Where to Stay, Go and Eat while on the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
In the immense shadow of Table Mountain, tucked away into the Atlantic Coasts of Cape Town is the timeless coastal feature, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. The maritime landmark is named after Prince Alfred, the second son of Queen Victoria, who was the first British monarch to visit the Cape Colony in 1860. Today it operates as South Africa's oldest active harbor and draws nearly 23 million visitors a year. With plenty to do and see in this must-visit corner of the Mother City, here are our top picks to plan your next adventure.
Where to Stay
No search of the waterfront is going to come up without a reference to the Victoria and Alfred Hotel. This place is historical. Built in 1904, this hotel is a time machine smack dab in the center of the action. If history is not enough to woo you and you're looking for luxury, the Table Bay Hotel has you covered. You could get caught up in all the hotel's on-site offerings, but if you do decide to venture out, the waterfront is only 8 minutes away. The best of both worlds is a stay at the Protea Hotel Cape Town Waterfront Breakwater Lodge. Yes, its a Marriot but it's a cool Marriot built into a renovated 19th-century building with views of both the waterfront and Signal Hill. Historic, luxurious, convenient, and... some potential reward points.
Where to Go
There are over 450 retail outlets on the waterfront alone, so the primary activity is going to be exploring and shopping. It's a good bet you'll be leaving here with a souvenir. For those interested in developing their marine biology backgrounds, the waterfront offers a unique setting at the Two Oceans Aquarium. This aquarium, located at the convergence of the Indian and Atlantic oceans, offers various exhibits and the opportunity for PADI certified divers to even get in the tanks themselves. If history is your vibe, the waterfront is also the departure point for tours to Robben Island, the Apartheid era maximum security prison where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. Tours take three and a half hours but are sure to leave a lasting impression on all visitors.
Where to Eat
Now the critical part, where to eat. Mitchell's Scottish Ale House is a favorite spot on the water, especially their evening booze cruise and karaoke. Their jalapeno poppers are a must order. The Greek Fisherman is one of the oldest restaurants on the waterfront and with a mutual love for lamb blends South African and Greek flavors in a way you won't forget. Vegan friends, South Africa, is a carnivore's country, but that doesn't mean you have to starve. Hungry Herbivore is right on the water and is sure to leave you with nothing on your plate and big ol' smile on your face.
The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is quintessential South Africa. Its a place of extraordinary contrast and beauty with no shortage of things to do. If ever in Cape Town, this is the place to be.