cities in South Africa

Beautiful Cities in South Africa to Visit

Looking for the best cities in South Africa to visit? There’s a magic that South Africa’s cities exude, a charisma hard to resist. Among its wonders lie cities that leave visitors utterly spellbound. So, which one should you visit? Here are 25 best and most beautiful cities in South Africa to visit.

List of Cities in South Africa

1. Cape Town

places in Cape Town South Africa
Picture: Anja/Pixabay

Cape Town, the crown jewel of South Africa! Dominated by the magnificent Table Mountain, it offers an overwhelming number of sights and experiences. Stroll down the historic streets of the Bo-Kaap or take in the view from the chic and stylish Camps Bay. Can you imagine sunsets that paint the sky in hues of gold and purple? That’s Cape Town for you! Great vibes, magical feelings, and breathtaking beauty.

Joburg to Cape Town flights

Search for the best accommodation deals in Cape Town on

best places to stay in South Africa

2. Johannesburg

Johannesburg is famous for
Picture: 123web/Pixabay

Often dubbed the “City of Gold,” Johannesburg is both sophisticated and full of history. From its astoundingly beautiful artworks and architecture to the trendy Maboneng Precinct, Joburg South Africa is a city of contrasts. Ever wondered about South Africa’s journey through the years? The Apartheid Museum tells a tale like no other. With so much to offer, Jozi, as locals lovingly call it, beckons you to explore its many layers!

Search for the best accommodation deals in Johannesburg on

3. Durban

best city in South Africa
Picture: Dale Botha/Pixabay

Welcome to South Africa’s beach paradise! With a sunny climate and golden beaches, Durban radiates warmth, both in its weather and its people. Fancy a spicy bunny chow or a walk along the iconic Golden Mile? Durban invites you to soak up its mix of Indian and African cultures. Vibrant, lively, and full of rhythm, Durban’s streets will have you dancing in no time!

Search for the best accommodation deals in Durban on 

4. Pretoria

cities in Pretoria
Picture: Clayton Majona/Pixabay

Drenched in history and splashed with a rich culture, Pretoria is truly a city to admire. Can you envision streets lined with jacaranda trees, their purple blooms creating a carpet beneath your feet? That’s Pretoria in spring! From its grand Union Buildings to its peaceful nature reserves, Pretoria is a blend of the old and new. Experience its grace and charm – it’s an invitation you won’t want to turn down.

5. Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch Cape Town
Picture: Albrecht Fietz/Pixabay

Step into the world of wine and whiffs of history in Stellenbosch! Nestled amidst the Western Cape’s wine country, this city boasts oak-lined streets and captivating Cape Dutch architecture. Ever thought of tasting wines as the sun kisses the vineyards? Stellenbosch calls out to the connoisseur in you. History, culture, and the finest wines – truly a trio to toast to!

6. Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth)

Port Elizabeth South Africa
Picture: Sharon Mugridge/ Pixabay

Port Elizabeth, often referred to as the “Friendly City,” beckons with its pristine beaches and vibrant waterfront. Can you feel the soft sand between your toes as you watch dolphins play on the surf? With its blend of adventure and relaxation, Port Elizabeth is a coastal wonderland. Great vibes and stunning views? Check. Port Elizabeth is an invitation to uncover the beauty of South Africa’s Eastern Cape!

7. Bloemfontein

Dubbed the ‘City of Roses’, Bloemfontein is a serene city bursting with charm. Imagine strolling through gardens awash with thousands of roses, their fragrance filling the air. Historical buildings, warm-hearted locals, and a sense of tranquility make Bloem a city you’d yearn to return to. So, when will you let Bloemfontein enamor you with its grace?

8. Kimberley

Big Hole Kimberley
Picture: Marelizej/ Pixabay

Step back in time to Kimberley, the city of diamonds! Ever wondered where diamonds come from? The Big Hole and its surrounding museum narrate a tale of glitz, glory, and grit. Delve into the history, explore the vintage streets, and get captivated by its sparkle. Diamonds are forever, and so is the allure of Kimberley!

9. Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown)

Where arts and academia converge! Think of an atmosphere bursting with creativity, festivals, and scholarly pursuits. The city’s National Arts Festival is a spectacle that transforms Makhanda into a vibrant cultural hub. Dive deep into its theaters, galleries, and historic sites. A fusion of intellect, art, and history, Makhanda is a city that inspires and enthralls.

10. Polokwane

Polokwane Game Reserve
Picture: Photo by Matt Artz/ Unsplash

In the heart of Limpopo province lies Polokwane, a city teeming with life and cultural riches. Imagine bustling markets, mouth-watering local cuisines, and tribal art that tells tales of ages past. From the Polokwane Game Reserve to its vibrant cultural heart, the city offers a feast for both the soul and the senses. Are you ready to dive deep into the authentic South African experience?

11. Pietermaritzburg

Picture: Oberholster Venita/ Pixabay

Pietermaritzburg! A city where British colonial heritage meets Zulu traditions. Picture charming Victorian buildings alongside vibrant African markets. Ever witnessed a fusion of history and culture that gives you goosebumps? Pietermaritzburg promises just that! Dive into its rich tapestry and let this KwaZulu-Natal capital sweep you off your feet.

12. Hermanus

whale watching Hermanus
Picture: Toralt/Pixabay

Whale-watching anyone? Welcome to Hermanus, the world’s whale-watching capital! Imagine standing on the cliffs, the cool breeze in your hair, watching majestic whales breaching in the distance. Beyond its aquatic wonders, Hermanus offers vineyards and a rich floral kingdom. Nature lovers, when will you let Hermanus captivate your heart?

