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Cape Town, South Africa

I can’t seem to take Cape Town out of my mind. If you haven’t been before to Cape Town, then you are reading the right post!! I’m sharing my short experience in Cape Town, and my tips.

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1. Sleep.

Cape Town has a huge number of accommodation options, from super fancy to rustic backpacker type places, so you are likely to find exactly what you need. For younger people, the city centre as well as surroundings including; Camps Bay, Bantry Bay, De Waterkant, Gardens, Tamboerskloof, Clifton, Sea Point, Mouille Point, Higgovale and Orangezicht. These are either located near nightlife or the sea. Alternatively you could stay in the university area of Newlands, which is a quick drive into the centre. For those looking for something a little different or for a bit of surfing, the smaller coastal towns of Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek, Hout Bay and Llundadno might be appealing but please note these are a little more out of the way.

For a relatively comprehensive listing of Cape Town self-catering, b&bs and hotels, go to www.capestay.co.za and refer to tripadvisor for reviews.

During my visit, I stayed in a boutique hotel called: Cascades on the Promenade (you can find it on booking.com). A wonderful boutique hotel, friendly staff and great breakfast. The owner was around, he welcomed us and showed us everything in the hotel. The hotel is 10 mins drive to the waterfront. Good for either a family or a group of friends.

Otherwise, if you’re looking to stay in a villa, this could help: http://www.capevillas.com/New_Hotlists/Camps_Bay_Villas.shtml

2. Tip.

If you’re comfortable driving on the same side of the road as in England, then I highly advise you to rent a car. A convertible car. Beautiful beautiful scenery going from one place to another.

3. Touristy stuff.

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– Go up Table Mountain (either hike or use the cable car). If you’re an athlete, hike for sure!! It’s not an easy hike though, it’s kinda steep. Otherwise, cable car is your friend.

– See the penguins at Boulders Beach (warm water, rock formations and cute penguins)

– Chapmans Peak Drive (one of the most scenic drives in the world)

– V&A Waterfront (beautiful indoor/outdoor mall – great shopping and eating – located by the sea with opportunity to go on boat trips around the coast)

Kirstenbosch Gardens (amazing botanical gardens at the foot of a mountain, they have great sunset concerts on Sunday evenings)

Camps Bay/Clifton (prime beach real estate, such a wonderful setting to spend the day in the sun with the mountains behind you – parking is a nightmare in summer, be warned!)

Robben Island (more history focused than anything, this is a small island off the coast where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for a long time), we took a boat to the island, and did the tour – worth visiting if you like history!

– Hermanus (coastal town, perfect for whale watching)

– Drive in your convertible to Cape of Good Hope. Drive by the sea.

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4. I did it, you can do it.

A) SHARK CAGE DIVING.

We rented a private driver-guide for sharkcage diving. We did it with Shark Cage Diving Gansbaai (http://www.sharkcagediving.co.za). They arrange for your pick-up and your drop-off from and back to the hotel.

Guys, you DO NOT swim with the sharks deep in the water in this one. You dive in a cage and you’re very close to the surface. You dive with great white sharks so they’re very dangerous and this tour/dive is mainly for people with no diving licenses.

B) Helicopter Ride.

This ride was absolutely fantastic. I booked The CapeTown Scenic Flight with these guys: http://www.helicopterscapetown.co.za

5. Eating out.

Haiku restaurant is a fun place to eat out, they do Asian fusion and are famous for Asian tapas. Rick’s Cafe in the city centre is a wonderful place to go and have snacks as it has a large roof terrace with a view of the mountains – all kinds of interesting cigars are also sold there for cigar lovers. The Bombay Bicycle Club is a funky place to eat delicious grills and African food, its also in a very convenient central location. Royale Eatery on Long street is a yummy trendy hamburger place, on the top is a trendy bar/club called the Waiting Room – definitely worth checking out. Cape 2 Cuba in Kalk Bay is a bit away from the centre (on the other side of the mountain) but has delicious food and is a very interesting spot.

To find a specific restaurant or read about more dining in Cape Town, you should go to www.eatout.co.za.

On a Sunday afternoon, starting at 5 or 6 pm (more or less), go to Caprice Bar, which is a beach front bar in Camps Bay, very cool vibe, very good crowd, DJ playing soft house music and everyone chilling there while watching the sunset.

