From the must-see sights to the best tours to book, these are our tips for 101 fun activities in Cape Town for couples. Discover this vibrant South African city by the sea that’s famous for its natural beauty and stylish urban vibe. Then plan your own customised Cape Town itinerary.
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Why visit Cape Town
Nestled at the foot of mountains on the south west tip of South Africa, Cape Town is a fascinating city which literally has something for everyone: from wine-tasting to whale-watching, sundowners to street art. Add in its incredible wine and food scene and no wonder we can count 101 fun things to do in Cape Town for couples.
I first visited Cape Town with my sons when they were teenagers. Recently I’ve been chatting to a friend with an apartment out there. Hearing Sam talk about his love of the city and frequent visits has put Cape Town right back on my to-do list.
Activities in Cape Town for couples
There really are 101 couples activities in Cape Town. How about wine tasting in the beautiful Western Cape or sipping a cocktail as you watch a spectacular sunset? Perhaps you’d prefer to walk along white sand shores, hike a mountain or feast on fusion cuisine? It’s all here. Cape Town has everything you need for an exciting and enriching city break.
Plan your Cape Town itinerary
Lots of Cape Town’s most fun things to do are a little outside the centre so you’ll want to work out your itinerary, book tours in advance and decide whether to hire a car or use Uber.
In this post I’ve included the must-see sights I’ve already visited and Sam’s recommendations from his regular trips to Cape Town. I’ve also included the excursions I’ve researched and ear-marked to take on my next visit.
No single itinerary can suit everyone. So mix and match these ideas to create your own perfect itinerary for Cape Town.
If you’re ready to book tours you’ll find my top picks listed in each section. Click the links to read the great reviews, check for availability and book in advance so you’re not disappointed.
101 Fun Things to Do in Cape Town for Couples
There’s lots of inspiration in this post for anyone visiting Cape Town, not just couples. I’ve grouped things to do, places to visit and experiences to try by theme as well as highlighting some of the stand-out attractions of this intriguing city.
No time to read it all right now?
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Cape Town click here.
If you’re interested in wine tasting, click here.
For out of town tours, click here.
And just as a taster here’s a round up of:
Top 7 Romantic Things to do in Cape Town for Couples
Celebrating a special occasion, birthday or Valentine’s Day? Here’s a selection of the most romantic couple things to do in Cape Town. Click the links to find out more:
- Step aboard a luxury catamaran for a sunset cruise from the V&A Waterfront. Toast the sun with a glass of bubbly as you watch it sink beneath the horizon as the sky turns gold. Turn to see the light reflected on the majestic mountains….. Click here to check availability and book a sunset cruise 🥂
- Or why not cruise one of the world’s most scenic coast roads, Chapman’s Peak Drive, at golden hour in a chauffeur-driven open-top Chevrolet? Pull over to enjoy the magnificent views over Hout Bay and chink your wine glasses for a pinch-me moment to remember. Click here to see choice of cars, availability and to book.
Best Romantic Places to visit in Cape Town
Although not exactly ‘the end of the earth’ Cape Point nearly is. And there’s something very romantic about gazing out over those craggy rocks and foaming waves to the endless ocean. Wine-tasting, walking, penguin-watching? Click here to customise and book your perfect day at Cape Point with this private tour.
Or spend the day vineyard hopping and picnicing with your true love in the picturesque Cape Winelands. Click to book your seats on the Franschoek Wine Tram to transport you between wine farms, including Babylonstoren.
Secret Romantic Spots in Cape Town
- Walking along a beach together in a glorious sunset? Could there be a more romantic couples thing to do in Cape Town? I don’t think so.
Sunset Beach (the clue’s in the name) next to the Sea Point Pavilion has grandstand views as the sun goes down. Or Blouberg, with it’s lovely view of the city across the bay, sparkling in the dusk below Table Mountain. And an extra plus? A beach sunset is a completely free thing to do in Cape Town for couples.
Best activities in Cape Town for couples
- Plan a hike on Signal Hill at full moon. This is a favourite with locals in the know: the combo of a setting sun followed by full moon light is magical. Book a guided hike for safety 🇿🇦Pick a full moon night and book a guided hike like this one in good time.
- Penguins, we are told, often couple up for life. So isn’t there something rather romantic about relaxing with your beloved on a beautiful sunny beach with…. penguins? Yes, you can do just that at Boulders Beach, read more below.
Now read on for more fun things to do in Cape Town for couples:
Table Mountain: the must-see in Cape Town
Whether silhouetted against a blue sky or cloaked in cloud, Table Mountain is an iconic part of the local scenery. The view from the top adds an extra dimension to your stay in the Mother City. It’s a top must see for anyone’s trip to Cape Town.
