Cape Town is arguably the most beautiful city in the world. It is definitely the most beautiful city that I have ever been to. Where the violent ocean meets the stoic mountains, Cape Town was born. Few places can rival the beauty that the Mother City has to offer. Every day in Cape Town felt like a dream. There is no shortage of photo opportunities in this world-renowned South African city.
I spent nearly two months in Cape Town, chasing sunsets and conquering its many mountains. Whether I was lounging in the gardens of Kirstenbosch or weaving through Greenmarket Square, evvery day was a beautiful adventure. These are among the best photography and Instagram spots in all of Cape Town.
Let’s start with arguably Cape Town’s most iconic photo spot. The colorful houses of Bo-Kaap are easy on the eyes but also come with a story to the vibrance. The slaves that lived in this community were not allowed to use color in any form. All of their houses and clothes were the same color. So when the slaves were finally freed and allowed to own their own houses, they splashed them with all of the color that they had been robbed of as slaves.
Make sure to be respectful when taking photos in Bo-Kaap. Most of these houses are still lived in and I’m sure you wouldn’t like it if people hopped up on your porches and balconies just for a photo. It might be one of the best Instagram spots in Cape Town but first and foremost, it is someone’s home.
Camps Bay is Cape Town’s most popular beach for a reason. It gives you this incredible view of the majestic Twelve Apostles lining Cape Town’s coast. It is also Cape Town’s most vibrant hotspot for nightlife. If you want to be around beautiful people in a beautiful location, then Camps Bay is your spot. If the water wasn’t so freakin’ cold, I’d come here every day. It might just be one of the most gorgeous beaches in the world.
You can’t go to Cape Town without visiting Table Mountain. I mean, how can you? You can see it in all of its majesty from anywhere you are in Cape Town. I went to the top of Table Mountain four times and each time was as unforgettable as the last. The sunsets up here are unlike any other you’ll find in the world. The clouds blanketing the mountains, the fiery skies, and seeing the ocean lapping gently on the shores is a one-of-a-kind view you can only get from Table Mountain.
I hiked Lion’s Head three times. This is one of my favorite short hikes in the world. It takes only about 45 minutes to reach the top but it gives you some of the best views you could imagine. One of the best sunsets I have ever seen in my life was from Lion’s Head. The clouds were blanketing Table Mountain and the sky was absolutely on fire. It definitely was a sunset to remember.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
It felt like walking into Jurassic Park. Kirstenbosch was so lush and so green. Even the mountains in their majesty in the background were draped in green. One of the best sunsets I have ever experienced was from here. Weird right? Something about Cape Town and sunsets, I guess. You could spend forever roaming through the grounds of Kirstenbosch. There are a number of hikes you can do starting in Kirstenbosch, including the famed Skeleton Gorge hike. Kirstenbosch is also perfect for just chilling and taking in the fantastic scenery.
If you don’t feel like going all the way up to the top of Table Mountain, Kloof Corner is a shorter and easier hike to do at any time of day. However, at sunset, it is unbeatable. It only takes about 45 minutes to hike from the trailhead, which you can access from the same road that leads up to Table Mountain. Aside from the views of the Twelve Apostles, Lion’s Head, and the ocean, you can also see some incredible rock formations that showcase why Table Mountain is considered one of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders.
Signal Hill is the sloping body of Lion’s Head. Although you can hike up to Signal Hill, it is also possible to just drive up and enjoy the views.
The Zeitz MOCAA is Cape Town’s contemporary art museum. The architecture and design of the place is top-notch. The museum is located in a re-envisioned grain silo and features all types of art. It was one of the most entertaining art museums I have ever been to, with exhibits of all types. Beyond just static art exhibits, there were some incredible visual, cinematic, and auditory experiences.
Two Oceans Aquarium
The Two Oceans Aquarium is one of Cape Town’s top attractions. It is one of the world’s most recognizable and most well-run aquariums. You can see some incredible marine life here.
Cape Town’s waterfront is one of the most lively and vibrant areas you can visit in the city. Home to its iconic ferris wheel, you can catch some beautiful views of the city. Or, you can stay on the ground and enjoy the oceanfront views from there.
This drive is one of the most beautiful that you can do in the area. And there are a lot of beautiful drives. Chapman’s Peak gives you an unforgettable view overlooking the ocean and the city.
Penguins. That’s all I have to say for this one.
This is where I stayed in Cape Town for about a month. Every night, I had a sunset to remember. On a clear evening like the one I was lucky enough to get below, the view of Table Mountain was unforgettable.
Atlantis Sand Dunes
About an hour outside of Cape Town are the Atlantis Sand Dunes. Cape Town seriously has it all. You can go sandboarding and enjoy the sandy views from this small desert.
Little Lion’s Head
About a 30 minute drive from the center of Cape Town is the hike known as Little Lion’s Head. I actually found this to be tougher than Lion’s Head, as it is not a relatively trafficked trail. There was a bit of scrambling to get to the top but the views were absolutely worth it once we made it to the top.
Cape Point Natural Reserve
This is the tip of the Cape and it is one of the most majestic things you’ll see in Cape Town. The ocean displays its full glory. Some highlights include this beautiful beach below, the lighthouse, and the potential to even spot some whales in the distance.
This is another epic hike that you can take to go up to Table Mountain. I only did it halfway because I was alone and it was hot, but the views were definitely worth it.
Located in the center of town, Greenmarket Square is a popular spot to do a bit of souvenir shopping. Even if you don’t buy anything, it is worth it to bask in all of the vibrant colors and uniquely African patterns. I could’ve wandered through this small market for hours.
This was another route that I took up to Table Mountain. It was challenging but it had some incredible views. Of course, the payoff was reaching the top of Table Mountain, a view that never got old no matter how many times I did it.
The best part of Cape Town is that there is beauty almost everywhere you look. It would be impossible to list all of the incredible photo opportunities in this majestic city, but this list is a good starting point. Keep exploring and you are bound to find some more stunning spots.
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Where’s your favorite spot in Cape Town?