Cape Town on a Budget

Cape Town is a city that is noted for its cosmopolitan delights, the iconic table mountain, and several nearby natural reserves. With all these varied things to do and see it can’t be that surprising that Cape Town, compared to the rest of Africa, is really expensive. With that said the crafty traveler finds a way to make it to cool locations like Cape Town and still manage to see things and have fun. The following blog is going to discuss how you can spend time in Cape Town without totally obliterating your travel budget.

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When to Visit

The time that you come to Cape Town can have a large impact on the cost of your visit. In December and January, the South African summer, you will pay a premium for flights and hotels. A note for booking flights when coming to Cape Town always try to book your flight in the middle of the week as it will generally save you some money over flying on the weekend.

Where to Stay

The best that can be done for paid accommodations in Cape Town is to stay on Long Street which is full of different backpacker hostels. Located in a handy central location, also having a good array of bars and restaurants, Long Street will make an ideal location for exploring the city. Of course if you really want to save money, you could also explore options for doing couch surfing in Cape Town.

Where to Eat

If you really want to save on food you should probably buy some food and cook it inside of the hostel. Now of course when you are in a new city this is not always possible as you need to be on the streets exploring too. A few places along Long Street that can service your basic eating needs include: Arnolds, for a breakfast fry up, and Rafiki’s which does epic sized burgers and fries.

Walk the streets and hang out on the beaches

People travel the world over to enjoy the great beaches of South Africa and the great thing for the low budget traveler is that they are free. Be sure to check out nearby beaches such as Sea Point and Bantry Bay. Also, you can save money by just walking around areas of town and seeing how the locals are living. A good suggestion of where to go to do this includes the always bustling St George Mall and the Sea Point Promenade which has great views over the waters near Cape Town.

Travel Related Things you Should do before you Die

As they say, it’s never the times locked behind your desk that one reflects back on before they die. Really, it is the relationships you have formed as well as the truly dynamic moments you have had that define a life in retrospection. Travel often can do the latter, giving people intensely personal moments they reflect back on for a lifetime. With that in mind, there are plenty of travel things people should try to do before they die. Below is just a little list that details a few of them.

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1) Ride something larger than a horse; perhaps taking the chance to ride an elephant through the South American jungle.

2) Visiting a “real” blues bar in Chicago.

3) Try travelling India by train, complete with all the people traveling on the top of it.

4) Take part in the Carnival parade in Brazil.

5) Dance the tango, even poorly, in Argentina.

6) Volunteer abroad for a month somewhere remote and very different than where you are from.

7) Cross over a glacier by foot and marvel at the landscape we take for granted actually changing.

8) Walk around in the hustle and bustle of Central London. A walk down Oxford Street is essential for you to see just what a city can be like.

9) Scuba dive, or snorkel, at the Great Barrier Reef. With the largest coral reef in the world you will be given a chance to marvel at all the life that exists in the oceans.

10) Do a wildlife safari in Africa.

11) Buy an around the world ticket once in your life and see the four corners of the globe. If you can try to at once time set foot on all seven continents.

12) Go to a music festival in another country. If you’re having trouble thinking of one try Roskilde in Denmark.

13) Participate once in the Burning Man Festival in the deserts of Nevada.

14) Cross a country only using public transportation and experience the nation as the local people would.

15) Partake in a Japanese tea festival.

16) Go at least once to an Olympic Games to see one of the world’s largest spectacles.

17) Visit as many of the Capitals you can in Europe.

18) See either Barcelona or Real Madrid play soccer in their stadium.

19) Watch an orchestra play in Vienna.

20) Smoke a Cuban cigar near its source in Cuba itself.

21) Drive down the Pacific Coast Highway and enjoy the beauty of the ocean and the waves crashing down upon its beaches.

22) Look over, the eternal city, Paris from the Eifel Tower an marvel in its charm and beauty.

23) Sit in a Paris cafe with a book and a coffee and people watch.

24) Trek your way up to Manchu Pichu.

25) Never let your wonder and excitement for travel and the sheer joy it brings to you disappear.

Ways to Spend your Time in Cape Town

Cape Town is a city that absolutely brimming with opportunities for adventure, culture, and outdoor pursuits. Situated on the cusp of the Pacific and Indian Ocean the city also has the iconic Table Mountain just behind it. Visitors of the city enjoy time on its many great beaches as well as enjoying many of its great museums some of which detail South Africa’s history of apartheid. Visitors to the city also often enjoy taking tours to the nearby wine country as well as trekking into the nearby national parks and wilderness. A smattering of ways that one can spend their time in Cape Town includes.

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Table Mountain

Most certainly the easiest and most jaw dropping landmark Table Mountain towers over top of Cape town. The name Table Mountain comes from its unique flatted top. Cape Town has developed many ways that people can enjoy the mountain including trekking from the city up to its summit. If that type of physical exertion doesn’t appeal to you it is also possible to take the famous Table Mountain Aerial Cableway instead. While inside the cable car the floor actually rotates so everyone has a chance to see the view from all angles. Cable car rides cost around $22.50 US for a round trip.

