De Waterkant is a unique part of Cape Town, with a character and a charm all of its own. A transitional zone between the streets of the CBD and the green spaces of residential Green Point, between the slopes of Signal Hill and the V&A Waterfront, this compact, highly walkable little urban village is a veritable treasure trove of unexpected delights.
Its steep cobbled streets, pavement cafes and rows of terraced houses – some dating back as far as the 1790s – give it a very Continental feel, rather like parts of Lisbon or Florence. And, like Greenwich Village in New York or Hillcrest in San Diego, its flamboyant, bohemian atmosphere has long been associated with an alternative, art-loving, design-conscious community.
De Waterkant is so close to the Central City that you can easily walk or cycle to work there, while MyCiTi busses provide an efficient, affordable alternative. The area is also just a few minutes’ walk from Cape Town’s biggest attraction, the V&A Waterfront, with its dockside eateries, shiny shops, residential marinas and its new jewel, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa.
Travelling down Somerset Road away from the city centre will take you past the familiar shape of the Cape Town Stadium, to the wide open spaces of the Green Point Urban Park and the Metropolitan Golf Club, and to the Mouille Point and Sea Point Promenades – favourite places to stroll along the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.
But despite having all of these attractions so close by, the mixed-use nature of this historic neighborhood, richly endowed with coffee shops, al fresco eateries, fine dining restaurants, and a wonderful array of convenience and speciality retailers, art galleries, gyms, yoga studios and hair salons, mean that many residents have little need to leave the area on a daily basis.