Ins and outs

Getting to Cape Town

Cape Town International Airport
, is 22 km east of the city centre. Shuttle services run from kiosks in the international arrivals hall. Alternatively you can pre-book one through your hotel, guesthouse or backpacker hostel; directly through
Magic Bus
, that drops off at hotels and guesthouses; or the
Backpacker Bus
that takes you to the backpacker hostel.
running between the airport and town centre should have a special
airport licence and they must use their meter
by law.

Within international
Cape Town Tourism
can arrange accommodation and has a number of maps and leaflets to give out. The
Master Currency
exchange counter remains open for international arrivals and there are ATMs. You can hire mobile phones at
Vodacom's Rentaphone desk
, at domestic departures, or from
MTN's Cell Place
, outlet at international departures. Look out for joint deals between car hire companies and mobile phone companies.

The main
railway station
is in the centre of town and is also the terminus for the longcoach companies, Greyhound, Intercape and Translux. 

Transport in Cape Town

Most of Cape Town's oldest buildings, museums, galleries and the commercial centre are concentrated in a relatively small area and best explored on foot. However, to explore more of the city, and to visit Table Mountain, the suburbs or the beaches, it's a good idea to rent a car. Otherwise, taxis are affordable, particularly if you use
's shared taxis .

Sightseeing Cape Town
is a red, double-decker, open-top, hop-on hop-off bus that follows a 2¼-hour route around the city. There are two routes; the Red Route has 13 stops and a bus comes by every 20 minutes, while the Blue Route has 13 stops and buses come by every 50 minutes. Audio-commentary is available in eight languages and there's a special kids
channel. The main ticket kiosk is outside the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront,
however you can buy tickets online and join anywhere on the routes. It's ideal if you don't want to drive, and stops include the Lower Cableway Station, Camps Bay, Kirstenbosch, all the city centre museums, and as far south as Hout Bay on the peninsula. The buses are wheelchair friendly.

Public transport is in the way of Golden Arrow buses, which depart from the bus station in the city centre next to the Grand Parade and follow all the major routes where bus stops are clearly denoted, and minibus taxis which also ply the main roads and can be flagged
down on the side of the street . The latter are not particularly recommended
to visitors, as there is the danger of petty crime on the crowded vehicles, but nevertheless they are cheap. However public road transport in Cape Town is about to go through a transformation as the city's
Integrated Rapid Transport
(IRT) plan develops. Transport will be in large buses, which will have their own exclusive dedicated traffic lanes with stations on the main roads, and will therefore operate in a similar way to trams or light railways. The vehicles and stations will be equipped for wheelchairs and prams, and will have CCTV and security guards.

Cape Town Tourist information

Cape Town Tourism
 the city tourist office, can help with bookings and tours throughout the Western Cape. It is an excellent source of information and a good first stop in the city. In addition to providing practical information about Cape Town, it can help with accommodation bookings and has plenty of information on nightlife and events. It is also home to
Western Cape Tourism and there is a
South Africa National Parks
) desk,
, where you can make reservations for the parks. There's also a café, gift shop and internet access.
There are 18 other branches/desks throughout the Cape, the most useful of which is at the
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.

If you are planning a trip to Namibia, it is well worth picking up maps and brochures at the
Namibian Tourist Office
There's also a Namibia Wildlife Resorts desk where you can pre-book accommodation in Namibia's national parks .

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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