What to SKIP in Cape Town

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Hannah Stephenson

Wondering what NOT to do in Cape Town?

Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve lived here since 2021 and so although there’s not a lot that I don’t love about the Mother City, I have come across a few activities worth skipping in my time. Don’t worry, Cape Town is NOT overrated, but like any city, there are a few places and activities which have been overhyped.

So if you’re keen to make the most of your precious time in this incredible city, then I’ve got a very honest list about what to skip while you’re here. 

1. Shark Cage Diving

Believe me when I say that I was so excited to go shark cage diving. I thought I was about to have the adventure of a lifetime! But while the experience itself was very cool, the tour involved sitting in a van for seven hours for an hour-long boat ride. And of that hour, only twenty minutes were spent in the water! 

The boat was small and crowded, and all of the Great Whites have been massacred by orcas, so before we boarded the staff told us that the chances of seeing one was virtually zero. That isn’t their fault at all, and we still saw bronze whaler sharks, which was awesome, but again, it just wasn’t quite what it was cracked up to be. 

Gansbaai, where the diving happens, is a 2.5-hour drive from Cape Town, without traffic or stops. So if you’re really desperate to go shark cage diving, I’d recommend going to Hermanus for a few nights and booking a self-drive experience, as it’s only 30 minutes from Gansbaai. But honestly, I don’t even think that that’s worth it if you’re short on time. There are way better experiences you can have in Cape Town, like kayaking with dolphins or snorkelling with seals

2. Partying on Long Street 

You might have heard that Long Street is party central. It is, but honestly, I never go out there. It’s notorious for pickpocketing, mugging, and violence after dark. None of the clubs here are worth risking your safety for and honestly, I don’t think they’re worth it anyway. There are much nicer party spots on Kloof Street and Bree Street, where you can let loose and come home with your phone and wallet still in tow.

3. Camps Bay Beach

Camps Bay Beach is undeniably beautiful but most of the time, it’s just too busy for my liking. My friends and I almost always go to the Clifton beaches instead, especially at weekends when busloads of tourists turn up. They’re just as pretty and although they do get busy, I never find them to be uncomfortably crowded. Plus, Camps Bay Beach is crawling with hawkers trying to flog jewellery, art work, and bucket hats to tourists. (I love a good bucket hat, but I hate being hasseled every two minutes). 

4. Platteklip Gorge Hike up Table Mountain

Okay, no hate for Platteklip Gorge. It’s a popular and straightforward route, and it’s very convenient since it starts and ends near the cableway. However, I just don’t think it’s the best route up Table Mountain. I mean, you’ve got your back to the view the entire way up and I don’t feel it showcases Cape Town’s good side. 

(Okay, this city really doesn’t have a bad side, but bear with me). 

If you take the Kasteelspoort Route instead, you’ll get stunning views of Camps Bay, the Twelve Apostles, and Lion’s Head as you climb. Plus, it offers more shade and the chance to take photos at the famous diving board! I was really blown away by this route and didn’t find it that much more difficult than Platteklip Gorge.

When I did this route, I hiked up and down the same way. However, you can also walk across the flat top of the mountain to take the cableway down (and perhaps stop for a cold beer first). 

5. Optional – Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope

Before you all grab your pitchforks, hear me out…

I DO think that Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope are worth visiting (and this review proves it!)

At the same time, I think they are a bit overhyped. 

They’re super famous and most blogs and articles peddle them as a must-do, but I disagree. If you’re short on time, I think it’s fine to skip them. These headlands are beautiful and worth seeing, but there are lots of other, equally (or more) beautiful places to see. Once you arrive, there’s not a ton to do other than admire the view, and it often rains down here, even when it’s sunny in the city. 

So I wouldn’t say that you 100% should skip Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope. What I AM saying is: don’t squeeze it in at the expense of a true must-do activity, like heading up Table Mountain, hiking Lion’s Head, going on the Franschhoek wine tram, exploring the many beautiful beaches, or driving Chapman’s Peak

Thanks so much for reading this blog! I hope it helped you to narrow down your list of things to do in Cape Town a little. For more tips on visiting the Mother City, be sure to check out: 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top