Cape Town City Bowl, Cape Town

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Cape Town Attractions

Cape Town City Bowl, Cape Town

The Cape Town City Bowl at night
The Cape Town City Bowl at night

Once you've booked your hotel or City Bowl accommodation explore our pages below for destination info, info on attractions and what to do in the City Bowl of Cape Town.

Lying snug in the immense arms of Table Mountain, Cape Town’s city bowl is amazingly aptly named.

The heart of Cape Town is enfolded neatly between the harbour and the mountain, virtually in the shape of a bowl.

With nowhere else to move and stretch its boundaries, the city bowl is a self-contained entity, almost like a martini before it’s poured, all shook up and tingling with taste. The city bowl holds some of the most interesting and historically significant neighbourhoods and the likes of the Bo Kaap, Oranjezicht, Tamboerskloof and Gardens provide hours of easy meanderings, restaurants and historical sights.

The city centre lies encircled by these suburbs that, the closer one gets to the mountain, the steeper they become, so that Higgovale and Oranjezicht lie right up on the slopes of Table Mountain.

The Cape Town City Hall
The Cape Town City Hall
Other than soak up the vibe, which is typically Cape Town's, there’s plenty to do in the heart of city bowl. Taking the obligatory ride up the cable car to Table Mountain’s top is well worth the effort, although waiting for a clear day with no sign of the tablecloth is a safer option.

Lion’s Head, the conical shaped mountain next to the table top is another mountain worth scaling, particularly on nights of full moon. The 1.5 hour walk to the top is best timed so that the summit is reached as the moon takes to the sky.

Head over the gap known as Kloof Nek between Table Mountain and Lion’s Head and you descend into Camps Bay, just one of the popular Atlantic Seaboard beaches that continue to Llandudno and Hout Bay. Or venture round the western corner of the bowl to the popular suburbs of De Waterkant, Green Point and Sea Point.

Cape Town City Bowl

Destinations / Town & Suburbs of the Cape Town City Bowl

Bo-Kaap

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Bo Kaap

The Bo-Kaap, which lies on the fringes of Cape Town’s city centre, is full of character and colourful houses, many of which are national monuments and date back to the 1750s, with cobbled streets that rise up to meet ... bo-kaap information

Cape Town Central

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Cape Town Central

Fondly known as the ‘mother city’, Cape Town lies in the arms of Table Mountain, more often than not shrouded in cloud and one of the world’s most recognisable landmarks. The heart of Cape Town’s city, her centre, is one of the ... cape town central information

De Waterkant

Where to Stay: Accommodation in De Waterkant

De Waterkant is a modernised rendition of the Bo Kaap and lies just next to this same suburb, a trendy area that has maintained, and even accentuated, the colourful, bright semi-detached houses - restoring them into fashionable ... de waterkant information

Devils Peak Estate

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Devils Peak Estate

Devil’s Peak estate lies on the slopes just above the city centre, between Vredehoek and the Table Mountain National Park. Not only are the views up here over Table Bay superlative, but the suburb is not zoned for ... devils peak estate information

District Six

Where to Stay: City Bowl Accommodation

District 6 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 it is marred by a history not easily forgotten by locals. For forty years District 6 ... district six information

Foreshore

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Foreshore

Cape Town’s foreshore, which lies on the waterways of Table Bay, adjacent to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront with the city centre behind it, is virtually dominated by the International Convention Centre and a number of ... foreshore information

Gardens

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Gardens

Sandwiched between Oranjezicht and Tamboerskloof, within a stone’s throw of the centre of Cape Town, Gardens is a very popular suburb and one of the oldest and most established parts of Cape Town, just outside ... gardens information

Granger Bay

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Granger Bay

Set virtually next door to the V&A Waterfront in its own bay, the fashionable suburb of Granger Bay lies on the Atlantic Ocean with some of the most stunning views of Table Bay and Robben Island - providing some of the most ... granger bay information

Higgovale

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Higgovale

Higgovale is one of those wonderful suburbs that, as well as being sought after, upper-class, tasteful and dignified, has some of the most spectacular views from its situation on the slopes of Table Mountain with wonderful ... higgovale information

Highlands Estate

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Highlands Estate

Highlands Estate lies on the lower slopes of Table Mountain, nestled between the suburbs of Vredehoek and Oranjezicht, with incredible views of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Signal Hill and the city spread ... highlands estate information

