Cape Town’s historic harbour boasts a picturesque view of Table Mountain and has graced many postcards and travel magazines. South Africa’s most visited destination is an El Dorado for foodies and shopaholics and the gateway to Robben Island.

Do you like shopping? If so, you have come to the right place. The V&A Waterfront gives you the full-on experience of designer shops, craft markets, department stores, street performers, posh restaurants, fast food and scenic views. The historic harbour is also the venue for all boat cruises and many scenic flights around the peninsula. You can spend days here browsing through the shops and ticking things off your Cape Town to-do list.

Image by James G. Howes

Things to Do at the Waterfront

The best reason to go to the Waterfront is the Robben Island Museum. This highly educational endeavour comes with a scenic boat trip and a bus tour around the historically rich Robben Island. The prison was the involuntary home of Nelson Mandela and many other freedom fighters for many years. The unpretentious and knowledgeable guides give you a moving and insightful tour of this stronghold of Apartheid days.

The Two Oceans Aquarium is a great option for a rainy day or parents with kids. The South African coastline borders the Atlantic as well as the Indian Ocean thereby giving this country an incredible marine diversity. The aquarium has kelp forests, river meanders and all the stars from Finding Nemo. The highlight is the ragged tooth sharks sailing silently past a huge glass screen.

Places to Eat

The Waterfront is a great place to eat out. It will be hard to find such a number and variety of restaurants anywhere in the world. Whether you are looking for a quick burger, romantic wining and dining or cutting edge cuisine; the Waterfront offers all of the above with picturesque views of Table Mountain thrown in as a bonus.

The options are endless. Here are some fine eateries that have earned themselves a reputation for happy tummies and smiling faces:

  • Hildebrand: Traditional Italian cuisine at its best. An all-time favourite.
  • Krugmann’s Grill: Steak and Seafood with stylish interiors and great views.
  • 221 Waterfront: International cuisine and cocktail bar in a trendy ambiance.
  • Quay Four Tavern: One of the Waterfront’s oldest restaurants. Great for seafood or a beer in the famous tavern.

Winter is a particularly good time to dine out in Cape Town. Restaurants offer great specials to lure people out of the comfort of their home. Find the best winter specials here or check out our German post on restaurant specials.