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Cape Town

The Best Destinations in Cape Town

Elise Kirsten
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

If remote working destinations were rated entirely on their beauty then Cape Town, with its gorgeous backdrop of Table Mountain and miles of pristine coast, would arguably be among the world’s most sought-after. In addition to the scenery and the lifestyle, the cosmopolitan city is positioned to attract remote workers with one of Africa’s most extensive open fiber networks and over 30 coworking spaces to choose from. 

This creative hub brims with entrepreneurs and start-ups, especially in the tech sector, and it has been referred to as the Silicon Valley of Africa. Cape Town is a vibrant place where collaboration, design, and sustainability all matter. In terms of lifestyle, Cape Town’s culinary scene is top-notch with a wonderful assortment of restaurants and bars—many of which offer incredible views to complement the food. There are theaters, malls, gyms, and studios but if you prefer the outdoors, hiking and mountain biking trails criss-cross Table Mountain and there are also numerous parks and gardens. Not to mention, the ocean is right at your doorstep.

EXPLORE
DEEPER
V&A WATERFRONT
RATINGS OUT OF 5
SAFETY
4
This neighborhood is safe.
This neighborhood is safe.
FOOD
5
There are too many good restaurants to choose from.
There are too many good restaurants to choose from.
VALUE FOR MONEY
2
Higher cost offset by amenities.
Higher cost offset by amenities.
REMOTE WORKING
4
This neighborhood has a good amount of places to work outside the house.
This neighborhood has a good amount of places to work outside the house.

When you head down to the V&A Waterfront, you’ll find a pleasant multicultural bustle of people enjoying a picture-perfect setting. Boats and catamarans bob in the harbor, while seals sun themselves and seagulls flit from place to place. It’s a sublime area to work remotely, but it can get quite busy during the holidays. The Waterfront offers mostly luxury living in apartments that have amenities like gyms and multiple swimming pools and some have access to the marina. While most of the accommodation is priced at a premium because of the location, there are affordable apartments in this location too. It’s a safe, secure area with walkable access to many of the popular attractions nearby. You can enjoy a morning run along the paved paths and boardwalks and you can extend your route by jogging along the Sea Point Promenade to the east (right next to the ocean) or the nearby Green Point Park.

For a trendy coworking spot, head to Workshop 17 which is situated above a craft market and close to the Two Oceans Aquarium, or Cube Work Space which has a slightly more formal office feel. For good coffee and an early start, try Native Coffee Roasters which overlooks the water and is situated alongside Nobel Square, where you’ll find monuments to South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize winners. W Café overlooks the quieter side of the harbor and is tucked away at the back of Woolworths, a department store in the Victoria and Alfred Shopping Mall. You’ll get a spectacular view of Table Mountian through the hotel’s unusual geometric windows.

The Waterfront also offers almost limitless options for entertainment like sunset cruises, paddleboarding, or the Ferris wheel. To see contemporary African Art visit the Zeitz MOCAA or pay a visit to the historic Robben Island, the place where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years before becoming South Africa’s first democratically-elected president. The popular Oranjezicht City Farm Market is held every weekend at the Waterfront and is a great spot to grab brunch. Besides fresh farm produce and flowers, there are vintage clothing and food stalls that serve an array of international cuisine.

When you want to spend time on the beach, try Cabo Beach Club or The Grand Africa Café and Beach. Tobago's is another restaurant and bar on the water’s edge, where it’s not uncommon to spot a pod of dolphins nearby. Quay Four Tavern is one of the oldest harbor front restaurants at the V&A Waterfront and offers fresh seafood, burgers, and pizza. Cause and Effect is a relatively new cocktail kitchen that has won accolades for being among the world’s best bars, while the Bascule Bar (known for its whisky selection) offers an escape from the more energetic spaces. Other restaurants at the Waterfront worth visiting include Harbour House, Signal, Ginja, and Den Anker.

GARDENS
RATINGS OUT OF 5
SAFETY
3
This neighborhood is okay.
This neighborhood is okay.
FOOD
5
There are too many good restaurants to choose from.
There are too many good restaurants to choose from.
VALUE FOR MONEY
3
Okay cost of living.
Okay cost of living.
REMOTE WORKING
5
This neighborhood has many places to work outside the house.
This neighborhood has many places to work outside the house.

Gardens is a popular suburb of Cape Town and home to the artsy Labia Theatre and the five-star Mount Nelson Hotel. In this unmissable pink Victorian building, you can book a decadent high tea experience, or visit its Planet Bar for cocktails. The neighborhood is also host to a number of vibrant restaurants and bars, many of which line Kloof Street.

Workspaces include a branch of Workshop 17, as well as Craft+Graft, which has two coworking spaces in the Gardens. If you’d prefer to work from a café, Molten Toffee  (although small and situated on the busier, lower-end of Kloof Street) has good WiFi and coffee. Like many other work-friendly cafés it has a long table up against the window that’s slightly raised and perfect for working at. Liquorice and Lime, situated higher up Kloof Street, near a park, has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and a similar laptop-friendly table at the window which looks out directly at Table Mountain. Our Local is another option that has a restaurant with antique furnishings and a gorgeous indoor terrarium. The spot gives you the feeling of being in someone’s living room during a tea party. The main area is typically filled with people socializing, remote workers can be found in the adjoining room where there’s a little less joviality.

