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View of Simon's Town

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[edit]

By car[edit]

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[edit]

View from the train near Kalk Bay.

Warning: the information below might be out of date. As of January 2023, there's no direct train between Cape Town and Simon's Town. Coming from Cape Town, you have to change at Fish Hoek, and the train schedules are not aligned, so this change may take up to an hour. Ticket offices at Simon's Town train station are closed, so if you don't have a return ticket, you will have to pay at Fish Hoek after taking a train from Simon's Town.

There is a regular MetroRail[dead link] service from 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, 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 R20/R25. However please be aware that there is a MetroPlus and a Metro option on the coaches and the corresponding tickets are first and second/third class. There are no obvious differences in the coaches but if you sit in the wrong one you can be fined.

  • 1 Simon's Town railway station. Terminus for the line and located at the north end of Simon's Town, about a 10 minute walk to the centre of Simon's Town. Frequently, the sand dunes can cover parts of the line and you may have to exit at Fish Hoek and hop on to a MetroRail provided bus service that takes you to Simon's Town. Alternatively you can grab a ride on the back of a Rikki Taxi (see "Getting around" below). Simon's Town railway station (Q7518098) on Wikidata Simon's Town railway station on Wikipedia

By plane[edit]

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.

By boat[edit]

  • 1 False Bay Yacht Club, King George's Way, +27 21 786 1703, . False Bay Yacht Club has a large 'Blue Flag' marina and regularly accommodates visiting yachts on local or round-the-world voyages. A variety of maintenance services can be provided.

Get around[edit]

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.

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

You can also hire bicycles, including motorised and electric assist bicycles to get around and take a trip to cape point or nearby villages.

  • 2 Cycle Cape Point, 60 Saint George's Street, Simon's Town, +27 730 56 6727. This business is run by Sandy, a friendly British expat who will go out of his way to look after you. From R150 per day.


The Boulders Beach penguin colony is close by


  • Simon's town is home to a large colony of the endangered African Penguin. The penguins can be seen at a variety beaches along the coast here, the most famous and highest concentration being at Boulders Beach. You need to pay for access to Boulders Beach, however a smaller number can often be seen for free on the adjacent Seaforth Beach.
  • 1 Boulders Beach, +27 21 786 2329. Boulders Beach is a sheltered beach made up of inlets between granite boulders, from which the name originated. It is a popular tourist stop because of a colony of African penguins which settled there in 1982. As of January 2023, entrance fee is R176 per adult per day R41 per child, per day. If you are a resident of South Africa, entrance fee is R44.. Boulders Beach (Q895056) on Wikidata Boulders Beach on Wikipedia


  • Along the main road through Simon's Town there are a number of museums on the False Bay side, including the Simon's Town Museum, South African Navy Museum and a Toy Museum.
  • South African Naval Museum, +27 21 787 4686. 09:30-15:30. Museum showcasing the history of the South African Navy Free. South African Naval Museum (Q7565757) on Wikidata South African Naval Museum on Wikipedia


  • Bronze statue of Just Nuisance (a Great Dane and the only dog ever to be enlisted officially in the Royal Navy) in Jubilee Square. Just Nuisance's grave can be found at the top of the hill above the town.


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).

Seaforth beach
  • SAS Assegaai submarine museum, +27 21 786-5243, . SAS Assegaai, formerly the SAS Johanna van der Merwe, was one of three Daphne-class submarines acquired from France during 1970 to 1972, which became the first submarines to serve in the South African Navy. She was renamed SAS Assegaai (Assegaai is the Afrikaans word for 'spear') in 1999 and was the last of the SA Navy’s Daphne class submarines in commission and decommissioned in 2003. She is preserved as a floating museum but is closed for safety reasons. R40 per person (R20 for children under 12 years old).



  • 1 Bertha's, Quayside Centre, Simon's Town Waterfront, +27 21 786-2138. Right on the water's edge overlooking the harbour. As the largest restaurant in town, you should always be able to get a table here without a booking. The menu is similarly large with a good selection of steaks, fish, burgers, salads etc. Has free WiFi, however this can be temperamental.
  • 2 Cafe Pescado, 118 St George's Street, +27 21 786-2272. As with everywhere in this area you can get a great choice of steaks and seafood here, however where they really stand out from the rest of the restaurants in town are the wood fired pizzas available to eat in or take away. Has a bar at the back and free WiFi.
  • 3 Harbour View, Quayside Centre, Simon's Town Waterfront, +27 21 786 1431. Eat inside or out on the balcony overlooking the harbour. They also have a takeaway counter next door and sell a selection of items such as springbok or crocodile pate. Has good free WiFi.
  • 4 Just Sushi, Quayside Centre, Simon's Town Waterfront, +27 21 786 4340. Maybe the best sushi in Cape Town.
  • 5 Quarterdeck, Jubilee Square, off St George's Street, +27 21 786-3825.
  • 6 Salty Sea Dog, Wharf Road, +27 21 786-1918. Fish and chips fresh from the sea. The kingklip is particularly recommended.
  • 7 The Meeting Place, 98 St George's Street, +27 21 786 1986. Excellent (but expensive) food, with great views north over False Bay. There is a restaurant and cocktail bar upstairs and a deli/coffee shop downstairs.
  • 8 The Sweetest Thing, 82 St George's Street, +27 21 786-4200. Coffee shop with fantastic cakes and pastries.
  • 9 Seaforth Restaurant, Seaforth Beach Seaforth Road Simon's Town 7975, +27 21 786 4810. Overlooking the beach where penguins waddle around as you eat. Go on a Tuesday for their 'all you can eat' prawn special, or Thursdays 'all you can eat' calamari.
  • 10 Saveur, Quayside centre, Simon's Town Waterfront, +27 21 786 1919. Tu-Su. Fantastic food with great midweek specials, very popular so booking ahead is recommended. Tuesday night is 1/2 price steaks, Wednesday is 2-for-1 burgers and Thursday is seafood night.


  • 1 Two and Sixpence, 88 St Georges Street. M-Sa 11:00-02:00, Su 11:00-23:30. A pub popular with locals and visiting navies, as such you can find plaques and signed perry buoys from various countries ships hanging from the wall, along with flags draped from the ceiling. Screens numerous football games, occasional live entertainment and free WiFi.


Stay safe[edit]

Simon's Town is relatively safe compared to the rest of the Cape Town area, however this is still South Africa and so keep your wits about you and keep expensive possessions hidden. Tourists have often been caught out at ATMs here, whilst not often violent, a 'helpful' local changes the ATM language to Afrikaans and then forcefully offers assistance to get your money out - that being the largest denomination offered, which is then grabbed before they run off.

If walking on any of the trails out of Simon's Town, particularly over the top of the hill to the west and towards the Kleinplass Dam, there has been a history of violent crime and muggings as you get closer to the Red Hill Settlement (township).

Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Simon's Town is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.