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Castle of Good Hope
Castle of Good Hope

Castle of Good Hope

Corner of Buitenkant and Strand streets, Cape Town

The Basics

The historic ramparts, courtyards, and museums of the Castle of Good Hope offer a mix of history, architecture, culture, and art on both self-guided and guided tours. For the bigger picture, visit the fort and its Military Museum and William Fehr Collection on sightseeing tours that also include city highlights such as Table Mountain, the South African National Gallery, and the District 6 Museum. To see the fort’s dungeons, ramparts, and armories, take a guided tour.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Castle is a favorite amongst history and military buffs.

  • Maximize your visit by timing it with one of the daily ceremonies or guided tours.

  • Don’t worry about packing a lunch; there is a restaurant in the Castle.

  • The restaurant and bathrooms are wheelchair accessible, but access to much of the fort is limited.

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How to Get There

Located in the colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood, the Castle of Good Hope is easily reached on foot or by public transportation from Cape Town’s city center. You can also skip the hassle of navigating the busy city alone by visiting on a hop-on-hop-off bus or joining a sightseeing tour with transportation that stops at the historic fort.

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When to Get There

The Castle is open daily (except Christmas and New Years). Reenactments of the historic key ceremony happen at 10am and 12pm. While the canon firing display happens on the hour from 10am to 12pm, except for Sundays. Guided tours are led daily at 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm.

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The History of the Castle of Good Hope

The pentagon-shaped Castle of Good Hope was built by the Dutch East India Company from 1666–1679 and declared a national monument in 1936. Throughout the nearly 300 years in between, the fort was home to both military and civilian communities and served as a government seat, governor's quarters, and prison. Today, it is operated by the South African National Defence Force.

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