13 Best Places to Watch the Sunset in Cape Town

Last Updated on February 19, 2024 by thecapetownblog

Purple sunset at Saunders

One of the best things about living in a coastal city is watching the sunset, and Cape Town makes the end of every day special with its famously vibrant sunsets. There are so many fantastic places to watch the sun go down in the Mother City, from beaches and natural viewpoints to boats and bougie bars. Honestly, it feels like this city has me snapping hundreds of photos every single evening. 

So with that in mind, I’ve put together this list of the very best places to catch the sunset in Cape Town so that you can appreciate its spectacular sunsets in style.

What time is sunset in Cape Town?

Sunset times change throughout the year in Cape Town, as it’s pretty far south of the equator. On the longest day of the year (21 December), the sun sets around 8 pm, while in the winter it sets just before 6 pm. So there’s not a huge variety in terms of sunset times, but it does still make a difference to your day. 

You can check the sunset time today on this website.

Best places to watch the sunset in Cape Town

1) Kloof Corner

I personally think that Kloof Corner is the ultimate sunset spot in Cape Town. You get panoramic views that stretch from the city bowl, past Signal Hill and Lion’s Head, all the way to Camps Bay and the 12 Apostles. It’s a gorgeous sight at any time of day, but it’s extra special at sunset.

There’s also just something quite satisfying about the fact that Kloof Corner is a natural viewpoint and you have to hike up there. I don’t know – maybe I just like to feel like I’ve earned my sunset?

The trailhead is well signposted and easy to find. If you have your own car, you can park just around the corner for free, or you can take an Uber to the bottom of the Kloof Corner steps.

Once you’re there, go through the green gate and walk up the stairs, which will take about 15-20 minutes in total.

What’s nice about this hike is that it doesn’t take you too long to come back down after dark, so as long as you have a torch and are with a friend, it’s very safe.

If you want to watch the sunset from here, make sure to read my complete guide to hiking Kloof Corner.

2) Saunders Rockpool

Saunders is the perfect spot for a sunset picnic, and during the summer my friends and I come here at least once a week to watch the sunset.

Since it’s right on the edge of Sea Point and Bantry Bay, the rock pool is really easy to access. For most of the year, it’s not too much of a struggle to find parking, either. 

You can go for a swim in the sea or in the rock pool itself if you fancy it, although the water is famously cold. People actually come here to practice their Wim Hof breathing. Lots of people like to bring alcohol to the beach (myself included) but it’s illegal and the police may confiscate your booze, and possibly fine you at the same time. 

3) The Leopard Bar at the 12 Apostles Hotel 

The Leopard Bar is on the 3rd floor of the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa, which is located in the north of Camps Bay – aka Cape Town’s bougiest suburb. It’s a bit of a hidden gem!

As the name suggests, there’s a leopard theme going on inside, but the real draw here is the outdoor balcony where you can sit and enjoy a cocktail as the sun sinks over the ocean. You’ve got beautiful sea and mountain views here, and I really rate the Bloody Marys. 

I’ve been here quite a few times at sunset and I’ve never needed a reservation to get a spot out on the balcony. 

4) Clifton Beach

Okay, technically there are four Clifton Beaches, but they’re basically all excellent for watching the sunset. The Cliftons are the most beautiful beaches in Cape Town, with white sand, blue water, and mountain views behind you.

I will warn you, though, that all of these beaches have a fair amount of stairs involved, except 4th beach, which is why it’s usually much more crowded than the others. 

5) The Sea Point Promenade

The Sea Point Promenade – aka “the prom” – stretches right along the ocean and Capetonians flock here in their droves for sunset walks, runs, and bike rides.

I used to live just off of the prom and would walk along here at sunset pretty much every night that I wasn’t otherwise occupied. But no matter how many times I did it, I never got tired of seeing the sky and sea change colour every night, because it was just so beautiful. 

6) Signal Hill

Signal Hill is one of Cape Town’s most famous sunset spots. In fact, there’s even a cover on the ground so you don’t need to bring your own picnic blanket. That’s how popular this place is!

Since it’s so popular, I’d recommend getting here an hour before the sun actually sets to secure your spot, otherwise you might find yourself standing for the duration of the sunset. You should also leave pretty much as soon as the sun dips behind the horizon to avoid the huge traffic jams that often occur as the crowd leaves. You can park here or use Uber, but it might take your driver a while to reach you on the way back into town.

If you haven’t got your own wheels, you can also do a hop on hop off sunset tour to Signal Hill, so that all of the transport is taken care of for you.

7) Table Mountain

It wouldn’t be a complete sunset guide without a mention of Cape Town’s most famous peak! 

The views from the top of the iconic Table Mountain are insane, so where better to watch the sunset from than here?

There are only certain dates of the year when you can watch the sunset from Table Mountain. This is because the cable car’s open times change, as do the sunset times. Sometimes it’s possible to stay for sunset, sometimes it’s not!