Routes up Table Mountain
Take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain on a clear day. This is an effortless and enjoyable route to the top with fab views, making it one of the best things to do in Cape Town for couples.
At just over 1000m high Table Mountain often has it’s head in the clouds, a condition known locally as the ‘tablecloth’. So try to keep your Cape Town itinerary flexible so that you can make the most of a cloud-free early morning and catch a ride on the cable car and the best time before the crowds. At peak times you’ll need to keep an eye on the weather forecast and book in advance online. Check the schedule here. Bring layers, it can be windy at the top.
Hike up or down Table Mountain
Instead of taking the cable car, you can walk up. But bear in mind it’s an actual mountain. Even the easiest route up is strenuous and you’ll need to be reasonably fit.
It’s always best to hike in an organised group for safety on Table Mountain. It’s a real mountain with very unpredictable weather and people can and do fall. You’ll need hiking boots, warm layers and plenty of water.
Check out these well reviewed guided hikes with varied levels of difficulty. The Platteklip Gorge route is the easier way up the mountain whilst India Venster is one of the steepest and most challenging routes. The Kasteelspoort trail, click here, includes the option of the diving board rock photo spot 😬- click the link to see review photos.
Things to do on the summit of Table Mountain
See spectacular views of Cape Town from the Table Mountain viewpoints. The views from the flat-topped summit are a great way to get to grips with the geography of the city clustered around its base and the wide expanse of Table Bay.
Follow the easy walking trails from the cable car to spot some of Table Mountain’s flora and fauna including dassies, porcupines and mongoose.
Walk to Maclear’s Beacon, the highest point of Table Mountain. It takes about an hour from the cable car on a relatively flat route, though you’ll need good walking shoes and there’s no shade if it’s hot. You’ll get wonderful views of the plateau and Cape Point.
Itinerary tips: Allow half a day, or less if you get up early. Some organised tours like this Table Mountain, Penguins and Cape Point shared tour, offer a Table Mountain and Cape Point combo. This is going to be a busy day but it gets great reviews and is a cost and time effective way to pack in some unforgettable sights.
V&A Waterfront: 12 things to do for couples
Cape Town was first colonised by the Dutch East India Company in 1652 as a stop-off on the seafaring trade route to Asia. In 1860 the British built a safe harbour: the Victoria and Alfred Basin. It’s still a working port, and the oldest in South Africa.
Nowadays the V&A Waterfront is bustling and picturesque with shops, restaurants and hotels as well as homes and offices. It’s a magnet for locals and tourists. You really can’t go to Cape Town without a trip to the V&A.
- Be amazed at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art where the interior is as epic as the art. Go to the terrace cafe for incredible views too.
- Have lunch at the waterside, try Life Grand Cafe, but lots of other options too.
- Shop designer labels and international brands in South Africa’s largest mall.
- Watch street performers and musicians
- Check out the Diamond museum and browse the ethically sourced diamonds at Shimanskys.
- Ride the Cape wheel At 40 metres above ground you’ll get great 360 degree views from its cabins.
- Shop authentic traditional crafts and art at the Watershed.
- Graze your way around the food market The much loved V & A Food market is being replaced by a Time Out market in late 2023.
- See Africa’s fascinating deep sea life at Two Oceans Aquarium
- You can even scuba dive amongst the exhibits including stingrays or ragged-tooth sharks, Two Oceans Aquarium
- Take a Marine Life kayak tour from the Waterfront. Click here
- Go Stand Up Paddleboarding and learn how to paddleboard here, in the calm and protected waters of the Waterfront canals.
Itinerary tips: Half day or less. Daily boats to Robben Island and sightseeing cruises depart from the V&A too.
Robben Island: a thought-provoking tour
Robben Island, an arid outcrop off shore in Table Bay, is home to the high security prison where political activist Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years.
Despite his imprisonment, Nelson Mandela eventually became President of South Africa in 1994. Not only that, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in dismantling apartheid and drawing up a new constitution for the country.
A visit to Robben Island is a powerful experience since former political prisoners lead the tours around the bleak little concrete cells. It brings into focus South Africa’s troubled history which still has effects today. And it’s a sharp contrast with the awe-inspiring beauty of the views from the ferry of Cape Town and Table Mountain.
It’s a little known fact that Robben Island also has a penguin colony. So you can see African penguins here if you don’t have time to make it down the peninsula to Boulders Beach.
Itinerary tips: Half day: the Robben Island round trip and tour takes 3.5 to 4 hours. The ferry to Robben Island leaves several times a day from V & A Waterfront, you can book tickets online here.
