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Know Before You Go
- The best place to stay in Cape Town is the city bowl. You'll be in walking distance to many famous attractions and trendy neighbourhoods. Plus, if you do need to call an Uber it won't break the bank.
- South Africa is home to some of safest tap water in the world. Save money on bottled water by filling up every day before you go exploring.
- Cape Town's coastline is home to the great white shark. While attacks are rare, it's best not to swim out too far and only go to beaches with shark spotters if you plan to take a dip.
- If you are hiring a car to get around during your trip, be aware that public parking is not always free. In busy districts like the CBD and Beach Road in Seapoint, meters will charge you an hourly rate until 5 pm.
- If you find yourself in Cape Town on the first Thursday of the month, don't miss the city's First Thursdays event. Once a month all the art galleries in the CBD stay open late, free wine is flowing, and the streets are overrun by people bar hopping.
- Head to Labia Theatre for foreign arthouse movies. It beats going to an ordinary cinema and is a unique experience to have in the city. Plus the tickets and popcorn won't break your travel budget.
Getting Around Cape Town
- If you are short on time and want to see as much as possible, buy tickets for the city's famous hop-on-hop-off bus. The red double-decker bus stops at all the key attractions with audio commentary in 15 languages. The buses run every day, with a range of packages to choose from.
- The easiest way to get around town if you are in a rush is with Uber. The fares are cheaper than regular metered taxis and are available 24/7. It's also the safest option if you are bar hopping around the CBD late into the night.
- An authentic way to get around is with minibus taxis. They are mainly used by locals and serve dedicated routes. Fares start from ZAR 5 per trip and increase the further you travel. If you don't know Cape Town that well, check with your hotel to make sure your planned route is safe.
- Biking is fun and easy way to get around the city. There are multiple places where you can rent city bikes or mountain bikes if you want to head into the wilderness.
- Another cheap way to get around the city is with Cape Town's MyCiTi bus service. The extensive network goes past all the main landmarks such as the Table Mountain Cableway, Sea Point Promenade, Clifton 2nd and more. The buses don't accept cash; so you'll need to buy a travelcard and top up as you go.
- The easiest way to get around Cape Town and save time is with a car. You'll be able to travel to places like Cape Point without a tour and cross off some of the city's most scenic drives.
When is The Best Time to Visit Cape Town?
The best time to visit Cape Town is during its shoulder seasons. From March to May and September to November, you'll find fewer crowds, beautiful weather and lower hotel rates.
Cape Town's summer months (December to February) is the city's high season. Travellers flock down to enjoy the beautiful beaches and excellent outdoor attractions. Make sure you book accommodation several months in advance, the city is notorious for even Airbnb's being hard to find during this season.
If you are visiting Cape Town for its wine scene, autumn is the best time to go. From March to May, the wineries in and around Cape Town invite visitors to help pick and juice grapes. There are also festivals such as the annual Elgin Cool Wine and Country Food Festival to add to your social calendar.
From June to August, the city is almost free from tourists. If you don't mind bundling up for Cape Town's infamous southeastern wind, you'll save big on accommodation. But if you are a surfer, the swells are at their best this time of year.
Spring is a great time to visit Cape Town if you love nature. The wildflowers are in bloom, adding to the beauty of the city's hiking routes. While hotel rates begin to rise during this period in anticipation for summer, you can still score a deal by booking a month or two in advance.
Airports in Cape Town
Cape Town International Airport
Cape Town International is located 20 km from the city centre. It's the second busiest airport in the country and the third busiest in Africa. The airport serves as a hub for local airline Mango and has direct flights to several destinations in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
Getting To and From Cape Town International Airport
You'll find a fleet of taxis waiting outside the Arrivals terminal. A metered cab to the city centre will take 20 minutes and cost you ZAR 300 to ZAR 400. But if you want private transport, and you're on a budget order an Uber instead. A one-way trip will cost you under ZAR 200 depending on your final destination.
The cheapest way to get from the airport to the city centre is with the MyCiTi airport shuttle. The bus departs every 20 minutes and runs from 04:30 am until 10:00 pm. Fares will depend on distance and your time of travel but should cost you between ZAR 50 to ZAR 70 one way.
Other ways to get into the city include shared shuttle services and car rentals which can all be booked at the airport.