Introduction to Cape Town International
Cape Town International Airport (IATA code CTP) is South Africa’s second busiest airport and one of the busiest on the African continent. It’s located 22 kilometres – or just a 15-minute drive – from central Cape Town, and is the gateway for most visitors to the country’s “Mother City.”
Cape Town’s airport handles domestic flights to all major South African cities and international flights to destinations throughout Africa, Europe and Asia.
Cape Town’s airport was given a major facelift in the lead up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which was hosted by South Africa. This included the construction of a central terminal, which links the international and domestic terminals.
Several features of Cape Town International Airport make it convenient for travellers. It’s a comparatively small airport, so you don’t have to walk huge distances or use a shuttle to get from one point to another. However, there’s no shortage of facilities and everything is modern, clean and generally efficient.
Recent Cape Town International Airport awards
In 2013, Cape Town International was voted the Best Airport in Africa, as well as the Best Airport in Africa for Staff Service Excellence, at the SKYTRAX World Airport Awards.
For two years running, in 2012 and 2013, the airport was voted Best Airport in Africa by Airports Council International.
In 2011, the airport won two Airport Council International (ACI) Airport Service Quality (ASQ) global awards, for the Best Airport in Africa and, thanks to its recent renovation, Best Improved in Africa.
Cape Town Airport terminals and layout
Cape Town’s airport includes two main levels. Departures are from the top floors and arrivals are on the lower level.
For pedestrians, escalators designed to accommodate airport trolleys make it easy to move between the floors of the airport. An elevated road system provides vehicles with access to both levels.
The terminals: basic layout
The airport’s domestic and international terminals are connected by a central terminal, which provides a common check-in area with 120 check-in counters and a total of 20 self-service check-in kiosks.
For departing passengers, the check-in counters lead to a security checkpoint. Once through security, passengers head either north to the international terminal or south to the domestic terminal. Each of the two terminals includes five air bridges, although passengers may also be bused to planes parked further away.
For arriving passengers, the terminal includes an automated baggage handling system, designed to handle up to 30,000 pieces of luggage per hour. From the baggage collection point, you proceed through a new passageway to the arrivals level of the central terminal building.
Facilities at Cape Town International Airport
Cape Town Airport banks and ATMs
Standard Bank, ABSA and Nedbank ATMs, as well as an ABSA bureau de change, are available in the Domestic Departures area.
The international departures area includes an ABSA bank and bureau de change, and international arrivals includes a Master Currency bureau de change.
Cape Town Airport restaurants
Cape Town International Airport includes a good assortment of restaurants, fast-food outlets and coffee shops, all operated by successful South African franchises. A modest food hall is located on the lower level of the central terminal, while sit-down restaurants and coffee shops are on the airport’s third floor, above the departures level.
Cape Town Airport shops
Retail outlets are located on the lower level of the central terminal and past the security screening area on the departures level. You’ll find shops that cover all the main bases, from the popular Woolworths (with separate groceries and clothing outlets) to African curio sellers, trendy clothing shops, sweet shops and CNA bookstore and stationer.For international departures, the airport also includes a range of duty-free shops selling the usual perfume, alcohol and chocolate, as well as locally produced craft items and souvenirs. See our directory of stores for more details.
Cape Town Airport conference centre
Cape Town International Airport includes a conference centre with four rooms, which in total can accommodate up to 80 delegates. The centre is located alongside the domestic terminal, in the Southern Office Block. For more information, call +27 (0)21 935 3715 or send an e-mail enquiry.
Airport internet/ Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi is available past the security screening zone, in both the international and domestic terminals. Several restaurants and coffee shops at the airport also offer free Wi-Fi.
Cape Town Airport lounges
A smokers’ lounge is available in the international departures terminal. It includes free Wi-Fi and access is free.
For both international and domestic departures, Cape Town International includes separate Bidvest Premier Lounges. These are open to all passengers – you can pay a once-off fee to enter or purchase a prepaid card for six or more visits. For more information, call +27 (0)21-936 3014 for the Bidvest lounge in the domestic terminal or +27 (0)21-936 2127 for the Bidvest lounge in the international terminal.
