Cape Town City Center

Cape Town City Center or Central Business District (CBD) belongs to the Cape Town City Bowl and is located mainly along the main traffic arteries Adderley Street and Buitengracht Street.

Cape Town harbour lays to the North of the City Center, while the southern parts of the City Centre is Buitensingle Street and Company Gardens.

See my Cape Town map of the City Centre here:
During the last ten years the Cape Town Central Business Area has undergone a huge revitalization program undertaken by the Central City Improvement District (CCID).

These efforts were recognized by the International Downtown Association (IDA) which named Cape Town City Center as the Downtown of the month in June 2009 The plan is to make the inner city centre of Cape Town more attractive for housing again, reduce the high crime rate in the deserted business districts, curb investment in the area and create a pleasant mix of housing and office, shopping and entertainment facilities.

As Central Cape Town is located in the low lying City Bowl area between Table Mountain and Lions Head and the lower lying Waterfront the Mother City’s city center in a bowl-like setting, but from the newer high-rise buildings you will enjoy spectacular views over downtown Cape Town.

View over Downtown Cape Town from Signal Hill

Living in Cape Town City Center

According to the CCID only 5,000 people live in Cape Town City Center, with roughly 50,000 more in the surrounding areas and only 10% of the people working in offices in the Cape Town CBD are also living there and huge efforts are undertaken to change this and offer more affordable housing in the area.

To help with housing issues, land surrounding the CBD at Culemborg is earmarked to get affordable housing for 10,000 people and new developments of the District Six is under discussion.

In Cape Town’s historic city center many old Cape Dutch buildings have been renovated and more than 3,700 new flats have been created. The modern apartments in Thibault Square, Triangle House and the Convention Towers adjacent to the Convention Centre are amongst the most popular buildings.

If you are looking for luxury hotel accommodation, the Holiday Inn Express next to the Pedestrian zone just upgraded their hotel complex while the new Taj Palace Hotel at the other end of the St Georges Mall and the Cape Coral Hotel are still under construction. Furthermore there are some excellent hotels adjacent to the Cape Town International Convention Center.

Security is one of the top issues when living downtown, so you can be assured of the high security measures implemented when moving into one of the newly built flats in the CBD. Furthermore there are other safety measures put in place like CCTV camera surveillance systems, security officers on foot, on bike and even 6 equestrian officers.

Many clubs and restaurants are found in the Cape Town CBD. Also expatriates will find many amenities of their expat communities. It is here where you will find the Cape Town Alliance Francaise and the German Kindergarten and the Irish Pub, just to name a few.

For more information regarding Expat communities in Cape Town please refer to my special Expat Info.

Attractions of Central Cape Town

Long Street surely is one of Cape Town’s major attractions; there are many restaurants and bars to enjoy great food and company. A walk along the many Victorian buildings is one of the Must do when in Cape Town City Center.

• The pedestrian zone in St Georges Mall is lively and vibrant during the day with street vendors stalls to find some local souvenirs, but this area is not very populated in the evening or weekends after the shops close although this might change once the new hotels in the area will open their doors.

• Enjoy the calmness of Company Gardens or visit some of Cape Town’s best museums. Support the local community with little gift you can get now at the stalls in the alley, which were relocated here until Greenmarket Square has had its facelift.

Green Market Square with the Old Town Hall which was a hive of activity with many arts and craft stalls from the region, but currently is being under redevelopment also for the 2010 festivities.

• Take in the architecture of the South African Parliament buildings which are located in Government Avenue.

• Smell the scents and wonder at the marvelous colorful flowers at the Flower Market in Adderley Street. Be patient though the market is currently under redevelopment

• Visit beautiful St Georges Cathedral next to the lower end of Company Gardens. There you can admire the beautiful black Madonna of Leon Underwood.

• Walk right up to the Mount Nelson Hotel through the Company Gardens and have a delicious high tea with lots of sweet goodies in the pink grand dame of Cape Town’s luxury hotels.

Cape Town City Centre Amenities:

Public Transport: As Cape Town’s CBD gets more and more attractive to live in, the commuting problem with more and more congested roads at peak traffic will ease. Especially the newly built rapid transport system might help to change this in the next years and the city center becomes more attractive to stay for a night out too.

• The Cape Town Train Station is located in Adderley Street

• The Mother City’s Bus and Taxi Terminal is located above the Main Station

Shopping: There are Pick and Pay in Strand Street and a Woolworths in St Georges Mall as well as many smaller corner stores for your daily grocery shopping. In St Georges Pedestrian Zone you will find department stores as well. Jewelers’ Alley is to be found here too.

Health Care: The private Netcare Christian Barnard Memorial Hospital is located in Longmarket Street and the private Cape Town Medi-Clinic can be reached in Hof Lane in nearby Gardens.

Schools: There are many prestigious schools and pre-school facilities to be found in central Cape Town.

Convention Centre: is also situated in the Cape Town City Center. The Cape Town International Convention Center is located at the northern end of the CBD.

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