A city with one of the widest ranges of activities in a central location, Cape Town is the best city you can ask for, for a great date! We’ve been on some incredible ones, from the semi-awkward start of the relationship to five years in and very happily married.
So whether you’ve gone on a first date and it went well but now you have to build on that and you’re panicking, or you’re just looking for something a little different to your usual Wednesday date spot, these are some of the best date ideas in Cape Town!
Date night ideas Cape Town
Looking to do something unusual for date night? We’ve got you covered! We love a classic dinner date, but that’s only one of the many different things you can do for a romantic evening out.
Sunset cruise and romantic dinner at V&A Waterfront
We love a good sunset, and Cape Town so often has fantastical ones! One of the best ways to see them, and experience a new side of our city, is to go on a sunset yacht cruise. They’re small-group, so even though few of us can afford to book out the whole yacht, you’ll get a patch of it to yourselves.
The sunsets are extra beautiful when seen across the water, and Table Mountain glows pink in the distance. Drinks are also included in the cruise, making this a terrific celebratory option, or just a perfectly romantic date night in Cape Town.
Our top picks for an adventurous but easy date:
Cocktails at The Planet Bar, Mount Nelson Hotel
The Mount Nelson is Cape Town’s most iconic hotel, and has been fondly nicknamed ‘the pink lady’ by locals. While staying there is totally out of the question for most of us (that hefty price tag) we can go for a drink there!
The hotel has a bar, aptly named with its celestial-themed decor. And while the cocktails are a little pricey, they are absolutely delicious and out of the ordinary. Besides, you get free nuts! If you know how expensive nuts are these days, you’ll know you’re getting your money’s worth with that nuts and cocktail combo.
It’s just a lovely place to relax and chill with a comfortable, classy vibe.
Dinner and a Movie at The Labia
The Labia is a classic cheap Cape Town activity. Classier than modern cinemas, it’s the oldest functioning movie theatre in Cape Town,
and also by far the cheapest! Glenn and I love to dress a little fancy and go watch something interesting at staggeringly low cost.
If you check out The Labia’s website, you’ll find they actually do dinner-and-movie combos most days of the week. This is in conjunction with local restaurants, and we’ve had pasta, pizza, and burgers at the different restaurants, before or after seeing a film.
The theatre also shows more alternative options to the mega-cinemas, and we’ve seen some brilliant South African and Indie films here. So if you’re looking for something a little different to do in Cape Town, the answer is, surprisingly, dinner and a movie! And all for just over R100 for the two of you. It’s places like these that make Cape Town dating so cool.
Sunset on Kloof Corner
Another one of our top choices to start off a special date night is this short hike. It’s a relatively easy trek up the slope of the mountain, and the panoramic view at the top is just incredible. You’ll pass proteas and fynbos, and have perfect views over Lion’s Head, the city, and the phenomenal Twelve Apostles. The sun sets over the ocean, and everything is lit up beautifully.
Kloof Nek also sits right between Camps Bay and Cape Town’s city center, so if you’re not feeling too sweaty and hot, you can easily go from here to a new restaurant you’ve not tried yet!
Find out everything you need to know about the Kloof Corner hike.
Dinner and cocktails at the Black Sheep
Black Sheep is too good to leave off this list of date night ideas. Some of our very best dates have been here, in the cosy warm atmosphere of this extra-special restaurant. The menu changes regularly, so they’ve got it written on a chalkboard that you have to crane to see. They’re absolutely delicious, so it’s worth the craning. I recommend going here for a fancy celebratory dinner – the kind where you want to go all-in, and get starters, mains, dessert and cocktails!
Drinks and rock at Armchair
Maybe dinner isn’t your idea of a great night out with your partner – fair enough! An ever-fun option is Armchair in Observatory, my absolute-favourite music haunt in Cape Town. They regularly showcase local talent – particularly rock bands and jazz.
The vibe here is fantastic, with loads of locals enjoying their night out, drink specials, and a roaring fire in the internal courtyard (and there’s an internal courtyard!). They also have pool and foosball, and weekly karaoke nights if that sounds even better than listening to music. Armchair also does great pizza, and if you don’t want your night to end, you can cross the road to Stones and play some pool. Nothing like a little light competition on a romantic night out.