5 scenic picnic spots in Cape Town
The beauty of Cape Town is that it has some epic viewpoints, right in the city suburbs. You can’t miss Lion’s Head, the distinct thumb of rock that rises to the side of Table Mountain close to Sea Point. Nor will you overlook Signal Hill, sometimes called Lions Rump, the lower flatter hillside that runs behind it. Together they have a vaguely Sphinx’y appearance, sprawled along the coastline and separating the seaside from the City Bowl.
- Picnic on Signal Hill. Drive along the ridge of Signal Hill to the rump which overlooks Table Bay. The historic Noon Gun still fires from here. It’s a popular picnic spot so arrive early to park. For a romantic couples date in Cape Town you can even call on Dial-a-Picnic to set up a surprise themed picnic for you including blankets, cushions and roses!
- Take a walk on Lion’s Head to soak up Cape Town’s natural beauty whilst you work up an appetite. If you don’t fancy climbing to the summit you can still walk around the hillside for 360 degree views.
- Pause for a picnic on Chapman’s Peak Drive read more about this epic scenic route below.
- Book an idyllic picnic on the lawns of a wine farm. Try Boschendal, a stop on one of the Franschoek Wine Tram routes, that offers farm to fork eating. Book ahead.
- Have your perfect picnic delivered to the beach, if it’s within 20km of Hout Bay. Protea Picnics let you customise an affordable alfresco feast from their menus and then will deliver it for free. This is another fun romantic thing for couples to do in Cape Town.
Where to stay in Cape Town
As you’d expect from such a vibrant, modern city, Cape Town has its fair share of lovely places to stay with a range of prices to suit everyone. You’ll find it hard to decide! Here’s a selection of the best places to stay in Cape Town for couples.
Great Hotels in Cape Town
I’ve picked this small selection of Cape Town hotels, at a range of prices and locations, because of the fabulous reviews they receive. Click the links for photos and reviews.
You can’t miss The Silo Hotel, it is literally on top of MOCAA (guests enjoy free admission) at the V & A Waterfront. With wonderful views from its pillowed glass windows and a rooftop pool it’s a landmark itself in the heart of the action. If you’re ready to splurge this would be a very romantic place to stay in Cape Town. Click here for reviews, rates and availability for The Silo Hotel.
In the centre of the city the Taj Cape Town gets great reviews for good value luxury. It has a heated lap pool, spa, restaurant and a shuttle service to the Waterfront too. Click here for reviews, rates and availability for Taj Cape Town.
The South Beach Camps Bay Boutique Hotel, is self-catering suites with luxury hotel services and gets rave reviews. It has two pools, one of them heated and a rooftop terrace bar. Located in Camps Bay, a 15 min drive from the V&A Waterfront. Click here for reviews, rates and availability for South Beach Camps Bay Boutique Hotel.
Blackheath Lodge is a guesthouse in Sea Point which gets lots of 5 star ratings – the staff frequently get a special mention. It has a small outdoor pool and stylish rooms, some with balconies. Click here for reviews, rates and availability.
Best areas for Airbnbs in Cape Town
Cape Town has a great selection of Airbnbs. Choose a safer neighbourhood that caters for tourists like Sea Point, Green Point and the V&A Waterfront.
Sam’s 2 bed, 2 bath apartment in Sea Point is newly refurbished and a super-affordable option with great reviews and a view of Lion’s Head from the kitchen window. Located close to the Sea Point Promenade you can live like a local here with shops, restaurants and bars all in easy walking distance.
🇿🇦Mention Map&Family when you book and you’ll get a welcome bottle of bubbly too!
Where to watch a Cape Town sunrise and sunset
Cape Town is the perfect place to experience unforgettable African sunrises and sunsets. The skies are regularly shaded in sherbet tones, morning and night. Ever seen a purple sky? If you’re lucky you might do during your stay in Cape Town.
Catching the spectacular sky at dawn or dusk is one of the most romantic things to do in Cape Town for couples.
4 places to watch the sun rise in Cape Town
- See dawn break at the V&A Waterfront. You don’t even need to get up high: early risers can grab a coffee and watch the sun come up from the harbour side.
- Enjoy a panoramic early morning vista. Drive up Signal Hill Road to the viewpoint to watch the sun rise over the city.
- Head out on a sunrise hike and combine spectacular views with some early morning cardio on a daybreak expedition to the top of Lion’s Head.
- Take to the water for a sunrise ocean safari. For an early morning adventure head off from the waterfront in search of orcas, dolphins, penguins and more marine wildlife.
It’s an hour long adventure in a RIB to get you up close to marine wildlife with unforgettable views of the city too.
10 ways to watch a Cape Town sunset
- Watch the sun set over the Atlantic Seaboard. Cape Town’s west coast beaches are one of the best places to watch the skies light up and glow as the sun sets over the ocean.
- Take a sunset stroll on Sea Point promenade. The 11 km stretch of Sea Point promenade is popular with locals for a reason and it’s Sam’s favourite place to catch the Cape Town sunset effortlessly. Top tip: You can see the sun rise over the V&A Waterfront from here too.
