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World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > South Africa > Cape Town

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Getting around Cape Town

Public transport

Public transport in Cape Town is improving. Golden Arrow Bus Services (tel: +27 800 656 463; www.gabs.co.za) has a bus terminal on Grand Parade with routes to V&A Waterfront, Sea Point, Hout Bay and Kirstenbosch. You can buy tickets, including 10-ride clipcards, on-board or from the terminal. The MyCiTi bus rapid transport system (tel: +27 800 656 463; www.myciti.org.za) connects to the airport, Sea Point and Camps Bay among others. A preloadable myconnect card is available at station kiosks and some shops.

Trains to tourist spots like Stellenbosch, Simon's Town and Khayelitsha are run by Metrorail Western Cape (tel: +27 800 656 463; www.capemetrorail.co.za). A hop-on-hop-off pass is available.

Taxis

Metered taxies are widely available, particularly around main attractions. Your hotels and restaurants can also book one for you.

Recommended operators include Marine Taxis (tel: +27 861 434 0434) and Unicab (tel: +27 21 486 1600). Tipping is around 10%.

Minibus taxi is the choice of transport for local workers. They're cheap and fast. However, with no set route and time schedule, it can be challenging for tourists.

Driving

Many visitors choose to drive to explore outlying areas. Driving is fairly easy, although the rules of the road are often breached. Expect to be cut up, but avoid any altercations.

Parking is plentiful with indoor parking at main shopping malls and central car parks on Strand Street, Grand Parade and Plein Street. In free open car parks, uniformed guards look after cars for a tip. On-street parking is managed by marshals with hand-held devices recording your arrival time. You can pay by cash or using the SnapScan mobile app. On-street parking is free after 1800 and on Sundays.

Car hire

Many car hire companies have booths at the airport or hotel can arrange rentals. Companies include Avis (tel: +27 21 424 1177; www.avis.co.za), Europcar (tel: +27 21 421 5190; www.europcar.co.za) and First Car Rental (tel: +27 861 178 227; www.firstcarrental.co.za). Insurance is recommended. Drivers usually have to be 21, have a credit card and International Driving Permit or a licence in English with photograph. 

Bicycle hire

It’s a hilly city, but cycling can be rewarding. Up Cycles (tel: +27 74 100 9161 or +27 76 135 2223; www.upcycles.co.za) hires bikes at Clock Town Square (V&A Waterfront), Sea Point Pavilion and the Hotel Mandela Rhodes Place.

Featured Hotels

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Cape Grace

This award-winning hotel offers stylish accommodation as well as world-class facilities and service. Located on its very own private quay at the harbour of the V&A Waterfront, the Cape Grace enjoys a convenient location at Cape Town's most popular shopping district. The Cape's colourful past can be seen in the hotel's exquisite furniture, rare fabrics, intriguing artefacts and original antiques. Sumptuous tasting menus, rare whisky pairings, luxurious spa treatments and indulgent Afternoon Teas are all thoughtfully created to enhance your stay at Cape Grace.

Daddy Long Legs

Rooms in this art hotel have been decorated by artists, poets, photographers and musicians and themes include music, travel and the tattoo artists, among others. There’s a bar/lounge and balcony overlooking lively Long Street, and self-catering apartments are located nearby. No breakfast, but Long Street is filled with breakfast options.

The Fritz Hotel

In a quiet spot near Kloof Street and just up the road from buzzing Long Street, this charming guesthouse proves that budget doesn’t have to mean bland or unstylish. Original art deco furniture and commissioned pieces give the rooms a quirky feel, and some have balconies with views of Table Mountain, Lions Head and Signal Hill.

One&Only

Exclusivity comes at a price at The One&Only set on the V&A Waterfront and with panoramic views of Table Mountain and the marina. The rooms are sophisticated and stylish and amenities include a swimming pool and a spa complete with vitality pools. Enjoy rare vintages from the Wine Loft and dine at Michelin-starred chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa's Nobu or the award-winning Reuben's.

Once in Cape Town

Situated in Kloof Street, conveniently close to many of Cape Town’s attractions, Once in Cape Town is the definition of a poshtel (basically, an upscale hostel). It’s clean, comfortable, funky and affordable, and accommodation ranges from mixed and single-sex dorms to double rooms. Yours Truly, the on-site restaurant, serves delicious, fresh food (breakfast is included).

Hippo Boutique Hotel

Just off Kloof Street, close to Cape Town’s CBD and within easy reach of many bars and restaurants, the Hippo Boutique Hotel has sleek, modern rooms with wooden floors and whitewashed ceilings. Facilities include kitchenettes, air-con and Wi-Fi, and there’s also a small rooftop pool. Although there’s a bar downstairs, double glazing keeps the noise out.