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The Castle of Good Hope picture in Cape Town
Courtesy of Cape Town Tourism

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Details

  • Museums, Sightseeing Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
3.9
Overall
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  • Value
    4.0
  • Facilities
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

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This star-shaped fortress at the heart of Cape Town is the oldest surviving building in South Africa. Constructed in the late 17th century by the Dutch East India Company, the Castle of Good Hope acted as the center of colonial Cape Town's administration and armed forces. While it's still the region's military stronghold, the Castle of Good Hope also houses a several museums. Guided tours are offered both on foot and by horse-drawn carriage. If you can, try to plan your visit around the Key Ceremony, which is marked by the firing of the Signal Cannon.

One TripAdvisor user says that the Castle of Good Hope is a great activity if you're traveling as a family. "Bring the kids to see the changing of the guards. Not Buckingham Palace […] but it has a charm of its own." 

The Castle of Good Hope is open every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (with last entry at 3:30 p.m.), and the Key Ceremony takes place Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. and noon. Guided tours are offered Monday through Saturday at 11 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. Admission to the castle costs 28 ZAR (just under $4 USD) for adults and 12 ZAR (about $1.50 USD) for children. To learn more about the attractions and activities found here, visit the Castle of Good Hope's website.

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#1 Table Mountain Easily the city's most recognizable landmark, Table Mountain towers over Cape Town just south of the city center. Having earned its name from its unique, flat-topped shape, the mountain ... Read more » Courtesy of Cape Town Tourism

#2 Constantia Valley Today, South Africa boasts a flourishing wine industry, churning out crisp whites and robust reds. And Constantia Valley—located about 10.5 miles south of central Cape Town—is where ... Read more » Courtesy of Constantia Valley

Courtesy of South African Tourism

#4 Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront The Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront buzzes with activity at all hours of the day. This bustling harbor—built in the late 19th century by Queen Victoria's second son ... Read more » Courtesy of Cape Town Tourism

#5 Boulders Beach On False Bay, this stunning beach earned its name from the massive boulders that lay scattered across the sands and separate the shoreline into peaceful, private coves. Swimming here is ... Read more » Courtesy of Cape Town Tourism

#6 Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens Resting on the eastern slope of Table Mountain, the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens welcome thousands of visitors from around the world each year that come to explore the gardens' 89 ... Read more » Courtesy of Cape Town Tourism

#7 The District Six Museum Established in 1994, the District Six Museum commemorates and educates visitors about the people of District Six. During the first half of the 20th century, this part of town was ... Read more » thomas_sly / Flickr

#8 Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point Extending south from Cape Town is the Cape of Good Hope, the peninsula that divides the Atlantic Ocean and False Bay (featuring numerous beautiful beaches as a result). Formerly an ... Read more » Courtesy of Cape Town Tourism

#9 Clifton Beach Separating the Atlantic Ocean from the decadent mansions of Cape Town's "Millionaire's Row" are the sugary-white sands of Clifton Beach. Divided into four beaches by huge stone boulders ... Read more » Courtesy of Cape Town Tourism

#10 Greenmarket Square Located just a short walk from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Greenmarket Square is one of South Africa's oldest public squares. Originally a slave market, this cobblestone plaza now ... Read more » Courtesy of South African Tourism

#11 Bo-Kaap Sitting near the heart of the city at the foot of Signal Hill (one of Cape Town's most easily recognizable mountains), this vibrant neighborhood houses Cape Town's Muslim ... Read more » Courtesy of South African Tourism

#12 Robben Island Sitting several miles off the coast of Cape Town's V&A Waterfront, Robben Island stands as a reminder of South Africa's troubled history. Since the city was founded back ... Read more » Courtesy of South African Tourism

#13 Castle of Good Hope This star-shaped fortress at the heart of Cape Town is the oldest surviving building in South Africa. Constructed in the late 17th century by the Dutch East India Company, the ... Read more » Courtesy of Cape Town Tourism

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Table Mountain—easily recognized by its flat summit—offers breathtaking views of Cape Town and the coast. Courtesy of Cape Town Tourism

The Constantia Valley houses South Africa's oldest vineyards. You can visit them all by following the Constantia Valley Wine Route. Courtesy of Constantia Valley

Flanking the western edge of Table Mountain, Camps Bay's Atlantic waves are probably too chilly to splash in. But the cream-colored sands and beautiful views make this a fantastic place for sunbathing. Courtesy of South African Tourism

The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is one of Cape Town's liveliest nightlife spots. Courtesy of Cape Town Tourism

Nothing beats a day soaking up the rays on Boulders Beach… that is, if you don't mind sharing the shore with penguins. Courtesy of Cape Town Tourism

Cape Town features an impressive array of vibrant flora. If you're interested in seeing all of Cape Town's colors, head to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Courtesy of Cape Town Tourism

thomas_sly / Flickr

Cape Point—the tip of the Cape of Good Hope—is the southwestern-most point of the African continent. Courtesy of Cape Town Tourism

Clifton Beach is one of the most popular strips of sand in Cape Town. Its perch beneath Table Mountain protects sunbathers from the city's notoriously chilly wind. Courtesy of Cape Town Tourism

Greenmarket Square is one of the oldest marketplaces in Cape Town. If you feel that your haggling skills are up to snuff, come here for souvenirs. Courtesy of South African Tourism

Courtesy of South African Tourism

This lighthouse sits just off central Cape Town's coast on Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for his attempts to end apartheid. Courtesy of South African Tourism

The Castle of Good Hope—built by the Dutch East India Company to protect the city—is the oldest surviving building in South Africa. Courtesy of Cape Town Tourism

You'll find this kid-friendly attraction down at the V&A Waterfront. Courtesy of South African Tourism

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