Are you looking for where to stay in Cape Town? You have come to the right place!
Cape Town is one of my favorite cities in the world. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it from the plane as I was landing, my love grew as I caught sight of Table Mountain on my way from the airport to the city, and the sight of the Twelve Apostles still gives me goosebumps. Each time I go I appreciate it a bit more.
It is a fabulous mix of culture, history, art, nature, beautiful beaches and wildlife – Cape Town has it all. This is the kind of city you’re never quite done visiting. New attractions pop up all the time! For as hectic as it is, the Mother City is simply a fun place to explore.
With more than 4.6 million inhabitants, you can easily imagine how vast the city is. Picking the right Cape Town hotels may come as a daunting task then – especially for first time visitors. The good news is that by Western standards, this is a fairly inexpensive city. If you search properly, you will find some excellent deals with hotels and apartments for a real steal.
In this post, I will help you find where to stay in Cape Town, selecting the best areas to stay by interest and pointing out to the best places to stay in each of them, arranged by budget.
Finding Where To Stay In Cape Town
I have been to Capo Town several times, each time for quite some time (at least in travel terms).
The Mother City is a place I truly love, and one I always vow to go back – if anything, to see my friends there. This is easily one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with a lot to offer in terms of attractions, culture, entertainment, shopping, food (here’s a selection of the best restaurants in Cape Town, just in case!) and wine – the fabulous Cape Winelands are just a stone’s throw away and a real must-see.
Whenever I visit Cape Town, I normally stay in the City Bowl as it is the most convenient part of town to move around (though granted, if you drive, finding a parking spot isn’t always the easiest thing). But I have also spent a night or two in the Atlantic Seabord, and certainly done my best to explore the city through and through.
GOOD TO KNOW: Cape Town is roughly divided in two by Table Mountain. On one side you’ll have the City Bowl, which includes the famous Bo-Kaap, Oranjezicht, Tamboerskloof, Gardens, the CBD, the V&A Waterfront and De Waterkant, Woodstock and Vredehoek. On the other you’ll find the Atlantic Seaboard, with Camps Bay, Clifton, Sea Point, Llandudno, Green Point, Mouille Point etc.
Finding good hostels or Cape Town hotels and even Airbnbs is not hard. There are many good places to stay and – as mentioned already – there is something for every budget. This city is indeed great value for money!
One thing to keep in mind is that Cape Town is normally busy with tourists year round, thanks to the typically good weather (incidentally, I once visited in June and it turned out to be one of the rainiest months in the last few years!). Although you won’t have troubles finding a good place to stay, I recommend booking in advance for chances of grabbing a better deal.
Finally, continue reading to find where to stay in Cape Town.
Where To Stay In Cape Town – Overall Best Options
Before I highlight the best areas to stay in Cape Town, let me give you a shortcut to what are my favorite places in the Mother City. I have tried and tested them all so you can mark my words!
Best Hotel in Cape Town – Jardin d’ébène Boutique Guesthouse
Who said that you have to spend a fortune to have a bit of luxury? This guesthouse located in the City Bowl comes at a very reasonable price. Each room different and each one showing the highest attention to detail. There is a swimming pool, a fabulous breakfast is served daily, and there even is room service. There only are five rooms – so make sure to book in advance to secure your place!
Best Hostel in Cape Town – The Backpack
This isn’t just the best hostel in Cape Town. It actually is one of the best hostels I have ever stayed at. Rooms are comfortable and spotless – you can pick between dorms, private rooms and even family rooms. There is an abundance of social spaces, including a kitchen and dining room, a bar, and a lovely patio and even a pool. Breakfast is by all means above hostel standards and the help desk is always available to book tours or share information.
Best Airbnb in Cape Town – Studio Pad with Table Mountain Views!
This lovely studio in the City Bowl is at a stone’s throw from Long Street, where you’ll find plenty of good restaurants and bars, and right across the street from the Company Gardens. There is a beautiful communal garden and even a swimming pool, and someone at the door 24/7 which means it is super safe. The apartment itself is small, but has everything you need for a perfect stay.
Where To Stay In Cape Town – The Best Areas
North of Table Mountain, City Bowl definitely is where to stay in Cape Town for first time visitors, and by all means where to stay in Cape Town to be at the center of action. You will find plenty of accommodation options for any budget, you will have plenty of bars and restaurants to pick from – make sure to check out the ones on Long Street and Bee Street – and endless shopping opportunities.
