First Thursdays has been a free public event in Cape Town since 2012. On the first Thursday of each month, the city is abuzz with art lovers. Inner city art galleries stay open till 9PM or later, with special events hosted specifically for the monthly fiesta. Other cultural events and live music shows are hosted at partnering venues.

It’s a great way to explore the inner city by foot. Soak up the awesome vibe, the Cape Town CBD truly comes alive on First Thursday! Together with the inspiring art showcase at the various galleries, the streets are filled with buskers and other artistic acts.

What is First Thursdays in Cape Town All About

First Thursdays in Cape Town

It’s all about embracing the creativity that the Mother City has to offer you. Below we’ve created little walking maps for you to plan your next First Thursdays expedition. In between saturating your eyes with beautiful art, we’ve also added a few restaurants that you can use as pit-stops.

The restaurants in the CBD also host special events for First Thursdays. Make sure you also pop in at The Station on Bree market. There’s no specific way to explore the galleries. The best way to plan your night, is to visit the website and browse through the upcoming exhibitions. Or you can sign up for the monthly newsletter to stay in the loop about the latest events hosted every month.

If you want to park at a central point to start your exploration adventure, the best First Thursday Parking is located at 58 Strand Street. But we would recommend that you Uber into the city, to enjoy a free glass of wine at the galleries, and not worry about the new Zero Tolerance Policy by the South African traffic department.

For more information visit first-thursdays.co.za or follow their Facebook Page for upcoming events.

Church Street Galleries

99 Loop Gallery | Corner of Church and Loop Streets

Chandler House | 53 Church Street

Philippa Green & Ida Elsje | 76 Church Street

Addis in Cape Restaurant | 41 Church Street

The Cape Gallery | 60 Church Street

WorldArt | 54 Church Street

SMITH | 56 Church Street

The Association for Visual Arts Gallery | 35 Church Street

Mozart on Church | 37 Church Street

Hokey Poke | 1 Church Street

Loop Street Galleries

The Village Idiot | 32 Loop Street

Durst Gallery of Art + Shark and Safari Café | 58 Loop Street

Ebony Curated | 67 Loop Street

The Botanical Bar | 160 Longmarket Street

Yours Truly on Loop | 63 Loop Street

91 Loop | Corner of Loop and Longmarket Streets

Tjing Tjing Torii | 165 Longmarket Street

Melting Pot (Pop-up Restaurant) | 83 Loop Street

Alliance Française du Cap | 155 Loop Street

yours truly loop First Thursdays in Cape Town

Long Street Galleries

Emerging Artist Programme at the SA Sendinggestig Museum | 40 Long Street

The Grand Daddy Boutique Hotel | 38 Long Street

Mungo & Jemima | 108 Long Street

Ministry of Economic Opportunities | 142 Long Street

Beerhouse | 223 Long Street

Lower Bree Street Galleries

Ground Art Caffé | 160 Strand Street

THK Gallery | 52 Waterkant Street

Bastille | 30 Waterkant Street

Youngblood Gallery | 70-74 Bree Street

Mungo | 78 Hout Street

The Architect Gallery | 71 Hout Street

Aces ‘n Spades | 62 Hout Street

Avital Lang Studio & Gallery | 40 Dorp Street

The Gin Bar | 64A Wale Street

Eclectica Print Gallery and Eclectica Contemporary | 69 Burg Street

First Thursdays in Cape Town_03

Upper Bree Street Galleries

Gallery MOMO | 16 Buiten Street

Crust Café | 243 Bree Street

Friends of Design Academy of Digital Arts | 186 Bree Street

Oribi Village | 19 Park Road

Unfiltered | 18 Kloof Street

Edge Glass Gallery & Cape Glass Studio | 29 Vredenburg Lane

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Simons Town 5 Must-See Cape Town Neighbourhoods

Every city has a few really cool neighbourhoods that seem to have more than their fair share of history, arts and culture. As it turns out, Cape Town has more than a few. So we’ve put together a handful of our favourite must-see neighbourhoods in the Cape Town area. You’ll want to put aside at least a day to get to know these neighbourhoods or, even better, book into a guesthouse or B&B and fall in love with these local gems.

  1. Kalk Bay

Kalk Bay Harbour 5 Must-See Cape Town Neighbourhoods

Kalk Bay has always been a cool neighbourhood, but now it’s official. In July 2018, it was named one of The 12 Coolest Cities around the World by Forbes magazine – and it beat London and New York in the process.

Much of Kalk Bay’s cool can be put down to its growth over the years that has been natural, organic and driven by the day-to-day dramas and activities of the locals who live and love this sleepy fishing village on Cape Town’s False Bay coastline.

Even if these days Kalk Bay looks more polished and tourist-friendly than it did in the old days, you won’t find a franchise or imposing high-rise hotel anywhere. What makes this town so gorgeously intriguing is its hodge-podge mix of historic building, cobble stone streets and love for colourful creativity that can be seen everywhere – in bohemian bric-a-brac shops, bookshops, nooks and crannies that stock vintage collectibles, and galleries bursting with art and antiques. Then there are the cafés and restaurants that offer a smorgasbord of eating experiences and culinary treats.

The quintessential things that make Kalk Bay unique in the world, are almost never out of sight – the ocean and mountain views, and colourful fishing boats that in many cases have been used by the same families that have fished False Bay for a hundred years or more.

If you need a bit of activity to burn off those Kalk Bay calories, you can hike the surrounding mountains or explore its caves with an experienced guide. Boomslang cave is popular with novice hikers and groups and the four kilometer hike takes about two hours.

Kalk Bay Theatre is the perfect way to end the day, but you’ll need to book your seat because most shows sell out quickly.

  1. Simon’s Town

Simons Town 5 Must-See Cape Town Neighbourhoods

Simon’s Town is one of South Africa’s oldest towns and home to the South African Navy. Its rich maritime history is evident in its architectures, museums, eateries, and the servicemen and women in crisp white summer uniforms or the black and gold of winter.

A walk down Simon’s Town main road gives you the pick of quaint shops, restaurants and historic sites. These include Jubilee Square, the South African Naval Museum, and the Warrior Toy Museum. You won’t want to miss a visit to the statue in Jubilee Square of Just Nuisance – a famous Great Dane mix who became the only dog to be officially enlisted in the Royal Navy. You can visit his grave at the top of Red Hill where he was buried in 1944 with full military honours.

