Watching the sunset is truly the best way to end a long work day or celebrate life on a great one. There’s something magical about watching the colours change, from gorgeous golden hour to the rich pinks and purples. And every day it’s different, depending on cloud cover, humidity, etc.
I could rant about the sunset for ages, but you’ve come here to know where you should be watching it. To start off with, it’s important to know that Table Mountain blocks much of the city from seeing full sunset, so you need to find elevation or get to the coast. Luckily, there’s plenty of places where you can do just that.
When does the sun set in Cape Town?
If you’re the kind of person to cut it close when you go sunset-hunting, it’s best to check the exact sunset time. But for those of us who prefer a rough estimate, I’ve added the seasonal sunset times below!
Winter: Between 17:45 and 18:15
Summer: Between 19:15 and 20:00
Autumn and Spring: Between 18:15 and 19:15
8 Best places to watch Cape Town’s sunsets
There are many beautiful places to watch the sunset in Cape Town – these are some top favourites! I’d love to hear if I’ve missed any of yours in the comments, and I’ll visit and add it to the list.
Signal Hill is a big favourite of mine – and not just because I walk it almost every day from my Sea Point apartment! It’s also the site of my husband and my first date… so, I may be a biased view after all. But the fact remains, this is an easy walking, free-access sunset spot, with 360° views over the city and the Atlantic Ocean.
You can park at the Signal Hill lookout parking, or further back near the hilltop mosque, and take a stroll along one of the many paths in search of one of the benches dotting the hill – or you can head straight to a rock and take out a sunset picnic.
Sea Point Promenade
The promenade is another fantastic, easy spot to stroll along and watch the sunset. The scene will be dotted with seagulls and cormorants, and you’ll be joined by many others enjoying the evening, particularly in summer. It’s a vibe – and you usually find a coffee or ice cream vendor along the walk, to top it all off.
Sunset cruise from the Waterfront
Watching the sunset from the ocean is really special. The whole ever-changing scene is reflected on the water, making it feel like you’re completely surrounded by light and colour. And seeing Cape town and our iconic mountain from the ocean, in this light, is quite a sight!
We also loved how you can take it all in with champagne in hand. Followed by dinner at the Waterfront, it makes for a perfect date idea.
Kloof Corner is such a stunning and easy hike; at the top of it, you’ll have one of the best views of Cape Town’s sunsets. Look over Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles, and watch the sun sink past the ocean, dying everything pink as it goes.
It’s gorgeous, and the hike will only take you about 30-minutes to the top. Be sure to check what time the sun is going to set when you’re hiking so that you can be at the top when the spectacle starts!
Of course, Lion’s Head has to be on this list! For many locals, Lion’s Head is not their idea of a good time – particularly at a peak hour like sunset time – just because it gets so busy that you can end up queueing to move forward up the narrow paths. Still, it’s popular for a reason, and the 360° views are spectacular.
I recommend you put this one on the list for the shoulder seasons when it’s quieter. Or be braver than I am, and hike it for sunrise.
Noordhoek Beach is a long, lovely beach, and a great place to watch the sun sink over the horizon. It’s also dog-friendly and relatively quiet!
Of course, Noordhoek is not the only beach you can enjoy the sunset from – it just makes for such a nice long sunset stroll! But the Clifton Beaches, Camps Bay, and Bloubergstrand are also wonderful, and you really can’t go wrong with any of Cape Town’s beaches.
There are a few restaurants in Cape Town with rooftop bars, where you can watch the sky change colours with a cocktail in hand. Not a bad way to start the night.
My favourite rooftop bar is Rick’s Americain, but some other great options are RED Roof Bar, The Deck Rooftop & Pool Bar, and Harald’s Bar & Terrace. Just keep in mind that you won’t be able to see the actual sunset from here, just the sky – and Table Mountain at golden hour!
My final favourite: the Old East Fort on Chapman’s Peak Drive. This old ruin is a 2-minute walk up from the little car park, and it’s got exquisite views over Hout Bay, Chapman’s Peak, and the ocean! I recommend going at golden hour and having a drink or picnic while the sun dips down. It can get really windy (as you can tell by the extreme angle of all the trees here), so depending on the day you may need to shelter against the fort!
The best time of day
There you have it, the very best places to watch Cape Town’s stunning sunsets! Before I moved here from Outdtshoorn, I could count on my hands the number of times I’d seen the sun slowly pass over the horizon – so often looking like an egg as the atmosphere stretches it out in those final moments. So I find our city’s sunsets particularly special, and I go out to watch them as often as possible.
Let me know which spot is your favourite, and if I’m missing any of your favourite spots! I would not mind adding to the list.