Cape Town Travel Guide


Bo-KaapThis neighbourhood, located on a hill south-west of downtown, is the area historically inhabited by mainly Muslim descendants of slaves from South-East Asia (hence an older term for the area - 'Malay Quarter'. It's a common location for film shoots, as there are some very colourful buildings, quaint streets, mosques. views over Cape Town and some great food sold on the side of the street. It's well worth wandering around for an hour or so, as well as visiting the Bo-Kaap Museum (a view of a prosperous Muslim family from the 19th Century).:Atlas Trading is an old fashioned shop where you can buy spices for any dish. Ask the proprieter to mix you the necessary spices for the meal you intend on making.:Approximately 1km from the Bo-Kaap, is the Noon Gun which is fired every day at noon - from Monday to Saturday. You can go and view the short ceremony that takes place before the actual shooting, as well as the shooting itself.
The Castle of Good HopeBuitenkant StreetPhone: +27 (0)21 787 1260Price: R28 entrance feeThe Castle of Good Hope is South Africa's oldest surviving building. It was built between 1666 and 1679. It is popularly called 'The Castle' by locals. It has extensive displays of historical military paraphernalia, a history of the castle, an art collection and the William Fehr Collection (including old Cape Dutch furniture).You can eat and buy wine inside the Castle at the restaurant or caf.:Tours are offered Monday through Saturday at 11AM, 12PM, and 2PM. :Horse and carriage rides are offered daily at 10:30AM, 12:45PM and 2:45PM. Booking is necessary.
Kirstenbosch Botanical GardensRhodes Drive, NewlandsPhone: +27 (0)21 799-8899 / +27(0)21 799 8783Hours: Open daily 8AM-6PM (7PM September to March)Price: R40View the hugely diverse and beautiful plants and flowers of the Cape flora in one of the most stunning botanical gardens in the world. Plants from all of the regions of South Africa are on display, including rare succulents from the Richtersveld, a giant baobab tree, and interesting medicinal plants. Numerous paths wander through the grounds situated on the back side of Table Mountain. Several restaurants, a gift shop and indigenous nursery are also available. At various times of the year concerts are performed in the open air amphitheatre. Art is frequently on display, including large Shona stone sculptures from Zimbabwe. The gardens are also home to the National Biodiversity Institute.:What makes the garden so special, is that every season gives you something new to see - new flowers, different birds, etc.:During the summer months, sunset concerts feature excellent local and international music acts in diverse genres. Get there early to get a good spot on the grass amphitheatre. Bring a picnic, and enjoy the sounds of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, local rock bands, and popular artists like Freshlyground and Goldfish.
Robben IslandPhone: +27 (0)21 413-4200Price: R230Robben Island is located just off the coast from Cape Town, this was the location used during the apartheid days to hold political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela and the late Walter Sisulu. The tour consists of a guided bus tour around the island, before meeting a former political prisoner for a tour of the prison area. The island itself is quite scenic, with African penguins usually seen on the tour. The bus tour stops to allow you to take in the view, and buy a snack. Tours run several times per day, seven days a week from the Nelson Mandela Gateway near the clock tower at the V&A Waterfront. Tickets can be purchased online or by phone. There are three trips a day at 9:00, 11:00, and 13:00. The tour takes 3.5 hours including the ferry ride to and from the island.
Rhodes MemorialPhone: +27 21 689 9151The memorial is situated in recognition of Cecil John Rhodes. It's built in his favorite spot on the lower slopes of Devil's Peak. Rhodes's own wooden bench is still located below the memorial. The memorial is part of the Table Mountain National Park which is a great spot for picnicking. The memorial is also a start for the hiking along Devil's Peak. Rhodes Memorial and the surrounding bike and hiking trails have become a very popular spot for muggers in recent months. If you just have to explore the nature in this area as it is very beautiful, make sure you are never alone and never carry valuables with you.
