City Bowl

Category General News

The Cape Town city centre is the main business hub of the region, but only forms one part of the city bowl. In fact, the collection of suburbs that fall between Table Mountain and the Cape Town harbour, flanked by Signal Hill and Devil’s Peak, make up the city bowl.

The centrality of the city bowl makes it a popular property location for Capetonians wanting to reside close to work and the mountain.

Where is the city bowl?

The suburbs that form the city bowl include Oranjezicht, Vredehoek, Gardens, Tamboerskloof, Bo Kaap, De Waterkant, the CBD, Zonnebloem, part of Woodstock and the Foreshore. The city bowl is aptly named as these suburbs sit nestled between the surrounding mountains and the ocean.

Nestled directly beneath Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak, Lion’s Head and Signal Hill, the city bowl is a natural amphitheatre that has prevented the suburbs from spreading any further. The city bowl is the heart of Cape Town and houses many national head offices, legislative centres, the South African Parliament and other important institutions.

A brief history of the city bowl

The first written account of the area dates back to 1486 when Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias named it the “Cape of Storms”. Since then, Cape Town has been a landmark for ocean sailors and traders making their way from Europe to Asia.

In 1652, the Dutch East India Company sent Jan van Riebeeck to establish a way station for their ships on the shores of the Cape of Good Hope. This settlement was located in the city bowl and slowly grew as the Cape became an established harbour for traders and explorers.

Over the past 350-or-so years, Cape Town has developed into a major city, claiming the title as South Africa’s legislative capital and second-largest city.

Things to do in the city bowl

There are countless ways to entertain yourself in the city bowl as each suburb has its own list of restaurants, bars, activities and places of interest. The list will be too long in its entirety, so here are a few of the main, must-do activities.

Do the first thing on most tourists’ list - take a ride up the famous Table Mountain Aerial Cableway. These cable cars will whisk you up to the peak of Table Mountain, at 1067m above sea level, in no time. The cable car company has been in operation since 1929, making it 89 years-old this year. The best time to go up Table Mountain is in the afternoon on a clear day.

The next mountain to summit is Lion’s Head. The hour-long hike rewards you with panoramic views of Table Bay, the city bowl, Table Mountain, Twelve Apostles, Atlantic Ocean and Sea Point. For those who love a view but prefer not to walk, the drive to the end of Signal Hill is a great way to spend an evening watching the sunset over the ocean.

The V&A Waterfront is a popular tourist hub and shopping precinct that offers exceptional waterside restaurants, boat cruises, helicopter flips and the renowned Cape Wheel. Spend a few rands at the shops and take home some souvenirs from your trip.

There are scores of eating options in the city bowl and, depending on your budget and preference, something to suit every palate. From cheap and cheerful burger joints and pizza places to world-class fine dining restaurants and award-winning kitchens, the city bowl food scene is as diverse as South Africa’s population.

The same goes for bars - the city bowl is home to classy rooftop cocktail bars and back-alley pubs. Depending on what you’re in the mood for, each suburb will have its own offering.

The abundance of national heritage sites and museums in the city bowl is staggering. For those who like a cultural journey, the city bowl can offer anything from the Iziko museums and planetarium to the emotionally-pressing Slave Lodge. A number of historical churches, buildings and preserved sites are within a few minutes drive from the city bowl.


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Want to rent, buy or sell your property on the Atlantic Seaboard or in Woodstock, Cape Town? Berman Brothers Properties specialise in listing and selling your property and we have a variety of available houses, new apartments and other real estate options to ensure that you find your next dream home. Contact us on +27(0)21 439 9030 to find out more about the latest developments in area hotspots such as Woodstock, Green Point, Sea Point, Llandudno, Camps Bay or Three Anchor Bay.

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Author: Berman Brothers

Submitted 20 Mar 18 / Views 1677