Are you a first time visitor to Cape Town with limited time and budget? Don’t fret because City Sightseeing’s Hop On – Hop Off Bus is an absolute godsend! Inexpensive, safe, and most importantly SAFE. Also, I don’t recall Cape Town having a subway or a bus system, so take my word for it: if you don’t have a car, jumping on the Hop On – Hop is my recommended way of covering all of this city’s gorgeous sights.
During my recent trip to Cape Town last December, I purchased a 2-day ticket online for my whole family. Tickets include ALL bus tours and free access to the Night Tour, Canal Cruise, and Walking Tour. Tickets can be bought from ticket offices, but buying online can save you a few dollars. To know more about the specific details, click here.
I asked our hotel’s shuttle driver to take us to the nearest redemption center— 81 Long Street. It’s one of the stops, and home to one of City Sightseeing’s ticketing office. The redemption process was quick and the people manning the place were very approachable. They even give out crayons and papers to families with kids and toddlers.
81 Long Street was quite reminiscent of London—Victorian architecture and cobbled streets. There are a lot of coffee shops and restaurants in the area, but I believe it’s famous for being a short hop onto Greenmarket Square, one of Cape Town’s oldest flea markets. My mom wanted to “check” the market out, but I didn’t let her, because I was 100% sure that we wouldn’t be able to do anything else or visit the other stops if I allowed the shopaholic to do so. I swear she needs therapy.
I was stunned the moment I stepped through the gates of Kirstenbosch Garden. I knew I was visiting a garden, but I did not expect it to be that BIG… and beautiful. If you’re a plant enthusiast, you can visit the theme and demonstration gardens, or read about the flora and fauna. If you’re craving for some adventure, you can either explore the different trails of the garden or hike the adjacent Table Mountain. If you just want to let time pass, feel free to relax on one of the many benches or enjoy a cup of tea at one of the restaurants or tea garden. If you like the feeling of soft grass beneath your bare feet, make sure to bring picnic blankets and baskets. I remember spotting a group of young ladies wearing flower crowns on their heads while having a little tea party. It was just lovely. There are so many things to see and do at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden; it’s definitely a must-see for both lovers and non-lovers of nature.
Come on, who wouldn’t want to see and walk through Cape Town’s vibrant Muslim quarter? It gives tourists a different perspective of the city and is obviously perfect for photo op.
We spent most of our nights and celebrated Christmas Eve at this place. There are a number of good shops, and a wide selection of restaurants with different cuisines [and dining styles] to choose from. It’s also next to Watershed, which is home to beautifully crafted and creatively designed goods produced entirely in Africa. I’m a sucker for local stuff, and I LOVED every minute at the Watershed. Beautifully designed space, the moving sound of a local band, and mouth-watering homemade pastries! Too bad we discovered it during our last day in Cape Town.
I fell in love with Native Young the moment they started doing their thing. Their music was something I have never heard before; It’s the kind of sound that tingles your ears, enriches your soul, and sends chills down your spine. For some reason, I had images of sunrise, sunsets, lions, and wildlife, while listening to them. I think I might have spent a good thirty minutes just watching them, and I still bought myself a CD, even if my dad already got one! He was like “You’re crazy.” And I was like “I know.” *puts CD in my bag and walks away*
If you’re planning a trip to Cape Town and have no idea where to start, I highly recommend going for the Hop On – Hop Off Bus. The buses are on time; audio commentary is informative; seats are well-maintained; and the open top buses make sightseeing and photo taking even better. And oh, please don’t forget to bring sunblock!