The other famous animal inhabitants of Simon’s Town can be found at Boulders Beach, home to a large colony of African penguins who can be seen going about their daily lives in this spot sheltered by ancient boulders along the False Bay coastline.

If you’re after a bit of relaxation, Whale View Manor Day Spa are all about pampering you. And for those after adventure, there’s everything from sailing, cycling, hiking and kayaking, to shark cage dives and ghost walks.

  1. Bo-Kaap

Bo Kaap Cape Town Neighbourhood claudio fonte unsplash

You will find Bo-Kaap above the city of Cape Town at the foot of Signal Hill and you’ll know when you’ve arrived. Cube houses of tangerine, mint green, candy floss pink and baby blue, wind up hills and down cobbled streets. They’ve been around since the 1760s when they were originally built and leased to freed slaves, most of whom had come from Malaysia and Indonesia. Many of the present day residents in this must-see neighbourhood can trace their roots back a hundreds or more and this why so many of the traditional customs and flavours live on in this unique area.

A good place to start is with a visit to the Bo-Kaap Museum for a look at the history of the area and the life of a typical Malay family. There are also a number of colourful mosques in the area – the Auwal Mosque was the first ever established in South Africa. From the museum there is a 20-minute audio tour guided by Shereen Habib whose family has lived there for almost a century.

You can also sign up for a half-day cooking course given by Cape Fusion Tours and take home skills that will allow you to keep enjoying the Cape Malay flavours of Bo-Kaap.

  1. Khayelitsha

Khayelitsha 5 Must-See Cape Town Neighbourhoods

Khayelitsha, just 30km south east of the city centre, is the largest township in Cape Town. Although poverty is still rife in this neighbourhood, a spirit of optimism and entrepreneurship is alive and well in the rich history of this place, its culture and many social development projects.

The local eateries offer a mix of traditional and western food, and patrons are treated to an authentic township meal and neighbourhood vibe. If you’re after a morning brew, try artisan coffee shop, Department of Coffee. Or for the healthiest food in town, head over to Spinach King just around the corner from Khayelitsha railway station, for spinach bread and sandwiches made with locally grown spinach.

A Township Walking Tour is still one of the best ways to experience Khayelitsha. Not only will you be able to get to see township life as it happens, but you’ll also be given the opportunity take part in helping to create sustainable, positive change in the community by planting a vegetable gardens, for instance, or creating colourful street art.

  1. Blouberg

Blouberg 5 Must-See Cape Town Neighbourhoods captureson unsplash

Bloubergstrand is located 15 kilometers north of Cape Town’s city centre, along the shores of Table Bay. The suburb’s name means “blue mountain beach” in Afrikaans, and that’s an accurate description.

The beaches (divided into Big Bay and Little Bay) are best known for their view of Table Mountain across the bay which is the perfect backdrop for holiday pics. Big Bay is the destination of choice for kite surfers and windsurfers from around, while Little Bay is great for picnicking on the lawns or exploring the nearby rock pools.

When you’ve had enough of the beach or air, catch a bite to eat in one of the neighbourhood restaurants or stop in at Studio 46 for an eyeful of creations by local artists and sculptors, jewellery designers and photographers.

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Feature image courtesy of @snowreportsa

Snow in South Africa remains a fascinating weather phenomenon. Maybe it’s because we’re used to mostly sunny skies and warm days. It’s a great adventure to go snow hunting in winter, and in Cape Town we’re lucky enough to have snow almost on our doorstep.

A quick road trip within a three-hour drive, and you can pretend for a moment that you’re driving somewhere in Europe. We’ve sourced the best places for you to see the exciting little white fluffy stuff.

Snow season differs every year but late June to late July you’re mostly guaranteed to see some good downfall. Good thing this period falls over the school holidays! Perfect excuse to stare in amazement at the snow-capped peaks. And there’s nothing more romantic than a weekend getaway to the snowy hills. The best way to stay in the loop with snow in South Africa, is Snow Report SA. They are also active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you plan a trip over the weekend, there are great farm stays in the surrounding areas.

Best Places to See Snow in The Western Cape

There are four main areas in the Western Cape that consistently receive snow: Tulbagh, Ceres, Cederberg, and Worcester.

Tulbagh is the closest to Cape Town, an hour and bit drive away. The quaint little town has beautiful Cape Dutch homesteads, tucked away between the mountains. On its outskirts lies many farms. These scenic mountains and open fields are often transformed into a white wonderland in the winter season.

Ceres is a little bit further away, just over two-hours drive. The fruitful valley produces an array of fruits. The second highest peak in the province is found here and the South African Ski Club calls it home. The reserve located outside the picturesque town is perfect for snowman building, snowball fights, skiing, and snowboarding. But if you want to truly enjoy the snow, you need a 4×4 to access it.

Also about a two-hour drive away, you can hunt the snow in the Cederberg. In the summer time the region is infamously hot and dry. But in winter it boasts with beautiful bright-blue skies and snow-capped mountains. The region’s highest peak, Sneeuberg, always has a sprinkle of snow adorning it in the winter months.

Two and a half hours away, you can enter the wine valley to view snow and lush green pastures. The wine growing region stretching from Worcester to Robertson often boasts with snowy mountains in the winter time, even if it’s only on the higher peaks. You can keep yourself busy here for hours with wine tasting, trout fishing, and historical winter walks hosted in the town.

Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve

Where: Farm Erfdeel, Matroosberg, Breede River, Ceres

www.matroosberg.com

Most of the time during snow season, this is your best bet to see snow. The Matroosberg mountain range boasts with the highest peaks in the Western Cape. In a good winter season, you can access the snow with a regular car on the lower slopes. With a 4×4 you can make your way to the higher peaks to explore the deeper snow.

The reserve has its own official ski slope and hut. There’s a wide range of accommodation options available in the area, something for every budget.

Klondyke Cherry Farm

Where: Breede River, Ceres

www.cherryfarm.co.za

Situated on the other side of Ceres, this cherry farm is often powered white during winter. Sometimes it’s just the tips of the Matroosberg surrounding it, but in a good season the snow lies thick on the farm. The farm offers both camping and self-catering accommodation options.

