It’s cold and possibly wet, too, but there’s still lots to do in Cape Town during the short winter. Here are some warm suggestions to pass the time until summer.
History and culture
Museums are the perfect winter activity and these are two of our favourites: The South African Museum in the Company’s Garden. With more than a million specimens and located in a gorgeous setting you will never be bored. If the sun is shining you must take a stroll through the gardens after your museum visit.
In the southern suburbs is the glorious Groot Constantia Wine Estate and Museum – a national heritage site. The manor house is the best example of the beautiful Cape Dutch architecture for which Cape Town is famous. Make a point of visiting the Orientation Centre which details the history of the oldest wine estate in the country.
Eat, drink and stay merry by the fire
There are many great wine estates with restaurants where you can warm up next to a fireplace while you sample fine food and wine. Catharina’s Restaurant at Steenberg Estate has fabulous views and a log fire where you can enjoy an elegant meal paired with award-winning South African wines. There’s a great winter competition to enter here:
Waterkloof Wines has a winter special for all their Facebook fans. Stunning views from the warmth of open fireplaces makes it well worth a visit to this gorgeous estate.
We found Nemo!
Cape Town’s Two Oceans Aquarium is one of the best in the world and will keep you and the kids happy for hours. Events include daily feeding of penguins or predators and you can even host a children’s birthday party. Special rates for school holidays makes this the perfect place for the whole family.
The V&A Waterfront offers a multitude of shops to choose from whether you want budget clothing or the trendiest labels.The Cape Quarter is the newest mall in town. Not too large and yet full of surprises – we love it! Another favourite is Canal Walk shopping mall and with over 400 stores you’re bound to find just what you want.
Go to market!
Whether you want organic vegetables, hand-made jewellery or just a delicious snack, make a point of visiting the Blue Bird Garage Food Market in Muizenberg on Friday evenings – they also have live music. The prego rolls by Delicioso are to drool over but make sure you leave room for dessert -the selection is to die for.
Closer to the City Centre, on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm, pop down to the City Bowl Market on Hope Street where you’ll find a variety of fine foods, drinks and people. The market is populated by a community of remarkable individuals, many of whom are themselves the producers of their own goods.
Hang out in coffee shops
This is one of our favourite activities for relaxing after museums and shopping. Cape Town is famous for coffee shops – every suburb and every street has them in every style and taste you could dream of. A mouth-watering flaky croissant and capuccino while people watching – what more could you ask for?
Take a hike
There are so many sunny days in winter that we couldn’t resist adding our favourite outdoor activity. Hiking without the heat of summer means you have no excuse to exercise! You can hike to the top of Table Mountain via Kirstenbosch or from the cable car station and Silvermine also offers fabulous hikes with stunning views over the entire peninsula. Always hike with someone who knows the routes and who better than Tim Lundy.
If you choose to hike alone, always ensure you have a map, warm clothing, lots of water and a fully charged cell phone. Always tell someone where you intend hiking and stick to that route.