Top 10 Activities in the V&A Waterfront

Lead image: Zeitz MOCAA via zeitzmocaa.museum

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

Website: zeitzmocaa.museum

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

Website: www.aquarium.co.za

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!

Contact: N/A

Website: N/A

Address: Silo District, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

#4 Ride on the Cape Wheel

David Stanley via www.flickr.com
David Stanley via www.flickr.com

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

Website: capewheel.co.za

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

Website: www.firefishrestaurant.co.za

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

Website: www.hamleys.com/south_africa

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

Website: www.sarugby.co.za

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 via www.citysightseeing.co.za
City Sightseeing via www.citysightseeing.co.za

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

Website: www.citysightseeing.co.za

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

Website: waterfrontfoodmarket.com

Address: V&A Food Market, Dock Road, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

waterfrontfoodmarket.com via The Thai Hut Company Facebook
waterfrontfoodmarket.com via The Thai Hut Company Facebook

#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!

Contact: +27 (021) 410 7100

Website: www.capegrace.com/culinary-delights/bascule-bar

Address: Bascule Bar, West Quay Road, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

So, if you’re looking for something awesome in or near the V&A Waterfront, then check out these great activities, which cover everything from Cape Town’s hottest museum to fun harbour cruises!

Top Must-do Activities in Cape Town 2017.

Cape Town is a city that offers both indoor and outdoor activities to suit all tastes, senses of adventure and travel budgets… but some are just too iconic or unusual to miss out on!

So, here are our top 20 Mother City picks for 2017:

#1 Catch the Cable Car (and abseil down) Table Mountain

Table Mountain is one of the city’s crowning glories, and as such, it’s a must-visit for tourists and locals alike. If you’re not up for a hike up the Table, why not catch the cable car up and then abseil back down?

Abseil Africa is one of the best companies around. You’ll have to follow a rope 112 metres or so down, in what is a safe, guided abseil, which is, coincidentally, the world’s highest commercial abseil offering. It costs R995 per person (excluding Cable Car ticket).

Contact (Abseil Africa): (021) 424 4760

Website: http://abseilafrica.co.za

Address: 297 Long Street, Cape Town

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Abseil-Africa via Facebook

#2 Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium

No visit to Cape Town is complete without experiencing the world-renowned Two Oceans Aquarium. Adults and children alike will delight in the wonders of the sea. Find Nemo, see the penguins or go for a dive… either way, you’re in for a fun and educational underwater experience!

Tickets are R135 (adults), R100 (children 14-17 years, pensioners and students) and R65 (children 4-13 years).

Contact: (021) 418 3823

Website: http://www.aquarium.co.za

Location: Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

#3 Walk the Museum Mile

Located within and near to the city’s well-loved, historic Company’s Gardens, you will find the South African National Gallery, Houses of Parliament, Iziko South African Museum, Planetarium and Slave Lodge.

All are worth a visit and on certain days, such as Heritage Day (24 September), you can enjoy these wonderfully historic and engaging places for free.

Contact (Iziko Museums): (021) 481 3800

Website: http://www.iziko.org.za

#4 Experience Cape Town’s art scene

Woodstock is fast becoming the Mother City’s go-to art hub, as buildings are being restored, warehouses transformed and artists descend on the area like never before.

Here, why not visit the likes of the international-influenced Stevenson Gallery, among others, for some sophisticated and unique art appreciation?

Contact: (021) 462 1500

Website: http://www.stevenson.info

Address: Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town

Photo credit: www.stevenson.info

#5 Helicopter flights with NAC Helicopters

Experience the Mother City from the air as you choose from several amazing flight options, including: Hopper, Atlantico, Two Oceans, Robben Island, Three Bays and Cape Point Tours.

Costs range from R3, 240–R25, 800.

Contact: (021) 425 3868

Website: http://www.nachelicopterscapetown.com

Address: East Pier Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

#6 Learn to surf in Muizenberg

Surfing (be it traditional surfing, or kite/wind surfing) is very much a popular Cape Town activity and surfers’ haven, Muizenberg, is considered the best spots to learn to surf in South Africa.

Although you will no doubt find a number of local surfing schools, Learn 2 Surf is a good bet, as they are ideally based at Muizenberg Beach. They offer small group or private lessons, weekly, and are open every day of the year, weather permitting.

