If there’s one thing Cape Town isn’t short on, it’s things to see and do. It’s possible to spend a lifetime in the city and not get bored of everything that it offers. So why, if your time is limited, would you forget some of the famous attractions and instead seek some of Cape Town’s hidden gems? Many of the treasures that don’t typically make top ten lists, like those showcased on our Urban Safari, offer some of the most enriching experiences you can expect to have while in Cape Town.
By no means avoid Cape Town’s famous attractions, but if you can factor in some visits to these hidden gems, we’re convinced your time in Cape Town will be even better!
Woodstock and District 6 street art
Cape Town has one of the most vibrant street art scenes in South Africa, and a tour through Woodstock and District 6 reveals the very best of the city’s artistic talents. Many of the murals in these two historically significant neighbourhoods are about more than beautiful artworks – they’re also deeply meaningful and often touch on important social and political issues.
Local craft breweries
There’s no shortage of craft breweries around the city, but if you follow the crowds, you’ll likely just end up at the same old bars. A range of microbreweries have popped up around Cape Town and the winelands in recent years, and if you enjoy learning about a city and its secrets through its obscure brews, then hopping aboard a craft beer-themed tour is just what you need.
Secret sundowner spots
South Africans love a sundowner, local slang for drinks enjoyed with a scenic sunset view. And as a result, most Capetonians have a long list of their secret sundowner spots stashed away. We’re known to reveal our very best sundowner hidden gems to those who join us on our Urban Safari. But if you’re unable to join us for these legendary tours, we recommend you pack a few of your favourite beverages in a backpack and head out to find your own. If you’re fond of a walk, head up to Kloof Corner, Lion’s Head, or Signal Hill and find a little corner to yourself; if you’re more a beach person, you can’t go wrong with Clifton Beaches or the famous rocks of Bakoven.
Battery Park – an outdoor hub for skateboarding and basketball – is such a hidden gem that there’s a good chance you’ve already walked or parked directly beneath it without knowing. It’s a relatively new addition to the V&W Waterfront, and it’s a great spot to rustle up a quick game of ball or show off your tricks on the board. And when you’re done showing off, take a walk down the stairs and try your hand at stand up paddleboarding on the canals, if only to stay humble.
Green Point Urban Park
The Green Point Urban Park is another triumph for free public spaces in Cape Town. It’s a beautifully maintained park open during daylight hours with benches, a tea room, playground, outdoor gym, labyrinth, waterways, and even a beach volleyball court. It’s set back just one road from the famous Sea Point Promenade, which means many visitors overlook it. But if you’re looking to relax on a patch of grass among indigenous plants and carefully considered landscaping, this is a hidden gem not to miss – particularly on quiet weekday mornings.
Authentic South African food
Cape Town’s food scene is a bit of curiosity if you’re looking to sample authentic South African cuisine. With most restaurants in tourist centres drawing their influence from foreign flavours, short of having a crew of new local friends, it’s possible to visit Cape Town and not truly taste the hidden gem of a local braai. Fortunately, we have you covered, so you can avoid this atrocity with our wine, beer, and biltong tour.
Cape Town’s swimming and tidal pools
Cape Town is home to dozens of incredible pools, both naturally-maintained and chlorinated. If you’re fond of swimming lengths, Sea Point’s famous pool is increasingly becoming less of a hidden gem. However, it is still worth a visit – particularly on weekday mornings. The inner city’s Long Street Baths are less known, offering beautiful indoor swimming. And if you’re more a fan of lolling in natural yet frigid surroundings, there are dozens of incredible tidal pools. These pools are set against the ocean and fed by the cool Atlantic in prominent locations yet often go unobserved by passersby. Among the most popular to seek out are Saunder’s Rock and Dalebrook, both of which attract their loyal regulars.