- Set sail on a Sunset Cruise. Watch Nature’s spectacular free light show from the sea, glass of bubbly in hand. Romantic enough?
🇿🇦 Book this luxury Sunset Cruise on a Catamaran – and keep your eyes peeled for whales and dolphins
- Toast the sunset at Camps Bay. The high end neighbourhood of Camps Bay cashes in on its glorious sunset views with plenty of bars and restaurants overlooking the ocean. Choose a chic rooftop bar like Chinchilla for sundowners as the sky turns cocktail shades of pink and orange. From the Camps Bay tidal pools the Twelve Apostles mountain range looks wonderful in the evening light.
- Have a sunset picnic on the beach. Take a blanket down to the sands beyond the strip for a sunset picnic. Italian pizzeria Col’Cacchio Camp’s Bay will even deliver pizzas to the beach. Glen beach is a sheltered cove at the northern end of Camp’s Bay.
- See the sunset from the charming seaside village of Kalk Bay. It’s an alternative suggestion since Kalk Bay is on the sunrise side of the peninsula. But you’ll still see the sky turning sherbet colours at sundown and The Brass Bell on the harbour is a great place to enjoy a cocktail to match.
- Hike to Kloof Corner, on the lower slopes of Table Mountain. It’s an easier walk than Lion’s Head (don’t confuse it with the Kloof Corner Ridge hike which is quite a different matter) It still has excellent views though.
- Combine your sunset with a luxe urban setting like the rooftop bar at the Silo hotel.
- Enjoy fine dining with your sunset at Utopia, 15 floors up in the De Waterkant. It’s a popular place to watch the sunset, booking essential.
- Watch the sun go down from Lion’s Head. Sam says that if you want to watch an amazing sunrise or sunset on a clear day then the top of Lion’s Head is the place to be. Read on for more details of hiking on Lion’s Head.
Plan a Lion’s Head Hike
It’s a 3 mile round trip to the summit of Lion’s Head. Two main routes lead to the top and the hike is rated ‘moderate difficulty’. The easier, longer trail spirals around the hillside. The Chains route rises steeply using metal ladders, staples and chains set into the rocks so you’ll need to be physically fit and have a head for heights.
Take decent footwear, water and warm gear because the weather can change quickly. A head torch is useful too if you’re planning to start or finish in the dark to watch the sun. And don’t forget to pack snacks to celebrate when you reach the top and the wonderful views are revealed.
The safest way to tackle a Lion’s Head hike is in a small group tour with a knowledgeable guide.
🇿🇦Click here to read the outstanding reviews for this Lions Head Sunrise or Sunset Hike which takes in both routes. You can also check availability and book.
Itinerary tips: Make a note of the sunrise and sunset times at the beginning of your stay to ensure you don’t miss Nature’s light spectacular.
A note about safety in Cape Town
Sadly, it’s fair to say that there’s a greater risk of street crime in Cape Town than many other cities, and tourists are often the targets. Here are some tips on safety in the city.
With that in mind the best way to explore the city is by joining an organised tour. It’ll give you peace of mind and you’re sure to discover things you wouldn’t have found without a guide. You’ll find free walking tours in Cape Town as well as small group and private guided walks.
6 Cultural Experiences in Cape Town
Cape Town has a rich multi-cultural history. Settlers from the Netherlands, Britain, Germany, France and Indonesia have all influenced it’s heritage and from this melting pot has grown today’s vibrant and creative cosmopolitan city. There is so much to learn in Cape Town: you’ll leave inspired and with a broader perspective.
Visit colourful Bo Kaap Five minutes from the city centre are the brightly painted homes of Bo Kaap. The cobblestoned streets date back to the 1780s when immigrant artisans and Malaysian, Indonesian and Indian slaves lived there. Over time it became a mainly Muslim community known as Cape Malay.
Check out the Bo-Kaap museum in the oldest building in Wale Street.
Take a fun Cape Malay cooking class in Bo Kaap then enjoy the meal you’ve cooked together and chat with your host. This activity gets great reviews.
Discover showstopping street art and murals in Woodstock and Salt River on a walking tour with a local guide. This one gets excellent reviews.
Learn about the difficult history of District Six. Once a lively diverse community it was destroyed by apartheid, South Africa’s system of racial segregation, which discriminated against the non-white majority of the population.
Visit Iziko Slave Lodge, near Company’s Garden, one of the oldest buildings in Cape Town. This former slave quarters is now a museum that charts the history of slavery in South Africa and raises human rights awareness.
