Cape Town City Tours

Ready to experience unforgettable adventures in Cape Town? From bike rides to diving with sharks and sea lions, what can you do in the city? Read on.

Carla Yaquer

Carla Yaquer

9 min read

Cape Town City Tours

Cape Town Paraglider |©Jan PLukkel

Welcome to Cape Town, where diversity and excitement intertwine for the best things to do and see in Cape Town.

Explore the marine life off the coast in Cape Town, tour the city on foot or from the air with unforgettable city-tours by helicopter and pedal through its colorful scene. From thrilling boat rides to adrenaline-filled flyovers, learn about the prices, pros and cons of the best Cape Town tours and reserve a space in your itinerary for these activities.

1. Cape Town Helicopter Tour

beach view from above|©Michael N
beach view from above|©Michael N

Fly over Maclean's Beacon, South Africa's natural landmark better known as Table Mountain. Enjoy panoramic views of the city and the white beaches of Table Bay on the Atlantic Ocean. Cross over to the Indian Ocean, look down on the killer whales and great white sharks in False Bay, and admire Signal Hill, Camps Bay and Clifton. This tour is a visual treat.

See the luxurious residences and marvel at the imposing Twelve Apostles mountain range as well as the iconic Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for nearly 30 years. By the way, did you know that when you fly over this island you will have a World Heritage Site at your feet? The 360° view allows you to enjoy this spectacle, as well as the Cape Town stadium, venue of the 2010 World Cup, and the beaches of Muizenberg.

This type of helicopter flight in Cape Town is a thrilling ride of about 12-25 minutes and gives you the opportunity to see the city from one end to the other. At the end you may decide to explore in detail some of the sighted sites by perhaps taking the Table Mountain cable car and then the Cape Town sightseeing bus.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 227 € per person.
  • Duration: the flight lasts approximately 12 - 25 minutes, depending on the option you choose, however, the full activity often lasts 60-90 minutes.
  • What you should know: the activity is often offered on a shared basis, so that up to 12 people would be flying over the city in the helicopter. Not recommended for pregnant women.
  • What the tour may include: transportation service to and from the accommodation. Helicopter ride over Cape Town. Professional pilot service with live commentary. Tour guide service.
  • Pros: The activity is exciting and unique. The simple helicopter flight is already an adrenaline rush that adds to the sublime scenery of Cape Town. Plus, you can plan your flight as a family, people from 3 months and up are allowed.
  • Cons: Food and beverages are likely to be available at an additional supplement.

Fly over Cape Town by helicopter

2. Tour of Cape Town

Cape Town Red Bus Tour|©jomilo75
Cape Town Red Bus Tour|©jomilo75

One of the best Cape Town tours is the tour through the heart of the city. Follow South Africa's Atlantic Coast route, wander through sanctuaries, harbors, legendary mountains like Table Mountain National Park and get lost among its architectural fusion of art deco with neoclassicism. This is theAfrican Finisterre. And, if you're wondering, how can you make your tour? You have several options:

2.1 Tour on the tourist bus

Board Cape Town's City Sightseeing bus to explore the city in 24 or 48 hours.

This is one of the best bus tours from Cape Town thanks to its flexibility and more than 20 strategic stops, from the bohemian charm of Long Street to towering Table Mountain, every nook and cranny becomes an opportunity for discovery.

Enjoy multilingual commentary - including Spanish - as you tour the city on an open-top, double-decker bus. Visit places like the exclusive Camps Bay area, stroll around the Clock Tower, buy your tickets to The World of Birds & Money Jungle sanctuary. Discover Cape Town in comfort and style on this must-see tour.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 16 ¤ per person.
  • Duration: 24 - 48 hours depending on the ticket you choose.
  • What you should know: on board the bus you will hear commentary in several languages such as English, Afrikaner, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian. If you are traveling with your children, there is also a special audio guide for children.
  • What the tour may include: Hop on Hop Off transportation service for one or two days. Headphones. A short walking tour of Cape Town.
  • Pros: the tour is ideal for touring the main points of interest of the city along 4 routes. With the convenience of choosing between passes of up to 48 hours you can also make the most of your visit to Cape Town while exploring the surrounding area at your leisure.
  • Cons: The routes, as with all tour buses around the world, are pre-established. No transfer to your accommodation is included unless you are near one of the fixed bus stops.

