Photo Spots Cape Town
The Cape Peninsula in South Africa’s Western Cape province is home to one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town, also known as the Mother City. Cape Town is a wonderland of Instagram-worthy photo locations. Squeezed between Table Bay, False Bay, and a mountain range, this South African gem has pristine coastlines inhabited by African penguins and sprinkled with tidal pools. From the mountains, you’ll also get many vantage points with beautiful views of Cape Town—like from the top of Table Mountain, for instance. Beyond all this natural beauty, incredible wine farms and bustling city vibes make up some of the best places to take photos in Cape Town.
Here at Flytographer, we easily connect people with trusted photographers for fun photo shoots and have captured over three million memories worldwide. Today, we asked our local photographers in Cape Town to show us around all the very best spots for pictures. Here are the top 10 places to take photos in Cape Town. 🇿🇦
1. V&A Harbour
The V&A Waterfront is Cape Town’s main entertainment hub. Besides an incredible variety of restaurants, pubs, shops, and museums, the area also has terrific Insta backgrounds with views of Table Bay and the Table Mountains. Look for the iconic red brick Clock Tower. In splendid Victorian Gothic style, this building was once the Port Captain’s office, and it will look great in your pics, especially if you stand on the Clocktower Bridge right in front of it. 😉
From the V&A Waterfront, you can jump on a boat tour around the harbour and visit Robben Island. The island was once a prison, and where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years incarcerated. Because of its historical value, the spot became a UNESCO Heritage Site and today is a living museum. Be sure to visit Mandela’s cell at the prison museum and check out the penguins at the Penguin Sanctuary. From the island, you get stunning views of Table Mountain from afar, another excellent vantage point to marvel at the remarkable geography of Cape Town.
Extra tip: keep your eyes open during the ferry ride. It’s common to see dolphins jumping out of the water. 🐬
2. Boulders Beach
If you like the idea of spotting African penguins, Boulders Beach is the place to go. A 50-minute drive from Cape Town, near historic Simon’s Town, the beach is the only place in the world where you can get really close to these adorable creatures. Even better if this happens while you’re surrounded by turquoise waters and beautiful boulders, right? After paying a fee destined for protecting the animals, from a wooden deck you can watch the penguins swimming and waddling. 🐧
Want to take an even closer peek at them? Keep walking the boardwalk until you reach Foxy Beach. That’s where you can get up close but remember to be considerate and respect their space. Penguins are cute, but they do bite and slap you if you cross the boundaries. On Foxy Beach, you can also walk along the smooth white sand or go for a swim amidst the stunning boulders—and the beautiful penguins! The water here is warmer compared to other Cape Town beaches, allowing you to do more than just dip your toes. 🦶
After this one-of-a-kind experience, you can also explore Simon’s Town, a small town with lovely quaint colonial buildings, rich history, many coffee shops, and more spectacular mountain views.
3. Kirstenbosch Gardens
This place looks like a setting from a movie. 🎬 One of South Africa’s most famous botanical gardens, Kirstenbosch displays wonderfully diverse flora, mostly made up of indigenous South African species, right at the foot of Table Mountain, which naturally adds to the grandeur of the scenery.
Explore the many trails to find great Instagram spots. Wildlife is also abundant in the area; wherever you go, the surroundings are nothing less than awe-inspiring. Every corner is totally Insta-worthy, but one of our favourite places is the Tree Canopy Walkway, a 130-meter-long walking platform twelve meters above the ground that cuts through the canopies. The panoramas from up there are incredible, especially the views of Table Mountain—a total feast for the eyes. 😍
For a more sensory experience, visit the Fragrance Garden and sense all the different aromatic flowers. During summer, sunset concerts take place on the Kirstenbosch lawns nearby. That means you can enjoy wonderful music while picnicking with locals. 🎶
Known as the Malay Quarter, Bo-Kaap is one of the most Instagrammable places in Cape Town—a total splash of colour! 🌈 Sitting on the slopes of Signal Hill, and slightly above the city centre, Bo-Kaap’s steep cobbled streets are lined with brightly colored houses boasting a mix of Cape Dutch and Cape Georgian architectural styles. The oldest house has become the Bo-Kaap Museum, where you can learn about the area’s history.
Bo-Kaap is a former segregated area. In the 18th century, rental houses were only built and leased to enslaved people; called Cape Malays, they came from neighbouring African countries, as well as Malaysia and Indonesia to work in Cape Town. While on a lease, the houses had to be painted white, but when the Cape Malays were allowed to buy the properties, they painted them in bright colours to celebrate their freedom. Many of their descendants still live in the area, which means their culture is pretty much still alive.
Visiting a cafe and trying Cape Malay cuisine is a must. In Bo-Kaap, you can also visit Auwal Mosque, South Africa’s oldest mosque. 🕌
5. Maiden’s Cove
Another impressive background for photos in Cape Town is Maiden’s Cove. This scenic lookout between Clifton and Camps Bay beaches offers astonishing views of the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range, the back end of Table Mountain, and the Atlantic Ocean. Photo sessions during the sunrise are highly recommended, as the light is superb and watching the mountain range slowly revealed by the sunlight is a magical spectacle. ☀️
Another Maiden’s Cove highlight is the beautiful tidal pool protected from the waves by boulders. This spot is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and, of course, taking beautiful pictures. From June to November, you can also go whale watching in the area—a totally thrilling experience! 🐳
For more fun and beauty, the stylish Camps Bay sits a stone’s throw away with its beautiful beaches and fancy seafood restaurants offering more amazing views of the Twelve Apostles.
