Cape Town, set in stunning scenery, has a fascinating backstory and an excellent food & wine culture. Our 5-day Cape Town itinerary captures all that is great about this African city.

There is a lot to fit in on a 5-day Cape Town itinerary because there is so much to like about this intriguing city. A melting pot of native African and European colonial culture set in a truly beautiful location. Mountains drop into blue oceans where powder-white beaches provide home to penguins and seals. Clifftop drives and hilltop walks offer breath-taking views that Cape Town has become famous for.

It also has some of the best value high-quality food in the world. Eat in Constantia or in the bars and restaurants around Kloof Street and you will find culinary innovation at a fraction of the price of many other destinations.

But, there’s another side to this beautifully set location. Our 5-day Cape Town Itinerary explores the history of this once troubled town. Apartheid only came to an end 25 years ago and visiting Robben Island, District 6 Museum and a township helped us to learn more about the challenging legacy it left on this town and its people.

Cape Town is a great place to visit and it can easily be incorporated into a much longer stay in South Africa, one of our favourite holiday destinations. You can see what we got up to in our 3 week South Africa itinerary.

Please note / This post contains affiliate links which means if you buy something following a link on this page, we’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting our blog. / Paul & Mark.
why go to cape town?

Stunning scenery as mountains drop into crashing seas

Uncovering the history of apartheid and the lessons it offers

Sundowners overlooking some of the best city beaches in the world

Quality food and wine in beautiful locations at truly great prices

A cultural melting pot of African and European life

5-day cape town itinerary overview

DAY 1 / Learning about apartheid in the city centre

DAY 2 / Uncovering a township and exploring great tastes in Constantia

DAY 3 / Ascending Table Mountain before hitting the beaches

DAY 4 / Touring Robben Island and hiking Lions Head for sublime views

DAY 5 / Visiting penguins and the stunning scenery of the Cape Peninsula

DAY 1 / DISTRICT SIX, CITY CENTRE & BO KAAP

Start your 5-day Cape Town itinerary with a visit to District Six Museum, which tells the story of the forcible ejection of local multi-racial communities from the Sixth District in inner Cape Town. It has both permanent and temporary exhibitions and excellent guides offering personal insights into the museum.

After the museum, grab a coffee at the excellent Uncle Bear Coffee Company before exploring the tourist market at Greenmarket Square and the old colonial buildings surrounding Company Gardens. Next, grab lunch at Yours Truly perched on a stool watching the world go by.

In the afternoon wander over to Bo Kaap. Bo Kaap has a rich multi-cultural heritage, thanks mostly to the descendants of slaves who were brought over in the 16th and 17th century. Today it’s an interesting place to stroll around and admire the colourful houses. Check out the museum. Although the exhibits are average, a good TV presentation documents the residents of Bo Kaap as they reflect on their life and the development of their community.

Explore the shops of Loop and Long street before grabbing an early evening drink at The Gin Bar on Wale Street.


District 6 Museum / 9:00 to 18:00 Mon to Sat; Guided Tours at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00 and 14:00 Mon to Fri / Price: R40 or R55 guided / More: District 6 Museum Website / Location25A Albertus St, Zonnebloem, Cape Town

Bo Kaap Museum / 9:00 to 16:00 Mon to Sat / Price: R20 / More: Bo Kapp Museum Website / Location71 Wale St, Schotsche Kloof, Cape Town

DAY 2 / TOWNSHIP TOUR, KIRSTENBOSCH GARDENS AND CONSTANTIA

No Cape Town itinerary is complete without a Township tour. Head to Langa and join the morning Siviwe Township Tour. Langa is a small tight-knit township, just east of Table Mountain. Touring this township opened our eyes to how many of Cape Town’s citizens live and the ongoing legacy of apartheid. It was one of our best experiences in Cape Town which we highly recommend.

Next head over to Constantia and join the Constantia Wine Route where you can stop at numerous vineyards and try their food and wine. Groot Constantia and Fairview are a must for tastings, and Buitenverwachting is a real treat for lunch, with a café and restaurant serving excellent food. But be there before 2 pm otherwise you might have to do some fast talking to convince them to stay open for you!

Before the afternoon completely disappears in a haze, make your way to Kirstenbosch for a leisurely stroll around the botanic gardens. If you are here in summer try to tie it up with one of their outdoor summer concerts, which are truly excellent.


