Jetty 1 Museum

Victoria Wharf, V&A Waterfront Shop No. 153, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8002, South Africa

To the untrained eye, Jetty 1 is just another nondescript building on the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Look more closely, however, and you’ll see a small board next to the entrance, explaining that the building served as a passageway for everyone traveling to and from Robben Island during apartheid. For the prisoners, staff, and wardens, this was the last place they could see Cape Town before their ferry pulled away from the mainland and the city disappeared into the dark silhouette of Table Mountain.

Now a small museum, Jetty 1 houses information about the history of Robben Island, both before and after apartheid. It’s not typically crowded, so visitors can explore at their own pace and perhaps even sit alone inside the replica of a holding cell. Separate from the Robben Island Exhibition and Information Center, Jetty 1 is a must-see if you don’t have time to do the full Robben Island tour but are still curious about this time in Cape Town’s history. It’s also entirely indoors, so if you’ve visiting in the winter or the weather isn’t nice enough to visit Robben Island, it’s the next best thing. Entrance is free.

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