Is Cape Town the Perfect City?

A little while ago I ran a bit of a series on the travel blog about me searching for my base.  I was looking for good place to settle down a little bit and work in blocks of time between trips.  Honestly, Cape Town wasn’t even an option when I was writing them.  But after a week here I’m starting to wonder if Cape Town is the perfect city.

I have pretty specific desires in a city, and I’m completely picky.  I’ve found so many cities that have been close to exactly what I want, but not exactly.  Vancouver is beautiful, is energetic and has a nice natural element, but is a bit cold and rainy for me.  Medellin, Colombia is warm, has a great location, incredible people, but it lacks an ocean.  But Cape Town what does Cape Town lack, according to my criteria for a perfect city.  Well, not a lot.

Perfect City Cape Town


Not only does Cape Town find itself in one of the most spectacular physical locations on the planet, but it also has a wealth to do and see nearby.  A drive out to Cape Coast, a cruise along the Western Cape, or a dive into the Stellenbosch regional all provide that escape from the city I desire.  In many ways, Cape Town is similar to Vancouver.  Though a full on global city, it is just a short drive from a peaceful escape.

Perfect City Cape Town

Food (Bacon)

As you know, I’m a big fan of bacon.  I need bacon in a destination, and Cape Town does pretty decent bacon.  They also do amazing steaks, sausage, and of course the braai (barbeque) is always running.  Coupled with brilliant wines, the foodie scene in Cape Town is among the best in the world, and continues to earn acclaim to that title.

Perfect City Cape Town


Though locals are starting to complain about price hikes, to me Cape Town is incredibly well-priced.  It’s easy to have a meal for under 100 Rand (10USD), and housing prices are entirely realistic.  From what I saw, Cape Town is one of the world’s greatest bargains in terms of city quality to cost of living.

Perfect City Cape Town

Global Location

Well, this is where Cape Town struggles for me.  I need to be somewhere I can jump around the world from, and Cape Town is a hop, skip AND a jump from everywhere.  Moreover, most of the well-priced flights in South Africa leave from Johannesburg and not Cape Town.  To get to North America it’ll take a minimum of about 30 travel hours, and even Europe will likely take you 12-18.

That being said, if you are looking for a bit of global seclusion, there is something very nice about Cape Town’s non-central location.  And there is certainly reward for those who make the effort to get here.


Well, Cape Town is about as close to the perfect city as I’ve ever found.  There have been very few cities in the world I’d actually consider settling down, and Cape Town is one of them.  I love the food, the natural setting, and the potential adventure escapes that lying within close striking distance.  If you’re looking for a city to move to, for a bit of a change, a bit of inspiration, then Cape Town might be the perfect city for you.

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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  1. Agreed Brendan! First went there four years ago and have been itching to get back ever since! It’s a perfect blend of city life and nature. Am currently in Port Elizabeth so will make my way down there in 10 days. Can’t wait!

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  2. I think what I find most attractive about cape town is that it is surrounded by stunning landscape. I usually don’t like cities, but Cape Town is by the sea and has amazing nature on the outskirts, so would love to visit one day.

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  3. lad you have found possibly “the one”

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  4. I’ve heard from many people that this city is a great place to settle down at least for a few weeks – after being in south america for the last 7 months I’m up for getting to the next continent 😉 Maybe I’ll stay in Cape town for longer it seems to be a place which is hard to leave.

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  5. I live in Cape Town and even though I’ve lived all my life, I still find myself falling inlove with the city over & over again.

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  6. I moved to Cape Town as a youngster and still love it completely. But I agree that it’s rather a long way from the rest of the world, even from the African bushveld I love. Brendan, be glad you’re not here right now: it’s like Vancouver – cold (snow on all the surrounding mountains) and pouring with rain. Yes, it does happen!

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  7. This only convinces me to seriously plan a trip to Cape Town soon. I’ve seen great images of the fabled Table Mountain and also the vineyards. But your description only adds the excitement, and curiosity.

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  8. Cape town has it all for every kind of travel enthusiasts, with a great penchnt for treating its visitors with unblemished grace. This city is seriously not to be missed. A good read, very concise!

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  9. Excellent post! I have a client that just added Cape Town to their upcoming itinerary. I forwarded them this post and they got very excited. I’m sure they’re going to have a great trip, it certainly looks like you did. Thank you!

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