48 hours in Cape Town

48 Hours in Cape Town

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Welcome to Cape Town, the Jewel of South Africa

Ah, Cape Town – a city that’s as breathtaking as the sweeping view from the top of Table Mountain. Whether you have 48 hours in Cape Town or longer, this vibrant South African gem has something to offer everyone. From jaw-dropping landscapes to mouth-watering cuisine, Cape Town is a real playground for adventure seekers and culture enthusiasts alike.

So, what’s the best way to spend two days in this captivating city? You can embark on a thrilling hike up Lion’s Head or take the cable car up Table Mountain for panoramic views that will leave you speechless (or at least gasping for air). Head to Camps Bay for a sundowner by the water or explore the rich culture of South Africa’s capital with a trip over to Robben Island.

But it’s not all adrenaline-pumping activities here. You can also indulge in some retail therapy at the vibrant V&A Waterfront or explore the historic streets of Bo-Kaap with its colourful houses and rich Malay heritage. And of course, no visit to Cape Town would be complete without sampling some of the top-notch, world-renowned wines in nearby Stellenbosch or Franschhoek.

It’s one of the most popular cities on Earth for a reason. Get ready to fall head over heels for this captivating city – just don’t forget your camera (and a good dollop of sunscreen too).

48 hours in Cape Town View of the cape

When to go to Cape Town

Cape Town is known for its Mediterranean climate, which means mild winters and warm summers. If you’re a fan of sunny days and beach vibes, then the summer months of December to February are the ones to aim for. These are peak season though, so do make sure you get in touch early.

If you prefer milder temperatures and fewer crowds, then spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) are your go-to seasons. The weather is pleasant, the flowers are blooming, and you won’t have to battle hordes of tourists for that perfect holiday photo.

If you’re a fan of cozy sweaters and hot chocolate by the fireplace (yes, even in Cape Town), then winter might be your cup of tea. June to August brings cooler temperatures and occasional rain showers – perfect for exploring indoor attractions like museums or indulging in some hearty South African cuisine.

So whether you’re chasing sunshine or embracing cosy jumper weather, there’s never a bad time to spend 48 hours in Cape Town. Just pack your sense of adventure (and maybe an umbrella just in case) and get ready for an unforgettable experience in one of the most beautiful cities on Earth!

What to do with 48 hours in Cape Town

Take in the views from the top of Table Mountain

Our first stop is Table Mountain, a majestic natural wonder that dominates the city’s skyline. Head there early and take a cable car ride up to the top and spend a few hours taking in the panoramic views of Cape Town and its surrounding beauty. Keep your eyes peeled for the unique ‘table cloth’ cloud phenomenon that’s often seen rolling over the top, too.

Table Mountain 48 hours in Cape Town

The views from the top are nothing short of breathtaking, offering panoramic glimpses of the city, Robben Island, and the Twelve Apostles guarding Camps Bay.

Table Mountain 48 hours in Cape Town

Choose your ascent: for the adventurous, hiking trails challenge fitness levels, while the cable car offers a luxurious, 360-degree rotating journey, allowing you to really soak up those stunning views as you climb. At the summit, discover walkways, viewpoints, and the chance to encounter dassies – intriguing creatures related to elephants.

Thrill-seekers can indulge in rock climbing and abseiling, adding an adrenaline kick to the experience. And when it’s time to refuel, a restaurant at the top is the perfect place to indulge in a snack with unbeatable views.


Soak up the culture and history of Robben Island

Next, hop on a boat and cross the shark-infested waters over to Robben Island, a place of great historical significance. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this island is where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years during apartheid.

When you step off the boat, you’ll meet an ex-prisoner, who will show you around the island, bringing the place and its history to life with stories and memories around every turn. You’ll learn all about South Africa’s struggle for freedom and equality, from the mouths of someone who lived it. This is a must-do during your 48 hours in Cape Town.

Robben Island 48 hours in Cape Town

Uthando philanthropic township tour

While Cape Town’s breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture are celebrated, the stark reality of poverty and inequality in the townships can’t (and shouldn’t!) be ignored. The history of apartheid and the emergence of the Rainbow Nation have shaped the narrative of South Africa, and the tours that allow you to visit the surrounding townships have become a way to engage with and learn about these issues. It’s important to pick the right one though, a tour where you know you’ll be directly benefitting the communities you’re visiting.

Enter Uthando, a beacon of responsible tourism. Founded by James Fernie, this charity ensures your township tour directly contributes towards the success of community projects. From market gardens providing sustenance and income to musical and theater initiatives equipping children with valuable skills, Uthando’s impact is diverse.

Uthando 48 hours in Cape Town

Each tour is unique, working to prevent routine visits, minimizing intrusion and allowing you to witness authentically and firsthand how your contributions provide hope and opportunities. While humbling, this experience is ultimately uplifting, actively contributing to positive change in the lives of those you encounter. Uthando: turning tourism into a force for good.



Soak up the atmosphere at the V&A Waterfront

No visit to Cape Town would be complete without a leisurely stroll through the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. This bustling hub offers a mix of upscale shops, artisanal markets, and gourmet dining. Take in the picturesque views of the harbor and perhaps embark on a luxury yacht cruise for a different perspective of the city.

