The Castle of Good Hope

Address: Castle Street, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Telephone: +27 21 787 1260

- Budget


The oldest building in the city is also one of its most interesting.

The majority of us who have grown up in the city have at some time or other visited The Castle. It’s a favourite for school outings and a great place to take the kids too, especially if you plan your visit around the daily key ceremony (wait for the cannon fire moment). I often recommend that history-loving visitors go there to get an idea of the humble beginnings of our little city.

Built as a place of safety for the Dutch East India Company who had set up a replenishment station here for their spice route travels, the Castle was the centre of life in the earliest days of the colony, serving as its judicial and financial hub. From my school days I can clearly remember the tour guide taking us into the dungeon, ‘locking’ the gate and explaining how at high tide the water would come right up to the castle gates - it’s almost impossible to imagine just how much of the city is built on reclaimed land.

Value for money

Price advice

Adults cost 25 rand, and children 10 rand.

Expert tips

The fascinating William Fehr Collection consists of hundreds of centuries-old artifacts and is a must see.

The key ceremony is held on weekdays.

Steer clear of the restaurant - it's overpriced and underwhelming.

There are carriage rides held at various times through the day – they are a novel (though somewhat pricey) way to tour the city.

Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Culture vultures
  • Families with younger children
  • Education
  • History