Hello V&A Waterfront
It’s the first port of call for many, literally. The V&A Waterfront is often the first glimpse of Cape Town for cruise ship passengers who come here in their thousands. With views over the Atlantic Ocean, the city center and Table Mountain, it’s a pretty spectacular spot. The Two Oceans aquarium is popular and the waterfront is also the jumping-off point for boat trips to and tours of Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela and many others were imprisoned for several years. If you don’t do the boat tour, the free museum at the waterfront is worth a visit. There’s no doubt the V&A Waterfront is touristy, but its location is gorgeous – book a sunset cruise for the full effect. Shops in Victoria Wharf and Alfred Mall vary from pricey designer stores to local crafts and curios, and the three markets – Watershed for crafts, V&A Food Market and Saturday’s Oranjezicht City Farm Market – are excellent. Propping up at one of the restaurants and bars overlooking the ocean or along the waterside walkways isn’t a bad way to pass an afternoon or evening either, while the cafes, restaurants, and bars of De Waterkant neighborhood south of V&A Waterfront are as atmospheric as any.