An expert travel guide to Cape Town

An expert travel guide to Cape Town

Medical care: to find the nearest private clinic, or to contact a specialist, see For travel-specific queries, see

Tourism offices and information: the biggest and best-staffed  is the centrally located Cape Town Tourism (00 27 21 487 6800) on the corner of Burg and Castle Streets.
Mon-Fri, 8.30am-5.30pm; Sat-Sun, 9am-1pm.

Local laws and etiquette

As in any large city, crime is an ongoing concern, but note that most incidents occur away from tourist areas. That said, take the usual precautions: don’t flash your wealth, don’t visit no-go zones (your host or concierge will advise), don’t walk when there are no other people around, and be alert/keep a close eye (and hand) on your belongings.

It takes only a fraction of a second to clone a card, using a skimmer concealed in the hand. Don’t let your card out of sight and keep a close eye on how it is handled.

The basics

Currency: South Africa Rand (R or ZAR)

Telephone code: From the UK, dial 00 27 for South Africa, followed by 21 for Cape Town. From within South Africa, dial 021 for Cape Town.

Wi-Fi: Most hotels and guest lodges offer free Wi-Fi, as do an increasing number of excellent coffee shops. For a list of some of them, see (click on ‘sites’). Loading Bay (30 Hudson Street, De Waterkant) ticks all the right boxes – good coffee, good food, cool people, close to Cape Quarter shopping precinct and free Wi-Fi. If you want a bit of a sea view, head to Caffe Neo at 129 Beach Road, Mouille Point.

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