Siviwe Langa Township Tour / Tours are at 9:00, 12:00 or 14:00 and last 2 to 2.5 hours / Price: R350 / More: Siviwe Tours

Kirstenbosch Gardens / 8:00 to 19:00 Sep to Mar; 8:00 to 18:00 Apr to Aug / Price: R70 / More: Kirstenbosch Gardens / LocationRhodes Dr, Newlands

DAY 3 / TABLE MOUNTAIN BEFORE HITTING THE BEACHES

Day 3 of our 5-day Cape Town itinerary takes us up the Table Mountain Cableway for stunning views over Cape Town. Booking ahead is essential as it’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. With or without pre-booked tickets it’s likely you will need to queue, so get there as early as possible. But fear not, your precious time is not wasted as the views across Cape Town, Lion’s Head and the endless expanse of ocean is well worth the wait.

After descending in the cable car, head the short distance to Kloof Street and grab lunch at one of the many options in the area. Kloof Street House was our pick.

Time for a bit of R&R, so head over to the beach of your choice for some sun, sand and remarkably cold sea. Camps Bay is a curving wide stretch of beautiful white sand. The four Clifton beaches under lion’s head each have their own vibe. Bloubergstrand, about 20-minute drive from town, has great views back to Table Mountain and is a great spot for kitesurfing.

End the day with dinner and drinks at one of the many establishments overlooking Camps Bay. It’s sloppy tourist driven fare, but the view, energy and sunset make up for it.


Table Mountain Cableway / First car varies from 8:00 to 8:30; last car varies from 18:00 to 20:30 depending on the time of year / Price: R290 / Tickets: pre-book here / LocationTafelberg Rd, Gardens, Cape Town

DAY 4 / ROBBEN ISLAND & LION'S HEAD

This morning take the Robben Island Museum Tour and learn a bit more about the era of apartheid. Robben Island was used by the South African government as a prison for political prisoners and convicted criminals from 1961 until 1991. Today the island is home to a number of former inmates who work as tour guides, providing very personal – and at times – harrowing accounts of their experience in the prison. Ferries to Robben Island depart from Victoria and Albert Waterfront and booking in advance is recommended. The whole trip takes around 4 – 5 hours. Upon your return explore the V&A Waterfront and grab lunch at the Waterfront Food Market.

This afternoon hike up Lion’s Head. The well-trodden path winds its way up the mountain and offers spectacular views of Cape Town, Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles and Camps Bay beach. The views from the top are stunning. Make your way to the top by late afternoon as the sun drops and the surrounds are lit up in all their golden glory. If you take a couple of beers with you to the top, you will have a truly memorable moment.


Robben Island Tour / Tours run every couple of hours starting at 9.00 / TicketsBook online in advance / Price: R360

Lions Head Walk / Park 500m up Signal Hill Road, just after turning off the M62 at Kloof Neck. The path is easy to follow. There is a bit of scrambling towards the top, but if the sight of ropes and ladders leaves your palms sweaty, walk a bit further and you’ll see another path avoiding these tricky bits. The walk takes around 1 hour, 15 minutes up and 1 hour down.

DAY 5 / DRIVING THE STUNNING CAPE POINT PENINSULA

Today, enjoy a driving tour of the spectacular Cape Peninsula. Take the M6 down to Harbour Road in Hout Bay, home to a traditional fishing harbour and market, which offers some excellent seafood and a cool seaside vibe. After a walk around Hout Bay Harbour, head to Cape Point via Chapman’s Peak. This is a toll road, but you will not resent the small payment one bit; the drive is nothing short of spectacular.

Once the M6 hits the M65, turn right and go via Kommetjie, taking the circular route around the peninsula. About 1h 20m after leaving Hout Bay you will arrive at Table Mountain National Park. Pay the entry fee, then and follow the signs to The Cape of Good Hope. Walk up the hill nearby and keep your eyes peeled for whales. After you’ve soaked up the views, drive up to Cape Point, walk up to the new lighthouse and out to the point that looks down over the old lighthouse.

Back in the car, head up the east side of the peninsula to Boulder’s Beach (35min) and have a quick visit with the penguins. Continue to St James (25 min) and walk to the much-photographed brightly coloured beach huts framing a tidal rock pool.
Next head back south to Kalk Bay, to check out its coffee shops and bohemian vibe before having dinner at Livebait, a great, reasonably priced seafood restaurant so close to the front the waves are lapping at the deck. Get there while it is still light to watch the sun go down.


Chapmans Peak Drive / Anytime / Price: R47 other tariffs are here

Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope / 6:00 to 18:00 Oct to Mar; 7:00 to 17:00 Apr to Sep / Price: R147 / More: Information here / LocationCape Point Rd, Cape Town

Boulder’s Beach Penguin Sanctuary / 7:00 to 19:30 Dec to Jan; 8:00 to 17:00 Apr to Sep; 8:00 to 18:30 Feb to Mar and Oct to Nov / Price: R76 / Location4 Boulders Place, Simon’s Town

FINISH

At the end of your 5-day Cape town itinerary head home or, even better, stay and explore more of this diverse country packed with fantastic scenery, great food and thoroughly enjoyable sights.

