I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a single bad thing from anyone’s that been to South Africa’s “Mother City” and so expectations were incredibly high. With Table Mountain as the back drop, sun-kissed coastlines, diverse culture, culinary treats, and adventurous delights, everything we saw, did, and ate met the hype and then some. That’s why you’re going to love this 1 week Cape Town itinerary.
While this was just a segment of our big honeymoon trip, it was the perfect pairing to the African safari in Kruger National Park. This one week itinerary covers the style of travel that we love – a focus on meeting locals, getting to do things instead of seeing, taking in breathtaking views, and eating delicious foods. Follow along in this adventure as I share everything that I recommend that you see, do, eat, and stay.
From the sea to the sky, Cape Town is such an amazing city packed with adventure, incredible people, food, and all-out beauty.
1 Week Cape Town Itinerary Highlights
Cape Town is filled with Instagram worthy stories that you’re bound to fall in love with. For me, it’s a modern metropolis of a city but with the unfair advantage of being surrounded by natural beauty and has the unique background of its melding of European and African cultures. If I were to breakdown the favourite parts of our trip, here’s what they would be.
Here were my top 5 highlights of Cape Town:
- Winery Picnic
- Uthando in Khayelitsha
- Lion’s Head
- Surfing in Muizenberg
- Shark Cage Diving
Read more about South Africa
- How to Plan a safari in South Africa
- South Africa Travel tips guide
- What to pack for a trip to South Africa and Seychelles
How to get the best deals in travel
- Hottest deals – Bookmark the travel deals page.
- Car rentals – stop getting ripped off and learn about car rental coupon codes.
- Hotels – Use corporate codes or get Genius 2 tier with Booking.
- Flights – Have you ever heard of the “Everywhere” feature?
- Insurance – Make sure you’re covered and learn more about where to buy the best travel insurance.
Table of Contents
Looking for something specific in this itinerary? Jump to what you want to read.
Here's what we're covering:
- 1 Week Cape Town Itinerary Highlights
- Table of Contents
- Your 7 Day Itinerary in Cape Town
- The trip costs
- What we missed
- The whole experience
Your 7 Day Itinerary in Cape Town
Cape Town is the kind of city that you’ll leave with feeling that you could’ve spent at least another week or two more there. That said, you won’t have an unlimited amount of time to work with and so these 7 days in Cape Town is a perfect way to see the very best of the city and not feel too rushed at the same time.
The Cape Town Vlog
There were so many incredible stories to tell while we were in Cape Town because as you know, travel is unpredictable and unexpected. Here is Part 1 of our journey.
Trip Planning Map
This is a helpful little map that has all the spots mentioned in this 1 week Cape Town itinerary pinned which will allow you to reuse it for your trip. This has become part of my trip planning process because I can just pop this open in Google Maps when I’m trying to figure out where to go to next.
Tip: View the Cape Town planning map in full screen and create a copy for yourself. Make tweaks for your own trip and in Google Maps, you’ll be able to view it by going into the menu, selecting “My Places” and the “Maps” tab.
Day 1 – Pay Homage to Nelson Mandela
Since you’ll most likely be flying on your first day as we did, you’ll be only have the afternoon to work with. For us on this 1 week Cape Town itinerary, we were flying in from Johannesburg. If you watch Honeymoon Vlog #5, you’ll know that I messed up our Aeroplan reward tickets so we had to buy last minute tickets with FlySafair.
Once you land in Cape Town I’d recommend going with Europcar for your rental car. Not only were they really great to rent from and being automatically upgraded to the Renault Sandero from our small car class, I was also amazed that we could rent a car for 6 days here for only $981.54 ZAR ($76.22 USD). The key is to book early.
TIP: When making car rental bookings, make sure the credit car that you use will be valid by the time that you arrive. I had cancelled the card I booked with and so I couldn’t present my card for ID checking purposes. Luckily they were nice enough to allow it.
Start started our afternoon at the V&A Waterfront which is probably the most touristy area in Cape Town but in a good way. It’s the perfect hub to get orientated in the city and get a taste of how diverse and dynamic it truly is. While waiting for your afternoon Robben Island tour, walk around the various shops and boutiques, occasionally stopping to watch the local buskers and awing at Table Mountain.
