A Travel Price Comparison for South Africa Johannesburg vs. Cape Town for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Johannesburg or Cape Town?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Johannesburg and Cape Town can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Johannesburg

Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa with a population of over 3 million people. Most of the population is made up of South Africa's black residents, who predominately reside in the Soweto area. There are approximately half a million white residents and 300,000 residents of other descent. Half of the population live in the Soweto area as well as the nearby suburbs.

Cape Town

Picture your travel bucket list. Is Cape Town on it? Yes, most people dream of visiting the "Mother City" of South Africa. As one of the most iconic places in the world, Cape Town is a world-class cosmopolitan city full of bustling nightlife, historical backdrops and a large gay community.

Cape Town is the most southern city in Africa with seasons turned upside down. In the southern hemisphere they experience the summer from December to February. During these months days can be hot and dry so be sure to gather in the shade and wear plenty of sunscreen. The winter from June to August is full of rainy days and cold nights.

Which city is cheaper, Cape Town or Johannesburg?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Johannesburg is $99, while the average daily cost in Cape Town is $101. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Johannesburg and Cape Town in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Johannesburg is $114. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $78 in Cape Town For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Johannesburg $57
    Cape Town $39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Johannesburg $114
    Cape Town $78

Food

Johannesburg food costs typically run travelers around $18 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

The average traveler spends about $44 per day in Cape Town for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Johannesburg $18
    Cape Town $44

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Johannesburg

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Johannesburg.

  • JoburgPlaces Secret Underground Storytelling Dinner: $57
  • JoburgPlaces Migrant Cuisine Storytelling Dinner: $57
  • Johannesburg Cooking Class: $60
  • A Private Traditional Cape Malay Cooking Class, with a MKR Finalist: $95
  • 3-Day Kruger National Park Safari including Breakfast and Dinner: $672
  • 4-Day Kruger National Park Safari including Breakfast and Dinner: $850
  • 4-Day Kruger Park Safari & Panoramic Tour Combo including Breakfast and Dinner: $903
  • 5-Day Kruger National Park Safari including Breakfast and Dinner: $1,115
  • 5-Day Kruger Park Safari & Panoramic Tour Combo including Breakfast and Dinner: $1,119

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cape Town

For Cape Town, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Private Virtual Cooking Class Live from Cape Town: $23
  • Drumming and African Dinner Experience: $33
  • Cape Malay Cooking with a Chef Founder: $34
  • African Cooking with a Chef Founder: $34
  • Cruise and Dine Dinner / Sunset Champagne Cruise and 3-Course Dinner: $53
  • Withlocals The 10 Tastings: Cape Town Private Food Tour: $54
  • Your Tailored Cape Town Private Food Tour: $65
  • Private Authentic Cape Malay Cooking Class in Manenberg with Locals: $67
  • The Cape Town Essentials Food Tour: $67
  • African Dinner and Drumming Experience: $70
  • African cooking experience: $91
  • Private South African Cape Malay Cooking Class: $98

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $17 per day to get around in Johannesburg.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Cape Town than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $18 on transportation in Cape Town on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Johannesburg $17
    Cape Town $18
Typical Local Transportation prices in Johannesburg

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Johannesburg:


  • Taxi Ride
    $4.22

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Johannesburg

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Johannesburg:

  • Transfer and Shuttles: $50
  • Tour operator. airport and hotels transfers chauffeur and safari tours services.: $37
  • Suncity Transfer: $151
  • Round Trip O.R. Tambo Airport (JNB) Transfer to Johannesburg City Center: $84
  • Return Private Transfers to Sun City from OR Tambo Airport or Joburg Hotels: $141
  • Private transfer: Johannesburg to Johannesburg Airport (JNB): $38
  • Private transfer: Johannesburg Airport (JNB) to Johannesburg: $38
  • Private transfer service from OR Thambo, Lanseria and Wonderboom Airport: $33
  • Private Transfer: Johannesburg, Pretoria or Sun City to JNB Airport by Minivan: $64
  • Private Transfer: Johannesburg to Sun City/Pilanesberg National Park: $125
  • Private Transfer: JNB Airport to Johannesburg, Pretoria or Sun City by Minivan: $76
  • Private Johannesburg Airport Arrival Transfer: $49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cape Town