Book a ticket for the tour bus

2.2 Cape Town Walking Tour

Another way to experience the city in a more intimate and customizable way is by walking or cycling tour of Cape Town. The Waterfront Promenade and Table Mountain, are a classic among the visits to do in Cape Town, now know the must-see Cape Town, it is only possible if you go into the heart of this capital.

Visiting places such as the seat of the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, St Georges Cathedral; Company's Gardens, the area where the Parliament, the City Hall, the National Library and the art gallery of the same category are located; the entrance to the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art of Africa, or visits to the Woodstock neighborhood and the Bo Kaap neighborhood (also known as the Muslim or Malay neighborhood) are just some of the stops. A tour of these points of interest is part of a good guided tour of Cape Town, and can be done on foot or by bicycle.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 40 € per person.
  • Duration: from 3 hours onwards.
  • What you need to know: this type of tour is flexible, often destinations can be adapted. Also, the tour can be done on foot or by bicycle. Another important point is that in cases where the activity is listed among the things to do in Cape Town at night, wine tastings and tastings are often included.
  • What the tour may include: professional guide service. Bike and helmet. Bottled water. Gastronomic tasting. Wine tasting. Shuttle service to the hotel.
  • Pros: the tour allows you to know Cape Town in its interior, the shapes and styles of this eclectic city are drawn in front of your eyes between architectural contrasts. Additionally, the local guide's commentary enriches the adventure.
  • Cons: Entrance fees to the different destinations are not included and meals usually have an extra cost.

Book a guided tour

3. Boat tour of the port

Cape Town boat tour|©captainogilvy
Cape Town boat tour|©captainogilvy

Cruise along South Africa's paradisiacal coastline by choosing a boat tour of the Waterfront, Cape Town's main harbor. This type of tour begins in front of the entrance to the Two Oceans Aquarium and from that point you make your way past prominent historical landmarks such as the Bascule Bridge, Table Mountain, Nelson Mandela Gate and the iconic Clock Tower.

Immerse yourself in Cape Town 's rich history as you explore the Chavonnes Battery Museum, appreciate the Milnerton Lighthouse, or Clifton Beach. And much more. This type of tour can be done all day long, however Cape Town sunset cruises are advised, when glasses of local wine are served with an imprint lined with dolphins and some cetaceans.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 30 € per person.
  • Duration: from 30 minutes onwards.
  • What you should know: with this type of tour you can see from the sea the main icons of the city, as well as many others accessible only by sea.
  • What the tour may include: boat or catamaran captain service. One glass of wine per person. Live commentary.
  • Pros: in Cape Town the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean coexist, presenting an appetizing habitat for seals, dolphins, orcas and of course sharks. All in all, the strong emotions produced by these animals are part of the reasons to go to Cape Town. There are morning, afternoon and evening cruises and some of them are offered in up to 16 languages.
  • Cons: These types of tours do not usually include transportation to accommodation. Meals are usually an additional cost.

Sail on a sunset cruise

4. Paragliding tour of Cape Town

Paragliding in Cape Town|©
Paragliding in Cape Town|©

Feel the thrill of taking to the skies with a tandem paragliding tour in Cape Town. Depending on the wind direction, the activity will start at Signal Hill or Lions Head. You will enjoy a unique view of Table Mountain, as well as Cape Town's Miami Beach, Camp's Bay beaches or the long white sandy beaches of Clifton.