You’ll need food so I recommend heading to the V&A Food Market which is a multi-level food hall that has everything from artisan coffee, bubble tea, pizza, burgers, lamb pitas, and flat bread. There’s a lot to choose from and practically everything we saw looked delicious.
The other area of V&A that I thought was more interesting than the others is the Watershed, a converted warehouse that now houses local artists selling handcrafted art and goods. This is a great spot for unique souvenirs to bring back home.
Finally, get into line for your Robben Island tour at least 45 minutes before your departure at Nelson Mandela Gateway. You’ll immediately notice the massive line spilling out down the steps and into the clocktower square. Be prepared to stand in line for awhile and don’t expect your departure to be on time. For us, our 3PM departure turned into 4:46PM.
With the fresh breeze flowing on the upper deck of the ferry, you’ll be able to see sweeping views of the entirety of Cape Town as you make your way to the the infamous Robben Island. The island tour is an incredible experience that consists of two parts.
Once you get off your boat, you’ll hop on a bus where you’ll embark on a 45 minute bus ride around the island where your guide will point out key landmarks on the island including where Robert Sobukwe was held, the quarry, and gun batteries placed for WW2.
For the second part, your group will head into the prison itself with an ex-prisoner as your guide. It was truly humbling to hear his story as a freedom fighter and his time with Nelson Mandela.
Robben Island, the unique symbol of “the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, suffering and injustice” with a rich 500 year old multi-layered history, is visited every year by thousands of people eager to understand and honour the important aspects of South Africa’s history that the Island represents.
Return back to V&A and it’s time to get back into your car and drive to the beach-side town of Muizenberg where you’ll be staying the night. Grab dinner on the main beach street of Muizenberg to close out your first day in Cape Town.
TIP: Booking the 3PM Robben Island tour is a great idea because you essentially get a sunset cruise when you head back to Cape Town. Another activity you need to book well in advance. Drop-in is near impossible.
What you’ll see:
- V&A Waterfront
- The Watershed
- Robben Island
What you’ll do:
Where you’ll eat:
- Lunch – V&A Food Market – Take your pick of international delights here in this food hall.
- Dinner – Primi Piatti – One of the restaurants open late in Muizenberg. Their pizzas were surprisingly good.
Where to stay:
Booking.com has an awesome collection of guesthouse-style accommodations and that’s how we ended up finding this one in Muizenberg.
WE STAYED HERE
Perched on a hill overlooking Muizenberg Beach, this is a guesthouse splashed with hues of blue that reminded us of Santorini. Our host Suzette was very accommodating and our room was a delight with microwave, fridge, comfy bed, lots of closet space, and clean bathroom.
While this property isn’t overlooking the beach, it’s view of the marina just north of the beach is absolutely stunning. For the price, it’s a steal. Many units have their own terrace and views of the mountain. Units are outfitted with a microwave, toaster, a coffee machine, a fridge and kettle.
TIP: There isn’t any free parking at V&A. The most convenient spot to park to be close to the Robben Island departure building is in the Silo District.
Day 2 – Peninsula Route
Start bright and early to drive one of the most scenic routes in Cape Town – The Cape Peninsula Route. This is the road that takes you around the Cape Peninsula and is packed with memorable highlights that culminates in visiting the most south-western point of the African continent.
It’s a long day which is why it makes sense to stay in Muizenberg instead of in Cape Town proper. You’ll also see that it makes sense to go clockwise instead of the other way around because of where you want to be at sunset.
Kick things off with a visit to St. James Beach. It’s here where you’ll find a traditional beach pool. With a sandy beach and concrete walls to protect you from the crashing waves, this is a great spot to do a little early morning beaching. This is also where you’ll find the iconic South African colourful houses that are change rooms for beach-goers.
Once you’re done, drive a little further down and stop at Kalk Bay, one of my favourite stops along the route to explore. Here you’ll find a ton of boutique shops, cafes, and antique stores. Here, I highly recommend lunch at Kalky’s Fish & Chips, a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Grab super fresh Hake or Snoek fish and chips. The calamari is also superb.