For domestic departures, there are two additional, airline-specific lounges:
|Store||Category||Telephone||Location in airport|
|ABSA – Branch||Banks, Forex & Financial||+27 (0)21 934 0223||Central Terminal Building|
|Accessorize||Jewellery & Accessories||+27 (0)21 934 9008||Central Terminal Building|
|African Eco||Art, Antiques, Curios & Gifts||+27 (0)21 934 9562||Duty Free Mall|
|African Origins||Art, Antiques, Curios & Gifts||+27 (0)21 934 1321||Domestic Departures: Second Floor|
|American Express||Banks, Forex & Financial||+27 (0)21 934 1600||International Arrivals|
|American Swiss||Jewellery & Accessories||+27 (0)21 934 1420||Central Terminal Building|
|Artoloji||Art, Antiques, Curios & Gifts||+27 (0)81 324 7600||Duty Free Mall|
|Baby Mo||Speciality||+27 (0)21 934 6599||Duty Free Mall|
|Barcelos||Food||+27 (0)21 934 3232||Central Terminal Building|
|Bidvest Bank Rennies Foreign Exchange||Banks, Forex & Financial||+27 (0)21 936 2280||Duty Free Mall|
|Bidvest Bank Rennies Foreign Exchange||Banks, Forex & Financial||+27 (0)21 936 2233||Domestic Arrivals|
|Bidvest Bank Rennies Foreign Exchange||Banks, Forex & Financial||+27 (0)21 936 2270||Central Terminal Building|
|Big Five Duty Free||Department Stores||+27 (0)21 934 6814||Duty Free Mall|
|Big Five Duty Free||Department Stores||+27 (0)21 936 3067||International Arrivals|
|Boost Juice||Food||+27 (0)21 934 1572||Central Terminal Building|
|Brittans||Food||+27 (0)21 934 1198||Duty Free Mall|
|Brittans||Food||+27 (0)21 934 1198||Domestic Departures: Second Floor|
|Candy Cart||Food||+27 (0)21 934 1198||Domestic Departures: Second Floor (Bussing Gates)|
|Cape Farm & Gift Emporium||Art, Antiques, Curios & Gifts||+27 (0)21 934 1198||Duty Free Mall|
|Cape Farm & Wine Emporium||Art, Antiques, Curios & Gifts||+27 (0)21 934 1198||Domestic Departures: Second Floor|
|Capi||Audio/Electronic, PC, Cellphone & Photo||+27 (0)21 934 9894||International Departures|
|Capi||Audio/Electronic, PC, Cellphone & Photo||+27 (0)21 934 6899||Central Terminal Building|
|Cellini||Luggage & Leather||+27 (0)21 936 3128||Domestic Departures: Second Floor|
|CNA||Books, Cards, Gifts & Stationery||+27 (0)21 934 1198||Central Terminal Building|
|Cosmic Candy||Food||+27 (0)21 934 9583||Domestic Arrivals|
|Crocs||Footwear||+27 (0)21 200 0129||Central Terminal Building|
|Due South||Sport, Outdoor, Goods & Gear||+27 (0)21 934 3915||Duty Free Mall|
|Dulce Café||Food||+27 (0)21 935 1603||Duty Free Mall|
|Electro Electronics & Sound||Audio/Electronic, PC, Cellphone & Photo||+27 (0)83 402 6061||Domestic Departures|
|Exclusive Books||Books, Cards, Gifts & Stationery||+27 (0)21 934 5873||Domestic Departures: Second Floor|
|Exclusive Books||Books, Cards, Gifts & Stationery||+27 (0)21 934 0507||Duty Free Mall|
|Express Cut & Blow||Hair, Health & Beauty||+27 (0)21 936 3301||Domestic Terminal|
|Fragrance Fusion||Hair, Health & Beauty||+27 (0)21 934 3061||Central Terminal Building|
|Gravy Fashion Stores||Clothing||+27 (0)21 936 2820||Domestic Departures: Second Floor|
|illy Café||Food||+27 (0)21 934 1345||Duty Free Mall|
|Indaba||Art, Antiques, Curios & Gifts||+27 (0)21 934 1030||Duty Free Mall|
|J&B Biltong||Food||+27 (0)21 934 7957||Central Terminal Building|
|Jeep||Clothing||+27 (0)21 934 2596||Central Terminal Building|
|Kent Smoking Lounge||Speciality||+27 (0)21 934 1345||Duty Free Mall|
|KFC||Food||+27 (0)21 934 4909||Mezzanine Level: Viewing Deck – Take Away|
|KFC||Food||+27 (0)21 934 4910||Mezzanine Level: Viewing Deck – Sit Down|
|La Senza||Clothing||+27 (0)21 934 0905||Central Terminal Building|
|Link Pharmacy||Hair, Health & Beauty||+27 (0)21 934 5217||Central Terminal Building|
|Moda Luggage & Leather||Luggage & Leather||+27 (0)21 936 2342||Central Terminal Building|
|Moda Luggage & Leather||Luggage & Leather||+27 (0)21 936 3128||Duty Free Mall|
|MTN||Audio/Electronic, PC, Cellphone & Photo||+27 (0)82 200 0538||Domestic Arrivals|
|Mugg & Bean||Food||+27 (0)21 934 1198||Mezzanine Level: Viewing Deck|
|Mugg & Bean||Food||+27 (0)21 934 1198||Domestic Departures: Second Floor|
|Mugg & Bean Mini||Food||+27 (0)21 934 1198||Domestic Departures: Second Floor (Bussing Gates)|
|Ocean Africa||Clothing||+27 (0)21 934 2596||Central Terminal Building|
|Ocean Basket||Food||+27 (0)21 934 8441||Mezzanine Level: Viewing Deck|
|Out of Africa||Art, Antiques, Curios & Gifts||+27 (0)21 934 8901||Duty Free Mall|
|Primi Caffe||Food||+27 (0)21 934 0957||Mezzanine Level: Viewing Deck|
|Rhapsody’s||Food||+27 (0)21 934 5221||Domestic Departures: Second Floor|
|Shimansky||Jewellery & Accessories||+27 (0)21 935 1878||Duty Free Mall|
|Sneakers||Clothing||+27 (0)21 934 2596||Domestic Departures: Second Floor|
|Spur||Food||+27 (0)21 934 1198||Mezzanine Level: Viewing Deck|
