Cape Town

Travel Guide Africa South Africa Western Cape Cape Town

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Introduction

Bo Kaap Neighbourhood, Cape Town

Bo Kaap Neighbourhood, Cape Town

© Utrecht

Cape Town is the second largest and southernmost city in South Africa and capital of the Western Cape province. It is also arguably one of the most beautiful cities in world. With the Table Mountain providing a backdrop to the city and mountains, beaches and wineries lining the landscape, it's not hard to understand why Capetonians are so proud of their home. And it's not just the scenery which has made Cape Town such a popular travel destination in recent years. The friendliness and diversity of the Capetonians themselves accounts for much of the attraction of the city. A former major trading port, Cape Town has become a cultural melting pot of British, Dutch, French & German settlers and the local Khoisan and Bantu tribes. As home to the World Cup in soccer in 2010, Cape Town has become even more popular as a destination during recent years.

The original Dutch settlement, and the heart of the current city, is southwest of Strand St, "Beach street" in Afrikaans, since it followed the original waterfront during the 17th. Since then, centuries of landfills have successively moved the beach some 1,200 m (3,900 ft) northeast to its current position. The old city centre is intersected by avenues like Long St, St Georges Mall and Adderley St, and is approximately bounded by the Company Gardens in the southwest, the Castle of Good Hope in the east, and the slopes of Signal Hill in the northwest. During the 19th century, these slopes were settled by Cape Town's Muslim population, creating the area Bo-Kaap, which translates into "Above the Cape".

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History

Before the European colonial era what is now the Western Cape was inhabited by Khoikhoi and San groups, whom the Dutch called "Hottentots", "Strandlopers" and "Bushmen" (terms that are now considered racist and offensive). From the late 15th century, European ships (primarily Portuguese) started to visit the area, firstly for fresh food and water, then later for whaling and trading with the locals. Cape Town's colonial history started in 1652, when founder Jan van Riebeeck established a trading post there for the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC), as a stopping point on the Cape Route. Even though South Africa is the part of Africa located furthest from Europe, it was the first, and up until the 19th century only place which was substantially colonized by Europeans. The reason is that the Cape, while being furthest from Europe, also is relatively far from the equator. The Europeans therefore found the climate temperate enough to grow European crops.

The earliest European settlers were predominantly Dutch along with some Protestant Huguenots from northern France fleeing from being persecuted by the Catholics. These settlers over time explored the adjacent hinterland and founded the cities of Paarl and Stellenbosch in what is today the Cape Winelands. They were known as Voortrekkers ("Pioneers"), and they ventured from the Cape region to explore, conquer and settle other parts of Southern Africa. The first people from Asia to arrive in Cape Town were the Malays from Java and other islands of the Dutch East Indies, brought in by the Dutch as slaves in 1654. Their descendants are today known as the Cape Malays. Soon the various ethnic groups intermingled leading to the emergence of the unique, mixed-race Cape Coloured community.

Political control of Cape Town ping ponged between the Dutch and British during the late 18th and early 19th centuries until 1814 when it was ceded to the British for good.

Cape Town, as the seat of parliament, is South Africa's legislative capital. The city was ahead of its time as it developed into a global, multicultural metropolis much earlier than most other major cities of the world. Cape Town has many fascinating points of interest, a thriving nightlife, and a sizable LGBT presence.

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Neighbourhoods

Cape Town can roughly be divided into 8 main areas, with dozens of separate neighbourhoods. The main ones include:

City BowlCBD, Harbour, Company's Garden, De Waterkant, Devil's Peak, District Six, Zonnebloem, Gardens, Bo-Kaap, Higgovale, Oranjezicht, Schotsche Kloof, Tamboerskloof, University Estate, Vredehoek, Walmer Estate, Woodstock
Northern SuburbsBellville, Bothasig, Brooklyn, Burgundy Estate, Durbanville, Edgemead, Elsie's River, Facreton, Goodwood, Kensington, Maitland, Monte Vista, Panorama, Parow, Richwood, Thornton, Table View, Welgemoed
Eastern SuburbsFairdale, Brackenfell, Kraaifontein, Kuils River, Blue Downs, Belhar, Protea Hoogte
Atlantic SeaboardBantry Bay, Camps Bay, Clifton, Fresnaye, Green Point, Hout Bay, Llandudno, Mouille Point, Sea Point, Three Anchor Bay
Southern SuburbsRondebosch, Claremont, Plumstead, Ottery, Pinelands, Wynberg, Newlands, Bergvliet, Constantia, Bishopscourt, Observatory
South PeninsulaCapri Village, Clovelly, Fish Hoek, Glencairn, Kalk Bay, Kommetjie, Masiphumelele, Muizenberg, Noordhoek, Ocean View, Scarborough, Simon's Town, St James, Sunnydale, Sun Valley
Cape FlatsAthlone, Belhar, Bontehuewel, Manenburg, Heideveld, Hanover Park, Mitchell's Plain, Lavender Hill, Vrygrond, Capricorn
Overcome Heights, Sea Winds, Retreat, Grassy Park
West CoastBloubergstrand, Milnerton, Tableview, West Beach, Atlantis, Melkbosstrand, Big Bay, Sunset Beach, Sunningdale, Parklands

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Sights and Activities

Nelson Mandela's cell on Robben Island where he spent 17 years.

Nelson Mandela's cell on Robben Island where he spent 17 years.

© Yacca

Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach is a sheltered sandy beach with large granite boulders that forms part of the Table Mountain National Park. The real pulling point however is the population of penguins that wander the beach and paths. The sea is a bit cool even in summer, but it's worth donning some goggles and jumping in for the opportunity of seeing these graceful swimmers in their natural environment. Access to Boulders Beach is from the town of Simon's Town, about one hour south of Cape Town and costs R45 (price November 2011) per adult. Swimming is an extra R45. The swimming is on Boulders Beach, but the boardwalks leading to most of the penguins is actually on Foxy Beach.

Chapman's Peak Drive

The Chapman's Peak Drive is amongst the most beautiful coastal drives anywhere in the world and certainly can compete with Big Sur in California and the Great Ocean Road in Australia.

Chapman's Peak Drive

Chapman's Peak Drive

© soupatrvlr

The Chapman's Peak Drive itself is just about 9 kilometres long and is located southwest of Cape Town. It connects the two coastal communities of Hout Bay and Noordhoek. It is part of a much longer and impressive route that winds its way down from Cape Town past the suburbs of Sea Point and Fresnaye to the popular beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay and further down to Llandudno and into Hout Bay. From there the most spectactular part is a 2-3-kilometre-long part past rocky cliffs and beautiful ocean vistas. The road was closed from 1999 to 2003 after a deadly accident and other serious problems. Even nowadays, sometimes the road can be closed, which is signposted well before the drive actually starts and there is an inland detour if you want to avoid paying R31 (about €3 or US$4), which you would spend on fuel instead. The Chapman's Peak Drive is along the M6 which, after Noordhoek, traverses the Cape Peninsula to connect with the M4 south to Simon's Town and the Cape of Good Hope National Park.

District Six Museum

The District Six Museum, 25A Buitenkant Street, handles the history of District Six, an area near the centre of Cape Town. This famous area remained a multiracial neighbourhood into the 1960s against all attempts by the government to declare it a "white only" area.

District Six Map

District Six Map

© flame1985


Eventually the buildings were demolished and residents replaced and as up to today, District Six is uninhabited. The museum showcases information about the area and the people who used to live there and the director of the museum is a former resident. There is a small bookstore with an excellent selection of books on South Africa's history, District Six and apartheid (the term to describe the white-black discrimination policy used in the country up until the early 1990s).

