Things to Do in Cape Town Alone

Cape Town is an amazing city to visit, and believe it or not it’s a great place to travel alone! 

It may have a reputation as a dangerous city, but Cape Town is safe for tourists. It’s a super friendly city where it’s easy to meet new people, and there are plenty of fun activities here that you can easily do alone. 

It also tends to be a very cheap place to visit for solo travelers from countries like the US, Canada, and the UK, as the local currency (the rand) is weak. 

With its beaches, mountains, awesome wildlife, and infectious energy, Cape Town is an excellent place to explore by yourself. This guide contains everything you need to know about taking a solo trip to the Mother City. 

Things to do in Cape Town alone

Go to the top of Table Mountain 

Visiting Table Mountain is a must-do for every traveler visiting Cape Town! It’s probably the city’s most famous attraction, and the views from the top are absolutely amazing. You can see the whole city and right along the Cape Peninsula. 

You can either hike up Table Mountain or take the cable car. If you want to hike alone, it’s best to take the Platteklip Gorge route to the top, which starts near the lower cable car station. 

The hike takes around two hours, and ends near the upper cableway, so you can always ride back down instead. There are always lots of people doing this hike so it’s the safest route for solo travelers to take to the top. 

Of course, you can just catch the cable car instead! It’s R395 ($21.50) return in the morning or R340 ($18.50) in the afternoon. If you hike up, you can buy a one-way ticket down at the top for R220 ($12). 

There’s a cafe, restaurant, and gift shop at the top. There are also lots of information plaques where you can learn about the Cape Floral Kingdom, and free guided walks depart on the hour, every hour from 9 am until 3 pm. 

Join a free walking tour of Bo Kaap 

Bo Kaap is Cape Town’s most Insta-famous neighborhood thanks to its brightly colored houses. The neighborhood was initially built for freed slaves and tradesmen, who began painting their houses bright colors so that their customers could find them. 

Since this area has such an interesting history, the best way to explore it is by taking a tour. Free walking tours depart from Parliament Square at 2 pm and 4:20 pm each day, and they’re super interesting and informative. It’s recommended to tip your guide between R50 and R100 ($2.75 – $5.50) at the end, but there’s no pressure.

Relax on the beach 

Cape Town is home to a ton of beautiful beaches, and it’s perfectly safe to enjoy a beach day by yourself. Capetonians spend half of their lives on the beach, so you don’t need to feel weird about going by yourself, either. 

Camps Bay beach is the most touristy beach and although it’s very beautiful, it can get very crowded and there are lots of hawkers around. For a solo beach day, you’re better off heading to one of the four Clifton beaches. 

All of the Clifton beaches are equally beautiful, but they don’t get as crowded as Camps Bay beach. If you want to swim, you can always ask a nearby sunbather to keep an eye on your stuff. The water’s too cold to stay in for long, anyway! 

Clifton 1st, 2nd, and 3rd beaches tend to be a bit quieter. 4th beach is the most popular beach because it doesn’t have as many steps as the other three, so the best one to visit just depends on what kind of vibe you’re looking for. 

Hike Lion’s Head 

Lion’s Head is another famous peak in Cape Town, and it adds a distinct charm to the city’s skyline. Hiking to the summit is a really popular thing to do because it’s achievable for most people and you get 360° views of the city as you work your way up.

The hike begins along Signal Hill Road in Tamboerskloof, and is 5.3 kilometers (3.2 miles) long in total. It takes between 2.5 and 3 hours for most people to complete, and the views from the top are absolutely stunning. 

Since Lion’s Head is so popular, it’s a safe hike to do alone. You’re bound to see other people at the summit, too, so you’ll still be able to get some photos of yourself at the top. 

Visit the penguins at Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town is a beautiful beach where you can find a colony of adorable African penguins. 

You can’t touch the birds as they’re pretty feisty when they want to be, but the beach has boardwalks that let you walk right next to them. 

Boulders Beach is a 45-minute drive from the center of Cape Town, and so you can either rent a car, take an Uber, or join a tour to go visit them. 

Entry to the beach costs R176 ($9.60) for adults and R88 ($4.80) for kids, and it’s well worth it to see these birds up close. Their story is also pretty incredible. The colony was down to just 2 mating pairs in the 1980s, but it has grown back to 3,000 birds thanks to local conservation efforts. 

Go on a safari at the Aquila Game Reserve

If you don’t have time to fly all the way to the Kruger National Park to go on a South African safari, then you can visit a game reserve on a day trip from Cape Town. 

For those with limited time or budget, Aquila Game Reserve from Cape Town is a quick and affordable option. You’ll get to go on a game drive where you’ll see lions, giraffes, zebras, elephants, buffalo, and so much more roaming around. 

The day also includes a buffet meal at the reserve, round trip transport from Cape Town, and use of the beautiful on-site infinity pool during the summer. It’s an amazing way to see some of the incredible wildlife that South Africa has to offer without breaking the bank, and it’s a great activity for solo travelers because you meet new people along the way. 

Chapman’s Peak Scenic Drive 

If you’re renting a car in Cape Town, make sure to drive along Chapman’s Peak Road. It’s an incredibly beautiful drive that offers amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean, Hout Bay, and the red, rocky cliffs of Chapman’s Peak Mountain. In fact, it’s so spectacular that several movie scenes and commercials have been shot here!

The drive begins in Hout Bay Harbour, which is about 20 minutes north of Camps Bay, and ends in the beautiful suburb of Noordhoek. It’s only 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) long in total but you’ll need to take it slow because there are so many twists and turns along the way. 