|Steers||Food||+27 (0)21 934 5184||Central Terminal Building|
|Subway||Food||+27 (0)21 934 3839||Central Terminal Building|
|Sunglass Hut||Eyewear & Optometrists||+27 (0)21 934 2665||Domestic Departures: Second Floor|
|Sunglass Hut||Eyewear & Optometrists||+27 (0)21 934 2243||Domestic Arrivals|
|Sunglass Hut||Eyewear & Optometrists||+27 (0)21 934 0467||Duty Free Mall|
|The Cape Town Shop||Art, Antiques, Curios & Gifts||+27 (0)21 935 1033||Duty Free Mall|
|The Cross Trainer||Clothing||+27 (0)21 934 1396||Central Terminal Building|
|The Scoin Shop||Speciality||+27 (0)21 934 6438||Domestic Departures: Second Floor|
|The Scoin Shop||Speciality||+27 (0)21 934 6438||Central Terminal Building|
|The Scoin Shop (Kiosk)||Speciality||+27 (0)21 934 4444||Duty Free Mall|
|Tie Stop||Clothing||+27 (0)21 934 4087||Domestic Departures|
|Totalsports||Sport, Outdoor, Goods & Gear||+27 (0)21 934 3915||Duty Free Mall|
|Vida e Caffe||Food||+27 (0)21 934 4772||Central Terminal Building|
|Vida e Caffe||Food||+27 (0)21 934 4772||International Arrivals|
|Vodashop Renta Fone||Audio/Electronic, PC, Cellphone & Photo||+27 (0)21 934 4951 or 4952||Domestic Arrivals|
|Wimpy||Food||+27 (0)21 936 2537||Domestic Departures: Second Floor|
|Wimpy||Food||+27 (0)21 936 2517||Mezzanine Level: Viewing Deck|
|Woolworths||Department Stores||+27 (0)21 927 2540||Central Terminal Building|
|Yemaya Express Nail Bar||Hair, Health & Beauty||+27 (0)72 7133 912||Domestic Departures Airside|
|Yes We Can||Art, Antiques, Curios & Gifts||+27 (0)21 200 0129||Central Terminal Building|
Getting to and from Cape Town International Airport
Via Hotel Verde
Hotel Verde offers guests a complimentary shuttle service between the hotel and Cape Town International Airport, from 04h00 to 00h00 every day. We also offer a daily complimentary shuttle, on request, to the V&A Waterfront in central Cape Town.
The route between the airport and central Cape Town (or onwards to Cape Town’s southern suburbs) is a straight run along the N2 national highway (also known as Settlers’ Way). With no traffic, the drive between Cape Town’s CBD and the airport takes from 15 to 20 minutes. During peak traffic hours, it’s best to allow up to an hour for the drive.
If you’re travelling to the airport, follow the signs on the N2 and take exit 16 onto Airport Approach Road, which leads directly to the airport parking and pick-up zones.
A shuttle service operated by the MyCiTi bus rapid transit system connects Cape Town International Airport to the Civic Centre bus station, which is on Hertzog Boulevard in central Cape Town. From outside the arrival terminals, shuttles leave every 20 minutes, from 4:20 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Metered taxis are available outside the international and domestic arrival terminals. Passengers are advised to use only “Touch -Down Taxis”, which is the officially authorised airport taxi service provider.
Parking and car rental at Cape Town Airpor
Cape Town International Airport includes two multiple-storey parkades.
To the north of the central terminal building, Parkade P1 provides over 4,000 parking bays, including reserved bays for people with disabilities. A “pick-up and go” area is located on the ground floor. You can wait in this area for free for a maximum of 30 minutes, making it ideal for picking up arriving passengers.
To the south, in front of the domestic terminal, the five-storey Parkade P2 provides 1,748 parking bays. Valet companies operate from the ground floor of this parkade.
Pay stations are located on the ground floors of both parkades.
Outdoor shaded parking
Shaded parking zones P3 and P4 are in front of the airport terminal building, on either side of a car rental facility.
In addition, more economical, long-stay parking, for stays of five days or longer, is available in P5, which includes 156 bays. Use of the bays is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Note that long-stay parking for passengers with special needs is available on the ground floor of the P1 Parkade
Airport car rental
These following car rental companies operate from Cape Town Airport and have counters in the international and domestic arrivals terminals:
- Avis - tel: +27 (0)21-927 8800; website
- Budget - tel: +27 (0)21 927 2750; website
- Dollar Thrifty - tel: +27 (0)21 936 2121; website
- Europcar - tel: +27 (0)21 935 8600; website
- First Car Rental - tel: +27 (0)21 934 7499; website
- Hertz - tel: +27 (0)21 935 3000; website
- National Alamo - tel: +27 (0)21 935 8600; website
- Tempest - tel: +27 (0)21 935 8650; website
Cape Town Airport Map
Access a more detailed map of all levels of the Cape Town International Airport in PDF format.