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Why the city between the mountain and the sea is attracting more visitors than ever (and converting a good chunk of them into permanent residents)

With more than 28 million tourists visiting the city each year, Cape Town is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that many of these seasonal visitors decide to make a permanent move to the Mother City and claim their place as honorary Capetownians.

From magnificent mountain vistas to sun-kissed beaches, historic winelands and a buzzing city centre, expat life in Cape Town mean that you are spoiled for choice when it comes to incredible experiences on your doorstep. Add to that the diverse and friendly locals and it’s no wonder that the city in the shadow of the mountain regularly tops top-10 lists on well-regarded sites like Lonely Planet and National Geographic!

Are you considering making the big move to Cape Town in 2023? If so, read on to discover the top 5 benefits of living in South Africa’s friendliest city.

When it comes to semigration (relocating from one city to another within the same country), the Western Cape remains a popular choice among South Africans. In 2021, 35% of the people who semigrated in South Africa moved to Cape Town - up from 31% in 2020.

Ratings Afrika identified Cape Town as the most sustainable metro in South Africa while the Consulta Consumer Satisfaction Index rated the city as the most trusted for basic service delivery.

Beyond the abundant natural beauty and enviable lifestyle perks, people who choose to move to Cape Town recognize that this is a well-run metro that offers first-class services.

For those who chose to move to Cape Town, South Africa, from overseas, the city offers a European standard of municipal services alongside the excitement of incredible cultural diversity.

The reasonable cost of living in Cape Town and excellent quality of life have attracted a diverse community of people from across the globe. According to the Mercer Cost of Living Survey, living in Cape Town is 65% less expensive than living in London and 55% less than in Melbourne.

Prices on basic food items in Cape Town are very reasonable when shopping at a mid-level supermarket, where you can expect to pay R12-R15 for a loaf of bread or a litre of milk, about R25 for a dozen eggs and R15 for a kilo of fresh produce like oranges or tomatoes.

Coffee culture is a big part of the Capetownian lifestyle, which means you’ll pay slightly more per cup than in other South African cities (but we guarantee you won’t regret it). Expect to pay upwards of R32 to get your caffeine fix at one of Cape Town’s vibey coffee spots.

When it comes to room and board, your proximity to the city center will determine your rate, with 1-bedroom apartments in the CBD going at around R8000 - R10 000 per month according to Cape Town's top real estate agents. The further away from the city you move, the more the price will drop. In Tableview, a coastal suburb 20 minutes drive from the city, you can expect to pay R7000 per month for a 1-bedroom apartment with a sea view. Luckily, there are a ton of amazing neighbourhoods in Cape Town to choose from!

The cost of utilities in your apartment will also vary according to the suburb that you choose, but on average you can expect to spend R850-R950 per month on water, garbage and electricity services.

Despite being more affordable than other world cities, the city offers an exceptional quality of life for its residents and visitors alike, with clean air, great job opportunities and stunning views ranking high on international expats’ list of reasons to move to Cape Town.

Considered the Silicon Valley of Africa, investment opportunities in Cape Town and high-paying jobs for skilled individuals seeking to make a living in the Mother City are rife.

It is nearly impossible to be bored in Cape Town. Aside from the exciting attractions that are available to residents year-round, the city also plays host to a plethora of annual events that attract international attention (as well as scores of visitors and participants from all over the world).

Sports fans will delight in the Sun Met horse race, the gruelling Cape Epic cycling event, the Two Oceans marathon as well as the Cape Town International Kite Festival (which takes advantage of the city’s legendary blustery winds).

Food and drink lovers can take their pick from the Knysna Oyster Festival, the Robertson Slow Food and Wine Festival and the Woodstock Winter Beer Festival, to name a few, while those who enjoy live music will be tapping their feet at the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts, the Rocking the Daisies festival or the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

One thing’s for sure, if you’re looking for excitement, you’ll love all of the fun things to do in Cape Town.

Cape Town is a city where difference is celebrated. From its culture to its demographics, the city is a melting pot of languages and cultures that come together to bask in its natural beauty and laid-back lifestyle.

It's a place where diverse people may come from different cultures, but they're able to celebrate their differences and live in harmony with one another.

The population in Cape Town of just over 4.7 million can be described as 42.4% "Coloured", 38.6% "Black African", 15.7% "White", 1.4% "Asian or Indian" and 1.9% other.

Capetownians speak a variety of languages, of which the three most prominent are English, Afrikaans and Xhosa. Given the amount of foreigners who choose to move to Cape Town, it is no surprise that German, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian and Russian can also be heard on the city streets. While these are not included in the 11 official languages of South Africa, they are reminders of the vibrant and thriving expat communities that can be found in the city.

Regardless of their race, age or country of origin, most Capetonians are equal parts laid-back and cultured. While they do understand the importance of working hard, they also value living well and are serious about achieving a healthy work-life balance.

To dine in Cape Town is to experience a food renaissance inspired by blended cultures, high quality local ingredients and signature South African ingenuity. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that restaurants in Cape Town regularly make international best-of lists.

Currently, two of Cape Town’s restaurants (Fyn and La Colombe) have earned themselves spots on the World Top 100 Restaurants list in 2020. Of the top 10 restaurants in South Africa, 9 are restaurants in Cape Town.

For those seeking less formal dining options, Cape Town delivers in spades. From local favourites like stuffed-to-the-brim gatsbies and samosas to inspired takes on international dishes like sushi, pizza and even Mexican food, there’s something to delight every taste in the Mother City and no wonder why people are moving to Cape Town in droves.


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