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Cape Town Accommodation

Cape Town is the second largest city in South Africa and is the capital of the Western Cape Province, as well as being the legislative capital of South Africa (the Houses of Parliament are here). Cape Town is also known as the Mother City in South Africa, a place where old and new harmoniously converge – in history, architecture, cultural pursuits and the essence of its people.

The city has several well-known natural features that attract tourists, most notably Table Mountain. Many tourists also drive along Chapman’s Peak Drive, a narrow road that links Noordhoek with Hout Bay, for the views of the Atlantic Ocean and nearby mountains. Many tourists also visit Cape Town’s beaches, which are popular with local residents. Due to the city’s unique geography, it is possible to visit several different beaches in the same day, each with a different setting and atmosphere. Beaches located on the Atlantic Coast tend to have very cold water as the water is mostly glacial melt from Antarctica.

The Cape Peninsula stretches over an area of 457 square km. Table Mountain, which is part of the Table Mountain National Park, is one of South Africa's premier tourist attractions. The exhilarating ascent up Table Mountain is a must for any visitor. Access on foot via hiking trails such as Platteklip Gorge, Kasteelspoort or Skeleton Gorge, requires a fair degree of fitness, while the more leisurely option is via the ultra-modern cableway. From the various look-out points on the top of the mountain, there are breathtaking views of the city below, the peninsula and Robben Island. Lion's Head and Signal Hill, off Kloof Nek Rd, has a gentle path, which spirals around Lion's Head. The route has breathtaking views and makes a pleasant climb to the summit. Signal Hill is an excellent vantage point for views of the city. Cannons fired on the slopes used to inform the residents of the arrival of ships, and the present noon-day gun is fired from here daily except on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, off Rhodes Drive, Newlands, is situated on the south-eastern slopes of Table Mountain. The garden was established in 1914 to cultivate South Africa's indigenous plants. In summer, Sunday evening concerts are held in the Gardens. Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, located 60km from the city center at Cape Point, was established in 1939 to preserve the Cape's indigenous flora and fauna. Occupying the entire southern portion of the Cape Peninsula, the reserve offers many beautiful views of the Cape of Good Hope and False Bay and contains over 220 species of animal and birdlife. Whales can be viewed along the coastline of the peninsula between July and October. At Boulders Beach in Simons Town, there is a colon of African penguins.

The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is situated around the historic Victoria and Alfred basins. Its setting is incomparable, and continuous activity is provided by the working harbour. There are scenic views of Table Mountain, historic buildings, museums, live entertainment, boat trips, helicopter flights, cinemas and numerous stores and restaurants. The Two Oceans Aquarium and trips to Robben Island are major attractions. Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre (featuring late-night shopping seven days a week), Alfred Mall, Pierhead, Waterfront Trading Company and Red Shed Craft Workshop are popular shopping destinations, catering for most shopping needs; with speciality shops, major retail outlets, food merchants, barrows, art and crafts, restaurants, coffee shops and fast-food outlets. Street musicians and other buskers add to the festive atmosphere of the Waterfront, while further entertainment is provided in the outdoor amphitheatre. Accommodation is available in seven hotels ranging from five-star to budget.

The Castle, Castle Street, which once stood at the edge of the sea, is today the headquarters of the Western Province Command. The state rooms contain the Willaim Fehr collection of furniture, paintings, china and glassware. The military and maritime museums are also of great interest. Tours are conducted daily. Koopmans de Wet House, 35 Strand Street, built in 1701, contains a permanent exhibition of Delftware, glass, silver and Dutch Colonial furniture. Lutheran Church & Martin Melck House, 96 Strand Street, built in 1774, has a picturesque clock-tower and many examples of carvings by Anton Anreith. Martin Melck House, built in 1781, was the original parsonage. The swan, symbol of Lutheran faith, appears above both entrances. Artscape Theatre, D.F. Malan Street, incorporates an opera house, two theatres and a restaurant. Bo-Kaap Museum and Malay Quarter, 71 Wale Street, is a 19th century Cape Moslem home. Rose, Wale, Chiappini and Shortmarket Streets surround the Malay Quarter, the whole of which is a national monument as many of the houses date back to the 17th century. The South African Library, Government Avenue, contains first editions, an extensive variety of Africana and copies of the first folios of Shakespear. The Government Archives, Roeland Street, houses the official and historical records of the Cape and has a museum and reading room. The South African Museum, Government Avenue, is South Africa's oldest museum, established in 1825, and includes a planetarium. There are numerous natural history and anthropological exhibits.

The Municipal Botanical Gardens are situated on the original site of Van Riebeeck's vegetable garden. In the gardens are hot-houses, a rose garden, an aviary, a "scent garden" for the blind, and a restaurant. The Cultural History Museum, Old Supreme Court Building, Adderley Street, has exhibits which include coins, weapons, stamps, art and cultural items of ancient civilisations including the cultural history of the Cape. House of Parliament, Parliament Street and Government Avenue, offer guided tours when parliament is not in session. During January to June, debates may be attended on application to a Member of Parliament or the Chief Messenger. South African National Gallery, Government Avenue has permanent displays which are mostly South African; supplementary collections come from the Netherlands, Britain, France, Belgium and Germany. The Old Town House houses the Michaelis Art Collection and is situated on the cobbled Greenmarket Square, a market place of days past and now a well-established market selling local curious, craft and clothing.

Cape Town
South Africa
33° 55' 33.2868" S
18° 24' 57.924" E
Western Cape
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The Atlantic Seaboard, also known as Cape Town’s ‘Riviera’, stretches from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront on the north shore of Table Mountain all the way down the west side of the...

The City Bowl is a natural amphitheater shaped area bordered by Table Bay and defined by the mountains of Signal Hill, Lion's Head, Table Mountain and Devil's Peak. The area includes the...

There is a distinct difference between the northern and southern suburbs of Cape Town, and, as with many a city divided by a river or other landmark, Cape Town has an imaginary line the...

The group of suburbs lying south east of the City Bowl and Table Mountain in Cape Town are collectively known as the ‘southern suburbs’.

Observatory (known as Obs), Mowbray,...