Think you’ve already done all the exciting things the city of Cape Town has to offer? Think again! The Mother City has an entire treasure chest of hidden gems and activities that you’ve probably never even heard about.
Here’s a list of the alternative things to do in Cape Town…
Go on a Tunnel Tour
Explore the city in an entirely new way: underground.
On this tour, you get to discover the secret tunnels and dungeons underneath the Cape Town you know.
Some of these historic tunnels date all the way back to 1625 when Jan van Riebeeck came to the Cape! Additionally, the tunnels contain long-forgotten channels that used to supply the Company Gardens and passing ships with fresh water.
Woodstock Street Art Tour
In case you didn’t know this, the suburb of Woodstock is THE creative hub of Cape Town. Not only does this area host a variety of artist studios, furniture showrooms and creative agencies, but its street art is really something. Some of the best displays from renowned local and international artists are found here.
Take a street art tour in Woodstock and be amazed by the diverse, vibrant art the suburb has to offer.
See the Lichtenstein Castle
Did you know that Cape Town has its own fairytale castle? The Lichtenstein Castle in Hout Bay was built as a replica of the Gothic Schloss Lichtenstein Castle in southern Germany. The castle is perched on the Karbonkelberg Mountain overlooking the Hout Bay harbour.
The castle is available to rent for exclusive events (medieval wedding, anyone?) or even to sleep in, complete with four bedrooms and a honeymoon suite.
Go explore the Northern Suburbs’ Magical Forest
Majik Forest in the Northern Suburbs is a beautiful green space bordered by Durbanville, Bellville and Welgemoed. The series of connected paths, ranging from 2km to 15km, is ideal for peaceful strolls or mountain biking trips. The nature park is filled with forested areas, dams and flowing streams.
Moreover, Majik Forest is a popular spot for family, couple and wedding photoshoots.
Take a Mystery Ghost Bus Tour
The spooky Mystery Ghost Bus takes you on an eerie trip around the city’s most haunted spots. The tour takes you to haunted buildings, dark haunted rooms, cemeteries and pubs. In addition, the guides give a comprehensive overview of the history and science of the paranormal.
The next public Mystery Ghost tour in Cape Town is on 18 August.
Snorkel with Seals
Instead of doing shark cage diving like everybody else (everybody else who’s brave enough, that it is), give seal snorkelling a try. Take a seal snorkelling trip and visit some of the sea’s friendliest creatures, Cape Fur seals.
There are trips every day, depending on the weather, of course. You can also be assured that’s safe, as the tour operators have never seen sharks at the spots they stop for snorkelling. It’s not very deep there, either.
Go to a Night Market in Cape Town
An alternate enjoyable way to usher in the weekend or taking a break on a weeknight is attending one of Cape Town’s night markets. The lively city has a large variety of markets that are open in the evenings to choose from, whether you feel like eating well, clothes shopping or listening to live music.
I put together a list of some of the best markets that are open at night:
- Bang Bang Vintage Market: Church Street in CBD, First Thursdays
- Bay Harbour Market: Hout Bay, Friday nights
- Blue Bird Garage Food & Goods Market: Muizenberg, Friday nights
- Chilled Market at The Range: Constantia, Friday evenings
- EarthFair Food Market: Tokai, Wednesday nights
- Mojo Market: Sea Point, 7 days a week till 10
- The Farm Village Market: Noodhoek, Wednesday evenings
Visit the City’s Hidden Waterfall
Not too many people know about the magical Silvermine Waterfall. Located within the Silvermine Nature Reserve, an easy-peasy 30-minute walk through the south-eastern part of the reserve will take you to the waterfall.
Along the way to the waterfall, you’ll spot plenty of fynbos such as proteas, pelargoniums and everlastings, as well as pretty sunbirds.
Try the World’s Strongest Coffee
Are you a coffeeholic? Do dare to try “the world’s strongest coffee” by Black Insomnia Coffee Company.
Available online and at some coffee shops in Cape Town, including Shift Espresso Bar and Hard Pressed Café, the local java brand has just over 6% more caffeine than its closest competitor’s product in the USA.
Do you know about any other hidden gems in the city? Please share in the comment section below!