Guinevere Guest Farm

Where: R46, Tulbagh Road, Tulbagh

www.guinevereguestfarm.com

This beautiful farm is ideal for an overnight stay on your way to the snow hunting. During high snowfall seasons you might wake up to a white wonderland, with the magnificent mountains as a backdrop. If not, you will be close enough to the other snow-rich areas a short drive from the town.

Mont Rouge

Where: Strekstroom Road, Tulbagh

www. montrouge.co.za

Another great overnight option in the Tulbagh area. It’s centrally located to offer you the best chance of driving to see the snow in the surrounding areas. Often formidable peaks surrounding the farm is snow-capped in the heart of winter.

De Wilge

Where: Robertson

www.dewilge.co.za

This guesthouse in the Nuy Valley used to be an 19th century wine cellar. It was revamped into two stunningly luxurious apartments. Looking out onto the magnificent Langeberg Mountains, it’s a great spot to celebrate your successful snowhunting endeavours.

De Pakhuys

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Pakhuis pass.

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Where: Clanwilliam

www.depakhuys.com

This spot is popular with hikers and rock climbers.  Situated 26km from Clanwilliam on the way to Wupperthal village, it’s ideal for camping or glamping.

Tucked away in the beautiful Agter-Pakhuis valley, it will give you the opportunity to savour the moment of your glorious snow hunting.

Goatherds House

Where: Matroosberg

www.matroosberg.com

It’s not every day that you get to stay in a hundred-year-old farm house. This immaculately restored humble abode is located at the foot of the Matroosberg Mountain, and it’s fitted with a few cosy comforts to heat you up during an icy winter moment.

Fairfield

Where: Ceres

www.fairfieldcottages.co.za

Easily accessible from Ceres, this lovely mountain retreat is only 6km from the town. It is nestled between orchids, at the foot of the Skurweberg Mountains. Perfect spot to stay after you’ve visited the Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve.

Seven Oaks Vineyard Cottages

Where: Worcester

www.sevenoaksvineyardcottages.co.za

These self-catering cottages are situated on a 63-hectare active wine farm. Located in the Breede River Valley, the little cosy cottages offer you glorious mountain views.

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Feature image courtesy of @mad.living

Cape Town is surrounded by amazing surfing options, the ocean wrapping itself around the city borders. The wind patterns around the coastline varies, offering surfers a chance to pick and choose what kind of surf conditions they want to test out. And at Cape Point the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet each other, which also creates unique weather patterns.

The following is our pick of the best surfing spots in Cape Town. We also list the experience level for each Cape Town surf spot. We recommend keeping an eye on magicseaweed.com for up to date surfing conditions.

#1 Muizenberg

Beginner

Situated in False Bay, it’s about half an hour’s drive from the CBD. Surfer’s Corner is a great starting point if you’re new to surfing, or if you are a long-boarder. The Muizenberg waves form clean lines and are usually gentle. If the wind starts to blow in a northwesterly direction, nice barrels are formed. The beach is very popular. You can grab a beer or coffee  after a good surfing session from the restaurants lining the beachfront.

#2Long Beach

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saturday situation

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Intermediate to Experienced

On the other side of the Table Mountain range, lies Kommetjie, another firm favourite of local surfers. It’s roughly a 40-minute drive from the CBD. Once the southwesterly wind starts blowing, the surfing conditions become perfect, when the swell is strong enough (and most of the time it is) With the waves breaking both left and right, it creates ideal circumstances for both natural- and goofy-footers.

#3 Scarborough Beach

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Holidayze 💙☀️

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Intermediate to Advanced

Situated 45 minutes from the CBD, this almost-secret surfing spot is rarely overcrowded. The conditions are perfect for surfers as well as body boarders. It’s a stunning location, with the looming mountains as a beautiful  backdrop for your surfing session.

#4 Crayfish Factory

Advanced

Close to Scarborough, but with more tricky conditions to manoeuvre. Known as just “the factory” under the locals, it’s a great spot to challenge your surfing skills. Waves can reach up to 15 feet at times. You’re guaranteed the most epic surfing experience when the north or northeasterly wind starts blowing. Because of the big waves, you need very good paddling skills to surf here.

#5 The Hoek

Advanced

Situated about 30 minutes from the CBD, close to the Noordhoek beach, this spot is only ideal in the summer. But during these three months, it provides epic tubing opportunities. Get ready to take on the tubes when the South Easter starts blowing.

#6 Dungeons

Advanced Only

Situated about 30 minutes from the CBD this right-hander spot is for hardcore surfers only. You need to travel by boat from the Hout Bay Harbour to reach it. The Cape Town surfing spot was put on the map by the Red Bull Big Wave Africa competition. You can only attempt to master these waves as a tow-surfer, as the waves can reach up to 60 feet. Read more about it in our post here.

#7 Llandudno

Intermediate to Advanced

Situated about 15 minutes from the CBD, you will be mesmerized by the beauty of this beach, tucked away at the bottom of a hill. Big boulders hug both sides of the cove, framing the serene blue ocean perfectly. It creates great hollow waves to stretch your skills.

#8 Glen Beach

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this summer is endless

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Advanced

Situated around the corner from Llandudno, this spot is also only suitable for highly-skilled surfers. The hollow waves here are very powerful. It lies between the Clifton beaches and Camps Bay. Remember to look up at the Twelve Apostles mountains to take in the full beauty of this stunning Cape Town surfing spot.

#9 Big Bay

Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced

The experience level is dependant on the swell’s size. This beach is about 30-minute drive from the CBD, towards the West Coast. It lies between Bloubergstrand and Melkbosstrand. It is also a very popular windsurfing spot. The most ideal surfing conditions occur when the easterly or southeasterly wind starts blowing. Stop at Doodles or Pakalolo on your way back for a refreshing drink.

#10 Derdesteen

Intermediate

Situated 30 minutes from the CBD, it also lies on the way to the West Coast. It’s a great secret surfing spot. With multiple take-off points, you won’t be brushing shoulders with your fellow surfers when it gets busy. The spot is most suitable in autumn or winter with less hardcore winds than in summer. During these two seasons the seabed is also shaped for the ultimate surfing experience.

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Museums might sound to some like a very boring outing. But the Iziko initiative aims to offer a unique experience of South Africa’s diverse cultural heritage. The word means “hearth” in isiXhosa. In a traditional African homestead, it is the central focal point. Similar to the idea of a hearth drawing the community together, these museums strive to be a gathering point of the country’s varied legacy.

