Walking 10 000 miles in a city’s shoes

There’s a Chinese proverb that says, “Walking 10 000 miles of the world is better than reading  10 000 scrolls of books”.  And it’s true: there may be no better way to see a town, city, or anywhere else, than on foot. What you get from whizzing, or even slowly cruising, by in a car cannot match the experience you will have when you walk an area flat.

When you travel to any city in the world, you should take at least a day to simply walk the streets and find hidden gems off the well-worn tourist trails. In many major cities, you will find a variety of walking tours on offer. And with expert guides on hand to help you find those little gems. You definitely won’t get the same sights, sounds and smells from any vehicle.

Cape Town is no exception. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, the city has so much to offer – and you can never do too much exploring!

Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism (CTT), says Cape Town’s CBD is relatively small, and therefore can be easily explored on foot. It’s for this reason that the organisation endorses a number of free walking tours offered by local tour companies.

“You can choose from a wide variety of tours, with no formal charge. These are well-structured walking tours, led by a guide, and the tourist is asked only to provide a tip,” Duminy explains. “Tours take just a couple of hours out of your day, and they are worth it for the insight you will gain into our city.”

Explore historic District Six for a “real history lesson” on the Apartheid era, forced removals, and a glimpse into what this thriving area was once like. Take a stroll through the Bo-Kaap area to see the brightly-coloured houses on the hill up close, sample delicious local delicacies, and take in the views of the city – and the smells of aromatic spices. Or go on a historic tour of the city centre, taking in museums, local landmarks, and gardens, while learning about the rich history of the Cape of Good Hope.

Don’t forget to look up while you’re walking, as anywhere in the CBD you will be treated to breath-taking views of Lion’s Head and Signal Hill, Devil’s Peak and, of course, Table Mountain.

Or, if you happen to look down and wonder what’s below those streets you’re trampling on, consider a tour of the underground tunnels of Cape Town. These paid-for tours allow you to explore the underground canals and rivers that run beneath the city, and learn about how they have been used historically.

Wherever you choose to explore, don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes, bring a bottle of water, and maybe pack some blister plasters just in case. Enjoy!

You’ll find more about the walking tours here:

http://www.capetown.travel/visitors/see-do/nature-adventure/outdoor-activities/free-walking-tours-cape-town

http://www.capetown.travel/products/cape-town-free-walking-tours

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