All equipment is included in the fee. To enquire after Learn 2 Surf’s prices, please fill out the ‘Prices & Info’ form on their site and buy/book your lessons confidentially online.

Contact: (083) 414 0567

Website: http://www.learn2surf.co.za

Address: 165 Main Road, Muizenberg, Cape Town

#7 Kayak with seals and dolphins

Cape Town-based Kaskazi Kayaks offers wonderful kayaking experiences and close encounters with sea birds, seals, dolphins and during whale season (July to December usually), you can even see the whales too!

Their shop is based in Three Anchor Bay and from there, they embark on a 3-5 km journey towards either Clifton Beach or Granger Bay. Trips are approximately two hours long. If you have prior kayaking experience, you can arrange a half-day trip too.

Booking is essential and all trips are weather-reliant. To find out the cost per trip, please contact Kaskazi Kayaks directly.

Contact: (083) 346 1146

Website: http://kayak.co.za

Address: 179 Beach Road, Three Anchor Bay, Cape Town

#8 Enjoy whale watching in False Bay

Of course, the whale capital is Hermanus – but that’s not the only place in the Western Cape to see the wonderful whales.

Areas along the False Bay coastline are also prime whale watching spots and the best part is, you can view the whales from land or shore for free!

Recommended spots along the False Bay coastline include: Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, St James, Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town, as well as Cape Point.

#9 Ride a bicycle along the Promenade

This activity has certainly grown in popularity and is great for both children and adults alike.

Up Cycles is your recommended service provider; they charge R60 (per person) for one hour and R90 for two etc. You can cycle as far as the Waterfront, if desired – and helmets and locks are included.

Ride along the Sea Point Promenade at a leisurely pace and maybe even catch the sunset.

Contact: (076) 135 2223

Website: http://upcycles.co.za

Address: The Pavilion, Sea Point Promenade, Sea Point, Cape Town

Photo credit: Basil Parker, upcycles.co.za 

#10 Snorkel with the seals

Experience the fun and beauty of snorkelling with Cape Fur seals on the city’s Atlantic side, at Duiker Island, Hout Bay.

Join Animal Ocean (particularly during summer) for 1-5m depth snorkel. No experience is needed but participants must be competent swimmers. (Afterwards, you’ll even be treated to hot chocolate and biscuits!)

Cost is R550 (per person) to view and R800 (per person) to snorkel.

Contact: (072) 296 9132

Website: http://animalocean.co.za

Address: Hout Bay Harbour, outside NSRI Station 8 Building, Hout Bay, Cape Town

#11 Hop on, hop off the CitySightseeing Bus

CitySightseeing bus tours have grown in popularity and numbers in recent years and now offer an excellent array of tours.

These include (to name a few): Harbour Cruise Tour, Purple Wine Tour, Sunset Bus Tour and even a Cape Point Explorer Tour!

Cost varies depending on tour but can be anything between R40–R550 per person (adults).

Contact: (021) 511 6000

Website: http://www.citysightseeing.co.zaa

Address: 81 Long Street and The V&A Waterfront, near the Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town.

#12 Ride a Harley along Chappies

Photo credit: www.capebiketravel.com

Drive the world-famous Chapman’s Peak Drive on one of the world’s most iconic motorbikes: the Harley Davidson when you opt in for the Cape of Good Hope Tour. It covers approximately 180km, stretching from Hout Bay to Simon’s Town, and is weather dependent.

With Cape Bike Travel, you can rent and drive a Harley yourself, or enjoy a chauffeured ride. Cost for self-driven trip is R2500 per rider, while chauffeured rides cost either R1, 600 (half-day) or R2, 100 (full day).

Contact: (021) 424 5013

Website: http://www.capebiketravel.com

Address: 125 Buitengracht, City Centre, Cape Town

#13 Experience high tea in the city

The Mother City has a number of hotels, which offer “high tea” (more commonly referred to as afternoon tea these days). They are hugely popular and are great fun for adults (and teens).

Costs vary but you can generally expect to pay R200-300 per person as you feast on savouries, an assortment of tea (or coffee), macaroons, cakes and so much more in a luxury setting.

