City breaks are a modern travel tradition that has exploded in recent years. It’s no surprise really; they are a great way of taking time out to explore what a country’s bustling cities have to offer and relaxing in the heart of spectacular metropolises. Whether you’re looking to discover stunning architecture or merge a beach holiday with city sightseeing, city breaks are brilliant for getting stuck into the local culture. City breaks in South Africa are becoming increasingly popular, particularly as tourists discover the plethora of quality restaurants, world-class shopping and the truly African urban culture.
South Africa is country that is scattered with beautiful cities and one of the most distinguishing features of them is that they are all vastly different. From the busy urbanity of Johannesburg to the laid-back vibes in Port Elizabeth, there is a city in South Africa to suit people of all dispositions. But where exactly are the best places to go and what can each city offer to tourists looking for a mini metropolis break?
Cape Town, Western Cape:
Unsurprisingly, this is at the top of the list of city breaks in South Africa. Known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town is the number one tourist destination for visitors to the country. Located on the shores of Table Bay, the city is a veritable playground for people seeking a bustling nightlife, sandy beaches and a warm climate. There is a host of things to do within the city, but at the top of the list is a visit to Table Mountain.
Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape:
Dubbed the ‘Friendly City’ of South Africa, Port Elizabeth is a great city break for tourists looking to relax in a laid back environment. The city is also famed for it’s beautiful beaches, with popular seaside destinations including King’s Beach, Sardinia Bay and Humewood Beach. Many of these are marketed as ‘safe’ beaches, with lifeguards on duty during the summer months. There are also a number of beaches that are only known to the locals, so it’s a good idea to get the inside information and discover these seaside gems.
As one of the most well known cities in South Africa, it’s unsurprising that Johannesburg is a must-visit for people interested in taking a city break. Founded on gold, it is an economic powerhouse that offers tourists an insight into one of the most prosperous cities in South Africa. Highlights include upmarket shopping, a variety of interesting museums and spectacular art galleries.
Colloquially known as ‘Durbs’, Durban is fantastic for people looking for a hot city break. With the famous Golden Mile, sun worshippers and sea enthusiasts can enjoy subtropical temperatures in a city environment. Beachfront hotels and restaurants are frequent along the Golden Mile, making Durban the perfect destination to enjoy city amenities with beautiful beaches.
Bloemfontein, Free State:
Bloemfontein is one of South Africa’s three capitals and is colloquially known as the ‘City of Roses’. This is primarily because of the abundance of flowers within the city and the annual rose festival that is held there. With a semi-arid climate, Bloem experiences average temperatures of approximately 31 degrees celcius, making it perfect for a warm city escape. There are a number of fantastic restaurants, fascinating museums and beautiful parks. For Tolkien fans, this was where the famous writer was born.
If you’re planning a city break in South Africa, these are amongst some of the best places to visit. Whether you’re looking for a city escape with a beach nearby or want to soak up the local culture, South African cities can offer the best of both worlds.