You’ll be facing parking attendants quite a bit along the Peninsula Route and really the rest of your trip in Cape Town. At first, I was extremely irked but you quickly learn that it’s one of those things you learn to accept because you can’t win. Dodging them only pisses them off and you don’t really want to do that. Parking attendants are enterprising locals that “watch your car” and “help you find a spot” and in exchange you give them a small tip. 5 to 10 Rand is enough.
From Kalk Bay Harbour, you’ll find fisherman unloading their haul, and hanging them to dry. That’s why seals love this place and you’ll see them jumping in and out of the water. Keep your distance because they’re pretty wild.
TIP: With birds in flight, Kalk Bay Harbour is a great spot to shoot the peninsula
Hit the road again and make your way into Simon’s Town. Similar to Kalk Bay, there’s an old-time charm of towns like this. Take a quick browse.
Next is the cutest part of your day where you’ll have a chance to get up-close to a massive African penguin colony. Follow signs to Boulder’s Beach and park at Seaforth Beach Parking Lot. This is a protected area and as such there’s an entrance fee to get in (R152 adults, R76 children for international travellers).
With 3 beaches, 1 penguin viewing area and 3 boardwalks, you’ll get a chance to watch these penguins waddling around and more impressively a huge colony of them lining the beach, basking under the warmth of the sun. You’ll be dealing with huge crowds of tourists here but if you can find a spot to camp out along the boardwalk fences, you can watch for hours.
TIP: If you’re keen on swimming with the penguins and getting closer, continue walking along Kleintuin Road to reach the actual Boulder Beach. This beach is accessed through same conservation fee to get to the boardwalk. There’s typically less people here because of the fee and most people just doing the boardwalk viewing platform.
Hop onto your car and continue driving south and head all the way down to Cape Point where you can reach or at least see the most south western point of the continent of Africa. The entrance to the park is a steep R303 for adults and R152 for children but a necessary price to pay if you want to head up to the old lighthouse or step down to the Cape of Good Hope.
The views from here are stunning all the way around especially looking out into the water and the lush greenery that cling to the rocks that jut out into the sea and jagged cliffs that fall into the golden beaches.
If you’re like us, you might be starting to run a little out of time so I recommend saving a bit of time by taking the one-way one-way trip up the Flying Dutchman funicular to get to the lighthouse (R65 for adults and R25 for children) and walking down. If you have extra time, hike or drive down to the Cape of Good Hope beach.
Get the Cape Town Pass
If you’re looking to save a bit of money, I recommend the Cape Town Pass which includes the entrance to Cape Point, the funicular, and Table Mountain aerial cableway. A 2 day pass only costs R795 and that includes the R698 you’d need to do all 3 of those activities. On top of that you get access to the Mile by Mile half day bus city tour that’s worth R520.
Start making your way back up the peninsula as the sun begins to set and enter the legendary Chapman’s Peak Drive from Noordhoek. For some reason I totally thought this was a viewpoint but this is actually a windy road that takes you along the west coast cliffs that connects Noordhoek with Hout Bay.
With the mountains to your right and the sea to your left, you’ll ribbon through 114 curves over 9 kilometres of Cape Town’s best coastal drive according to Conde Naste. Expect to make a ton of pit stops at the numerous lookout points along the way.
Since you’re coming from the south, you’ll be paying the toll on your way out of Chapman’s Peak. The toll fee has since been upped in 2018 to R47 for cars.
Complete the circuit by looping all the way back to Muizenberg where you’ll be spending your second night. One of the top restaurants in town for its ambiance, energy, food, and views of the beach is Tiger’s Milk so make your way here for a delicious way to end your day.
What you’ll see:
- Cape Peninsula Route
- St. James Beach
- Kalk Bay
- Simon’s Town
- Boulder’s Beach Penguin Colony
- Cape Point
- Chapman’s Peak Drive
Where you’ll eat:
- Lunch – Kalky’s Fish & Chips – Awesome little cafe with delicious croissant sandwiches and carrot cake to die for.