Chapman’s Peak Drive & dinner on the coast
Chapman’s Paek Drive is world-renowned – which means we Capetonians have a drive so beautiful that tourists make a beeline for it, right on our doorsteps! There’s nothing quite as romantic as slowly driving along the coastline and along Chapman’s Peak, while the sky slowly changes its hues and the sun sinks towards the water.
And then, after your long romantic drive, you can cap it off with a lovely dinner. There are so many restaurants dotted along the coastline, it’s difficult to recommend any particular one. Especially since, depending on the direction you start from, you might end up in a whole host of places! But one restaurant I can really recommend is Twelve Apostles – it’s a hotel perched above the water, with two beautiful restaurants with spectacular views.
Romantic day dates in Cape Town
While we love date nights, honestly our favourite time to spend time together is on a bright sunny day. So these are our top picks for day-dates!
Picnic on Table Mountain
A hike up Table Mountain is a fantastic date plan! You’re working too hard to catch your breath to feel like there’s a lull in the conversation (the dreaded lull), and once you’re at the top it is so, so worth the struggle.
I’ve done it at my least fit, so don’t stress about that. You’ll just have to take a few more water breaks! And if you’re still just starting out and don’t want to appear weak, bring a camera and when you feel like you’re dying, say ‘uhh look at that’. Then stop and take photos of something. Works like a charm.
One of the most romantic places in Cape Town, the views over the city and the ocean beyond it are incredible and well worth any challenge. Add a picnic, and everything is perfect!
Take a pottery workshop together
Taking a pottery class (or workshop) is a fantastic date idea if you like working with your hands. It’s two hours of absorbing, hands-on activity while you sit and chat together. And it’s one of those dates where the silences are perfectly comfortable, making it a great first date option. We did a mimosa and pottery morning at Baikt in Sea Point, which was perfect — it’s a small group (under 6 people), and its location just off the promenade means you can do what we did, and go for lunch afterwards (or an ice cream and a stroll). Best of all, the experience is capped off with creations you’ve made together. You could even make something for each other, just to be a little extra cute.
I can really recommend Baikt, but there are pottery classes and workshops in many of Cape Town’s suburbs, so depending on where you both stay, you can find one close to you!
Go paragliding together
Want to shake things up for your anniversary this year? One of the coolest adventure activities in Cape Town is paragliding from Signal Hill. And how fun to do it as a date! We did this together for our first anniversary, and it was just lovely. You float through the air, shouting across to each other far above the ground and taking in the views.
So whether you want to do something new together, or really impress on a first date, paragliding is a terrific option. And to close it off, you can go for the option above, and calm your slightly shaky nerves with ice cream and a stroll along the promenade! That is, after all, where you’ll be landing.
Buffet breakfast at The Winchester
The Winchester is a very fancy hotel in Sea Point, situated just off the famous oceanside Promenade. And while a stay here would be wonderful, it would also be very expensive! Their buffet breakfasts, however, are a treat – and an affordable one. Come early, and enjoy multiple rounds of delicious breakfast, including perfectly flakey croissants, stewed fruit, cold meats, cheeses, and bottomless cappuccinos. It’s all included in the buffet price (R175/person at the time of writing). And perhaps best of all, you can sit out on the balcony, overlooking the promenade and enjoying the ocean breeze.
Gin Tasting at Cape Town Gin & Spirits Co.
I love this place! It’s the kind of thing you’re probably only supposed to do once, while you consider buying a gin. But it’s such a fun activity that I’ve done it with my sisters and a friend too, on different occasions.
You get to taste their gins with tonic, and then try a few with different mixers. They all taste soooo good, and you learn all about the gins as you go along! The company is very small, so the man usually doing the tastings is involved in the whole process, and you get all that first-hand knowledge! He’s also very funny.
The tasting is also just a short walk from Long Street, so when you’re a little day-drunk and happy, you can go for a little adventure on Cape Town’s most popular street! Find something to nibble on, and be sure to keep your keys and your wallet safely tucked away.
They run from 11 am to 6 pm, so this works great as a lunch date.
