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Simon's Town

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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]

There is a regular MetroRail [dead link] 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 [dead link] (see "Getting around" below).

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 ClubKing George's Way +27 21 786 1703, e-mail: . 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]

Map of Simon's Town

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 Point60 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. Access to Boulders Beach and the visitors centre costs R60 for adults, however a smaller number can often be seen for free on the adjacent Seaforth Beach.


  • 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.


  • 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).

  • Swim at Seaforth Beach
Seaforth beach
  • SAS Assegaai submarine museum +27 21 786-5243, e-mail: . 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 finally decommissioned in 2003. Currently she is preserved as a floating museum but will be preserved ashore at the Naval Museum by 2013. R40 per person (R20 for children under 12 years old).



  • 1 Bertha'sQuayside 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 Pescado118 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 ViewQuayside 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 SushiQuayside Centre, Simon's Town Waterfront +27 21 786 4340. Arguable the best sushi in Cape Town.
  • 5 QuarterdeckJubilee Square, off St George's Street +27 21 786-3825.
  • 6 Salty Sea DogWharf Road +27 21 786-1918. Fish and chips fresh from the sea. The kingklip is particularly recommended.
  • 7 The Meeting Place98 St George's Street +27 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.
  • 8 The Sweetest Thing82 St George's Street +27 21 786-4200. Coffee shop with fantastic cakes and pastries.
  • 9 Seaforth RestaurantSeaforth 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 SaveurQuayside centre, Simon's Town Waterfront +27 21 786 1919. 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. Closed Mondays.


  • 1 Two and Sixpence88 St Georges Street. Mon-Sat 1100-0200, Sun 1100-2330. 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.


  • Miller's point. Camping.
  • Quayside HotelSimon's Town Waterfront, Jubilee Square +27 21 786-3838fax: +27 21 786-2241, e-mail: . Luxury hotel overlooking the harbour and False Bay. Part of the Relais Hotels group. From R395 per person.

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 ATM's 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.
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