Spring has arrived, and one of the surest signs that summer is coming is the sight of the red open-top buses climbing the winding road to Signal Hill. Signal Hill is Cape Town’s most coveted sundowner spot, with panoramic views of the ocean, Table Mountain, and the City Bowl. As the winter chill fades and the days get longer, make sure you get your hands on a ticket for the Sunset Bus.
The Sunset Bus route
The bus leaves in the early evening from the V&A Waterfront, and the only stop is at the summit of Signal Hill. The tour winds its way along the Atlantic coastline at a leisurely pace, in true Capetonian style. It then starts the slow climb to Signal Hill, along a stunning elevated route that offers incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean. As the sun sinks to meet the water, the tour arrives at it’s stop, where you can disembark for a sundowner picnic.
Check out the video below for a taste of what to expect.
Singal Hill is an iconic part of the Cape Town skyline, jutting out from the side of Table Mountain. It’s home to the Noon Gun, which fires at midday every day. It’s one of Cape Town’s oldest traditions. The gun was originally used to signal the arrival of ships in the harbour. Farmers would haul their wares down to trade with the sailors, who restocked their ships with fresh produce. The gun has gone off since 1806, and a second gun is always prepared in case of a misfire. Rumour has it the gun only failed once in those two centuries—because a spider interfered with the trigger. While you won’t hear the gun going off at sunset, you will see this historic site, along with some truly spectacular views.
What to bring
While summer evenings can be quite balmy, bring a warm layer for the open-top bus. The wind can have a light chill even on warmer days. Picnics and drinks are not included in the tickets, which means you’re free to bring along whatever you like! Stock up at one of Cape Town’s great delis and bring your spread to enjoy as the sun goes down. Don’t forget a blanket and remember your camera, because these are views that inspire the photographer in everybody.
Tickets and times
Make sure you plan ahead and get your tickets early, because it’s a very popular tour. Tickets are available online or at City Sightseeing’s ticket office at the departure point opposite the Two Oceans Aquarium in the V&A Waterfront. Get there early, at least 30 minutes before the
The tour departs from Stop 1 at the V&A Waterfront only. You can connect to the route by using the “Green route” shuttle from stop 5 at 5pm. The departure time is 5:30pm in October, March and April, or 6pm in November, December, January, and February. From 22 December to 6 January the tour does not run, so please check online before booking.
Note that this is not a hop-on-hop-off tour: the only stop is Signall Hill. Allow approximately 3 hours for the trip. Traffic to Signal Hill can be heavy, so delays in the the return time are possible.
Planning a trip to Cape Town? Book flights, browse accommodation, and rent a car now to get the best rates. The Cape Town City Pass gives you access to over 70 of the top Cape Town attractions, tours, and things to see and do, including the popular hop on hop off City Sightseeing bus.
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