Hands down one of the world’s most beautiful cities; Cape Town has an abundance of spectacular stays within the city, alongside the coast, beside the mountain and in the suburbs. Not to mention the wine lands only 45 minutes away and the spectacular Western Cape at large. But for those looking to have a chunk of the city but still be seaside, we found the answer in our Stay in Greenpoint at 40 Winks Guesthouse.
This is the first of many monthly Afristay excursions we will be doing in the Western Cape and South Africa at large to find the best positioned, quirkiest, most luxurious and top stays listed on afristay.com
With various options of rooms, suites and self-catering apartments ( five minutes away), 40 winks guesthouse has something for everyone. One of the best things about our self-catering apartment was the close proximity to Somerset road which has an abundance shops, coffee shops, restaurants. A two minute drive ( or a longer walk for those who are keen) and you’re at Sea Point beach, promenade and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.
In no drive time at all, we found ourselves at the epic Mouille Point Park beside the lighthouse- perfect for families with little kids. There’s a reason it’s one of our favorite parts in the city as it has a full swing set, small jungle gym for younger toddlers and bigger one for older kids plus ( and best of all) as scooter/bike track. Our toddler can stay here for hours while we ( and he) eats ice-cream, gaze at the ocean and then enjoy a walk along the promenade.
Parents: there’s good take-away coffee at Cafe Neo just across the road from the Mouille Point park. Greenpoint urban park is also just a road away. More playgrounds away ( parents know that there can never be enough), a lovely coffee shop and endless lawns for picnics.
When it comes to sunsets, Greenpoint and Sea Point and Atlantic Seaboard is where you want to find yourself in Cape Town. This area grabs the last rays of light and one of the best ways to spend a late afternoon is to rent a bicycle from Up Cycle near the public swimming pool and peddle along the promenade; stopping only for pics, ice-cream or a pitstop at the park. On a beautiful, hot day as we experienced, paragliders, parents, dog-walkers, cyclists, runners and picnic-goers were all out to play.
One evening we took advantage of the short distance to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and went there for supper. By day kids can ride on the Hamley’s Thomas the Tank Engine train and by night the outdoor park is still open to all. For live music, visit Quayside restaurant, for a kid-friendly space with playground there’s Spur and of course many restaurants cater for a romantic night out not the town.
The self-catering apartment is best suited to: Couples, Families with older kids. Those who would like to be able to walk to the Sea point promenade and the Waterfront.
It’s not suitable for: Families with young kids under 3 ( there are stairs and on street parking so we couldn’t leave our pram in the car and had to cart everything up-baby, car seat, pram etc and down stairs)
We would’ve loved to be closer to the actual guesthouse and bought breakfast there, but the self-catering apartment was a few roads down and very separate. This apartment had no sunlight and not the trendiest but did the trick in terms of being central and close to the ocean.
Any guesses where our October stop will be with Afristay? Keep a lookout on the blog where we bring you some of the top places to enjoy on afristay.com
The V&A Waterfront has it all: amazing shopping, a world-class setting, with ocean and mountain views – and of course, some fine restaurants too… but what is there to keep visitors entertained beyond the shopping and food feasts?
Below, let’s take a look at the top 10 activities to enjoy in and around the V&A Waterfront:
#1 Visit the hot-and-happening Zeitz MOCAA
There’s no doubting that the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (or MOCAA) – an impressive architectural marvel and the world’s largest museum dedicated specifically to African contemporary art – has, since its opening in September 2017, become one of Cape Town’s most widely visited and talked about places.
And it’s really no surprise, as, in the centre of Cape Town’s Silo District, guests can enjoy visiting a marvellous and fascinating museum. It features over a hundred galleries (spread across nine different levels) and is equipped with the most amazing array of art you’ll find anywhere.
While you’re there, don’t forget to visit the museum shop for a take-home gift!
Note: Tickets cost R180 for adults, but the museum is free to children under 18.
Contact: +27 (087) 350 4777
Address: Zeitz MOCAA, V&A Waterfront, Silo District, Waterfront, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.
#2 Head to the Two Oceans Aquarium
Another Cape Town gem known and loved across the globe, the Two Oceans Aquarium is ideally situated a stone’s throw away from the V&A Waterfront proper.
It is a long-standing favourite, particularly loved for its penguin experience, predator exhibit, cool Clown Fish (aka Nemo) tank, diving experience, kelp forest and so much more!
Here, the fish, penguins and sharks are all just a glass tank or sealed enclosure away from you, making for a lifelike and incredible experience for both young and old!
The aquarium’s merchandise shop is another big hit among locals and tourists, and offers some amazing gifts and aquarium-themed goodies alike.
Contact: +27 (0)21 418 3823
Address: Two Oceans Aquarium, Dock Road, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.
#3 Immerse yourself in the Silo District
Ah, the Silo District… what’s not to love about it?