- Dinner – Tiger’s Milk – Run-of-the-mill restaurant with an affordable special menu. Choices are limited in Muizenberg and prices quite high for what you get.
Where to stay: Staying in the same accommodations as Day 1.
Day 3 – Wine Paradise
For day 3 of your 1 week Cape Town itinerary, you’ll be spending it all South Africa’s famous wine regions of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. There is a fascinating history behind this that tells the story of how French protestants (Huguenots) fled France after they were outlawed by King Henry IV and were given land by the Dutch government and thus laying down their foundation for their techniques of wine and food traditions.
You’ll be visiting many wineries on this day so get ready and also be mindful of who the driver is going to be.
Start off at Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate (good luck trying to pronouncing that one). It may not be the most well known in Stellenbosch but since you might not be wine connoisseurs like us, come here for their daily duck parade that happens at 10:30AM daily. Start with a wine tasting outdoors and be promptly interrupted by the loud quacks of hundreds of ducks that are used as a natural method of pest control. It was quite the treat although be warned that it may flare up your allergies if you have any.
As lunch nears, get ready for the most incredible picnic you’ve ever had. Nestled deep in the Franschhoek Valley and surrounded by mountains all around, Holden Manz Wine Estate offers a picturesque setting and a basket filled with goodies as part of their picnic offering. Packed with more food than you need and the perfect rose wine pairing, this will the best lunch you’ll have on your entire trip.
Take a break from drinking by walking it off around the rustic town of Franschhoek.
Your final winery is Solms Delta Wine Estate which has a modern glass-structured tasting room that starts as low as R40. Our favourite from the collection was the Astor Premium Perry, a pear cider.
Round out the night by checking into your hotel in Stellenbosch and then eating dinner at one of the many restaurants that line the downtown streets in town. Wanting something good but not too expensive, we ended up at Java Cafe.
TIP: Since you’ll be shark diving, remember to call Marine Dynamics to confirm when the start time is going to be because that changes every day due to weather and tide.
What you’ll see:
- Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate
- Holden Manz Wine Estate
- Solms Delta Wine Estate
Where you’ll eat:
- Lunch – Holden Manz Wine Estate Picnic – Picture perfect picnic experience
- Dinner – Java Cafe – Casual restaurant with a mix of bar food but also South Africa specialities like bobotie
Where to stay:
You’ll notice that we took advantage of the Protea line of hotels by Marriott. Not many people know this but most Protea properties are low category which means that they’re extremely cheap when it comes to redeeming points. We saved a lot of money this way.
WE STAYED HERE
PROTEA DORPSHUIS & SPA STELLENBOSCH
Loft-style suites that are equipped with a kitchen, living room, and comfy and clean second floor bedroom. It’s a hotel that combines the hospitality of a traditional guesthouse but mixed with modern luxury. Parking is free and in a gated part of the property.
B&B located in Stellenbosch that provides all guests a full English/Irish breakfast. “Immaculate Boutique Guesthouse with modern decor and lovely personal touches. Everyone was really friendly, welcoming and attentive, would highly recommend.”
Day 4 – Shark Cage Diving
For your 4th day in Cape Town, you’ll get a head start making your way to Gaansbai since you stayed in Stellenbosch the night before.
The shark diving experience with Marine Dynamics is well documented so make sure you read the full post.
What was shark cage diving actually like?
More importantly, was it worth it? What should you expect if you go? Get the answers to those questions in the full review.
If there’s one big lesson learned from our shark cage diving it was how much we underestimated how long all of it would take. With issues with the tide, we were delayed and by the time we were able to hit the road to drive back to Cape Town, it was already close to 4:30PM. Lesson learned: Shark cage diving is a full day activity
I bring the above up because if you make dinner reservations, make sure you have enough time to drive back into the city.
Perhaps not the best planned, we booked a fancy dinner at one of the top restaurants in Cape Town called Greenhouse. With a reservation at 6:15PM, we didn’t get there until close to 9PM. Yikes! On top of that, we hilariously had to change out of our stinky shark-stenched clothes by grabbing clothes from our suitcase and changing in our car.