Green Point Market

Green Point Market takes place every Sunday. It's a giant open flea market adjacent to the Green Point Stadium. There are numerous stalls selling everything from African jewelry, musical instruments, pottery, sculptures, and some great homemade gadgets, made by the creative whizzes from the local townships. The Market is a great place to pick up some serious bargains, but please do respect that many of the traders derive their income solely from the market. The Green Point Market is accessible by taxi and bus, (destination- Sea Point) and is also accessible by foot from the V&A Waterfront.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town

© Utrecht

The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens are one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world and covers a large area southeast of Cape Town, at the back of the Table Mountain. Plants from every South African bioregion are displayed. These include a huge baobab tree, rare succulents from the Richtersveld, as well as fascinating medicinal species. Several paths meander throughout the garden. There are also many restaurants, an indigenous nursery and a gift shop located here. At certain times of the year there are concerts and performances in the open air amphitheatre. There is art frequently on display, including large Shona stone sculptures from Zimbabwe. The gardens are also home to the National Biodiversity Institute. The garden is special because it changes dramatically every season. You will see different birds, new flowers, etc. In the summer, sunset concerts feature excellent international and local music acts in various genres. Enter early to find a good spot on the grass amphitheatre. Come along for a picnic and revel in the music of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, popular local artists and rock bands. The well-kept gardens will easily occupy half a day, especially if you stay for lunch or a drink as well. The gardens open at 8:00am and are open to around 6:00pm or 7:00pm depending on the season and the entry fee is R65 for adults, R15 for children. Guided tours depart from Gate 1 M-F at 10:00, 11:00 and 14:00 and Sa 10:00, and from Gate 2 at 11:00 M-F and Sa 10:00. The gardens can be reached by driving down the M63, which connects Hout Bay with the southeastern suburbs of Cape Town.

Noon Gun

If you're around for more than a couple of days, you're bound to notice the cannon fired at noon. The Noon Gun, as it is called, can be accessed via several routes on Table Mountain, or simply by following the road up from the Muslim Section of the City. The Cannon Battery itself is an emplacement set up by the South African Navy, after the signal cannons upset nearby people at the time, so it was moved to its current location. Well worth the hike, it affords not only excellent views of the cannon's firing, but also of the city of Cape Town itself. However, make sure you take plenty of water with you, as it gets very hot. And above all, remember not to take the hike on a Sunday. Many visitors are sorely disappointed when at the end of the hike they realise that the cannons don't fire on Sundays.

Robben Island

Robben Island, located just off the coast from Cape Town, is famous for being where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were held during the apartheid period. Some of the tour guides were themselves political prisoners so they have plenty of insight about what went on there. Tours run several times a day, every day, from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront (+27 (0)21 413-4200). Tickets can be purchased online as well at the above website. Trips leave at 9:00am, 11:00am and 1:00pm and tours take 3.5 hours including the ferry ride to and from the island. The cost is a rather steep R220.

Table Mountain

Providing a stunning flat-topped backdrop to the city, Table Mountain is a 1,000-metre high plateau surrounded by steep cliffs and flanked by Lion's Head to the west and Devil's Peak to the east. The summit can be accessed either via a cable car (cost: R195 return, November 2011), or a two-hour hike for the more adventurous, and offers unparalleled views of the city and the coastline. Visitors are advised to only attempt it on a clear day however, as the mountain is often covered by a 'table cloth' of cloud. Also, the cable car will not go when it's windy, which it often is as well. You are advised to buy your ticket beforehand or online, as the waiting lines on a good day can be hours! The main vegetation is the unique Cape fynbos, with an estimated 2,200 species of plants on the mountain alone. If you have the extra cash, an abseil off of the side of the mountain offers fantastic views and palpitation! The 112-metre descent is one of the highest single drops in the world.

Two Oceans Aquarium

The Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town is so called due to the two oceans - the Atlantic and the Indian - meeting at the southern most tip of Southern Africa. This attraction has an exciting Predator Exhibit with ragged-tooth sharks, rays and loggerhead turtles. The aquarium also showcases over three thousand sea creatures such as giant spider crabs and crayfish, eels, jelly fish, penguins, an interesting frog display and many different fish. If you’ve got young children, The Two Oceans Aquarium is a great place for them to learn about the environment and all of the above-mentioned animals. There is a big, basement play area and a ‘touch and feel’ display where you can handle starfish, sea urchins, seaweed and sea sponges.

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is located on the northern side of Cape Town and is both the harbour of Cape Town as well as a touristic place to wander around, do some shopping and visit restaurants and bars. It feels a bit crowded sometimes, especially on weekends, but it's a nice place to spend an afternoon or so. There is plenty of parking near the V&A Waterfront, or take one of the tour buses or taxis to get there. It's best not to walk between the City Bowl and the Waterfront when it's dark.

Other Sights and Activities

Bo-Kaap (Malay Quarter). This neighbourhood, on a hilly area southwest of the city centre, is where historically Malay Muslim descendants of slaves had lived. It is a popular location to shoot films, since there are bright and colourful buildings, mosques. quaint streets, stunning views of Cape Town and delicious street food sold along the side. It is worth exploring the quarter for about an hour, and then visiting the Bo-Kaap Museum, showing how a wealthy Malay family lived during the 19th century. Within the quarter is Atlas Trading, an old-fashioned spice shop. Ask the manager to mix the spices you need for making the meal you want. About 1 km from the Bo-Kaap is the Noon Gun which is a cannon used as a time signal. At 12:00 from Monday to Saturday the cannons are fired, never ceasing to amaze the crowd of people watching. Go and see the brief ceremony that occurs before and during the shooting.
Castle of Good Hope, Cnr of Castle St and Darling St, ☏ +27 21 7871260, ✉ info@castleofgoodhope.co.za. 09:00-17:00 daily. Tours are offered Monday through Saturday at 11:00, 12:00 and 14:00. Horse and carriage rides are offered daily at 10:30, 12:45 and 14:45. Booking is necessary. Popularly called 'The Castle' by locals, it is the oldest surviving building in South Africa, having been built from 1666 to 1679. The castle displays a vast range of historical military equipment and tools, an art collection and the William Fehr Collection, which includes antique Cape Dutch furniture. Visitors can buy wine and eat at the café or restaurant within the Castle . R50 entrance fee for adults, R25 for children and pensioners.
Rhodes Memorial, Rhodes Ave, Devil's Peak, ☏ +27 21 6899151, ✉ roy@rhodesmemorial.co.za. Built on the lower slopes of Devil's Peak, the memorial was designed in recognition of imperialist politician and business magnate Cecil Rhodes. The wooden bench that Rhodes used is placed under the memorial. This memorial is a wonderful spot to have a picnic. It is a starting point for the bike and hiking trails that head towards Devil's Peak, which have now become very popular. If you are eager to explore the nature and beauty in the area, make sure you are never alone and never carry valuables with you.
South African Houses of Parliament, Parliament St, Cape Town City Centre, ☏ +27 21 403-2266, ✉ tours@parliament.gov.za. Tours are offered M-F, but must be booked in advance. Cape Town is the legislative seat of South Africa (the presidential seat is in Pretoria while the judicial seat is in Bloemfontein). A tour of the Houses of Parliament will acquaint you with South Africa's modern history and political system. The tour includes visits to the National Assembly, the National Council of Provinces and the old apartheid-era assembly now only used for caucus and committee meetings. Tours are offered a few times per day in various languages. Free entrance and tours.
Cape Town Science Centre, 370B Main Road, Observatory, ☏ +27 21 300-3200, ✉ info@ctsc.org.za. M-Sa 09:00-16:30, Su 10:00-16:30. A world of discovery under one roof! Expect a wide variety of interactive displays and exciting activities for your enjoyment. Build a house in the exclusive 'kids only' Building Site, challenge your mind with Puzzling Things, experience weightlessness similar to that of space with a spin on the Human Gyroscope, play Mindball - the game where you control the ball with your brain waves and see and hear science in the Audio Kinetic Sculpture. R55 for adults and children. Students, pensioners and group discounts.
Maritime Centre, Union Castle Building, V&A Waterfront, ☏ +27 21 405 2880, ✉ jboshoff@iziko.org.za. Daily 10:00-17:00. The museum documents the lives of the early seafarers voyaging around the Cape of Good Hope. Small craft, locally made and various maritime artifacts are also showcased. The huge model ships are the highlight of the museum. Adults R20; children, students and seniors R10.
South African National Gallery, Government Avenue, Gardens, ☏ +27 21 467-4660, ✉ info@iziko.org.za. Daily 10:00-17:00. Located in the Gardens area of Cape Town off Government Ave (about a 20-minute walk from downtown). Contains extensive displays of South African art, and information on the history of censorship of art during apartheid. Adults R30; children, students and seniors R15.

