As you can imagine, I have a lot of people asking me for advice on what to see and do when visiting Cape Town. My advice changes depending on what activities they enjoy and how long they are spending in Cape Town. I have always maintained that you need a minimum of 10 days in Cape Town to experience it fully.
But there is one bit of advice that never changes. Whether you’re visiting for 1 day or 10, the best way to see Cape Town is on the hop-on, hop-off City Sightseeing bus. Even if you have hired a car it’s still worth doing a day on the bus because when you don’t have to focus on driving, you can see and appreciate much more. Plus, when you sit on the upper deck of the bus, you see so much more from up there than you can see when you’re lower to the ground in a car.
I’ve been living in Cape Town for nearly 20 years and I still enjoy spending a day on the City Sightseeing bus. It’s a fresh perspective and the audio tour is also very interesting, I always learn a lot.
At R180 for 1 day, it’s really good value because it includes a bunch of extras. For instance, you can do a tour of 3 wine farms in Constantia and you can join the free walking tours of the city bowl. The bus routes include more than 30 stops which give you access to over 50 attractions around this city and as far afield as Hout Bay. It would cost a fortune to use a taxi to get to places like Kirstenbosch Gardens, Constantia Wine Route and Hout Bay. R180 is a steal. For those planning to hop off a lot, you can pay R280 for a 2-day pass or R380 for a 3-day pass. It’s also a great way to get to Table Mountain and you can buy your cable-car ticket on the bus, saving you some time in the queue.
Apart from the hop-on, hop-off city tours, City Sightseeing also offers two full-day excursions which are incredible value for money. One is a wine tour out to Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, the other goes out to Cape Point via Boulders Beach (to see the penguins). The wine tour includes wine tastings and the peninsula tour includes the entry fee into the Cape Point Nature reserve. These tours cost R530, and depart each morning, returning at the end of the day.
The cheapest tour to Cape Point is normally double that price and doesn’t include the nature reserve entry fee. Wine tours to Stellenbosch and Franshhoek are usually more than double the price of this tour. Both tours are in an air-conditioned bus with a live tour guide and free wifi. These tours offer unprecedented value and bring this attractions within reach of those who don’t have their own transport and can’t afford a private tour.
For these day tours, you need to book your ticket in advance and the ticket is valid only for the date you select. You’ll also want to confirm at which stop you’ll be jumping on. For the hop-on, hop-off, open-top city tours, you can buy a ticket in advance or simply jump on a bus and buy a ticket from the driver. Use the website to locate the closest stop to you.
The City Sightseeing tours are definitely the best way to see Cape Town. Whether you just do one day to get a feel for the city or you take full advantage of the various tours to get out to the winelands or Cape Point, you’ll have no regrets.
Find out more at the City Sightseeing website.