You should check if the road is open or not because for safety reasons it often closes during bad weather. There’s also a toll fee of R57 to access the road, and make sure you keep your receipt for the drive back! 

Where to Stay in Cape Town

Camps Bay 

Camps Bay is a beautiful and very upscale part of Cape Town that’s known for its mountain views, popular beach, and the vibrant Victoria Road strip. The strip runs parallel to the beach and is home to many of the city’s top restaurants and bars, so this neighborhood is an excellent place to stay. 

Africa honeymoon destinations

With that being said, you won’t find many budget-friendly options here! 


The V&A Waterfront

The V&A Waterfront is a beautiful area of Cape Town, with a huge shopping mall, tons of restaurants, and a scenic harbor. It’s also super safe and close to lots of the best things to do in the city, so it’s the perfect place for a solo traveler to stay. There are lots of upscale hotels and nice apartments to choose from here, too. 

Sea Point

Sea Point is still one of Cape Town’s safest and most affluent areas, but it’s much more affordable than Camps Bay and the Waterfront. You’ve got the famous promenade right on your doorstep, and there’s a great rock pool that’s perfect for a sunset swim. It’s also very central, so you’re within easy reach of the city’s best beaches and nightlife. 

There are also tons of great restaurants in Sea Point to choose from, and the whole neighborhood is very safe and walkable. 

Green Point

Green Point is ideally located in between Sea Point and the town center. There aren’t as many bars and restaurants here, but there’s a fantastic hostel with a pool, and it’s within walking distance of the V&A Waterfront. Green Point is also very safe to walk around during the day, and it’s quite affordable here, too. 

De Waterkant

De Waterkant is a bit underrated, but there’s 24/7 security here, so it’s one of the safest places to stay in the city. There’s also a small shopping mall, a yoga studio, and lots of cute cafes, so you’ve got everything you need right on your doorstep. Plus, it’s easily one of the prettiest neighborhoods in Cape Town with its pastel-colored houses and cobbled streets!

How to Get Around Cape Town

Rent a car 

The most convenient way to get around in Cape Town is to rent a car, as Cape Town is very much a driving city. Public transport options are limited here, so most Capetonians drive. 

If you’re renting a car, the best thing to do is pick it up from the airport, otherwise, you’ll have to take a taxi quite a way out of town to pick up your vehicle. 

Driving in Cape Town is easy and mostly safe, but do remember that they drive on the left here! You’ll also need to steer well clear of the “taxis”, which are shuttle vans that have no regard for the road rules! 

Use Uber

Uber in Cape Town is cheap and convenient. If you’re staying centrally, you can get a car really quickly and most journeys around the city will cost less than R100 ($5.50) – in fact, often they’ll cost less than half of that! 

However, Uber does get more expensive when venturing to places a little further out of the city, like the penguin beach mentioned earlier in this post. If you don’t want to rent a car or take the bus then it’s worth using a mixture of Uber and guided tours. 

MyCiti Bus

Cape Town doesn’t have a very strong public transport network, but the MyCiti bus is slowly changing that. It’s a very cheap and convenient way to get around the city center, but right now it almost exclusively serves the city center. 

If you want to use the MyCiti bus, you’ll need to buy a top-up card from a MyCiti station kiosk – there are tons of them around the city, and the cards only cost R35 ($2). Then, you’ll need to top it up. Most journeys will cost between R9 – R16 ($0.50 – $0.90), depending on the distance and the time of day. 

The MyCiti buses run frequently during the day and they’re a very safe way to get around. Some tourists are reluctant to use public transport in Cape Town but in fact it’s a great way to save money, especially if you’re traveling alone. 

Best Time to Visit Cape Town

The best time to visit Cape Town is during the summer, which is between October and March. However, the absolute best month to come is February. Cape Town gets super busy during late December and early January, but by February the crowds have gone but the fun summer vibes remain.

Tips for visiting Cape Town alone

Don’t walk alone after dark 

Most areas in Cape Town are pretty safe and walkable during the day, but you should exercise caution after dark. It’s best to take an Uber or drive at night, as muggings are unfortunately quite common. 

Don’t carry lots of cash 

A lot of first-time visitors to Cape Town don’t realize that you can actually pay with a card everywhere in the city. In fact, some businesses don’t even take cash anymore. 

If you’ve got a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, then it makes a lot more sense to use that than paying with cash. The only time you’ll really need cash is to rent an umbrella or buy an ice cream on the beach. 

Buy a local SIM card

You should definitely get a South African SIM card to use in Cape Town, especially if you’re planning to use Uber. It’s really helpful for navigation when you’re flying solo, and it gives you peace of mind. You can get a tourist SIM card from the Vodacom booth at the airport for R10 ($0.55) and then top it up with as much data as you need.

Prepare for load shedding 

Load shedding refers to the scheduled blackouts that often happen in South Africa. They happen because there’s not actually enough electricity to power the entire country at once, but some hotels and businesses have generators. You can keep an eye on the schedule using the Eskom Se Push app, as it varies by area. 

Things to Do in Cape Town Alone: Conclusion 

In conclusion, Cape Town is a fantastic destination for solo travelers. Not only is it an incredibly beautiful city, it’s affordable and Capetonians are very friendly and welcoming, so it’s easy to make friends. Plus, there’s so much to do here that you’ll never get bored! 

About the author: Hannah is the British travel blogger behind The Cape Town Blog. She was traveling the world as a digital nomad when she fell in love with Cape Town and decided to make it her permanent home. The Cape Town blog is a love letter to her adopted home city!