Solo Travel Cape Town: A Guide to Independent Adventures

by | Apr 22, 2024 | Africa, City Breaks

Table Mountain in Cape Town

Oh, Cape Town! This city, a melting pot where the sea kisses the mountains, is a paradise for solo wanderers seeking both thrills and tranquility. Picture the first light of dawn hitting Table Mountain, the cloud cover over the mountain slowly dissipating, setting the stage for a day filled with unique Cape Town adventures.

Solo traveling here? It’s like diving into a thrilling novel; each day is a new page filled with unexpected highlights. Whether you’re after peaceful moments or heart-racing adventures, Cape Town has it all. It’s no wonder that I’ve been returning there time and again, for over 20 years.

Eager to discover the soul of Cape Town on your own? Join me as we list the endless possibilities awaiting in the Mother City.

Is Cape Town Good for Solo Travel?

Cape Town greets solo travelers with open arms, a warm smile, and an invitation to explore its variety of experiences. It’s a city where solitude becomes your companion on adventures through winding streets, up steep mountains, and along endless coastlines. Here, every café, museum, and beach seems to whisper, “Come in, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.”

But what makes Cape Town truly special for those traveling alone, besides the plethora of activities for solo travelers? It’s the ease with which you can meld into the local fabric, becoming part of the city’s bustling life without ever feeling isolated.

As you set out to explore this city, remember that Cape Town’s charm lies in its ability to make everyone feel at home, even when they’re miles away from their own. 

Solo Date Ideas: Things to Do Alone in Cape Town

Solo travel to Cape Town is about discovering what moves you, challenges you, and delights you. Whether you’re meandering through museums, lounging in lush gardens, or tantalizing your taste buds, Cape Town offers a plethora of solo date options that promise a day of self-discovery and joy.

Cultural Immersion and History

  • The Castle of Good Hope, South Africa’s oldest colonial building, was erected by the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century. Initially a fort, it now offers insights into Cape Town’s evolution from a maritime replenishment station to its current dynamism. With tours of its vast grounds, military museum, and the ceremonial guard change, the Castle highlights Cape Town’s historical role in global trade and the intricacies of colonial dominance.
castle of good hope Cape Town
  • Zeitz MOCAA: Start your cultural immersion at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. This museum is a conversation starter, with every piece challenging your perceptions and inviting introspection.
  • District Six Museum: For a deep dive into the heartache and resilience of Cape Town’s past, the District Six Museum offers a poignant glimpse into the lives affected by apartheid.
  • Robben Island: a beacon of the fight for freedom and equality, globally recognized for imprisoning Nelson Mandela for 18 years. Tours, frequently guided by ex-prisoners, include a ferry trip, a walk through the maximum security prison, and a view into Mandela’s preserved cell, offering a deep dive into the endurance and fight against apartheid. It embodies the triumph of the human spirit over hardship and injustice.
  • City Walking Tours: Join one of the many free walking tours for an up-close and personal look at Cape Town’s historical landmarks, vibrant street art, and architectural marvels. It’s a chance to connect with the city’s pulse and its people.

Enjoying Nature in Cape Town as a Solo Traveler

Nature in Cape Town isn’t just a backdrop; it’s an interactive experience that encourages solo travelers to engage, reflect, and find peace. Some of the highlights: 

Canopy Walk at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
  • Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens: Wander through the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, have a picnic in the gardens, do some yoga, meditate or visit one of the summer concerts.
  • Clifton Beaches: Pack a picnic and head to one of the Clifton beaches. Each cove has its charm, offering a serene spot to bask in the sun’s embrace or dive into the pages of a good book. 
  • Table Mountain and Lion’s Head: For a bit of adventure, join a group hike up Lion’s Head at dawn or dusk. The city lights and natural landscapes will take your breath away.

Culinary Adventures

Solo dining in Cape Town is an exploration of flavors that tell the story of its diverse community.

  • The Old Biscuit Mill: A visit to The Old Biscuit Mill, especially on a lively Saturday morning, offers a feast for the senses with artisanal foods and local crafts.
  • Truth Coffee: For coffee aficionados, Truth Coffee isn’t just a café; it’s a cult of the bean, where each sip is a testament to the art of coffee making.
  • Wine Tasting with Lunch: Enjoy a wine tasting and lunch in the Cape Winelands. Opt for a visit to Constantia, Cape Town’s historic wine estate, where you can savor exquisite wines paired with gourmet meals. Alternatively, embark on a wine tram tour in Franschhoek, allowing you to hop on and off at various vineyards, exploring unique varietals and enjoying lunch with breathtaking vineyard views.

