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Simon's Town

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False Bay : Simon's Town
Revision as of 14:09, 8 July 2010 by 196.211.0.202 (Talk)

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Naval vessel in port

Simon's Town (often incorrectly spelt as "Simonstown") is located at the east side (False Bay side) of the Cape Peninsula near Cape Town, South Africa and is home to the South African Navy.

Get in

By car

Follow the Main Road (M4) south from Cape Town via Fish Hoek to the Cape of Good Hope along the east side of the Cape Peninsula.

By train

There is a regular MetroRail[1] service from Simon's Town to Cape Town via Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay, Muizenberg, Wynberg and Claremont. Be sure to buy a first-class (metro plus) ticket ; these are not expensive. Although safety on trains has been an issue in the past, in recent times MetroRail has put a lot of effort into improving the situation and now the Cape Town-Simon's Town line is considered totally safe and reliable. The journey from Cape Town takes just over an hour.

A good option is to buy MetroRail's special "hop on, hop off" tourist ticket. This allows you unlimited travel between Simon's Town and Cape Town for an entire day; you can get off and on at any station. The cost is a very reasonable R25.

The train station is at the north end of Simon's Town, about a 10 minute walk to the centre of Simon's Town. Alternatively you can grab a ride on the back of a Rikki Taxi[2] (see "Getting Around" below).

By plane

The nearest airport is that of Cape Town, a good hour's drive away. You can also go on a trip with Civair[3] from the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town along the Cape Peninsula.

Get around

Simon's Town is small enough to get around by foot (it takes less than 30 minutes to walk from one side to the other). From the train station to the centre of town is a 10 or 15 minute walk (turn left as you exit the station).

If you really don't feel like walking you can take a "Rikki" taxi. A "Rikki" is a small minibus which usually runs from the train station to Boulders Beach (and beyond if requested). Unlike other minibus taxies, Rikki's do not hoot their horn constantly so you must keep an eye out for them. Their vehicles are unique in that they are obviously a minibus but much smaller in size and painted white (often with an advertisement on the back) and often flash their lights. Also, unlike most other minibus taxis, Rikki's are driven safely and considered safe for tourists.

A Rikki taxi meets every train that arrives at Simon's Town station. It costs R3.00 to go from the station to central Simon's Town and R5.50 to go to Boulders Beach.

Golden Arrow[4] buses travel between Fish Hoek and Simon's Town, going as far as Boulders Beach, Murdoch Valley, Rocklands and Seaforth.

See

The Boulders Beach penguin colony is close by.
  • The penguin beach of Boulders is just outside Simon's Town.
  • Bronze statue of Just Nuisance (a Great Dane and the only dog ever to be enlisted officially in the Royal Navy) in Jubilee Square

Do

Stop in Simon's Town and stroll around the harbour and the little shops along the main road. Then have something to eat, before you leave for Boulders, just outside the town (in the south).

Buy

Eat

  • Bertha's, Quayside Centre, Simon's Town Waterfront, +27 (0)21 786-2138. Right on the water's edge overlooking the harbour.
  • Cafe Pescado, 118 St George's Street, +27 (0)21 786-2272.
  • Cape Point Chinese.
  • Harbour View, Quayside Centre, Simon's Town Waterfront.
  • Just Sushi, Quayside Centre, Simon's Town Waterfront. Best Sushi in Cape Town.
  • Quarterdeck, Jubilee Square, off St George's Street, +27 (0)21 786-3825.
  • Salty Sea Dog, Wharf Road, +27 (0)21 786-1918. Fish and chips fresh from the sea.
  • The Captain's Table, 88 St George's Street.
  • The Meeting Place, 98 St George's Street, +27 (0)21 786-1986. Excellent (but expensive) food, with great views north over False Bay. There is a restaurant/cocktail bar upstairs and a deli/coffee shop downstairs.
  • The Sweetest Thing, 82 St George's Street, +27 (0)21 786-4200. Coffee shop with fantastic cakes and pastries.
  • Tibetan Tea House, Corner of Harington & St George's Streets, +27 (0)21 786-1544. Restaurant and art gallery, with Tibetan food.

Drink

Sleep

  • Boulders Beach Lodge, 4 Boulders Place, Bellevue Road, Boulders, +27 (0)21 786-1758 (, fax: +27 (0)21 786-1825), [7]. Situated above the world-famous Boulders Beach. Self-catering units also available. From R395 per person.
  • British Hotel Apartments, 90 St George's Street (Main Road), +27 (0)21 786-2214, [8]. Fully equipped self-catering apartments in the centre of Simon's Town.
  • Central Hotel, 96 St George's Street (Main Road), +27 (0)21 786-3775 (). Ideally situated in the centre of Simon's Town.
  • Lord Nelson Inn, 58 St George's Street (Main Road), +27 (0)21 786-3761 (), [9]. Old-fashioned hospitality in a traditional British inn.
  • Miller's point. Camping
Jackass Penguins near Seagetaway.
  • OatLands, Froggy Pond, +27 (0)21 786-1410, [10]. Camping
  • Seagetaway, 10 Rocklands Rd, Murdock Valley Simon's Town, +27 (0)82 855-3180 (), [11]. Exclusive Self Catering Cottage. Magnificent sea views. From R800 for the cottage per night sleeps 5.


  • Quayside Hotel, Simon's Town Waterfront, Jubilee Square, +27 (0)21 786-3838 (, fax: +27 (0)21 786-2241), [12]. Luxury hotel overlooking the harbour and False Bay. Part of the Relais Hotels group. From R395 per person.
  • Simon's Town Backpackers, 66 St George's Street (Main Road), +27 (0)21 786-1964 (), [13]. An easy 5-minute walk from the train station.
  • TopSail House, 176 St George's Street (Main Road), +27 (0)21 786-5537 (, fax: +27 (0)21 786-5537), [14]. Budget accommodation in an old convent, which has been converted into a delightful guest lodge.
  • Whaleview Manor, +27(21) 786 3291, [15]. Stunning guest house with overlooking False Bay. Friendly and caring staff. Mentioned in DK Eyewitness Travel Guide.
  • Marianella Guesthouse, 29 Penguin Drive, Glen Marine, Simons Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, 0827845675, [16]. Fully equipped holiday accommodation in Simons Town, Cape Town. Amazing mountain and sea views with secure parking and DSTV.


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