Destinations & Attractions in City Bowl, in Cape Town

City Bowl Destinations & Attractions

The City Bowl of Cape Town is, not surprisingly, the amphitheatre-esque area in which much of the commercial and entertainment-related activities occur. It is surrounded by the mountains of the Mother City; namely Table Mountain, Signal Hill, Lion’s Head and Devil’s Peak. On the third side of the bowl lies the pristine blue of the Atlantic Ocean, interrupted only by Robben Island, perched peacefully in its midst.

The City Bowl is a tourist hub, inviting visitors to explore its many shops, restaurants, sidewalk cafés and street markets. However, even more than this, it is home to some of the most historically and culturally significant areas of the Western Cape. These include the Bo-Kaap, Tamboerskloof and Oranjezicht, which are all characterised by beautiful old buildings and charming streets.

The Bo-Kaap is easily identified in photographs by its rows of colourful houses that flank narrow streets, some of which are still cobbled. Situated on the slopes of Signal Hill, this is an integral part of the Cape Malay heritage, dating back to the mid-18th century. Today, property in the Bo-Kaap is a sought-after commodity, not only for its central location, but also for its romantic setting and unique architecture. The Bo-Kaap Museum is situated within the area’s oldest home, and is a must for those that love history. These ones will also enjoy District Six and the District Six Museum, which is steeped in history, albeit rather sad. The Group Areas Act of the Apartheid government meant that all non-white families living in this area were forcibly removed and sent out of the city’s borders to townships and informal settlements. Life was made very difficult here, and seeing these historical neighbourhoods provides insight into the trials that have shaped modern-day South Africa.

The vibe of the City Bowl is unmistakable and quite addictive. Walking up and down Long Street may take the better part of a day, as there are hundreds of little places to explore. With a distinctly Bohemian look and feel to it, Long Street never fails to impress.

The market at Greenmarket Square is a long-standing attraction in the heart of the City Bowl. What was once a slave market has evolved into a vibrant hub of souvenirs, African arts and crafts, music, clothing and more.

The Cape Town Castle and Houses of Parliament are also situated within Cape Town’s City Bowl, and are popular attractions for visitors and tourists alike. The South African Museum is the oldest museum south of the Sahara, established in 1825.

Other popular areas and attractions within the City Bowl are Granger Bay, Higgovale, Woodstock, the V&A Waterfront, Company Gardens and South African National Gallery.

Bo Kaap

Against the slopes of Signal Hill, Bo Kaap is a little world of its own with decorative cobble roads and brightly coloured houses (ranging from orange and pink to lime green and turquoise). Full of character, this little suburb ...

Cape Town Central

Cape Town Central is a world renowned landmark and is one of Cape Town's biggest attractions. Sitting just below Table Mountain, this busy city centre is one of South Africa's only central business districts that has not ...

De Waterkant

Similar to that of Bo-Kaap, De Waterkant is modern yet quaint with pebbled roads and colourful town houses that are situated above numerous restaurants and delis. Although quiet during the day, De Waterkant is a trendy spot at ...

Devils Peak

Devils Peak estate offers superb views over Table Bay and is considered a perfect little haven by its local residents, who also believe that any further development will not benefit the area. It consists of little homes no bigger ...

District Six

District Six lies on prime real estate, in the foothills of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak, with wonderful views out over Table Bay, just outside the city centre. But District Six is marred by a history not easily forgotten ...

Foreshore

The Foreshore is the perfect place in which to further explore the city. Discover Cape Town’s city centre and learn more about its colourful mixture of historical buildings and culture driven features ...

Gardens

Gardens is one of the oldest and most well established suburbs of Cape Town. Most of the houses here have been converted into hotels or guest houses because of their high ceilings, wooden floors and colonial ...

Higgovale

Situated along the slopes of Table Mountain and offering breathtaking views over the city, Higgovale is a trendy suburb of beautiful homes. The mountain is the dominant feature here, with architect-designed homes perched against ...

Highlands Estate

Highlands Estate is central to everything in Cape Town. You’re right near Table Mountain Nature Reserve, with some great mountain trails and forest walks and lots of popular beaches such as Clifton and Camps Bay. If shopping is ...

Kloof Nek

Kloof Nek is one of the steepest drives in Cape Town but it is also the easiest way in or out of the city and the quickest route from Camps Bay. When you have had enough of the bustling city, follow Kloof Nek right over Table ...

Oranjezicht

Oranjezicht is situated right above the trendy Kloof Street which is filled with vibey restaurants and cafés with beautiful views of Table Mountain and the foreshore. This area is very popular with young students as it’s got a ...

Roggebaai

Roggebaai lies just behind the Foreshore of Cape Town. With beautiful views across the harbour, Roggebaai makes a magical, eclectic place to live and you are only minutes away from Cape Town city centre and the V&A Waterfront ...

Salt River

Salt River is a charming suburb that was once the industrial epicentre of Cape Town, thanks to its close proximity to the heart of the city. Over the decades, it has gone through highs and lows, which have left it with plenty of ...

Tamboerskloof

Tamboerskloof is situated at the base of Table Mountain and is one of the oldest residential areas in Cape Town. Beautiful views of the bay and Lion’s Head make this a popular area for anyone who wants to explore the City ...

University Estate

Situated on the upper slopes of Devils Peak, University Estate has beautiful views over the harbour and is close to Gardens Shopping Centre, Company Gardens, museums and galleries of Cape Town. Living in University Estate has ...

V&A Waterfront

The V&A Waterfront is one of Cape Town’s most popular tourist attractions and is set in the heart of Cape Town’s harbour. Situated in the middle of a huge entertainment venue with pubs, restaurants, speciality shops, craft ...

Vredehoek

This quiet and peaceful neighbourhood is situated on the lower slopes of Devils Peak. Although Vredehoek can be a little windy sometimes, it has some of the best views of the city, over the waterfront, the harbour and Table ...

Walmer Estate

Cape Town is a vibrant city, bursting at the seams with culture and entertainment, complemented by a well-established commercial and retail hub. The City Bowl is the center of the Mother City, and is characterised by the tall ...

Woodstock

With a lot of history behind it, Woodstock has changed from being a dilapidated, run down farming village to a sought after suburb for young professionals. Woodstock has fantastic views of the harbour and is close to the City ...

Zonnebloem

Zonnebloem incorporates part of the historical suburb of District Six, which became a well-known area during the Apartheid regime and the times of forced removals. These were laws that dictated that non-white folk be forcibly ...
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