A cosmopolitan city with a cool urban edge, Cape Town is inundated with an array of art galleries, world-rated restaurants, concept stores and luxury hotels.

With Table Mountain bellowing over the city – a friendly reminder of the proximity of nature – this is a city made for adventurers are purveyors of creativity. To make the most of your time in the city you’ll need to keep a comprehensive guide close at hand. Here’s our edit the best things to do and see in Cape Town…

1. Stay at boutique hotel Sea Five, a small chic hotel 10-minutes walk from Camps Bay, with unbeatable views.

2. Sip a cocktail by the pool at The Bay, whilst overlooking the action on the beach. The Bay can’t be beaten as a ‘roll-into-bed’ destination as it is literally on the Camps Bay strip.

3. Stay in Kensington Place, the ideal small city hotel in the centre of town with great attention to detail and personal service.

4. Afternoon tea at Colonial Chic. Nestled under Table Mountain amidst Oak trees and indigenous flowers, it serves a delicious high tea and sees a lot of swallows* coming from all over the world for a few months at a time.

5. Lunch at Bungalow. Located on Clifton, Bungalow is Cape Town’s answer to ‘that Eurotrash beach restaurant’. The restaurant transitions seamlessly from lunch to dinner, serving everything under the sun from surf and turf to sushi.

6. Have a picnic at The Rumbullion at the Roundhouse. Experience beautiful views over Camps Bay, while you build your own picnic hamper by ticking items off a list. Easy-going and peaceful, if there aren’t too many children and dogs.

7. Lunch at Steenberg 1682. Try to get a driver** as it is about 45 minutes away if you take the coastal road, which is spectacular. You will also want to get stuck in with the incredible wine tastings.

8. Drink cocktails at Piano Bar in De Waterkant, Caprice and Bungalow.

9. Shop on Long Street. Start at Merchants on Long (34 Long Street) and wander slowly up towards Kloof Street, stopping in at all the interesting one-off shops along the way.

10. Visit The Old Biscuit Mill, especially on Saturdays for their weekly food and clothes market.

11. Try to go to a Sunday night summer concert at the nature reserve Kirstenbosch.

12. On one day at least (or late afternoon) climb Lion’s Head. Do not wear jeans – it is not a huge hike, but you will still regret it. Do not wear crocs. As a rule. Ever. You can also go paragliding off here, which is pretty cool.

13. Take a day trip to Franschhoek; have lunch at Pierneef à la Motte and head to L’Ormarins to see the Motor Museum.

14. Ride the newly refurbished Atlantic Rail Steam Train, which runs daily trips along the peninsula; it has wooden carriages with bars, and you can be dropped at any stop for lunch.

15. Rent a Harley and drive to the Karoo. The Karoo is my favourite place in Africa. It is undoubtedly the most subtly beautiful and resonant place. I would recommend a trip to Graaff-Reinet to anyone, where there is a spectacular view from the Valley of Desolation and the best taxidermist in the world.

16. Go to Sutherland in The Karoo where they have one of the biggest telescopes in the Southern Hemisphere and stargaze.

17. Drive out to Hermanus on the Coastal Route and you will pass Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond, which are beautiful. In Kleinmond go to the Shellfish Bar. If you are with a group, it’s well worth renting there for the weekend.

18. In Hermanus dine at La Vierge or Heaven in Hermanus, and visit the Bouchard Finlayson winery.

19. Visit Noisy Oyster restaurant in Paternoster.

20. For the most sophisticated authentic weekend in a Cape Dutch homestead, I would highly recommend spending a night or two at Julian Melck’s place, Kersefontein.

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Cape Town: A Pocket Guide

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