6. Final words.

Be safe!! South Africa is a wonderful place to visit; however, this paradise isn’t perfect – crime and car accidents are both a serious concern. When driving at night be extra vigilant as many other drivers do drink and drive. Avoid driving long distances after dark when possible. Always lock your car when driving and ensure valuables are not visible when stopping at traffic lights. Ensure whatever accommodation you choose has adequate security measures in place (secure parking, a safe, an alarm or physical security etc) Don’t walk around with a fancy laptop/camera etc when this isn’t necessary, the more concealed the better. As in most countries, there are good and bad areas (unless on a guided tour avoid shanty towns and poorer areas).

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Salud, and enjoy Paradise! Toomzie

Explore Barcelona with Hello965

1. Book your flight

Barcelona’s main airport name is initialed “BCN” – Aeroport de Barcelona-El Prat, Aeroport de Barcelona (Catalan) or Aeropuerto de Barcelona (Spanish).

Many flights would take you to Barcelona depending on the country of departure. From Kuwait, you have the following options: KLM, British Airways, Emirates, Qatar, Turkish, Lufthansa.

 

2. Book your hotel

  •  W Hotel (Our favorite)
  • Hotel Omm
  • Hotel Neri (Gothic Quarter)
  • Hotel Casa Camper
  • Hotel Bagués
  • Room Mate Emma (Budget friendly)
  • Hotel España Ramblas
  • Hotel Miramar Barcelona

 

3. Plan your food and make reservations if needed

 

We have posted previously about our restaurant recommendations in Barcelona, you could find the post here.

 

4. Plan your activities and days

Must-Sees:

Placa Espanya (magic fountains)
Gaudi’s Parc Guell
La Sagrada Familia
Camp Nou

 

More to see: Placa Catalunya, Poble Espanyol (book dinner there with flamenco),  Arts Hotel (weather is warm enough to walk on the beach), Casa Gaudi, La Pedrera, Rambla Catalunya (nice to walk and stop for a coffee), Placa Reial, visit El Born district because it is where the hand crafts area is, at night watch out in Raval it’s the redlight district, visit Gotico it’s the Gothic district, visit Mont Juïc, La Rambla is the most popular street but careful (lots of pick pockets), Barceloneta is super nice too, Palau Musica Catalana. As we always recommend, use the Hop On Hop Off Bus tour to see the main attractions of the city.

 

Shoppings:

  • El Corte Inglés – spread over 9 floors and possibly the most important chain store in Europe, can be found on the Plaça de Catalunya
  • Arenas (bullring turned into shopping mall, huge)
  • Passeo de Gracia (look down when you are walking this street, each tile was designed by Gaudi)
  • Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol is usually filled with street musicians, fortune-tellers and painters. This area is full of designer boutiques and handicraft shops that will definitely tempt you into buying
  • El Bulevard Rosa– Indoor arcade of over 100 shops in the heart of the Barri Gotic area – mostly clothes boutiques.  The side streets in the area are lined with a multitude of antique shops – visit Bulevard dels Antiquaris, which has more than 70 antiques shops, mostly furnishings, paintings, decorative items
  • Las Rozas Village (Outlet Mall, Car needed to get there)

Activities:

  • Sailboat (“Sail along the marina front and discover Barcelona from a new perspective. Explore sea life and navigation techniques, and learn how to cruise on this impressive sailboat. See how it works and learn everything you need to know about sail trimming, navigation courses and more. This is the perfect initiation to sailboat cruising!”)
  • A full day tour – 11 Hours maybe? – to Vic and the Pyrenees Mountains (Recommended!)
  • Portaventura Park (Rides, Roller coasters, shows .. Needs a full day)
  • Barcelona Walking Tours
  • Montjuïc Cable Car Ride (“See the sights of Barcelona from a Montjuïc cable car. Discover the city’s greenbelt areas, and enjoy views from the castle atop Montjuic Hill”)
  • Barcelona City Bike Tours
  • Photography Tours to those who love photography
  • Tapas Walking Tour
  • Hot Air Balloon ride

 

5. Maybe Road Trip?

Depending on how long you’re staying there is alot you could do in Spain. I suggest you look up both Valencia & Costa Brava (The Costa Brava, especially the part closer to the French border, has amazing landscapes, but be prepared for strong cold winds). Both different directions so you should choose one of them and not both.

 If you require more information on Valencia and/or Costa Brava, please feel free to email us, or contact us on our “Contact Us” Form on the blog.

 

6. HAVE.A.BLAST. 😀

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Cheers,

Hello965 Team