We have been in Cape Town for a little over two weeks and we are loving every moment of our time here. Prior to this trip, we spent over 6 months living in this beautiful city so we have certainly mastered the public transportation system and are excited to share our advice on how to get around in Cape Town.  If you have data on your phone, Uber, is our number one pick but check out our full run down of all your options below:

Metered cab

It is fairly easy to find a metered cab in Cape Town but there are certain precautions you must take to make sure you don’t get ripped off. It is important to note that legitimate cabs will have their company name and fares printed on their side door. If a cab doesn’t have that information, it is possible your driver will overcharge you. Even legitimate cabs may take advantage of you when they see that you are not from the area. Make sure your driver runs the meter and doesn’t try to offer you a flat rate. Beware that some drivers will try to pull a fast one on you and they will start driving without their meter on. By the time you realize the meter is off there isn’t much you can do to bargain with them and you will have to accept the inflated flat rate they give you.

If you do want to pay a flat rate you must be smart about it. Know how much the approximate cost to your destination should be and agree on a price with your driver before getting in the car.

Stick to reliable companies such as Rikki’s, Intercab or Excite.

Uber

Yes, they have Uber in Cape Town. If you have an international data plan, this will be one of the best and cheapest ways to get around the city. More information about Uber rates in Cape Town can be found here.

Within the city, we usually spend around 35-50 ZAR for a ride. Not a bad price tag for a safe and reliable transportation option. If you are new to Uber, we recommend downloading the app before you arrive in Cape Town. Click here for your first ride free (up to $20)

MyCiTi Buses

Cape Town’s bus system is another great option to get around the city. It is important to note that buses do not accept cash so you must buy a myconnect card for 30 ZAR before boarding. You can purchase a card at MyCiTi stations or at certain retailers around Cape Town (see the full list of retailers here). If you’re in Cape Town for a while, it may pay to get a weekly or monthly pass.

In general, fares are pretty affordable but during peak hours (weekdays from 06:45-08:00 AM and 4:15-5:30 PM) your fare will be 30% higher than off hours. 

We found the “things to do” section on MyCiTi’s website particularly helpful when planning our city excursions.

Trains:

Truth be told, trains can be a bit “iffy” in Cape Town. You are somewhat limited in your route options and service isn’t always reliable as train workers frequently strike. Often you will see people begging for money or performing with a tip jar out in your train car. During daylight hours it is generally safe to take a train around the greater Cape Town area, but at night we recommend staying away from trains as muggings and petty theft can be an issue. If you do want to experience the train we recommend taking it during the day from Cape Town to Muizenberg beach. That route tends to be relatively problem free. Click here for train schedules.

Taxi Vans (combis) –

Last but not least, our favorite, local, (slightly overwhelming) way to get around: the taxi bus.

Spend two minutes in Cape Town and you will notice white vans, packed with people, whizzing up and down the main streets with someone yelling out the window. These are Cape Town’s taxi vans, also called kombis, and they are everywhere. Van routes run along Cape Town’s main roads and you can hop on or off at any point. Fares start around 5 ZAR and increase the longer you ride. Each van has a fare collector who will yell the destination of the van out the window. If you want them to stop flag them down by raising your hand or giving them a wave. Taxi vans can be a great way to experience Cape Town as a local but be prepared for cramped seating, somewhat reckless driving, overwhelming heat and techno beats blaring on the radio. Also, watch your pockets and be aware of your surroundings as theft can occur on the taxi buses. We know those last sentences may have scared you away but it isn’t as bad as it sounds. We encourage you to embrace the local experience and ride a kombi at least once during your stay in Cape Town. During the day of course!

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