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Events and Festivals

World Cup 2010

The big international event for South Africa was the FIFA World Cup on the 11th of June 2010. One of the most prestigious and popular world sporting events, the World Cup 2010 promised to bring throngs of passionate supporters from around the globe. Held once every four years, it's a football tournament (called soccer in South Africa) where 32 world nations vied for the famous golden trophy.

Games in Cape Town were played at the new Green Point Stadium, which has a capacity of almost 70,000

Cape Town Minstrel Carnival

The Kaapse Klopse or the Minstrel Carnival is an annual festival held in Cape Town. It begins on New Years Day and continues into January as thousands of people take to the streets dressed as minstrels in bright colours, spinning umbrellas and playing instruments.

Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Despite the fact that first one was held as recently as 2001, the Jazz festival has rapidly gained status with recent performers including Courtney Pine, Herbie Hancock and Youssou N'Dour.

Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Cycle Tour

A huge event in the city, this annual 109km race follows the coastline along False Bay and then on the Atlantic Seaboard. Held in March, 30000 participants were expected in the 2009 event.

Cape Town International Comedy Festival

Held in September, it is supposedly Africa's largest comedy festival. Bringing in comedians from around the world, shows are held at different locations around the city and include street performers and more risque comedy in the Danger Zone.

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Weather

The busiest time to visit Cape Town is during December and January when the local schools have their holidays and there is also a large number of tourists. This is the middle of Cape Towns summer period which ranges from the end of October to March. Average maximum temperatures range between 24 and 27 °C during this time, with nights around 14-16 °C. The winter months of June through August can be quite cold and wet, but spring and autumn are both lovely times to visit the city. Average highs during winter are still an acceptable 18 °C while nights are mostly around 8 °C.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max26.1 °C26.5 °C25.4 °C23 °C20.3 °C18.1 °C17.5 °C17.8 °C19.2 °C21.3 °C23.5 °C24.9 °C
Avg Min15.7 °C15.6 °C14.2 °C11.9 °C9.4 °C7.8 °C7 °C7.5 °C8.7 °C10.6 °C13.2 °C14.9 °C
Rainfall15 mm17 mm20 mm41 mm69 mm93 mm82 mm77 mm40 mm30 mm14 mm17 mm
Rain Days5.54.64.88.311.413.311.813.710.48.74.96.2

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Getting There

By Plane

Cape Town International Airport (CPT) about 20 kilometres from the city has recently been renovated and is a good entry point to South Africa, along with Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport.
South African Express flies between Cape Town and Walvisbaai and Windhoek in Namibia, Gaborone in Botswana and Maputo in Mozambique. KLM flies between Amsterdam and Cape Town directly. Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines fly from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to Cape Town as well. The latter has flights onwards to Buenos Aires. Cape Town has flights to Istanbul, Düsseldorf and Munich and from June 2008 to New York as well and several African cities, mainly in the south of the continent.
South African Airways, Sout African Airlink, Kulula.com and Mango all fly to and from Cape Town from a number of South African cities as well, including Bloemfontein, Durban, Port Elizabeth, George and Johannesburg.

To/from the airport

  • Car: The airport is accessible from the N2 freeway, with Airport Approach Road providing a direct link between the N2 (at exit 16) and the airport. The airport can also be indirectly accessed from the R300 freeway via the M12, M10 and M22. The airport has about 1,500 parking places in the general parking area, and 1,750 parking places in the multi-storey parkade located near the domestic terminal. Rental cars are widely available at the airport, with both international and local agencies.
  • Bus: The MyCiTi bus rapid transit system provides a shuttle service connecting the airport with the Civic Centre bus station in the city centre. Buses depart every 20 minutes from 04:20am to 10:00pm.
  • Transport is also provided by metered taxis and various private shuttle companies.

By Train

All scheduled South African passenger trains are run by PRASA (the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa), which has different divisions for long distance (intercity) trains and commuter (suburban) trains. Shosholoza Meyl operates intercity trains and MetroRail operates commuter trains in major cities.

Shosholoza Meyl has three classes of intercity trains: Economy Class, Tourist Class and Premier Classe. In economy class there are seats only (no bunk beds). Tourist class provides bunk beds for overnight trips (bring a sleeping bed or buy bedding on the train). Premier classe is luxurious and comfortable, providing all necessary bedding and meals. The economy and tourist class trains have a buffet car for food. Prices on the three classes vary accordingly.

The main 2 Cape Town railway station is located in the city centre, on the corner of Strand Street and Adderley Street. All trains from and to Cape Town depart and arrive from here.

There are intercity trains from:

Johannesburg via Kimberley every day of the week. Economy seat R440. and Tourist Class sleeper R690.;
the fare from Capetown to Kimberley Economy seat R300. and Tourist Class sleeper R470.
Cape Town to East London once a week Sunday (Economy seat Class only). R400);

MetroRail has two classes on commuter trains in and around Cape Town: MetroPlus (also called First Class) and Metro (called Third Class). MetroPlus is more comfortable and less crowded but also more expensive. Every trainset has MetroPlus and Metro coaches; the MetroPlus coaches are always on the end of the train nearest Cape Town. The tickets are cheap so it is better to be more comfortable and use MetroPlus. There are steep fines if you are caught in a MetroPlus coach with a Metro ticket (but vice versa is allowed).

MetroRail commuter trains are a great way to travel between Cape Town and neighbouring towns such as Stellenbosch, Strand, Paarl, Somerset West, Malmesbury, Worcester and through the Southern Suburbs (Claremont, Wynberg, Retreat) or to the beaches at Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek, Glencairn and Simon's Town. Contrary to popular opinion, MetroRail trains are safe, but it is wise to avoid travelling during the night if possible. If you need to use trains during the night, go on the most crowded first-class (MetroPlus) car and try to travel with a companion.

The train line from Cape Town to Simon's Town is fantastic. From Muizenberg south to Simon's Town, the line runs right next to the sea. You can often see whales, and if it is windy you may have sea spray hitting the train windows. For the best views make sure you sit on the east side of the train (the left side as you face away from Cape Town and towards Simon's Town). You can buy a Tourist "hop on, hop off" ticket for the Cape Town to Simon's Town route that allows you to get on and off any train for the entire day.

Trains to Stellenbosch run about every two hours or so, but this journey takes a long time. Ask at the ticket counter if there is an earlier train you could hop on, since there are also trains to Stellenbosch starting from Bellville and Eerste River.

