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Simon's Town

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Cape Peninsula : False Bay : Simon's Town
Revision as of 09:36, 20 August 2008 by 196.25.255.250 (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 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 (about $3-50 US).

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 (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 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 (about 50 cents US) to go from the station to central Simon's Town and R5-50 (less than $1 US) to go to Boulders Beach.

Golden Arrow 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 inlisted 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, 1 Wharf Road, Simon's Town, +27 21 786 2138. In the Simon's Town waterfront, overlooking the harbour.
  • Cafe Pescado.
  • Cape Point Chinese.
  • Salty Sea Dog, Wharf Road, Simon's Town. Fish and chips fresh from the sea.
  • The Meeting Place, 98 St George's Street (Main Road), Simon's Town, +27 21 786 1986. Excellent food, with great views north over False Bay.
  • The Sweetest Thing, St George's Street (Main Road), Simon's Town. Coffee shop with fantastic cakes and pastries.
  • Tibetan Tea House, Corner of Harington & Main Roads, Simon's Town. Restaurant and art gallery, with Tibetan food.

Drink

Sleep

  • Boulders Beach Lodge, 4 Boulders Place, Bellevue Road, Boulders, Simon's Town, +27 21 786 1758 (, fax: +27 21 786 1825), [3]. 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), Simon's Town, +27 21 786 2214, [4]. Fully equipped self-catering apartments in the centre of Simon's Town.
  • Central Hotel, 96 St George's Street (Main Road), Simon's Town, +27 21 786 3775 (). Ideally situated in the centre of Simon's Town.
  • Lord Nelson Inn, 58 St George's Street (Main Road), Simon's Town, +27 21 786 3761 (), [5]. Old-fashioned hospitality in a traditional British inn.
  • Quayside Hotel, Simon's Town Waterfront, Jubilee Square, Simon's Town, +27 21 786 3838 (, fax: +27 21 786 2241), [6]. 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), Simon's Town, +27 21 786 1964 (), [7]. An easy 5-minute walk from the train station.
  • TopSail House, 176 St George's Street (Main Road), Simon's Town, +27 21 786 5537 (, fax: +27 21 786 5537), [8]. Budget accommodation in an old convent, which has been converted into a delightful guest lodge.

Get out

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