Cape Town Abbreviations

Cape Town

Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It has a fascinating history and there are a myriad of attractions both in and around the city. Cape Town is also one of the most contrasting cities in the world. The majority of the white population lives in the clean, modern and western part of the city with great promenades and shopping streets. In the east, almost exclusively the colored population lives in cardboard sheds and corrugated iron houses.

The vast majority of visitors fall for Cape Town and are captivated by the great location between two world seas, beneath the mighty Table Mountain.

The city has something for everyone, and families with children, romantic couples, backpackers and big city enthusiasts will quickly find their way in Cape Town. You can spend a week here without getting bored. Some use the city as a starting point for further exploration of South Africa.

Ideally, you should visit Cape Town between November and March. Then the climate is best. The South African winter in June-August can be stormy.

We welcome you to Cape Town and are sure you will get good and lasting memories from this fascinating city.

Get to know Cape Town

Cape Town is at the southern tip of Africa and has about 3.2 million inhabitants. Cape Town is the capital of the Western Cape Province (not in South Africa, which has Pretoria as its capital), and is South Africa’s premier tourist destination. The city center and coastline feels very European, and a casual visitor might as well think he is on the French Riviera. Then it might be good that Nice is Cape Town’s friendship town?

Cape Town doesn’t feel as big as it actually is, perhaps because you can’t find huge steel and glass skyscrapers, magnificent opera houses and cathedrals. But to which we shall return; there is more than enough to see and do. The city is relatively relaxing and the vast majority of visitors are planning to come back. Cape Town is South Africa’s safest city in terms of crime, but, as in any major city, you should exercise caution after dark.

Although apartheid has long since been abolished, it is still a long way to go before all Cape Town residents have equal conditions. In general, we can say that the whites are from wealthy families and on the green branch, while the colored ones are poor and have a considerably poorer starting point in terms of getting up and moving on in life.

For example, you almost never see a colored shop owner or a white cleaning worker. For this reason, Nelson Mandela is not nearly as popular in his home country as he is in Europe. The country’s colored population had expected a radical improvement in its standard of living when he was elected president in 1994, but that did not happen.

The Flats in Cape Town

During the apartheid era, tens of thousands of the city’s colored population were forced out of the areas that the authorities had declared would apply only to whites. They were moved out to the plains southeast of downtown, to an area called Cape Flats or just The Flats. This is a place you should not visit without a reliable guide. The crime rate is very high here, and a white tourist who strolls around on his own will attract massive and unwanted attention.

City Bowl in Cape Town

The city that you as a tourist would normally be most interested in is the City Bowl, the area between Table Bay and the mountain peaks of Table Mountain, Signal Hill, Lion’s Head and Devil’s Peak. Here you will find the train station and close by you have the Castle of Good Hope and the town hall. Here is also the nightlife street Long Street and Greenmarket Square, the market that has existed since the early 18th century.

In The Gardens are many of Cape Town’s museums, the National Gallery, the Botanical Gardens and the Parliament Building.

De Waterkant in Cape Town

North of the City Bowl is De Waterkant. Here you will find the popular area of Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, most commonly just called Waterfront or V&A. This is Cape Town’s answer to Aker Brygge in Oslo. The place has many shops, restaurants and other entertainment options, and people flock here to eat or have a drink overlooking Table Bay and Table Mountain.

Waterfront is becoming a bit too touristy and expensive shopping complex, but it is still nice to spend an afternoon here. From here the boats also go out to Robben Island.

Green Point in Cape Town

If you continue west along the coast, you will reach Green Point. This golf course area and large greenery make up the northernmost part of central Cape Town. Green Point has in recent years been expanded with several restaurants, pubs and bars and is known for having a good and active night life. Every Sunday from 1 p.m. 0800 to 1600 there is a large market around Green Point Stadium. Thousands of sales stalls are set up, and mainly African crafts and art are sold.

Sea Point in Cape Town

The next district you will visit is Sea Point, which consists of 4–5 parallel streets between Signal Hill in the east and the Atlantic in the west. The boardwalk is popular for evening walks and jogging, but the beaches have too strong currents and too cold water for bathing to be recommended.

Along the coast are hotels and boarding houses, while the main road Main Road has restaurants, shops and bars. This was Cape Town’s most fashionable nightlife center before Waterfront took over that role.

Clifton at Cape Town

In Clifton, south of Sea Point and west of Mount Lions Head, you’ll find Cape Town’s most popular beaches. The city’s pretty people gather on the southernmost of Clifton’s four beaches, called Fourth Beach. Here they sunbathe, play volleyball, throw frisbee and sneak peek at each other.

The next beach is a hangout for the gays, while the third attracts students and bohemians. The northernmost beach is least used.

Camps bay at Cape Town

South of Clifton is Camps Bay, [see photo first in article]. The beach here is long, wide, white and beautiful and surrounded by palm trees. Along the seafront are lunch restaurants and bars. Camps Bay is surprisingly pristine and crowded considering how idyllic it is and how close it is to downtown Cape Town. But of course a lot of visitors come here on weekends.

Cape Town Facts

CAPE TOWN – South Africa’s third largest city and capital in the state of the Western Cape.

Population

Around 3.2 million

Language:

Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda and Xitsonga.

Control Form

Republic

Religion

67% Christians, other African traditional religions 29%.

Time Difference

Cape Town is 1 hour ahead of Norway, in summer time there is no difference

Currency

South African Rand. 100 rand equals approximately 90 Norwegian kroner. Credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard are accepted in most major locations such as hotels and restaurants. There are plenty of ATMs available.

Tips

In most places, service is included in the bill. If not 10% is usual to give in places to eat and in taxis.

Embassy

Norwegian Consulate at 2805 ABSA Center, 2 Riebeeck Street. Tel: +27 21 418 1276.

Tourist

Corner Castle Street / Burg Street, just west of the train station.

Telephone

27

Emergency

Police 112 (from mobile. 10111 from regular telephone), ambulance 10117

Electricity

220/250 volts. Norwegian equipment can be used, but you will need an adapter as the sockets have three pins.

Holidays and Holidays

January 1st, March 21st, April 27th, May 1st, June 16th, August 9th, September 24th, December 16th. If any of these fall on a Sunday, the Monday becomes a public holiday.

Visa

No visa requirement for Norwegian citizens. However, the passport must be valid for at least six months after the visit is completed and the passport must contain at least two blank pages.

Vaccinations

No vaccines are required, but if you come from another African country you may be required proof that you are vaccinated against yellow fever. Hepatitis A and B vaccine is recommended.

Water

Do not drink from the tap.

Nearest major cities

Stellenbosch, Paarl, George.

Safety

Crime is a problem in South Africa, but Cape Town’s central areas are not among the worst. Pocket thieves and handbags are tricking, and be careful about ATM withdrawals. Car thefts and hijacking are not uncommon.