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do I need a car in Cape Town??

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posts: 9
do I need a car in Cape Town??

Hi there, I'm going to be staying at the Portswood Hotel in Cape Town in late November for 5 nights, then I going to drive up to Plett Bay for 3 nights, then onto P.E for a 1 night safari.

I am obviously going to have a car for the drive North, but I wanted to know if I need a car for Cape Town also?

I could pick one up upon arrival at Cape Town Airport and keep it for 9 days until I fly out of P.E, or I could pick one up the day before we leave Cape Town and also keep it until we depart P.E, which would save me 4 days rental and about £120.00+, but would it be worth it?

Should I really have one for Cape Town to explore the city, or can I just do it on tours and taxi's?

Thanks for the help, much appreciated.

Destination Expert
for Cape Town
posts: 3,516
1. Re: do I need a car in Cape Town??

Really depends on how you plan to spend your 5 nights. Your hotel is in the heart of the V & A Waterfront. This is safe to wander around day and evening with lots of shops restaurants, departure point for Robben Island etc.If you plan to go further afield, like winelands, Kirstenbosch, Boulders Beach to see the penquins, Cape Point then I would recommend a car. There really is no public transport and whilst you can get taxi's you have to be sure they are reliable ones. I personally prefer my own car to going on excursions with their set programmes and timetables. So, certainly you could manage without one but better with one.

Cape Town, South...
posts: 1,487
reviews: 1
2. Re: do I need a car in Cape Town??

Hi there, I tend to agree with the previous poster, but there is the option of doing some day tours with the Hylton Ross tour company, they offer tours to the winelands and various other full day and half day tours. There is also the hop on hop off bus from the Waterfront that costs R95/day and this will take you all over, even to Camps Bay etc. Here is a link, I see this is also run by Hylton Ross, they are a reputable company:


Being situated in the Waterfront does help enormously. I reckon if I was you, I'd work out how much the tours etc would cost and see if you would be saving not having a car, or if it would cost you more in the long run.

Kind Regards.

posts: 9
3. Re: do I need a car in Cape Town??

Thanks very much for your reply, much appreciated. I think I should get a car, although staying in the heart of it at the V&A, it would be good to have the freedom to move around at will. I would also more than likey take a tour while visiting the winelands, so I can have a drink....!!

On another note, being a young couple of 26. Where is the best place to go out for meals and drinks, the V&A or I read something about Long Street.. any knowledge?


posts: 39
4. Re: do I need a car in Cape Town??

Hey guys,

I would definitely recommend hiring a car! Public transport in Cape Town really isn't great- there are a few train routes and local taxi routes which are usually safe if travelling from Cape Town down to about Simonstown- but that's obviously very limiting. Go for a car! It's def worth it!

Also, hiring a taxi is fairly pricey (about R8/km). So for example, if travelling from the Waterfront to Cape Point return, you'll do at least 100km. Obviously tours will do it cheaper...But rather hire a car.

OK, so now that's out of the way...Places to eat/drink. When you arrive in Cape Town, I'd recommend that you buy a copy of "EATOUT"- a magazine featuring about 100 restaurants in and around Cape Town. Should be able to get it at a shop like "CNA"-there is one in the Waterfront.

Long Street has quite a few nice places to eat/drink- I'd also head to Kloof Nek Road/Drive- places like "rafikis or cafe vespa" are pretty decent. Heading out towards the winelands, I'd go to Franschhoek. Really scenic valley with wonderful wine farms and the best restaurants in Africa/Southern hemisphere :)

Another nice town on the Cape Peninsula is Kalk Bay- they've got a really nice place that you could have breakfast at (called Olympia Cafe-it's on the Main road travelling south towards Cape Point). There's also "Cape to Cuba" and the "Brass Bell"-both nice for dinners/sundowners (maybe stop there after a day at Cape Point).

They're both right on the water...

Hope this helps you, have a great stay.


Port Elizabeth
Destination Expert
for South Africa
posts: 5,542
5. Re: do I need a car in Cape Town??

How about a compromise?

Explore the waterfront, do Robben Island and the wines tour and then pick up a car for your last 2 days in Cape Town.

posts: 9
6. Re: do I need a car in Cape Town??

Thanks again for your help.

What about partying in Cape Town? I don't want to sound like a worried tourist, but where is safe to go out partying til the early hours in Cape Town?

Many Thanks.

Destination Expert
for Barcelona
posts: 8,505
reviews: 18
7. Re: do I need a car in Cape Town??

Definitely have a car. It will be worth it for Boulders Beach (Penguins) and Cape Point alone.

For eating out we found http://www.dining-out.co.za/ really useful.

Cape Town, South...
posts: 1,487
reviews: 1
8. Re: do I need a car in Cape Town??

Hello again,

One thing about partying that comes to mind is having cocktails in Camps Bay, i know my son and his wife love going there. I've actually just emailed my daughter in law to ask your questionas about partying, they're the same sort of age as you and they lived in London for two years, so will probably understand what you're looking for, keep checking the forum, I'll post her advice when she mails me. I'm a bit old to know about cool places to party, but not too old to remember that its lovely to be young and wanting a good time.

Kind Regards.

Dublin, Ireland
posts: 42
reviews: 11
9. Re: do I need a car in Cape Town??

There was always a good band and crowd at Dizzys bar in Camps Bay at the week-ends. Nice restaurants too. We went last September and the value for money was incredible. Beautiful scenic drive to Cape Point or Hermannus.

10. Re: do I need a car in Cape Town??

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