Cape Town Travel Guide & Information

Cape Town, the second largest city in South Africa and the capital of the Western Cape Province is also one of the most iconic cities in the world. Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town was originally developed by the Dutch East India Company as a supply station for Dutch ships sailing to Eastern Africa, India and the Far East. Travel to Cape Town, a city with a diverse range of attractions, sights and activities to offer. Whether you are looking for lavish and luxurious vacation or back-packing on a budget, Cape Town has something for everyone.

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Book flights to Cape Town and travel to a distinctive city with so much to see and do; you’ll find a variety of attractions, ranging from the landmark beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay, to the vibrant V&A Waterfront and the Cape Town city center, to the award winning wine farms of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. The impressive presence of Table Mountain, flanked by the legendary Devil's Peak and historical Signal Hill, stands proudly above the city.

Cape Town boasts a multitude of other things to do as well, ranging from outdoor activities and adventures in the sun, to a roaring night life under neon signs. The iconic city provides a setting for many scenic wonders, magnificent seascapes and panoramic vistas. The architecture, cuisine, music and dance, make Cape Town an ideal holiday destination.

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Things to do in Cape Town

Museums:

Each Cape Town museum celebrates the arts, history and culture of this great city.

Bo-Kaap Museum: Dating back to the 1760s, it is the oldest house in the area still maintains its original design. It highlights the cultural contributions made by early Muslim settlers, many of whom were skilled tailors, carpenters, shoe makers and builders. Bo-Kaap also contains 19th century furnishings, which include a fine Cape drop-leaf dining table, Cape Regency-style chairs and a bridal chamber decorated to match the bride's dress, to name a few.

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District Six Museum: Built in 1994, this museum serves as a remembrance to the events of the apartheid era, as well as the culture and history before. This museum also includes street signs from the old district, displays of the histories and lives of District Six families and historical explanations of the life of the District.

Must See:

Cape Town is home to a plethora of attractions that travelers should consider adding to their itinerary.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens: Kirstenbosch is the name of a famous botanical garden nestled at the foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town. The garden is one of eight National Botanical Gardens covering five of South Africa's six different biomes. The garden includes a large, indoor greenhouse with plants from a number of different regions, including savanna, fynbos, karoo and others.

Castle of Good Hope: The Castle of Good Hope is a star fort built on the original coastline of Table Bay. Built by the Dutch East India Company between 1666 and 1679, the Castle is the oldest building in South Africa. The Castle acted as local headquarters for the South African Army in the Western Cape. Today, Castle of Good Hope houses the Castle Military Museum and ceremonial facilities for the traditional Cape Regiments.

Robben Island: Robben Island is an island in Table Bay, off the coast of Cape Town. Flat and only a few meters above sea level, as a result of an ancient erosion event.

Being a premier tourist destination, Cape Town has an abundance of accommodation options, ranging from cheap hotels to 4-Star Hotels Under $99, spas, resorts, hostels and more.

Waterfront & Sea Point / Green Ponit: The Waterfront complex offers an array of shops, restaurants and entertainment in the Waterfront. The area boasts some of the most renowned 5-star hotels. Near to the Waterfront, you’ll find Green Point, a busy area, but very centrally located and just near the next suburb, Sea Point. Sea Point has a superb promenade for sunset walks and many restaurants and shops.

Camps Bay: Camps Bay is an affluent suburb of Cape Town. In summer it attracts a large number of visitors, as well as South Africans vacationing. It is renowned for its white sandy beaches set amongst swaying palm trees and offers a trendy nightlife. There are many restaurants situated along the beach front, which are popular with visitors and locals alike.

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Passport & Visa Requirements

For US Citizens:

As per the latest travel information for Cape Town, the following requirements are passport and visa guidelines to assist you further.

* Visitors to South Africa for tourism, short business meetings, or those in transit do not require visas for stays of up to 90 days.

* In the event a traveler overstays the 90-day time period without a permit issued by the South African Department of Home Affairs, he or she may be subject to a fine.

* Visit the Embassy of South Africa website for the most current visa information.

For Canadian Citizens:

* A valid Canadian passport is required for Canadians intending to visit Cape Town.

* The passport must be valid for a period of at least 30 days beyond the date of your expected departure from South Africa.

* Please ensure you have sufficient visa pages for travel to neighboring countries and back to South Africa for the whole duration of your trip.

This requirement applies to all travelers, regardless of age, including children.

We recommend that you check the latest travel alerts, various airlines baggage policies and travel safety tips, so that you do not miss out on any of the fun while visiting Cape Town.

*Kindly note that we take the utmost care in providing you with correct information at all times. However, the passport and visa regulations are subject to change and we strongly urge you to check the requirements directly with the US passport office and, or the Canadian Passport Office before traveling.

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When to visit Cape Town

Cape Town is a popular year round destination, although the summer can be fairly hot and humid. Peak travel times are from November through January. The area is particularly crowded during school holidays, especially the South African summer vacation period from December through mid January.

February through March and October are excellent times to visit because the weather is nice, but the city sees fewer crowds. This is also an ideal time to visit Cape Town for budget travelers as flights are cheaper and hotels are discounted.

Planning your Visit:

High season: (November to January)

Low season: (March to September)

Cape Town Weather

Cape Town is located on the Cape Peninsula and has a Mediterranean climate with dry summers and wet winters.

* Winters are between the months of May and August and can be characterized by heavy rains, particularly on the mountain slopes, strong north-westerly winds and low temperatures.

* During summer, the weather in Cape Town is warm and dry, but the idyllic sunny weather is often punctuated with strong south easterly winds.

Currency and Language:

Currency:

Rand is the official currency of Cape Town.

ATMs are available Throughout Cape Town. Before traveling, contact your bank to let them know where you’re going and to find out what the fees will be for using an ATM abroad.

Languages:

* While the most commonly spoken language in Cape Town is Afrikaans, English is commonly spoken.

* Still. Knowing a few phrases will ensure a better experience.