Discover First Thursdays in Cape Town
On the first Thursday of every month art galleries open late til 9pm and some shops and restaurants join in the party atmosphere centred around church Street and Bree Street. https://first-thursdays.co.za/cape-town/
3 spots to enjoy free live music in Cape Town
- Mojo Market in Sea Point has regular live performers. Just choose where you want to eat or drink and enjoy the show. https://www.mojomarket.co.za/
- Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay, has a lively atmosphere with food vendors and local craftsmen selling art, fashion and trinkets. Not only that it has regular live music too. Check the schedule on the website. It’s open Friday evenings and Saturdays and Sundays. www.bayharbour.co.za/
- The V&A Waterfront Marimba bands busk around the Waterfront, which also hosts an annual series of free concerts at the Amphitheatre www.waterfront.co.za/
Gardens to Visit in Cape Town
The Company’s Garden is an oasis in the city center, formed by the Dutch East India Company in 1652 to grow veg for its ships on the trade routes. Now it’s a city park and botanic garden with shady walks.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens Lying on the slopes of Table Mountain this is one of the great botanic gardens of the world and it’s vast: 528 hectares or 1300 acres. Part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is home to more than 7000 plant species. You can hike up Table Mountain from here or relax on the lawns with a picnic. It has caves and waterfalls to discover too.
See a Summer Sunset Concert Live outdoor concerts are often held in the Garden: bring a blanket and a picnic. Find the series schedule here.
Walk the Centenary Treetop Canopy Walk Nicknamed Boomslang or tree snake, it’s a steel and metal bridge that rises above the tree canopy with outstanding views.
Watch a movie under the stars at the Galileo Open Air cinema
Book a Private Guide for Cape Town
Taking a tour with a professional local guide is one of my favourite ways to discover a new city. You don’t waste time getting lost! They do all the organising, entertain you with stories and give you insights that bring the city and its history to life. Not only that, their insider tips about where to eat and things to do can enhance your entire visit.
The reviews here are 5 star for a local guide with in-depth knowledge of South Africa who customises private tours to suit you and helps you experience the city like a local. “Best guide ever” say the reviewers.
10 Foodie Treats in Cape Town
Cape Town is one of the top culinary capitals of the world, From fine dining to street food, this city supplies a mind boggling array of exciting options. The food scene here is buzzing.
Check out the clever DinePlan app to find a restaurant exactly right for a romantic evening in Cape Town. You can filter according to cuisine, ratings and attributes such as sunset views.
Food and drinks to try in Cape Town
- Eat in a Michelin star restaurant for a lot less than it would cost in London!
- Explore Cape Town’s exciting fusion cuisine Check Trip Advisor for suggestions.
- Taste Bobotie, the Cape Malay specialty dish of spiced minced beef with an eggy topping.
- Find out how a braai isn’t ‘just a barbecue’. Braai is cooked over an open fire with family or friends. Locals know the best outdoor spots to light up and grill but you can eat braai in restaurants too or even order a takeaway.
- Visit NeighbourhoodGoods market on Saturdays at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock. It’s super-popular with food stalls and communal tables.
- Shop organic seasonal fresh produce and food stalls at Oranjezicht City Farm market.
- Order High Tea The best Cape Town high teas take the trad British afternoon tea to indulgent levels. One of the loveliest places to take tea in Cape Town is the historic pink-hued Belmond Mount Nelson hotel.
- Sample Cape Town’s coffee culture. Roasteries have popped up all over the city. Steampunk style Truth Cafe in the city centre has been named one of the best in the world. Whilst Bootlegger Coffee Company is a reliable local brand with a micro-roastery in Woodstock.
- Try the local craft beers. Cape Town takes its beer seriously. You’ll find lots of craft beer bars and micro-breweries that offer tastings.
- Go for a gin tasting Craft gin is booming in Cape Town too. Sample the varietals at the Cape Town Gin and Spirits Company emporium at V&A Waterfront, they’re inspired by indigenous flavours.
Best beaches for couples in Cape Town
Cape Town has some of the most beautiful city beaches in the world. It’s hard to improve on the romantic combination of white sand, emerald sea, spectacular mountain views and pretty boulder-strewn coves. Especially when it’s all within easy reach of chic bars and restaurants. A trip to the beach on a blue sky sunny day is a must-do in Cape Town for couples.
Cape Town beaches
The Atlantic Seaboard, or Cape Town riviera, stretches from the V&A Waterfront down the west side of the peninsula to Hout Bay. It’s here you’ll find the best beaches in the city, all facing west.
Sample beach life at the four bays of Clifton, know as Clifton 1 to 4. These are popular and fashionable beaches, each cove separated by huge granite boulders that act as natural windbreaks.
Enjoy the ultimate urban beach experience at neighbouring Camps Bay beach. Awarded a Blue Flag for quality it has spectacular views of the Apostles mountain range and Lions Head. Its fringe of chic cafes and restaurants makes for the ultimate urban beach experience.
