Cape Town sees millions of international and domestic tourists each year, and with so much to do in and outside of the Mother City, it’s easy to see why.
Be it the sunshine during summer, vibrant colours of autumn, cosy activities in winter or magnificent whales in Spring, here’s your seasonal guide to visiting Cape Town all year round.
There is nothing quite like summer in Cape Town. As the season coincides with the festive season, there is a tangible atmosphere of celebration in the air.
December to February is the time of the year when the locals, businesses and the weather pull out all the stops for a collective good time.
Summers in Cape Town also mean long sunny days with late sunsets making it the perfect time of the year to capture the marine life playing in the sparkling ocean or the orange glow of the sun setting among the mountains.
Average temperatures average between 17°C (63°F) and 28°c (82°F), although it can reach as high as 40°C (104°F). With the warm weather, spending time outside is a must!
What to do:
Cool off in the tidal pools across the city
While visiting Cape Town beaches is at the top of your to-do list, the city boasts a range of refreshing tidal pools perfect for an afternoon swim or evening cool-off.
Head to a Summer Music Festival
When the sun’s out, Cape Town parties. Whether you’re into rock, folk, electronica, hip hop, or anything in between, there’s a music festival for you. Choose from one of the many annual festivals and get your hands on tickets right away
Browse One of Cape Town’s Markets
Cape Town prides itself on supporting local entrepreneurs, and the array of markets is the perfect way for you to do it too. From artisanal food markets and craft drinks experiences to cheerful Christmas fairs and the best design products, there is something for everyone! So our best advice is to visit them all!
March to May in Cape Town is a magical time when the slopes of the mountain and countryside transform into gold and scarlet. With temperatures cooling down slightly and a few rainy days, Autumn is the ideal time to enjoy the natural beautiful landscapes of Cape Town.
Trips to the Cape Winelands are a must as harvest season hits this part of the province. This means an abundance of perfectly ripe grapes in the vineyards! Autumn also provides just enough chill to make hiking trips more exciting throughout the day.
What to do:
Pretty Picnics and Award-Winning Wine
Set against backdrops of orchards, vineyards, lush gardens, mountain peaks and rolling hills, wine-tasting and picnics in the Winelands are what daydreams are made of.
And luckily, every region of Cape Town has internationally acclaimed and award-winning wineries and wines farms for you to taste and enjoy. Choose from cool climate wines in the Overberg region or the unique taste the coast offers to wineries in Hermanus.
To complement these experiences, indulge in gourmet picnic menus and food pairings offered at most the wine farms.
Go Hiking and Camping
There’s no shortage of spots for hiking or trail running in Cape Town that are ideal for both complete beginners and experts alike. Whether it’s along the ever-bustling Lion’s Head or somewhere quieter like Silvermine Dam, there’s definitely a spot or few that will give you great views and a workout at the same time.
Whether your idea of camping is manicured tents with electricity or roughing it under the stars, the Cape has a wide range of camping, and glamping, spots where you can breath in the Autumn air.
Low temperatures and rainfall can be expected during June to August but that doesn’t mean Cape Town goes into hibernation. This is the season to explore the city’s history and culture, indoor activities and rich flavours.
While museums and art galleries are always a great option for those who love culture, there are plenty of other ways to spend a rainy day in Cape Town. You could try your hand at indoor rock climbing or go bowling with friends. Alternatively, you could join a tour, paint a pot or crack a puzzle.
Many of these activities are also a great way to meet new people and make new friends. For those who want to relax and recharge, you could indulge in a spa day or visit a cozy café to read a book or play board games.
What to do:
Cosy Up with Cape Cuisine
Crackling fireplaces and rich aromas are just a couple of excuses to try the city’s fine dining scene. With restaurants that have been named the top in the world, Cape Town eateries switch to winter menus that aim to warm you up and take you an a journey of flavour.
Learn Something New
Cape Town’s proud history and heritage can be found in any part of the city. From the national museums and historical buildings to educational cultural tours, winter is a great time to take a look at an unforgettable past.
The city’s CBD is an art lover's haven with streets and streets of galleries waiting to showcase both local and international talent. Enjoy a glass of wine on a cold winter’s evening during a First Thursday's art experience when galleries open their doors and welcome guests.
Cinemas, bowling, laser tag, obstacle courses, indoor playgrounds, mini golf, escape rooms are just a few of the incredible indoor activities you can enjoy in Cape Town on a cold or rainy day.
Spring in Cape Town is absolutely magical. You’ll hear the distinct chirping of birds shaking off the winter chills no matter where you are in the city.
With temperatures warming up and the occasional sprinkle still lingering, this is the time of the year to embrace the abundance of flora and fauna in the Cape.
Stretching from September to November, Cape Town gets a new burst of life with tons of scenic beauty, colourful wildflower landscapes, a stunning mild Mediterranean climate, and thrilling bucket-list-worthy experiences and adventures.
What to do:
Go Whale Watching
The Cape Coast is the breeding ground for the magnificent Southern Right Whale and Spring marks the return of these majestic creatures, making Cape Town a top destination for whale watching.
Whale watching in Cape Town is an incredible experience that offers visitors the opportunity to see these majestic creatures up close and personal.
Explore Wild Flowers Found Nowhere Else in the World
Flower season in the Cape is truly a spectacular experience. Cape Town is home to Fynbos vegetation and is the most special place for plants in the world in terms of diversity, density and number of endemic species.
During Spring, Cape Town explodes with colour as these plants flower in an array of sizes and shapes. These blooming flowers can be seen almost everywhere in the city but the Cape West Coast is one of the best places to witness it in all its glory.