If you visit Cape Town as a tourist with no idea about what to do, where to go and how to get there, the Citysightseeing bus might very well be what the doctor ordered. Usually, I prefer to walk around when I visit a new city but I have taken a tour or two in buses such as this in the past and so far, this has been my favorite.

Before we arrived in Cape Town, I had read several (good) reviews about the tour bus and my mind was pretty much made up to use it, even if it was only for the first day. We wound up buying a 2-day ticket and our decision was solely based on costs as the tickets cost lesser than a day’s ticket and offered more route options.

For us, the bus was more than just a tour bus. It became our main source of transportation. We had a stop just by our hotel, so it was easy to get to where we needed to go.

The bus operates about four different tours in total, most of which are available all year round. Some of the tours come free with the purchase of the 2-day ticket, so it might be well worth your money if you plan to spend more than a day in the city.
The tours offered include;

The Red City Tour

This tour operates a circular route from the V&A waterfront to the Table Mountain Cableway. The website says that it includes 11 stops but I found most of these to be more of a drive by and commentary about them. Speaking of commentary, the bus had some funny and witty comments during the ride, all of which contributed to the overall tour experience.

But to be honest, I found this route to be quite a drag! Perhaps this had to do with a certain level of expectation I had come to have after taking the Blue Mini Peninsula tour the day before. For me, the only good thing this route provided was transportation to the cableway station. I remember passing by the Bo-kaap neighborhood but the bus didn’t stop for us to hop off there.

The ride to the station also took quite a while. I wished we had skipped this completely as we never got to use the cable cars anyway. In any case, my recommendation is this; if you have a single day in Cape Town allocated for the sightseeing bus, go with the Blue Mini Peninsula tour. If it’s the Table mountain Cableway you came for, then this is fine.

The Blue Peninsula Tour

I guess it’s pretty obvious that this was my favorite of the three routes we took. This tour  operates on a circular route around the back of the Table Mountain with 14 stops including Kirstenbosch, Constania Winelands, World of  Birds, Imizamo Yethu and Hout Bay. We skipped some of these stops but had a swell time in the places we hopped off.

The Harbour Cruise

This tour operates from the V&A waterfront. It’s one of the routes that comes free with a 2-day ticket purchase. It doesn’t cost that much anyway if you decide to buy a ticket separately. The entire tour takes about 30 minutes and I quite enjoyed it.

The bus also offers a Yellow Downtown tour (with seven stops including the Castle of Good Hope, District Six Museum and The South African Museum), a Purple Wine Tour and a Sunset Bus Tour. There’s also a free walking tour from Long street if you decide not to take the bus at all.
So, back to the question; I’d say Cape Town through the eyes of a local would be pretty cool but if you don’t happen to have someone show you around, the Citysightseeing bus is the way to go…

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