The Belmond Mount Nelson, The Taj Hotel, One&Only Cape Town, Cape Grace Hotel and 12 Apostles Hotel all offer excellent high/afternoon teas.

For more information, contact the above-mentioned hotels directly or visit their websites.

Cost: R95–295 (generally)

#14 Horse ride along Noordhoek Beach

Situated at the charming, historic Imhoff Farm, near Kommetjie, is the Imhoff Equestrian Centre, where you can enjoy beach horse rides.

These two-hour-long rides take you along the pristine Noordhoek Beach. They cater for those who have never ridden, as much as experienced riders. (Maximum age is 12 years and maximum weight is 100 kg.)

Booking is essential. To enquire after the cost per person, please contact them directly.

Contact: (082) 774 1191

Website: http://www.horseriding.co.za

Address: Imhoff Farm, M65, Kommetjie, Cape Town

Photo credit: www.imhofffarm.co.za 

#15 Visit the Boulders penguins

Simon’s Town is home to the beautiful Boulders Beach. Here, a colony of African penguins have taken up permanent residence.

Boulders is one of the few places in the world where you can walk among and swim with these tuxedoed dudes.

Boulders Beach is a protected SANParks beach so there’s an entry fee. Current costs (valid until 31 October 2017) are R70 (per adult) and R35 (per child).

Contact: (021) 428 9111

Website: http://www.sanparks.org

Address: Kleintuin Road, Simon’s Town, Cape Town

#16 Head to Cape Point

Lying at the southern section of the vast Table Mountain National Park (or TMNP), Cape Point is a truly life-changing destination. Visit the historic, old lighthouse, see the Chacma baboons, dine at the scenic Two Oceans Restaurant or explore the Cape of Good Hope.

Whatever you choose to do, you’re sure to enjoy a day of true Cape adventuring in one of the most beautiful spots on the globe.

Cost is R135 (per adult) and R70 (per child, ages 2-11).

Contact: (021) 780 9010

Website: www.capepoint.co.za

Address: Cape of Good Nature Reserve, near Simon’s Town, Cape Town

#17 Explore Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

The amazing Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is one of the city’s proudest and most well-loved public spaces. It’s a wonderful, vast place to explore with friends and loved ones alike.

Enjoy a picnic, Summer Concert or strolling among the plants in this 528-hectare reserve.

Entry fees are: R60 (adults), R30 (SA students) and R15 (children 5-17 years).  Free to pensioners (with ID), except on public holidays.

Contact: (021) 799 8783

Website: http://www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch

Address: Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town

#18 Hike up Lion’s Head

The (free) hike up Lion’s Head is one of the city’s most popular activities now.

Perfect any time of day (though it’s best at sunrise and sunset), even during full moon, this 1-2-hour-long hike is a must. Reach the summit or see if you can discover one of the mountain’s cave, particularly the well-loved Wally’s Cave.

There are two routes as you near the summit… so opt for the one without the staples and ladders if you’re afraid of heights.

Address: Lion’s Head, Cape Town

#19 Visit Robben Island

The former prison, where late, former president Nelson Mandela and so many others were held captive during the Apartheid Era, is one of the Mother City’s chief tourist destinations.

Boats leave daily from the Waterfront. The guides will provide you with an insightful tour, especially as so many of them are former prisoners themselves. Cost is R300 per person.

Contact: (021) 413 4200

Website: http://www.robben-island.org.za

Address: Robben Island, Cape Town

#20 Be part of First Thursdays

Photo credit: Laura September via Instagram

On the first Thursday evening of every month, the city’s art galleries in Bree and the CBD come alive, opening to the public, permitting free entry and fun exploration.

This highly popular event now sees many restaurants and cafes joining in on the fun, so you can enjoy a tasty meal with the art.

Each month brings exciting changes, new participating venues and fresh exhibitions – so save the date!

Galleries are open from 5pm – 9pm (if not later) and remember: entry is free!

Website: http://www.first-thursdays.co.za/cape-town

These are just some of the amazing activities you can enjoy in the Mother City, whether you’re a culture vulture, adrenalin junkie or nature lover… there’s something for everyone to enjoy experiencing, both indoors and out, in 2017.