Looking for restaurant suggestions for a solo date? Take a look at the article ‘Best Restaurants in Cape Town

Budget Activities to Do Alone in Cape Town

Cape Town is a playground for the solo traveler, proving that the best things in life (or at least in this vibrant city) don’t always come with a price tag. From educational walks through the heart of the city to lazy days spent in nature’s lap, here’s how you can make the most of Cape Town on a shoestring budget.

Colorful Houses in Bo Kaap in Cape Town, South Africa

Free Walking Tours

Joining a free walking tour is an unbeatable way to get acquainted with Cape Town’s rich history, culture, and architecture. These tours are led by enthusiastic guides passionate about sharing their knowledge.

You can choose from a variety of themes, including historical tours, street art explorations, and even a glimpse into Cape Town’s nightlife. While the tours are free, tipping your guide is encouraged as a gesture of appreciation for their insight and time.

Public Parks and Beaches

Cape Town has an abundance of natural beauty, much of which can be enjoyed for free. The city’s parks and beaches are perfect for a day of relaxation or exploration without spending a dime.

  • Company’s Garden: Nestled in the heart of the city, this historic park offers a peaceful escape with its lush lawns, shaded walkways, and vibrant flower beds.
  • Table Mountain National Park: While there’s a fee to take the cable car to the top, hiking up Table Mountain or Lion’s Head provides the same breathtaking views without the cost.
  • Clifton and Camps Bay Beaches: Spend a day sunbathing, swimming, or just watching the sunset over the ocean at these picturesque beaches.

Market Hopping

Cape Town’s markets are a melting pot of cultures, offering a taste of the city’s diverse communities through food, crafts, and performances. They’re also a treasure trove for budget-friendly finds.

  • Greenmarket Square: One of the city’s oldest markets, perfect for those looking to pick up unique African crafts, textiles, and souvenirs.
  • Oranjezicht City Farm Market: Located beside the V&A Waterfront, this weekend market is ideal for sampling organic foods, freshly baked goods, and artisanal products.
Fruits at Oranjezicht Market Cape Town

Exploring Cape Town doesn’t require a hefty budget. With its array of free and affordable experiences, the city is yours to discover, offering memories that are both enriching and economical.

Exciting Things to Do in Cape Town

Cape Town is a city where adventure and culture collide, offering an array of activities that pump adrenaline and enrich the soul. Whether you’re soaring above the city, diving into the deep blue, or dancing the night away, Cape Town promises solo travelers unforgettable experiences.

Adventure Activities

For those who thrive on adrenaline, Cape Town is your playground.

  • Paragliding off Lion’s Head: Experience the thrill of flying as you paraglide from Lion’s Head, enjoying panoramic views of the city and coastline.
  • Swimming with Seals: Dive into the Atlantic and swim alongside the playful seals near Duiker Island. It’s a unique opportunity to connect with marine life in their natural habitat.
  • Quad Biking: Explore the rugged landscapes and sand dunes around Cape Town on a quad bike, an exhilarating way to discover the untamed beauty of the region.
  • Surfing in Muizenberg: Catch waves at Muizenberg, known for its consistent surf breaks, making it ideal for beginners and seasoned surfers alike.
  • Mountain Biking: Tackle the trails of Table Mountain or the Tokai Forest for an action-packed day on two wheels, with trails offering stunning vistas.

Read more about adventure activities in the article ‘Fun Cape Town Activities for Adrenaline Junkies.’

swimming with seals hout bay

Cultural Festivals

Cape Town’s cultural calendar is bursting with festivals that celebrate its rich heritage and contemporary arts scene.

  • Cape Town Jazz Festival: Groove to the rhythms of local and international jazz artists at one of the most prestigious jazz festivals globally.
  • Cape Town International Film Festival: Discover cinematic gems and celebrate the art of filmmaking with screenings across the city.
  • Infecting the City: This public arts festival transforms the streets of Cape Town into an open-air gallery, showcasing live performances, installations, and artworks.
  • Cape Town Carnival: Experience the vibrancy of Cape Town in a parade of floats, costumes, and dancers.


As the sun sets, Cape Town’s nightlife awakens with a spectrum of options for solo travelers looking to unwind and mingle.

