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Cape Town is without doubt one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities of the world. Cape Town in South Africa is also one of the most recognisable places in the world. It goes without saying that the iconic Table Mountain has a lot to do with this. In 2012, Table Mountain was inaugurated as one of the New 7 World Wonders of Nature. It gave Cape Town an even better place in the world as one of the most stunning cities on the planet.
The best photo spots in Cape Town
Now don’t assume that Table Mountain is all that Cape Town has to offer. There are so many activities to do in Cape Town, even completely for free. Cape Town has a lot of pretty and instagram-worthy places in and around the city. There are so many beautiful places in Cape Town and so many instagrammable places in Cape Town. We have been living in CapeTown now for the last few months and I have so many photos of the city and the surrounding area that I should take a break to go through them all and finally admire them. Or better, just stop taking photos and admire the city itself. We have been able to fill up our instagram account with lots of Cape Town photos, and had to stop in order not to over spam the Cape Town hashtag. You can see the best of our photos on our instagram account. And you can follow it if you are not doing already. Going on a photography trip to Cape Town is definitely a great reason to visit South Africa.
What to see in Cape Town?
The 12 most instagrammable places in Cape Town
Table Mountain Frames
When walking around Cape Town you will see large yellow squares in various places in and around the city centre. These frames have been installed to give visitors the best vantage points for taking a picture of themselves with Table Mountain in the background. Some of the places in and around Cape Town where you can find those frames are on Signal Hill, V&A Waterfront, Eden on the Bay in Blouberg, Lookout Hill in Khayelitsha, Cape Town station and Heritage Square. These frames will definitely give you some of the best views of this iconic South African landmark.
Top of Table Mountain
No visit to Cape Town is complete without having been on the top of Table Mountain. You can either walk up (for the very fit ones) or take the cable car (like I did) to get on top. The top of Table Mountain has more to offer than just a view of the city. To fully enjoy all the views, you should take a few hours. You can hike on various trails from one side to the other. It also shows the immensity of the whole mountain range stretching all the way over the Cape Peninsula.
The top of Table Mountain provides countless instagrammable places in Cape Town, with or without view of the city or the peaks of the surrounding mountains. Just keep in mind, while it is nice and great to get an awesome picture while sitting on the edge of the mountain, beware that the mountain is high and steep. There are plenty of great and photogenic places on the mountain that will look amazing on instagram.
Top of Lions Head
Another favourite peak to climb, both for the locals and for visitors, is the top of Lions Head. It’s so popular, it can get crowded especially during summer time. And for a good reason. The view from the top is just amazing. You get a 360 degree view over the city, Table Mountain and Camps Bay ares with the 12 Apostles as a backdrop. The best time to be up on Lions Head is during sunset. The view and the colours are just awe-inspiring. The only disadvantage is that you will have to get down in the dark, so take a good torch. And you won’t be alone, as sunset and even night time during full moon is a very popular time for other hikers.
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is one of the best places to visit in Cape Town. In fact, it is one of South Africa’s most visited places. The V&A Waterfront gives a great shopping, entertainment and dining experience for tourists as well as local Capetonians. It also has one of the best views of Table Mountain in town. With plenty of colourful renovated sheds and warehouses that now host restaurants and shops, it has still managed to keep the charm of an old, historical harbour. These renovated buildings in the V&A Waterfront with the iconic Table Mountain as a backdrop definitely provide some of the best instagram-worthy pictures of Cape Town. When possible, stay in the area when the sun goes down, as the light changes over the mountain are spectacular while the harbour lights are coming to life.
Bo-Kaap used to be known as the Malay Quarter. This picturesque housing quarter starts at the edge of the city bowl and winds its way up the slopes of Signal Hill. Bo-Kaap is distinctive for its bright and colourful homes and narrow cobble stoned streets dating back to the seventeenth century. The Bo-Kaap neighbourhood is a multicultural community featuring primarily the Cape Malay culture and history. One thing is for sure, walking around in Bo-Kaap will definitely brighten up your day and is one of the things you should do when visiting Cape Town.
