Cape Town has done it again, being named Best City in the World in the Telegraph Travel Awards 2014 by its readers for the third year in a row! Vancouver and Venice follow in second and third position, respectively, this year. The motivation for Cape Town’s top position is written by Pippa du Bruyn, who is a Cape Town-based local travel writer and ‘destination expert’, including author of a ‘Frommer’s Guide’ to South Africa, and of ‘A Hedonist’s Guide to Cape Town’. De Bruyn surprisingly exaggerates our restaurants as ‘Michelin-rated‘ fare, and in describing Dyer Island near Gansbaai as being in Cape Town. Her laudation for Cape Town follows:
‘As your plane banks over Cape Town, you see a city dwarfed by a mountainous spine that runs the length of the peninsula: a jagged, curved finger in a blue expanse that stretches almost 3,000 miles to the nearest landmass. The Gorinhaiqua named the Cape’s iconic flat-topped mountain Hoerikwaggo (“sea-mountain”), its flanks dropping in parts almost perpendicularly into the ocean; the surrounding valleys they called Camissa, or “place of sweet waters”. The proximity of the mountain’s fresh spring waters attracted the first European seafarers, and in 1652 the Dutch East India Company made the prudent decision to establish a supply station here.
Cape Town is also a city that is rediscovering its heritage – replanting the Dutch kitchen garden that spawned the colony 363 years ago; creating walking routes that reveal the early days of the iniquitous slave trade. You can also follow in Mandela’s footsteps, be guided by maps that highlight the city’s architectural treasures, or take tours of its 17th-century underground canals. Despite all this, tourism to Cape Town remains highly seasonal, which keeps a cap on development – and the number of beds. So like most things, it pays to plan ahead. This is a city that has only really been open to the world for the last two decades, and it still offers excellent value for money and a sense of new discovery. Small wonder then that Cape Town has – for the third year in a row – won our readers’ vote as the best city in the world to visit’.
The Top 20 Best City in the World list is as follows: Cape Town, Vancouver, Venice, Sydney, San Francisco, New York, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Florence, Rome, Istanbul, Barcelona, Seville, St Petersburg, Krakow, Melbourne, Boston, Hong Kong, Berlin, and Vienna.
POSTSCRIPT 10/11: Pippa du Bruyn has also just written a guide to spending a weekend in Cape Town. Some of her restaurant and bar recommendations are odd, including Café Caprice, Willoughby’s, Harbour House in Kalk Bay, Asoka, Kloof Street House, and Bistro Sixteen82. No Eat Out Top 10 restaurants or Top 20 finalists are included!