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A Guide to Cape Town's Best Sunset Hotspots

Summer in Cape Town sees up to 14-hours of daylight, with the sun setting at about 8pm at the height of the season when temperatures regularly hit the 30s Celsius (90s Fahrenheit). And what a sunset it usually is: the sky streaked with candy floss-pink clouds and the sun slipping beneath the horizon as it bathes all in a soft, golden light.

Whether you prefer the soft silhouette of rolling mountains or the gentle lapping of waves at your feet, the Mother City has some sublime spots to salute the end of the day. So charge your camera, grab a blanket, pack a picnic basket and look west: here are some of our favourite spots to watch the summer sunset.

IN AND AROUND THE CITY

The Strip, Camps Bay

Nestled below the majestic Twelve Apostles mountain range, Camps Bay’s trendy palm-lined beachfront with its ivory white sands and ice blue waters is a playground for the Mother City’s rich and famous. Chic sidewalk cafés, bustling restaurants and buzzing beach bars serving cooling appetizers attract the fashionable set at sunset. Rub shoulders with celebrities at the chic Café Caprice, enjoy pure Mediterranean-style meze platters at Mezepoli or relax in style at the glamorous Bungalow restaurant and lounge. Our best recommendation: strolling the length of The Strip with a heavenly lemon or pistachio gelato from Sinn’s ice-cream parlour.

Cape Town Sunset Spots - Camps Bay Strip
Camps Bay's trendy palm-lined beachfront known for its fantastic selection of bars, cafes and restaurants, as well as Cape Town's beautiful people!

Harvey’s @ Winchester Mansions

Overlooking Sea Point promenade's colourful passing parade of cyclists, dog walkers, runners, skateboarders and parents with prams from the terrace of the luxurious Winchester Mansions Hotel, Harvey’s is an old-school favourite. Sip on a colourful cocktail - perhaps a Spiced Berry Colada, Hibiscus Mint Martini, Spiced Mango Muddle or a killer Tequila Sunrise - as you watch the world go by. Keep an eye out for paragliders off Lion’s Head, who often land gracefully on the promenade’s manicured lawns.

Wafu and Wakame

Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with a laid-back beach vibe, the Asian-inspired Wafu in Mouille Point is one of the trendiest spots to watch the sun dip below the horizon and is generally packed with the ‘after-work drinks’ crowd. A large deck with comfy couches and umbrellas offer the perfect place to lounge over exotic cocktails, Asian tapas and fresh sushi platters. Sister seafood restaurant, Wakame can be found downstairs for a more formal sundowner-and-sushi session.

Tobago’s Bar @ Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel

Perched right on the edge of Granger Bay with magnificent views of the V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain, Tobago’s Bar at the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel is one of the city’s finest spots to catch the sunset. A large sun-drenched deck and rim-flow swimming pool seem to float right into the bay - the perfect place to soak up the view as you sip on a Sweet Melon Margarita or a glass of wine from their well-stocked cellar.

The Grand Café and Beach

St Tropez meets Cape Town cool at The Grand, a laid-back, chic seaside café. Nestled on a tiny beach in Granger Bay, next to the V&A Waterfront, this glamorous spot is where the jet set come out to play – even Prince Harry has been spotted nursing a beer or two here. Boasting a private beach and waterside wooden deck, guests relax with drink in hand and feet in the sand as they watch the last rays of the sun sparkle on the water. An extensive cocktail menu and wine list are on offer, as well as an array of delicious fare including fresh salads, seafood and crispy wood-fired pizzas. 

Cape Town Sunset Spots - Wakame
Wakame's Asian-inspired menu combines perfectly with the superb sea views. Sit back and soak up the vibe at this trendy Mouille Point spot.
Cape Town Sunset Spots - The Grand Cafe & Beach
The Grand Cafe & Beach oozes chic, seaside style; its glamourous setting has seen local and international celebrities sipping on a cocktail.

WEST COAST APPEAL

For picture-postcard panoramas of Table Mountain, Robben Island and the sparkling ocean, head out of town up the West Coast where you will find cocktail menu of sundowner spots, including the spot from where the classic Table Mountain shots are taken, so stop off en route to capture this iconic snap.

Maestro’s on the Beach

Located amid the rolling dunes of Milnerton Beach, Maestro's on the Beach, is an Italian-inspired, family-friendly eatery and a firm favourite with locals. A wide alfresco deck embraces panoramic Table Mountain views and is the perfect spot to relax on a warm summer’s evening. Toast the sunset with a wide range of classic cocktails before tucking into delicious Italian fare. There's an alcohol-free cocktail menu for the dedicated driver too, sporting favourites like the Nojito and Safe Sex on the Beach. 

CAPE PENINSULA

Breathtaking views across False Bay to the Helderberg Mountains and beyond make for perfect summer evenings along the Cape Peninsula.

Brass Bell Restaurant and Pub

One cannot think sundowners without The Brass Bell popping into mind. This ever-popular and well-loved Kalk Bay institution has been wooing patrons for years with its exquisite seaside locale, breathtaking views over False Bay and vibrant atmosphere. Best for long sundowner sessions are the Water’s Edge restaurant and Bikini Deck, where you can watch the waves crash against the windows as you toast the setting sun with a classic Pina Colada or Strawberry Daiquiri. Snack on succulent seafood fresh from the sea or generous wood-fired pizza as you soak up the vibe with some live music.

The Polana

Just a stone’s throw away from the crashing waves and built on the rocks in Kalk Bay’s harbour, Polana cocktail lounge is a stylish place to make the most of a spectacular sunset. Floor-to-ceiling windows embrace magnificent views and the shabby-chic décor invites patrons to lounge with a tall cocktail. The extensive wine list is well worth trying and testing by the glass, while mojitos and classic champagne cocktails are classic favourites on offer. 

Cape Town Sunset Spots - The Polana
Polana is a stylish yet eclectic spot to soak up the False Bay sunset. Perfect with a glass of white wine and some local music!

BACK TO NATURE SUNDOWNER SPOTS

While the Mother City offers some amazing places to toast the soft light of the sinking sun, there is also an array of beautiful and budget-friendly spots for those who really want to get back to nature.  

Beautiful Beaches

From Clifton, Camps Bay and Llandudno, to Hout Bay, Noordhoek and Kommetjie, Cape Town has a myriad of magnificent beaches from which to watch the sun sink below the big blue horizon. One little note: drinking alcohol on public beaches is illegal in South Africa, so rather enjoy your sundowners at a bar or cafe overlooking the beach. One other important note: in South Africa, the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05g per 100ml. The rule of thumb is this: an adult weighing 68kg can process a maximum of one unit of alcohol per hour. One unit is two thirds of a beer or spirit cooler with 5% alcohol content or 75ml of red or white wine per hour with an alcohol content of 12%. We rather recommend that you rather make use of one of the city's very reliable taxi cab services.

Head for the Hills

For the more active and adventurous, another option is to pack a picnic and head for the higher peaks that overlook Cape Town, many of which offer spectacular views over the peninsula and city. Enjoy a cable car ride up Table Mountain (check out their website for half-price ‘sunset specials’ after 6pm) where you will find a well-stocked café at the top and incredible views.  Hike up Lion’s Head where the 360-degree views from the top are absolutely breathtaking (join locals on a ‘Full Moon Walk’ to see the city by night) or climb up to Paarl Rock to see the rolling Winelands at their best. Signal Hill is also a popular spot and is accessible by car for those who prefer to drive.

Written by Mia Russell and Angela Aschmann.

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