Cape Town Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to Cape Town

Planning a short break to Cape Town? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Cape Town. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Cape Town. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

Situated in a part of Cape Town’s harbour, the V&A has become South Africa’s most popular international tourist attraction.

With the beautiful Table Mountain and city as its backdrop the waterfront offers a large selection of fine restaurants, pubs and cafes for your dining requirements while in town.

There are also a host of world-class shops and entertainment venues including cinemas and an Imax theatre.

The waterfront is also home to the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island, where you can book trips to the island.

The waterfront is a good place to look for accommodation with a number of excellent hotels to choose from.

False Bay Peninsula

This area of the Peninsula incorporates the towns of Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek and Simonstown. The best way to get here using public transport is to take a train from Cape Town station (first class). The beaches at Muizenberg and Fish Hoek are popular because they are noticeably warmer than those on the Atlantic coast. Kalk Bay is not to be missed; here antique shops and art galleries line the main road and the working fishing harbour is also worth a visit. The fantastic Brass Bell Restaurant and bar is located on the shoreline, with the waves breaking right outside the window. Simonstown is home to the South African Navy and as such has a distinctly nautical feel with a maritime museum and lots of interesting shops and good pubs.

Table Mountain

With out a doubt, table Mountain is Cape Town’s most famous landmark and one of its most popular attractions. Aside from the cableway that gets you to the top in about four minutes, you can hike up the 1086m high mountain and enjoy the panoramic views of the entire metro area. It is advisable to get there early in season, and choose a clear day for best viewing. There is a restaurant and curio shop at the top of the mountain with a post box allowing you to mail your postcards from here. The mountain is part of a national park with a sensitive ecosystem so absolutely no littering or making of fires is tolerated. It is advisable to bring a jacket, as it can get cold in the wind, even in summer.

Stellenbosch

Nestled at the foot of the Hottentot’s Holland Mountains about 45 minutes out of town you will find the beautiful town of Stellenbosch with its Oak lined streets. The town is an excellent place to explore the Cape wine-lands. Five distinct routes begin here and you are free to call at any or all of the destinations on the route. Most estates offer wine tasting, cellar tours and wine sales and many of these have picnic facilities as well. Bus tours of the wine-lands can also be organised from Cape Town from where they will depart.

The website for the Stellenbosch wine routes is wineroute.co.za

Two Ocean’s Aquarium

Cape Town finds itself at the junction of two very unique marine environments. The Atlantic coast is influenced by the cold waters of the Benguela current and supports very a different ecosystem to the warmer current of the Indian Ocean. It is this contrast that forms the basis of many of the displays in the Two Ocean’s Aquarium. The main features include the Diversity Hall, a touch pool, a seal pool, a penguin colony, a kelp forest exhibit and a predator tank with live feedings.

The aquarium is open daily, the website is www.aquarium.co.za

Cape Grace Hotel

This elegant hotel has won awards for being the best hotel in Africa, this coupled with its location at the heart of the V&A Waterfront, makes it second to none. The hospitality here is very personalised and combines well with the intimate atmosphere and stylish decor. The hotel has a fine restaurant, a superb spa on the top floor and a whisky bar of note with a selection of over 420 whiskies from around the world and a selection of the finest cape wines. The hotel is only too happy to arrange tours and bookings for you should you require them to do so. The address is West Quay Road V&A Waterfront.

Marco’s African Place

This is an excellent destination if you want to experience African culture in a modern, trendy setting with a great atmosphere. The menu offers traditional African dishes with modern twists as well as excellent pastas, seafood and some superb meat dishes including ostrich and crocodile. As the evening turns into nights, the band adds to the ambiance with an excellent selection of jazz and African rhythms. The central location of Marcos, between the V&A and town make it a convenient spot, you can find it at the corner of Rose Lane and Strand Street.

Robben Island

This prison island in Table Bay was home to Nelson Mandela and many of his fellow freedom fighters for most of his 27 years in prison during apartheid. Today, the prison is no more, it is now a museum run by former inmates who give guided tours of the prison and island itself. The Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island at the V&A is the best place to go to book a tour of the island. A ferry makes several trips to the island a day and in summer it is advisable to book a few days before you want to go due to the attractions popularity.

The website address is www.robben-island.org.za

Blue Peter Hotel

Located in Bloubergstrand on the west coast north of Cape Town you will find the Blue Peter Hotel. This excellent destination offers you superb accommodation in close proximity to Cape Town and a convenient base for exploring the west coast and Namaqualand. The restaurant offers excellent Cape cuisine accompanied by a wine list that has received the Diners Club Platinum Award. If for no other reason you choose to visit this location it should be for the downstairs bistro and pub where locals and tourists gather on warm summer evenings on the grassy lawn to watch the sun set with spectacular views of Cape Town and Big Bay, one of the best kite surfing places in the world.

Kirstenbosch

You will find the beautiful Kirstenbosch gardens between Rondebosch and Constantia on the M63. The gardens are world famous as they feature the beauty and diversity of the worlds’ smallest flower kingdom – Cape Fynbos.

There are a number of individual gardens and exhibits that form Kirstenbosch as well as some excellent restaurants that serve lunches and dinners.

If you are in town on a Sunday in summer, the sunset concerts held in Kirstenbosch are a must. With picnic baskets on the lawns families enjoy the warm evenings as the sun sets and listen to the great live performances that have become so popular.

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