10 Best Cape Town Tours To Explore This Amazing City

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Cape Town is South Africa’s most beautiful city. It has historic buildings, local markets and natural sights, such as Table Mountain. It is also an excellent destination for day trips from Cape Town to attractions such as Boulder’s Beach, Cape Point, or the nearby towns’ vineyards. 

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Cape Town features people from around the world. It has some of the best food in South Africa, and the Malay, Dutch, British and French roles in its history have influenced its culture. It is a fascinating city and worth a visit! 

Cape Town has a lot to offer, whether you are a foreign tourist or a local visitor. There are many exciting day trips from Cape Town to explore the city and the surrounding areas. This article lets you learn about our favourite Cape Town tours, including the best day tours to see this beautiful city or day tours from Cape Town to explore the region. 

How to Book Tours in Cape Town

Although you can book Cape Town tours at a travel agency, we like the convenience of booking our day tours online. There are two tour providers we trust, namely, Get Your Guide and Viator. With both of these sights, the booking process is easy, and they have an excellent cancellation policy to protect you when your plans change unexpectedly. One of the benefits of booking with these sites is that you can compare the Cape Town tours by reading the reviews from other travellers.

Best Cape Town Tours to explore the City and Region

Here are some of the best Cape Town tours, including tours to explore the Mother City and day tours to explore the areas surrounding Cape Town.

Explore Cape Town With the City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

A good option to see this beautiful city and to learn about the history and culture of Cape Town is by doing the City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off tour. Allow enough time to explore all the sights on the bus routes; you can easily do this tour for two consecutive days to maximise your sightseeing!

When you purchase your ticket, you get access to several bus routes. Some of the stops covered on these routes include Table Mountain, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, the Constantia Wine Valley, Hout Bay and Signal Hill. Depending on the ticket type, you may also get access to a city walking tour or do the sunset tour of Cape Town (highly recommended!).

Hout Bay with the Twelve Apostles mountains
Hout Bay with the Twelve Apostles mountains
Sunset from Signal Hill with the sightseeing bus
Sunset from Signal Hill with the sightseeing bus

The sightseeing bus routes start and end at the V&A Waterfront near the Two Oceans Aquarium, but you can buy tickets or hop on or off at any of the stops on the four routes. Alternatively, book online for additional savings!

Your sightseeing hop-on hop-off bus tour ticket will include the following:

  • Audio commentary in 15 languages
  • Kids can listen to special kids commentary in English
  • Free headset 

Click here to make a booking!

Take a Ferry to Robben Island To Learn About Apartheid in South Africa

Another of the must-do Cape Town tours is a ferry to Robben Island to visit the prison on the island where former President Nelson Mandela spent many years as a prisoner. You will learn about the history of South Africa from a former prisoner and visit Nelson Mandela’s prison cell. Robben Island is one of South Africa’s national heritage sites.

Robben Island near Cape Town South Africa
Robben Island near Cape Town South Africa

Your tour booking includes bottled water, entry to Robben Island, the guided tour of the prison and the trip on the ferry to the island. The tour departs and ends at the Nelson Mandela Gateway near the V&A Waterfront and takes about 5 hours. Some tours include a free pickup from your hotel if you stay in the following areas: Sea Point, Camps Bay, Green Point, City Centre, Woodstock or the V&A Waterfront.

This is a popular tour, and it often sells out. It is best to book your tickets as soon as you have confirmed your travel arrangements to Cape Town.  

Click here to make a booking to visit Robben Island.

Visit Cape Point and the Penguins at Boulder’s Beach With This Cape Town Tour

This full-day tour takes you to several sights you would only be able to visit if you have a car or rent a car

You will explore the beautiful Cape Peninsula, see local wildlife, visit the B0-Kaap and see the Cape of Good Hope nature reserve. You will also visit the harbour towns of Hout Bay and Kalk Bay and see the African penguins at Boulder’s Beach

Cape Point - visit as part of a Cape Town tour
Cape Point – visit as part of a Cape Town tour

The tour includes:

  • Free pick up from your hotel
  • Bottled water
  • Transport
  • Walking tour of the Bo-Kaap
  • Spectacular views of the Chapman’s Peak drive.
  • A lunch hour stop in Simon’s Town
Boulder's Beach Penguins - visit as part of a Cape Town tour
Boulder’s Beach Penguins – visit as part of a Cape Town tour

The tour does not include your entrance to the Cape Point Nature Reserve, the ticket for the funicular to the Old Cape Point Lighthouse, entrance to the penguin colony at Boulder’s beach or the boat trip to Duiker Island from Hout Bay harbour. Lunch and snacks will be for your account as well. 

Click here to make a booking!

To see more African penguins, visit their habitat at Stony Point, a 40 minute drive from Cape Town.

See the Big-Five on Safari With a Full Day Private Transfer From Cape Town to the Aquila Game Reserve

Many people visit South Africa to see the Big 5. The Big Five refers to lions, rhinoceros, leopards, Cape Buffalo and elephants. With this tour, you get to see the Big 5 on an express tour, which is perfect if you don’t have much time to explore South Africa.

This tour picks you up from Cape Town with a private vehicle. The tour includes a buffet lunch with a glass of champagne. En route to the Aquila Game Reserve, you will see the Breede River, Table Mountain and the Hex River Wine Valley

The tour picks you up and drops you off at your hotel. The price also include transport in an air-conditioned vehicle, bottled water, lunch and a glass of champagne. It does not include the game park’s entrance fee or private game drives.

Click here to make a booking to see the Big Five.

