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

Should you visit Johannesburg or Cape Town?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

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

Where Should I go: Johannesburg or Cape Town?


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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Adventure Tours to South Africa, The Best Eco Tours in South Africa, The Best Sightseeing Tours in South Africa, and The Best Vineyard & Wine Tours in South Africa.

Which place 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 $95, while the average daily cost in Cape Town is $98. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Johannesburg and Cape Town in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Johannesburg $55
    Cape Town $39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Johannesburg $110
    Cape Town $78
Compare Hotels in Johannesburg and Cape Town

Looking for a hotel in Johannesburg or Cape Town? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Johannesburg

Hotels in Cape Town

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Johannesburg Hotel Prices and Cape Town Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Johannesburg $16
    Cape Town $17
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Johannesburg

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

  • Taxi Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Johannesburg

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Johannesburg:

  • Wheel Chair Accessible Airport Transfers Around Johannesburg: $50
  • Transfers Between OR Tambo and Pilanesburg : $162
  • Tour operator. airport and hotels transfers chauffeur and safari tours services.: $31
  • Suncity Transfer: $197
  • Shuttle Transfer from Johannesburg Airport to Hazyview: $68
  • Private executive transfer to sun city or airport/hotels : $120
  • Private Van Airport Transfers : Johannesburg, Sandton, Pretoria: $71
  • Private Transfer: Tambo Airport JNB to Johannesburg in Sedan Car: $65
  • Private Transfer: Tambo Airport JNB to Johannesburg in Luxury Van: $76
  • Private Transfer: Tambo Airport JNB to Johannesburg in Luxury Car: $104
  • Private Transfer: Johannesburg to Tambo Airport JNB in Sedan Car: $62
  • Private Transfer: Johannesburg to Tambo Airport JNB in Luxury Van: $76

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cape Town

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

  • Airport Transfers: $11
  • Private Airport Transfers in Cape Town- One way/Round Trips: $16
  • 1.Cape Town Airport Transfer (&Private tour trips during yo Stay): $17
  • Shuttle Transport Transfer from Claremont to Cape Town Airport: $17
  • Airport Transport Shuttle Transfer to Claremont Cape Town : $17
  • Airport Transfer to Cape Town Cruise Terminal: $17
  • Airport Transport Shuttle Transfer from Airport to Cape Town City Center (CBD): $17
  • Shuttle Transport Transfer from Cape Town City Center (CBD) to Cape Town Airport: $17
  • Airport Transport Shuttle Transfer to Camps Bay Cape Town: $18
  • Cape Town Cruise Terminal, Airport and Hotel Transfers: $18
  • Airport Transfer (Cape Town ) Bus: $18
  • 24 hour Private Airport Shuttle and Transfer CBD: $19

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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Johannesburg $17
    Cape Town $42

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Johannesburg

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

  • Maboneng Street Art and Street Food Tour: $41
  • Unique street food tour from at least 6 different cultures!: $48
  • A Private Traditional Cape Malay Cooking Class, with a MKR Finalist: $95
  • Johannesburg Culture and food tour: $101
  • Pan-African Cooking & Dinning Experience: $220

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:

  • Cape Malay Cooking with a Chef Founder: $29
  • Cape Malay Cooking Class in Bo-Kaap: $41
  • 3-Hour Malay Cooking Class & Lunch in Bo-Kaap: $44
  • Sunset Champagne Cruise and 3-Course Dinner: $57
  • Bo-Kapp Walking Tour and Malay Cooking Class: $61
  • African Dinner, Drumming Experience with Transfer: $62
  • From CapeTown: African Dinner and Drumming Experience: $63
  • Authentic African Cuisine Cooking Experience: $63
  • South African Cooking Class in Cape Town with a Local Family: $82
  • Private Authentic Cape Malay Cooking Class in Manenberg with Locals: $92
  • Private South African Cape Malay Cooking Class: $98
  • Cape Town Food tour (Includes all food) 4hrs: $99

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Johannesburg $21
    Cape Town $23

Tours and Activities in Johannesburg

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

  • Golf Tour, Sun City , Gary Player Course - Rated the Best: $231
  • Half-Day Safari Tour of the Magaliesberg Mountains by Zipline: $124
  • Private Full Day Johannesburg Historical Tour : $196
  • Rhino and Lion Park Safari Tour : $99
  • Soweto half day tour including Mandela House.Private transport: $73
  • (Meet the Artist)Art Gallery & Street Art tour with lunch: $31
  • 10 Days Overland Tour-Johannesburg and Cape Town: $2,752
  • 15 Days Johannesburg, Kruger National Park – Cape Town Tour: $4,128
  • 3 Day Kruger National Park Private Tour from Johannesburg: $823
  • 3 Days 2 Nights Panorama Tour & Kruger National park Safari: $848
  • 4-Days Overnight Experience in The Panorama Route & Safari: $1,768
  • 6 Days Johannesburg and Kruger National Park Tour: $1,651

Tours and Activities in Cape Town

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

  • Muizenberg to Kalk Bay: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $2.99
  • District Six Museum Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket: $3.30
  • Skip the Line: District Six Museum Admission Ticket: $3.63
  • Kirstenbosch: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $3.99
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Cape Town Canal Cruise: $4.19
  • Cape Point Flying Dutchman Funicular Ticket (One way Up): $4.44
  • Cape Point Flying Dutchman Funicular Ticket (One way Down): $4.44
  • Meandering through Mouille Point: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $4.99
  • V&A Waterfront: Seal & Harbour Cruise: $5.00
  • Sea Point Promenade: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.13
  • Cape Point Flying Dutchman Funicular Return Ticket : $5.39
  • Intaka Island Kayak Tour: $5.50

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Johannesburg $4.73
    Cape Town $21

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: $8.45
  • Wine Tasting and Cableway Half Day Tour: $117

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:

  • Distillery Tour, rum and gin tasting: $7.27
  • Experience South African Craft Rum tasting and distillery tour in Cape Town: $9.79
  • Drumstruck at Silvermist. Live African Drum Show & Wine tasting: $25
  • Wine Tour: Paarl, Franschhoek & Stellenbosch incl 3 wineries: $39
  • Sip 15 Wines on a 3-Region Wine Tour with Cheese: $39
  • Stellenbosch, Franschhoek & Paarl Wine Tasting Shared Tour: $40
  • half day wine tour & Safaris[Morning /Afternoon]: $49
  • Stellenbosch: Half-Day Wine Tour: $51
  • From CapeTown: Stellenbosch Half Day Wine Tour: $52
  • Fullday Wine Tour: $52
  • Stellenbosch Wine Tour half day from Cape Town: $54
  • Private Constantia Wine Tour: $59

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.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Johannesburg Expensive? and Is Cape Town Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Johannesburg or Cape Town?

Cape Town has a larger population, and is about 69% larger than the population of Johannesburg. When comparing the sizes of Johannesburg and Cape Town, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.