  • Long Street: The heart of Cape Town’s nightlife, Long Street is lined with bars, clubs, and restaurants. It’s the perfect place to meet locals and travelers alike.
  • The V&A Waterfront: For a more relaxed evening, the V&A Waterfront offers a variety of bars and eateries with live music, craft beers, and stunning harbor views.
  • Bree Street: This trendy street is a hotspot for those looking to dive into Cape Town’s craft beer scene and gourmet dining in a laid-back atmosphere. Bree Street is lined with an array of chic bars and eateries, where you can spend the evening sampling locally brewed beers and innovative dishes in stylish settings.
  • Kloof Street: Offering a slightly different vibe, Kloof Street is the go-to for foodies and night owls seeking a mix of casual and upscale venues. Here, the focus is on diverse culinary experiences, from cozy cafés to sophisticated restaurants, making it a perfect spot for solo travelers to enjoy a relaxing evening with great food and a chance to mingle with the locals.
  • Jazz Bars: Immerse yourself in Cape Town’s jazz scene at intimate venues across the city, where live bands perform nightly.
V&A Waterfront Cape Town at night

Staying Connected in Cape Town

Solo travel doesn’t have to mean solitude. Cape Town offers ample opportunities to connect with others and stay plugged into the digital realm, ensuring you’re never truly alone unless you choose to be. Here are some tips and spots for meeting people and keeping up with your digital life.

Meeting Fellow Travelers and Locals

Cape Town is a melting pot of cultures and personalities, making it the perfect place to expand your social circle.

  • Hostel Hangouts: Staying in hostels is not just a budget-friendly accommodation option; it’s a social one. Many hostels in Cape Town have communal areas or organize events, making it easy to meet fellow travelers.
  • Social Meetups: Platforms like offer a variety of groups and events in Cape Town, from hiking clubs to wine tasting groups. It’s a great way to meet locals and travelers with similar interests.
working online in Cape Town

Co-working Spaces and Cafes with WiFi

For digital nomads or those who just need to catch up on some emails, Cape Town has a thriving café culture and plenty of co-working spaces.

  • Co-working Spaces: Spaces like Workshop17 offer excellent environments for productivity with the bonus of networking opportunities. They provide all the amenities a digital nomad could need, from high-speed internet to meeting rooms.
  • Cafes with WiFi: Cape Town’s cafes not only serve up delicious coffee but also provide strong WiFi and a comfortable atmosphere for working. Truth Coffee Roasting and Origin Coffee Roasting are favorites among locals and travelers alike for their vibrant atmospheres and excellent brews.

Budgeting for Your Cape Town Adventure

Navigating the costs of solo travel in Cape Town can be straightforward with some insights into daily expenses and savvy saving tips.

Understanding the Costs

  • Beer at a Bar: On average, a local beer costs between R30 to R50 (about $1.65 to $2.75). It’s a small price for a taste of the craft beer scene.
  • Coffee at a Coffee Shop: A quality cup ranges from R20 to R35 (approximately $1.10 to $1.93), offering a chance to dive into the local coffee culture.
  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Per night costs range from R800 to R1500 (about $44 to $82.50) for hotels or guesthouses. Hostels offer dorm beds for R200 to R400 per night (around $11 to $22), mixing affordability with social opportunities.
  • Meal at a Mid-Range Restaurant: Budget about R100 to R200 (roughly $5.50 to $11) for a satisfying meal, including a drink.

Saving Tips Without Missing Out

  • Eat Like a Local: Street food and markets offer delicious meals at a fraction of restaurant prices.
  • Use Public Transport: The MyCiTi bus network is a budget-friendly way to navigate the city. A MyConnect card makes trips cheaper than taxis or rideshares.
  • Free Attractions: Enjoy the city’s beaches, parks, and some museums at no cost.
  • Happy Hours and Specials: Look out for discounts during off-peak hours, with significant savings on food and drinks.

Understanding basic costs and embracing local, cost-effective options allows for a memorable yet affordable Cape Town adventure. Smart planning ensures that the city’s vast experiences are enjoyed without overspending, proving that the best adventures often come with a modest price tag.

Bus in Cape Town

Getting Around in Cape Town

There is a range of options to get around Cape Town, that cater to different preferences, budgets, and safety considerations. Here’s how you can get around the city both safely and cost-effectively.