Mix-up aside, Greenhouse is a spectacular culinary experience. The tasting menu (R1300) is a surprise at every turn with a unique take on a fusion of South African and Asian flavours while also showcasing the local produce of the region. Every dish is perfectly presented and some even have elements of molecular gastronomy. One of the favourite has to be the Butcher Bird’s Pantry which has bite-sized savoury delights that represent the prey of the namesake bird.
From the windy roads of Constantia, ascend out of the forest and back into Cape Town where you’ll finally get to see more of the city itself.
What you’ll do:
- Shark cage diving with Marine Dynamics
Where you’ll eat:
- Lunch – Included with shark diving.
- Dinner – Greenhouse – A culinary experience in fine dining.
Where to stay:
WE STAYED HERE
Friendly hosts, fully-stocked rooms (including breakfast items), easy parking, and extremely comfortable, and available spade/bucket makes this a favourite of ours from our trip to New Zealand.
Also located in Sea Point, this is a luxurious hotel and spa that offers stylish rooms with a modern take. The included breakfast includes your choice of à la carte breakfast like eggs benedict, french toast, waffles and crepes.
Day 5 – Uthando Experience
Travel is more than just seeing the sparkly and shiny things that we want to see. In South Africa especially, I feel that you’ve completely missed the mark in your travel plans if you haven’t taken time to get to know what life is like on the other side of the fence. Despite the country 26 years removed from apartheid, the wounds and effects of it are still visible.
When you travel through South Africa, it’s hard to shake off the feeling that the separation between haves and have-nots is massive. That’s why I wanted to understand what’s going on instead of ignoring the parts of the city that look out of place – the townships.
Uthando is a not-for-profit organization that’s working directly with townships such as Khayelitsha where they raise funds for life changing community development projects. One aspect of what they do is run an experience that takes visitors into 3 of these projects in Khayelitsha to give you true understanding of what’s going on and what locals are doing to make a real difference.
Spend half the day hearing the stories, seeing the impact of the projects, and interacting with locals.
Book an Uthando Experience
To participate in one of these tours, make sure you book in advance as spots fill up quickly. The key differentiator between this vs. other commercial tours is that the proceeds from your participation actually goes back into real projects and not pocketed by a corporation.
Ask to be dropped off in the city near The Company’s Garden, a large city park that is a paradise of green space that has a number of relics from the past and also a number of modern play spaces such as large braided swings and playground of weeaverbird nests. It’s perfect place to escape from the city.
Since you’ll be hungry, head over to The Company’s Garden Restaurant which is a local hit for its huge outdoor seating and mix of Capetown fare and lunch favourites. The milkshakes are to die for here so make sure you get one of those. Just be beware of the birds that’ll swoop in when you’re not watching.
TIP: Milkshakes in Cape Town are amazing. It has to do with the fact that they use ice cream as a base instead of just milk and ice. It makes a huge difference and once you’ve gone milkshake, you won’t want to have any other drink to pair with your meals.
With your tummy filled, roam around the rest of the garden before slowly winding your way through the city to get to the old Malay Quarter of Cape Town. On the way you can stop by the pedestrian street of St. Georges Mall and Greenmarket Square for a dose of retail therapy, souvenirs, and coffee.
If there’s one Instagram-worthy that you have to pick, I’d vote for Bo Kaap for its vibrant colours and fascinating history. What used to be the home to most of the Malaysian population of immigrants living in Cape Town along with early Muslim settlers. The brightly coloured facades of the houses that line Wale Street can be attributed to the freedom of the homeowners as they had to be white when rented. Don’t be afraid to explore the side streets that are just as colourful and less crowded.
At this point on our trip, we thought it’d be the perfect time to head up to Table Mountain. We ordered an Uber but when we got up there we realized that the winds had picked up and they were closed for the rest of the day.
TIP: A few learnings there:
- Check the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway website for the official status before heading there
- Account for a couple of days to attempt Table Mountain. That way, if you fail on one day, you still have other back up days
- Uber works pretty well in Cape Town. Create a new account and get $10 USD off your first ride
Since we didn’t have a car and no alternate plans, we decided to head back to the V&A Waterfront to check out other parts of the area that we didn’t get to the first time around. This gave us a chance to check out the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre.
