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Elle Decor Italia

Cape Town what to see according to locals

10 non-touristy tips to discover this South-African slice of heaven amid hotels, restaurants, shops, and cinemas

cape-town-what-to-see
Kate McLuckie

View of Cape Town; the capital of South Africa is embedded in a majestic landscape between Table Mountain and the wonderful bay

When it comes to a special destination like Cape Town, you have to know what to see during your stay before you go, in order to avoid ending up visiting simply the usual touristic places.

After all, few cities in the world boast a fascinating setting like the Mother City, embedded in a majestic landscape between Table Mountain and the wonderful bay. Cape Town is a unique and extraordinary destination, ideal for every kind of traveller, and it would be a shame not to seize its authentic spirit.  Breathtaking views, a special multiethnic soul, and the European-inspired lifestyle make the city one of the hottest destinations of the moment. Here are some recommendations for those looking for 10 “truly local” venues in the amazing capital of South Africa.

 

Photo by LoveMadeVisible

 

A nice place for breakfast
Honest Chocolate, City Bowl District. Chocolate aplenty and delicious pastries in this shop of wonders. Not just for sweet addicts: at night, across the backyard you will discover a secret bar serving only gin-based cocktails, live music included. 

Photo by Babylonstoren

 

A charming spot

In the heart of the wine region is hidden a unique gem, Babylonstoren, in Franschhoek: an estate founded at the end of the 17th century and characterised by the Cape Dutch’s typical architecture and a 3.5-hectar enchanted garden designed by French architect Patrice Taravella. Enriched by a small boutique hotel, a spa, a restaurant with refined local food, and a tea garden surrounded by rows of fruit trees, vineyards, and free animals, this effortlessly chic Eden is ideal for a trip out of town.

In South Africa these wonderful landscapes are very common, but this estate is a pearl.

 

Photo by ZeitzMOCAA

A museum to keep an eye on

September 22, 2017: in this much-anticipated day the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa will open. The private museum, whose contents will be numerous and very interesting (80 art galleries, a permanent collection, temporary exhibitions, and a Centre for Photography, among others) will put on display the avant-garde of contemporary African art.

Photo by DNA Photographers

A place to chill out

In South Africa white-sand beaches enchant visitors, and Llandudno Beach is no exception. One of the most famous in Cape Town, it is the ideal spot for spending a couple of hours lying in the sun, admiring some of the most spectacular villas on the coast, or swimming in the freezing Atlantic ocean waters. Do not miss the breathtaking sunsets. 

Photo by StefanWessel

 

Where to go for lunch

Cape Town is full of eateries, but Loading Bay, in De Waterkant, is at the top of the list. In this charming minimalist and essential spot, the chefs experiment with organic, very fresh ingredients and create delicious and healthy dishes. Taste the poached eggs served with goat cheese, beets, grilled nuts, and rosemary; another must is the green juice with apple, spinach, celery, lemon, and cucumber.

Photo by PaulaAndreaZapata

 

A classy aperitif

Those who want to indulge themselves with an aperitif in a designer setting with pop colours –forget the minimal- can’t miss The Stack, Gardens: the historic mansion Leinster Hall houses a cocktail bar, a brasserie, and a members-only club. The wonderful patio overlooking the garden is the perfect place to sip a ‘smoked negroni’ on a summer night.

Photo by LabiaTheatre

 

A cinema of yesteryear

Labia Theatre, Gardens. This small independent cinema is undoubtedly one of the most magical venues in town. Open for 70 years, it is a true institution for locals. Here, the quality of movies is as important as the retro atmosphere: the ideal place for cinema lovers who enjoy a special vintage flair, ticket booth in 'Grand Budapest Hotel' style included.

Photo by Claudia Mandelli

 

A neighbourhood rich in history

To better understand the history of the country, you have to go to District Six Zonnebloem. Once the vibrant centre of the city inhabited by freed slaves, traders, workmen, and artisans from different ethnic groups, District Six is one of the key spots to learn about Apartheid: the neighbourhood was razed almost entirely to the ground in the 1960s, and 60,000 people were forcibly removed from it. We suggest a guided tour or to visit the District Six Museum. 

Photo by V&AWaterfront

Where to go for shopping
Watershed at the Victoria & Albert Waterfront (the amazing harbour of Cape Town, full of restaurants and shops, one of the most touristic areas in town) is the ideal destination for those looking for high quality design 100% Made in South Africa. From clothing to household items to small, very colourful souvenirs… No risk to get out of there with empty hands.

READ ALSO → Design made in Africa 

Photo by Kate McLuckie

 

The creative hub par excellence
Woodstock Foundry, Woodstock. Albert Road in Woodstock is one of the most important hubs in the creative scene of Cape Town. Here, in the former industrial area, sprouted art galleries, starred restaurants, and design studios. Woodstock Foundry hosts about twenty of the most brilliant creative minds in town, and it is also one of the symbols of local handicraft: from furnishings, to jewels, illustrations, clothing, and the roasting of coffee.

 

DISCOVER OUR ITINENARIES IN THE COMPANY OF FAMOUS DESIGNERS

→ A Tel Aviv con i Raw Edges
→ Viaggio in Israele con Einat Rotfus
→ La Francoforte di Sebastian Herkner
→ In Vacanza a Cipro con Anastassiades


by Claudia Mandelli / 18 May 2017

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