In Part 1 of our guide to Cape Town, South Africa, we went over the area’s world-class golf courses, but this pulsating coastal city truly shines off the course, where its nightlife and cultural offerings provide visitors with endless entertainment options.
Where to stay in Cape Town: Best hotels and resorts
- There’s perhaps no finer option in Cape Town than the 5-star Cape Grace Hotel (pictured), whose envious waterfront location and relaxed vibe attracts visitors from around the globe. The stylish hotel oozes old-world charm, with individually decorated rooms featuring rich wooden antiques and African artifacts. The hotel is surrounded on three sides by water, but has a superlative location along the city’s Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, with numerous shops and restaurants just steps away.
- For a quieter spot, check out Blackheath Lodge, in the city’s leafy Sea Point neighborhood. The boutique hotel dates back to the 19th century and has just 10 rooms, striking a perfect balance of classic style and modern amenities. The lush garden and pool area offers guests a sublime spot to escape the bustle of city life, if just for a moment, and the attentive staff are always willing to make their guests’ stay more special.
- If you’re not looking to blow your budget on accommodations but still want an elegant stay, try Parker Cottage, an upscale B&B in the central neighborhood of Tamboerskloof. They offer a variety of rooms for every budget, from spacious suites to cozier rooms designed for those travelers who plan on spending most of their time exploring the city. The cottage is within walking distance of a number of city attractions, making it a great option for those without 24-hour access to a vehicle.
Where to eat in Cape Town: Best restaurants
- Ever eaten dinner at a restaurant that was also a UNESCO World Heritage Site? The Roundhouse (pictured), which offers European cuisine with a South African twist at the foot of Table Mountain, is just that. The main restaurant is located in a former hunting lodge on the sprawling property, but the best times are had at the outdoor dining area, where guests can enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere and soak in the stunning coastal views.
- One of Cape Town’s first sushi venues, Codfather is an all-encompassing seafood experience, offering freshly-caught fish at a price that won’t break the bank. Situated in Camps Bay, home to some of the Western Cape’s best beaches, it’s best to just let your knowledgeable server recommend something while you enjoy the sun and crisp, salty air.
- You can’t go to South Africa without experiencing a proper braai, or barbecue, meal. aMadoda Braai in Woodstock, Cape Town’s artsy hipster enclave, is the next-best thing to being invited to a chill backyard braai. Atmosphere aside, get ready for some serious meat, paired with delicious traditional side dishes like mieliepap, a polenta-like dish made from maize.
Where to drink in Cape Town: Best bars
- For craft cocktails, the best spot in town is Tjing Tjing, a rooftop bar (more of an attic, really) on bustling Longmarket Street. The drinks menu is just as eclectic as the décor, and the delicious bar snacks, such as the pork belly skewers, come in handy for steadying the ship after a few boozy concoctions.
- The Power & the Glory, or “P n’ G’s” to those in the know, is a coffee shop by day, bar by night in the Tamboerskloof neighborhood. The bar caters to Cape Town’s creative class and has a well-curated selection of craft beers. Owner Adam is a well-known staple at the bar and always up for a bit of banter.
- If you’re more of a “lifestyles of the rich and famous”-type, head on over to Caprice Café in Camps Bay, where the well-heeled jetsetters of Cape Town come to enjoy the best sunset views in the city. Get there early, grab a table, and see if you can spot a celeb or two.
Ravi Coutinho is a contributor at Golf News Net and the founder of Worldwide Golf Adventures, a golf travel company based in Austin, TX that offers dream vacations to the world's top golf destinations.