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The Best Season to Visit Cape Town

Posted on Tue January 30, 2024 in Seaside Cottages - Fish Hoek Beach.

There are four seasons in one day in Cape Town. The best season to visit Cape Town is every season. Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring all have pros and cons for tourists in Cape Town.
Always pack a jacket, a hat, a swimming costume, a scarf and an umbrella! Yes, every season is the best season to visit the Mother City!
Arrive in the Cape Town City Bowl on a hot day, drive out of town and the southeaster gale bites hard. Arrive in Cape Town V&A Waterfront on a cold rainy day, drive to the Cape Winelands and find a calm, sunny oasis of greenery.
Every season in Cape Town has something unique to offer visitors.

Cape Town was recently voted the top city in the world by seasoned travellers. The Mother City experiences its biggest domestic tourist influx over the Summer Season (November to April). This is high season and South Africans are partying hard and taking long holiday breaks. School holidays start in mid-December and many businesses slow down until the end of January. Foreign travel picks up as tourists from the Northern Hemisphere escape their freezing snow and ice - these 'swallows' arrive in Cape Town!

The age-old debate about whether this is the best time to visit Cape Town, or not, continues unabated. Travellers with children will be part of the festive vibe, and solitary travellers will feel out of their depths. Prices are high, activities are rife and food and drink flow non-stop.

Hot Windy Cape Town Summer 

At last, Capetonians welcome the hot summer weather with open arms. Summer in Cape Town means no rain, long golden days and numerous outdoor activities for all ages. Hearts beat faster, music plays louder, sunsets are more dramatic and beach activities are the main highlight. Beware the Southeaster gales in summer! The coast can be a no-go when the wind blows but the Cape Winelands will then be still. The Cape Winelands can be sweltering in summer but then the mountains are cool and welcoming.

Summer in Cape Town means sunbathing, swimming, surfing, stand-up paddling, yachting and kayaking. A vibey holiday atmosphere prevails with abundant nightlife, open-air bars and restaurants, long pavement strolls and sundowner cruises. Diverse leisure activities include ocean cruises, zipline rushes, acrobranching, paragliding, helicopter flights and seafood dinners in various parts of the city.  



The Autumn Season is Perfect in Cape Town


The best season to visit Cape Town is Autumn when the days are perfectly still and cooler. Fewer hours, sunny days, cooler evenings and mornings and a heavenly time to be out and about - hiking, sailing and exploring the wonders of the city. Maybe the ideal time to visit Cape Town is from March to May in Autumn -  most tourists have left Cape Town, with the associated spinoffs of cheaper prices, fewer queues and quieter beaches.

This is a good time to visit the wine farms. The post-Christmas season is also a good time to go whale watching in Hermanus. Fit in these tourist attractions before the peak season of the Easter weekend. Again, schools will take a break and families will be out and about. 

Cape Town in Winter is Wet

There are pros and cons to visiting Cape Town in Winter. It is cheaper, there are more hotels to choose from, there are fewer queues, more half-price meals and empty beaches. Indoor activities abound including eating traditional Cape food in funky restaurants, drinking cocktails in the many pubs lining the city and beach streets, and exploring the extraordinary museums and art galleries. Conditions are good for snorkelling and scuba diving because water visibility is much better. Surfing is also good and whales are cruising past on their annual migration. The Cape Town Winter is wet and cold but the sun pops in and out of the clouds between squalls. The north-westerly wind can be bitter so always carry warm jackets, beanies and umbrellas. 

Spring in Cape Town 

Spring is a good time to visit Cape Town, before the Summer peak season, and after the dreary winter. The tourists are yet to arrive so flights and accommodation are cheaper and easier to find. Shorter queues attract clever visitors to popular tourist destinations like Table Mountain, Boulders Beach Penguin Colony, Robben Island, the V&A Waterfront and Cape Point. Incredible floral and Fynbos displays in Kirstenbosch National Gardens, Table Mountain National Park, Cape Point and various parks are spectacular. Be warned - the Southeaster wind will soon start and test everyone's patience!

Cape Town is a top South African destination where every season is the best time to visit the Mother City. There is always something to do in Cape Town for everyone.