MyCiTi Bus Service

The MyCiTi bus is Cape Town’s integrated rapid transit system, providing reliable, affordable, and safe transportation across major routes in the city. Purchase a MyConnect card, load it with credit, and tap in and out at the start and end of your journeys. It’s perfect for reaching destinations like the V&A Waterfront, Table Mountain, and the city’s beautiful beaches.

Metered Taxis and Ride-Sharing Apps

For direct routes or travel during off-bus hours, metered taxis and ride-sharing apps like Uber are a convenient option. They offer the comfort and security of door-to-door service, with the price often reflecting the convenience. Always ensure the taxi is reputable and the meter is running, or use the app to track your journey and fare.

Bicycle Rentals and City Walking Tours

Exploring Cape Town by bike or on foot can be both exhilarating and eco-friendly. Rent a bicycle from numerous spots around the city for a leisurely ride along the Sea Point Promenade or through the lush Company’s Garden. 

For a deeper dive into the city’s history and culture, join one of the many free walking tours. It’s a great way to see the sights up close while ensuring you’re in the safe company of a group and knowledgeable guide.

Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus

The hop-on-hop-off bus tour is perfect for solo travelers wanting a flexible sightseeing experience. With routes covering major attractions like Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens, and Camps Bay, it allows you to explore at your own pace, with the added benefit of audio guides providing valuable insights into the city’s history and culture.

Table Mountain and night sky Cape Town

Safety in Cape Town

While Cape Town is a thrilling destination, staying vigilant about personal safety is crucial, especially for solo travelers.

  • Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with local news regarding safe and risky areas.
  • Valuables: Keep your valuables secure and out of sight to avoid attracting unwanted attention.
  • Night Travel: Avoid walking alone at night, especially in less busy areas. Opt for reputable taxis or ride-sharing services.
  • Local Advice: Don’t hesitate to ask locals or your accommodation hosts for safety tips — they know the city best.

Read more safety tips in the article ‘Is it Safe in Cape Town: a Fearless Traveler’s Fact Check. 


Exploring Cape Town alone is an adventure that promises breathtaking views, unique experiences, and memories that will last a lifetime.

From the heights of Table Mountain to the vibrant streets of the city center, every moment invites solo travelers to discover something new about the world and themselves. Cape Town serves as the perfect canvas for your solo journey.

Embrace the adventure, immerse yourself in the beauty and diversity of this city, and let Cape Town reveal its wonders to you, one solo exploration at a time.

If you are looking to explore beyond Cape Town or wondering what the best time is to visit South Africa, have a look at the article ‘South Africa through the seasons: Monthly Travel Highlights.’

FAQs Solo Travel in Cape Town

Is Cape Town safe for solo female travelers?

Yes, Cape Town can be safe for solo female travelers with the right precautions. Stick to well-lit, busy areas, and don’t walk around at night. Use reputable transport services or Uber, and stay informed about the areas you plan to visit.

Where can I go for a solo date in Cape Town?

  • Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens for a tranquil nature walk.
  • Zeitz MOCAA for contemporary art exploration.
  • A coffee shop in Bree Street to savor local flavors.

What can you do alone in Cape Town?

  • Hike up Table Mountain or Lion’s Head for stunning views.
  • Visit Robben Island to learn about Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment.
  • Explore the V&A Waterfront for shopping and dining experiences.

Where do singles go in Cape Town?

  • Long Street and Kloof Street for vibrant nightlife and socializing.
  • The Old Biscuit Mill for Saturday markets and artisanal foods.
  • Camps Bay Beach for sunbathing and meeting new people.

What are fun things for singles to do in Cape Town?

  • Join a group wine tour in Constantia or Franschhoek.
  • Take part in a cooking class featuring local cuisines.
  • Attend live music events at cafes and bars in the city.

What are some cheap things to do alone in Cape Town?

  • Free walking tours to discover the city’s history and culture.
  • Visit public parks like Company’s Garden for a peaceful retreat.
  • Market hopping at Greenmarket Square for affordable souvenirs and local crafts.

Written by Stefanie

I'm Stefanie, your adventurer-in-chief at She Roams Free, and solo travel enthusiast. The world has been my playground since I first hopped on a plane from my home in the Netherlands to South Africa by myself, way back in 2002. Solo travel has been my preferred way to see the world ever since, with South Africa, Namibia and Botswana being my favorite destinations. It has been a baptism by bushveld, a crash course in self-reliance, and a love affair with the unknown. My goal is to inspire other solo female travelers through my stories, and provide tips to explore the world safely and experience the same freedom!

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