Once you’ve completed the Iziko Museum Mile, you will have visited 7 museums, each focusing on a different cultural element. The route kicks off in the Company’s Gardens. The term “mile” is used loosely, if you walk between the museums, you will cover roughly 8km by foot. Or 10 km by car.

Visit iziko.org.za for more information about the museums listed below. Click here to view directions.

Iziko South African Museum

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The Iziko South Africa museum was founded in 1825 and was the first in the country. Located in the Company Gardens since 1897, it houses important African collections of zoology, paleontology and archeology. 📷:@ecamilla_rsa 🦖🐾🏛#letdothis #capetown WHEN: Mon – Sun, 9AM – 5PM. WHERE: Queen Victoria St, Gardens, Cape Town. WHY: See important historical collections. #️⃣ #iziko #southafricanmuseum #gardens #thingstodo #ideas #explore #adventure #activities #getoutside #discover #food #drink #meetup #squadgoals #hike #fitness #health #culture #explorecapetown #mothercity #westerncape #mzanzi #southafrica #roadtrip #unplug #letsdothiscpt #dothis Tag or email us with your tip………………… 📩 Please note – we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss of life that may occur when following the tip for the day ✌️

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It’s the flagship of the museum family. You will travel back thousands of years to the origin of our country. The museum dates back to 1825, established as research and educational institution. Scientists still work here to preserve and capture newly-found artefacts and fossils. There are thousands of these in the archive of the museum.

The exhibits include fossils of early human ancestors; Khoi-San archaeological collections; an extensive marine biology collection; minerals and rocks; dinosaur dioramas plus a life-size display of African dinosaur fossils.

Planetarium

Linked to the South African Museum, a visit to the Planetarium is a must. The shows captivate both adults and children. With new state of the art digital technology, the educational shows are engaging and a great visual treat. View the daily Planetarium shows.

Location: 25 Queen Victoria Street, Company’s Gardens

Iziko South African National Gallery

The building has been preserving inspiring artworks since 1871. It boasts with South Africa’s past and present art gems. A wide variety of historical and contemporary artworks have been gathered for your viewing pleasure, including both African and international works. Admire the paintings, photography, beadwork, sculptures, and textiles.

The permanent collections are rotated every few months, carefully selected by a team of curators. Plus, established South African artists regularly host exhibitions at the gallery.

Visit the South African National Gallery events page to stay in the loop.

Location: Government Avenue, Company’s Gardens

Iziko Slave Lodge

The history of this building is tainted with the darker side of South Africa’s history. Built in 1679 by the Dutch East India Company, it was thousands of slaves’ first taste of their new forced homeland. It was used from the 17th to 19th century.

Now you can imagine yourself in their shoes while learning more about the South African slavery history and challenge yourself to think about human rights issues. The exhibitions include Egypt in Africa; Singing Freedom: Music and the Struggle Against Apartheid; The Story of isiShweshwe: Material Women? and more.

Location: Upper Adderley Street, CBD

Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum

The museum is  in one of the original residential houses of the area. It was built somewhere between 1763 and 1768. This area was formerly a Malay Quarter. The house was restored and now showcases artefacts of the Muslim cultural heritage, as well as exhibits exploring the development of the city. Read our post to find out more about the history of the Bo-Kaap.

Location: 71 Wale Street, , CBD

Iziko Rust en Vreugd Museum

The city is full of beautiful historical buildings. This one dates back to 1778. Willem Cornelis Boers called it home. He was a high-ranking Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie* (VOC) official. It’s located on the outskirts of the CBD and features the typical Cape Dutch architecture. The period-style garden enfolding the house will transport you back to a bygone era.

You can view the William Fehr Collection of Artworks on Paper, to get a better feel for the life of an early Cape settler.

*Translated from Dutch: United East Indies Company

Location: 78 Buitenkant Street, CBD

Iziko Koopmans-de Wet House

You might have walked past this house on Strand Street, oblivious that it’s a hidden historical gem. In the 18th-century a wealthy family settled here. The house’s name comes from the final private owner, Marie Koopmans-de Wet. Over the years the building underwent renovations, but its original flair has remained intact. A beautiful façade, extravagant big sash windows, and stylish doors – it’s a classic example of Cape Dutch architecture. The private townhouse was the first opened to the public in 1914, giving it the status of oldest South African house museum.

Location: 35 Strand Street, CBD

The Castle of Good Hope featuring William Fehr Collection

The castle is the oldest South African colonial building. Dutch colonialists built it from 1666 to 1679. And for more than two centuries the pentagonal fort was the house of military and government operations. Walking through the castle will offer you a glimpse into the early Cape life. View William Fehr’s historical art collection in the Kat. This building was once the home of the Cape governor, situated in the middle of the Castle grounds.

The collection contains beautiful paintings and ceramics, as well as furniture. It’s a great way to gain insight into early colonial South African life.

Location: Corner of Darling Street and Buitenkant Street, CBD

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Cape Town has been voted the best city in the world six times in a row by the Telegraph Travel Readers. And it’s not hard to see why. Beautiful beaches, magnificent mountains, endless things to do, a buzzing cosmopolitan vibe… And that’s just mentioning the bare minimum!

But there is a little challenging factor to a holiday in the fairest of Capes, as Sir Francis Drake called it. The city was also given the name “the Cape of Storms” by Bartolomeo Dias. Depending on your holiday needs, the tumultuous weather can be a pro or a con.

Weather in Cape Town

The best way to describe the weather in Cape Town? Four seasons in one day. It can be high summer and you will need a jersey. The best way to approach the weather in Cape Town, is to be prepared for anything. Carry a light jersey with you, even in the summer months, because the wind can suddenly get very chilly. During winter and the other in-between seasons, layer up, so you can layer down if need be. Even during the icy wet winter, an almost-summer day can make a quick appearance.

With its location next to the ocean, the climate has a Mediterranean-feel to it. In the hot summer months, the temperatures can soar up to 35°C (95°F) and then you will wish the infamous wind will make an appearance. In the winter it can rain for days on end, with the temperatures dropping below 10°C (50°F).

