Cape Town is one of the nicest seaside city of South Africa. Visit Cape Town could be a great idea and experience for you. It has charming districts, lifestyle, natural beauty and much more. Around 4.5 million people living in Cape Town. You will find detailed information in this Cape Town city guide about the cities history, public transport and places to see.
Visit Cape Town
History of Cape Town
Cape Town is one of the oldest settlement in South Africa. It also is known as a Mother City and fossils found dating back to 5 million years. There were people who are living in this area around 27.000 years ago in foothills of the Table Mountains.
Cape Town explored by the Portueges voyager Bartholomeu Dias in 1488. Before that, there is no written history of the city. The first colonists arrived the Cape after 1488. The next European in the area was the Vasco de Gama. he was looking for a route from Europe to Asia, then he found the Cape in 1497. Famous Table Mountain gets its name from Portuguese admiral Antonio de Saldanha in 1503.
Dutch arrived the city in 1652 can colonial times began for the Cape. More than a century Cape remained under Dutch presence until 1795, then again between 1803 and 1806. Around 1754 French and Britians had a couple of wars with each other. Cape Town remained under colonial powers until the 1950s. On 31 May 1961 country gets its own independence from British and country became the Republic of South Africa
Cape Town Airport
Cape Town International airport is kinda hub for the country and its neighbours. It is also 2nd busiest airport in the country and 3rd one in Africa. The airport is around 20 kilometres away from the city centre. You can use MyCiti rapid bus lines to reach the city centre quickly. Unfortunately, Cape Town International Airport doesn’t have a railway connection but you can take a taxi or hire a car of course.
Public Transport in Cape Town
It is not the best one in the world but the city has an efficient public transportation system. You have loıts of options to take like buses, trains, taxis… You can discover every corner of the Mother City… But don’t forget there are delays and cancellations for the trains, always ready for plan B.
You can use minibus taxis to get around. They have around 14-16 seat per taxi and it’s kinda cheap and affordable. There a lot of minibus taxis in the city and you can find them in major main roads and Cape Town train stations. Don’t forget to carry change with you.
Golden Arrow Buses
This company server more than 150 years as a public transportation company. There more than 1000 buses operate around 1300 routes every day. You can buy a weekly or monthly pass card to use in Golden Arrow buses.
Maybe it’s not in the very best shape but Metrorail serves almost 700.000 people every day. It is a common thing cable thief on Metrorail and it causes lots of amounts of delays. So be prepared…
Meter Taxis, Cabs and MyCiti
It is not the cheapest one but if you can’t find any buses or trains you can think to use meter taxis or cabs to get around. Just to be sure about the price before not to get scammed by drivers. There is also MyCiti options for public transport. Company founded in 2010 and it provides fast, reliable and affordable transport for the people. You can use MyCiti buses to get airport also.
Top 5 Places to See in Cape Town
1. City Hall & the Castle of Good Hope
If you are addicted to history you should see these unique landmarks. They are both very close almost 5 minutes walking distance from the central Cape Town. They built in 1905 with Italian Neo-Renaissance and British colonial style. City Hall looks similar to the Big Ben in London with its 60 high meter bell tower. Nelson Mandela also addressed the people from buildings balcony in 1990 after the 27 years of improvement.
Across the road, you can see The Castle of Good Hope and it is the oldest stone building in whole of Africa. Castle was built between 1666 and 1679 as a residence for the Governor and to protect the early settlers. It is interesting that there was no attack to this castle anytime.
2. Table Mountain
This natural beauty lies down the south of the Cape Town and it gets its name from the flat-topped summit. Table Mountain is one of the most photographed natural landmarks in South Africa. Mountain mostly consists of slate and sandstone. There is also Table Mountain National park which takes Table Mountain to within its borders. The highest point of the mountain is about 1100 meters high.
3. The Heart of Cape Town Museum
Museum opened in 2007 in order to honour the 40th year of the anniversary of the first heart transplantation performed by the Christiaan Barnard. You can take a two hours long tour of the operation facilities and recreations. Basically, it is a health museum.
4. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
This botanic garden is located the eastern slopes of the Table Mountain and it is in the UNESCO World Heritage site. The garden founded around 1913 to protect and preserve the country’s flora and it is probably the first botanical garden in its mission. There more than 20.000 of South Africa species and have the area around 530 hectares. There are also free guided tours and you can join one of them to enjoy this natural beauty.
5. The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Every year more than 20 millions of people visits here. It is Africa’s most visited destination. It also has the oldest working harbour in the southern part of the world. Most of the older building in here restored and today they serve as shops, cinemas, museums and schools and more… There is Rugby Museum, Two Oceans Aquarium where hold more than 300 species of fishes from both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is one of the must to see places in Cape Town.
Cape Town has its own unique meaning for South Africa. It is the first place that the Europen colonists set foot in South Africa. ıf you’re thinking to visit Cape Town quit thinking and start planning to go there! Please share your knowledge and experiences about Cape Town.