Must dos in Cape Town

Holidaying in the city? Here’s how to make the most out of a weekend along the coast!

With its spectacular mountains and gorgeous beaches, Cape Town is perfect for outdoor activities like rock climbing, wind surfing and cycling.

Friday

6 p.m. Wander down to the Waterfront, dotted with bars and restaurants and watch the sun set. You may even be joined by one or two of the local seals that love to sleep on the docks.

8 p.m. Take a short cab ride to Bukhara (33 Church St), one of the so-called Mother City's best Indian restaurants. Besides the excellent chicken, lamb, seafood and vegetarian dishes, they offer an African specialty: Ostrich tikka.

Saturday

8 a.m. Breakfast at the Walden House (5, Burnside Rd) with eggs cooked to order and a huge array of cereals, cheeses, baked items and local fruits and berries such as mangoes and passion fruit.

Cape Town's weather can change quickly and Table Mountain, which dominates the skyline, can become shrouded in clouds - the "tablecloth" that gives the mountain its name.

The rule is that if you can see the top, you should go immediately. Do not delay, or you will miss incredible views 1,085 meters above the city.

Go by cable car or, for the more adventurous, take a four-hour hike.

Ideally, arrive in the late afternoon and sip drinks in the Cableway Cocktail Bar on the summit and watch the sun set over the ocean and the twinkling lights of the city.

If the tablecloth is set on Table Mountain, take a drive 30 km down the peninsula to Cape Point and stop at the Simon's Town Museum, which tells the history of the area and its ties to the Dutch East India Company and Britain's Royal Navy.

Just down the road is Boulders Beach, where a colony of African penguins resides. A walk across the dunes and rocks to see the flightless birds costs around R35.

The western side of the Cape Peninsula is dotted with picturesque beaches and lighthouses. Stop off in Camps Bay for cocktails at one of the trendy bars that line the beach, and watch the sun disappear into the Atlantic.

8 p.m. Dinner at Baia, an elegant seafood restaurant on the Waterfront with views from every dining room. Start with a carpaccio of the South African national symbol, the Springbok.

Try Kingklip, a Southern Hemisphere fish, known in South America as Congrio. And of course, South African wines are de rigeur.

Sunday:

9 a.m. Take a drive to Betty’s Bay where you will see more penguins for around R10 - cheaper than Boulders Beach.

Next, head off to Hermanus – Cape Town’s whale capital!

1 p.m. Fresh sea air will make a visitor hungry and Hermanus is full of great places to dine. Bientang (below Marine Drive) is situated in a cave at the water's edge and is famous for Bouillabaisse and line fish grilled on an open fire, as well as hot and cold oyster, prawn, mussels and calamari platters.

An alternative Sunday drive is to the old Dutch university town of Stellenbosch in the heart of the winelands. Eat at 1802, the restaurant at d'Ouwe Werf (Church St) - South Africa's oldest hotel, established in 1802.

Entrees include a salad of strawberries and biltong and Cape Malay bobotie, a dish of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping.

At least 100 vineyards are within easy reach of Stellenbosch and most, like Tokara, Boschendal or La Cabriere in nearby Franschhoek, offer tastings. Besides the familiar white Chardonnays and Sauvignons Blancs, South Africa produces a distinctive red wine, Pinotage.

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