Go for a cycle ride on the Sea Point promenade. You can hire bikes at Up Cycle by the Sea Point Pavilion with direct access to the prom. It’s the safest place to cycle in Cape Town. Head north to the candy striped lighthouse at Mouille Point and then on to the cycle station at V&A Waterfront, 4.5km. Or follow the coast south for 5 km to Camps Bay. You’ll get great views of the Clifton beaches and Lion’s Head and you might even see paragliders coming in to land.
Beaches outside Cape Town
Head out of town for more big beautiful beaches. South of the city, Llandudno beach is wide and sandy and popular with locals and families. It’s another great place to watch the sunset. Or take the short drive north to Blouberg beach which has spectacular views of Table Mountain across the bay.
Swimming in Cape Town
The only real downside to the Cape Town beaches is that the deep green Atlantic ocean that laps the shores isn’t warm, even in the summer months.
Swim in a tidal pool Cape Town has several. They are more sheltered than the open sea and offer a waterside refuge from currents, waves and potentially, sharks.
Take a dip at Sea Point’s Pavilion an open air swimming pool complex on Sea Point Promenade.
Visit surfers’ favourite Muizenberg beach on the east, Indian Ocean, side of the peninsula. The water temperatures are slightly milder here plus it has very photogenic beach huts. At nearby St James you’ll find more beach huts and a popular tidal pool. It’s a 30 minute drive from Cape Town.
Itinerary tips: Allow a half day to explore Cape Town’s city beaches, especially in the warmer months. If you’re really pressed for time combine a visit to a beach with a sunset view and supper.
Best scenic road trip from Cape Town
Soak up the views on Chapman’s Peak Drive This is another of Sam’s Cape Town must-sees. The winding 5 mile stretch of west coast road lies just south of the city where the road climbs high above sea level. It reveals spectacular views across Hout Bay, before descending gently to Noordhoek.
Since South Africa drives on the left it’s the return leg of the journey which is the most dramatic, as only a low wall marks the edge of the cliffs and sheer drops to the Atlantic below.
The speed limit is a sedate 40km whilst generous vantage points offer space to pull over for photos, picnics or even whale spotting. You pay a small toll fee for the south to north leg of the journey (so keep some rand at the ready).
Itinerary tips: Allow a half day for the scenic drive with time for stops at each end. Or plan a full day trip which will give you enough time to combine it with visits to Cape Point, Kalk Bay or Muizenberg Beach.
Guide to Wine Tasting for Couples in Cape Town
Cape Town has been making wine since the 1650s and its vineyards are world famous. The climate is pretty much perfect for grapes and there are many wine farms and estates in the Western Cape.
As well as tastings many wineries offer wonderful food too, and the prices are very reasonable. If you are wine lovers, then a wine tasting experience is one of the top fun things to do for couples in Cape Town.
Visit Groot Constantia, the oldest wine estate and the closest to the centre of Cape Town. Visitors can tour the beautiful Cape Dutch style manor house, now a museum, as well as enjoy wine tastings or chocolate and wine pairings.
Cycle between vineyards in the Constantia valley Take a private wine-tasting bicycle tour and you’re guaranteed to feel virtuous despite all the food and drink you’ll consume! A support vehicle supplies back up too if your legs get tired. Check out reviews and book the tour here.
Itinerary tips: From central Cape Town you can reach Groot Constantia quickly and cheaply by Uber or by joining the Hop On Hop Off sightseeing bus on its wine route.
Wine tasting outside the city
it’s easy to find affordable half and full day tours (no need to drink and drive!). As well as wine tasting many estates offer excellent fine dining, outdoor picnics and sometimes add-on activities like a spa or horse-riding.
As a bonus the scenery is stunning with lush valleys, rolling hills and majestic mountain ranges.
Spend some time in Stellenbosch. An hour’s drive from Cape Town, Stellenbosch is a pretty university town with tempting boutiques and galleries. Take a stroll around the shady streets lined with oak trees to enjoy the historic Cape Dutch architecture. Then concentrate on the serious business of wine tasting.
Stellenbosch is a centre for some of South Africa’s best wineries, from large estates to family-run farms. We visited Spier but there are plenty to choose from according to your interests.
One of Sam’s favourite estates is Cavalli which lies in the heart of the Winelands, about an hour’s drive from Sea Point in Cape Town. Sophisticated and modern, it’s a destination in its own right with a strong ethos of sustainability and conservation.
Enjoy Franschhoek’s French influence. Smaller and quieter than Stellenbosch with a European vibe, Franschhoek has world-class wineries as well as some of the best restaurants in South Africa.
