Known to locals as the Mother City, Cape Town is brimming with things to see, do and experience. The vistas of Table Mountain and the Winelands and natural reserves outside the city provide a stunning backdrop to a city with an incredible history and more things to see than a single visit will allow.
People come to Cape Town for many reasons: to get away from it all amidst its windswept beaches and mountain vistas or to experience the wonder of seeing the Big Five in their natural reserves or whale watching from the cliffs of De Hoop National Park. Adrenaline junkies come in search of the paragliding, zip lining, and even shark cage diving on offer. Others come to experience the history of South Africa’s first city, where its legacy contrasts with an incredible array of diverse neighbourhoods – from the wineries of Constantia to the Cape Malay flavours of the Bo-Kaap quarter.
Whatever your reason for coming to the southern tip of Africa, take the plunge and book your SWISS flight from Zurich to Cape Town today.
When is the best time to visit Cape Town?
Cape Town’s summer months of January and February see the largest of influx of tourists to the city - it’s also when its beaches are the sunniest and the most is going on in the city. However, visiting in the autumn or spring will allow you to see all the same attractions without the tourist crowds – while still enjoying the sunny beaches. Even the winter is pleasant by northern standards, with temperatures hovering at 10-15°C. Moreover, the winter months are perfect for whale watching.
What is the best way to get around Cape Town?
Public transit is a safe bet for getting around the city, since the city’s traffic makes driving undesirable. Cape Town’s public transit is centred on the relatively new CiTi bus network, which provides reliable service to the entire city, including the major suburbs. You will need to purchase a myconnect card, as the buses do not accept other forms of payment. Metrorail’s Southern Line offers train travel outside of the city to the Cape Peninsula, one of the main natural attractions.
Do I need a visa to visit South Africa?
South Africa does not require a visa for citizens of the Schengen area (with the exception of citizens from Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia), US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Most visitors will receive a 90-day permit upon arrival, which can be extended by 90 days if desired. Note that if you are travelling with underage children, South Africa has strict documentation requirements, especially if one of the child’s parents is not travelling with you. Consult the South African Department of Home Affairs website for more information.
Be part of Cape Town’s mosaic
A single glance at Cape Town’s stunning natural backdrop is enough to know that this is a place for adrenaline-pumping natural adventures. Table Mountain itself can be summited on foot or by the Aerial Cableway. The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are another highlight, with the Boomslang walkway weaving among the treetops. Get a taste for your surroundings before heading out on safari.
Learn about Cape Town’s history
From the days of the Dutch East India Company to the fight against apartheid, Cape Town has been at the epicentre of South African history. The continent’s oldest building, the Castle of Good Hope, is here, as well as the District Six Museum, which documents life in the city under apartheid.
Top attractions to visit in Cape Town
Most popular attractions you have to visit in Cape Town are:
- Castle of Good Hope
- Rust en Vreugd Museum
- Grand Parade
- District Six Museum
- Robben Island
For even more tipps about attractions in Cape Town see our guide.
With so much to see and do, the only thing to worry about is fitting it all in. Fly with SWISS from Zurich to Cape Town and discover the Mother City for yourself.
Sample world-class Cape Town cuisine
The multi-ethnic population and the fruits of its Mediterranean climate make Cape Town a culinary destination of excellence. Cape Malay cuisine is a particular highlight, a fusion of Asian and African styles resulting from the slaves brought to the city during the colonial period. The aromatic curries include waterblommetjiebredie, a curry made from water hyacinths, and sosaties, a kind of kebab. The city’s townships also offer an excellent selection of authentic African restaurants.
Sample the vintages of the Winelands
For fans of good wine, a tour through the Winelands to the north of Cape Town is an absolute must. Rent a car and explore at your own pace or join one of the many tours leaving from Stellenbosch. The region is most famous for New World varieties, including Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot and a variety of blends. Back in Cape Town, you’ll be able to enjoy a vibrant bar scene, whether in the bars of Long Street or Bree Street, or summertime sunsets at beach front watering holes.
Find the perfect African souvenir
Cape Town’s shopping scene offers a variety of traditional craft markets and boutiques, meaning that you won’t have to leave without that special gift or souvenir. Head to the shops of the V&A Waterfront or the city centre: Long Street, in particular, has a good selection of local gifts and crafts. Markets such as the Pan African Market or Greenmarket Square cater to the craft-seeking crowd, while local produce is on offer at the Neighbourhoods Market or the Orenjezicht City Farm Market. For ethically sourced foods and gifts, check out the city’s Green Map.
Zurich - JohannesburgFlight duration: 10:40 hrs total, Frequency: 2 x daily
Departure ZurichTerminal: 1 / 3Counter opening time: 24 h prior to departure
Airbus A340-300Height: 16.80 mLength: 63.70 mSeats: 219
Crew:Pilots: 2Cabin crew: 10