Round out the night with dinner at Karibu Restaurant which honestly is skippable but was more-so for the convenience of us being at V&A and wanting somewhere with an outdoor view.
What you’ll see:
- The Company’s Garden
- St. Georges Mall pedestrian street
- Greenmarket Square
- Bo Kaap
- V&A Waterfront
- Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre
What you’ll do:
Where you’ll eat:
- Lunch – The Company’s Garden Restaurant – Awesome lunch spot in the park itself. Great for a coffee break or lunch. Their milkshakes are awesome.
- Dinner – Karibu Restaurant – Restaurant that’s part of the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre with outdoor seating and great views of the harbour. They serve Capetonian and other casual fare.
Where to stay: Stay in the same accommodation for the remaining part of your 1 week itinerary in Cape Town.
Day 6 – Surf and Turf
Okay this isn’t quite what you thought, no you won’t be having dishes of lobster and steak today. Instead, this is quite the opposite. This is your get-active day.
Start your day by heading back to Muizenberg and hit the waters with the surfing experts at Stoked School of Surf. Their crew have the best instructors and with a focus on safety and having fun, you’ll feel invincible in the water and with a bit of luck you’ll be up on your board.
The full surfing experience
Learn more about what I thought about Stoked School of Surf and our morning lesson.
After burning all of that energy, you’ll need a boost so head to Hang Ten Cafe. Their crepes, benedict, juices and coffee are on point.
This is your last chance to try to get up to Table Mountain so hopefully the weather is in your favour. Once you park your car, head straight into line because you should have your tickets printed out from your online booking. RIGHT? The line will seem long but it moves rather swiftly.
TIP: Buy your tickets online. You really don’t want to waste time lining up in a secondary line just to buy your tickets.
The gondola/aerial cableway is actually really well designed because as you’re going up, the ground you’re standing on rotates 360 degrees so nobody really has a bad view.
Once you’re at the top, you’re free to roam. The majestic view from up here cannot be understated. Towering over the city, you can spot every single detail of where you’ve been so far practically. Lion’s Head to your left looks like a farmer’s hat and Devil’s Peak is an insurmountable shield of rock.
I recommend starting on the side facing the city first and as you’re going from view point to the next, you’ll eventually cross over to the back side where you’ll be looking back the unspoilt wilderness of Table Mountain National Park that seems to go on for miles and miles. One thing to keep in mind is that it’s quite windy up here so make sure you have a jacket.
TIP: There are free 30 minute tours that happen on the hour from 9AM – 3PM. These are fun and educational walks provided by the park. There’s also two free audio tours that you can download ahead of time.
The grand finale for the day is the hike up Lion’s Head. Warning though that this is a moderately strenuous hike so if you’re not prepared for something like that, I’d recommend the alternative Signal Hill to watch the sunset.
The hike up to Lion’s Head peak starts off pretty easy and sure is gorgeous. As you wrap around that farmer’s hat you saw earlier, you get front row seats to some of the best views of Table Mountain, Camps Bay, and the city to the right of Signal Hill and you’re doing this right when the lighting is just right.
Eventually you’ll get to a fork in a road where you can choose a chained climb up or a longer way/recommended route around. Near the top things flatten out just for a little before there’s one giant climb up to the very top. We ended up wussing out and elected to fly my drone instead because 1) I wasn’t sure how my fear or heights was going to kick in and 2) With how slow we knew we’d be, there was some worry that we’d be hiking back down in the dark.
TIP: Make sure you bring enough water for this hike. It seems short and easy but you have to remember that it’s still 4 hours. Also, if you’re planning to do it near sunset like we did, I highly recommend that you bring headlamps.
TIP: If you plan on doing 360 rotations around the Lion’s Head and you’re not at the very peak, expect to lose signal when on the opposite end. This nearly gave me a heart attack but since it was on a program, it eventually came back around. Otherwise, I would’ve had to rely on its emergency return-to-home action.
No doubt exhausted, it’s time for one final thing and that is to eat a delicious burger at Hudsons the Burger Joint in Greenpoint and have your very last milkshake for good measure.