The wind is a constant companion of Capetonians. Mostly you will have a love/hate relationship with it. The Cape Doctor, the nickname of the South-Easter wind, blows during the spring months (August and September) to late summer (March and April). Some days it will be a gentle breeze ruffling your hair as you walk on the beach, breaking the extreme heat. Other days it will threaten to blow you off your feet. In Table Bay winds of up to 160km/h have been measured.

The wind also triggers the famous Table Cloth. It’s a mesmerizing weather phenomena, caused by the fluctuations in temperature surrounding the mountain. The False Bay air, full of warm moisture, is picked up by the wind and it’s pushed towards the eastern flank of Table Mountain. It’s lifted up against the Table Mountain slopes. Then all of a sudden it drops down and the clouds disappear into thin air.

Summer in Cape Town

The balmy summer months end and start the year, from December to mid-March. It’s the perfect end or start to your year! Another great aspect of Cape Town summers, is the fact that the sun sets around 8 o’clock. Morning temperatures range at about 15°C (59°F) and can reach 35°C (95°F) middle day in high summer.

If you are a big fan of lounging on the beach, summer months are the best time to visit Cape Town. With the prospect of the wind joining you on your holiday, it’s also a great time to indulge in fun water sports such as kite or wind surfing. Another activity complemented by the wind, is paragliding. Slowly hovering over the city from Lion’s Head or Signal Hill (or even Table Mountain) will be an unforgettable experience.

But beware, you will not be the only one thinking it’s a good idea to head to the beach on a beautiful summer’s day. Especially during December you will also have the local South African tourists to contend with. All of a sudden you will notice that half the cars on the road have GP number plates! We’ll give you the inside scoop, head over to one of the best secret beaches in the Cape to avoid the crowds.

Accommodation and flight prices are pushed up during the peak summer period. If you’re schedule is flexible, rather plan a trip in late-November or mid-March to soak up the African sun without being squashed on the beach and paying exorbitant prices.

Related: 5 Off The Beaten Track Festivals

Autumn and Spring in Cape Town

The in-between seasons can be the best time to visit Cape Town. During these months the weather is less extreme, and the city is not as crowded as during peak season. You can score great accommodation and flight deals if you plan ahead. Just keep an eye on the Easter weekend dates, prices are pushed up for this popular holiday break.

From late-March the mornings become chillier, and slowly the sun starts rising later in the morning, and setting earlier at night. During the day temperatures range in the early 20’s (68°F) and in the afternoon it will start dropping lower again.

Spring arrives from the end of August, with the sun rising around 07:00 in the morning and setting at 18:30. Daytime temperatures start climbing into the higher 20’s (68°F). But mornings and evenings are still chilly. Read our post Where to See the Wildflowers in the Cape for a truly magical experience which transforms the landscape every year.

With the extreme summer heat subdued, both autumn and spring are great seasons to explore the outdoors in the middle of the day, instead of worrying about the potent summer midday sun. Cape Town is an outdoor fanatic’s paradise, with almost-endless hiking and mountain bike trails. Read our post Top 5 Hiking Routes up Table Mountain.

Winter in Cape Town

Some would argue that winter is the best time to visit Cape Town, but it all depends on what kind of holiday experience you are looking for. Winter is whale-watching season, read our post 5 of the Best Ways to See Whales around Cape Town to plan your holiday around these fascinating gentle giants of the ocean.

The winter period is from late-June to mid-September. Morning temperatures can drop below 10°C (50°F) and will hover in the teens throughout the day. Along with the chilly weather, long stints of rain ascend on the city. All of a sudden the tip of Africa will be transformed into a London-like atmosphere, with soft drizzle falling relentlessly for days on end.

If you are sensitive to long periods of overcast weather, you might want to rather plan your trip at the beginning or end of winter to avoid the gloominess. Even though the outdoor activities mostly come to a halt, you can still indulge in the indoor fun. Read our post about 10 Restaurants with Fireplaces in Cape Town to counter the chill.

Another great indoor activity for the winter months, is exploring the Iziko Museum Mile. You’ll be kept busy for hours hopping from one heritage museum to the next. These include the Bo-Kaap museum, Planetarium, Rust en Vreugd, Slave Lodge, South African Museum, South African National Gallery, and the William Fehr Collection at The Castle of Good Hope. End off your exploration at one of the Harrington Street Restaurants and Cafés.

Daylight Hours

In the summer months, it almost feels like there’s endless sunshine available. You can get up to 14 sunlight hours per day, from 05h30 to 20h00. During the in-between seasons of spring and autumn, it goes down to about 12 hours, from 06h30 to 18h45. And in winter there is around 10 hours of sunlight, from 07h45 to 17h50.

How much are flights to Cape Town?

Peak Season (mid-December to January)

A lot of people will tell you this is the best time to visit Cape Town to experience the ultimate summer holiday. But because it’s so popular, it’s very busy and very pricey. Flight tickets can be pushed up by as much as 50% from mid-December to January. If you do want to visit the Mother City during the epic height of summer, you will have to book your accommodation and flights at least three months ahead.

Shoulder Seasons (March to May; September to November)

Planning your visit a little bit away from the peak season can be the best time to visit Cape Town if you want to still experience the summer fun, but not have excessive travel costs. You can save up to 30% when travelling in this gap period.

Off-Peak Season (June to August)

People might tell you it’s not the best time to visit Cape Town. And you will save up to 40% because of this believe. But because of the winter rain, the Western Cape transforms into lush green rolling hills.

So What Is The Best Time To Visit Cape Town?

Well, according to us the best time to visit Cape Town, is every day of the year! Each season in the Mother City has its own special charm. From the balmy summer days, to the cold winter nights perfect for snuggling next to a fireplace.

We hope that you find your favourite season in the Mother City and return every year to come and soak up the awesomeness! Remember to share your epic Instagram pics with us! Tag @secretcapetown or use #secretcapetown to be featured with our #guesswhere.

You don’t have to try very hard to be romantic in Cape Town. The epic views and breath-taking sunsets are enough to make you feel all mushy and lovey-dovey. Beware, the city might make you fall even more in love with your sweetheart!

Best Dating Ideas in Cape Town

You can impress a first date, or revive your 50 year old marriage in this stunning city. We’ve gathered a few indoor and outdoor ideas for a spectacular date night.

