We chose to stay at the Green Elephant Backpackers, a hostel which is located in Observatory. Obs (as the locals call it) is a cute, student part of town. It's about a 15 minute drive to downtown, 15 minutes to the beach, and 20 minutes to Table Mountain (without traffic). I mostly used Uber around town, don't use taxis. Anyone can stick a taxi sign on their car but Uber drivers are rated, you can check their license plates, etc. Also, it's rude to sit in the back seat of Ubers in South Africa, so sit up front with the driver!
In the morning, I went to Stellenbosch Gardens. These are absolutely gorgeous and may have turned me into a plant fanatic (I now have a jungle of plants). They offer movie nights here on occasion as well! It's a great place to go for a leisurely walk, although you can work for miles and miles on end if you'd like.
I went to Jerry's Burger Bar for dinner before retiring to the hostel. Located walking distance from the hospital, this restaurant has amazing burgers! I'm vegetarian and had the best veggie burger I've ever had, I've heard their meat burgers are great as well.
I wanted to check out the beaches so I went to the close by Clifton Beach. Located in one of the nicest areas of Cape Town, these beaches are pretty popular. It's on the Atlantic Ocean so the water is pretty cold (look for beaches on the Indian Ocean for warmer water).
In the afternoon, I did a free downtown walking tour with Cape Town Free Walking Tours. It was really interesting to hear about the history of Cape Town, I'd highly recommend a tour. For dinner, I went to Mama Africa with someone I met on the tour. Ask the waiters for a recommendation, the menu is a little overwhelming but delicious!
Since we were on Long St, the party street of Cape Town, we decided to get a drink. We chose Cause Effect which I can't recommend enough! Their cocktails are fascinating to look at with all sort of crazy designs/presentations and their menu helps you decide on a drink by choosing your favorite flavors.
In the morning, I chose to hike up Platteklip Gorge to the top of Table Mountain. You can take a gandela up and/or down if you prefer as well. Platteklip Gorge is the most direct route up the mountain and it's stairs the whole way up so be prepared!
In the afternoon, I went to Muizenberg Beach. It's known for the brightly painted changing huts that line the beach. The water here is very warm and pleasant!
On this day I rented a car and went to Boulders Beach to see the African Penguins that live there. There is a small fee to get into the beach but I think it's worth it to see the penguins! It's a nice area to walk around and the town has some fun shops as well.
In the evening, I went to a bar called Stones in Obs with some people from my hostel. This is a pool bar (as in- pool tables), though there is a balcony you can sit on if the tables are full or want to sit outside). The drinks are cheap (two double vodka sprites are $4!) and the atmosphere is friendly.
I headed to Four & Twenty Cafe for breakfast (which was delicious!) and then headed up on the hike to Lion's Head. This was an easier hike than Platteklip Gorge though there is some climbing up metal ladders that you have to do. After this, I visited Bo-Kaap, a colorful part of town with lots of history. Make sure to visit the museum here.
I decided to explore the V&A Waterfront most of the day. This part of Cape Town has a huge shopping center and a covered area where local artisans sells goods such as paintings, clothing, masks, sculptures and other trinkets.
In the evening, I went to a bar in Obs called Trench Town with some friends. Since it was Sunday night, I got in for their $5 unlimited pizza and drinks that they offer on Sunday. The drinks are pretty simple (vodka or rum with coke, lemonade, or cranberry juice) but you can't beat the price! The place was definitely busy and we had to wait a while to get drinks and pizza but we met lots of fun people and had a great time.
Before flying home, I toured Robben Island. My tour was cancelled a couple times due to wind, so don't put it off to your last day if you really want to see it! It was worth the visit to see the prison and learn more about the history of the place.