Here's why Cape Town keeps winning tourists' hearts

12 July 2019 - 07:38 By TimesLIVE
Residents of the Bo-Kaap celebrate the 'iftar' (breaking of the fast) in Wale Street, Cape Town.
Residents of the Bo-Kaap celebrate the 'iftar' (breaking of the fast) in Wale Street, Cape Town.
Image: Esa Alexander

Cape Town has been voted the best city to visit in 2019 in the Africa and Middle East region by Travel + Leisure readers - for a breathtaking 18th time in the annual survey.

The city's tourism bosses, businesses and residents keep attracting tourists because of a strong sense of historical and cultural identity, beautiful scenery, good food and shopping, and world-class hotels. Then, there's the people you meet when you travel - and Capetonians score well here, too.

“It is such a beautiful city,” observed one T+L reader. “There are so many things to do and places to see and experience. The people are incredibly friendly and make you feel welcomed, and the value is wonderful.”

SA's competition for tourists is Morocco: Marrakesh placed third on this year’s T+L survey, while Fez came in fifth and Essaouira in seventh.

Jerusalem placed second on this year’s list, with respondents raving about the old city’s extraordinary historical and cultural legacy. Israel's Tel Aviv took sixth place.

Other cities rounding out the region's top 10 include Beirut in Lebanon, Muscat in Oman, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Luxor in Egypt.

Overall, the three best places in the world to visit this year, according to the T+L readers, are Hoi An in Vietnam, San Miguel de Allende in Mexico and Thailand's Chiang Mai.

A roundup of the T+L World's Best Awards for 2019 can be found here.