Also for Cape Town, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Airport Transfer from Cape Town City (CBD) to Airport: $13
  • Private Airport Transfer: Cape Town International Airport (CPT) to Cape Town: $15
  • Private Airport Transfer: Cape Town to Cape Town International Airport (CPT): $15
  • Private Airport Transfer from Cape Town (CBD) to Cape Town international airport: $15
  • Private transfer from Cape Town International Airport to Cape Town (CBD): $15
  • AIRPORT Transfer to Cape town city CBD: $18
  • Airport transfers and tours: $22
  • Airport Transfer (Cape Town ) Bus: $26
  • Airport Transfer in Cape Town: $34
  • Cape Town Airport Transfers: $34
  • Private Business Transfer from Hotel in Cape Town to Cape Town Airport (CPT): $36
  • Cape Town Private Airport Transfer by Luxury Vehicle: $38

Is it cheaper to fly into Johannesburg or Cape Town?

Prices for flights to both Cape Town and Johannesburg change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $22 per person, per day in Johannesburg. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Sightseeing expenses in Cape Town, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $24 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Johannesburg $22
    Cape Town $24

Tours and Activities in Johannesburg

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Johannesburg are as follows:

  • 1 or 2 Day Johannesburg Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour: $14
  • 10 Day - Kruger Park - Swaziland - Durban - Lesotho - Drakensberg Tour: $2,214
  • 15 Days - Johannesburg, Kruger National Park and Cape Town Tour: $4,025
  • 2 Days/ 1 Night - Dinokeng Safaris and Cullinan tours: $312
  • 3 Day Unlimited Kruger National Park Safari Game Drive from Johannesburg Tour: $639
  • 3 days tour package - Soweto/Apartheid Museum/ Pretoria/Lion Park: $312
  • 3-Day Kruger National Park Experience: $794
  • 3-Day NON-SHARED Private Group Kruger Safari Camping Tour from Johannesburg: $3,013
  • 3-day Cradle of Human Kind, Sun City and Pilanesberg Big 5 Tour: $990
  • 4 Hour Johannesburg City Tour: $74
  • 4-Day Johannesburg to Soweto Pretoria Private Tour Farm Stay: $503
  • 4-Day Private Guided Safari Tour of Madikwe with Meals: $938

Tours and Activities in Cape Town

For Cape Town, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • V&A Waterfront: Seal & Harbour Cruise: $3.30
  • Cape Town 30-minute V&A Harbour Cruise: $4.02
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Cape Town Canal Cruise: $4.02
  • Kalk Bay: Take in the sea breeze and eclectic shops on this audio tour: $5.00
  • Slavery in the Cape: Rediscover Cape Town's slave history on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Cape Town on Foot: An audio tour from the city's Castle to the Slave Lodge: $5.00
  • Cape Town's original shoreline: Rediscover its history on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Muizenberg to Kalk Bay: Amble along the amazing False Bay Coast on an audio tour: $5.00
  • The Village in the City: An Audio Walking Tour of Bo-Kaap: $5.13
  • Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens Self-guided Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.13
  • Sea Point Promenade Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.13
  • Muizenberg Like a Local: Explore this quirky village with an audio walking tour: $5.20

Alcohol

The average person spends about $4.93 on alcoholic beverages in Johannesburg per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Typically, people visiting Cape Town spend on average $22 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Johannesburg $4.93
    Cape Town $22

Sample the Local Flavors in Johannesburg

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Johannesburg:

  • Wine Tasting Experience in Johannesburg: $10
  • Johannesburg Pub Crawl: $57

Sample the Local Flavors in Cape Town

Also in Cape Town, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Experience South African Craft Rum tasting and distillery tour in Cape Town: $10
  • Cape Town's Only Craft Rum Tasting and Distillery Tour: $15
  • Wine Tasting & Storytelling with SA Tapas add-on: $34
  • The Fringe Secret Bar Crawl: $34
  • Franschhoek and Stellenbosch Wine Tour from Cape Town: $39
  • Cape Point Full Day Tour With Wine Tasting: $41
  • Cape Town Pub Crawl: $44
  • Cape Winelands and Wine Tasting Full Day Tour: $57
  • Full Day Wine Tasting Tour: $76
  • Vintage Kombi Wine Tour & Local BBQ: $77
  • Cape Point/Boulders Beach/Wine Tasting- Best Of Cape Town In A Day: $86
  • Constantia Half-day Wine Tour from Cape Town: $86


When comparing the travel costs between Johannesburg and Cape Town, we can see that Cape Town is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Africa, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

Budget Your Trip

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Johannesburg vs. Cape Town Travel Comparison

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