The V&A Waterfront is South Africa’s most visited destination, attracting millions of visitors every year – and for good reason, given the location’s combination of shops, restaurants, nightspots, tourist attractions and museums in the city’s historic harbour. (Construction for this harbour began as early as 1860, when Prince Alfred tipped the first stones for the breakwater, hence the attraction’s name: V&A after Queen Victoria of England and her youngest son Alfred.)
You might like to visit the family-friendly Two Oceans Aquarium (+27 (0)21 418 3823), where you can eyeball sharks, penguins and hundreds of species of sea life. There are lots of outdoor activities available too, ranging from helicopter flips to boat charters and relaxed harbour cruises (walk along the water’s edge and pick one – there are several options). Or browse through hundreds of shopping outlets, ranging from larger department stores selling designer labels to boutique jewellery and curio shops.
The V&A Waterfront’s Amphitheatre is a good spot for live entertainment (usually provided to the public for free) – from concerts to creative workshops and puppet shows.
For those in search of local culture and history there are a number of museums and galleries that form part of the precinct – including the Maritime Centre in the Union Castle Building, which features a collection of ship models and objects associated with shipping in Cape Town, in particular the era of mail ships. You can also visit the Chavonnes Battery Museum – a heritage site and the first coastal fortification to protect Table Bay besides The Castle. Visit the Visit the V&A Waterfront website for more information.