Where to Stay near the Houses of Parliament
There is a wide range of accommodation close to the Houses of Parliament. Both business travellers and holidaymakers will be able to find a suitable hotel here, whether they need high-speed internet and meeting rooms, indoor or outdoor swimming pools, or even babysitting services.
Stay in a one-off boutique hotel, a comfortable apartment, a homely bed and breakfasts or a swanky villa. Many hotels here have on-site restaurants and dining facilities, and there are ample coffee shops and restaurants in the district. Naturally, the Houses of Parliament is a hive of activity, which makes this area an interesting and lively base in Cape Town.
Houses of Parliament: Cape Town’s Political Hub
Cape Town is South Africa’s legislative capital, and you’ll find the country’s Houses of Parliament in the Company Gardens on Parliament Street. The complex is comprised of three main sections, built between 1884 and the late 1980s. The parliament building, identifiable by its central dome and pavilions, also houses the Library of Parliament.
Members of Parliament can often be spotted in the restaurants and coffee shops nearby, and journalists often congregate in the area when big political news stories break. The Houses of Parliament are also where the South African president delivers the annual State of the Nation Address. Roads are closed off during the event, which can make navigating the area a challenge, but it is nevertheless an interesting spectacle.
How to Visit the Houses of Parliament
Visitors can buy tickets to sit in the Houses of Parliament’s public gallery during parliamentary sessions between January and June. If you plan on doing this, remember to bring your passport, as you will need it to enter. During the week, guided tours take visitors around the Houses of Parliament, taking about an hour. Tours can be booked up to one week in advance. The Tours Office of Parliament also offer free DVD presentations as well as the opportunity to meet with a Member of Parliament and attend a public hearing.