South African ParliamentPhone: (021) 403 2266Price: Free entrance and toursCape Town is the legislative seat of South Africa (the Presidential seat is in Pretoria and the Supreme Court is at Bloemfontein). A tour of this compound will acquaint you with South Africa's recent history and its political system. The tour includes visits to the National Assembly, the National Council of Provinces and the old apartheid-era assembly which is now only used for caucus and committee meetings. Tours are offered a few times per day in various languages.
Two Oceans AquariumV&A WaterfrontPhone: +27 (0)21 418-3823Hours: Open 9:30AM-6PMPrice: Adults R105, children (14-17) R75 and children (4-13) R48You can come and watch the sharks be fed every Sunday at 3PM. There is an extensive series of events calendar for each month. Scuba diving with the sharks is also offered. A walk around the aquarium takes about an hour.
Victoria and Alfred WaterfrontPhone: +27 (0)21 408-7600A huge shopping and entertainment area in the harbour. It is very popular with tourists, because of the high density of shops, restaurants and amusement possibilities, like the Aquarium or the Marine Museum. Harbour tours and trips to Robben Island start from here, as well as helicopter flights to the Cape Peninsula. The V&A Waterfront has more or less full wheelchair access.
Cape Town Science Centre370B Main Road, ObservatoryPhone: +27 (0)21 300 3200Price: R40 for adults and chldren. Students, pensioners and group discountsA 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.
Museums and Galleries
Bo-Kaap Museum71 Wale Street, Bo-KaapPhone: +27 (0)21 481-3939Hours: Open 9:30AM-4:30PM Monday to SaturdayPrice: R5 entrance feeLocated in a home dating from the 1760s, the museum offers an insight into the cultural life of the Muslim community of the Bo-Kaap area in Cape Town.
District Six Museum25A Buitenkant StPhone: +27 (0)21 466-7200Hours: Open 9AM-4PM Monday to SaturdayDistrict Six is an area near downtown Cape Town which remained multiracial well into the 1960s against all attempts by the government to declare it a "white only" area. Eventually the residents were all evicted and the buildings were bulldozed. The area remains uninhabited. The museum provides information about the area, the eviction, the Group Areas Act, and the people who used to live there. 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.
Groot ConstantiaGroot Constantia Estate, ConstantiaPhone: +27 (0)21 795-5140Hours: Open daily 10AM-5PMPrice: R8 entrance feeOne of the oldest wine estates in South Africa
Slave Lodgecnr Adderley and Wale StreetsPhone: +27 (0)21 460-8240Hours: open 8:30AM-4:30PM Monday to Friday and 9AM-1PM on SundayPrice: R7 entrance feeOne of the oldest buildings in Cape Town.
South African Jewish Museum88 Hatfield StreetPhone: +27 (0)21 464-1267Hours: Open Sunday-Thursday 10AM-5PM and Friday 10AM-2PM. Closed SaturdayPrice: R35 adults, R15 studentsThe Museum about this small community that has made large contributions in South African society and bringing down Apartheid. The museum is about Jews but Non-Jews will find it very interesting and informative.
South African Maritime MuseumUnion Castle Building, V&A WaterfrontPhone: +27 21 465 1546This Museum displays include evidence of the early seafarers round the Cape Of Good Hope. Small craft, locally made and a wide variety of maritime artifacts displays are also offered.
South African National GalleryGovernment Avenue, GardensPhone: +27 (0)21 467-4660Hours: 10AM-5PM Tuesday to SundayPrice: R10 entrance feeLocated in the Gardens area of Cape Town off Government Ave (about a 20 minute walk from downtown). Contains extensive displays of South African art, as well as information on the history of censorship of art during apartheid.
Galleria Gibello67 Rose Street, Bo KaapPhone: +27 (0)21 422-1144Hours: Open 10AM-5PM Monday to FridayPrice: Admission is freeGalleria Gibello is a photo gallery that is filled with visually captivating moments of life on the African continent.
Performing arts
Richard's Supper Stage229A Main Road, Sea Point, Cape TownPhone: +27 (0)21 434 6738A Dinner Theatre set in Sea Point. The show "Kaapse Stories" is a must-see show for any visitor to the Cape.
Armchair Theatre135 Lower Main Road, ObservatoryPhone: +27 (0)21 447 1514
Baxter TheatreBaxter Theatre Centre, Main Road, RondeboschPhone: +27 (0)21 685 7880Theatre performances, comedy, jazz and others.
Labia Screen68 Orange Street, GardensPhone: +27 (0)21 424 5927Has an African Screen showing African-made and African-oriented films all year round.
Masque Theatre37 Main Road, Muizenberg (adjacent to False Bay train station)Phone: +27 (0)21 788 1898Amateur plays and performances. The whole theatre is run by unpaid volunteers.

source: Wikivoyage

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