48 Hours in Cape Town

Picture of Matt Wise

Matt Wise

Senior Africa Travel Designer

Rich in history, culture and natural beauty – where romance collides with a cool, urban undertone – Cape Town has truly earned its accolades as a world-class city break. With so much to offer, 48 hours barely scratches the surface of things to explore. Below outlines some of Cape Town’s unmissable highlights to begin with.

Nestled in the foothills of Table Mountain, The Mother City is nurturing dramatic mountainous and coastal landscapes, a hip art and design scene & world class food and wine hotspots. Be immersed in the vibrant hum of Cape Town’s streets as you embark on a 48 hour whirlwind escape.

Day 1

Morning: Robben Island

Situated 7km off the mainland, Robben Island is a key site in the history of South Africa. Most famously it was the location where political prisoners were held during the apartheid regime, with Nelson Mandela being its’ most notable inmate. The island is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a poignant reminder of South Africa’s turbulent past, as well as a symbol of hope for the future. Embark on a privately guided tour of the facility with Christo Brand, Mandela’s prison guard with whom an unlikely friendship was formed, before sitting down to dine with Brand and hear first-hand recounts of Mandela’s time at Robben Island and a unique insight into his life.


Enjoy lunch at the famous Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Sevruga offers a harbour-side dining option whilst the atmospheric V&A Food Market is a great way to taste local products in a street food style venue. Alternatively, for a sample of Cape Town’s best sushi, we recommend trying Willoughby and Co.

Afternoon: The Colours of Bo-Kaap

Located within the city centre, the historic neighbourhood of Bo-Kaap boasts strings of brightly coloured houses stacked together along cobbled streets. The history of Bo-Kaap dates back to the mid-eighteenth century when numerous “huurhuisjes” were built and leased to slaves. During this time, slaves did not have permission to paint their houses anything other than white, therefore the rainbow array of houses witnessed today is emblematic of freedom and liberation. Experience the vivid history of Bo-Kaap from the perspective of someone who calls it home and take a guided tour hosted by the locals themselves.

Dinner Time:

For those looking for a unique and boundary pushing dining experience, Belly of the Beast offers a dynamic tasting menu sourced from local and sustainable producers. Chef ’s Anouchka Horn and Neil Swart offer a unique culinary experience with distinctive seasonal flare.

Drinks: The Gin Bar is hidden behind the famous Honest chocolate café in the city centre and, with no access via the street, the speakeasy style venue is a sought-after establishment if you’re lucky enough to be ‘in the know.’ Cushioned within a romantic Mediterranean style courtyard, it offers an inventive cocktail menu with over 100 gins, of which over 80 are made in South Africa itself.

Day 2

Morning: All day Cape Peninsula Tour

In order to make the most out of your 48 hours, invest in a bespoke tour of the Cape Peninsula with a private driver guide. Set off early, beginning your adventure at the fishing harbour of Kalk Bay. Ease into the day by navigating the quirky boutiques, antique stores and bohemian arts and crafts shops. Then head to Simon’s Town for a quick dive into the rich naval history of the area, before scouting out the famous feathered locals on a secluded beach. Leaving the penguins (yes, penguins) behind, next head south to the Cape Peninsula itself. Stretch your legs with a hike to explore the reserve and see what other native wildlife you can spot.



Pause for a wild picnic lunch in the heart of the Cape Point National Park and taste the authentic local flavours of a homemade food experience.

Afternoon: Cape Peninsula Continued

After a delicious wild lunch, it’s time to get on the road again. Leaving the national park behind, enjoy the scenic coastal drive around Chapman’s Peak heading back towards the city. On route, make time to stop at one of the local vineyards for a tasting and a well- earned sundowner before heading back to your hotel.

Dinner Time

Your final evening in Cape Town deserves a worthy dining experience. Kloof Street House is set within a Victorian House with a whimsical, “fairy-lit” garden. More than a restaurant, Kloof Street House is a visual experience in itself with a maze of different rooms and spaces to enjoy. The venue offers candlelit romantic dinners and on Sundays you can enjoy live jazz with a cocktail in the ambient gardens.

Where to stay in Cape Town

The Silo

Set on top of the famous Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, The Silo boasts a futuristic blend of glamour and modern decadence. Offering unrivalled views of Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront, the five-star 28- room hotel is part of the prestigious Royal Portfolio hotel group.

What to eat and drink while in Cape Town

Uniquely South African in roots and deeply rich in flavour, a red Pinotage encapsulates the winelands of Cape Town’s countryside. Cultivated since 1925, the signature taste of the wine is best paired with a darker meat, watching the sun rest behind Table Mountain as a day of city exploration concludes.

48 Hours - Cape Town - Pinotage Wine

Discover Cape Town with True Travel

Enjoy this 2-night trip in Cape Town from £2,125 per person, including 2 nights at The Silo, return airport transfers, private Cape Peninsula tour, Robben Island tickets and a half day tour with Christo Brand.

Alternatively, add Cape Town as part of your South Africa travel itinerary. Take a look at some of example itineraries, showcasing what we can build for you?

10 Day Itinerary

Guide Price: £10,700pp

Guide Price: $12,800pp

9 Day Itinerary

Guide Price: £6,800pp

Guide Price: $8,200pp

11 Day Itinerary

Guide Price: £7,300pp

Guide Price: $8,800pp

10 Day Itinerary

Guide Price: £5,400pp

Guide Price: $6,500pp

13 Day Itinerary

Guide Price: £9,900pp

Guide Price: $11,900pp

12 Day Itinerary

Guide Price: £9,300pp

Guide Price: $11,100pp

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