The City Bowl Region, 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.

Did you know? Once you've booked your hotel or City Bowl accommodation in Cape Town, explore the destination pages below for info on attractions, activities and things to do when you visit one of the world's most beautiful cities, Cape Town.

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.

Did you know? On the third Saturday of every month the Cape Town Partnership provides a free Cape Town City Bowl walking tour starting at the Company’s Garden along St George’s Mall to Waterkant Street, up the Fan Walk and on to St Andrew’s Square. The walk connects places, history, art, and music through storytelling, bringing the city’s public spaces to life.

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.

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Destinations in the City Bowl Region

Bo Kaap

Overnight? Bo Kaap accommodation
The Bo-Kaap, which lies on the fringes of Cape Town’s city centre, is full of character and colourful houses (pink, orange, lime green and turquoise), many of which are national monuments and date back to the 1750s, with cobbled streets that rise up to me...

Cape Town Central

Overnight? Cape Town Central accommodation
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 only major CBDs in South Af...

De Waterkant

Overnight? De Waterkant accommodation
De Waterkant is, in truth, a modernised rendition of the Bo-Kaap and lies just next to this same suburb. This is a trendy area that has maintained, and even accentuated, the colourful, bright semi-detached houses - restoring them into fashionable cottages...

Devils Peak

Overnight? Devils Peak accommodation
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 flats, townhouses or multi-dwelling u...

District Six

Overnight? District Six accommodation
District Six 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 District Six is marred by a history not easily forgotten by locals, despite land re...


Overnight? Foreshore accommodation
This land was reclaimed from the sea between the years of 1930 to 1940 which extended Cape Town City a further 2 km into the Bay. Cape Town’s foreshore, which lies on the waterways of Table Bay, adjacent to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront with the ci...


Overnight? Gardens accommodation
Lying 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. You’re just outside of the hustle and bustle of t...


Overnight? Higgovale accommodation
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 little roads that run at tangent...

Highlands Estate

Overnight? Highlands Estate accommodation
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 like a tapestry beneath you. You’re only five ...

Kloof Nek

Overnight? Kloof Nek accommodation
Stay in the Mother City for any length of time and ‘Kloof Nek’ will become a regular part of your vocabulary - it rolls off the tongues of the locals with ease, and in some way it’s rather like the yellow brick road; follow it and you get where you’re goi...


Overnight? Oranjezicht accommodation
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 adjusts one’s percepti...


Overnight? Roggebaai accommodation
Roggebaai, despite sounding as though it is a little seaside village that belongs firmly on the coast somewhere, lies right on the foreshore of Cape Town. Largely a commercial part of town, Roggebaai lies just behind the Foreshore, the Cape Town Inter...

Salt River

Overnight? Salt River accommodation
Salt River is a charming suburb that was once the industrial epicentre of Cape Town, thanks to its close proximity to the heart of the city. Over the decades, it has gone through highs and lows, which have left it with plenty of character and a story to t...


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

University Estate

Overnight? University Estate 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 coming out of Cape Town. Most Capetonians dut...

V&A Waterfront

Overnight? V&A Waterfront accommodation
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, restaura...


Overnight? Vredehoek accommodation
Although this suburb is right in the city centre, close to many popular hotels in Cape Town, it retains a quirky, quiet charm of its own, which is perfect for visitors to South Africa that want the best of both worlds. Vredehoek, a residential suburb ...

Walmer Estate

Overnight? Walmer Estate accommodation
Cape Town is a vibrant city, bursting at the seams with culture and entertainment, complemented by a well-established commercial and retail hub. The City Bowl is the center of the Mother City, and is characterised by the tall office blocks, long streets f...


Overnight? Woodstock accommodation
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 farming village called Papendorp. ...


Overnight? Zonnebloem accommodation
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 (often violently) removed...

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