Wine Tasting in Constantia
Another amazing tasting date in Cape Town! Constantia’s wine is world-famous and award-winning. It’s a beautiful neighbourhood, and the wine farms are so gorgeous to look over while you sip on something delicious (that being wine).
There are a lot of great wine tasting options in Constantia, offering different things like chocolate and wine pairings, cheese and wine pairings, or just good old tastings. And they’re really well priced – you can pay about R70 for 5 wines at Buitenverwachting, our personal favourite.
You can also tour the farms, learning more about the wine-making process. Catch a hop-on-hop-off bus or an uber if you feel uncomfortable driving. It’s one of our favourite fun things to do in Cape Town for couples and we plan to tick off all the vineyards.
A sugarbird on the Kirstenbosch pincushions – photo by Callum Evans
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens (or just Kirstenbosch) is a spectacularly beautiful place to have a date surrounded by nature – without having to trek anywhere. It’s the scene of our second date, with a picnic on the grass and a slow stroll around the various gardens. You could do exactly that – or start a hike here, have lunch at the little garden restaurant, or just explore and bring your camera along. It’s so beautiful, and really reminds you of how unique and spectacular our local biodiversity is!
Visit Two Oceans Aquarium
The Aquarium is incredible! There’s so much to see, you’ll spend hours strolling through the displays and marvelling at underwater life.
Our favourite exhibits were the giant crabs which seemed to open their stomachs up to us as we stared open-mouthed, the pregnant male seahorses, and of course, the Great White Sharks – healing and preparing to be released back into the wild.
The Two Oceans Aquarium is also right in the V & A Waterfront. There’s so much to do and eat there (the second part being top priority), that if you want to, you can continue with a meal or a walk through popular attractions. At least get an ice-cream!
Ice cream on Sea Point Promenade
A stroll along the Sea Point promenade is one of the best free things to do in Cape Town! You can take in the sunset from here, or just enjoy the crashing waves and the happy people and pups around you. An ice cream from The Creamery really rounds out the experience!
While you’re on the promenade, I suggest popping down to the rockpools and admiring the incredible diversity of marine life that make their homes here. Tread lightly, and keep your eyes open! There are such beautiful things to see here.
Dessert at Dolce and street art spotting
Dolce is one of our absolute favourite dessert places in Cape Town. The vegan and non-vegan desserts are absolutely delicious, and every time I go there I get one of the Lindt brownies for later, no matter what else I buy.
The staff is friendly, the vibe laid-back, and you get a free pastry on your birthday! So if this date planning of yours is for you or your partner’s birthday, jackpot.
And then, the street art in the Observatory/Woodstock area is phenomenal. Stroll around and try to spot them all! You won’t. But you’ll spot a bunch, and that’s really the whole point.
Awesome cheap date ideas
It is SO important for romance to be possible and beautiful on a budget. And thankfully in Cape Town, it is. These are our favourites — aside from the cheap dates already mentioned above, like picnic dates, promenade strolls and the ever-brilliant Labia Theatre.
- Take a train to Kalk Bay — Kalk Bay is such a wonderful neighbourhood to stroll through, with nicknack stores and art galleries, tidal pools and ice cream. The train trip along our gorgeous coastline is also a highlight!
- Have dinner at Eastern Food Bazaar — With incredible heapings of affordable, delicious food, a really bustling busy atmosphere, and ornately carved doors to marvel at, this spot is fantastic fun.
- Watch the sunset from the beach — You may note that a few of these ideas have included the sunset. What can I say, they don’t get old! And Cape Town has so many gorgeous beaches, you’re sure to find one near you.
- Go gallery hopping on First Thursday — Time-specific though this is, it’s a great one to keep in mind. Cape Town’s galleries all open up on the first Thursday of every month, making for a wonderful cultural date on a shoestring budget!
- Take a walk in Newlands Forest — Free and stunning, Newlands Forest is ideal for a relaxed first date and a great way to get to know each other while looking at your feet!
Last thoughts on our Cape Town date ideas
So, these are all our best recommendations for a great date in Cape Town! Whether you prefer big adventures or relaxing and chatting, there are options for everyone – and really, any fun activity can be romantic if you’re having a good time together.
So, do you agree with my recommendations? And do you have anything to add? We would love to tick it off our own list and add it to this one if you do.