13. Nelspruit

Gateway to the famed Kruger National Park, Nelspruit is an adventurer’s dream! Envision lush landscapes and a bounty of wildlife at your doorstep. But there’s more! The city’s botanical gardens, caves, and cultural offerings are a treat. Are you ready for a blend of urban allure and wild wonder? Nelspruit awaits!

14. Franschhoek

The French corner of South Africa! As you meander through vineyard-laden valleys, you’re transported to a world of elegance and exquisite wine. Picture tasting world-class vino with mountain vistas as your backdrop. Charm, sophistication, and a touch of European flair – Franschhoek is an oenophile’s paradise.

15. East London

East London South Africa
Picture: Teddy Kubheka

The unspoiled beauty of the Eastern Cape beckons in East London! Can you feel the golden sand underfoot as you wander its beaches? From the Nahoon River’s allure to its rich history, East London offers a coastal escape with a cultural twist. Sun, surf, and stories – an intoxicating blend, don’t you think?

16. Richards Bay

Coastal magic awaits in Richards Bay! Picture pristine wetlands and golden shores. Known for its vast harbor and stunning birdlife, can you visualize flamingos gracing the horizon as ships cruise by? Offering a blend of natural wonders and industrial prowess, Richards Bay invites you to discover its hidden gems.

17. George

George South Africa
Photo by Taryn Elliott

Nestled in the heart of the Garden Route, George offers lush landscapes and a backdrop of majestic mountains. Imagine teeing off on one of the world’s most scenic golf courses or strolling amidst forests that whisper tales of old. From its vintage railway to tranquil botanical gardens, George is a tapestry of nature and nostalgia. How soon before you let it enchant you?

18. Paarl

Wine, history, and mountains – welcome to Paarl! As you journey through its vineyards, you’re greeted with a symphony of flavors. But that’s not all. Can you see the Paarl Rock, standing tall, watching over a city steeped in culture? A fusion of wine estates, Dutch architecture, and Afrikaans heritage, Paarl promises an intoxicating experience.

19. Knysna

Knysna things to do
Picture: Falco/Pixabay

Ah, the jewel of the Garden Route! Knysna, with its shimmering lagoon and indigenous forests, feels almost magical. Fancy a boat ride amidst cliffs or discovering the mysteries of the Knysna Heads? Its quaint streets, artisan shops, and fresh oysters add to its allure. Nature, adventure, and charm: Knysna is where dreams come alive.

20. Mossel Bay

things to do in Mossel Bay
Picture: Jessie/Pixabay

Dive into adventure in Mossel Bay! A coastal treasure where history meets modernity. Can you feel the adrenaline of shark cage diving or the serenity of its blue flag beaches? From the Dias Museum’s tales of exploration to its buzzing harbor, Mossel Bay offers a buffet of experiences. Sun, sea, and stories – ready to dive in?

21. Oudtshoorn

ostriches in South Africa
Picture: Andreas Göllner/Pixabay

Land of ostriches and caves, welcome to Oudtshoorn! Get close to the ostriches or explore the depths of the Cango Caves? As you wander through this Karoo gem, the vast landscapes, and unique experiences beckon. From its feather palaces to the enchanting Swartberg Pass, Oudtshoorn is a blend of nature, history, and adventure.

22. Soweto

Soweto towers
Picture: Christo Ras

Where history resonates and the spirit of freedom thrives, that’s Soweto for you! Can you hear the tales of bravery from the walls of the Hector Pieterson Museum? As you walk its streets, from Vilakazi Street – once home to two Nobel laureates – to its buzzing markets, you’ll feel its pulse. A testament to South Africa’s resilience, Soweto invites you to experience its soul.

23. Upington

Nestled on the banks of the Orange River, Upington is an oasis amidst the arid landscapes of the Northern Cape. Picture lush vineyards under the African sun and serene river cruises. Ever tasted wines produced from sun-kissed grapes? Beyond its wines and waters, Upington offers a gateway to the vast Kalahari. Grace, greenery, and grandeur – ready to be enthralled?

24. Plettenberg Bay

best places in South Africa
Picture: Jean van der Meulen/Pixabay

A coastal symphony awaits in Plettenberg Bay! Can you feel the thrill of watching dolphins play or parachute over the azure bay? Plett, as it’s fondly known, boasts pristine beaches, marine reserves, and a vibrant arts scene. From sunbathing to sampling its delectable seafood, Plettenberg Bay promises an array of delights. Sun, surf, and sophistication – it’s all here!

25. Mbombela

kruger national park
Picture: Joss Woodhead/ Unsplash

Nestled in the heart of South Africa’s Mpumalanga Province lies Mbombela, formerly known as Nelspruit. This vibrant city, more than just an urban hub, stands as a beacon for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Serving as the primary gateway to the world-famous Kruger National Park, Mbombela welcomes throngs of visitors eager to witness the majestic Big Five in their natural habitat. Mbombela sings tales of South Africa’s rich cultural tapestry. It’s a city where traditional African rhythms seamlessly meld with modern beats, offering a holistic experience that captivates the senses. As you stroll its streets, dine in its eateries, or immerse yourself in its heritage, Mbombela promises more than just a stopover – it promises an adventure. As any seasoned traveler would attest, if it’s a taste of authentic South African charm and wilderness you seek, then let Mbombela be your muse.

Cities in South Africa: Final Word

Our journey through the cities in South Africa is like a fine wine, getting richer with every sip. From the wild coastlines of Richards Bay to the bustling heart of George, each city is a chapter in South Africa’s enthralling story. As you trace the paths of explorers of yore and create your own tales, remember, that South Africa’s embrace is warm, its heart vast, and its soul ageless. The adventure is unending, and every city is a revelation!

Set featured picture for best cities to visit in South Africa: Jean van der Meulen/ Pixabay


Similar Posts