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Winning vibes – see in photos why Sea Point was just named one of world’s coolest neighbourhoods

Winning vibes – see in photos why Sea Point was just named one of world’s coolest neighbourhoods
Today Sea Point is a melting pot of cultures, races and ages, though properties are out of the reach of the majority of South Africans. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

The Atlantic coastal suburb of Sea Point in Cape Town has made the list of 51 coolest neighbourhoods in the world. UK-based magazine ‘Time Out’ polled 20,000 city dwellers and experts to rank the ‘greatest places for fun, food, culture and community’.

The magazine says the cool factor is assessed by affordable food and drink, buzzing nightlife, accessibility and “community vibes”. 

“They’re distinctive districts that you can walk across in half an hour or less, but could spend a whole day or more exploring. They’re great areas for people to live, visit and stay. They’re places that mix up the best of the old and new schools,” the article reads.

The top three cities, in order, are Colonia Americana in Guadalajara, Mexico, Cais do Sodré in Lisbon, Portugal, and Wat Bo Village in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Sea Point comes in at number 38 and “it’s spine-tingling sunset views” are praised along with the Beach Road Promenade and a “hub of hot hotels and lip-smackingly diverse food options”.

The photos that follow were mostly taken on Sunday, October 16, 2022, unless indicated otherwise.

One of Sea Point’s most famous landmarks is the Promenade which draws people from across the city to run, walk, cycle and watch the sunset. According to the Heritage Portal, construction of the first stretch of seawall between Sea Point and Mouille Point was begun in the early 1920s by the Cape Town Municipality. In 1924, it was decided to extend the wall, which was built over the following decade. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

According to South African History Online, the 1875 census shows that “Sea Point and Green Point jointly had a population of 1,425. By 1904 it stood at 8,839.” Today the affluent suburb has 13,332 residents with more than 7,000 households, according to the 2011 census.

Children enjoy an ice cream on Sea Point Main Road. Gelato is readily available, with visitors and locals seen lining up for cones on hot days. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

Sea Point circa 1955: Segregation was strictly enforced after the 1950s Group Areas Act, though black and coloured residents continue to live in pockets in the suburb that was reserved for whites under apartheid. According to South African History Online, “Churches remained segregated along colour lines, with white residents occupying the front of the church and all other residents the back.” (Photo: Evans / Three Lions / Getty Images)

A general view of the Sea Point Promenade on 16 October 2022. Today Sea Point is a melting pot of cultures, races and ages, though properties are out of the reach of the majority of South Africans. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

Every second Sunday dancers from all over Cape Town meet on the Promenade to salsa, bachata and kizomba at Sunkissed Salsa, which started in 2014. A 6m x 6m dance floor is rolled out and the music blares until sunset. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

The dance styles originate from Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Angola. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

Tadawood Abels, Zuleiga Kafaar and Clarisa Fisher watch the Sea Point pools, which date to the 1950s and used to be reserved for white bathers. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

Siyolise Mayambela (15) in Sea Point on 16 October 2022. Visitors from across the country come to Sea Point to enjoy sunsets and evening picnics. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

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Time for a photo on the beach in Sea Point. (Photo: Leila Dougan)


Archive photo: Displaced people made Sea Point their home around the tennis courts in Sea Point amid an increase in the number of homeless people during the COVID-19 lockdown. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)


Collin Dube stands outside a fish-and-chip shop where he works. Sea Point Main Road offers a variety of food to suit everyone’s pocket. From a New York-style deli to a family-run Greek restaurant, a ramen bar and numerous vegan hotspots, there’s something for everyone. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

The neighbourhood is a favourite for dog lovers, with the beach and expansive green areas for pooches to run wild. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

Sea Point boasts budget-friendly transport links to nearby Clifton and Camps Bay, or you can explore the area on a hired bike for an hour for under R100. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

According to a costing study by U-Turn Homeless Ministries in 2020, there are more than 14,000 homeless people in Cape Town, and homelessness is growing in Sea Point. There has also been an increase in hostility towards the homeless in recent years, with feeding schemes in the area threatened and harassed. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

The area is family- and child-friendly, with many parks as well as gyms. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

Whether taking a walk with the family, enjoying the outside gym, drinking in the sunset from a nearby bench, taking a swim or having a first date at the putt-putt course, Sea Point is a playground for all. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

Read in Daily Maverick

Up in the world: Five South African destinations – including Pretoria – make global most-loved list

On a road trip from Cape Town to the Wild Coast – my eyes open to South Africa’s beauty and its complexities


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Antony Davis says:

    Hooray some good news at last. Anybody who wants to help with the homeless, I urge you to donate to the City’s Give Dignity campaign – even R100 a month

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