The city’s origin
The Dutch first established Cape Town in early 17th century for refueling and replenishing foodstuff for their trading ships sailing to East African coast and Dutch East Indies. It gradually became a permanent Dutch colony and also the largest European settlement in the medieval world. France occupied Cape Town during the Napoleonic war. With his defeat, Britain permanently occupied the city in 1814.
Cape Town has a hilarious anecdote about the origin of its name. Being a coastal colony in what they considered to be a primitive country, the wearing of capes was once made mandatory.
Cape Town is the country’s second most populous city and also the most favorite tourist destination. South African Parliament and many government offices are located in this city. A little away from the coast is the Robben Island where Nelson Mandela had spent 27 years in captivity. With the happy ending of the terrible Apartheid, South Africa became peaceful and its already prosperous economy began to thrive further, giving a massive boost to its tourism sector.
It is a beautiful city, with the ambience of a by gone era of colonial affluence expressed in its built architecture and town planning. It is also a picturesque metropolis set in the mountainous peninsula that glides down into the blue infinity of the Atlantic. Cape Town’s breathtaking views are truly memorable.
Cape Town is a lively city that will keep you busy with enjoyable sightseeing. A tour of the city will give you an insight into what was South Africa like before and after apartheid.
The city rightly boasts of being an Atlantic Riviera having some stunning beaches in the world. It is the first coastal city outside Europe when the beach culture became fashionable. Spend an amazing time with other surfers and divers. Go beyond the sun-worshipper’s paradise on Blaauwberg Beach to see Nelson Mandela’s prison on Robben Island. Visit the National Botanical Gardens and watch the wildlife from a safe distance.
Cape Town has another interesting attraction. Close to the city is the famous Constantia wine country. Have a gala time there tasting superb wine.
Cape Town is a shoppers’ paradise. It abounds with swanky shopping malls to unique family-run shops selling African clothing in vibrant colors. You can also pick up peculiar African artifacts and curios. These are located in areas like colonial sounding Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cavendish Square and at Century City. You aren’t likely to forget your shopping experience if you go to the old town of De Waterkant and browse through the roadside small shops selling an amazing range of African handicrafts. You will be impressed with the quaint ambience of cobbled streets, cozy cafes and friendly restaurants offering a variety of local cuisine.
Local cuisine and nightlife
Being a coastal town under colonial control for centuries there is an amazing diversity of different cuisine, often creating delicious fusion food with distinct African flavors.
For a boisterous nightlife go to Long Street where bars, nightclubs and dance floors exist cheek-by-jowl and remain open throughout the night.
Port cities are fertile grounds for hotel and hospitality industries to flourish. Cape Town being a popular tourist destination abounds with many luxurious hotels with excellent track records. Many of these, like the Commodore and Portswood, and travelers love these hotels for the comforts they offer.
Come to Cape Town – not necessarily wearing the once mandatory cape – and enjoy its fabulous tourist attractions!