Camps Bay Victoria Road

If you are a beach person the beaches and promenades along Camps Bay Victoria Road will definitely appeal to you. Spots like Clifton Beach showcase the areas soft sand beaches, blue waters, and quaint cafes. Camps Bay as well makes for a family friendly area where people can enjoy the outdoors and the majestic South African climate. Beach side restaurants provide a great atmosphere to enjoy a few cocktails by the water and a lovely meal. Seeing the sun set with a cocktail in hand is a recommended experience in Cape Town. Both beach areas are accessible by car or bus from Cape Town along the Victoria Road or Camps Bay Drive.

Constantia Valley

The South African wine industry has bullishly stepped up to take its place amongst the world’s best wine producers. The Constantia valley – located 15 kilometers south of Cape Town is where the industry began back in the 17th century. The oldest of the vineyards is the Groot Constantia has hosted a variety of historical luminaries such as King Louis Philippe of France, Napoleon Bonaparte and even Jane Austin. In modern times this as well several of the other vineyards turn out deliciously crisps whites and brooding reds. There are opportunities to tour the regions wineries and taste the wines produced at nine of the wineries including the Groot Constantia. Touring the wine region will require that you have access to a car.

Things to see in Mexico City

Mexico City is one of the most populous cities in the world with more than 20 million people. Surrounded by mountains on three sides and situated in the dry lake bed of Lake Texaco the city has some wonderful vista views which combine nicely to its wealth of cultural attractions. The heritage of Mexico City is of both European and indigenous native descent. There is evidence of each cultures influence in and around the city. A few sites to see in Mexico City include.

Templo Mayor

Seminario 8 | Mexico City 06060 |

Unearthed in 1976 Templo Mayor archaeological site is centered around the famous Pyramid Huitzilopochtli. The pyramid was once the spiritual epicenter of the Aztec empire and there is no museum that better represents better the splendor and complexity of the Aztec Empire. There also is an adjacent museum which discussed Aztec history and has a fantastic collection of artifacts. Located right near Zolcalo square Templo Mayor is easy to find.  Both attractions are open Tuesday till Sunday with Sunday being free.

Plaza de la Constitucion

Zocalo (Plaza de la Constitucion)

At the intersection of Juarez and 20 de Noviembre | Mexico City 06060

El Zocalo is the main public square of Mexico City as well as one of its most recognizable locations. Originally used as a place of public gathering during the Aztecs era Zocalo has long been the centre of life in Mexico City. The present incarnation of the square is flanked by historic buildings – including the National Palace, national cathedral and federal buildings – and is often used for popular religious events such as the Holy Week for Corpus Christi. A great time to visit Zocalo is during sun set when the colors of the setting sun cast the square in a beautiful light. Sunset also sees Mexican solders march through the square to take down the flag.

Chapultepec Forest

Chapultepec Forest is the largest park and most popular park in Mexico City. The park has long been a reprieve against Mexico City’s urban sprawl and is a popular gathering place for families and friends to escape city life for a bit. This area was once the home of the Aztec empire prior to it migrating to Mexico City in the 13th century. The park has a number of differing attractions including: the presidential palaces, various museums, a zoo, and several large lakes. The best of the museums to see is the National Museum of Anthropology which has a fantastic collection of artifacts and information about Mexico’s pre-Hispanic peoples.

A Few Ways to Annoy a Torontonian

Toronto is a city that is known for its multiculturalism. With that in mind, one might assume that Torontonians are very adept and respecting cultural differences and staying open minded about how others do things. Well… this is true, but it is still very possible to really piss off a Torontonian and bring their blood to a boil by stepping into a few of these Toronto faux pas. Ways that you can piss off a Torontonian include.

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Sit right next to them on an empty bus or subway

We all know that when a bus or subway is packed you’ll sit where ever you can. This is totally accepted and okay, but when there are plenty of spots available Torontonians will not like it if you plop down right next to them. Kind of like a movie theater when you don’t know the next person in the aisle, if you can, you’ll try to leave a one seat buffer. People in Toronto are all about their buffer zones and like it a lot more when they have space to themselves. Also, people do not like random conversation just because someone is sitting nearby to them. So the moral of the story is do not sit next to people on public transit and if circumstance demands you must – do not talk to them and people in Toronto won’t get annoyed at you.

Telling Torontonians that you hate Toronto

Now this one seems fairly clear doesn’t it as most people will hate it if you diss where they live, but yet it happens all the time. Especially meeting other Canadians there is a nationwide distrust, burgeoning on dislike, for Toronto. Well often ignorance breeds fear and fear leads to dislike, but still its not really open minded to proclaim that Toronto is completely full of cold snobs who care only about money and status. Quite, a blanket generalization… If you say things like that people in Toronto are going to want to avoid you like the plague. I mean they “choose” to live here.

Asking a Torontonian why they voted in Mayor Rob Ford

At this point the big buffoon who is the mayor of Toronto has embarrassed himself and the city on numerous occasions. Rob Ford is loud, crass and has a tendency to end up in headlines, sometimes international, for all the wrong reasons. There were allegations of drunkenness, groping, and even illegal drug use and this before we have gotten to his unpopular policies. At this point Torontonians want to wash their hands clean of the guy and having outsiders asking why “we” voted for him is salt in the wound.