#1 A Scenic Picnic

Top 10 Fun Things to Do in Cape Town for Couples Beach Picnic rawpixel unsplash

This one is an almost fool proof date idea. The only factor to contend with, is Cape Town’s notoriously fickle weather. You can either plan a picnic date and hope for the best. Or you can keep this as a spontaneous option when the weather plays along. For a beach picnic, we would recommend a sunset picnic. Read our post secret beaches for a few idea. Alternatively, try a picnic in one of the top 10 parks.

If you want to turn up the romance a notch, why not order a ready-made picnic from Dial-a-Picnic. They will pack the basket for you and even spread a blanket with cushions, ready for you to simply enjoy!

#2 Fine Dining Experiences

There are so many amazing eateries in the city, we will rather not influence your choice too much by our opinions. Instead, we will offer you a very handy way to find the exact restaurant to fit your unique needs. DinePlan. This nifty app has categorized the city’s restaurants for your convenience. Use filters such as cuisine type, price, ratings, and special attributes (such as romantic, great views, or sunsets) to find your ideal romantic rendezvous spot.

The app is very user-friendly. Choose your location, apply the filters and vila, you can simply select the restaurant you like the most. Download the app now on the iTunes or GooglePlay store

#3 Cape Winelands Exploring with Wine Flies

A trip to the winelands is by far one of the most romantic outings near Cape Town. They are conveniently located on the city’s doorstep. Or you could even try a few of the ones tucked away within the city’s borders, such as the Constantia Wine Valley or the Durbanville hills. Wine Flies will help you create an idyllic day outing, offering you a unique experience at a variety of wine farms in their repertoire. Their tours include the following options: a trip to Stellenbosch, the Elgin Valley, or even a little bit further to Matjiesfontein.

Visit wineflies.co.za for more information

#4 The Pink Flamingo Rooftop Cinema

If your sweetheart is a fan of the big screen, this date will score you big time brownie points! The little open air cinema is tucked away between vintage Airstream trailers (the only rooftop trailer park in the world) It’s situated on top of the Grand Daddy Hotel in the city centre. So not only will you get to watch a movie in a very unique setting, you can also enjoy panoramic views of the city. Your movie ticket includes the following: a welcome drink, and popcorn with a mixed bag of sweets. In winter you also get a blanket, plus hot chocolate. You can also order a gourmet food basket.

View the movie schedule

#5 Go Dancing

Top 10 Fun Things to Do in Cape Town for Couples dancing allefvinicius unsplash

This one can either be a once-off fun night out, or you can make it a weekly activity. Nothing says romantic like a good sultry dance! Each week Qua Pasa teaches a variety of dance styles including salsa, swing, bachata, lindyhop, kizomba, tango, cuban, and charleston. They also host weekly salsa parties at La Prada (Friday) and Jada Bar (Sunday).

Visit quepasa.co.za for more information.

#6 Live Jazz

There’s just something about jazz music. Combine that with champagne, and you have all the romance sorted for the evening. The Milk and Honey Bar is a champagne bar infused with Parisian flair. Situated at the bottom edge of the CBD in Bree Street, an outing here will for a moment feel like a transportation to a real Parisian street café. The stylish décor includes marble counters, formidable chandeliers, and brass trimmings. Every Wednesday night, they have a live jazz band playing.

Insider tip: book a table outside, you’ll still be able to enjoy the ambiance, but can talk to each other over the music.

Visit milkhoneybar.co.za for more information.

#7 Ice Skating

Top 10 Fun Things to Do in Cape Town for Couples Ice Skating

A fun outing as a relaxed first date option, or simply something zany to do as a couple. Situated at the GrandWest Casino, it’s an Olympic-sized rink. The rink is used for ice skating sports, but it’s open to the public on Wednesday to Saturday evenings. This one is a very affordable date night idea, which can be extending into something splurgier with a fancy dinner at one of the Grand West restaurants.

Visit icerink.co.za or the Grand West website for more information

#8 A Sunset Cruise from the V&A Waterfront

What’s more romantic than sailing into the sunset with your sweetheart? There are a variety of cruises embarking from Quay 5 at the V&A Waterfront. Very easy to find, follow the path between the amphitheatre (on your left) and the Cape Wheel (on your right). Options range from simplistic to extravagantly fancy, you can choose how much you want to spend as well as the type of sailboat you would like to set sail on.

#9 A Comedy Show

The Cape Town Comedy Club at the V&A Waterfront combines a comedy show with a delectable dinner. It’s situated across the Watershed, in the Pumphouse building, which dates back to 1882. Let the talented comedians, both famous plus up and coming, make you laugh till your tummy hurts.

Visit capetowncomedy.com for more information.

#10 Hot Air Balloon Ride

This one can be saved for a special occasion, as it is quite pricey. But you have to admit, silently floating in a hot air balloon over the magnificent winelands, is pretty darn romantic! Wineland Ballooning offers trips from November to April. You’ll lift-off as the sun starts rising over the horizon, a truly magical experience. Each trip is unique, as the wind determines the route. After safely landing again, you’ll be whisked off to the Grande Roche Hotel (Paarl) for a decadent champagne breakfast.

Tip: keep a Plan B option in mind, the ride is determined by safe weather conditions.

Visit the Wineland Ballooning website for more information

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If you’re a person who loves spending time outdoors (without hiking boots, sweat and mosquitoes), and you believe there just isn’t enough food, love and live music in the world, then you’ll want to pack at least a few fresh festival experiences into this year.

It doesn’t get any fresher than leaving the city behind and heading for the hills. So, we’ve brought you five off the beaten track festivals to add your list of things to do in the coming year.

  1. Darling Summer Beer Festival, Darling

Darling Summer Beer Festival

Held every year on Reconciliation Day, 16 December, the Darling Summer Beer Festival delivers all you’d expect of a beer festival – ice-cold beer, mouthwatering food with offerings of wholesome local deliciousness as well as refined cuisine, an impressive lineup of musicians, and time to share with friends and family. It’s the quaint town of Darling that makes this a unique and off-the-beaten-track event.

The point of the festival, apart from chilled fun and food, of course, is to showcase great West Coast breweries. Last year, Darling Brew served their craft beer to festival patrons straight from brewery tanks – it just doesn’t get any fresher than that!

The little ones are catered for, too, with a large play area and plenty of activities to keep them happy.