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6. Signal Hill
This magnificent flat-topped hill, also known as Lion’s Rump, sits next to Lion’s Head Mountain—the shape of the two mountains together resembles a lion sphinx. Signal Hill has one of the most celebrated viewpoints of Cape Town. Besides amazing views of Lion’s Head, visitors get out-of-this-world views of Table Mountain, the ocean, and the entire city below. Sunsets are stunning, but the highlight here is the night view of the city glimmering against the sculptural silhouette of Table Mountain. This is a favourite spot for local lovebirds. 💕
Wondering about the name? In the past, Signal Hill was used as a communication point with ships using standard flag signals. Today this type of communication is obsolete, but another historical tradition remains: once a day, a cannon is fired from the hill, reverberating through the city below. Called the Noon Gun, the cannon used to indicate the exact time when ships entered the bay. During WWII, when the Noon Gun was fired, locals would stop in silence for a few minutes to honour those who lost their lives. You can watch the daily ritual at Lion Battery on Signal Hill.
If it’s your first time visiting, don’t be scared if you hear the Noon Gun. It’s one of those things that make Cape Town truly unique.
7. Franschhoek Pass
About an hour’s drive from Cape Town is Franschhoek Pass, also called Lambrechts Road. The 14.9-kilometer pass—South Africa’s first engineered road—stretches along a marvellous scenic route with several stop-off points for taking amazing photos of lush valleys, mountains, scenic gorges, and vineyards. Nature all around exudes a sense of serenity; at Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, scenic trails cut through fynbos fields and mountain streams. Franschhoek Pass also has a mystical allure. The pass was initially known as Olifantshoek, meaning “Elephant’s Corner,” because these giant creatures roamed the area’s mountains and valleys until about 150 years ago. 🐘
The scenic drive through Franschhoek Pass is better combined with a visit to the incredibly charming town of Franschhoek. Considered the “French Corner of Cape Town,” the city is the food and wine capital of South Africa. Need we say more? 😆You can taste award-winning wines paired with delicious cuisine in cafes and restaurants housed in colonial buildings.
8. St. James Beach
On False Bay coast, St. James Beach is one of the hottest Instagram spots in town, thanks to the brightly coloured beach huts lining the beachfront. After taking some nice pics with them, you can explore the inspiring scenery. The beach is small, but its beauty is immense, and the tidal and rock pools of warm, calm waters make perfect spots for swimming and sea-life watching. St. James Beach also sits right against a beautiful mountain, so the views are stunning on all sides.
Five minutes from St. James is Muizenberg Beach, a captive spot for the local surfing crowd and another excellent place for a photo shoot. 🏄♀️ Another gem close by is Noordhoek, a laid-back coastal town at the foot of Chapman’s Peak, surrounded by Table Mountain National Park. Noordhoek is the last stop on Chapman’s Peak Drive, a marine drive with spectacular views of Hout Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and the mountain formations.
9. Camps Bay
Stylish and glitzy, with an abundance of luxury hotels, high-end beachfront restaurants, cafes, and cocktail bars, Camps Bay is a favourite of the international jet set. The highlights of this village-like suburb are its pristine beach of white sand and blue waters and, of course, the spectacular Twelve Apostles Mountain Range. Guess what? There’s also a tidal pool here, where you can relax in warm waters. 💦
Camps Bay is one of the top places to watch the sunset in Cape Town—expect nothing less than epic and postcard-worthy backgrounds. A photographer’s dream! Want to watch the sun slipping behind the ocean in style? Try the traditional South African “sundowner,” in other words, watching the sunset with a drink in your hand. 🍸
10. Clifton 4th Beach
Less than a five-minute drive from Camps Bay sits Clifton 4th Beach, one of the city’s most popular beaches. Can you think of a reason to visit? What about four? Powdery white sands, turquoise blue waters, swaying palm trees, and stunning views of Lion’s Head Mountain. ⛰️
Clifton 4th is separated from its sisters, Clifton 1, 2, and 3 by sculptural boulders. All of them are equally beautiful, but they have different vibes. Clifton 4th is the largest and trendiest, usually chosen by families, couples, and the local youth, especially those who share a passion for beach volleyball and frisbee. Even if you don’t want to venture into the freezing ocean waters or play any sports, you can still grab a snack, find a lounger to bask on under the sun, and soak in all those wonderful and unique beachy vibes of Cape Town. 🌴
Capturing memories in Cape Town
To say every corner in Cape Town and its surroundings comes with its quota of mesmerizing views and photo opportunities is not an overstatement. If you still want more gorgeous vistas, the Kloof Corner hike is worth every step, and the scenery from the top of Table Mountain, reached by a cable car, is also unmissable. For more Instagrammable spots, take the Woodstock Street Art tour, and check out Wally’s Cave. While in the area, also try visiting the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point, both about an hour from the city center, boasting massive stone cliffs and astonishing ocean views. 💙
For more on what to do in Cape Town and around, check the tips from our network of travellers. To make your visit even more memorable, book one of our local Flytographers and let them capture your magic moments in Mother City.
“Nadine was such an amazing person to work with and I’m so glad that she was part of our special day. I was completely unsuspecting and clueless that I was about to be proposed to, and she really played the part of “random tourist” perfectly. She was so warm and friendly; she really put me at ease during the photo shoot that occurred minutes after the proposal, and she made the shoot effortless and fun. I LOVE how the photos turned out. She captured the beautiful views of the Cape Town sky and really captured the joy and excitement of our engagement. I think the best compliment I can give her is that she captured how genuinely happy I was at that moment and the glow I was in.”