The Southern Line Rail Route
Starting at the main train station in central Cape Town, the Southern Line rail route stops off at Newlands, Observatory, Muizenberg, Kalk Bay and Simon’s Town, offering passengers an interesting view of the Cape Peninsula, with stretches of the railway line running a mere few meters from the sea. Buy a day pass and between the hours of 10h00 and 16h00 you can get off the train at any of the stops and get back on when the next train comes by. If you are staying on the Peninsula for your Cape Town holiday, you can take a ride to the city centre or any of the other destinations, each of which has its own unique charm.
As a joint initiative between the City of Cape Town, Metrorail and Cape Town Tourism, the Southern Line rail route highlights the tourist attractions of each stop-off point – and there are plenty to choose from. The history of Simon’s Town harbor goes back to 1687 when it was established as a depot for the navy. This picturesque setting along the False Bay coastline remains very much a naval town, as well as being a popular holiday destination. Take a stroll down the ‘Historical Mile’, visit the museum based in the Old Residency which houses a display honoring the legendary Able Seaman Just Nuisance, or visit the Warrior Toy Museum and Topstones Mineral World.
The beautiful wide sandy beach of Muizenberg is characterized by a stretch of colorfully painted wooden cabins used as change rooms. The way the beach is situated, it offers shelter from the fierce Cape winds, making it a popular swimming and surfing destination. The historic town of Muizenberg is home to False Bay’s oldest building, Het Posthuys, located in Main Road and dating back to the 1600s. Other places of interest include the site where the Battle of Muizenberg took place in 1795, and Rhodes Cottage, the home of Cecil John Rhodes where he died in 1902.
Traditionally a fishing village, and still abuzz with fishing activity, Kalk Bay is known for its bohemian-style vibe, with streets lined with little shops selling hand-made crafts, and restaurants serving the catch of the day fresh from the ocean. Kalk Bay is popular with surfers and the Kalk Bay caves offer an intriguing expedition for adventurers.
The Southern Line Rail Route also passes through Newlands, a Cape Town suburb located at the foot of Table Mountain, and Observatory, home to the South African Astronomical Observatory and close to the University of Cape Town, making it a popular suburb for students. With trains running along the Southern Line rail route every forty minutes or so, and every hour on Sundays, this is certainly one of the best day-trips around Cape Town and well worth adding to your itinerary.