Things to do in Cape Town

Itineraries for Your Trip to Cape Town

Cape Town locals share their perfect days.
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3 Days in Cape Town for Families

Curated by Diane Selkirkwho would not let her daughter steal a dassie from Table Mountain.

Many of my family’s favorite travel memories are of Cape Town—my daughter still talks about the marmot-like dassies of Table Mountain, while my husband reflects fondly on the surrounding wineries and fantastic restaurants. Cape Town, affectionately known as the “Rainbow City,” is perfect for a family trip. The nature and wildlife are dramatic, and the bustling streets are full of energy. If you need time to relax, the waterfront is dotted with outdoor swimming pools such as Sea Point Pavilion, where the kids can play in splash pools as you gaze out over the Atlantic Ocean.

Here are my tips for three family-friendly days in the city.

Cape Town can get windy, so pack layers to stay cozy.

If you only have time for one thing, take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain for panoramic views of the city below.

Day 1

Take in the city from above with a visit to Table Mountain. Kids and adults will love the adventure of the cable car. Take a taxi from the city (check the fare before departing) to the Lower Cable Station or opt for a tour. Look out for the adorable dassies that scurry around the rocky terrain.

In the afternoon, head to the V&A Waterfront to splash in the outdoor Sea Point Pavilion pools—they’re filled with filtered seawater so you can feel like you’re swimming in the Atlantic, minus the currents.

Day 2

Get the ultimate South African experience on a full-day safari. Kids will have a great time trying to spot the Big 5 (elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, and buffalos). Aquila Private Game Reserve is a 2-hour drive from Cape Town and offers private game drives and resort facilities. If the kids still have energy after the excitement of the game drive, the resort has a designated play area for children.

Day 3

Today, head to the V&A Waterfront to get a new perspective of Cape Town by boat. Make sure to keep your camera at the ready—there’s always the possibility of dolphins, and Table Mountain provides a perfect backdrop.

In the afternoon, put your feet up and see a bit more of the city with a hop-on hop-off bus tour. Alternatively, head to Two Oceans Aquarium, where kids can discover marine wildlife at the touch pools and marvel at sharks while walking through a glass tunnel.

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