8 things to do in Cape Town (that aren’t Table Mountain)

Posted by Anita Froneman on 18 May 2022

Visitors to the Mother City (or residents looking for something to do) have heard all the same recommendations. The tourist in Cape Town’s to-do list usually looks something like this: hike Table Mountain or take the aerial cableway up there, hike Lion’s Head or watch the sunset from Signal Hill, visit Boulders Beach, and browse the V&A Waterfront.

On your second trip to Cape Town, you were probably told to visit Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, do a wine tasting and visit a popular art museum (it was the Zeitz MOCAA, wasn’t it?).

Those things are all fantastic, and they’re the top online search results for things to do in Cape Town for good reason. But, there are so many more things to do. And yes, some of them are expensive, and some people are okay with that. However, you don’t need to blow the holiday budget because some of the most fun activities in town are really reasonable.

Some are even free: view street art in Salt River, watch the sunset from Blouberg beach or visit a food market (Hout Bay and Oranjezicht are good options). Here are some other exhilarating ideas.

If you’re on a low budget: 

Acrobranch

Picture: Acrobranch

If you’re up for a bit of adventure and don’t mind heights, branch out to some treetop rope courses. Great fun for all ages, rope climbing courses will lead you through the Constantia forest over various obstacles – but don’t worry, you’re always securely attached to a safety harness.

Cost: From R150 per person (kids) and R190 per person (adults)

Visit their website here.

Stand up paddling 

Stand up paddling

Picture: SUP Cape Town

Stand up paddling is a great activity for those keen to get on the water, not in the water. Glide along the canals at the V&A Waterfront, or take your ‘SUP’ to the ocean (no staying dry guaranteed when waves come into play, though!). Many people think surfing experience is required to stand up paddle, but this is not true. Your guide will show you exactly what to do, but essentially, you just…stand up and paddle.

Try: SUP Cape Town

Cost: From R150 per person for 30 minutes

You can also WIN a free one-hour SUP rental for two people. ENTER HERE.

Visit their website here.

Gather gemstones at Scratch Patch

gem stones scratch patch

Picture: Unsplash

If you’re delighted by all things shimmery and shiny, this place is for you. Scratch Patch has two branches, one in Simon’s Town and one at the V&A Waterfront. Step into a room filled with polished gemstones, and pick the ones that catch your eye. Some of the treasures you might find are Tiger’s Eye, Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Jasper, Agates and Crystals. If you’re lucky, you might even come across the rarer Lapis Lazuli or Blue Lace Agate.

Cost: From R30 per small bag

Visit their website.

Cycle the city 

Up Cycles

Picture: Up Cycles

Get that heart rate up while seeing the city at the same time. Cycling is good for your health and also better for the environment than driving, plus it’s fun to do with friends. With Up Cycles, you can collect your rental at any one of three stations: Camps Bay, Sea Point or the V&A Waterfront, and drop it off again at any of these stations.

You can WIN two city bikes for a full day with Up Cycles! ENTER HERE.

Cost: From R90 per person for one hour

Visit their website.

If you’re on a flexible budget: 

Fly over the water with eFoiling

eFoiling is the new e-biking. There are myriad ways to describe this watersport to someone who’s never heard of it: It’s like an electric surfboard, or a battery-powered wakeboard. But really, the only way to find out is to experience it yourself.

READ: eFoiling is the most fun you’ll have all year

Cost: From R900 per person for a group of three people.

Visit their website.

Pedal on a water bike in Simon’s Town 

Picture: Nidha Narrandes/Cape Town Etc

Riding a bicycle on water? Oh, yeah. Water bikes are non-motorised, eco-friendly and designed to be used on the ocean. Water bikers often encounter playful Cape fur seals, African penguins and various other sea birds along the way. Cape Town Water Bikes is the only company of its kind in Cape Town.

Cost: From R490 per person for one hour

Visit their website.

Paraglide over the city bowl 

Picture: Cape Town Tandem Paraglide

Paragliding is not as scary as it looks. In fact, it’s quite peaceful floating through the air. Flights in Cape Town usually set off from Lion’s Head and Signal Hill, giving you a bird’s-eye view of Table Mountain. No experience required!

Try: Cape Town Tandem Paragliding

Cost: From R 1300 per person.

You can also WIN a tandem flight with Cape Town Paragliding! ENTER HERE.

Visit their website here.

Watch the sunset on a boat cruise

yacht boat cruise

Picture: Christoph Scholz / Flickr Commons

There really is something special about sipping champagne on a yacht. There are several operators departing from the V&A Waterfront, and we definitely recommend a sunset cruise so you can take in views of the Atlantic Seaboard as the sky turns pink and orange.

Try: Cape Town Sunset Cruises

Cost: From R250 per person for a morning or midday cruise, sunset cruises start from R360 per person

Visit their website here.

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