Robben Island Museum
Robben Island Museum
4
About
During the apartheid years Robben Island served as a prison for political activists.
Duration: More than 3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Admission tickets
from R 1 250,00
All you need to step foot in the door.
Plan your visit
The area
Best nearby
We rank these restaurants and attractions by balancing reviews from our members with how close they are to this location.
Attractions
5 within 10 kms
See what travellers are saying
  • Gill P
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom95 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    OK but could learn from Alcatraz Tours
    Was ok but could learn a thing or two from Alcatraz. You weren’t given enough time to look round some of the cells etc and a lot of the interesting signs in the cells referred to items that were not actually on display ! Great views back to Cape Town from the boat.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 29 July 2023
  • Jacques-Antoine Boucher
    Quebec City, Canada6 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Only if you have nothing else to do
    Presentation dull and unsurprising. The boat to get there was a little over an hour late which delayed the entire schedule for the day. The presentation of the prison, although made by a former prisoner, did not really present what it was. Nelson Mendla's cell is not displayed and therefore people who were interested could not see it. Very few written explanations or new facts learned during this visit. We learn very little or nothing about apartheid, the condition of the prisoners, their daily lives and the history of the island. It was ok but it's more like a tourist trap employing Nelson Mandela notoriety.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 3 August 2023
  • Keith C
    Tauranga, New Zealand40 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Robben Island tour
    The tour was excellent. The crossing from V&A waterfront to Robben Island is weather dependent. The ferry had been cancelled for the previous few days. We were lucky and had booked a good day. There is a coach pick up on Robben island and we were taken to a small cafe with great views over to Cape Town then on to the prison where we met our guide, an ex prisoner. The tour was eye opening and interesting. Tips were welcomed.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 August 2023
  • Kim B
    37 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Inefficient ferry/bus system and hard to hear commentary at the prison
    We rarely review an experience negatively but this was one of our least favorite things we did in Cape Town. After purchasing our tickets on-line, we queued up for the ferry. It was a long process to board, but the ride itself was pleasant. Upon arrival, everyone is directed to buses. The commentary is fine and there is a 15 min stop. The visit to the prison itself was disappointing. It was very hard to hear the ex-prisoner with everyone from the bus in a concrete room - he spoke softly, children were talking, people are moving around the rooms. Small wireless microphones would have provided a better experience. We couldn't hear about 50% of what the man was saying unfortunately. We were on the first bus to depart and thus the first bus to arrive back at the pier. We waited over an hour before the ferry arrived for the return trip. There is a gift shop, no food, and nowhere to sit. Felt like we wasted a lot of time just standing around.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 19 August 2023
  • charliesangeltoo
    Kuwait85 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An Important place to visit.
    If you research and know what to expect from this trip it can be very informative and enjoyable. I was worried after reading the reviews but happy to report we had a great time. Make sure you book each person under their own name (I didnt with my kids and had to register again before boarding the boat) and take ID which I must have missed in the confirmation email. Anyway boat trip is 30 min and a bit choppy but once we arrived our lovely guide took us diectly to the prison on foot. He was wonderful and we really enjoyed his life story, told with warmth and humour. We toured the grounds with our guide and saw Nelson Mandela's garden area and cell block. Tips are welcomed for the guide. You then take the short bus trip around the island. My husband sat at the front and reported that he could not hear the guide because he was under the speaker. I sat a few rows back and heard the information clearly. We saw springbok running through the quarry and had a nice little leg stretch near the lighthouse, enjoying views of Cape Town and Table mountain. All in all I am happy that we completed this trip because of the glimpse into the history. Even my 10 & 13 year old said they found it interesting and didn't complain at all. I have been to Alcatraz Prison in SanFran and Robben Island would do well to adopt the headphone style information system, plus we would have loved to wander the island unattended, but I guess they have their reasons. If you enjoy history, this is a must for you!
    Visited August 2023
    Written 25 August 2023
  • Susanna L
    Wellington, New Zealand37 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must-do in Cape Town
    We had the guided walking tour. It was 6 hours and we did it in January (very hot). Very informative tour and good to know the fight of human rights in South Africa. The tour was comprehensive and educational, it also included settlement and conservation work on the island.
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 31 August 2023
  • Elley
    Tamworth, United Kingdom4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awe-inspiring
    We visited Robben Island in early September. It was one of the highlights of our time in Cape Town. Learning about the history of this island was fascinating. The tour of the prison by one of the ex-inmates brings the story alive and gives you more of a connection than reading about it. This is a must for anyone visiting Cape Town.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 9 September 2023
  • Wombling_Free_7548
    Bristol, United Kingdom2,079 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Cancelled due to bad weather
    Our 9am ferry was cancelled at 8am that morning via email, as the sea was too rough. That’s fair enough, and we had a prompt refund. Just flagging that if you are very keen to do it, book in for early on in your trip, in case it gets cancelled.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 20 October 2023
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Robben Island, a much needed stop for some perspective
    Robben Island was a very informative. Miss Gucci is very interested in history. The drive on the bus around the island and tour round the prison was really thought provoking and surprising. An old prison inmate told his story which really hit home with Miss Gucci. Make sure you bring cash for the refreshments as Miss Gucci only had an Amex and could not by nibbles for the journey.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 24 October 2023
  • Sue H
    Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom47 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The reason I came to Cape Town
    Excellent tour. I understand why it is logistically impossible to walk around everywhere due to the time constraints. Our guide humanised the tour. The information boards were good. You could feel the despair as you walked around. I was humbled to think I was walking where President Mandela had been. I just wished it could have been longer
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 27 October 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

