Red City Sightseeing Bus Cape Town

I Chose To Do The Most Touristy Thing In Cape Town...Great Day!

Great Day On The Red City Sightseeing Bus In Cape Town


So it was on a Tuesday that I was off again and as I haven’t seen very much of Cape Town yet, I decided to do a very touristic thing – a Hop-On-Hop-Off City Sightseeing Bus Tour with one of the big red “topless” buses.

I got up early that morning, dressed, jumped onto the train and then the bus and finally arrived at the V&A Waterfront, where the buses start right in front of the Two Oceans Aquarium. I decided to buy a 1-Day ticket for the Cape Town city tour, which is the red one. Next time I really want to do the blue Peninsula tour as well!

As a tip: If you purchase your City Sightseeing Bus ticket online, you save R40!

After having bought my City Sight Seeing Bus ticket, I got onto the bus and waited for its departure. I was almost the only one there; maybe I was the only one willing to get up so “early”. But on the first real stop, which is the CTICC (Cape Town International Convention Centre), many more people joined us.

The first stop where I got off was the famous Long Street, where you get free Wi-Fi in the tour office right next to the bus stop. After taking a few minutes for my orientation, I walked down Long Street and finally turned into a side road that per chance led me directly to the tourist office. I then walked up the road with all these lovely stalls where I even found two old books that I bought for only R40. At some point, I found myself in the middle of this market at Greenmarket Square – great things to buy there.


Greenmarket Square, Cape Town

Greenmarket Square, Cape Town

Greenmarket Square, Cape Town


Eventually I got back to the City Sightseeing Bus stop and then took the yellow route instead of the red one, which comes free with the purchase of a ticket for the red bus tour. The yellow one is the “Downtown Tour”, which takes you to the amazing Company’s Garden, SA museum, Mount Nelson Hotel, the SA Jewish museum, District Six, the Castle of Good Hope and finally back to Long Street.

I didn’t get off anywhere but after getting back to Long Street, I went to the Company’s Garden to have a closer look – my god! I wish we had such a beautiful and awesome place in Germany. And those grey squirrels are adorable! I have even seen a white one. I really was on the brink of kidnapping one of them and taking him or her back home. Well, reason finally won and I left them all where they were.


Company Gardens, Cape Town

Company Gardens, Cape Town

Company Gardens

By then it was almost one o’clock, so I hurried to get onto the next City Sightseeing red bus in order to get to the Table Mountain.
The ride there was really magnificent and once at the bus stop right next to the Table Mountain cable way, I couldn’t wait to get up there. Luckily the queue was not as long as expected, although it turned out to be a wonderful and sunny day. The ride on the cable way itself was great but somehow irritating, because the floor rotated and you couldn’t grab onto something for feeling safer – but like this every one of us had a 360˚ view of the landscape.By the time I had finally made it to the top, it was almost 2 p.m. so I decided to wait for the free guided tour that is conducted every hour (until 3 p.m., which is the last). Our guide was 8 minutes late for our tour, but he made up for it by extending it by 15 minutes.  

Table Mountain Cable Car

Tino, which is the guide’s name, told us about the insidious blister bush, showed us the Rock Dassies – very cute animals indeed – showed us where we were on the 3D map of Cape Town over the huge water tank we were standing on and told us about Robben Island, Lion’s Head and the rest of the surroundings.

After that, I kept on exploring the mountain and eventually took a seat on a rock to eat my lunch – with a mountain lizard staring at me. I love Africa, there are always so many animals around – like on my first day here: I had taken a shower in the morning and after drawing the shower curtain back, there was this little lizard or whatever they are called, sitting right next to me. That was the point when I really noticed that I am not in Germany anymore.

But let’s come back to the original story. By the time I finished my lunch it was almost 4pm so I decided to take the cableway back down, because I still wanted to see some other places. Following the obligatory purchase of my photo in the cableway and on the mountain (for way too expensive R180!), I of course just missed my bus by a few seconds – luckily the next one was to arrive in the next 15 minutes so I had some more time to spend even more money in the shops. What a clever strategy of them…

However, the ride to the next City Sightseeing bus station was really beautiful with the sun beginning to set. It was also there at Camps Bay where I already got off again. The beach looked so inviting that I got rid of my shoes, socks and stockings and tipped my toes into the water – jeeeez,that was really cold.
Nevertheless I walked down and then up again and on the way collected some shells to decorate my still dull and empty room. Of course there was still a lot of sand sticking to it, that I didn’t want to have in my bag, so – clever as I am – I went down to where the water began to wash it off, not expecting anything bad at all, until there was a sudden big wave that got me soaked until my knees – well done...that was pretty embarrassing, me as the tourist that doesn’t know about anything here. But at some point it will be me laughing at the unknowing little tourist girls. Apart from that, the time at the beach was more than great with the sun sinking further and further.


Camps Bay, Cape Town

Camps Bay sunset


At something to six o’clock pm I then unwillingly got onto the last Cape Town City Sightseeing Bus departing there, taking me all along the coast back to the V&A Waterfront.

I really must say that I enjoyed this day very much, it was worth every second of it. (I also documented every second of it – in the end I had taken close to 500 pictures that day!)

Now in the retrospect, I would have rather have bought the 2-Day ticket and done the Peninsula tour the next day as well.

I hope you will make as great an experience as I did that day!

Written by Nina Dammann


Nina stayed with us here at Riverlodge Backpackers as an intern. If you would like to book accommodation online with us, click here. If you'd like to enquire about internships with us at Riverlodge Backpackers, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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