Cape Town, South Africa
Julie, 33
Travel Writer
see her Cape Town city guide

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japanese food beaches flea markets art galleries whiskey bar rooftop bar italian food

What are the Cape Town spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

The Labia Theatre, Bakoven Beach, Chapman's Peak drive, hiking up Table Mountain, A ROAD TRIP around the peninsula and beyond, a visit to the Cederberg, a day in the Winelands, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art, a music festival or concert at Kirstenbosch, a foodie tour of the city with a local, Newlands Forest, a night out on the town for some bar hopping.

Do’s and don’ts in Cape Town: (Ex: Tipping: yes/ no, public transport tips, safety tips etc.):

DEFINITELY DEFINITELY do a road trip!!! (Feel free to get in touch for some great tips about places within 2 - 3 hours of the city) Tipping is a must - generally for good service, around 15 - 20%. A 10% tip is standard, even for pretty poor service. The big red sight-seeing bus and MyCiti busses are great for getting around, with plenty of convenient stops along the way. BE WELL PREPARED WHEN CLIMBING TABLE MOUNTAIN - always have plenty of water and be prepared for sudden and extreme weather changes. Be open to meeting new people and having new experiences! :)

What do you do and why do you do it?

I am a travel and features editor and writer. I love the freedom I have in my job to be adventurous and explore!!

How much do you spend on an average night out on the town?

Hmmm... this could range anywhere between R500 - R2000 depending on where you go. Cape Town has such a huge variety of places to go and price tags to go with them. If you're on a budget, best to do a bit of research before hitting the town.

Which Cape Town shops do you hit up when you’re itching for something new?

The Old Biscuit Mill market is great - lots of local designs and artisanal handcrafted stuff. Long Street in town and Lower Main Road in Observatory are great to check out if you're looking for vintage.

Your all-time favorite musicians:

Massive Attack, Portishead, Thom Yorke, William Onyeabor, Joy Division, Alphaville, Depeche Mode, Bat For Lashes, The Do, Yann Tiersen, Mazzy Star, Jeff Buckley, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Fever Ray, Leon Bridges, Santigold, MIA, Psycho Tropical Berlin, The Doors.. ugh soooo much.

Which neighborhood is it best to experience during the day / night?

What we refer to as 'town'.. Bree Street, Longmarket Street, Shortmarket Street, Loop Street, Kloof Street etc. Great vibes and lots of options of places to go. Observatory is also great and diverse in its offerings. Head to Main Road which is full of cool bars and restaurants and interesting people.

What’s the area in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Anywhere where the general vibe is over-the-top showy and pretentious... you know? Buff alpha boys and the like. A few spots on the main Camps Bay strip like this that I would avoid.

Where would you take a date for a romantic night out?

Sunset on the rocks at Bakoven followed by a candlelit dinner at South China Dim Sum Bar feeding each other dumplings and getting tipsy on sake...

Drunk and hungry - where do you go in Cape Town?

Junior Burger.

It's freeeeezing out - what should a visitor do?

Movies all day at the Labia Theatre with gluehwein and good friends.

Your go-to brunch spots:

Cafe Paradiso on Kloof Street & Beleza Restaurant on the corner of Kloof Nek Road and Burnside Road.

Best place for a cheap bite on-the-go:

Eastern Food Bazaar.

You’re meeting the mayor of Cape Town - what constructive criticism would you give them?

Desalination, baby.

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