Cape Town’s fascinating past and dynamic present have launched it to the top of South Africa’s list of must-visit destinations. The capital of the Western Cape rose to prominence as an important strategic port of the Dutch East India Company, before quickly growing into a major metropolis. From the striking natural beauty of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden to the heritage landmarks of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, not to mention the cultural powerhouse of the Artscape Theatre Centre, modern Cape Town offers the perfect blend of laid-back charm and vibrant joie de vivre. Flights from London to Cape Town International Airport make short work of the 6,000-plus miles that separate these 2 contrasting, yet complementary, cities.
Cape Town’s high summer coincides with the depths of the British winter, so it's no surprise to discover that December is one of the most popular – and consequently most expensive – months for London to Cape Town flights. However, if you book ahead, you can beat the Christmas rush and find better deals in November. February is also a quieter month to travel, so you’ll benefit from wider accommodation availability and a greater choice of cheap flights to Cape Town from London. You’ll still be in time to enjoy the famous open-air Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts, one of the social and cultural highlights of Cape Town’s freewheeling summer season.
British Airways flies direct from London Heathrow to Cape Town International in under 12 hours, although non-stop convenience comes at a cost. For more budget-friendly options, it’s worth taking a look at the one-stop itineraries offered by numerous national carriers. Turkish Airlines’ service out of London Gatwick or Heathrow via Istanbul is hard to beat on price, while Emirates’ departures from the same airports via Dubai are similarly competitive. Flights with Qatar Airways enjoy a brief stop in Doha, while South African Airways’ offering from Heathrow touches down in Johannesburg.
Cape Town International Airport is located 11 miles from the city centre, with a number of options for onward travel. Rapid transit buses depart every 20 minutes or so from the airport terminal to the Civic Centre bus station, offering cheap, seasonally adjusted fares. Private shuttles also operate between the airport and various destinations, and can be conveniently prebooked to meet your flight. Authorised metered taxis complete the journey to central Cape Town in around 20 minutes in regular traffic.
If it’s your first visit to Cape Town, get your bearings in the most exciting way possible with a trip to the top of Table Mountain. Characterised by the twin peaks of Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head, this venerable landmark is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. If you’re feeling energetic you can hike to the summit – alternatively, you can ride the aerial cableway and let the spectacular views from the summit take your breath away instead.
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