is a must visit when you are in Cape Town. Be sure to book your table in advance and get as close to the stage as you can. The performance began around 9 p.m. so budget your time wisely.
Cape Town easily became the most enjoyable city during our 13 day road trip through South Africa. There was nothing that could beat it. From our terrifying hike up Table Mountain to our time spent at Mama Africa, there was never a dull moment.
As we do with all of our trips, we made the most of the time we had together in this city and were constantly on the move from one place to another. We would never have it any other way.