Of course, you could hike back down the mountain after sunset but I don’t recommend this unless you’re some sort of night hiking pro. It’s way too dangerous for most people.

You can watch the sunset from the top of Table Mountain from:

  • 1 September – 10 October (6:30 – 7 pm)
  • 15 December – 31 January (8 pm)
  • 1 March – 30 April (7:20 pm on 1 March, 6 pm on April 30)

A return cable car ticket after 1 pm costs R340 (£17) per adult, or you can hike up the mountain, watch the sunset, and take the cable car down for R220 (£11).

For more on the best hikes up Table Mountain, check out my ultimate guide to visiting.

There’s a cafe and bar at the top of the mountain, so you can grab a beer up here and sit back while you watch the sky change and the city light up. You really will feel like the king of the world.

8) Bloubergstrand Beach

Bloubergstrand Beach is a long, white sand beach in, well, Bloubergstrand, of course. It’s a suburb about 15 kilometres north of Cape Town city centre, and it takes about 20 minutes to drive there in good traffic conditions.

The reason that Bloubergstrand Beach is so great for watching the sunset is because it gives you an amazing view of Table Mountain across the water, which is something you don’t get at the Clifton beaches because the mountain is behind you. Watching a dramatic sunset over Table Mountain is an almost ethereal experience, so I definitely recommend getting yourself to this beach one day to see it for yourself.

There are even a couple of restaurants along the beach where you can watch the sunset while you enjoy a meal and maybe a nice crisp glass of South African wine. Blue Peter is one of the best known, or I saw one of the most insane sunsets of my entire life from Bossa Woodbridge Island. The service left a little to be desired but with a view like that, I really didn’t care.

Check out this post for a guide to the best beaches in Cape Town!

9) The Camps Bay Strip

The Camps Bay Strip – aka Victoria Road – is the epicentre of upscale nightlife in Cape Town. And since it runs parallel to one of Cape Town’s most beautiful beaches, you’ve really got your pick of places to watch the sunset here. 

You could head to Cafe Caprice, everyone’s favourite Sunday night spot (except mine, apparently) or enjoy a delicious meal at Zenzero. Meanwhile, for a bougie beach club vibe, check out Chinchilla, which is my favourite place for a sundowner in Camps Bay.

10) The Grand Cafe, V&A Waterfront

To be fair, there are quite a few nice places to watch the sunset at the Waterfront, but the Grand Cafe is my favourite. I think it’s one of the best restaurants in Cape Town!

For one thing, you can sit under fairy lights right on the edge of the water, and for another, the wine here is really reasonably priced, especially given its prime location (we’re talking R50 for a large glass, people!) I also can’t get enough of the seafood linguine.

Anyway, you can watch party boats setting sail and soak in the buzzing atmosphere around the waterfront while you watch the sun go down eating some amazing food and drinks. I always love coming here and I even make sure to bring friends who come and visit me, because it’s such a nice spot! 

11) A Rooftop Bar

I know, I know, this one’s a bit vague, but I’m going to give you some suggestions.

Cape Town doesn’t have a super tall skyline, but there are plenty of great rooftop bars where you can watch the sun go down while you get your buzz on for a night out. 

14 Stories in the Southern Sun Hotel has a nice balcony area and reasonably-priced drinks. Just try to get there early to snag a table on the side closest to Lion’s Head for the best sunset views during the summertime.

Tjing Tjing is also very highly rated, and the Silo rooftop bar is very upscale with killer views (but you will need to make a booking for this one, because it’s very in demand.) 

12) A Sunset Cruise

Watching the sunset from the water is always a great experience that manages to make you feel like a millionaire, and in Cape Town, it’s really not too expensive to do. 

You can do this sunset champagne cruise, which includes a bottle of bubbles to share between two as the sun goes down! The views are just beautiful, and the whole experience was so much fun. I did it with friends, but it could also be quite romantic.

The cruise costs R580 (£23/$30) per person and lasts for 90 minutes. They play cheesy tunes on board and there’s a bar on board where you can buy more drinks if you run out of bubbles. It’s a blast! 

Click here to find out more and book

13) The Cape Wheel 

If you time it right, you can ride the Cape Wheel at sunset… at no additional cost!

You can buy your ticket for the wheel at any time of day. When you go, make sure to ask the person behind the kiosk what time you should get on for sunset, and then just come back at the time they tell you.

Yup, it’s that simple, and you get a pretty good vantage point over the city from the top of the wheel. You can see Table Mountain, Signal Hill, Green Point Stadium, and the entire waterfront area.

It’s open from Monday to Sunday from 10 am until 10 pm during the summer, although it closes a little early at 9 pm every day except Friday and Saturday during the winter. Still, this means that you can catch the sunset from the wheel at any time of year! The rides only last for 15 minutes, though, so you’ll have to be fairly precise with your timing for this one.

Tickets cost R175 for South African resident adults or R250 for adults from other countries. A kids’ ticket costs R95 regardless of residency, and you can even rent an entire pod for up to 4 people for R2,875.

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