DBexperience@darlingbrew.co.za | Facebook: @DarlingBrew

  1. Cooked Sister – Wolfkop Weekender, Matjiesfontein

Twisted Sister Festival Cape Town Majiesfontein 1

Twisted Sister Festival Cape Town Majiesfontein 2

The town of Matjiesfontein in the Klein Karoo may seem like an odd place to hold a whole load of festive events every year over a weekend in June, but it isn’t. You see, the town’s original big cheese – James Douglas Logan – loved a good celebration. So, he developed a knack of bringing interesting people together, some of them were pretty well-known at the time – Rudyard Kipling, Olive Schreiner, Lord Randolph Churchill (father of Winston) and Cecil John Rhodes, to name a few. It was a time of fun and festivities, when one needed no excuse to break out the champagne or picnic in the veld in an old London double-decker bus.

Wolfkop Weekender has become a music festival when anything can happen and nothing is too oddball. This can be scavenger hunts in the courthouse, tea parties attended by guests decked out in Victorian garb, Bloody Mary’s around the pool to the sexy sounds of jazz. The point is: you get to design your own experience in true eccentric style.

Wolfkopweekender.wontom.com/tickets  |  Facebook: @WolfkopWeekender

  1. Oh Dam Music Festival

This festival is so far off the beaten track that you’ll need to bring a tent! Held over a long weekend in April, this festival brings together a hot lineup of musicians and one of the most beautiful outdoor experiences the Western Cape has to offer.

Clanwilliam is famous for its rock art created thousands of years ago by the San and Khoi. The old town is now a significant Rooibos tea supplier and the Clanwilliam Dam draws nature-lovers and adventurers to its flora, fauna and water sports.

The festival is held at the dam and delivers three days of fun for the whole family.

camissasolutions2@outlook.com

  1. Bot River Barrels and Beards Harvest Festival

Bot River Barrels Beards Harvest Festival Cape TownEach April, food and wine lovers take the N2 highway to the Overberg (just an hour from Cape Town) for a harvest festival that celebrates the best food and wine the region has to offer. You’re in for a selection from 13 mostly family-owned wine farms that produce world-class wines. The food won’t disappoint either.

So, where do the beards come in, you may ask? It’s simple. When the grape harvest starts, it’s none stop go, go, go. Grapes can be pernickety things, so it’s a race to get them picked and to the cellar when they’re just right for making wine. The last thing anyone thinks of is wasting time shaving, which is why beards in the vineyards and cellars are a common sight this time of year.

Of course, along with great food, wine and music, there is an award for the best harvest-time beard!

info@bartonvineyards.co.za  |  Facebook: @BotRiverWines

  1. Elgin Cool Wine and Country Festival

Elgin Cool Wine and Country Festival If your idea of heaven is visiting one wine farm after the other that not only offers signature cuisine paired with local wine, but fun and entertainment for the kids, too, then the Elgin Cool Wine and Country Festival, held at the end of April, is the festival for you.

Each participating winery creates their own unique programme for visitors that showcase their unique offering. This can include, not only memorable food, chocolate and wine pairings served in any number of ways (from food trucks to a la carte menus), but also a number of popular musicians, outdoor activities and scenic outdoor settings in the Elgin Valley. This festival is a great way to spend the weekend for the whole family.

saltatpaulcluver@gmail.com  |  Facebook: @WinesofElgin

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Alternative Hiking Routes While Lionshead is Closed

Lion’s Head is closed for trail maintenance and repair from the 7th of January until the 14th of February. To read more about the closure click here.

If you are like us you are probably looking for some other hikes to do in Cape Town while Lion’s Head is inaccessible. Here are some alternative hiking ideas for you, from laidback strolling to challenging rock scrambling.

Easy Hike: Pipe Track

Distance: approximately 6km | Hiking Time: 3 hours | Difficulty Level: Easy
Terrain: Level – a rocky single jeep track, with few stone stairs.

It is one of the most enjoyable tranquil and easy hikes in the city, with amazing views similar to Lion’s Head, along the pipe track above Camps Bay. You won’t be aiming for the summit, so no need to worry about steep and strenuous inclines. But it is a hefty distance, so come prepared with enough water and snacks. The hike starts on a single rocky path which leads into a jeep track. You will be hiking up a few little hills, but nothing too challenging.

The route dates back to 1887 and as the name hints at, the track was created to lay pipelines. These important pipes transfer the precious liquid from the mountain’s reservoirs to the City of Cape Town. You can’t go wrong with this hike, even though it is not challenging, the magnificent views of the 12 Apostles mountain range will make up for the simplistic route.

Did you know? Mountaineers have been conquering the mountain since 1503

The route meanders along the Atlantic coast, looking down upon Camps Bay, with Lion’s Head and the ocean in the distance. Enjoy the rich fauna and flora along the way, you’ll be surrounded by the famous fynbos, with proteas scattered along the way. The track hugs the side of the formidable Table Mountain sandstone cliffs and travels through the western slope ravines as well. The route is in the shade during the early morning and sunny the rest of the day. Best time to hike it in the hot summer months, is during the early morning or late afternoon.

Get to the Top: Platteklip Gorge

Distance: approximately 2.5km | Time: 2 to 3 hours | Difficulty Level: Moderate
Terrain: stone steps with steep sections on a single rocky track

This is the oldest and most direct route to Table Mountain’s summit. It is also one of the easiest routes, making it very popular (aka expect a few hiker friends to pass you on the way) It’s a well-constructed trail that follows a deep ravine on the front face of the mountain. Look up at the majestic cliffs as you hike, traversing them before reaching the summit.

You can also extend the hike from the ravine head, meandering along the whole length of the famous mountain before reaching the highest point on the summit. Epic views guaranteed! If you are not a big fan of scary heights, this is the best route for you.

Related: Top 5 Hiking Routes up Table Mountain

The hike features big rock steps, requiring some scrambling during the lower part the route. It still a tedious hike, although it’s less strenuous compared to other Table Mountain hiking options. It’s a good route option if your fitness level is low and you prefer a less technical hike, and perfect if you have a fear of heights. But beware, hiking down will take its toll on your body, as it is quite steep with joint-jarring steps to contend with. You can also opt for the option of climbing up Table Mountain and taking the cable car back down, or the other way around. Read our post Hiking up Table Mountain or Lion’s Head at Night if you want to spice up your hike.