Go wine farm hopping on the famous Franschhoek wine tram Select one of two routes which pass eight varied wineries and estates. Then simply hop on and hop off at the wine farms of your choice.
🇿🇦This Franschhoek Wine Tram tour includes transfers from Cape Town too. Click here to read reviews and book.
Visit Babylonstoren a world renowned wine estate with gardens – and an Instagram famous prickly pear maze – as well as ‘farm to fork’ restaurant Babel. NB you’ll need to book Babel well in advance!
Itinerary tips: Allow a full day if you want to explore both Stellenbosch and Franschoek.
Book a Wine Tour with a Guide
Relax and enjoy an organised day tour of the Cape Winelands.
This guided tour visits four estates in Paarl, Franschoek and Stellenbosch to give you an overview of the great wines of the Cape region. You’ll enjoy tastings and pairings, interesting facts, plus an a la carte lunch. And perhaps the best part: a tour like this does all the transfers and decision-making for you – you can just sit back and enjoy it. It would be a great couple thing to do in Cape Town.
Visit the penguins at Boulders Beach
Share a beach with a penguin colony. Yes, I was surprised, but apparently the majority of penguin species live in temperate climates, as opposed to Antarctica. And if you needed any particular reason to venture out of Cape Town this is probably it!
A colony of African penguins inhabit Boulders Beach near Simon’s Town. Overlooking False Bay the beach is south of Cape Town on the east coast of the peninsula. It’s 50 minutes by car from the city along the M4 main road.
Pay an entrance fee to view the colony from wooden walkways. Then take a short walk to the neighbouring beach to enjoy the unique experience of relaxing on the sand whilst cute little penguins get on with their daily to-ing and fro-ing.
Itinerary tips: Pair Boulders Beach with a trip to Cape Point.
Things to do at Cape Point
Cape Point might not be the southern most tip of Africa, but it almost is and it certainly looks the part. With huge rocky cliffs, crashing waves and views down to white sand beaches it has proper ‘end of the earth’ vibes as you gaze out to the endless ocean.
Part of the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Point is the pointy bit, 60 km south of Cape Town. Strictly speaking Cape Agulhas, a little further east, is the most southernly point of the continent and the spot where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. But Cape Point is famous in its own right. Its huge waves and powerful winds have been challenging mariners since Bartolomeu Dias first sailed around it in 1488.
The Cape Point nature reserve is part of the Table Mountain National Park and hikers and wildlife watchers can spot zebra, antelopes and baboons (careful of the baboons!) in their natural habitat.
Visit the historic lighthouse via the Flying Dutchman funicular.
Take an e-bike Cape Peninsula Tour, like this one, to explore the Cape Point nature reserve.
Look out for whales! Between June and October Cape Point is one of the best spots to see whales who travel from Antarctica to the warmer waters of the False Bay coastline to breed. Here are some tips on whale-watching vantage points.
Take an overnight hike on Cape Point to see dazzling scenery and night skies. Obviously this is an adventure for more experienced hikers. Read about one tour option here.
Plan a day trip to Cape Point
Make the most of your time by planning a full day of sightseeing on the Cape Peninsula.
The day begins with the drive along the Atlantic seaboard and Chapman’s Peak then stops for lunch in Hout Bay or Noordhoek, before continuing to the Cape of Good Hope. The return journey takes you to Simon’s Town, Boulder’s Beach, Fish Hoek and Muizenburg.
Further options include: a city tour, Seal Island in Hout Bay, wine tasting at Cape Point vineyard, an ostrich farm, the furnicular to Cape Point lighthouse and Kirstenbosch Gardens. Phew.
More things for couples to do near Cape Town
There are so many wonderful places to visit in South Africa, you could easily plan a day trip, a multi-day tour or even a two-centre holiday around your stay in Cape Town.
Visit quirky Kalk Bay on the east coast of the peninsula overlooking False Bay. Just 30 minutes from Cape Town this pretty fishing village has a colourful harbour, little cafes, antique stores and shops to explore. Round off the afternoon with fish and chips at Kalky’s.
South Africa’s Cape Floral Kingdom is concentrated around the West and Eastern Capes including the Table Mountain National Park. It’s home to an incredible 9000 plant species, including beautiful orchids, lilies and proteas, that make up the fynbos that covers 80% of the region. This private hike with a qualified nature guide, tailored to your fitness levels, is well-reviewed as an introduction to the natural history of the region.
Wildlife watching in Cape Town
Swim with the Duiker Island seals off the coast at Hout Bay. For the ultimate wildlife experience you can don warmsuits to swim and snorkel with the friendly cape fur seal colony in their natural habitat.
Explore kelp forests and take part in scientific shark research on a guided snorkel trip with marine biologists in False Bay.
See if you can spot the marine Big 5 during your stay. Whales, seals, sharks, dolphins and penguins all inhabit the Cape Peninsula coast depending on the season.
