So last year we discovered one of Cape Town’s best kept secrets when we went on a CitySightSeeing Tour all around the South Peninsula. This year we were invited to explore the City Centre. There is a lot to be said for being a tourist in your own town. We live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world but we don’t often visit the city centre.
We headed straight for the Waterfront, where the Red City Bus begins its tour…
We started out bright and early… on a glorious winter’s day.
One thing we can say about Cape Town is there is a lot of construction and technology… and my construction kid was in her element.
And our city is full of Red City Buses…
The gang quickly got into the spirit of hopping off and on the bus…
Definitely a City of Blue Skies…
Our First Stop was Cape Town Tourism
There was much heated debate about where we were on the map and we were instantly “lost”… never mind there are lots of helpful folk in the centre of town and they all new where to send us. And what a warm welcome we received. We now have a veritable mountain of pamphlets for dozens of potential outings. Such helpful staff and so excited to tell us about where to go and what to see… not even slightly phased that we were Capetonians, because, “Surely everyone wants to see all the sights this wonderful city has to offer.”
Green Market Square
By this stage the square was beginning to stir and stands were being set up and getting ready for action… no rushing around mind you, this is chilled out Cape Town… and there is only one pace, the slow pace. There are so many colours and sites to see, definitely worth lingering over.
St. Georges Cathedral
We were so close to the cathedral that we thought we should stop by… we are always on our way past it to a museum or something and our kids had never actually been inside. We recent;y read about it in history and they all wanted to take a look at the stained glass windows.
There was a little surprise waiting for us around the side… all of us were looking very respectively at the tombs until a man came past and picked one up and put it down to the side… Turns out it wasn’t a real graveyard at all and we had stumbled onto the Homeland (season IV) set…
This is one of our favourite places to visit in the city… you find the best soda splits here and lots and lots of interesting things to see. What really grabbed our attention was the newly planted vegetable garden… stepping back in history to when the Cape was a refreshment station, for ships traveling between Europe and the East.
The Company Gardens happens to be at the hub of Cape Town Museums: The Natural History Museum, The Slave Lodge, The National Art Gallery, The Holocaust Museum, the Planetarium, to name a few.
Then we hopped back on the bus for a drive through the city neighbourhoods…
This was our next stop for a quick lunch before we went for a wander through the colourful houses. We made a quick visit to the Bo-Kaap Museum and we did a little shopping at the Atlas Trading Company, where you can buy any number of wonderful spices and curry powders… and the smell is just heaven. We lingered at a corner cafe for cool drinks before hopping back onto the bus.
Back on the bus and we went up to the city heights and the base of the Cable Car Station, all ready to take visitors to the very top… Honestly, when you are just beneath it, I cannot believe we hiked up there… anyway, it is very scenic and lovely and yet again another spot that we don’t often visit… and the whole point of being a tourist in your own town is to head for places like these.
We stayed on the bus… and had a careful look at a potential future hike…
And down into Camps Bay, a seaside town like our own… but much more upmarket. This is where you are quite likely to bump into the rich and famous and the associated paparazzi. We didn’t meet anyone, we had one purpose and that was ice-cream.
Back on the bus and through Sea Point, past the Promenade…
Near the end of the tour and this is a brilliant little corner to stop… We didn’t stop here this time, but when my kids saw all that was going on, well… there is mini-golf, the teeny tiny blue train, and of course out favourite park: Green Point Park.
And back on the bus for a quick ride back into the Waterfront and a stop at one of our favourite places… the aquarium.
Se7en + 1 Quick Facts About the Tour
And that is a Tour of the Centre of Cape Town thanks to City SightSeeing and the Red City Bus… I can say we had an absolute blast.
- There is a special deal on KIDS tickets until the end of October. During school holidays, public holidays and weekends: two children go free for every paying adult. That is a drastically reduced price and pops this outing straight into the “must do category.”
- If you buy your tickets online you can reduce the price of your tickets by almost 30% more.
- This outing is right up with the Aquarium for outings that are specifically geared towards families in Cape Town. The staff are all incredibly friendly and helpful. We declare this a tip top family friendly outing.
- Your children will not need extra entertainment during the bus ride at all, there is so much to see and do.
- Such an easy outing, you need to take are the clothes you are wearing, because you are in the city center there are tons of places to hop off and get a snack, a cool drink and find a bathroom.
- If I was an overseas visitor, I would say this is a must “get on and go” outing… As a local it is possibly the easiest way to get to see all the landmarks you have been dying to see but just can’t face the traffic…
- You and your kids will learn so much… as a homeschooling family, I would consider this trip to be an entire semester of Social Studies. Getting to know your city – really well worth it.
- The bus trip takes just over two hours, we highly recommend that you make a day of it… visiting heaps of good spots for kids and families all over Cape Town.
And the se7en + 1th…
We would really like to thank CitySightSeeing and the Red City Bus, for giving us the tickets, for review purposes, so that we could take a tour and tell our readers about the fantastic special deal for families. We were not paid to write this post and the opinions expressed are entirely our own.