Look up #capetown on Instagram and your screen will be a flood with a glorious array of natural, cultural, and culinary beauty. While it is often a case of point and snap, there are some classic Instagram shots you will want to capture while in the Mother City. Here is our top 10 list.
1. The Yellow Framed View of Table Mountain (and Cape Grace)
Where? V&A Waterfront, just outside of La Parada Restaurant
Giant yellow frames (National Geographic style) are strategically positioned all around Cape Town, allowing you to capture Table Mountain from a multitude of glorious angles. We love the one at the V&A Waterfront, placed to frame not only the mountain but the marina, as well as our own iconic Cape Grace too.
It’s particularly lovely at sunrise and sunset when hues of pinks and purples reflect off the glow of the ocean. Climb into the yellow frame and snap away. Use the #discovercapegrace when taking a picture of Cape Grace.
2. The Colourful Houses In The Bo Kaap
Where? Begin at Wale Street, Bo Kaap, Cape Town
One of the most historic and photogenic spots in the Cape, The Bo Kaap is any photographer’s dream. The cobbled streets are lined with colourful heritage houses in bright pinks, orange, lime green, reds, and blues, set against the backdrop of Table Mountain. While it is instantly recognised across the globe, we encourage you to dig a little deeper and gain a true appreciation for the locals, many of whom are descents of freed slaves and the Cape’s first artisans.
The culinary wonders are also worth sampling, and we say, extra points if you can identify the difference between a ‘koeksuster’ and ‘koesuster’ (both delicious fried doughnuts of a kind). It is abuzz with visitors most of the time, so be prepared for crowds.
3. The Penguins at Boulders Beach
Where? Kleintuin Rd, Simon’s Town, Cape Town
While Cape Town is by no means short of stunning beaches to photograph (Clifton, Camps Bay, Blouberg and Noordhoek to name but a few), Boulders Beach is particularly special. This is due to its diminutive inhabitants: the African Penguins. Home to one of the largest colonies in the world, these tuxedoed birds spend their time on land preening, mating, and going about their business.
Remember that they are a protected species, so please be cautious about getting in their way when angling for a ‘penguin selfie’.
4. Lion’s Head or Signal Hill or Both!
Where? Signal Hill Road
A hike up Lion’s Head is a must for any visitor to Cape Town. While the 360-degree views from the top are incredible, the best pictures are often taken along the route there. So wake up early and race to the sunrise.
Alternatively, if it is Lion’s Head you want in your pics, the best place to capture the looming icon is from the adjacent Signal Hill – ideal if hiking really is not your idea of fun time out. Park the car, grab a coffee from one of the vendors in the parking lot and walk around the top to grab pics of the ocean, Robben Island, Lion’s Head, and the City Bowl.
5. Street art in Woodstock and The Wings at Old Biscuit Mill
Albert Road, Woodstock
Woodstock is edgy, arty, and up-and-coming. Giant murals, colourful graffiti, and everything in between adorn the walls of this funky, repurposed industrialised area of Cape Town. While solo navigation is possible (Most of the murals can be found between Albert Rd and Victory Rd in the section between Barron St and Essex St in Woodstock), it is best to book a street art tour for a more informed experience. We also love the interactive angel wings mural by artist, Kelsey Montague, which can be found at The Old Biscuit Mill. Woodstock is home to many art galleries, so speak to our concierge about booking a tour of these too.
6. Kirstenbosch Gardens
Where? Rhodes Dr, Newlands, Cape Town
Acclaimed as one of the 7 best botanic gardens of the world, few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch, against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain. The light, flora, fauna, and sculptures all change seasonally, but there is always an abundance of natural beauty for you and your phone to enjoy. Zoom in on the tiniest of Fynbos flowers, and remember to take a walk along the recently added ‘Boomslang’ (meaning tree snake)Tree Canopy Walkway.
7. The ‘Nemo’ Tank at the Two Oceans Aquarium
Where? Entrance to the Two Oceans Aquarium, V&A Waterfront
A visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium is just not complete without the obligatory ‘nemo’ tank snap. Your perfect kodak moment is courtesy of the enormous tank of clownfish, specially created with a central viewing pod that you climb into. The doughnut shape means that you’re surrounded by the little orange swimmers, enjoyed by young and old alike. Then head off to the predator tank for something a little more heart-racing.
8. The OZCF Market Produce
Where? Granger Bay Blvd, V&A Waterfront
Held every Saturday and Sunday, the Oranjezicht City Farm Market provides ample opportunity for photographs of delicious eats, bountiful fresh produce, people, dogs, and plants, all set against the backdrop of Granger Bay.
Head down early in the morning, and order a stack of strawberry-topped Pumpkin Flapjacks and a Watermelon Mimosa, purchase a bunch of Proteas, and capture the joyous moments all around you, as vendors and locals interact in a way that brings merriment to all.
9. The Bathing Boxes at Muizenberg and St James Beaches
Where? Beach Rd, Muizenberg, Cape Town
The stuff of classic postcards, the colourful boxes that line the Muizenberg and St James Beaches are retro in all the right ways. The contrast of pristine white sand, sparkling waves, and symmetrical bright red, yellow and blue huts make for some eye-catching snaps, even in harsh sunlight.
Muizenberg is considered the home of surfing and gets very busy (and occasionally very windy) so plan accordingly.
10. An Afternoon Tea Indulgence at Cape Grace
Where? Cape Grace Hotel, Cape Town
Photography can be hard work, so it is best when rewarded with an array of treats from our skilled patisserie chefs. At Cape Grace, our Afternoon Tea fancies are served on tiered silver trays, while the tea itself, is poured from tiny glass pots (replete with timers).
Crumbly scones, salmon sandwiches, macarons, and impossibly dainty cakes decorated with gold foiling all make for excellent pics. Self-restraint is understandably difficult, so order a glass of bubbles, and zoom in before diving in.
Blog post by Tarah Darge