By Car

Most roads in Cape Town and its surroundings are in excellent condition, which makes getting around in a car a straightforward task. However, there is a risk of getting carjacked when it is dark or while you stop at the traffic lights. It is not quite as dangerous as the media will make you believe, but you should take care. Ask the staff in your hotel or anyone who knows the city well about the safe and unsafe areas of Cape Town.

Many major highways begin in Cape Town:

N1 goes northeast, passing Paarl, Bloemfontein and Johannesburg on its way from Cape Town to the Zimbabwean capital Harare. The N1 is a good option if you are heading up to Kimberley and the northern Drakensberg.
N2 goes along the east coast to the Garden Route, George and Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, across the Wild Coast, Durban and Eswatini (Swaziland), and finally ending up at Ermelo. Note that the N2 is a toll road through the Tsitsikamma National Park.
N7 runs north along the west coast to the Northern Cape city of Springbok up to Namibia. Continue on it to get to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and Upington.

Car rental in South Africa is more affordable than most Western nations. Petrol is cheaper than much of Europe too but is slightly more pricey than the USA. Local residents will say that the drivers in Cape Town are among the politest in the country and normally drive slower than drivers in other South African cities.

By Bus

There are many companies offering services to and from Cape Town, but the main operators are Greyhound South Africa, Intercape and Translux. They serve both several international as well as many domestic destinations.

The Baz Bus is a bus where you can hop on and of and is mostly used by backpackers travelling on a budget. They are dropped off at hostels. There are three routes. One is running between Cape Town and Durban.

By Boat

Arriving by Boat into Cape Town HArbour

Arriving by Boat into Cape Town HArbour

© Taffski

The Royal Mail Ship "Saint Helena" travels regularly between Saint Helena and Ascension Island, Walvis Bay and Cape Town. The schedule is primarily designed to meet the needs of locals and cargo for St. Helena, and thus follows a timetable but not a consistent routing. In general terms, the ship leaves Cape Town once a month, before heading to St. Helena, sometimes via Walvis Bay. From St. Helena it will then run 1 or 2 shuttles to Ascension Island, before returning to Cape Town, again sometimes via Walvis Bay. Occasionally, Cape Town is omitted, and the ship returns to St. Helena directly from Walvis Bay.

For travelling directly to Tristan da Cunha, there are only a few boats a year from Cape Town (and sometimes Namibia). If you are lucky enough though, the trip takes 5 or 6 days and will mean you have to spend months on the island. Tickets roughly cost about 1000 to 1200 for a return trip. It's best to check the Tristan da Cunha website for details.

Boats also go to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was jailed for 20 years from 1964 to 1984.

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Getting Around

By Car

Several car rental agencies operate in the city. International companies such as Avis, Value Car Hire, Hertz and Budget Rent-a-Car and national branches including First Car Rental and Tempest Car Hire have branches at Cape Town International Airport.

For those who like to travel in style, companies like Q Drive offer luxury chauffeur services which include airport pick-ups and drop-offs, general transport and even VIP protection.

Cape Town has some of the worst traffic jams in South Africa. During peak-hours traffic can grind to a total stand-still. Use an app like Waze or Google Maps to guide you around the worst spots.

All fuel stations accept international credit and debit cards using chip and PIN. US and other card holders not yet converted to chip cards may find their cards not accepted.

When you refuel your car you need to let the station attendants do it for you. You can just stay inside your car and they will ask you which type and how much fuel you want to put in your car. They will probably also wash your windscreen for you whether you need it or not, and it is also common to ask petrol attendants to check tyres and oil. In return a small tip is appreciated (around R5 is common) so it is advisable to collect a few of the low denomination coins you will receive elsewhere during your trip as change.

By Taxi

Metered taxis are controlled by the city council and can be considered safe and reliable. The price per kilometer is around R8-R10 and can often be read at the taxis side door. You can also set a fixed price with the driver, especially when going to a far away destination such as the airport which is about 21 km from city center and the fare can be bargained down to R180.

There is only one official taxi company at the airport: Touchdown Taxis and to avoid the touts walk through the terminal until you find their specific desk. You can also ask your hotel to pick you up, as pick up service are provided by many hotels, guest houses and so on.

Elsewhere look for the specific taxi ranks which usually have a marshall who will ask where you want to go and then instruct one of the taxis for you - always ask up front how much and they will either indicate that it is on the meter or advise a fixed amount on which you can haggle. Compared with European and American prices they are cheap even if you also include a tip.

By Public Transport

Cape Metro Rail offers transport around Cape Town, its suburbs and neighbouring towns like Stellenbosch and Paarl in the wine region. They have put in a lot of work to improve comfort and safety on the trains though it doesn't match up with the best in the world. As such, it is advisable to go on first-class. Cape Town's main station is located in the city centre on the corner of Strand and Adderley Street. The suburban network of lines is fairly good with over 120 stations. You can go on a picturesque ride to Simon's Town along the Cape Peninsula's east coast. Stay on the Simon's Town line and plan your itinerary so that you stop using the train after 18:30 or any time after it becomes dark.

Try to avoid carrying valuables during your train ride as they will be magnet for thieves. If it is necessary to bring a camera, stick to one that is small in size and well hidden. Wearing any type of jewellery visible to others is not a good idea as it can be snatched or ripped off you by a cunning thief. For your safety remember to always stay alert.

An international standard rapid transit service in Cape Town, known as MyCiTi, runs from Cape Town Airport to the Cape Town CBD (City Bowl) and the Atlantic coastal suburbs.

MyCiTi. 04:30 to 22:00. This is the recommended service for tourists to the city and is comparable with the London Transport system in England. R30 single. Daypass R94. Off-peak daypass R39. Smartcards are the norm in 2018 and you need to tap in once at a controlled access terminal gate or in the bus on regular bus stops. At the end of your journey - you either tap out in the out validator of the bus at regular stops but not when you step out into a controlled access terminal in which case you either tap out on the exit gate or change buses and tap out (i.e., you do not need to tap in inside the connecting bus) at the end of your journey. You would think a redundant tap in or out would not be charged but the software is not smart enough. (updated Jul 2017 | edit)
Golden Arrow Bus Services. This is a network of affordable public buses that links up much of the Cape Town metropolitan area. Ask the driver where the bus is going to make sure you don’t end up somewhere else.

By Foot

Downtown Cape Town can easily be explored on foot. You need a car or public transport to get to the Table Mountain area though, if just for safety. You can walk between central Cape Town and the V&A Waterfront, but there is plenty of parking space over there as well and walking can be problematic with dividing motorways, and little or no signage or facilities for pedestrians.

By Bike

Few people use bicycles and it's not recommend in Cape Town for safety reasons, except a few isolated locations.

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Eat

Whether you're traveling on US$10 a day or a hundred, Cape Town has affordable and luxurious eating options for everyone. From a backpacker's budget on Long Street to fine dining in Camps Bay, you will find everything from traditional African fare and Cape Cuisine to Mexican, Italian, or Portuguese. And don't forget the fresh seafood! As a city on the water's edge, fresh linefish and oysters are popular menus options.

Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

For the greatest diversity of eating establishments in one location, start at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. With over eating 70 options to choose from, the V & A Waterfront offers everything from casual, cafe culture to pub style eating. You can enjoy a lazy afternoon at Quay Four for fish and chips, or rub elbows with celebrities at Balducci's. There are several national restaurant chains represented like Ocean Basket, Mug and Bean and Steers. Several cafe-style establishments offer limited, free wireless internet connections which can be extended for a small fee.

