V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
I am a local and can assure you one can spend a day at this " trap" and it could cost as little as US$10Fairly reasonable entertainment but of course. A very good thing to do is spend a few hours at the aquqrium which is also right and really superior. The V&A is a copy of the South Street Sea port in NY but as it is newer it is vastly superior. The shops are pricey by SA standards but they need to be to cover the rentals and looking is not charged for. For lunch ypu coulsd have fried fish and chips which would only set you back about US$4.
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is one of the most famous places of Cape Town. Its particularity is that it is still an important port, even if it is more knows for its shops and its restaurants.
While there you can walk along the docks, visit the Two Oceans Aquarium and have a beer or a meal in one of the many restaurants.
The Clock Tower is a nice commercial centre full of shop, mainly for tourist who desire to buy some presents (but the prices are way higher than any other shop, not to mention the handicraft shops in the small villages).
What I have found interesting were the jewels shops, in particular the Tanzanite International and the Diamond International: there you can see some marvelous gems and buy it at a lower prices than Europe (still not exactly cheap!)
Unique Suggestions: Make sure to go to the Two Ocean Aquarium, it sure worth a visit! Also, sit back and relax in one of the many bars and drink a fresh beer while watching the sea.
Fun Alternatives: From the Waterfront, it departs the ferry to Robben Island, so if you prefer to know more about the history of South Africa, take it and discover the island where the new nation was built.
Yes, it is an important area for Cape Town, but it is full of tourists, souvenier shops and overpriced restaurants and bars. It's easy to forget you're in South Africa here, only the good view of Table Mountain might remind you of that!
Unique Suggestions: They have several companies that organise boat trips at the Waterfront. Good way to see the city from the sea!
Oh, and go and see the seals, which live close to the Cloak Tower! They're funny...
Sure everyone goes here and so will you, but once there the atmosphere is very malllike and the goods tourist trapy.
The restaurants here are all traps and $$$$.
Unique Suggestions: Visit the seals that swim around. They do smell but are cute.
It is a collection of speciality shops and restaurants, and the entire complex seems to double in size every few years. There are institutions such as the Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood here, with plans for more similar international companies to come in.
Everything is more expensive here, and cheaper wares can be found by going elsewhere.
If you do have spare funds available, there are actually a few good things to see at the V&A Waterfront. The whole thing is actually built within the Cape Town Harbour, which is a fully functional and busy international port. If you want to see what goes on in a harbour, this is a good place to go.
The name is taken from two separate basins of the docks, which are named for Queen Victoria and her son Alfred (as opposed to her husband, Albert).
Shopping, bars, restuarants, cruises. First of all, its all more expensive than in town. However, worth a visit, there are 2 cinemas (one 'art-house/cinema nouveau'). Cruises to Robben Island and others leave from here so youll see the place in any case Im sure.
Unique Suggestions: Take a trip to Robben Island. Eat at Baduccis or the Cape Grace (not tghe cheapest but loverrly). Watch the seals and boats.
It's developed to attract and entertain the TOURIST and yuppie/bb generations;
lots to do; but prices tend to be on the added side. nosiy and entertaining but not for me.
all info is there
Unique Suggestions: walk around, enjoy the ambience; it;s people watching time.
eat basic meals, window shop; curious
Fun Alternatives: for other eating there are so many other alternatives.
For shopping, Cape Town has many Factory shops;
curious are available outside and many places:
wines and liquors, buy direct from wineries when touring the winelands.
Don't buy from the shops at the Waterfront, African artifacts are best bought from the side of the road on the way to Cape Point, anything else can be bought at Canal Walk a great shopping mall off the N1.
V&A Waterfront ever since it came into existence it sucked up all the tourists. It also negatively affected small business economy. Same centralising trend as at home where huge shoppingmalls starve cornershops! It's fine to go there for the IMAX movies or for a quick drink to meet. If you prefer a mall to what you see here then it might be for you.
It is a big city and does have a high priced tourist area. The Mall and Restaurants on the waterfront are interesting though.