Athlone Holiday Guide


Athlone was previously known as West London and had its name changed to ‘Athlone’, in honour of the Earl of Athlone, who served as Governor General and Commander in Chief in South Africa in the 1930’s. He was also a member of the British Royal family (an uncle to King George IV) and was married to Princess Alice, (the granddaughter of Queen Victoria).

Almost 70 years after the Earl of Athlone arrived here; Athlone really grew into a melting pot of different cultures. The Athlone City Centre is filled with a daily hub of grocers selling their fresh delicious fruits and Veggies, to residents selling bric ‘n brac. It has become an example of how different cultures can join together and become a single society.

The construction of the Railway Station in Athlone, which forms part of the popular Cape Flats Line, surrounding areas have contributed to the economic development in the Athlone Area. Additionally, well-established bus and taxi routes carries the shopping district all the way along the Klipfontein Road into Gatesville, where wonderful exotic spices are sold, and also along Belgravia road into Lansdowne.

Athlone is home to the Athlone Stadium – Cape Town´s foremost soccer venue.

Athlone remains a cultural hub and a Centre for the community of the Cape Flats.

The Location of Athlone

The suburb of Athlone lies approximately 9km west of Cape Town International Airport. It form part of the Historical Cape Flats which gets it’s name from the flat sandy stretch of land located in the outskirts of Cape Town Central.

Even though references to Athlone mainly refer to the Central Business Area, Athlone itself is actually comprised of many other areas such as Garlandale, Rondebosch East, Crawford, Bridgetown, Silvertown and Kewtown to name but a few. A smaller section, named Bokmakerrie, is an older area that was built before World War 2 and also constitutes a part of Athlone.

One of Athlone’s most noticeable landmarks is the Athlone Power Station (also commonly called the ‘Athlone Towers’ or the ‘Cooling Towers’). It is managed by the Cape Town City Council and was built in 1960. Today, the towers are declared out of bounds for security reasons, due to damage caused to the structure by the prevailing Southeaster.

Traveling by Car:

Excellent maps are available for self-drive, but the area is large and serviced by many highways and a network of linking routes. First time visitors are advised to travel with a local or a tour group.

Traveling by Train:

The Commuter Train Service (Metrorail) travels from the city centre to Athlone.

Timetable enquiries 0800 656463

The Athlone Vibe

Enjoy authentic Cape Malay dining, listen to some swinging jazz, party till you drop and then eat again in Athlone.

Once you’ve eaten there are two places which offer to turn a pleasant meal into a real party.

For those looking for a laid-back approach to post-dinner drinks, the West End club offers sultry jazz on Thursday through to Saturday and is situated at the Cine 400 Building, College Road, Rylands.

If jazz is not your thing, or if you are in the mood to party hard, the Galaxy Disco Restaurant is the place for you. Situated just below the West End, the Galaxy is one of Cape Town’s oldest and best clubs and features some of the hottest DJs Cape Town has to offer.

Athlone – Amenities

Good bargain shopping for fabrics and homeware at factory shops is an all year round activity, as are various cultural activities.

Places to see in Athlone

• Athlone stadium

Eating out in Athlone

Mitchell’s Plain, Grassy Park and Athlone have a variety of restaurants that offer authentic Cape Malay dining. Not to be missed is Bobotie (baked egg and mince dish) and Snoek Breyani (rice and curried fish). There are a number of favourite eateries among the locals but all agree the best hamburgers in town (it’s called the Whopper) is available at the Wembley Roadhouse in Athlone. The roadhouse is open from 11h00 to midnight every day, though it is closed on Fridays from midday to 13h00 for mosque.

Athlone restaurants :

• Slattery’s at Oude Weshof

• Ocean Basket

• Scooters Pizza

• Wembley Roadhouse

Guesthouses in Athlone

Please use the links below to access more details on the featured guest houses, where indicated read the owners/ manager page for the inside story!!




Alternatively access our comprehensive guest house directory here







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