One of the most underrated gems on the False Bay coast is Simon’s Town. This fishing village lies at the very end of the peninsula, close to Cape Point. It’s the last stop on the Cape Town southern railway line. It’s home to the SA Navy, a small but bustling harbour, plenty of unusual shops, a long Main Road and many other interesting attractions.
Simon’s Town Attractions You Won’t Want to Miss
Simon’s Town attractions offer something for everyone. From off-beat museums to fascinating historical landmarks, beaches and more, the following are just some of the reasons that we love this sleepy coastal destination.
1 Kleintuin Road, Simon’s Town | +27 (0)21 786 2329
Boulders is a penguin colony that is situated just outside of town. As a nature reserve, it is a protected area that charges a small entry fee. After entering, you walk along a wooden boardwalk to get to the different parts of the beach. Some areas are closed to the public (these are for breeding and nesting African penguins, who need their privacy) but most areas allow you to swim near the birds. The beach is unspoilt and truly lovely. As an added bonus, the water is on the Indian Ocean side so it is usually warm, too! Take as many photos as you like, but do not try to touch the birds or get too close to them. It’s for you own good as well as theirs… penguins have a rather nasty bite!
South African Naval Museum
St Georges Street, Simon’s Town | +27 (0)21 787 4686
Simon’s Town is the seat of the South African Navy. The SA Naval Museum gives a comprehensive history of the navy and its various accomplishments, battles and challenges. You will learn a lot about today’s navy as well. The building is beautiful and the exhibits are fascinating. If you have an interest in ships and submarines, this museum is sure to be especially fun to explore. Kids will enjoy the outing, as will adults. Afterwards, take a walk outside near the pier to see if you can watch navy soldiers going about their drills.
Warrior Toy Museum
St Georges Street, Simon’s Town | +27 (0)21 786 1395
For just a few Rand, you can enter the magical world of Warrior Toy Museum. Privately owned and run, this toy shop and museum is always full of wonders to behold. Dolls, cars, a train set that goes through much of the shop, novelty items from various eras through history… you will find all of that and more. While kids will obviously love this place, adults can’t help but smile at the collection of weird and wonderful treasures. Be warned, though… a few of the dolls are somewhat on the creepy side.
Scratch Patch & Mineral World
Dido Valley Road, Simon’s Town | +27 (0)21 786 2020
The original Scratch Patch is not only one of the top attractions in Simon’s Town; it’s also the best scratch patch in the city. At this place, you can purchase a small, medium or large bag. You can then fill it with all the semi-precious stones you can fit into the bag. Prices are fairly good (bags start from R17), the process of scratching through millions of stones to find ones you like is oddly satisfying and if you want to buy beautiful hand-crafted items made from stones, there’s also a shop.
St Georges Street, Simon’s Town
The harbour is an attraction in itself, especially with the bustle of a working harbour. Fishermen, boat cruises, seals, seagulls, restaurants, shops and benches add to its charm. It is ideal for a leisurely stroll, bite to eat or a cup of coffee, or a beer while you look out onto the water. Whatever time of year you visit, the views here are always amazing. Gloomy days are just as lovely as clear days. While you’re there, look out for the statue of the famous navy dog, Just Nuisance!