More Challenging: Skeleton Gorge

Distance: approximately 6.5km | Time: about 5 hours | Difficulty Level: Challenging
Terrain: stone steps with steep sections and ladders on a single rocky track, includes minor scrambles

This one is another classic route up the mountain, but more challenging than Platteklip Gorge. It starts in the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. So the first part of the route traverses through an indigenous jungle before you reach the shrub-covered slopes on the way to the highest point on the mountain.

You can also consider a little detour to the secret “beach” at the Table Mountain reservoirs. As you ascend the mountain, take in the epic views of the Cape Peninsula before enjoying the views of the city on the other side.

Related: Top Five Hiking Groups in Cape Town

The route scampers across slippery rocks in one section, so get ready for the challenge. But it doesn’t include any excessive exposure to heights, except for a short section of wooden ladders. These are very challenging during wet conditions. If you hike it during the winter months of June to August you will be treated to little waterfalls and cascades along the way.

What is scrambling?

It’s an in-between level, not just hiking and not quite climbing. This adds a nice challenge to a hike without making it too technical. After a hike that includes a bit of scrambling, you will feel like you have truly climbed a mountain.

India Venter

Distance: approximately 3km | Time: 3 hours | Difficulty Level: Challenging
Terrain: steep sections with staples and stone steps on a single rocky track, includes scrambling.

This one is by far one of the most challenging routes up the mountain. And not for the faint of heart, 15% of the way you will be navigating narrow ledges while exposed to heights. Ideal for adventurous hikers, with a great variation in the topography.

You will explore a very dramatic part of the mountain, climbing just-just below the cable car while meandering through the formidable cliffs. Although the hike is not as strenuous as Skeleton Gorge, it is more technical. If you are not an experienced hiker, it is advisable to do this route with a professional guide. Read our post Hiking up Table Mountain to learn more about the benefits of a guided hike.

Climbing Table Mountain should be taken very serious, and with a challenging route such as the India Venster you should make sure you are properly prepared and a competent hiker, if you want tackle it on your own. Plus, make sure that you climb with a group of friends. If you can stomach the heights, the magnificent views and imposing topography are spectacular. Any adventure junkie’s dream come true!

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How To Get From The Cape Town International Airport To Your Hotel South Africa

The Cape Town International Airport is located 20 kilometres to the west of the Cape Town CBD. It lies in the Matroosfontein district. Conveniently located next to the N2 highway, you can easily travel to the various sides of the city from the airport.

Transport Options from Cape Town International Airport

There are a variety of ways to travel to your hotel from the Cape Town International Airport. These include the MyCiti bus transport system, shuttle services and metered taxis, car rentals, and Uber.

Your choice of transport will depend on the distance you have to travel, as well as the direction. For short distances from the airport, an Uber ride will be sufficient. If you are staying in the city centre, on the Atlantic seaboard, or towards the West Coast –  consider using the MyCiti bus.

If you prefer to travel speedily and directly to your hotel, you can consider using a shuttle service or metered taxi. Alternatively, if you will be travelling a lot during your stay in Cape Town, hiring your own car could be the best option.

Read our post about the Best Car Rental Companies in Cape Town.

MyCiti Bus Airport Transport Service

You can take the MyCiti bus from the airport to the Civic Centre. This is the main station where you can effortlessly switch to other routes travelling throughout the city. The busses travel throughout the city centre, the Atlantic Seaboard, as well as towards Century City and Melkbos Strand.  Click here to view the MyCiti routes.

My City Bus Cape Town - Get From The Cape Town International Airport to Your Hotel In Cape Town

The busses run between 5:30 am and 9:30 pm. To reach the MyCiti bus station, head out the main airport entrance and turn to your left. You will see the Public Transport Plaza opposite the Central Terminal Building entrance.

Travelling into the city will take about 30 minutes, depending on traffic. You can buy your MyCiti card at the airport bus station. The card costs R35 and is valid for five years. Fares to the city cost between R60 and R100, depending on when you travel.  Read more about the MyCiti airport service.

Uber

Uber Cape Town International Airport - Get From The Cape Town International Airport to Your Hotel In Cape Town

The airport has created a designated area where you can book your Uber from. The official pick up is from parkade 1. As you head out of the airport, turn to your right towards the separate parking building. Ubers are constantly heading in and out of the airport, so it will not take long to book a car. If you can’t find your Uber, you can contact the driver via the app.

The following are pricing estimates to a few popular destinations near Cape Town:

  • Waterfront, from R 177
  • Camps Bay, from R 190
  • Stellenbosch, from R 254
  • Simonstown, from R 316

Uber Cape Town International Airport - Getting From Cape Town International Airport To Hotel

Car Rentals

Hiring a private car to use during your Cape Town holiday is a great way to explore the city and surrounding areas at your own leisure. Before making a booking, make sure that your licence is valid and accepted in South Africa. It is recommend that you pre-book your rental car before arriving at the airport. This especially important during high season from December to February. Click here to compare car rental prices.

Cape Town International Airport Car Rental

The car rental agencies are situated at the Transport Plaza and the Central Terminal Building. You can access the plaza via two subways, located on the sides of the terminal building. Currently there are 9 car rental agencies providing services from the Cape Town airport:

  • Avis
  • Europcar
  • First Car Rental
  • Bidvest Car Rental
  • Hertz
  • Tempest Car Hire
  • Woodford
  • Dollar / Thrifty Car Rental
  • Capital Car Hire

Cape Town Airport Shuttle Services

As you walk out of the domestic arrivals terminal or international inner lane, you will be greeted by a variety of friendly shuttle service operators. Depending on how far you will be travelling, as well as how many people will be travelling together, a shuttle service can be a very good transport option.

The add-on benefit of a shuttle service, is that they often also offer tour options that you could consider.

Make sure that you compare travelling prices to ensure that you pick the most affordable transport method. Sometimes you also need to pre-book a shuttle. Click here for the 10 Best Cape Town Taxis and Shuttles.

Cape Town Airport Metered Taxis

The Cape Town International Airport has an accredited metered taxi service, the Touchdown Taxi Association. Their contact number is +27 (0)83 652 0786. Find the metered taxis at the Transport Plaza. You can access it via two pedestrian subways from the passenger terminal’s main entrance.

Alternative Travel Option

When booking your stay at a local hotel or bed and breakfast, you can check if they offer collection options from the airport. This is a good solution to save yourself the trouble of finding your accommodation if you are worried about navigating your way through the city.

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