Not only is it home to two of the best hotels in the city and one of the world’s best museums now, in The Silo Hotel, Radisson RED and Zeitz MOCAA respectively – but it also offers travellers great foodie spots in Lindt Chocolate Studio, The Yard, Si! Cantina Sociale, Sushibox and Woolworths’ Now Now Cafe to name but a few.
And that’s before you even take The Silo Hotel or Radisson Red’s own cafes/restaurants, bars and accommodation offerings into account.
Dotted around the District, there are also top-class designer stores and galleries, including Guild and Opus.
If you’re short on things to do at the V&A Waterfront, then you clearly haven’t visited (or stayed in) the Silo District yet!
Address: Silo District, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.
#4 Ride on the Cape Wheel
Whether you’re looking to spend a fun hour with the whole family ‘high in the sky’, or to catch a romantic sunset with the one you love – the Cape Wheel makes for a great experience for one and all!
It offers 360-degree panoramic views of Cape Town from the vibrant V&A Waterfront precinct and because it’s just outside a main V&A Waterfront entrance, surrounded by outer shops and eateries, it is perfectly positioned too.
Ticket prices are R60 for children, R130 for adults and R900 for VIP experiences.
Contact: 021 418 2502
Address: Cape Wheel, V&A Waterfront, Dock Road, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.
#5 Grab a delicious meal at Firefish Restaurant
Since its opening in late 2017, this sensational, stylish addition to the V&A Waterfront restaurant scene has been making a real splash in the local restaurant scene.
At Firefish, visitors can enjoy mouth-watering, fresh seafood, sushi, salads or even vegetarian dishes, all while soaking up the sights and sounds of the nearby harbour and of course, Table Mountain in the distance too.
It’s definitely one of, if not the best, V&A Waterfront restaurants.
Contact: +27 (021) 286 4933
Address: Firefish Restaurant, Shop 154, Victoria Wharf, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.
#6 Take the kids to Hamleys
This wondrous toy store – thought up by William Hamley in 1760 and brought across to South Africa from the UK – has enchanted children for many long years… And now it can help to make the dreams of children (and adults) in Cape Town come true too!
It offers all kinds of toys and games imaginable – everything from gorgeous teddies to amazing LEGO creations and large kids’ cars!
It’s not just a slogan of theirs… this really is the finest toy store in the world – and now, you can find it inside the V&A Waterfront!
Contact: (021) 418 2927
Address: Hamleys, Dock Road, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.
#7 Visit the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum
This interactive and engaging museum, found across the road from the V&A Waterfront, ensures a great experience for rugby fans and non-rugby followers alike.
The museum covers the history of rugby, covering all the rugby-playing nations, though it naturally has a big focus on South African rugby, the Apartheid Era – and of course, the famous South African 1995 World Cup victory.
Visitors can enjoy listening to insightful audio, marvelling at lifelike rugby statues of famous players or even trying some challenging rugby (but fun) trials.
Afterwards, stop by the store for some awesome rugby kits, balls or different gifts.
Contact: +27 (021) 418 4741
Address: Springbok Experience Rugby Museum, Portswood Road, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.
#8 Hop on a Seal & Harbour Cruise
City Sightseeing is one of the best guided, curated travel experiences locals and visitors can enjoy across the Mother City.
And while the famous red buses frequent the V&A Waterfront, bringing travellers closer to all of the tour company’s different routes – the Seal & Harbour Cruise is definitely one of the V&A Waterfront’s main City Sightseeing attractions.
When you hop on the harbour cruise, you can enjoy a pleasant, 25-minute-long ride around the harbour. Wave at the seals (who lazily dangle a flipper out the water), marvel at the surrounding city sights or simply enjoy listen to the excellent audio commentary provided by City Sightseeing and available in a variety of different languages.
Contact: +27 (0861) 733 287
Address: City Sightseeing, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, V&A Waterfront Ticket Office, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.
#9 Stop by the V&A Food Market
Open seven days a week, this ever-bustling, popular street food and artisan retail market is a delectable delight for V&A Waterfront visitors to indulge in.
Shop for wonderful sweets, wraps, good coffee and a wide range of other foods, as well as some fresh produce and home gifts too.
After a hard day’s exploring or shopping, pop into the V&A Food Market and enjoy all the best food (and goodies) available!
Contact: +27 (021) 418 1605
Address: V&A Food Market, Dock Road, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.
#10 Have a drink at Bascule Bar
Located at the oh-so-elegant Cape Grace Hotel, Bascule Bar is the perfect spot to head for chic, after-work drinks, a catch up with friends or even for a casually professional meeting.
Edging the V&A yacht marina, this suave spot offers over 400 types of whiskies (and many other drinks besides) for visitors to sip in style. Aside from the tipples, it also offers a great tapas-style menu, perfect for snacking and sharing.
Shared whisky tastings and experiences are also on offer, for R395 per person. (This is limited to twelve people, so book ahead and reserve a spot.)
All and all, it’s a perfectly delightful place to head for a well-deserved drink!