Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town

Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town (must see)

The Castle of Good Hope is also known as The Castle or Cape Town Castle. The Castle is a stone fort in the shape of a pentagram and is the oldest existing structure in Cape Town. The Dutch East India Company built it between 1666 and 1679. The Dutch had established a settlement here to serve as a supply stop for the Dutch East India Company as it sailed between the Netherlands and Indonesia, which was then known as the East Indies.

When rumors of war between England and the Netherlands circulated, the Dutch East India Company decided to build a fortress to protect this strategic location.

The gated entry replaced the old entrance in 1682. A bell tower was added in 1684. The Castle originally overlooked Table Bay. After a land reclamation effort, it is now further inland.

Part of The Castle was used as a prison during the Second Boer War, and the cells remain to this day. The Castle is a provincial heritage site and is known as the best-preserved Dutch East India Fort.

Complete guided tours of the fort are available. Visitors can attend a Key Ceremony and the popular canon firing. The Castle is also home to three museums, a gift shop, and a restaurant.

Why You Should Visit:
The guided tour is informative and funny and will end up as one of the highlights of your visit to Cape Town.
The views of the city and Table Mountain from the (walkable) ramparts are very good.

Tip:
The changing of the guard doesn't rival Buckingham Palace but as a side treat, there's a cannon firing on the hour at 11:00/12:00. Please note: Key Ceremony runs Mon–Fri and Cannon Firing does not take place on Sundays. These ceremonies are also weather dependent.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Cape Town. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Castle of Good Hope on Map

Sight Name: Castle of Good Hope
Sight Location: Cape Town, South Africa (See walking tours in Cape Town)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Cape Town, South Africa

Create Your Own Walk in Cape Town

Create Your Own Walk in Cape Town

Creating your own self-guided walk in Cape Town is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Cape Town Shopping Tour

Cape Town Shopping Tour

Cape Town is grand with quality shopping. The available options here, such as South Africa's top flea market where you can find a wealth of merchandise, from tribal costumes to precious jewelry, offer a colorful experience for both locals and tourists.

Among the standout locations in Cape Town that shoppers particularly love to explore is Adderley Street. This bustling thoroughfare is...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.4 Km or 0.2 Miles
Bo-Kaap Quarter Walking Tour

Bo-Kaap Quarter Walking Tour

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Slaves came from Malaysia, Indonesia, and other parts of Africa. Many of these slaves were Muslim, and this area...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Historical Houses Walking Tour

Historical Houses Walking Tour

When Jan van Riebeeck arrived in Cape Town in 1652, his mission was to establish here a supply station for the ships of the Dutch East India Company sailing to East Africa, India, and the Far East. The oldest buildings in today's Cape Town, dating from the second half of the 17th century, are the remnants of that era.

Garden House, originally a shabby tool shed owned by the Dutch East...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Cape Town Introduction Walking Tour

Cape Town Introduction Walking Tour

Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias first mentioned the Cape of Storms in 1488, but it was soon renamed the Cape of Good Hope with an optimistic eye towards the trade routes it offered between Europe and the East.

In 1652, the Dutch East India Company settled a way-station here for ships traveling that route. Cape Town's natural harbor and strategic position made it the perfect location....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


16 Distinctively South African Things to Buy in Cape Town

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The many hopes pinned on this place (Cape of Good Hope) by passing-by sailors over the centuries must have done a good job for Cape Town, seeing it become a colorful cultural hub and prominent metropolis (3rd largest) in South Africa. Overlooking the meeting point of the two oceans (Indian and...