Off-the-beaten-track things to do in Cape Town

From going up Table Mountain to visiting Robben Island, there are many things to do in Cape Town. But if you are wanting to step a little off the track, perhaps for some adventure, or a taste of what it’s like to live in this great city, here are some of our favourite off-the-beaten-track things to do in the Mother City.

Lions Head

1. Things to do in Cape Town: Swim in Silvermine Dam

Pack a picnic and head up Ou Kapse Weg to Silvermine Dam for a swim. In the winter months, you’ll need a wet suit but in summer, it is simply heavenly and great fun for the whole family. Take lilos and relax for the whole day.

Silvermine Dam - photo by Jenny Hallward

Silvermine Dam – photo by Jenny Hallward

2. Eat takeaway pizza on Chapman’s Peak

Lucky for us, one of the most beautiful drives in the world, Chapman’s Peak, has many tables and benches to stop at and enjoy a picnic. Pick up a pizza at Mimmi in Hout Bay and stop and enjoy with a few sundowners en route to Noordhoek.

Chapman's Peak - captured by Hougaard Malan

Chapman’s Peak – captured by Hougaard Malan

3. Share breakfast at the Lighthouse Cafe, Simon’s Town

On the Kalk Bay to Cape Point route, there are lots of restaurants which attract large numbers of tourists. The Lighthouse Cafe in Simon’s Town is popular with visitors and locals alike. Try it for breakfast before visiting the penguins at Boulders.

Lighthouse Cafe in Simon's Town

Lighthouse Cafe in Simontown

4. Have coffee at Bob’s Bagel Cafe in Kalk Bay

Another popular spot with locals, Bob’s Bagel Cafe, is situated just off the main road which runs through Kalk Bay. It over looks a park with lots for the kids to play on and offers some of the best coffee in Cape Town. Perfect spot if you have a young family or need a little coffee and timeout to think about your next move.

things to do in cape town

Bob’s Bagel Cafe

5. Enjoy art at First Thursdays

In Cape Town on the first Thursday of the month? Then you should check out First Thursdays in central Cape Town. Art galleries are open late and the streets bustle with food trucks and people enjoying the vibe of the city. A fabulous opportunity to explore the art scene and a chance to enjoy some of the fantastic bars and restaurants.

things to do in cape town

First Thursdays in Cape Town

6. Hike up Lion’s Head at full moon

OK, so this isn’t exactly ‘off-the-beaten-track’ but it could be something you haven’t considered fitting into your trip. Every full moon you can hike up Lion’s Head with a big group of people. Make sure you join a group who knows what they are doing and enjoy an experience of a lifetime.

things to do in cape town

Lion’s Head on full moon – photo by Chris Cloete

7. Book tickets for the drive-in at Spier

The Drive-in at Spier

The Drive-in at Spier

There are always world-class events happening at Spier in the winelands and one of our favourites has got to be their old-school drive-ins. Take the kids, book a ‘snack pack’ and pretend for one night only that you are back in the 70s.

8. Take an early morning swim at St James

The tidal pool at St James is a magical place in the early morning. Head there as soon as you wake up and soak in the atmosphere whilst listening to the train shuffle on by. Cold but worth it.

9. Sushi on the beach

We have some amazing sushi on offer here in Cape Town and one of the best ways to enjoy it is to pick it up from somewhere like Belugas or Sushi Box and take it to Clifton or Llandudno. Romantic? Absolutely.

things to do in cape town


Get in touch with us and we would love the opportunity to put the perfect itinerary together for your trip to South Africa. Beach, safari, winelands … it’s just waiting for you to discover the magic.

About the Author
Richard is the Founding MD of Greatest Africa & Richard Hilton Vineyards. He lives in Somerset West with his wife and two daughters. He is passionate about the Cape, travel, global wines, wine education and sharing his experiences of this beautiful country that he calls home.

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