Victoria and Alfred Waterfront Travel Guide

Cape Town
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront showing a lake or waterhole
Blending modern buildings with colourful period structures, the architecture at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront reflects its vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere.

With so much to see and do around the city, it’s important to take some time and allow yourself to soak up the atmosphere. A bustling hub at the very centre of Cape Town, the Victoria & Albert Waterfront is the ideal place to sit back and watch the world go by.

There is a full range of shops to browse, from bespoke local craft shops to high-end designer outlets. Why not indulge in a spot of retail therapy or treat yourself to a meal in one of the city’s finest restaurants, with stunning views and world-class menus.

The waterfront was redeveloped in the 1990s to create a buzzing, modern retail district, but it hasn’t forgotten its roots as a Victorian marina. Centred around two 19th-century basins named after Queen Victoria and her second son Alfred, the area is still a working dock used by small tugs and fishing boats.

It is a real treasure trove for history buffs, who can take advantage of daily walking tours from the Chavonne Battery Museum to find out more about the evolution of the dock over the last two centuries. If you’d prefer to take a look around for yourself, you can download maps and brochures from the V&A Waterfront website.

The Two Oceans Aquarium on Dock Road is perfect for entertaining young and old alike. Housing more than 88 different species, including ragged-tooth sharks, it will give them the chance to observe and learn about life under the waves in a safe and controlled environment.

Once you have had a chance to recharge, why not take one of four daily boat trips to Robben Island to explore more recent South African history. Notorious as the place where high profile prisoners such as Nelson Mandela were incarcerated during the apartheid regime, Robben Island Museum now stands as a testament to South Africa’s hard-won freedom.

Open daily and serviced by a MyCiti loop bus which will take you to and from the city centre, the V&A Waterfront is a great place to hang out for a few hours and catch your breath.

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