Cape Town City Bowl

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

Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Cape Town City Bowl

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.

Where? Cape Town City Bowl, Western Cape, South Africa

Overnight? See City Bowl accommodation, in 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.

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.

Popular Towns in the Cape Town City Bowl

Bo Kaap

Overnight? 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 (pink, orange, lime green and turquoise), many of which are national monuments and date back to the 1750s, with cobbled streets...

More info and photographs: Bo Kaap Information

Cape Town Central

Stay? Accommodation 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 only major...

More info and photographs: Cape Town Central Information

De Waterkant

Overnight? Accommodation in De Waterkant
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 fashion...

More info and photographs: De Waterkant Information

Devils Peak

Overnight? Accommodation in Devils Peak
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...

More info and photographs: Devils Peak Information

District Six

Overnight? Accommodation in District Six
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...

More info and photographs: District Six Information


Overnight? 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 (CTICC) and a number of prominent...

More info and photographs: Foreshore Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Gardens
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...

More info and photographs: Gardens Information

Granger Bay

Overnight? 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 worthwhile...

More info and photographs: Granger Bay Information


Overnight? 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 little roads...

More info and photographs: Higgovale Information

Highlands Estate

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 like a tapestry beneath you...

More info and photographs: Highlands Estate Information

Kloof Nek

Overnight? Accommodation in Kloof Nek
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...

More info and photographs: Kloof Nek Information


Overnight? 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 adjusts...

More info and photographs: Oranjezicht Information


Overnight? 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, so...

More info and photographs: Roggebaai Information


Stay? Accommodation in Tamboerskloof
Tamboerskloof is one of the oldest residential suburbs in Cape Town and large, beautiful Victorian-style homes lie side-by-side with art deco in an eclectic mix of architectural styles. Gorgeous views of the bay, Lion’s Head and the mountain...

More info and photographs: Tamboerskloof Information

Salt River

Stay? Accommodation in Salt River
Salt River 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 tell. The apartheid...

More info and photographs: Salt River Information

University Estate

Stay? Accommodation in University Estate
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...

More info and photographs: University Estate Information

V&A Waterfront

Stay? Accommodation in 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...

More info and photographs: V&A Waterfront Information


Overnight? 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, popular with DINKYs (dual income...

More info and photographs: Vredehoek Information

Walmer Estate

Overnight? Accommodation in Walmer Estate
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...

More info and photographs: Walmer Estate Information


Overnight? 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 farming village...

More info and photographs: Woodstock Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Zonnebloem
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 removed from...

More info and photographs: Zonnebloem Information

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.

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