What to do in 24 hours in Cape Town: A layover guide

I only had 24 hours in Cape Town, but this was definitely enough to fall in love with this amazing place. I could have stayed forever and explore more of South Africa, but still, I made the most out of my Cape Town layover and I brought a few tips on how to spend an unforgettable day in Cape Town.

cape town headshot

lions head

The Table Mountain

Table Mountain is THE symbol of Cape Town. It is enthroned above the city, which has submissively settled on the strip between the roaring open sea and high mountains, in harmony with the all-dominant forces of nature. Nature – this is probably one of Cape Town’s attractions, because although the city with its three million inhabitants is not so small, nature still plays the biggest role here.

table mountain sign

Climbing up Table Mountain

The forces of nature in Cape Town should really not be underestimated. And although an ascent to Table Mountain is a must (the sporty ones hike, lazy ones like me take the cable car), you should check beforehand if Table Mountain is open at all. Because in strong winds and inhospitable weather the cable car simply closes and hiking is then guaranteed to be no fun at all.

Thus: If the Table Mountain is open, half a day is already planned – otherwise one can change to the alternative program. And to find this is not difficult in Cape Town.

Great views of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head are also available from Signal Hill:

lions head

yellow flower

Tip for short visits: Take the Hop on Hop off bus

I think that hop-on hop-off tours don’t work in every city. Sometimes you’re better off with travel guides and a day ticket for the public – or the tickets are just outrageously expensive (as in Hong Kong, for example).

However, Cape Town is not one of those places, the prices are very moderate and the hop-on-hop-off network is so sophisticated that it could take several days. Besides, it was simply wonderful to cruise along the coast on an orphaned convertible upper deck in a stiff breeze and stare in fascination at so much scenic beauty.

Victoria & Albert Waterfront

waterfront bay

A bit of harbour romance, shopping experience, coffee house culture, fairground atmosphere, open-air music and lots of sunshine. All this under the most beautiful mountain panorama: the extended Waterfront blends in as seamlessly with the surroundings as only a few newly built amusement districts. Walk around, let yourself drift and get into the South African mood.


Vovo Telo Bakery & Café
V&A Waterfront
Vovotelo auf Facebook

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are known to be one of the most beautiful parks in the world.

kirstenbosch table mountain

A symbiosis of perfectly maintained English garden, tropical oasis and botanical experience. And from the treetop path there is a breathtaking panorama on top! This is a wonderful place to relax and forget time.

Camps Bay

Beach. Sun. Sea. Table Mountain. A few cafes. And you want to stay forever. Sit in one of the beach bars, drink cocktails, and can’t believe that the Atlantic Ocean can shine such an incredible turquoise blue.

camps bay view

sun camps bay

Café Caprice
Camps Bay, Cape Town


What a little colour can do. In Bokaap, an old Muslim district of Cape Town, every house is painted in a different bright colour. Instagram motifs on every corner – the colours are fascinating.

bokaap houses green yellow

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  1. Die Bilder sind ein Traum! Man bekommt sofort Lust, die Koffer zu packen!
    Vielen lieben Dank für die umfangreichen Infos!!!

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