Transportation in Cape Town
Transportation in Cape Town is relatively far developed for South African standards. However, there is neither a subway nor a tram system in Cape Town. The Metrorail connects the city with its suburbs, but apart from that, all connections have to be made either by bus or by taxi.
Public transportation in South Africa is rarely developed compared to other countries in the world. Cape Town is an exception in this regard as there is at least one well working bus system which is usable for tourists, too. At the same time, the number of rail connections to other cities in South Africa is very small as there are very few trains besides the luxury train to Johannesburg.
Metrorail in Cape Town
Metrorail Western Cape is a commuter and suburban train system which is connecting Cape Town with other cities and towns in the Western Cape Area. The network is quite extensive, making Metrorail Western Cape one of the most used means of public transportation in whole South Africa.
Yet, Metrorail is rarely used by tourists as there are some concerns about safety. Moreover, Metrorail is mainly connecting suburbs with the city center, making it not very useful for touristic purposes.
Metrorail lines in Cape Town:
- Bellville Line: Cape Town – Bellville/Wellington/Muldersvlei/Strand
- Bonteheuwel Line: Cape Town – Bellville/Kapteinsklip/Chris Hani
- Cape Flats Line: Cape Town – Retreat
- Simonstown Line: Cape Town – Simonstown
Buses in Cape Town
As there are neither trams nor a subway in Cape Town, the only means of public transportation are buses. There are different operators with Golden Arrow Buses and MyCiTi being the biggest ones. Golden Arrow Buses are mainly used by the inhabitants to get from their homes to work and though are not really a mode of transport for tourists.
MyCiTi buses instead are way easier to use for tourists as the system was introduced especially for the World Cup 2010. This means that the routes are stopping at major touristic attractions. The buses are also known to be very safe and modern compared to the often old and run down buses operated by Golden Arrow.
- Overview of all MyCiTi lines in Cape Town
- Live Journey Planner for MyCiTi buses
- Fare Calculator for MyCiTi buses
Taxis in Cape Town
Taxis in the city center of Cape Town are known to be safe and convenient. There have not been any recent reports about accidents or fraud. This means that you can safely use taxis in Cape Town even as a tourist. Be aware that there are different taxi companies which offer different fares.
However, most taxis come with a taximeter and it is definitely recommendable to just board those. Fares usually start at approximately 10 ZAR (~ 0.65 Euro / 0.75 US-Dollar). Every further kilometer is also charged approximately 10 ZAR. Even though taxis are way more expensive than buses, they are still quite cheap compared to the US or Europe.
- The normal base fare is 10 ZAR (~ 0.65 Euro / 0.75 US-Dollar)
- Every kilometer is charged 10 ZAR (~ 0.65 Euro / 0.75 US-Dollar)
Other means of transport in Cape Town
Tourists can enjoy several different means of transportation to get around in Cape Town. For example, CitySightseeing offers tours in open top buses. We did one of those and enjoyed it quite a lot. Another special means of transport is the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway which gets you up on Table Mountain to go either hiking or just enjoy the view.
Be aware that the prices for the cableway are quite steep and the waiting time to board can easily be more than two hours. Last but not least, the ferry services to Robben Island which include a tour of the island are worth a mention. Those are not cheap, but definitely worth the experience!
- Use the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway to get up to Table Mountain
- Use the Robben Island Ferry to visit Robben Island