The V&A Waterfront a top Cape Town attraction. The V&A covers a vast area, about as big as 180 rugby fields, it is also a perfect example of mixed-use space, with a working harbour, office and retail, hotels and apartments, a huge shopping mall, attractions, restaurants, crafts and museums all sharing space. Home to over 450 shops, 80 restaurants and eateries, countless attractions, open spaces, canals, waterways and paths the V&A Waterfront is made up of nine districts, each with its own unique look and feel.
The Quays District
This is the heart of the Waterfront and where it all began back in 1989 when Capetonians embraced the dockside pub, Ferrymans. This was soon followed by Bertie’s Landing, the Pumphouse and the first phase of the massive Victoria Wharf Shopping Mall. It is also where you will find the Cape Wheel that offers fantastic views of the whole of the Waterfront, CBD, Table Mountain, Signal Hill and Lions Head.
The Amphitheatre stages regular free concerts and acts, and the area looks onto the Alfred Basin where many boat charters operate. Look for the many repurposed buildings and historical markers in this district.
The Clock Tower District
This is accessed via a swing bridge that frequently opens to allow shipping traffic access from the Alfred Basin into the Victoria Basin and out to sea.
The restored Clock Tower is a very photogenic building, and in this area, you will find the Robben Island Museum and Ferry Trip, the Chavonne Battery Museum, a small shopping centre and a few restaurants. In front of the Clock Tower, there is a small deck where the seals lie and sun themselves.
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The Silo District
This is a relatively new addition to the V&A and houses the iconic Zeitz MOCAA museum and Silo Hotel. This award-winning conversion from grain silo to hotel and art gallery has received worldwide acclaim. A visit is worth it for the architecture alone.
Find the funny chairs in front of the Zeitz MOCAA and test your balance. These chairs have a ball-shaped base and swing around. Not as easy as it looks.
The Radisson Red Hotel is opposite the Silo and has a great ground level café and a rooftop bar.
The Canal District
This district links the CBD to the V&A Waterfront, and there is plenty to explore here. You can catch a water taxi from the Cape Town International Convention Centre into the V&A Waterfront, docking at the One&Only Hotel. This short water taxi tour takes you past the yacht club, the SUP boarders, under bridges and past the marina homes of the rich and famous.
This is where you will find Battery Park, an urban park with a free outdoor area complete with a skate park, basketball court and a small football field. During the summer months the Battery Park also host The Galileo Open Air Movies. A few shops and cafes line the canal and afford calming views of the water. Various paths can be followed to get into the centre of the Waterfront.
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The Dry Dock District
This is a great district; the incredible Two Oceans Aquarium is situated here and right opposite it is the huge Robinson dry dock when one can stand and watch massive ships undergoing maintenance or repairs. The City Sightseeing Harbour Cruises depart from the Marina, and wooden walkways take you to the sun deck where the seals’ grunt, fight and sleep. The Watershed is situated here offering a great variety of locally made curios, clothing, art and mementoes. A must for any shopping fan. Workshop 17 is an innovative co-working space housing over 240 entrepreneurs. There are also public areas where locals can meet, grab a bite or just chill.
The Portswood Ridge District
This area is also a mix of office, hotel and leisure space, with a croquet lawn, it is also where you will find Cave Golf and the mineral gems Scratch Patch.
The Marina District
The Marina is an actual Marina where luxury yachts and catamarans are berthed, rolling gently in the swell and overlooked by luxury apartments and holiday rentals. The One and Only Hotel and the Cape Grace are worth a visit for a sundowner, high tea or a meal.
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The Granger Bay District
There is a nice boardwalk with a viewing deck that looks out over the ocean and an excellent district to visit if you need to break away from the crowds for a while and get some ocean air. The renowned Oranjezicht City Farmers Market is open Saturdays and Sundays. Here you will also find Africa Grand Beach Cafe – a restaurant on the beach.
The Pierhead District
This is more the working area of the V&A Waterfront, but it is where you will find the helicopter companies that offer scenic flights around the Peninsula.
Discover more with the VoiceMap app
The free GPS audio guide called The tavern of the Seas is available on the VoiceMap app. Download a free GPS audio tour onto your phone and explore at your own pace. VoiceMap app has an audio tour that is location specific, so when you stop to enjoy the view, grab a coffee or do some shopping, there is no yapping in your ear. Download the free app here.
Need more Info?
The V&A friendly Customer Service team can be contacted any day from 9am-9pm on +27 21 408 7600, or pop in at the Info Kiosk inside the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre, near the Nespresso store and get a map from the Info office inside the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre to find the many historical sites, old buildings, art installations and easily missed points of interest.
There is always something happening on the events diary of the V&A Waterfront click here.
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ONE DESTINATION, SIX UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCES
There is no one way to explore all of the Cape Town Big 6, and much of what makes each of them so special is the variety of things to see and do at each. So if possible, take your time to explore each of the city’s most visited tourist attractions in as much depth as possible – as any local will tell you, you can spend a lifetime at each of the Big 6 and still not tire of them. Find the 3 and 4 day itineraries and tips here.