Before take-off, meet your expert instructors, who will provide you with a brief flight briefing. With safety equipment securely fastened, let the two-seater tandem soar as unforgettable 360° views are drawn before your eyes. During the approximately 25-minute flight, your instructor will be at your side pointing out points of interest or clarifying any questions you may have live.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 76 € per person.
  • Duration: approximately one hour.
  • What you should know: you can enjoy the activity all day long, subject to weather conditions.
  • What the tour may include: rental of all flight equipment, including helmet and safety harness. Flight briefing. Professional instructor service. Shuttle service to and from the hotel.
  • Pros: flying over Cape Town you admire the African jewel from a unique perspective, its multicolored contrast, beaches, emblematic buildings and details that can only be seen from the air, all this while enjoying the experience of flying in a tandem tandem tandem.
  • Cons: the activity is usually suitable for people over 13 years old, if you are traveling with children, it is best to sign up for any of the Cape Town city-tours in this list.

Experience a tandem paragliding flight

5. Atlantis Sand Dunes Tour

man surfing on sand dunes|©Marlene alias Couchabenteurer
man surfing on sand dunes|©Marlene alias Couchabenteurer

Get on an ATV and ride down the white sand dunes located in the Atlantis Nature Reserve, the star of the Witzands Aquifer Nature Reserve.

It will be an hour of adrenaline and fun during which you can cover around 32 km² with an ATV tour of the Atlantis sand dunes in Cape Town. Marvel at the panoramic views of the desert landscape and the iconic Table Mountain drawn on the horizon.

Accompanied by an experienced instructor you will learn the techniques to climb and descend these dunes up to 50 meters high. Capture unforgettable moments with your camera as you walk along the crest of the dunes and admire the rich native flora and fauna. Get ready for a thrill-filled hour as you immerse yourself in this exciting Cape Town dune tour - adventure awaits!

Details of interest

  • Price: from 55 € per person.
  • Duration: from 2 hours onwards.
  • What you need to know: this kind of tour is one of our favorite things to do in Cape Town with kids, especially if you combine it with sandboarding. Launching down the dunes at your leisure is priceless, only rewarding smiles.
  • What the tour may include: professional guide service. Bottled water. Quad rental. Safety equipment.
  • Pros: surfing these dunes on a quad bike is one of the best activities in Cape Town. It is an activity that you can do alone, as a couple, family or with friends. It is done in small groups. The views are very beautiful and the privileged environment, a perfect combo to get carried away.
  • Cons: The shuttle service usually has an additional cost.

Book a quad tour through the sand dunes.

6. Snorkeling experience in Cape Town

people snorkeling|©Phil Withey
people snorkeling|©Phil Withey

Explore the seabed with a snorkeling experience in South Africa. Of the tours you have at least a couple of interesting alternatives.

On the one hand, the team of marine biologists at the Great African Sea Forest, incidentally the location where the award-winning series My Master the Octopus took place, take you to explore secluded spots where sea urchins wear flirty "natural hats", and sharks come to hunt octopus and other species, all while keeping you sheltered in a shark cage boat in Cape Town with this one-day activity.

On the other hand, you have the opportunity to sign up for a sea lion snorkeling experience in Hout Bay in Cape Town. The activity takes about 2 hours where you are taken to the beautiful Duiker Island to swim around its 0.4 hectares of land filled with sea lions. Pay attention, you might even see an elephant seal, an endangered species that occasionally appears on the island greeting visitors.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 53 € per person.
  • Duration: approximately one hour.
  • What you need to know: the experience is enriching, the South African marine life is home to a rich marine fauna and for environmental protection, the accompaniment of marine biologists is required. You will be surrounded by experts.
  • What the tour may include: professional guide service. Bottled water. Snacks. Snorkel rental. Transfer service to and from lodging. Informative meeting. Cruise. Cage dive with sharks.
  • Pros: you can choose the activity that fits your itinerary and budget and still enjoy diving in the South African coasts.
  • Cons: This is an activity for people over 13 years old and without mobility problems.

Book a sea lion snorkeling experience.