What you’ll see:
- Table Mountain
- Lion’s Head or Signal Hill
What you’ll do:
Where you’ll eat:
- Lunch – Hang Ten Cafe – A casual hang out for surfers that have plenty of food options including healthy juices for a power up.
- Dinner – Hudsons the Burger Joint – One of the most popular burger spots in town. You’ll love their unique take on a Western classic and of course it goes without saying that you need to order their milkshakes.
Where to stay: Your final night at Protea Cape Town Sea Point or wherever you may be staying in the city.
Day 7 – Final Day
On your last day in Cape Town, depending on the flight you have out, spend the morning taking care of any business you can before heading to the airport.
For us, being located in Sea Point allowed us to go out for a quick stroll, buying last minute supplies at the nearby mall.
Driving back to the airport, remember to fill up the gas in your car and if you’re a coffee lover, I highly suggest you drop by Origin Coffee Roasting. I purchased some of their single origin beans (Ethiopia Geshu Village) and it has to be some of the best I’ve ever purchased.
TIP: Unlike in North America where if the fuel gauge looks full, you’re good, in South Africa, they will actually take your car to the pump after you return it and charge you for what they can still pump in. We learned this the hard way because we filled up at the end of Day 6 and we still got charged a fuel surcharge afterwards. Sneaky!!!
What you’ll see:
- Sea Point neighbourhood
Where you’ll eat:
- Lunch – Pick up a few snacks and remember that you’ll most likely get a meal on your flight.
The trip costs
As I mention in the South Africa travel guide (coming soon!), you’ll know that this isn’t the cheapest country to travel through but if you do it smart, you don’t have to spend as much money as you think.
To give you an idea of the kind of money you’ll have to spend on a 1 week Cape Town itinerary, here’s a break down of all of our expenses. Note this doesn’t include the flights from Canada, is for the two of us, and is in CAD.
How did we keep our costs down?
A big way we kept things on a budget was by using Marriott points strategically which is why accommodation costs were next to nothing except for our stay with A Heavenly View in Muizenberg.
The other big way to keep costs low is by booking with Europcar far in advance to get deep discounts. Be on the lookout for car rental coupon codes as well.
- Activities – $809.30
- Food – $541.61
- Transportation – $308.28
- Flight – $220.40
- Souvenirs – $152.38
- Accommodations – $98.52
- Communications – $14.53
Total = $2,145.01 CAD (for two)
What we missed
No itinerary is perfect and there were plenty of things that I wish we could fit in but just couldn’t with only 7 days to work with.
What you’ll find with Cape Town is that there’s so much to choose from and it really depends on what your interests are. If you want to beach more, there’s a ton of that. If you want to have more a culinary experience, there’s a ton of that. If you want more hiking, trust me there’s more than you can handle. Here are few things that I had no space to slot in but you can definitely consider.
- Garden Route – An epic road trip that takes you f rom Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and takes roughly 3 days to do. A tour would be a great option here that also includes safari as well.
- Restaurants in the city – Mzoli’s, Mzansi, and Fork Tapas.
- More of Cape Peninsula Route – Kommetjie, Hout Bay, Noordhoek, the Salty Sea Dog in Simon’s Town, and
- Satori in Kalk Bay
- Beach – Camps Bay
- More wine – Wineries like Jordan Wine Estate were on the list and so was the trolley tour or half day guided tour.
- Whale watching – Hermanus is where it’s at for these whale watching excursions. It’s on the way back from Gaansbai but just couldn’t make it work.
The whole experience
Our 1 week Cape Town itinerary was an incredible experience. We came out of it incredibly impressed with the city. It was everything that everyone else has said about Cape Town and more.
Through our 7 days there, we had our share of adrenaline activities, while also being able to slow it down and connect with with the challenges that townships face, learn from the past, and see new development’s such as Cape Town’s new V&A Waterfront.
When it comes to what to see, do, eat, and stay, this Cape Town trip planning guide should give you a good foundation for how to put together your very own vacation.
Got questions from your own trip to Cape Town or the rest of South Africa for that matter?? Let me help you by dropping a comment down below!