Donnerstag, 12. Mai 2016

CAPE TOWN VIBEZ: 10 Tips for your visit

Wether you're planning a trip to the beautiful Cape Town or you've been there before and just want to check if I'm not talking trash: After reading this post you'll probably want to book your flights to this amazing destination a little sooner than planned.
Cape Town was my home for 5 months and I've seen a lot of things that I can definitely recommend (I've also seen a lot of things that I can NOT recommend). This post is not meant to be a boring guide. I want to give advice on how to have the best time possible in this city. At least, I followed these tips and I can garantuee you that I had the best time of my life. 
Okay, let's stop beating around the bush. 
Here are my top 10 Tips for an unforgettable stay in the Mothercity. There you go!

 #1: Saturday Morning's Bisquit Mill Visit 

Seriously, I've seen a lot of markets, shopping centres, malls. But the Bisquit Mill in artsy Woodstock was my absolute favourite. The market offers unique and trendy clothing, mostly handmade and designed locally. I bought the coolest stuff there and I'm still very bleak that I discovered this market much too late. Not only can you choose from a wide range of healthy and freshly made food (Smoothies, Curries, Sandwiches, Coffee,..) but there is also live music and simply a great vibe to indulge in. So If you want to kick start your Saturday on a good note, then be sure to visit The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, you will certainly be spoilt for choice!

#2: Sign up for English lessons

Even if you are going to stay in Cape Town for a short time only, don't miss the opportunity to sign up at a language school. The people you meet there will make your stay, I promise! The international atmosphere is amazing and you will learn so much more than only English. Actually, there is only one language school I would recommend to you and it's the one and only International House Cape Town (Check out the IH - Website), located in hip Sea Point. I will never forget the conversations I had with my teachers, my fellows and the staff. Smart people from all over the world discussing a global subject was the most interesting thing I've ever experienced and I can't help but smile when I remember my time in this awesome school. 

If you wanna hear me talking about my life as an Au Pair and IH-student as well as one of my teachers Dani, check out this video (German alert!). International House Cape Town is also represented on InstagramYoutube and on Facebook:



#3: Try different things than Longstreet

Yes, Longstreet is meant to be THE place to be when it comes to partying in Cape Town. For sure, there are great bars, but if anyone is trying to get me to "Dubliner" one more time, there might be killings. Since I'm a convinced Hip Hop Head, it's hard to please me. I just can't deal with those drunk people singing "Wonderwall" on stage and celebrating the music that comes straight outta "American Pie". Nevertheless, there ARE places, I would send you to:
My personal favourites: 
- Cubana Lounge: It gets pretty crowded every night, make sure to reserve a table at least one day in advance. The food is pretty good and the later it gets the more dancing is going on. If you like African House, mixed with cool RnB & Hip Hop, you'll be oh so right at Cubana. Dresscode: stylish (no need to overdo it)

- COCO: pretty classy club. Ladies: Don't try to enter the club without high heels, unless you're Ms. Columbia or look old and rich. I know what I'm talking about.

- Chez Ntemba: If you love African Vibes and don't mind a little trashy atmosphere, go there. I'm not gonna say too much about it lol.

#4: Skip the township tour and go to Mzoli's instead.

I've never been a fan of township tours. I don't feel comfortable "visiting" people and being flashed about how "poor" they are. Even if there are many different opinios about that, I just didn't do it. If you want to at least TASTE a little township air, you can visit Mzoli's in Gugulhethu. It gets pretty hot inside and I'm not only talking about the temperature. Sweaty people dancing, eating sausages and other kind of meat (I am talking about the FOOD!) and having a great time: This is Mzoli's. Go there on Sundays for lunchtime and enjoy African Deep House. 

#5: Use Uber and have great convos with the Uberdrivers

Uber is THE shit, I seriously don't know why Germany hasn't realised that yet. Cheap drives, friendly drivers and cars that are not as messed up as the other cabs in Cape Town. 
Uber, I got your back. The conversations you have with these drivers are simply great. They teach you about their home (which is mostly not Cape Town, mostly not even South Africa), their views on gender roles and if you're lucky, they even remember you the next time you get in their car. It's fantastic, I swear! 

#6: Bootlegger Coffee for president

There weren't many days when I didn't get my a** in one of these coffee shops. The coffee is a-m-a-z-i-n-g, the food is d-e-v-i-n-e and the staff is w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l. Thumbs up for Bootlegger!

#7: Longstreet by day 

It may surprise you BUT Longstreet by day is actually not as creepy as by night. Hard to imagine, but you can even go there ALONE. Surfshops, tattoo studio (Wildfire Tattoo Studio ONLY!), good coffeeshops, the African Music Store, etc. Located close to Green Market Square you can inhale a bit of Africa. Please don't do the following things if you want to be cool: Believe the salesmen on Green Market Square. The things they sell are NOT unique, are NOT as pricey as they would like to sell them and they DON'T think you're the most beautiful girl on earth. And don't go to Mama Africa. Just don't. You don't wanna be that kind of tourist.

#8: Lion's Head. A classic

If you're not the athlete of the year (like me) you better take enough things with you to cover the sweaty face and hair when you're at the top. Take as many pictures as you wish. You won't regret it. Take enough water, sunscreen and a cap. The view you'll get is breathtaking. 

#9: Visit the Southern Suburbs

Doesn't matter if you go to Woodstock, Observatory or Claremont. The Southern Suburbs are worth a visit. Even if it can be a little dodgy by night, don't miss the cool bars and restaurants. It's a place for young people, students, individuals... The vibe here is just crazy.

#10:  Sometimes you gotta just DO it.

I don't wanna pretend that Cape Town is the safest place on earth. If you use your common sense and add a dash of precaution, you'll be able to make it without being killed. No, I'm just kidding. There is a lot of mystery going on about the safety of Cape Town. 
What you should take care of under all circumstances: 
- Lock your car and leave it on a public parking. Never park your car in dodgy streets at night
- Keep your belongings close to you and don't put your phone in your backpocket (I did, I regretted)
- Don't stroll around in dodgy areas unless you are with a person FROM the dodgy area.

What I actually wanted to say is that sometimes, when you're with a group of friends, you should dare stuff. 
There might be a man in a cab telling you he's a DJ and he'll get you in the club for free. Sounds ridiculous. But it might be just right ( Truth alert: It happened to us). 
There might be a girl telling you she's a famous politician. Sounds funny. It might be true. (Yes, that as well). So yes, be aware. But don't let your carefulness ruin your opportunities. Cape Town is full of surprises and you shouldn't hesitate to become one of them! 

Now book your flight, enjoy your visit and stay as lekker as you are!
xx Helena

I linked further recommendations of mine below. Feel free to check them out.

- All the latest news, tips, trends and recommendations here: Kapstadtmagazin.
You can decide wether you wanna read their articles in English, German or Dutch! 

- Cute guest house in Rondebosch. The owners are extremely sweet and the room is gorgeous. Moreover, it's more than affordable:   Riverton Cottage Rondebosch

- Good music on the radio: 5fm and Metro FM 

- If you want to experience something while eating your food visit the Eastern Food Bazar in the City Bowl

- My favourite Spa in town: Yemaya Spa & Hair 

- Best place for a date: The Galileo Open Air Cinemas


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