The historical yet cosmopolitan city of Cape Town is rich in contrast and colour and really does have something for everyone. It is surrounded by picaresque beaches, towering mountains and quaint wine estates, whilst also being home to countless unique restaurants, charming markets and compelling museums and galleries.
With so much to see and do in this beautiful city, an important consideration any traveller will have is how to get around, so, we have compiled a list of the most convenient, safe and affordable means of transport which operate in and around Cape Town.
Walking in Cape Town
We advise that during the day you explore the city of Cape Town on foot. It is safe to do so and you will discover the real hidden gems of the city by wondering around the incredibly diverse areas. Take a stroll through the colourful streets of Bokaap, soak up the Victorian architecture that lines historic Long Street, stop to feed the squirrels in Company Gardens and most importantly don’t forget to look up and marvel at the majestic Table Mountain! Cape Town is home to wonderfully unique restaurants, bars and coffee houses and you will definitely stumble across the best ones whilst moseying through the streets of the city.
Recommended areas to explore by foot:
- Town Centre- District Six
- Company Gardens
- Kloof Street, Long Street and Green Market Square
- Sea Point/ Mouille Point promenade
- Camps Bay and Clifton
Taxis in Cape Town
The next most convenient means of exploring the city is by private taxi. Uber is now an established service here in South Africa and it is safe, reliable and extremely cheap. Although everything within the city bowl is easily assessable by foot, if you want to head to the beach for the day or treat yourself to a fancy lunch in Camps Bay, the Table Mountain range stands proudly in your way and an air conditioned taxi will definitely be more appealing than walking!
Other than Uber there are two other established taxi companies in Cape Town- Excite and Rikkis and both provide affordable and reliable services. These will be your best options when you want to explore further out of the city for example the winelands of Stellenbosch or Cape Peninsula.
Taxi Travel Resources & Links
Bus Travel in Cape Town
There are two main types of buses that operate in and around the city. The MyCiTi bus system is the newest and in general the most preferable option to take. The buses are modern and for the most part arrive on time!
The most convienient way to use the MyCiti bus service is to purchase a bus card from the main MyCiti depo which is located by the Gardens Centre in Town. You can then load money onto your card.
Golden Arrow buses are your next best bet. Although they look very ‘African’ they are very safe and operate on all routes in and around the city.
Bus Travel Resources & Links
- Our preferred bus provider – MyCiTi Website
- MyCiTi bus map – PDF
- MyCiTi bus timetables – MyCiTi timetable
- Golden Arrow bus timetable – Golden Arrow bus timetable
Car Hire in Cape Town
There are a huge number of car hire companies in and around Cape Town and you will have a large number of differently priced vehicles to choose from. On average for a middle of the range car, you will be spending between R150-R200 per day. For most car hire companies in Cape Town it is possible to rent a car if you are under 21.
In Cape Town we drive on the left hand side of the road. The roads are generally in good condition and are well sign posted but it is a good idea to have a map in your car, especially when trying to navigate the roads in the city bowl.
Recommended car hire companies:
Organised tours in Cape Town
You also have the option to explore Cape Town by joining an organised tour. There are countless reputable tour companies which operate in the city and you have the choice to join a walking tour, a bicycle tour or a bus tour of the city. The Hop on Hop off tourist bus gives you the freedom to discover Cape Town at your own pace because you can buy a ticket for the day and spend as much time at each exciting hop off location as you want. Each bus has educational audio commentary and the service operates 365 days a year.
More information about the hop on hop off bus can be found at:
Alternatively you can join a walking tour of the city led by professional guides who would be delighted to show you the hidden gems of Cape Town. There are a variety of walking tours you can join and each explores a different area of the city. You can choose to discover more about the city’s rich heritage on a historical walking tour, or learn about the colourful Cape Malay culture on a tour of Bokaap, or soak up the beauty of the harbour on a V&A Waterfront tour.
Recommended walking tours:
- Nielsen tours Cape Town – Free walking tours
- City Sightseeing Cape Town: City sight seeing – Cape Town
Another great way of exploring Cape Town is by bicycle! Bicycle tours provide an interactive way of discovering the city and offer you the opportunity to meet local people while learning more about Cape Town’s cultural legacy.
Recommended bicycle tours:
- Awol tours – Awol Tours
- Bike and Saddle – BIke and Saddle the Cape
- City Cycle tours: Cape Town – City cycle tour
We have published a free PDF guide that explains almost everything you need to know about visiting Cape Town.