Attractions / Awards and Accolades / Ten (10) to Inspire / Western Cape

Cape Town Has Been Winning Awards Since 1580

Updated Wednesday, 7 August 2019

If you’ve ever enjoyed a holiday in Cape Town, you’ll know that it’s special. There’s something magical about this city. It could be the massive Table Mountain that looms over the City Bowl, the ocean on the doorstep of suburbs like Sea Point and Camps Bay, the non-stop shopping, or the distinct African rhythm that permeates it like a heartbeat.

It’s no secret that Cape Town is a multi-award-winning destination. In fact, it’s been receiving coveted awards and accolades since 1580, when Sir Francis Drake said of this city, “This Cape is the most stately thing and the fairest Cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth”. Weighty words coming from the man that had just circumnavigated the planet and seen natural, unspoilt beauty beyond our 2019 imagination.  

Whatever it is, Cape Town sticks with you. So, it’s no surprise that the Mother City wins awards. What is surprising is how many awards it’s actually won. In doing research for this blog, I found myself descending down a vortex of news articles about awards on awards; each recognising something uniquely awesome about this vibrant metropolis.

Here are just some of the recent awards that Cape Town has under her glitzy belt:

Award: One of the Best Cities in the World 2019

Awarded by: Time Out

Cape Town beat city greats like Miami and Dubai and came 12th in this prestigious award. One of the contributors to Time Out described Cape Town as “instantly likeable” and that’s pretty much all you need to know about this beautiful city.

Cape Town

Award: Greatest City on Earth

Awarded by: Telegraph Travel Awards 2018

There were 45 000 entrants and Cape Town came out tops (above Tokyo, New York, Sydney, Rome and Venice). Impressive…

Cape Town

Award: Best Destination in Africa

Awarded by: World Tourism Awards 2018

Cape Town was competing with incredible destinations like the Kruger National Park (SA), Luxor (Egypt), Marrakech (Morocco) and the Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe). And it still won!

Cape Town

Award: One of the Top Tech Cities in the World

Awarded by: Savills Tech Cities

This index measures how much of a tech hub a city is according to its city buzz, talent pool, business environment, real estate costs, and mobility. Using more than 100 metrics, they rated Cape Town as one of the top 30 tech cities on the planet. Convinced yet?

Cape Town City

Award: World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination

Awarded by: 2018 World Travel Awards

This puts the Mother City at the top of the list of places to be for international events and prestigious celebrations. This means more international leaders and the “who’s who” descending on this gorgeous city.

Cape Town Stadium

Award: Cape Town International Airport voted best in Africa (in 2016, 2017 and 2018!)

Awarded by: Skytrax World Airport Awards

It makes us feel good knowing that tourists are starting their South African experience in the continent’s best airport.

Cape Town Airport

Award: Featured in Fodor’s Go List 2017

Awarded by: Fodor

Fodor puts out a list every year of where seasoned travellers just HAVE to go. And Cape Town was featured alongside the likes of Antigua, Bordeaux, Vinho Verde, and Alaska.

Cape Town Beach

Award: Cultural Destination of the Year Award – Zeitz MOCAA

Awarded by: Leading Cultural Destinations Awards 2018

If you’re in Cape Town and you haven’t visited this contemporary museum-cum-gallery-cum-masterpiece-in-its-own-right yet, stop reading this and go there. Now. It will change your life.

Cape Town Museum

Award: Most Affordable Long-Haul Destination in the World

Awarded by: Annual UK Post Office Report 2018

We’re not saying Cape Town isn’t worth any extra expense. But, it helps to know that it’s relatively easy on the pocket for visitors too.

Cape Town Cottages

Award: UNESCO City of Design

Awarded by: UNESCO 2017

This is the first time an African city has ever won this award, which recognises the design within the city as well as its focus on developing its creative industries. Cape Town knows what’s up.

Award: Best Art and Culture Destination

Awarded by: AFAR Travelers’ Choice Awards 2017

These awards go to the destinations that regular travellers have on their wish lists. We suspect that these travellers will never strike the Mother City off their list, no matter how many times they visit.

Cape Town Culture

Award: #1 City in Africa for Business Tourism Events 2018

Awarded by: International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)

In fact, this was the fourth consecutive year that Cape Town walked away with this prestigious title.

Cape Town Central

Award: Western Cape voted Golf Destination of the Year, 2017

Awarded by: IAGTO – International Association of Golf Tour Operators

If you’re lured by world-class fairways and greens, Cape Town should feature at the top of your golfing holiday itinerary. And it doesn’t hurt that the courses are close to wine farms, mountains and beaches.

Cape Town Golf Club

Nominations for 2019

With a history like this, it’s no wonder Cape Town’s 2019 looks promising. She is currently nominated for the following awards (amongst others):

  • Africa’s Leading Beach Destination 2019
  • Africa’s Leading Business Travel Destination 2019
  • Africa’s Leading City Destination 2019
  • Africa’s Leading Festival and Event Destination 2019
  • Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conference Destination 2019

Cape Town

Older Awards

Over the years, Cape Town has done particularly well as a destination. Here are some of the awards that she has won since 2010:

  • Africa’s Leading Beach Destination 2012 (World Tourism Awards)
  • The Cape Town International Convention Centre awarded Best Conference and Events Venue in South Africa (SACCI, 2015 – 2016)
  • Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conference Destination (World Travel Awards 2013)
  • Top City in Africa and the Middle East (Travel and Leisure’s annual online poll 2015)
  • One of the World’s Top 20 Cities 2010 (Condé Naste Traveler Readers’ Travel Awards)
  • One of the World’s Top 10 Most Loved Cities in 2012 (CNN)
  • Best City Award 2016 (The Telegraph Awards)
  • One of the Top 10 Beaches in the World (National Geographic, 2013)
  • World’s Best Luxury Entertainment and Lifestyle Destination (Ethisphere, 2015)
  • World Design Capital 2014
  • One of the World’s Most Beautiful Cities 2010 (Forbes)
  • Number 1 on the New York Times’ 52 Places to Go in 2014 (Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards for 2013)
  • Best Airport in Africa and Airport Staff Service Excellence 2010 – 2015 (Skytrax, 2010-2015)
  • Kalk Bay was named the Coolest Neighbourhood in the World (Forbes, 2018)
  • One of the Top 10 Cities in Africa and the Middle East (Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards for 2013)
  • Best Overseas City for Restaurants and Bars, as well as the Second-Best Overseas City in the World (Condé Naste Readers’ Travel Awards 2016)
  • Best City (2015-16 Telegraph Travel Awards)
  • Number One Food City in the World 2016 (Condé Nast’s Reader’s Choice Awards)
  • Luxury City Destination of the Year (Luxury Travel Guide Africa and Middle East Awards 2015 and 2016)
  • The Best City in the World (Telegraph Travel Awards, 2015/2016)
  • One of the Top 10 Cheapest Global Travel Cities (Trip Adviser, 2013)
  • Number 1 Convention City in Africa and the Middle East (International Congress and Convention Association, 2012-2015)

Cape Town

Accommodation in Cape Town

Now that you’re definitely planning your next holiday in the multi-award-winning Cape Town, be sure to check the many hotels, guest houses, B&B’s and apartments in the city to book your Accommodation in Cape Town at

Cape Grace

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