Head over to our 3-week South Africa Itinerary, it includes 5 days in Cape Town but then heads down the Garden Route, explores the semi-arid Little Karoo, has an incredible safari experience in Kruger and finishes with a couple of days in Johannesburg.

/ INFORMATION

A little pre-planning and research will help make your travels far more successful, it will also help you to understand what you are looking for in a destination. If you like our Cape Town itinerary, here’s all the information you might need to plan your own trip.

WHERE TO STAY IN CAPE TOWN

Tamboerskloof and Camps Bay are both excellent locations but for different reasons. Tamboerskloof is younger and cooler, close to the city centre with access to the café and bar scene of Kloof Street. The views up to Table Mountain are pretty great as well.

Camps Bay on the other hand is a bit older, but stunningly set on one of the most beautiful city beaches in the world. A number of cocktail bars and restaurants line the front.

CENTRAL HILLSIDE – OUR PICK

MANNABAY


A beautiful converted house decorated with contemporary African art, Mannabay has amazing views from their hillside location. The service is excellent and it’s close to the Kloot street nightlife.

CHECK PRICES

GOOD VALUE CHIC

JARDIN D’ÉBÈNE BOUTIQUE GUESTHOUSE


This quaint five-bedroom guesthouse in Tamboerskloof is decorated in modern African style with luxurious organic textiles. Breakfast on the deck beside the plunge pool is the perfect way to start your day.

CHECK PRICES

ALL OUT STYLE

THE MARLY


Located along Camp’s Bay’s promenade, The Marly is great for unwinding on Cape Town’s most popular beach. With a stunning location, this is an excellent option for some boutique indulgence.

CHECK PRICES

CENTRAL HILLSIDE

MANNABAY


A beautiful converted house decorated with contemporary African art, Mannabay has amazing views from their hillside location. The service is excellent and it’s close to the Kloot street nightlife.

CHECK PRICES

GOOD VALUE CHIC

JARDIN D’ÉBÈNE BOUTIQUE GUESTHOUSE


This quaint five-bedroom guesthouse in Tamboerskloof is decorated in modern African style with luxurious organic textiles. Breakfast on the deck beside the plunge pool is the perfect way to start your day.

CHECK PRICES

ALL OUT STYLE

THE MARLY


Located along Camp’s Bay’s promenade, The Marly is great for unwinding on Cape Town’s most popular beach. With a stunning location, this is an excellent option for some boutique indulgence.

CHECK PRICES

BOOK BEFORE YOU GO

Cape Town can get very busy, so it’s a good idea to book a few things in advance of your 5-day Cape Town itinerary. The Table Mountain Cableway can close when conditions are windy, so don’t plan to go up on your final day in case it’s closed. While booking online does not skip all of the queues, it does make it considerably quicker.

If you are visiting in the summer months check Kirstenbosch events. The summer concerts in the gardens are excellent.

Cape Town is an excellent destination for sports fans. It is relatively easy to get tickets to world-class rugby and cricket at extremely good prices. Not to mention, Newlands Stadium is a stunning destination with great views over Table Mountain.

OUR RECOMMENDED TOURS

Skip the queues and book these tours before you go. Tickets are delivered to your smartphone.

TABLE MOUNTAIN

CABLE CAR & BUS COMBO

ROBBEN ISLAND

FERRY & ENTRANCE TICKETS

TOWNSHIP TOUR

HALF-DAY TOUR

OUR RECOMMENDED TOURS

Skip the queues and book these tours before you go. Tickets are delivered to your smartphone.

TABLE MOUNTAIN

CABLE CAR & BUS COMBO

ROBBEN ISLAND

FERRY & ENTRANCE TICKETS

TOWNSHIP TOUR

HALF-DAY TOUR

GETTING TO CAPE TOWN

The main airport in Cape Town is the Nelson Mandela International Airport which has direct flights from some locations in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and other Africa locations. There are currently no direct flights from the USA to Cape Town. The airport is around 20km from the centre of town with easy connections into Cape Town.

TAXI / The official, authorised taxi provider at the airport is Touch-Down Taxis. Picking up a taxi from the stands out front is usually no problem. A taxi into the centre of Cape Town will cost between R300 and R400.

AIRPORT MYCITI / A shuttle bus runs from the airport between 5:30 and 21:30. The fare is around R60 to R100 depending on the time of travel.