Kloof Nek

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Kloof Nek

Kloof Nek is the easiest way out of the city, over Table Mountain, to the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, particularly during peak hour, when the route via Sea Point becomes rather congested. And equally, it’s the quickest route from ... kloof nek information

Oranjezicht

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Oranjezicht

Oranjezicht is a stylish little village, popular with the arty and trendy set, lying in the foothills of Table Mountain. From afar, homes here appear to lie relatively low on the mountain, but driving through the suburb, one quickly ... oranjezicht information

Roggebaai

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Roggebaai

Largely a commercial part of town, Roggebaai lies just behind the Foreshore, the Cape Town International Convention Centre to the west and Woodstock to the east. Incidentally, the traffic department's postal address is ... roggebaai information

Tamboerskloof

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Tamboerskloof

Tamboerskloof lies between Gardens and the Cape Peninsula National Park, just outside the reaches of Long Street at the foot of Lion’s Head. It is one of the oldest residential suburbs in Cape Town and large, beautiful Victorian-style ... tamboerskloof information

University Estate

Where to Stay: City Bowl Accommodation

University Estate lies off De Waal Drive, just above the familiar and consequently inefficient permanent speed trap, laid across the road in the region of the Walmer/University Estate off ramp, on the N2 ... university estate information

Vredehoek

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Vredehoek

Vredehoek, a residential suburb that lies just outside the city centre on the lower slopes of Devil’s Peak, in the shadow of three unsightly, round towers that dominate the horizon, is a flavourful suburb. Directly translated the name ... vredehoek information

Woodstock

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Woodstock

Woodstock’s dilapidated charm is what has made it such a good contingent for the inner-city revival that has recently taken the suburb by storm - incredibly, about a hundred years ago, this colourful community was once a ... woodstock information

Zonnebloem

Where to Stay: City Bowk

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... zonnebloem information

Cape Town City Bowl

Featured and "Must See" Attractions in City Bowl

Long Street

Long Street could be described as the funkiest and loudest street in Cape Town, bustling with markets and boerewors roll stands during the day and hosting parties of all kinds once the sun sets. Once the vintage clothing shops and designers alleys are closed, attention is turned ... more information

V&A Waterfront

One of Cape Town's biggest tourist attractions, the Waterfront evokes images of the early activities of the harbour. Much of its charm lies in the fact that this busy commercial harbour is set in the midst of a huge entertainment venue with pubs, restaurants, specialty shops, craft markets, theatres and movies ... more information

Cape Quarter

Home décor, art and artefacts, fashion, beauty, health and lifestyle related stores all delivered in a unique Cape Malay architecture. This is where the best of Cape Town people are drawn together, attracted by the authentic ambience of great restaurants and eateries, shops and offices. This is the ... more information

District Six Museum

When the apartheid government swooped on District Six, Cape Town in 1965, forcibly removing its occupants and declaring the area a "whites-only" zone, the rich fabric of an impoverished but vibrant community was torn to shreds. Over 60 000 people were wrenched from their homes, livelihoods ... more information

Company Gardens

Company Gardens is a large public park and botanical garden set in the heart of Cape Town, home to a rose garden, Japanese garden, fish pond and aviary. Roaming Company Gardens, past the back of Parliament and Tuynhuys, the President’s official residence when in the mother city, is part of every visitor’s ... more information

Cape Town Castle

A unique combination of history, fine wine, traditional food, military ceremonies and craftsmanship awaits you at this pentagonal fortification. Built between 1666 and 1679, the Castle is the oldest surviving building in South Africa. The Castle, was, however, not the first fort to be built at the Cape. A ... more information

Houses of Parliament

The city of Cape Town, despite not being the capital of South Africa, is home to South Africa’s Parliament - Cape Town is the legislative capital, whilst the seat of government is in Pretoria, the administrative capital - which is one of the biggest draw cards to the city under the mountain. Lying in the ... more information

South African Museum

The oldest museum in sub-Saharan Africa, the South African Museum (SAM) has been adding to their collections for nearly 200 years and was established in 1825. Collections here range from fossils to insects and fish found as recently as a week ago; there are Stone Age tools, over 120 000 years old, side by ... more information

