24 Hours in Cape Town, Like a Local (Not Just a Tourist)

This morning, a friend of mine announced that she has two truths:  she quit her job AND she is on her way to Thailand!  Woo hoo!    What an awesome Friday she must be having, and in a few days she will likely have the best Monday in recent years.

Well, this reminded me that I need to publish the first part in my series about South Africa!  We are planning a trip a couple months from now (say prayers, and I am not at all looking forward to the 26 hours in a plane with a 1 year old. Needless to say, this is not exactly a “vacation.”)  BUT we are definitely looking forward to our trip, it will just be a bit different this time around!

Let me begin by saying I LOVE CAPE TOWN.  Like, I have a serious love affair with that town.  It reminds me so much of San Diego with the giant mountainous look of Palm Springs, except everyone has sexy South African accents (and you don’t have the geriatrics that come with PS).

I saw an article yesterday entitled “Things to do when you have 24 hours in Cape Town!”  and I thought the list was pretty crappy.  So I decided to make my own!

***FUN FACT*** everyone drives on the left side of the road in South Africa, AND what seems like 99% of cars are manual.  If either of these is a problem for you, then don’t bother renting a car and use Uber instead!***

  1.   First Things First! Get Coffee at Truth Coffee.  OMG this is the coolest freaking place.  It’s like that crazy, quirky Aunt of coffee shops complete with a steampunk vibe and a bathroom I literally got lost/stuck in.   Not only is the coffee strong enough to get your day going with a bang, since most people down there drink coffee-flavored water instant coffee, but the food there is pretty awesome, as well.  #freewifi

    Truth Coffee. Cape Town, South Africa

    Truth Coffee. Cape Town, South Africa


The Giant Effing Gondola

2.  Take the giant effing 360 degree  gondola up to the top of Table Mountain.  Get your tickets online in advance, and show up immediately when they open.  This especially applies if you’re going in December, when everyone and their grandmother is on “holiday” in South Africa.  That way you will get parking, the top won’t be too crowded, and you can get some kickass views of 12 Apostles, Robben Island, Lion’s Head, and the entire city of Cape Town below.   Try not to pick any flowers or try to  fit one of the cute little dussies in your purse.  Also, bring a sweater (you can call it a jersey to fit in better with all the South Africans.)



On Top of Table Mountain, 12 Apostles are right behind us.

3.  Get back in the car, take off that bulky sweatshirt, and HEAD TO THE BEACH.  Straight at the bottom of the 12 Apostles is a super cool beach part of Cape Town called Camp’s Bay.  Here, you can hang out on the beach for a while, take a dip in the ocean, and then go grab a few drinks at one of the many eateries and bars there on the strip.  Cafe Caprice is the place all the boets from Jozi and celebrities go when they are in town.   It’s great people watching!

Champagne Toasting at 12 Apostles Hotel

Champagne Toasting at 12 Apostles Hotel


4.  12 Apostles Hotel – go have lunch/champagne/early snacky dinner/whatever you want to call it on their outdoor restaurant patio, overlooking the ocean and the other side of Lion’s Head.  This is one of my absolute FAVOURITE places on earth so far.  I swear they give you like 12 different toppings for your 5-star curry dinner.  My husband liked his steak so much, I thought he was going to leave me and marry it instead.

He really LOVED that steak.

He really LOVED that steak

5.  Head to the Bo Kaap area and Bree Street for some nightlife and to hang out with the locals.  Get a feel for what Cape Town is all about, instead of the same old touristy stuff.  You can do all that when you naturally extend your trip, since you’ve fallen in love with CT after doing all the things I mentioned above.  Bo Kaap is near Long Street, one of the famous streets in CT.  Long Street can be a bit dangerous at times, so watch your back and your backpack.   Bree Street is a super cool up-and-coming area with all the best new restaurants and spots.  You can do some shopping, enjoy the nightlife, get your boogie on, and grab a some late night food.

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Wow I’m ready for it already!   If you’ve been to Cape Town before, what are your favorite places?