Current Location: South Africa | Western Cape | Cape Town

Cape Town

thisImgBetween two mountainous flanks, reaching away from the docks through the intense city centre and up the mountain, is the City Bowl (made up of the Upper and Lower city centers and the Waterfront).

The City Bowl Suburbs are popular for accommodation, and the most southerly sections are just five to ten minutes walk from the gardens and the museums, the further up you go towards the mountain, the leafier and more expensive the suburbs get. The Upper City Centre, the entire area from Strand Street to the southern foot of the mountain, is a collage of Georgian, Cape Dutch, Victorian and twentieth-century architecture.

Among the substantial draw cards here are the Parliament, the Botanical Gardens and many of Cape Towns major museums. Adderley Street, slicing through the Upper City from the railway station in the north to the Gardens in the south, is the obvious orientation axis. Adderley Street is lined with handsome architectural buildings from several centuries. The district to the west of Adderley Street is the closest South Africa gets to a European quarter - a tight network of streets with cafes, buskers, bookstores, street stalls and antique shops congregating around the pedestrianized St George's Mall and Greenmarket Square.

South of Adderley Street, where it takes a sharp right into Wale street, is the symbolic heart of Cape Town (and arguably South Africa), with Parliament museums, archives and De Tuynhuys, the Western Cape office of the President, all arranged around the Botanical Gardens. Parallel to Adderley Street, Long Street aptly runs the full length of the city centre and continues as lively Kloof Street, which cuts through the City Bowl suburbs to Kloofnek, a junction that splays out to the lower cableway station, Sea Point, the Atlantic seaboard and Signal Hill. The buzzing artery itself is one of Cape Town's most diverse thoroughfares, a great place for leisurely exploration, with views of Table Mountain, Signal Hill and Lion's Head, as well as glimpses of the ocean.

Turning east from Long Street into Shortmarket Street, you'll skim the edge of Greenmarket Square, which is worth at least a little exploration to soak up the distinctly European atmosphere with cobbled streets, coffee shops and grand buildings. The Square is home to a daily flea market selling arts and crafts, jewellery and hippie clobber.

It's a city like no other. It's a city that combines more cultures and styles than any other. Definitely a prime destination for your next holiday.
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