South African National Gallery

Lying in the Company Gardens, opposite the South African Museum on Government Avenue, the South African National Gallery houses some of the most beautiful collections of South African, African, British, French, Dutch and Flemish art in South Africa. The South African National Gallery’s permanent ... more information

Noon Day Gun

Up on Signal Hill at 12:00 exactly every day, a cannon is fired. Accurate to the nearest millisecond, it booms over the Mother City, Table Mountain in the background, yet never ceases to surprise even long-term Capetonians, and certainly has visitors looking anxious. The daily noon gun (cannon) is not only ... more information

Signal Hill

Signal Hill, which connects Kloof Nek to Lion’s Head, in the distinctive shape of a lion’s rump, is one of the most famous spots in Cape Town for sundowners. Views from the 350m high summit are nothing short of spectacular, particularly at night, and picnic dinners with accompanying drinks is something of a capital ... more information

St Georges Cathedral

St George’s Anglican Cathedral, a gorgeous example of Victorian era design with magnificent stained glass windows and a crypt in which there is a restaurant - reminiscent of St Martin’s in the Field in London - lies on Wale Street in Cape Town, and is known as ‘the people’s cathedral’ because of its ... more information

St Georges Mall & Adderley Street

Once a congested city street, St George’s Mall is now a pedestrian area in the middle of Cape Town’s city, bustling with activity that ranges from live entertainment - provided by buskers, dancers, drummers, street artists and the like - to the sidewalk coffee shops and restaurants at which many locals and visitors ... more information

Cape Town City Hall

City Hall and Grand Parade lie side by side, both the subject of ‘imminent transformations’, which date all the way back to 2002 and have as yet to come to fruition. For years this beautiful, old building - the stairs of which were used by Nelson Mandela to address the nation when he was released from prison - has stood in the balance, its future undecided ... more information

Robben Island

For nearly 400 years, Robben Island, 12 kilometres from Cape Town, was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here at Robben Island that rulers sent those regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society. During the apartheid years Robben Island ... more information

Robben Island Penguin Colony

Few people know of this colony's existence. When the Dutch originally arrived in the Cape, penguins dominated the island. But by 1800 they were all gone - killed to add variety to the rabbits introduced in 1685 as a source of meat for passing ships. As with both Stony Island and Boulders ... more information

De Tuynhuys

Tuynhuys, the office of the state President and closed to the public, witnessed one of the most important turning points in South African history when FW de Klerk announced from its steps, on 18 March 1992, that South Africa had ‘closed the book on apartheid’. This beautiful building, built originally in 1700 as ... more information

Greenmarket Square

You cannot visit Cape Town and not visit one of its oldest markets, set on a cobbled square between Short and long Market Streets. This is where Capetonians have been buying their clothing, jewellery, sandals, crafts and nick-nacks for years, and, whilst the face of the market may have changed a ... more information

South African Jewish Museum

The South African Jewish Museum stands on what is considered Cape Town’s ‘museum mile’ in the centre of town - neighbour to the Old Synagogue, the first to be built on South African soil - the Great Synagogue, and the Albow Centre where the Cape Town Holocaust Centre is housed. The museum is a major ... more information

Cape Town Holocaust Centre

Serving as a place of remembrance for the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust between 1933 and 1945 when over six million Jews were murdered, the Cape Town Holocaust Centre lies on ‘Museum Mile’ in the centre of the city. Fundamental to the exhibits is the horror of racist ideology and the triumph of the ... more information

Cape Town City Bowl

Featured Things To Do in Cape Town City Bowl

Open-top Bus Tour around Cape Town

Where: Cape Town
How much (per person): R101 to R200

The best way to see the City. Join us for a 2 hour guided, open-top bus trip around the Mother City. The tour includes the Waterfront and ci ... more information

Lions Head Walk

Where: Cape Town City Bowl
How much (per person): Free

Like Signal Hill, the walk to the top of Lions Head is popular with both tourists and locals alike. Generally the walk takes about 90 minute ... more information

Cape Town City Bowl

Holiday Accommodation in Cape Town City Bowl

For accommodation in the Cape Town City Bowl see:
Bo KaapCape Town CentralDe WaterkantDevils PeakForeshoreGardens
Granger BayHiggovaleHighlands EstateKloof NekOranjezichtTamboerskloof
V&A WaterfrontVredehoekWoodstock

Or to see all accommodation in this region at once, visit Cape Town City Bowl accommodation.

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