Go whale watching in Hermanus during the six month long whale season in Cape Town’s winter from June to November. Southern Right whales migrate here from the Antarctic to breed and you can see them from land and sea.
This Whale Watching Tour in Hermanus and Gansbaai gets excellent reviews which point out the skills of the operators and their respect for the marine wildlife. The drive from Cape Town on the Overberg route has lovely views and stops at the penguin colony near Betty’s Bay.
Tour the Garden Route and a Game Reserve
Go on a game drive to see the Big 5 Cape Town isn’t the first destination that comes to mind when dreaming of safaris. It can’t compete with the mighty Kruger National Park up in the north east of the country. But you can still visit a game farm and see the Big 5 in the Western Cape as well as enjoy the beautiful scenery.
This 2 day tour to the Garden Route Game Lodge near Mossel Bay, gives you the added bonus of the scenic journey along the coastal Garden Route. Stop offs include whale-watching capital, Hermanus and Cape Agulhas – the southern most tip of Africa.
At the lodge, you’ll take morning and evening game drives to see South Africa’s native animals close up in a natural habitat.
The lodge gets great online reviews for excellent service and facilities, friendly staff and very knowledgeable guides.
Go to a cricket match in Cape Town
Watch cricket in Cape Town It is home to world-class sporting events and has the stadiums to match. Sam’s top recommendation for sports fans is to visit historic Newlands, with its epic backdrop of Table Mountain. My sons agree! It hosts local and international cricket, including Test matches.
Newlands is famously beautiful and spectators can skip the conventional stands and sit on the grass banks around the pitch. Some may even light up barbecues (imagine that happening at London’s Lords). Tickets for the banks are cheap, but you’ll need to book ahead.
Rugby and soccer are very popular in Cape Town too. Check for Cape Town sporting fixtures here.
7 fun adventure activities in Cape Town for couples
Unlike most cities, Cape Town isn’t just about urban pleasures. It offers its visitors a portfolio full of adrenaline rush adventure activities. And it’s been scientifically proven that couples who share a scary experience feel closer as a result! So here are just a few of the fun activities couples can do in Cape Town that you might not have expected.
- Take a tandem paraglide flight Launch from Signal Hill, securely attached to a pilot, and you’ll soar above the Atlantic beaches. This tandem paraglide flight will give you a literal bird’s eye view of Lions Head, Signal Hill, the Waterfront and more.
- Abseil down Table Mountain , well not the whole way down! But enough to get great views and photo opps. Click here
- Take a scenic helicopter flight for a breathtaking view of the coast and mountains, like this Cape Town Helicopter Tour: Atlantic Coast
- Kite-surf and windsurf at the Blouberg beaches 15 km north of Cape Town.
- Ride a horse along the white sand beach at Noordhoek – this is on my own bucket list!
6 Places to find Cape Town Souvenirs
Shop for contemporary design souvenirs at Zeitz MOCAA shop at the V & A Waterfront.
Freedom of Movement bags and backpacks are made from South African leather by a family owned brand. Find them on V&A Waterfront.
Vin de Constance wine was ordered in bulk by Napoleon and mentioned by Jane Austen in her novels as a remedy for gout – and a broken heart! This honey coloured sweet wine is still made at Klein Constantia.
A selection of blends from Atlas Trading Company will spice up your souvenirs. Browse its flavoursome range of products here and find it in Wale Street, Bo Kaap. It’s the oldest spice store in Cape Town.
Hunt for gifts at Greenmarket Square It’s a great place to find local craftsmen and traders selling trinkets, artwork, jewellery and more from open air stalls. I love the wire and bead animals you can find on market stalls.
Looking for a romantic gift? Choosing a piece of jewellery together can be a romantic thing for couples to do in Cape Town. The city is renowned for its jewellers and you’ll find craftsmen-made pieces in South African precious metals, gemstones or diamonds as well as affordable mementoes. Discover keepsakes to love at V&A Waterfront. Check out the pretty pieces in NomNom and diamonds as big as the Ritz in Shimansky.
101 Fun Things to do in Cape Town for Couples
I hope you’ve found this list inspiring and that you’ll bookmark it for future reference. There really are 101 great things to do in Cape Town for couples. Include just some of these in your Cape Town itinerary and you’ll get a real taste of the Mother City, whether you’re staying for a long weekend or a week.
Please note that all visitor information here is for guidance only. Please check the relevant websites for the most up to date information eg. accommodation details, tickets, entrance requirements, opening times etc.
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About the author Nancy is a former women’s magazine editor who lives in London and is mum to two 20-something boys. In Map&Family she shares info and inspiration for curious travellers: singles and couples as well as families travelling with teens and young adults.