Long Street

On a budget? Head over to Long Street, the backpacker's district of Cape Town. With a myriad of bars, cafes, restaurants, and clubs, you can't go wrong. Try Mamma Africa for traditional African and Cape cuisine. Be sure to call ahead to reserve a table. Mamma Africa's also offers great live African music, however be ready to pay a small cover charge to listen at the bar. Ready to venture out of the city bowl?

Ocean Views

Want to watch the sunset from your table? For a beachfront setting, head to the neighborhoods of Camp's Bay, Clifton or Bantry Bay. Le Med is a local favorite for sundowners. With such a wide range of restaurants to choose from, there is no excuse for leaving Cape Town without several exceptional, dining experiences.

Other Neighbourhoods and Farther Afield

Try the neighborhoods of Green Point, Observatory, and Sea Point. All offer several dining options. At Tank, in Green Point, a 20,000 liter salt-water, fish tank separates the cocktail lounge from the dining room.

Farther afield, Hout Bay on the west side of the Cape Peninsula is very good for fresh crayfish (lobsters - they have become quite expensive, around R300, though). Kalk Bay on the east side of the peninsula offers a big variety of fresh fish, do check out The Brass Bell. The restaurants in nearby Simon's Town are also good.

Do not neglect the Cape Winelands for food if you have a car. In Stellenbosch, Spier has several restaurants, including the fun, afro-chic Moyo, and many wine estates offer food of different types and quality. The village of Franschhoek is the culinary navel of the wine region, with Le Quartier Francais a perennial five-star winner, but only one of many excellent restaurants. In the Constantia Valley there are number of great restaurants including Pastis Brasserie, Wasabi, The River Cafe, La Colombe and the Constantia Uitsig Restaurant.

Make sure you know what the price is before you order rare delicacies in restaurants as there have been a few rare but high-profile cases of heinous overcharging where the price is not on the menu, particularly for perlemoen (abalone) and crayfish (similar to lobster).

Cape Town is a notably vegan and vegetarian friendly city. Most restaurants in Cape Town have some vegetarian item on the menu, meny of them also offering vegan options. Even those without vegan options on the menu are usually happy to serve something vegan if you ask the waiter.

Restaurants

Bakoven, Southern Life Building, 14 Riebeek St, ☏ +27 21 419-1937. Coffee shop and light meals.
Eastern Food Bazaar, 96 Longmarket Street, Cape Town, ☏ +27 21 461 2458. South Asian food court offering high quality meals for a fair price. 100% Halaal. R20-35.
Table Mountain Restaurant, On top of Table Mountain, close to the Upper Cable Station. 08:30 to 18:30, with extended hours during December and January. A 120 seat, self-service restaurant. No booking required. Quality is variable. From R20 for a simple breakfast. edit
The Charles, 137 Waterkant Street, De Waterkant, ☏ +27 21 409 2500. 07:00 to 17:00. The Charles can accommodate 25–30 people seated. From R35 for small English breakfast (served with toasted white or whole wheat bread) 1 egg, rasher bacon, sausage, fried tomato and sauté mushrooms. edit
The Kind Kitchen, 252 Albert Rd, 7925 Woodstock, ☏ +27 61 526 1358. Brunch Tu-Sa 10:00-15:00, Dinner Tu-F 17:00-20:00. Vegan deli in the Woodstock Brewery.
Africa Café, 108 Shortmarket Street, ☏ +27 21 422-0221, ✉ africafe@iafrica.com. Affordable and very good. Maybe the best restaurant in Cape Town for African cuisine. Lower to medium price range. Serves fixed menu, all you can eat of 12-15 different dishes.
Biesmiellah, Corner Upper Wale/Pentz Street, ☏ +27 21 423-0850. One of the oldest restaurants around, known for its Malay kitchen. No alcoholic drinks are available.
Col'Cacchio Pizzeria, 42 Hans Strijdom Avenue Foreshore (also at Eden on the Bay in Bloubergstrand) (Take N1 on M18, take right into River Rd and left into Hans), ☏ +27 21 419-4848. Italian dishes made to order. Mid-range.
95 Keerom, 95 Keerom Street, ☏ +27 21 422 0765. A top class Italian restaurant with modern décor and a trendy atmosphere.
Lolas, 228 Long St (Across from Long Street Café), ☏ +27 21 423 0885. Vegetarian food with local colour and great karma. Good conversation and even better meals. Mingle with dreadlocks, artsy types and brooding poets.
Long Street Café, 259 Long Street, ☏ +27 21 424 2464. Very popular, European kitchen, which serves up tasty drinks.
Mama Africa, 178 Long Street, ☏ +27 21 426-1017. Open Monday to Saturday. Restaurant is open 7PM till late, the bar is open 4:30PM till late. African style tourist restaurant offering local and African meals, like Bobotie and Potjiekos, but also springbok, kudu and crocodile steak. Good range of wines at affordable prices. Live marimba music some nights.
Rhodes Memorial Restaurant, Rhodes Memorial, ☏ +27 21 689-9151, ✉ roy@rhodesmemorial.co.za. Situated in the Table Mountain National Park directly behind the famous Rhodes Memorial. The restaurant has stunning views over the northern and eastern Cape Town suburbs and the Hottentots Holland mountain range. The menu is diverse and caters to all tastes, but its the desserts that really rate a mention, be sure to tuck into some scones!
The Ritz Hotel, cnr. Camberwell and Main Roads, Sea Point, ☏ +27 21 439-6010. Has a revolving restaurant on the top floor of the hotel. Good food, good views, soft background live piano. A bar and smoking room is available one floor below the restaurant. You do not have to be a resident at the hotel to get a booking at the restaurant. NB(The floor has a small non revolving ledge next to the wall. Do not put your valuables on it as your table will be half way around the building before you realize that you have been separated from your belongings.) edit
Willoughby's, Victoria Wharf, V&A Waterfront, ☏ +27 21 418 6115. Has some of the best seafood including excellent sushi at very good prices.
Tide, 69 Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town, ☏ +27 21 437-9701, fax: +27 21 438-4433, ✉ res@thebayhotel.com. daily. Serving with Steamed Seasonal Vegetables, New Potatoes and Lemon Butter. R90 Fresh Catch Of The Day.
Stardust Theatrical Dining, 118 Sir Lowry Rd (Directions on Website), ☏ +27 21 686-6280, fax: +27 21 686-0674. Tu-Sa 16:00-late. While eating delicious Mediterranean cuisine, customers are entertained by their talented waitrons who perform throughout the evening between serving tables. R80-R150. edit
Greek Fisherman, 261, Breakwater Blvd (V & A Waterfront), ☏ +27 21 418-5411. Choose from authentic Mediterranean tapas and a wide range of seafood and meat from the open flame grill.
City Grill Steakhouse, Shop 155, Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre, ☏ +27 21 421-9820. Enjoy delicious selection of traditional South African steaks, grills and venison.
Meloncino, 259 Upper Level (Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre), ☏ +27 21 419-5558. Choose from a variety of homemade pastas, wood-fired pizzas and various other authentic dishes.
La Colombe, Spaanschemat Street, ☏ +27 21 794-2390, ✉ lacolombe@uitsig.co.za. daily 12:30-14:00, 19:00-20:45. La Colombe, one of Cape Town's most well-loved and awarded restaurants, achieved an impressive 12th place in the San Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants of the World Awards 2010. Having moved up 26 places and into the hallowed Top 20, this bastion of contemporary French-meets-Asian fine dining thereby also clinched the Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in Africa and Middle East Award. Winner of Chef of the Year and Restaurant of the Year in the Prudential Eat Out Awards 2008, and again honoured with the prestigious Restaurant of the Year title in 2009, La Colombe has also achieved the highest three-star rating in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 issue of the acclaimed Rossouw’s Restaurants guide. Book months in advance!
The Test Kitchen, The Old Biscuit Mill 375 Albert Road Woodstock, ☏ +27 21 447-2337, ✉ reservations@thetestkitchen.co.za. daily 12:30-14:00, 19:00-21:00. Luke Dale-Roberts’ The Test Kitchen, which opened in November 2010, has the celebrated chef cooking at his most creative in a distinctive contemporary space. At the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2013, The Test Kitchen made an impressive leap to No. 61 on the list, climbing up 13 places from no.74 in 2012. More significantly, The Test Kitchen was singled out as the winner of the “Cacao Barry One To Watch Award” 2013. Book months in advance!

