Cape Town Layover Guide (CPT)

Cape Town International Airport (CPT) is the main international airport serving the city of Cape Town. It is located 20 km (12 mi) from the center of the city. The airport has had commercial passenger flights since 1954 with direct flights to several destinations in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and the United States. Cape Town is the legislative capital of South Africa, housing the nation’s parliament. Cape Town is a global city known for its history, food, culture, commerce, iconic geography, and World Heritage Sites.

Can you leave Cape Town Airport (CPT) airport during a layover? Do you need a visa?
Most foreigners require a visa to enter South Africa to visit Cape Town. This depends on their nationality. (more info).

What are you looking for in CPT? Tours/To do | Relax/Sleep | Internet/SIM | Transport | Storage | Money

Tours, Things to do, Sightseeing

Organized Tours

Table Mountain Cable Car Ticket & Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Combo

Table Mountain is the city’s most recognizable landmark. It towers over Cape Town just south of the city center. Earning its name from its unique, flat-topped shape, the mountain is the most popular attraction located within Table Mountain National Park. One can explore Table Mountain in several ways. Adventurous travelers can hike to the summit along one of the mountains’ numerous trails, although the region’s unpredictable weather can turn an on-foot excursion into an unpleasant, muddy walk. It is strongly recommended to use the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway and this tour allows exactly that along with the hop-on-hop-off bus ticket which you can use to explore the rest of the city at your own pace. » book this tour

Robben Island Ferry and Prison Tour for Non-SA Citizens

Travel to Robben Island by ferry and visit the famous prison where Nelson Mandela spent many years. Robben Island stands as a strong reminder of South Africa’s troubled history. From the time the city was founded back in the 17th century, this site has acted as a military base, a home for a leper colony, a mental institution, and, most popular of all, a prison. It was on this landmass that Nelson Mandela, militant anti-apartheid activist and former president of South Africa, was held captive. Today, It houses a fascinating museum telling the history of the island and providing tours led by erstwhile inmates of the former prison, including Mandela’s cell. Enjoy a bus tour around the island and listen to stories and facts about its history and uses over the years. After the bus ride, follow your guide on a tour through the prison and learn about the Apartheid and the courage of those who fought for democracy in South Africa. » book this tour

Cape Point and Penguin Explorer Full-Day Tour from Cape Town

The Cape of Good Hope is a peninsula that divides the Atlantic Ocean and False Bay where there are many beautiful beaches as a result.While exploring the Cape of Good Hope you’re bound to run into some of the region’s residents of which include ostriches and baboons. Then there’s Cape Point, a jagged, narrow strip of land that juts out into the Atlantic and is considered as the continent’s southwestern-most point. standing on the edge of Cape Point will make you feel as though you’ve reached the edge of the world. This tour gives you full access to this Cape Point UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. Before visiting Cape Point, enjoy a scenic drive to Boulders Beach through Muizenberg and Fish Hoekget to see penguins at Boulders Beach. » book this tour

Things to do / Sightseeing

The District Six Museum

The District Six Museum was established in 1994. The Museum commemorates and educates visitors about the people or natives of District Six. This part of town was home to one-tenth of the city’s population during the early 20th century than in 1966 when apartheid was at its worst, District Six was declared a “white” neighborhood, and over 60,000 people were displaced to the shanty towns in Cape Flats, a barren area on the outskirts of the city. The museum memorializes the displaced citizens with exhibits that recount their stories and inform visitors about social injustice that need to be corrected.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: You can get here in 15 minutes by taxi or almost 45 minutes by bus.

Victoria And Alfred (V&A) Waterfront

The Waterfront here is filled with activity around the clock. This harbor was built in the late 19th century by Queen Victoria’s second son, Alfred and has acted as the stopover point for European ships for many centuries. Today, the waterfront is open to everyone and boasts of beautiful views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean and other notable attractions.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: It usually takes about 20 minutes to reach here by taxi or 50 minutes by bus.

Camps Bay

Camps Bay is located on the western edge of Table Mountain. The Atlantic waves on this stretch of the shoreline are too cold for swimming, but Camps Bay’s non-windy climate and friendly atmosphere makes it a great spot to soak up the sun and enjoy your time outdoors.The beach-side restaurants also provide a great atmosphere for people-watching and evening cocktails.

Time required: 3 hours.

Airport to here: Get here in 20 minutes by taxi or 45 minutes by bus.

Two Oceans Aquarium

Visiting the Two Oceans Aquarium is a must if you’re on tour with your family. The Aquarium is located on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, near the meeting point of the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. This aquarium is home to over 3,000 creatures, including penguins, turtles, and sharks.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: It takes an average of 20 minutes to get here by taxi or almost an hour by bus or train.

Castle of Good Hope

The Castle of Good Hope is located at the heart of Cape Town and is the oldest surviving building in South Africa.It was built in the late 17th century by the Dutch East India Company. The Castle of Good Hope was the center of colonial Cape Town’s administration and armed forces. It’s still the region’s military stronghold but it also houses several museums. Guided tours here are offered both on foot and by horse-drawn carriage.

Time required: 1 hour.

Airport to here: It takes about 15 minutes to get here by taxi or almost 45 minutes by bus.

Clifton Beach

Enjoy the sugary-white sands of Clifton Beach as it’s one of the best places to be in the city. Clifton draws the seen-and-be-seen crowd, as well as adrenaline-hungry surfers. This is one of the city’s most famous shores by virtue of its location: Sitting on the western edge of Table Mountain. The water remains cold throughout the year, which deters many swimmers even though it stays protected from the notoriously chilly winds of Cape Town.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: The best and fastest way to get here in 30 minutes is by taxi.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens is a favorite destination that welcomes thousands of visitors from around the world each year to explore and experience the magnificent garden of approximately 89 acres. Kirstenbosch is home to over 7,000 species of indigenous species, a lot of them rare or endangered. Take in the beauty of the plant life of the garden and don’t forget to take pictures for memories sake.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: You can get here by taxi in 15 minutes or by bus in 1 hour.

Relaxing and Sleeping

Airport Lounges and Relaxing
There are many lounges in each terminal of the airport on the terraces, 3rd floor or the 4th floor. » view all lounges or buy a lounge pass or membership online

Hotel and Sleeping
There are options for transit hotels and many other hotels close to the airport. » view all or book an airport hotel online

Rest Area and Sleeping in Airport
There are no designated rest zones.

WIFI/Internet and SIM Card

WIFI/Internet: Free WiFi is available at Cape Town Airport for up to 4 hours or 1GB. Just connect to the “Airports Free” network.

SIM Card: There are several shops within the airport that sell SIM cards.

Transportation to/from airport

Taxi: There are officially authorized taxi services available around the clock just out of the terminals.

Train: The Gautrain is a rapid rail system that runs daily until 10 pm and one leaves approximately every 12 minutes. (more info).

Bus: MyCiti Bus A01 runs between the airport and the city center via Hertzog Boulevard. (more info).

Shuttle: There are hotel shuttle services that link the airport with surrounding hotels.

Car rentals: Car rentals are available onsite and could be booked online. » view available cars or rent a car now online

Parking: A safe and secure parking facility is available.

Luggage Storage & Lockers

There is a secure luggage storage at A-Teck located on the ground floor of Parkade 2.

Money Exchange and Withdrawal

- Cape Town Airport (CPT) ATMs, currency exchanges and banks
- Order your foreign currency ONLINE and PICK IT UP at the airport!