Camps Bay and the 12 Apostles (Atlantic Coastline)
The Atlantic coastline area of Cape Town has various trendy suburbs like Camps Bay, Bakoven and Clifton. This is also the area where you can find some of the prettiest beaches of South Africa. With a backdrop of the 12 Apostles mountain range, white sandy beaches and fresh turquoise ocean water, it makes the neighbourhood one of the best places to take photos in Cape Town.
In my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful drives in South Africa. Chapman’s Peak is one of the most beautiful places to see in Cape Town. It is also one of the best places to take pictures in Cape Town.
Chapman’s Peak, or ‘Chappies’ as the locals like to say, is a 9 kilometre long scenic drive to get from Cape Town to the southern tip of the Cape Peninsula. The road cuts through the granite rocks and the sheer drops give some of the most stunning and photogenic views.
At the time of writing this article the road was closed for maintenance. So before heading to Chapman’s Peak, check the status of the road on their website. Chapman’s Peak drive runs from Houtbay to Noordhoek.
Beach Houses of Muizenberg
A very colourful and photogenic stop that should not be missed when visiting Cape Town is Muizenberg beach. Easy reachable by public transport or by car, Muizenberg is a great place to relax and breathe some local beach vibes. Muizenberg is all about white sandy beaches with turquoise blue waters, just beware, the water can be very cold, even in summer time.
The most attractive and by far the most colourful landmark of Muizenberg beachfront are the tiny colourful beach houses. Painted in blue, red, green and yellow (did I forget a colour?) it makes a great background for some fun photos to post on instagram. These beach houses will definitely brighten up any instagram feed or photo book.
Hout Bay Harbour
Hout Bay is a very picturesque sea side town in close proximity to Cape Town. This tourist hot spot is still a working fishing harbour with a great vibe and laid back atmosphere. It has a sheltered bay surrounded on 3 sides by mountain ranges. The location is just so beautiful and photogenic. The colourful fishing boats in the harbour are the finishing touch to any great photo of Hout Bay.
The busy little harbour brings in lots of fresh catches of the day. When visiting, make sure you try out some of the best Fish and Chips in the multiple little restaurants in and around the harbour. When visiting during the weekend, have a look at the popular Hout Bay Market, for some great food, crafts and music.
KirstenBosch Botanical Gardens
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is one of the most renowned and magnificent botanical gardens in the world. It’s located in the heart of the Cape Floral biome, which is the smallest biome in the world, on the Eastern slopes of Table Mountain. Having this iconic landmark as a backdrop definitely gives some extra flair and beauty to the botanical gardens.
You can spend hours walking around in between the plant life, discovering new corners, or having a picnic. When visiting don’t forget to make a detour on the Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway. Apart from being a beautiful structure, it gives some amazing views over the gardens and Table Mountain.
A short drive up the West Coast gives you some of the best views of Table Mountain and the city itself (as the name of the area already suggests). In fact, various beaches along the West Coast just out of Cape Town will provide these great views; Lagoon beach, Woodbridge Island, Bloubergstrand and Table View.
It’s worthwhile to stay for sunset as the light will go from light orange to deep red, especially in summertime. The advantage of wintertime are the clouds that give some of the most dramatic skies during sunset.
The tip of the Cape Peninsula, with the iconic Cape of Good Hope has some great scenery to take epic pictures perfect to upload on Instagram. From the more visited areas, Cape Point with the lighthouse and Cape of Good Hope sign to small coves and empty beaches overlooking the most south westerly tip of Africa, anywhere you go you will find a great spot for taking that awesome shot. Just beware of the infamous winds that can be very strong at times.
Penguins at Boulders Beach
Penguins are cute, penguins are funny, penguins are very photogenic. Did you know that you don’t have to go all the way to the coldest areas of this planet to see these funny little creatures? The Jackass Penguin is the only species living on the African continent, and there are thousands of them. The best way of seeing lots of penguins and to take lots of photos of them is on Boulders Beach, just outside of Simon’s town.
Get up close and personal with the African penguins and spend some time watching and enjoying them.
What was your most instagrammable place in Cape Town or South Africa?
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