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Drink

Long Street, which can be easily reached from St. George's Cathedral and the Greenmarket Square, is famous for its bars, restaurants and clubs. This is the ideal place if you want to end the day with a drink. It is also one of the few truly multi-ethnic, multi-racial nightspots in the city. A popular destination with locals is Camps Bay, which offers a vibrant night-life and many bars, restaurants and clubs.

Bobs Bar, 187 Long street, ☏ +27 21-4243584. 07:30-04:00. a British own and run bar with beer from R22. and breakfast from R19.
Club 169, 227 Long Street, ☏ +27 21 422 3903, ✉ info@club169.com. A dance club and cigar bar focusing on hip hop and RnB music.
Foresters Arms (Forries), 52 Newlands Ave, Newlands, ☏ +21 21 689-5949, ✉ admin@forries.co.za. Nestled at the foot of our majestic mountains, in the leafy suburb of Newlands, Cape Town, Foresters Arms Restaurant and Pub (fondly referred to by the locals as Forries), is one of the oldest pubs in South Africa and provides a retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. They have a good selection of draught beers.
Marco's African Place, 15 Rose Street, Bo Kaap, ☏ +27 21 423-5412. Popular gay bar which serves up specialities such as Ulwimi (steamed ox tongue with mustard sauce) along with live African music.
Mitchells Ale House (Mitchells Brewery), Cnr East Pier & Dock Road V&A Waterfront, ☏ +27 21 419-5074, ✉ info@mftv.co.za. Great location, fun atmosphere, friendly staff and famous craft beers, amazing views of the Cape Town harbour and Table Mountain, and karaoke.
Sandy B, 69 Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town, ☏ +27 21 437-9701, ✉ res@thebayhotel.com. Open to the public at The Bay Hotel over summer, Sandy B is a unique cocktail venue, accentuated by its glorious views of Camps Bay beachfront.
Zanzi-Bar, 255 Long Street (above Long Street Café.), ☏ +27 21 4232-9003. 17:00-02:00. Runned by the Carnival Court Backpackers hostel. Good meeting place for other travelers visiting Cape Town. Live jazz on Sundays, DJ's on Friday & Saturday nights. Free entry most nights.

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Sleep

Accommodation in Cape Town ranges from hostels (of which there are many) to luxury accommodation. Actually, there are so many hotels, B&Bs and guest houses that it can be difficult to decide where to stay!

Staying in the city centre often works out cheaper as all the attractions are nearby, but stick to one of the neighbourhoods next to the central area for better prices and a quieter night's sleep. The area around vibey Kloof Street in Gardens/Tamboerskloof with its young cafe culture and hip shopping is a good choice. You could consider sleeping in one of the suburbs. It is normally quieter and there is less traffic than in Central Cape Town. The suburbs in the south, like Muizenberg, Fish Hoek or Simon's Town, or near the winelands (see Cape Winelands) are ones to try. Areas along the western seaboard of the peninsula (such as Camps Bay) will be more expensive.

Several township bed & breakfasts started to pop up in places such as Khayelitsha to offer tourists the chance to experience this side of South Africa. They mostly are redecorated shacks to fit the basic norms of tourists.

