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Content and photos courtesy of Cape Town Tourism

Basic information

  • Area: 2,445 km² (944 sq mi)
  • Calling Code: +27 (0)21
  • Currency: South African Rand (ZAR)
  • Population (EST): 3,740,026
  • Official language: Afrikaans, Xhosa, English
  • Time Zone: UTC/GMT +2

Cape Town – Getting Around

Train

While the railway system in Cape Town is mainly focused on commuter transport, The Southern Line Rail Route, which stretches from Cape Town to Simon’s Town, is highly recommended for visitors. The train stops at several beautiful suburbs and coastal villages along the way and is an affordable option.

The Southern Line Rail Route passes through Cape Town's leafy southern suburbs, which is home to the Newlands rugby and cricket stadiums, as well as the acclaimed Cavendish Square shopping centre.

Train travel does not always run on schedule, so it’s important to bear this in mind when planning a day out. As with train travel in most parts of the world, it is also important to be aware of potential pickpockets.

Bus

Tours

One of the best ways to see Cape Town’s landmarks, especially if you have limited time, is to make use of the City Sightseeing Bus, which has three routes to choose from – a city tour, mini-peninsula tour and a wine tour.

These tours are set up so that you can get off at various points and choose how much time you want to spend there before catching the next bus. While in transit, you can listen to recorded commentary in six different languages, providing interesting information about the landmarks along the way.

Commuting

To commute around the city centre and out to Table View, Blaauwberg and Parklands, you can catch the MyCiTi bus from various points. Please note that you will need to purchase a ‘myconnect’ bus card from the main station at the Civic Centre in Hertzog Boulevard or participating retailers in the area. For a full list please visit the MyCiTi website. The card costs R23 and you will need to load it with travel credit. Journeys within the city centre feeder route cost R5.30 and travel between the city centre and Table View is R10.60 each way.

Car

You can arrange to hire a car from Cape Town International Airport before you arrive, through companies such as Avis. In addition, a range of car hire companies operate within the Cape Town city centre. Our road infrastructure is excellent and road signs are of the highest international standards.

If you are planning to drive to Cape Town from somewhere else in South Africa, there are three arterial routes leading into Cape Town from the interior:

• The N1 from Johannesburg via the Karoo and the Cape Winelands;
• The N2 from the Garden Route and Overberg via Somerset West and Cape Town International Airport;
• The N7 from the West Coast and Namibia.

We drive on the left-hand side of the road, and our cars – rental cars included – are right-hand drive vehicles. All distances, speed limits (and speedometers) are in kilometres. Wearing of seat belts is required by law, while using hand-held phones while driving is against the law.

The general speed limit on major routes is 120km/h (75mph), on secondary roads it is 100km/h (60mph), and in built-up areas it is usually 60km/h (35mph) unless otherwise indicated.

Any valid driver’s licence is accepted, provided it bears the photograph and signature of the holder and is printed in English.

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