Holidaymakers guide to Cape Town CBD

Private Property South Africa
Kit Heathcock

For visitors who love to be close to the action and get to know the city from its heart, a holiday rental in Cape Town’s CBD, or in adjoining Gardens or De Waterkant appeals.

About the area

All the sights are within walking distance, you can tap in to the urban vibe rubbing shoulders with locals and there’s a fantastic choice of eateries. Eat at a different trendy restaurant along Bree Street every day, more hip eateries are opening on Loop Street, and Long Street with its reputation for shopping and nightlife, is also attracting its fair share of good food. The Bo Kaap’s colourful Malay Quarter, the Company’s Garden and museums, the stately Belmond Mount Nelson for old-world grandeur, Greenmarket Square’s touristy market, Good Company Farmers Market on weekends in summer and Hope Street’s weekly farmers market are all within walking distance. The MyCiTi bus service or a short Uber ride connect to further essential stops such as Table Mountain, Clifton beaches and the V&A Waterfront.

A base at the V&A Waterfront is just as central, with more of a holiday vibe. Looking out over canals and the working harbour or with views of Table Mountain, visitors step out into a curated world of shops, restaurants, boat trips to Robben Island, the aquarium, artisan food stalls at the Market on the Wharf, design and crafts at the Watershed and much more to explore. It’s easy enough to walk or ride into the CBD for sightseeing, sunset cruises leave from one of the quays daily, and watersports in the form of stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and windsurfing are nearby. Both these areas are also popular choices for those visiting on business as they are close to corporate bases and conveniently offer a wide choice of excellent eateries and world-class services.

I loved staying at the Waterfront so that I could walk to a variety of shops and restaurants and not have to worry about drinking and driving at night

Catherine, holiday visitor

Best in food:

  • Chefs Warehouse and Canteen
  • Hemelhuijs
  • The Shortmarket Club
  • Gibson’s Gourmet Burgers and Ribs
  • Nobu at the One and Only
  • Meloncino

Things to do:

  • Ride the Table Mountain Cableway
  • Cape Town Red Bus hop-on and hop off open-top bus tour
  • Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium
  • Take a boat trip to Robben Island
  • Visit the Galileo Open Air cinema on Thursdays at the V&A Waterfront croquet lawn in summer

Nearby nature:

  • Cheeky squirrels and birdlife in the Company’s Garden
  • Seals, seabirds and dolphins on boat trips in the bay
  • The biodiversity garden in Green Point Urban Park
  • Pristine fynbos, dassies and birdlife at Table Mountain National Park

This article originally appeared Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

Take a stunning journey through the Cape Town City Bowl here:

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Cape Town City Bowl
Hip and Happening Hotspot
Living in the CBD of Cape Town is unlike any other city centre. Table Mountain, Lions Head and Signal Hill cradle the City Centre, with mountain hikes and forests in easy access and it is within minutes’ drive to some of the world’s best beaches. Depending on which area in the city you live, the housing arrangements can vary from large leafy houses in Oranjezicht, to small studio apartments in the City Centre. Living in the CBD of Cape Town gives the best of both worlds as you're in close proximity to all amenities, as well as have nature on your doorstep.