Travel Journal: Guide to Cape Town

Rewa Handa

An insider’s guide to Cape Town, with the best tips on where to eat, swim, and stay.

This guide to Cape Town is a collection of my favourite places and things to do, offering you an insider’s perspective on this beautiful city. Growing up, I lived between Johannesburg and Cape Town and although I currently live in London for my studies, I visit Cape Town several times a year, soaking in the familiar sights and discovering new gems each time. Here’s my curated guide to the best of Cape Town, from where to stay and eat to the top spots for swimming and exploring.

Where to Stay?

Ellerman House

Ellerman House is one of the most beautiful hotels in Cape Town, but it will break the bank. This luxurious retreat offers amazing ocean views and the spa is one of the best I’ve been to. The art collection and the wine gallery are just a cherry on top of this extravagant experience. If you're looking to splurge, this is the place to do it.

Silo Hotel

The Silo Hotel might not be next to the beach, but it has its own charm. It’s next door to the Zeitz MOCCA museum and a short walk from the bustling V&A Waterfront. Tthis hotel is perfect for art lovers and shopaholics. The rooftop pool and bar offer panoramic views of the city- and random fact, the windows are really cool (you’ll agree if you see them). 

Camps Bay Retreat

Stay at Camps Bay Retreat for stunning views and a serene spa experience. Last time I was there, we played padel on their newly built court, and the view from the court is spectacu lar. The property will make you feel like you’re in a secret garden with lush trails and hidden waterfalls.

Where to Eat?

La Petit Colombe

La Petit Colombe offers an amazing set course with wine pairing. It’s about an hour and a half from Cape Town but it’s worth the drive. After your meal you will be so full that you will need to take a walk. Luckily, it’s located in the picturesque Leeu Estates vineyard in Franschhoek so you can leisurely stroll through the vineyard and soak in the scenery.


Riva serves up the most delicious and authentic Italian food. Whenever I go home to Cape Town, I make sure to visit Nico, Riva’s owner, who moved from Italy and crafts the most delicious tagliatelle I’ve ever tasted. It’s a cozy spot with a warm, welcoming vibe.

Chef’s Warehouse Tintswalo

Chef’s Warehouse at Tintswalo offers more than just incredible food; it boasts an unbeatable view. Perched right on the water in the beautiful Tintswalo Hotel, the drive along Chapman’s Peak to get there is almost as stunning as the meal itself.


Fyn is the place to be for delicious Japanese food and an unbeatable atmosphere. This trendy spot is perfect for a night out, combining modern aesthetics with a menu that’s both innovative and mouth-watering. It’s a culinary experience you won’t forget.

What to do

Franschhoek Wine Tram

The Franschhoek Wine Tram is a must!! Different routes and lines take you to various wine estates in Franschhoek, offering a fun way to explore the region’s best wineries. I suggest you spend more time at fewer stops and prioritize quality over quantity.

Whale watching in Hermanus

One of the most unforgettable experiences you can have near Cape Town is whale watching in Hermanus. The best time to go is from June to November- which is unfortunately winter in Cape Town. The cliff paths offer amazing views and you can spot whales right from the shore. The town itself is charming, with cute cafés and shops to explore once you've had your fill of whale watching.

Lions Head

If you love a good hike (unlike me) Lion’s head is a must. The hike is challenging, but the views at the top are enough to make even a non-hiker want to do it again. Make sure you pack sunblock and a delish snack from Woolies.

Where to Swim?

Saunders Rock Tidal Pool 

There are so many tidal pools in Cape Town, but this one is my personal fav. It’s in Bantry Bay and is filled with seawater, so you get the feel of the ocean without the waves and strong currents (or sharks). 

Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach is famous for its adorable penguins. These cuties congregate here for reasons only they know, but the result is a beach experience like no other. Snap a selfie with the penguins – they’re surprisingly friendly and not camera-shy.

Llandudno for Sunsets

Llandudno Beach is the place to be for breathtaking sunsets. The white sand and stunning views make it perfect for swimming and tanning. Bring a blanket, some snacks, and enjoy the sunset. 

Clifton for Pictures

Clifton Beach offers some of the prettiest photo ops in Cape Town. The water is freezing, but the views are worth it. For an extra touch of luxury, I recommend a boat ride or renting jet skis to explore the coastline from a different perspective.

Camps Bay

Camps Bay is buzzing with restaurants and bars lining the beach. After a long day of tanning, head to Café Caprice for a cocktail and some music. It’s the perfect way to end a beach day in one of Cape Town’s most vibrant areas.
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