When the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront was reborn way back in 1991, few could have predicted how it would transform Cape Town’s social scene.
Named after Queen Victoria and her son Prince Alfred, and with a maritime legacy dating back more than 350 years, the picturesque harbour of the V&A Waterfront is still used by tugs, fishing boats and various other vessels. But its reinvention as a quayside leisure hub – with ten distinct districts, each with its own character and charm, spread over 300 acres – has also made it the most visited destination in all of South Africa.
A safe, clean, central and expertly managed hub of energy, activity and creativity, it’s easy to see why locals and visitors alike (25 million people a year, in fact) flock to the V&A Waterfront. With 500 shops, 100 places to eat and a bucketload of family-friendly activities, the V&A offers everything from sunset cruises to trendy shops and live entertainment – all with the icon that is Table Mountain as your backdrop. And it’ll soon be home to Africa’s first Time Out Market, to boot.
Ready to dive in (not literally)? Here are the very best things to do on your visit to this lively, historic harbour precinct.
Matthew Sterne is a writer and tour guide based in Cape Town. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines and check out our latest travel guides written by local experts.
📍 The best things to do in Cape Town
🍽️ The best restaurants in Cape Town
🍸 The best bars in Cape Town
🛏 Where to stay in Cape Town