The buildings are like a nod to the olden days with their cool details and hanging galleries. It’s a beautiful spot to indulge in some retail therapy and soak up the atmosphere as live street performers provide the soundtrack to your afternoon.

48 hours in Cape Town

If you’ve got time, pay a visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium – it’s a real showstopper with its huge array of sea life.

Now, let’s talk food (always of key importance to us here at HA). Whether you’re a fan of seafood, Asian flavors, local dishes or just a quick refuel, V&A’s got it all. And the best bit – most places have seats where you can soak up the sun whilst you eat.

The V&A Waterfront is like a city in its own right – fishing boats, charters, and the Waterfront Harbour Cruise offering a unique view of the city from the water. Feeling fancy and want the most special view of all? Take a heli-ride from the V&A helipad for epic city views. With all the action and tons of things to try, the V&A Waterfront is calling for you to kick back, relax, and soak in the atmosphere that makes Cape Town so special.


Take yourself (and your camera) to the colourful streets of Bo-Kaap

Bring some color into your journey by exploring the vibrant neighborhood of Bo Kaap during your 48 hours in Cape Town. Nestled against the slopes of Signal Hill, Bo-Kaap is famous for its kaleidoscope of brightly painted houses that line the narrow cobbled streets, a real photographers’ dream. Each hue tells a story of the Cape Malay culture that has thrived here for centuries.

Bo-Kaap 48 hours in Cape Town

As you wander through this lively district, the scent of exotic spices from the local kitchens fills the air. Bo-Kaap isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s a living museum of Cape Town’s history. Explore the Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum to delve deeper into the neighborhood’s roots and the diverse stories of its residents. Bo-Kaap is a celebration of diversity, culture, and a visual treat that promises a unique and authentic experience in the heart of Cape Town.


Bo-Kaap 48 hours in Cape Town



Food glorious food

Cape Town is a culinary haven, boasting a huge range of world-class restaurants serving whatever your food-loving heart might desire. Indulge your taste buds at top-notch establishments like The Test Kitchen, La Colombe, or The Pot Luck Club. With a focus on fresh, local ingredients and innovative flavors, these dining experiences are worth it if you’re a foodie! Or, if you fancy spending a civilised afternoon in style, head for a fancy afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson, one of the oldest hotels in Cape Town. Chat to our South Africa specialists if you’re after more dining recommendations.

48 hours in Cape Town

We’re huge fans of food tours here at HA. What better way to get under the skin of a country, than tasting traditional delicacies and learning all about flavours from a local guide? This Cape Town food tour will have you exploring the history, people, and culinary treasures hidden in the city’s back streets. You’ll indulge in a diverse array of flavors, from African Soul food like pap, samp & beans, and vetkoek, to the iconic bunny chow offering a glimpse of Indian influence. Savor the modern twist of bobotie pies, bridging the traditional dishes of the Cape Malay and white Afrikaner groups. This culinary adventure promises a genuine taste of South Africa, that’s as delicious as it is authentic.

Cape Town Food Tour 48 hours in Cape Town


Sip on a sundowner at Camps Bay

Nestled between the majestic Twelve Apostles mountain range and the sparkling Atlantic Ocean, Camps Bay is a coastal gem in Cape Town. Known for its pristine, palm-lined beach and glamorous atmosphere, it exudes luxury and relaxation. The trendy promenade is a hub of activity, lined with chic cafes, upscale restaurants, and boutique shops. Camps Bay is not only a great spot if you’re a beach lover, but it’s also a fantastic place to grab a cocktail and watch the sunset. As the sun dips below the horizon, the sky transforms into a canvas of warm hues, setting the stage for picturesque sundowners. Whether you’re basking in the sun on the sandy shores or enjoying a cocktail at one of the beachfront establishments, a visit to Camps Bay would be a great addition to your 48 hours in Cape Town.

Camps Bay 48 hours in Cape Town


Explore further afield

If you’ve got longer than just 48 hours in Cape Town, it’s the perfect base for so many more adventures. Head off on a day trip to the Winelands, where the historic towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are draped in vineyards and charm. Stellenbosch beckons with its oak-lined streets, the perfect place to savour exquisite wines and unwind amidst the vines. Franschhoek, is a gourmet haven and a really charming town, promising culinary delights, top wines and beautiful scenery.

Winelands 48 hours in Cape Town

For a coastal retreat, venture to the Cape Peninsula. Marvel at the beach full of penguins at Boulders Beach (you can walk among them and even swim with them if you’re lucky!), drive along the enchanting Chapman’s Peak Drive – one of the best drives on earth – with dramatic cliffs on one side and the vast ocean at the other, and stand at the edge of the continent at Cape Point. Each destination is a unique escapade, offering a taste of South Africa’s diverse landscapes and experiences, just a short drive away from the bustling heart of Cape Town.

48 hours in Cape Town - Chapmans Peak Drive


This is just a flavour of what you could expect to experience during just 48 hours in Cape Town. And, it could be the start of a two-weeks in South Africa adventure, or even a three-week Grand Tour of the country. Our South Africa specialists are here to tailor-make your perfect visit, so chat to us about what you’d most like to see and experience. Cape Town’s history, culture, cuisine, and natural beauty is the perfect introduction to South Africa. Ready to embark on your own bespoke journey? Contact us on 01242 253 073 to get the ball rolling on your perfect South Africa holiday today.