It’s time to put on a comfy pair of ‘takkies’ and take a walk through Cape Town’s city centre. Here are 10 things to do within walking distance from Taj Cape Town:
1. Greenmarket Square (300m)
Looking for a local gift to take home to your loved ones? Look no further than Greenmarket Square! Originally a slave market, then a parking lot in the 1950s, it is now a vibrant market where one can find a variety of jewellery, fabrics, shoes and bags from all over Africa. Don’t forget to bring cash and strong negotiating skills. It is also a fantastic place to learn about the different cultures in Africa, so don’t be scared to chat to the stall owners and ask them where they are from.
2. Long Street (400m)
Bar hopping, night clubs, interesting restaurants and funky clothing stores are what you can expect on Long Street. The City’s most vibrant street is worth exploring, night and day. If you have walked up an appetite just pop into any of the local restaurants.
3. Company Gardens and South African National Gallery (500m)
Wander around in the shade and shine of the Cape Town’s Company Gardens. From squirrels to a variety of plant life, it’s just a happy place to soak up some ‘Cape Town vibes’ and enjoy the aviaries and fishponds.
The South African National Gallery is also nearby if you enjoy art. If you are tired of walking head to the Company Garden’s restaurant for a milkshake and a meal.
4. District Six Museum (550m)
District Six forms an important part of Cape Town’s history. A community made from a melting pot of cultures, freed slaves, merchants, artisans and immigrants. It was demolished in 1966 under the Group Areas Act of Apartheid. Today the area lays baron – a scar in Cape Town’s landscape. Learn about the personal stories of citizens from District Six preserved in the amazing museum.
5. Charly’s Bakery (750m)
It’s mucking afazing! Marie Antoinette said: “let them eat cake!” and a sublime idea that is, if the cake is from Cape Town’s famous Charly’s Bakery. Choose from a variety of scrumptious designer cakes and cupcakes to indulge your sweet tooth.
6. Castle of Good Hope (800m)
The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest colonial building in South Africa built by the Dutch East India Company. The castle was a refurbishing station for sailors suffering diseases like scurvy after six months at sea. Today, one can explore the castle and catch a tour on horse drawn carriage with the city’s adorable big white carthorses.
7. Labia Movie Theatre (1km)
Fancy a glass of red wine or an Amarula dom pedro with a classic movie? The Labia is the only theatre that permits movie-goers to drink inside. It a great place for indie films and often has specials going with restaurants nearby. To get there you will have to walk up the shortest pass in South Africa, Grey’s Pass.
8. Jewish Museum (1km)
Not many people know that Cape Town is home to large Jewish community. The museum is a juxtaposition of old and new – taking visitors back in time to the early settlement of South African Jews through audio-visuals and presentations. The museum celebrates one of South Africa most influential communities.
9. Bo-Kaap and De Waterkant (1km)
On the footholds of Signal Hill there are some wonderfully bright houses situated on a cobbled streets with most of its residents ancestors of the Cape Malays. It’s steep walk up but it’s worth it! Visit the Bo-Kaap museum, go on a cooking safari or explore the galleries and delectable restaurants in the area.
10. The V&A Waterfront (3km)
It’s a bit of a walk but completely doable. The V&A Waterfront is one of Cape Town’s iconic tourist destinations. It is home to the Aquarium, Watershed Market, loads of outstanding restaurants, boat cruises and helicopter rides! It’s definitely worth a day’s visit.
After a long day on your feet it’s time to kick back and relax at Taj Hotel’s Twankey Bar with a refreshing mojito and just think – you have no reason to feel guilty whatsoever because, obviously, you walked it off.
For more Mother City adventures, read: Josie Borain’s Cape Town.
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