site zip: AF ZA CPT 0003 | neighborhood: Cape Town, Cape Winelands, Cape Country Routes | region: South Africa
Kistenbosch National Botanica Garden. Attribution (center image): D. Didier

 Victoria and Alfred Waterfront   CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Map: Cape Town V&A Waterfront

Cape Town's V&A Waterfront

Cape Town's Waterfront is situated in the historic heart of Cape Town’s working harbor, with iconic Table Mountain and Devils Peak providing a picturesque backdrop.

Named after Queen Victoria and her son, Prince Alfred, the original buildings have been restored and new ones built in Victorian style to keep the historic ambience of waterfront. It is South Africa’s most visited destination, with millions of visitors each year.  

Popularly known as the V&A Waterfront, it is a kaleidoscope of shops (with more than 450 retail outlets), street and amphitheater entertainers, museums, restaurants and taverns. Other family entertainment options include cinemas, an IMAX theater, the Two Oceans Aquarium and trips on a pirate ship in the harbor.

After a busy day of sightseeing, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is a perfect place for a meal and souvenir shopping – and offers luxury hotel and villa accommodation options.

The V&A Waterfront Information Centre is located on Dock Road, alongside Ferryman's Pub. A Waterfront Information Kiosk can also be found on Victoria Wharf.

Popular Waterfront Attractions

Attractions include harborside taverns, a large souvenir and craft market, boat trips around and beyond the harbor and helicopter flips.

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront

Clock Tower

Cape Town Waterfront Clock Tower

Look out for this prominent landmark if you plan to take a tour to Robben Island.  

The red and white Clock Tower is easily recognized by its Victorian-gothic style architecture. Inside the historic landmark, artifacts include an old tidal gauge, the original clock mechanism and a decorative mirrored room that provided the Port Captain with a wide view of the harbor.

In the vicinity, an array of arts and crafts outlets can be explored within the Clock Tower Center, a small mall that also includes a Cape Tourism Office. Also in the vicinity are the recently excavated ruins of the Chavonnes Battery, a European-built structure dating back to 1714 - 1725.

Look out too for Seal Landing, where the often raucous Cape fur seals can frequently be seen lazing on the old tires lining the quayside.

Scratch Patch

As visitors walk through the door of Scratch Patch, they are confronted with a floor entirely covered with a wide variety of tumble-polished gemstones. Crouching on the floor scratching among the colorful stones are customers of all ages. The wide variety of African stones includes Agates, Amethyst, Jasper, Rose Quartz, Tiger’s Eye and other assorted crystals -- and if lucky, even Blue Lace Agate, Lapis Lazuli and other really exotic stones. To join in, visitors can purchase a small bag or larger container for just a few dollars, to fill with what they scratch and find!

Two Oceans Aquarium

The Two Oceans Quarium at Cape Town's V&A WaterfrontThis "must see" attraction is a perfect way to spend a few quality hours with the family. The Two Oceans Aquarium provides a variety of exibits and experiences including a children's center, River Meander, Kelp Forest and Oceans of Contrast (Atlantic and Indian Oceans).

At the Penguin Encounter, children can get up close and personal with the Rockhopper penguins -- and at the other end of the "up close and personal" spectrum, visitors can enjoy a Dive With Sharks experience!

Cape Town: Shark Tank Dive at Two Oceans Aquarium

[5:57 min] [Attribution: SharksBeware]

"Take the plunge with sharks. Excellent conditions all year round, great visibility and guaranteed shark sightings!" Two Oceans Aquarium

The tank holds 4 ragged tooth sharks, several giant short-tail stingrays, two turtles, black musselcrackers, giant yellowtail, giant kob and garricks. The turtles are the only animals in the tank you are permitted to touch.

The Cape Wheel (Wheel of Excellence)

Cape Town Waterfront Wheel of ExcellenceThe Cape Wheel is one of more than eighty Wheel of Excellence giant wheel installations around the world. The Cape Wheel is 50m (165 feet) high with 36 fully-enclosed cabins. The 12-15 minute journey of 4 revolutions provides panoramic views over the Cape Town Waterfront, Foreshore, mountain backdrop and as far as Robben Island and Paarl, weather and lighting dependent.

Passenger gondolas hold 6-8 passengers dependent upon size and weight. Two gondolas are wheel chair friendly, with wide-opening doors.

Bridal couples can even get married on the Cape Wheel, by prior arrangement!

Hop On - Hop Off Bus Hop On - Hop Off Bus

Getting Around

For an easy and safe way to get around Cape Town's major attractions including the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, ride the open-top bus.

Cape Town Attractions

| Highlights of Cape Town | Bo-Kaap | Cape Town and Peninsula Beaches |
| Camps Bay | Clifton Beaches | Cape Peninsula Attractions | Castle of Good Hope |
| Groot Constantia Wine Estate | Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens |Robben Island |
| Table Mountain | V&A Waterfront | Winelands and Wine Routes |

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