FLIGHTS / Check latest flight times and prices.

GETTING AROUND CAPE TOWN

The MyCiti bus service operated from 5:00 to 22:00 daily connecting the major areas of Cape Town including the city centre, the Atlantic coast and Koof Rd. More information including rates and timetables is available on their website.

This is a fairly action-packed itinerary, so our recommendation is to hire a car at the airport. Car hire is good value and makes getting around a slightly spread out Cape Town much easier. Parking is generally cheap and convenient and the road network is very good. The excess for accidents on hire cares is generally low so we opted to not take insurance.

AUTO EUROPE

The best portal we’ve found for booking hire cars is AutoEurope. They have access to cars from all the major companies which are compared on a grid format that clearly displays the prices for different car sizes across each provider.

They also display what is and isn’t included in the price and offer good value insurance options. With a great interface and 24-hour customer service, we highly recommend them.

Check Dolomites car rental prices here based on your home location.

EUROPE CUSTOMERSUSA CUSTOMERS

AUTO EUROPE


The best portal we’ve found for booking hire cars is AutoEurope. They have access to cars from all the major companies which are compared on a grid format that clearly displays the prices for different car sizes across each provider.

They also display what is and isn’t included in the price and offer good value insurance options. With a great interface and 24-hour customer service, we highly recommend them.

Check Dolomites car rental prices here based on your home location.

EUROPE CUSTOMERSUSA CUSTOMERS

BEST TIME TO GO TO CAPE TOWN

Cape Town can be visited all year but it is best to avoid the wet colder months of July and August. If you want to spend time on the beaches then the summer months of December to March bring temperatures in the high twenties and longer days, but also higher crowds.

We recommend mid- January to mid-March to get good weather, long days, fewer crowds and the opportunity enjoy wine festivals and outdoor concerts. Beware though, the seas around Cape Town are cold almost all year round, so swimming takes a deep breath whatever time you travel.

COSTS OF OUR CAPE TOWN ITINERARY

Cape Town is a very reasonably priced destination. Car hire is cheap and food is excellent value given its high quality. In fact, we suggest you spend a little more on food and drink and get some truly great experiences. Our entire 5-day Cape Town Itinerary for two people cost R23,500 which, as of Sep 2018 exchange rates, equates to :-

US $1,550 / GBP £1,200 / EUR €1,350


3 nights in Tamboerskloof Airbnb – R5,000

3 nights in Camps Bay Airbnb – R5,100

6 day Car Hire – R2,500

Tickets and Tours – R2,800

Food and Drink – R6,600

Fuel and other sundries – R1,500

US $1,550 / GBP £1,200 / EUR €1,350


3 nights in Tamboerskloof Airbnb – R5,000

3 nights in Camps Bay Airbnb – R5,100

6 day Car Hire – R2,500

Tickets and Tours – R2,800

Food and Drink – R6,600

Fuel and other sundries – R1,500

GUIDEBOOKS & READING

As always the Lonely Planet Cape Town & Garden Route guidebook was a very valuable addition to our toolkit while in Cape Town.

For some interesting reading, The Scramble for Africa by Thomas Packenham explains the history of how African territory was divided between European powers between 1881 and 1914.

Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom is a powerful account of the struggle against apartheid with many key events taking place in Cape Town.

INSTAGRAM / ANYWHERE WE ROAM

We are Mark & Paul. Curious + Adventurous. Anywhere We Roam is the story of our travels – the world as seen through our eyes.⁣⁣⁣

If you found this article helpful and you’d like to see more of our photography, head over to Instagram and follow our journey.⁣⁣⁣

As always, thanks for supporting our blog.⁣⁣⁣

WHERE NEXT?

Firstly, if you found this guide useful, follow us on Instgram to stay up to date with our travels.

To fuels your wanderlust, read about the best experiences we had in South Africa. To put all these experiences together, head over to our 3 week South Africa itinerary.

Finally if you are thinking about South Africa you might also want to consider their northern neighbour. Our 2 weeks in Namibia was one of our favourite travel experience with world-class safari, barren scenery and an insight into their fascinating social-political progress.

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments section below – we will always reply. To stay up to date with our travels, follow us on social and signup to our NEWSLETTER.

A guide to spending 5 days in Cape Town including what to see and do, where to eat and where to stay. / Cape Town Itinerary / things to do in Cape Town / #capetown #southafrica

A guide to spending 5 days in Cape Town including what to see and do, where to eat and where to stay. / Cape Town Itinerary / things to do in Cape Town / #capetown #southafrica

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