Go Wine Tasting With a Transfer to Franschhoek’s Hop-On, Hop-Off Wine Tram Tour

This is a unique experience in South Africa. Not only do you visit one of South Africa’s prettiest towns, but you also get to taste a variety of wines at the many vineyards in the area with the full-day hop-on hop-off wine tram tour. Riding from one vineyard to the next, you will see the beautiful scenery of the Franschhoek mountains and rolling hills. Best of all, you are not driving and can taste as many wines as you like. 

Cape Town Tour to the Franschhoek Wine Tram
Cape Town Tour to the Franschhoek Wine Tram

The tour includes pick up and drop off to and from your hotel, transport to and from Cape Town to Franschhoek and access to the hop-on hop-off wine tram with its purple and orange routes. They include one wine tasting in the tour price. You pay for your lunch and additional wine tastings. 

Click here to make a booking for the Franschhoek Wine Tram Experience.

Do a Tour With Wine Tastings of the Stellenbosch Winelands

From Cape Town, you have so many options for wine tours. If the Franschhoek wine tram does not sound like your type of experience, try this tour of the Stellenbosch Winelands. With this tour, you visit the wine region of Stellenbosch for a wine and cheese tasting, two wine tastings, and a cellar tour at Stellenbosch Wine Estate. 

During the tour, you will learn about South Africa’s wines and why they are world-famous. You will learn about the origin of South African wines and how this region has become the centre of this industry in South Africa.

Stellenbosch - One of the oldest towns in South Africa
Stellenbosch – One of the oldest towns in South Africa

You can also visit the town of Stellenbosch, one of South Africa’s oldest towns, afterwards and enjoy a guided walking tour. Here, you will learn about Dorp Street and De Braak, some of the historical sights in Stellenbosch. 

The tour includes pick up and drop off from your hotel to Stellenbosch and your transport for the day. 

Make your booking for the Stellenbosch Winelands tour here!

Go Whale Watching in Hermanus

With this tour, you cruise the ocean from Gansbaai‘s fishing harbour along the white beaches and cliffs of De Kelders in a speedboat. The area has a high concentration of whales. During the tour, you will learn about whales, their habits and feeding processes. Whales you may see are humpbacks, minkes and Bryde’s whales. You can also come across orcas and African penguins. You may also spot dolphins, seals and other marine life during the tour. 

Hermanus - the perfect place for whale watching in South Africa
Hermanus – the perfect place for whale watching in South Africa

The tour includes the pickup and drop off to and from your hotel, the whale watching boat trip, a live guide and snacks and drinks during the cruise. To make the most of the tour, bring comfortable shoes, warm clothing, a sun hat and sunglasses, a camera and binoculars. 

To book your whale watching experience, buy a ticket here.

Enjoy a Sunset Champagne Cruise With a 3-Course Dinner in Cape Town

The V&A Waterfront - departure point for cruises
The V&A Waterfront – departure point for cruises

With this 90-minute sunset cruise from Cape Town, you can see Table Mountain from the Atlantic Ocean on either the Esperance or Serenity sailboats. You can watch the sun sets while you sip a glass of champagne. The cruise destination depends on the weather but will be either Cape Town harbour or Table Bay.   

After the cruise, you will enjoy a 3-course meal at a sea-facing restaurant at the V&A Waterfront. You can choose from the City Grill or Sevruga with stunning harbour views. 

If this is an activity you will enjoy, book your cruise here!

A Unique Cape Town Tour: Do the 2 Oceans Scenic Helicopter Flight for Exquisite Views of Cape Town

View of Cape Town from a helicopter
View of Cape Town from a helicopter

This is an experience I can recommend! For a unique perspective of Cape Town, do the 2 Oceans scenic helicopter flight. The flight departs from the V&A Waterfront. You will fly around Table Mountain to see the Atlantic Ocean from the Cape Peninsula side during the flight. The flight continues until you see the Indian Ocean on the other side of Cape Town. This is one of the shortest tours on this list, but it is an experience you will never forget!

Book your ticket here to experience Cape Town from above!

Best Cape Town Tour: Taking a Steam Train to the Elgin Railway Market

Take a leisurely train ride from Cape Town to Elgin, a small town near Cape Town, with this full-day Cape Town tour. The train journeys through the beautiful Sir Lowry’s pass, which stretches to over 417 metres above sea level. Once the train reaches its peak, travellers will enjoy panoramic views of False Bay, Cape Town and Table Mountain. While on the train, have a drink in the bar, read a book, watch the scenery from the train window or catch up with family or friends. 

The Elgin Railway market offers local foods, crafts and other unique South African products. Whether you visit the market in summer or winter, you will enjoy a visit to this market. 

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Book your tour here if you want to experience this steam train journey!

What To Take With You on a Cape Town Tour or Day Trip

For many of these tours you will spend your time outdoors in the sun. Always take sun screen, sun glasses and a sun hat with you while travelling South Africa. Getting sunburned is no joke and may make the rest of your trip to South Africa unpleasant and uncomfortable.

Always have a small day pack with you to carry your camera, a beach towel and a light jacket for Cape Town’s unpredictable weather.

Where To Stay in Cape Town for Cape Town Tours or Day Trips?

It is best to stay in a centrally located hotel for the Cape Town tours that pick you up before the tour or drop you off at your hotel afterwards. Here are some options to choose from:

Sabs | South Africa Travel Blog

By Sunelle

Editor of the South Africa Travel Blog that focuses on travel to South Africa, including destinations, attractions, accommodation, food & drink.

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