Liziwe's Bed and Breakfast, NY 111, No 121, Gugulethu, ☏ +27 21 633-7406. Township B&B. R600 per room.
Ma Neo's B&B, Zone 7 St,, Langa, ☏ +27 21 694-2504. Township B&B.
33 South Backpackers, 48 Trill Road, Observatory, ☏ +27 21 447-2423, fax: +27 21 447-2423, ✉ info@33southbackpackers.com. A boutique-style hostel. You can join them every Tuesday for their locally known "creative evening." From R160 per person including a fresh muffin breakfast.
African HeART BAckpackers, 27 Station Road, Observatory, ☏ +27 21 447-3125, fax: +27 86 556-0277, ✉ info@africanheartbackpackers.com. African HeART is an artwork in progress, a small, beautifully decorated backpackers which aims to offer the alternative side to travelling in Cape Town. Dorm R150.
Anzac Backpackers, 71 Hope street Gardens, ☏ +27 21 4654918. dorm beds and twin rooms has a kitchen, travel desk, big screen TV, bicycles for hire, airport transfers, fast Wi-Fi included. Dorm R 150 twin R 320.
Ashanti Lodge, 11 Hof Street, Gardens, ☏ +27 21 423-8721, fax: +27 21 423-8790, ✉ ashanti@iafrica.com. A perennial favourite among travellers; camping also permitted. Has a large travel centre as well. Dorm From R 190 per person.
A Sunflower Stop Backpackers, 179 Main Road, Green Point, ☏ +27 21 434-6535, fax: +27 21 434-6501, ✉ ashley@sunflowerstop.co.za. Tastefully decorated and extremely clean dorms, doubles, and twins. En-suite rooms available too. From R175 per person.
Backpackers on Castle, 57 Castle street, ☏ +27 21-4247524. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 11:00. dorm beds and double rooms Dorm R 130. double room R 360.
Big Blue Backpackers, 7 Vesperdene road Green point, ☏ +27 21-4390807. a clean hostel with Dorm beds.. free breakfast. free wifi. swimming pool. free tea and coffee all day long. from R140.
Bohemian Lofts Backpackers, 41 Trill Road, Observatory (On Lower Main Rd), ☏ +27 21 447-6204, ✉ info@bohemianlofts.com. dorm R150 per person.
Cape Town Backpackers, 81 new church street (Just off Park Road and Kloof Street), ☏ +27 21 426-0200, ✉ info@capetownbackpackers.com. Listed by the British newspaper The Independent as one of only 3 places to stay in Cape Town (the other 2 being 5 star hotels), the review described the place as "...spotless and stylish.." This place is fun, friendly, clean, it's gay friendly and they have regular theme nights in the funky bar. There are options from sleeping from dorms to ensuites with table mountain views. From R180 per person.
Castle Inn Backpackers, 76b Darling Street (corner of Harrington Road), ☏ +27 21 465-1662, fax: +27 21 465-1662, ✉ grandSouthTravel@yahoo.com. Directly opposite the Castle of Good Hope and 5 minutes' walk from the train station. Cheapest Internet cafe in the area. From R150 per person.
Cat and Moose Backpackers, 305 Long Street, ☏ +27 21 423-7638, ✉ info@catandmoose.co.za. 10% off if stay a week. Dorm bed R140 per person.
Green Elephant Backpackers, 57 Milton Road, Observatory, ☏ +27 21 448-6359, ✉ greenele@iafrica.com. Dorm R150.
Light House Farm Lodge, Oude Molen Eco Village Alexandra road, ☏ +27 827442504. Probably the cheapest dorm beds in Cape Town if you pay by the month. the rate for the month is just R 2500. and the rate for the week is just R 700. dorm beds per day R120 per person.
Long Street Backpackers, 209 Long Street, ☏ +27 21 423-0615, fax: +27 21 423-1842, ✉ info@longstreetbackpackers.co.za. Offers dorms. from R 170.
Never Home Backpackers, 107 Main Road Green point, ☏ +27-21-4349262. Check-in: 2pm, check-out: 11am. very clean 6/8 bed dorms. twin rooms Wi-Fi included. has a swimming pool. Dorm beds R 150 per person.
Riverlodge Backpackers, oude molen eco village Alexandria road Pinelands, ☏ +27 21 448-0526. Has camping and a 10-bed dorm. dorm bed R120 per person.
Two Oceans Backpackers, 47 Long Street, ☏ +27 21 422 5401, ✉ info@twooceansbp.co.za. Dorms and private rooms. Linen provided, hostel is very clean and staff friendly and there is a bar and balcony to hang out. Dorm from R 100.
26 on Aandbloem, 26 Aandbloem Street, Devil's Peak, ☏ +27 83 460-7140, ✉ info@26onaandbloem.co.za. Views of Table Mountain and the Cape Town City Bowl. R500 single, R375pps (includes breakfast, en-suit bathroom with shower & WC.
Abbey Manor Luxury Guesthouse, 3 Montrose Avenue, Oranjezicht, ☏ +27 21 462-2935, ✉ info@abbey.co.za. Luxury guesthouse set high on Table Mountain overlooking Cape Town city. Dramatic views from individually decorated rooms. Built in 1905 in the Arts-and-Crafts style, and has been remodelled. An easy hop from the city centre and the V&A Waterfront. Rated 5 stars by TGCSA. Provides free wi-fi to guests. From R800.
The Bay Atlantic Guest House, 3 Berkley Road, Camps Bay, ☏ +27 21 438-4341, ✉ seaview@iafrica.com. Beautiful four star Guest House situated in Camps Bay with exhausting view on the beach of Camps Bay and the Lionshead, only 10 minutes away from the V&A Waterfront. Provides free wi-fi to guests. From R350.
Bayflowers Guest House, 5 Scholtz Road, Green Point, ☏ +27 21 434-0968, ✉ info@bayflowers.co.za. Very central, walk to Waterfront, beach and city centre, helpful staff, rooms clean and tastefully equipped. from R690 for a single room, R445 pps for a double.
Cactusberry Lodge, 30 Breda Street, Gardens, ☏ +27 21 461-9787. 3 star. 200 metres from the Gardens Shopping Centre, is comfortable, central and quiet, very good value for money, excellent breakfast, very helpful in all itinerary planning. R500.
The Camps Bay Guesthouse, 31 Geneva Drive, Camps Bay, Cape Town, ☏ +27 81 467-4400, ✉ stay@campsbayguesthouse.com. Exclusive use of 180sqm private self-catering stand alone luxury accommodation set in the grounds of the owners Camps Bay Villa, private and secure with onsite gated parking, full kitchen, teak floors, living and dining room with underfloor heating throughout, widescreen LCD television with Apple TV entertainment system and stereo surround, complimentary hi-speed WIFI access, private deck and garden area opens into the grounds with access to the Villa swimming pool, porcelain tiled bathroom has separate bath and shower, WC and bidet. From ZAR 750.00.
Cape Diamond Boutique Hotel, Longmarket and Parliament Street, ☏ +27 21 461-2519. All rooms equipped with Air-conditioning, Private toilet and bath, Safe deposit box, Side lamp table and Wired Internet connection (extra charges apply). Some of its facilities and services are Meeting/ banquet facilities, Business centre, Restaurant, Theatre Cafe, 24-hour front desk, Room service and Laundry service. From ZAR 1080.00.
Cape Paradise Lodge, 48 Leeuwenhof Rd, Higgovale, ☏ +27 21 424-6571, ✉ info@capeparadise.co.za. Cape Paradise awaits you! Has Table Mountain as a backdrop and fantastic views. From R300pps.
The Charles Guesthouse, 137 Waterkant Street, De Waterkant, ☏ +27 21 437-9706, ✉ res@thecharles.co.za. Trendy and fashionable today, it is compared to New York's Greenwich Village and London's Soho with its tree lined streets, restored cottages, spectacular views and village atmosphere. R920 for single room, R1400 for a double.
City Lodge V&A Waterfront, Corner Dock and Alfred Roads, ☏ +27 21 419-9450, ✉ clva.resv@citylodge.co.za. 3 star. From R480 per person sharing.
Daddy Long Legs Boutique Hotel & Self-Catering Apartments, 134 & 263 Long Street, ☏ +27 21 422-3074 (Hotel), +27 21 424-1403 (Self-Catering), ✉ info@daddylonglegs.co.za. Located in the heart of the city centre on one of Cape Town's most celebrated streets - a hotel with a difference, focusing on good value accommodation and a hotel experience you'll never forget. From R450 a double/twin (Hotel) & R550 a one bedroomed apartment.
Dark Chocolate Guest House Durbanville, 1 Mountain View Crescent Durbanville, ☏ +27 21 975 3776. Standard rooms, all equipped with Air-conditioning, TV with cable and High-speed Internet connection. Facilities and services are Garden, Outdoor swimming pool and Conference. From ZAR 810.00.
De Waterkant Village, 1 Loader street, De Waterkant, ☏ +27 21 437-9706, ✉ res@dewaterkant.com. De Waterkant is often described as being arty, charismatic and quaint and is a truly special place decorated with gorgeous al fresco restaurants, sidewalk café's, boutiques and bars and is often compared with Greenwich Village. R580 for single room, R850 for a double.
Don Beach Road Hotel, 249 Beach Road, Sea Point, ☏ +27 21 434-1083. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. The Don Beach Road is located in Sea Point spectacularly overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Grande Kloof Boutique Hotel, 69 Kloof Road, Fresnaye (corner of Kloof Road & Avenue La Croix), ☏ +27 21 433-1852, ✉ service@grandekloof.co.za. Check-in: 14PM, check-out: 11AM. Good Sea Views, Fantastic Lions head view and views of famous Robben Island. from ZAR600 (includes light continental breakfast, free WIFI, open plan top floor sea view rooms or executive petite garden level rooms, swimming pool, jacuzzi area, steam area, sauna.
Kloof Nek Suites, 72B Kloof Nek Road, Signal Hill, ☏ +27 21 4224 217, ✉ info@kloofneksuites.com. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. Kloof Nek Suites is a guest house offering three self-catering rooms in Tamboerskloof. From ZAR1100.
Lorraine’s on Lincoln, 12 Lincoln Street, Boston, ☏ +27 21 946-4710. All rooms equipped with English breakfast, Spacious dining area, Hair dryer, TV with satellite channels, Work desk and Fan. Outdoor swimming pool, Garden, Banquet hall, Car rental, Wi-Fi Internet connection, Fax and photocopying services. From ZAR 670.00.
Nine Flowers Guest House, 133-135 Hatfield Street, ☏ +27 21 462-1430, ✉ infonineflowers@telkomsa.net. Very central, helpful staff, nice rooms. R480 for a single room to R850 for a triple.
The One 8, 18 Antrim Road, Three Anchor Bay, ☏ +27 21 434-6100, ✉ info@theone8.com. Modern and intimate Four star accommodation in Cape Town. The One 8 Hotel is located in Green Point and close to Clifton Beach, Camps Bay, V&A Waterfront, De Waterkant gay village, and Table Mountain. This gay and lesbian friendly Guest House offers bed and breakfast and contemporary rooms for your South African Holiday. From R550 per room.
Protea Hotel Sea Point, Arthur's Road, Sea Point, ☏ +27 21 434-3344, ✉ seapoint@proteahotels.com. Protea has a whole bunch of hotels in Cape Town and surrounding areas. It is well worth checking their web site for last-minute bargains, which can reduce the price by 50%. R350 pppn.
Rhonda's Manor, 35 Clarens Street, Fresnaye, ☏ +27 21 434 4231, ✉ rhondasmanor@gmail.com. Upper Sea Point, near the Waterfront,campsbay and clifton beaches. R800 double room.
Southern Light Country House, 24 Hohenort Avenue, Constantia, ☏ +27 21 794 4500, ✉ info@southern-light.com. Southern Light Country House is an accommodation in Constantia set in the beautiful surround of Upper Constantia. R850 - R1300 Season Dependant.
Tudor Hotel, 153 Longmarket Street, Greenmarket Square, ☏ +27 21 424-1335, ✉ info@tudorhotel.co.za. In the city centre, near the Waterfront, Parliament, Gardens or the Malay Quarter Boo-Kap. R520 for single room, R740 for a double.
Villa Sunshine Guesthouse, 1 Rochester Road, Bantry Bay, ☏ +27 21 439-8224, ✉ contact@villasunshine.co.za. The Villa Sunshine guesthouse is a classic Mediterranean Villa situated along the prestigious Atlantic Seaboard. In close proximity to several of Cape Town’s most revered tourist attractions, it is still able to provide its guests with a peaceful setting – within walking distance of restaurants and shops to meet your every need. From R 950 per room.
Villa Zest Boutique Hotel, 2 Braemar Rd, Greenpoint, ☏ +27 21 433-1246, ✉ info@villazest.co.za. The Villa Zest is in the Green Point suburb. From ZAR 990/Single & ZAR 1190.00 /double.
Cape Grace, West Quay Road, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, ☏ +27 21 410-7100. Situated on its own private quay on Cape Town’s vibrant Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, the Cape Grace has 121 rooms all with views of the V&A harbour or yacht marina with a Table Mountain backdrop. From R16000 to R55000 for 5 nights, 2 people.
De Verdwaalde Boer (private villa & guesthouse with Dutch management. #1 at Booking.com and #1 at Tripadvisor), 10 Monterey Drive, Constantia (located in the heart of the oldest wine-producing area of South Africa, a 10 minute drive from Cape Town's CBD), ☏ +27 21 794-1501, ✉ info@deverdwaaldeboer.com. De Verdwaalde Boer boasts 7 suites and is available to book as a villa for full privacy. From R700 p.p.p.n.
Hilton Cape Town City Centre, 126 Buitengracht St, Cape Town 8001, ☏ +27 21 481 3700, ✉ hiltoncapetown.reservations@hilton.com. From R2847 pppn.
Mandela Rhodes Place, Wale St & Burg St, ☏ +27 31 310-3333, ✉ ceres@threecities.co.za. Old school charm and hospitality meets modern amenities and features. It also boasts a gymnasium, swimming pool, wireless internet, undercover parking, 24 hour concierge and business centre, optional breakfast service, pre-delivery grocery shopping, airport and city transfers, car hire, house keeping and laundry and day tours From R815pps.
Radisson Hotel, Beach Rd, Granger Bay, ☏ +27 21 441-3000, ✉ capetown.info@radissonblu.com. 5 star hotel overlooking its own private marina and the famous Robben Island. R2745 pppn.
Villa Horizonte, ✉ info@villa-horizonte.com. A good online estate agency where you can rent luxury villas in Cape Town. Most of the villas has its own private pool but there is a minimum stay of 1 week. From $500/night for 2 bed villas.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Work

