Should I Stay In Simon’s Town On My First Visit to Cape Town?

January 30, 2013 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Articles

Great question.


But it stays a million dollar question because it depends on what you like doing in Cape Town.

Let me start by giving you the short answer:

Cape Town is spread out far. If you like the city lights then move closer to the city; the CBD, Waterfront, Mouille Point, Sea Point. For a quiet suburban holiday, close to the city lights, look for accommodation in the Southern Suburbs.

If you want to party with the glitter gang then you have to pay and go to Camps Bay or Clifton. You can also party at Kalk Bay if you like – less sleek and more earthy.

If you want nature then the Cape Southern Peninsula will make you happy. Places like Simon’s Town, Noordhoek, Kommetjie, Fish Hoek, Muizenberg and other.

But nature, sea, wine and city can be seen as one when you visit Cape Town. Because of the mountains forking through Cape Town you are never far away from nature. But going south means you have to travel further to get back to the city lights.

And 40 kilometers by road can take you an hour by car.

Let’s say you want to go from Simon’s Town to Cape Town; you can travel via Chapman’s Peak through Camps Bay. Or across Ou Kaapse Weg through the Southern Suburbs. I would choose Champman’s Peak most of the time. It’s beautiful. Chapman’s Peak do charge a toll fee.

If you decide to stay in Simon’s Town then you can travel by train to Cape Town and to other little village towns along the way. These towns include Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay, St James and Muizenberg.

You can get on the regular train all along the lovely coast, hopping on and off as you go, or on a steam train. The other places like Noord Hoek, Kommetjie and Scarborough are not along the train route. (Steam Train Image credit)

Along this Cape Town to Simon’s Town train route you’ll find the most interesting places and lovely walks.

On the other hand; if you want to stay in Simon’s Town and want to use the train to travel to the V&A Waterfront – Cape Town, then you’ll have to do some walking from the CT station to the Waterfront.

Getting back to your question:

Where you want to stay in Cape Town for your holiday depends on what you want to do. And also if you have transport.

Without transport you are stuck if you are not holidaying along the train route (Along False Bay – Southern Peninsula). Obviously you can take taxis.

In Cape Town we have two kinds of taxis; you can use any of the expensive styled European taxis or cheap local taxis mini busses.

The local taxis wait until the taxi is full and then travel to a predetermined destination – like a bus stop. Local taxis are cheap, you share with others – and they are not flexible. Euro styled taxis are flexible, private and you pay more.

But let me get some other experts to share some of their insights:

The communities along that western shoreline of False Bay are interesting in their own right. [Southern Peninsula False Bay] Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay, Simonstown. But inconvenient to the City Centre by any measure. If you have the time to come and go …., then I say coming back to the calmness, neat cafes and pubs, of those towns would be welcome. But – staying there absolutely adds time and driving to your experience. Dave.


The benefits of Simonstown is that it is close to Cape Point and it is an easy drive from there to Stellenbosch and beyond. It is also close to Groot Constantia, Steenberg and the other estates in the Constantia valley. Lengau


[Constantia Valley Wine Route is great. We love it]


I am SO happy we stayed more central initially. We did not have a car at that time, so used the HOHO bus and taxis, which we enjoyed. As much as we are like this area, I would not want to do central Cape Town from here – even though we now have a car! And mind the word about Kalk Bay…we came through on Sunday and it must have cost us well over an hour in traffic due to road works. Chanuk

This is really great advice from a fellow traveller Chanuk.

The road works at Kalk Bay will continue for a while. Even without road works Kalk Bay is a congested area on sunny days and more so over weekend sunny days. If you want to get back to your home base never use the road along Kalk Bay. Rather travel along Ou Kaapse Weg or Chapman’s Peak Drive.

When you are on holiday, I believe you should go with the flow. Let me rather say that I believe life is all about how you can adapt to the flow.

But holidaying should give you more time to practice under less stress – to go with the flow.

Forget about congested Kalk Bay roads. Just throw the dice and go with the flow.

They say that travelling is not about the destination but all about the getting there.

In other words; when you have to be at your destination at a certain time then you are not travelling anymore. Then time is your boss. Relax. Take the train. And have fun.

Johan Horak

Should you stay in Simon’s Town on your first trip to Cape Town without transport? Throw the dice and take the consequences with a smile. You are on holiday.