For more extraordinary views while you’re working, head up the steep Kloof Nek Road to the lower cable station at the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, then catch a cable car and work from the WiFi Lounge and Deli on top. When you’re done for the day, you can take the cable car back down and order a craft beer or cocktail at the new bar, TAP. For a spot of dinner and nightlife, head to Kloof Street where Yindees serves authentic Thai food and you can also find Vietnamese cuisine at Saigon. The eclectic Bombay Bicycle Club, with its quirky and bohemian decor, serves an array of tasty meals including steaks, pasta, and vegan Buddha bowls.

Kloof Street House provides a more serious dining experience in a Victorian building where each room’s decor exudes a unique charm. For drinks and casual dining, try Rick’s American Café, The Wolf House, or Yours Truly, which serves pizza and sandwiches at tables beneath cascading greenery and its upstairs bar Up Yours has well-priced drinks. If you’re health-conscious, both the plant-based Nourish’d Café and the Poke Bowl Co have delicious and fresh fare. For another trendy bar and restaurant combination, you should also try Blondie or I Love The Dough.

CITY BOWL
RATINGS OUT OF 5
SAFETY
3
This neighborhood is okay.
This neighborhood is okay.
FOOD
5
There are too many good restaurants to choose from.
There are too many good restaurants to choose from.
VALUE FOR MONEY
3
Okay cost of living.
Okay cost of living.
REMOTE WORKING
5
This neighborhood has many places to work outside the house.
This neighborhood has many places to work outside the house.

The City Bowl is the traditional business hub of Cape Town. While this is where you’ll find most of the office buildings, a number of these have been converted into apartment blocks as inner-city living has become safer and more popular in recent years. If you prefer to live in a more traditional residential neighborhood and travel into the City Bowl to work or play, you’ll find the MyCiti Buses provide a cheap and reliable service, while ridesharing services like Uber, Bolt, Lyft,  and the female-driver-and-passenger-only ChaufHer is popular too.

Besides the work and residential spaces, you’ll find hotels, restaurants, the Artscape Theatre, and even the thrilling Ski-Hi Ride. Positioned on the roof of Hotel Sky, 28 floors above the ground, the Ski-High Ride drops riders at speeds of over 62 miles per hour. Inside Hotel Sky, the glitzy foyer lounge provides a comfortable space for working and you can grab coffee and snacks from its delicatessen. 

There are plenty of coworking spaces to choose from in central Cape Town, including Ideas Cartel, WeWork, Africaworks Cape Town, and Office and Co. If you’d prefer a relaxed coffee shop environment with boho vibes, The Ladder on Bree Street is delightful. There’s also a small coworking space called Open Co-Workspace nearby. 

If you’re looking for rooftop bars and restaurants, GiGi Rooftop Bar at the Gorgeous George Hotel is a must-visit for delicious food and a trendy ambiance. Other rooftop bars worth visiting include the Asian-inspired Tjing Tjing and Utopia, a great spot for a special date night. While lovely during the day, both the Mediterranean Vixi Social House and the tapas bar La Parada come alive when the music gets turned up at night. For live jazz and the blues visit The Blue Room, a cocktail lounge at the Grub and Vine restaurant.

To find some tranquility within the city, take a stroll beneath the trees of the Company’s Garden where squirrels scamper and pigeons jostle and coo in the hope of being fed. The Iziko South African Museum is at one end of the garden, while the South African National Art Gallery, the South African Jewish Museum, and Cape Town Holocaust and Genocide Centre are also a short walk away.

ZONNEBLOEM
RATINGS OUT OF 5
SAFETY
2
This neighborhood is somewhat unsafe.
This neighborhood is somewhat unsafe.
FOOD
2
There are a few good restaurants.
There are a few good restaurants.
VALUE FOR MONEY
4
Lower cost of living for remote workers.
Lower cost of living for remote workers.
REMOTE WORKING
3
This neighborhood has a decent amount of places to work outside the house.
This neighborhood has a decent amount of places to work outside the house.

Zonnebloem, also known as the East City Precinct, has an eclectic mix of semi-industrial and Victorian buildings. Coworking spaces in Zonnebloem include Roam Work and Cape Town Office and from either of these workspaces, it’s a short walk to the District Six Museum and the historic Castle of Good Hope (the oldest building in South Africa). The area is known for its creative edge and along with the City Bowl, it hosts monthly First Thursdays—where you can wander between galleries, museums, restaurants, and shops that stay open late.

For a brilliant cup of coffee in an eye-catching setting with steampunk decor, head to Truth Coffee. This space, like the nearby and equally popular Bootlegger Coffee Company, has dark interiors that provide a cocoon-like environment in which to work. If you want healthy snacks or drinks while you work, visit The Electric and for an unusual work-friendly space try the crêpes at the Parisian-inspired Swan Café where the waiters are dressed in Breton stripes. The menu includes French pastries, crêpes, and savory galettes (including gluten-free options), along with a selection of teas and coffee.

A superb dining option for meat lovers is Belly of the Beast, with its tasting menu featuring locally sourced dishes. For vegans and vegetarians, try Wild Eatery, while the popular Dias Tavern serves delicious Portuguese food in a very informal setting with plastic seating. For live music, cocktails and food, head to Harrington’s Cocktail Lounge or try Downtown Ramen for Japanese broth-and-noodle dishes and homemade mochi.