Cape Town's Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is one of South Africa's favourite destinations and for good reason: this world-class shopping and entertainment venue sits right in the middle of a picturesque working harbour and has nothing less than Table Mountain as its backdrop.

Stroll around the V&A Waterfront on a sunny summer's day and you'll see plenty of visitors like yourself, but the great number of Cape Town locals also enjoying themselves there proves that the V&A Waterfront is no overpriced tourist trap. It’s a genuinely wonderful place to shop, dine and soak up the unique Cape Town atmosphere: buskers line the walkways; busy tugs and elegant ocean liners vie for space in the harbour; seagulls and fur seals wait for scraps from fishing boats; and there is often free entertainment and live music.

If you are in need of a little retail therapy then you've come to the right place: Cape Town’s Waterfront has two enormous shopping centres as well as two craft markets so you'll get everything from high-end fashion boutiques and designer stores to barrows piled with curios and funky kids' clothes.

But instead of spending all your time pounding the malls' polished passageways, why not visit the Waterfront's family-friendly Two Oceans Aquarium, home to comical penguins, waving kelp forests and the legendary predator tank? How about catching a white-knuckle helicopter flight around the Cape Peninsula or boarding a sedate sunset boat cruise? You could also head over to Quay 5 and take the high-speed catamaran to historic Robben Island – the island prison where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life.

The beauty of the Waterfront is that it can be anything that you want it to be: use it as a springboard into adventure and discovery, or simply order an alfresco coffee and watch the world go by.

You don’t even have to leave at night if you don’t want to: the V&A Waterfront has become a popular place to stay with no fewer than eight hotels to choose from. Our top Waterfront accommodationincludes the Table Bay Hotel where you can choose a suite with a magnificent mountain or ocean view; the One&Only Cape Town with its famous restaurants and holistic spa; and the ultra-luxurious Cape Grace - one of South Africa’s top hotels.