Working in Cape Town is a considerable step back from the rat race in Johannesburg. Capetonians will contend there's too many other wonderful ways to be spending time, and those that have relocated here will be hard-pressed to hang onto the ladder of ambition for too long. On the downside, employers are fully aware that beautiful beaches beckon qualified workers to the metropolis and lower wages reflect the high demand of both locals and foreigners to call Cape Town home. It follows that fewer job opportunities exist in the city, and smaller salaries accompany those positions that do become available; especially compared with the likes of Johannesburg. The media and advertising industry, IT sector and asset management businesses are well represented and a relatively high-proportion of expats working in Cape Town can be found in one of these disciplines. The city is also a bastion of creativity.

Tourism and hospitality services are also thriving industries, and many expats from abroad can find employment in positions where knowledge of a second-language, apart from English, is a necessity. Foreign nationals will need a work permit to be legally employed.

Cape Town follows an 8-hour per day, 5-day working week. The work culture is relaxed, and few companies require that employees where formal business wear in the office.

For jobs in Cape Town it is suggested to consider the following job boards:

For multilingual careers and jobs in foreign languages the following are options:

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Learn

  • University of Cape Town is one of the best universities in the country and is considered the best school in all of Africa. The campus is beautiful and has stunning views of the mountains. It has excellent hard and biological science programs.
  • Stellenbosch University is also one of the best universities in the country and in Africa. Its most recent claim to fame was designing and building Africa's first microsatellite the SUNSAT, which was launched in 1999. This school also has a stunning campus with great views of the mountains all around.
  • University of the Western Cape originally founded in 1960 as a Coloured people only school. It was hot bed for resistance against the apartheid starting in the mid 70s. Today it is an integrated school located in the suburbs.
  • Cape Peninsula University of Technology is the only technology school in the Western Cape province. The school was founded in 2005 with the merger of Cape Technikon and Peninsula Technikon. The school is the largest in the area with over 29,000 students and students can take classes in any of South Africa's official languages.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet is available throughout Cape Town. Other internet cafes can be found all over the city and suburbs, with many coffee shops offering internet access. Charges per hour ranges from R5 (in town) to R50 (V&A waterfront). Many places in Cape Town provide WiFi free for their guests

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

South Africa's country code is 27. Telephone numbers in South Africa are 10 digits, including the local area code. There are also some prefixes like 0800 (toll free), 0860 (charged as local call) and 0861 (flat-rate calls). The general emergency number is 10111, ambulance is 10177 and police is 1011.

South Africa has very good phone facilities, which are also becoming more and more competitively priced, now that more operators are active on the market. The main ones are Neotel and Telkom South Africa. Local phone calls are cheap (about one Rand an hour), domestic long-distance calls are about twice as expensive. International calls start at around 6 Rand an hour but can be (much) higher to less usual countries. Note that public phones are about twice as cheap as new private phone centres. Phone calls tend to be the cheapest during the weekend and during business hours (8:00am to 5:00pm) on weekdays and more expensive during the evening and nights at weekdays.

There are also good mobile-phone facilities, with GSM and 3G networks. There are five cell phone providers in South Africa: Vodacom, MTN, Cell-C, Virgin Mobile and 8ta. SIM card prepaid starter kits are available from R10. You will need a passport and a proof of residential address and it has to be registered before you can call or receive calls. You can buy credit for prepaid phones just about everywhere, remembering you will usually need cash to do so from service stations.

Post

The SAPO (South African Post Office) is the nation's postal service. They have a track & trace system for parcels as well. Post offices are open from 8:30am to 4:30pm from Monday to Friday, and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays. Domestic and international deliveries are reliable but can sometimes take up to several weeks. If you want to send something oversees of any value, try using one of the private mail services, like Postnet. Also international courier companies like TNT, UPS and DHL tend to be fast, very reliable and competitively priced.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: -33.91975
  • Longitude: 18.42566

Accommodation in Cape Town

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Cape Town searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

Contributors

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Cape Town Travel Helpers

  • Anja Fourie

    Capetonian born and bred. I know the ins and outs of the city, suburbs, Stellenbosch and other nearby towns. Contact me if you are planning a trip to South Africa!

    Ask Anja Fourie a question about Cape Town

This is version 148. Last edited at 13:25 on May 20, 20 by Utrecht. 80 articles link to this page.

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