Excellent
4 077
Very good
2 300
Average
1 245
Poor
588
Terrible
463

Wayne Mitchell
Hitchin, UK47 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
The story of the fall of apartheid and of the freedom fighters held in Robben Island is a fascinating story in modern history. However, the Robben Island Museum was really poor. Very little has been done to help broadcast the story in a way that is compelling, especially for younger people with no knowledge of the story. As someone in their 40s the fall of apartheid and the release of Nelson Mandela was all over the news, but of course for younger people i.e. teens, they have little background knowledge. While parts of the story are difficult and painful this museum needs to be thought about as such with more information boards, more interactivity, more multi media, high quality guides, and innovative installations. I would recommend anyone to go to Robben Island, it was tedious, and I learned nothing that I couldn’t have read in a book. This needs to be much better to justify to investment of time and cost.
Written 14 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Enrique L
Gurgaon5 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Very interesting experience. 2 part trip, bus tour around the island and then walking the prison. The latter guided by a former prisoner. I enjoyed it and worth it, but I felt we didn´t get to see much of the prison - e.g. where they ate. Also missed more stories from other inmates. However, the guide did share a few fascinating stories from back then.
Written 13 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nevik017
wales118 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Sadly a venue that knows it is always going to get customers and therefore does not care. A major crash on route meant that our family, and a considerable amount of other people and I do mean considerable arrived late. No refund, no rebook, no nothing.
Show some care, a partial credit for a rebook, option to insure -something, anything. We were a large family group, some of us have bene 3 times and were anxious to share the history. No more. Try Districk 6 museum and slave museum instead. Difficult becuase this is "a must do" but I do wish a little bit of care.
Written 9 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Philip C
Nottingham, UK30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
A sombre experience. Important that visitors to Cape Town take the opportunity to find out more but don't expect an exciting, interactive experience. The bus tour was led by a former political prisoner and the tour of the prison was led by another from a different political group. One mentioned Mandela a lot whilst the other barely acknowledged him. The island is quite spartan. You can't help but learn things.
Written 8 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ims
Hitchin, UK1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Yes there is a good story to tell and it is an important memorial the story is amazing but it wasn’t told amazingly and it’s their heratage so it needs to have more thought into it ! You can’t take videos and we spent nearly an hour in one room being told what happened and Nelson Mandela was not talked about ATALL and considering he was the Mail sales point it was overall a very inconclusive trip which set a bad mood for the rest of the day.
Written 7 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeroen B
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
The tours on Monday were canceled due to scheduled (so they say) maintenance of the island buses. I found out when we rose early and arrived at the boat. (together with several other visitors)

I bought the tickets at the museum two days earlier. Why would you shell tickets if it’s known that there won’t be tours? In the meantime tickets for Tuesday were sold out so no time left for us to visit the island.

To be honest after having experienced this kind of customer treatment I don’t expect much of the tour. That said I was not on the island to find out…
Written 26 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Henry C
Preston, UK5 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
Scandalous rip off. Paid £103.25 for four of us to go on a ferry from Cape Town. The ferry was cancelled for ‘technical reasons’. Rebooked for the next day and the following day. Both cancelled for the same ‘reason”. No refund and no reply to 6 emails. Not a professional organisation and I would advise all not to get involved. Sad.
Written 24 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peter Frater
Deal, UK48 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
An amazing insight to the anti-apartheid movement and well worth doing. Extremely educational. However there appears to be no attempt to keep to schedules. They are very strict in their information about the time you must be there but they are much more laid-back about their delivery. We booked the 3pm tour which eventually left at 3.50pm. Instead of returning at about 6.30 it therefore docked at 7.30pm. Some customers did not wait for the tour as they feared they would get back too late to get to the airport for their flight home and several others complained they had missed their dinner reservations. We had to reschedule our 8pm dinner reservation to 8.30. The following day I sat in the harbour and watched the ferry depart about 30 minutes later than scheduled, so clearly not a one-off. It shouldn’t be that difficult to keep to a timetable. It’s a worthwhile experience but spoilt by the casual approach to timing.
Written 8 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Liliya G
2 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Really not worth the time and money spent. The whole tour is extremely politicised and basically built on one persona (guess who). I expected to hear more of history and less of anti-white racism. The island actually has so many stories to tell, but I felt like I was more knowledgeable on the subject than the guide. Definitely not going to take my kids there, don't want any 'white guilt' imposed on them, especially for our own money :D
Written 7 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Patty B
Nashville, TN1 480 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
We booked our trip with Jarat Tours. We were told we did not need a guide as the island provided that. Jaret got our tickets and took us to the dock. We found that worthwhile as we were not sure about the area or where to go exactly. Our guide took us to the front of the ticket line and we got on the boat. Jarat was great, instead of trying to sell us a tour guide when we didn't need, they gave us honest advice that we appreciated. She was waiting for us when we returned and took us to Table Mtn. I can't say enough about having advance tickets to these very busy attractions.

We boarded the boat and were taken to the island. It is a great ride with great views. The boat was full and it took about 40 minutes. The film they showed on board was informative and interesting. We then got buses to go to the prison. Very sobering to hear from an actual inmate and see the cells and facilities.

We saw Mandela's cell among other interesting places around the prison. Then back on the bus to see the living quarters of staff, leper graveyard, and quarry. Back to the dock for the ride back to the dock.

This is a must do for sure. The view of the island is really something to see.
Written 28 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 6,713
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Robben Island Museum, Cape Town Central

Frequently Asked Questions about Robben Island Museum

Robben Island Museum admission prices can vary. Entrance tickets currently cost R 1 313,33, while a popular guided tour starts around R 559,70 per person.




All Cape Town Central HotelsCape Town Central Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Cape Town Central
All things to do in Cape Town Central
Day Trips in Cape Town Central
RestaurantsFlightsHoliday HomesTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire