View of Table Mountain from Robben Island

December in Cape Town, survival guide

Cape Town during the December period is a festive, beautiful place with something happening all day every day. From Christmas markets, carols by candlelight to days spent on the beautiful beaches – you won’t be disappointed or bored.

What you need to be aware of

The weather

Cape Town’s weather can be related to Mediterranean weather and you need to be aware of a few things. This is Cape Town’s dry season and you can expect some wind, hot weather and beautifully blue skies. On the average day, you can expect temperatures ranging from 23 degrees Celsius up to 40 degrees Celsius. Be sure to always pack sunblock, hats and cool clothes of you plan on spending time outside.

The water restrictions

South Africa is experiencing a severe water crisis and Cape Town has yet to have any relief so we are struggling. If you want to visit, you need to be aware that Capetonians are taking showers less than two minutes and saving water where they can. If you can tailor your holiday around water restrictions then you are bound to have a good time.

Being safe

When you travel to a new country or city being safe is a top priority and you need to be vigilant at all times. You can use our safety tips to get you through your stay in Cape Town with ease.

We know the mountain is beautiful and hiking up Table Mountain is definitely something that needs to be ticked off the bucket list, but you need to be aware of what can go wrong. The hike up and down is challenging and you need to prepare – always pack enough food and water and take note of the weather, it can get very hot or the weather might change completely and get cloudy. It’s best to go up with a professional.

What to do in Cape Town

Christmas shopping

Cape Town is known for its amazing shopping scene, great boutiques and unique finds, but if you want to immerse yourself in the Cape Town life then find something for your loved ones at one of the many Christmas markets that happen throughout December.

The Lourensford Christmas Market and the Stellenbosch Kersmerk are just a few of the many markets that happen in and around the city. So if you have left your Christmas shopping to the last minute then don’t worry, you’ll find something!

The festival of lights

Each and every December Adderly Street is lit up by hundreds of gorgeous festive lights – the occasion? To celebrate Christmas! You can check the lights out any night during the festive season, but being there for the opening night to watch the official turning-on of the lights is magical. It usually takes place on the first Sunday in December when there is a huge, free party in Adderly Street.

On the night, you will find stalls lining the streets selling everything from Christmas gifts to delicious food – you name it! The party kicks off mid-afternoon with live music and once it’s dark the mayor will officially turn on the lights. This is when you will see the historic road in Cape Town lit up – the lights depict the city’s diverse history as well as Christmas themes.

Get out and about

Cape Town has a plethora of adventures for anyone looking to have a good time. Whether it be as a small group or as a family, you will find something to do!

Visit a Blue Flag beach in Cape Town

One thing Cape Town is famous for is our beautiful beaches, the water may be a bit chilly, but that doesn’t stop anyone on a hot December day. Beyond their beauty, Cape Town’s beaches have also been awarded Blue Flag status, meaning they meet strict criteria for safety, amenities, cleanliness and environmental standards. In fact, South Africa is the first country outside of Europe to win Blue Flag accreditation for its shores.

Visit a wine farm… or two

Cape Town has beautiful beaches and the mountain bru, but we also have some of the most breathtakingly beautiful wine farms around. If you are looking to taste some wines, do a wine pairing or have a meal, then our selection of wine estates has you covered. But, you won’t only find something for the adults to enjoy while out in the vines because farms like Vredenheim have wildlife and the Big Five cats for you the kiddies to enjoy too.

Cape Town in general has a lot to offer, but in December the city comes alive and we can’t get enough of it! Whether you want to spend all your time outside experiencing the hikes, beaches and wine farms or if you want to enjoy the culinary scene that the city is so proud of, then you won’t be disappointed.

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