The main downside of the City Bowl is that you have to be wary of your surroundings at night – Long Street, one of the main nightlife hubs, can be dodgy when the sun goes down. My recommendation is to call an Uber even to cover short distances – it works super efficiently in South Africa.
Another thing to consider is that this is the busiest part of town, so there can be quite a bit of traffic and – should you be renting a car – parking isn’t always the easiest thing. Advanced bookings for hotels and Airbnbs in this part of town are definitely recommended.
Continue reading for a brief description of the main neighborhoods in the City Bowl.
Bo-Kaap – Where to stay in Cape Town in search of color
Bo-Kaap definitely wins the contest for the most colorful and multicultural neighborhood in Cape Town. The majority of its resident are descendants of slaves coming from Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, and other places in Africa that once freed settled in the area. It’s where you will find the iconic, bright pink, green, blue, lilac, red, orange houses – to name a few colors, most of which were originally built in the 1750s. Last but definitely not least, Bo-Kaap where the famous Cape-Malay cuisine was created: you absolutely have to try when in town.
To get to know the area better, you may want to consider one of these guided tours:
- Bike tour of Cape Town, with Bo-Kaap – a great way to learn a bit more about the city.
- Cape Malay cooking class – in case you want to uncover the secrets of the most famous cuisine in the country.
GOOD TO KNOW: Bo-Kaap is a bit of a hit and miss area. Some streets are totally cool and safe, but take a wrong turn and you may be in trouble. Avoid walking around alone at night, and call an Uber if needed.
De Waterkant – Where to stay in Cape Town for LGBTQ travelers
Not far from the colorful houses of Bo-Kaap, De Waterkant is the city’s main gay and lesbian hotspot, not to mention one of the most lively at night. With its cobbled streets, the lovely Cape Quarter Square, shopping opportunities, bars, restaurants and clubs, this small part of the City Bowl is a real gem.
GOOD TO KNOW: There aren’t many places to stay in this part of town, so make sure to do your research and book well in advance.
Woodstock – Where to stay in Cape Town for lovers of street art
At a mere 10 minutes away from the heart of the City Bowl, Woodstock is Cape Town’s artists hot-spot. Wander the streets and you will be endlessly marveled by the street art – of both local and international artists. There’s so much of it that it’s often been compared to Brooklyn. As it is a bit cheaper than the rest of the City Bowl, it’s where many young entrepreneurs have established their offices – think startups here! It’s also where the Old Biscuit Mill with its farm stalls is located. Finally, it is a prime location for festivals.
GOOD TO KNOW: Woodstock is very affordable but not the safest area in town.
Central Business District (CBD) – Where to stay in Cape Town for business travelers
The CBD is home to some of the best hotels in Cape Town catering to business travelers. Adding to the good selection of hotels, you will also find good restaurants, bars and the many shops of Bree Steet. This is also where the First Thursdays take place every first Thursday of the month, providing access to to art galleries, bars, restaurants and shops until late!
GOOD TO KNOW: The Central Business District is within walking distance from Long Street, Gardens and Green Point. Opt for an Uber at night.
Gardens – Where to stay in Cape Town for that local feel
If you are looking for a more local experience, the Gardens are a great area. Within walking distance from Kloof Street and Long Street, it’s where historic Company Gardens, established by the Dutch East India Company, are located. The area is usually safe – but much like in the rest of town, keep your eyes open at night, and definitely call an Uber if alone.
Incidentally, this is where I stayed the second time I visited, and found there is a good selection of Airbnbs located in lovely condos, great restaurants and cafés (I truly enjoyed Deluxe Coffeeworks), unique shops such as Mabu Vinyl (remember the movie “Searchign for Sugar Man”?), and more.
GOOD TO KNOW: Free parking is scarce in the area!
Oranjezicht, Tamboerskloof and Higgovale – Where to stay in Cape Town for great views
If you are looking for a room with endless views going from the harbor to Lion’s Head and Table Mountain, Oranjezicht, Tamboerskloof and Higgovale are some of the best places to stay in Cape Town. This neighborhoods are mostly affluent, so expect the prices of accommodation to be a bit higher than in the rest of the City Bowl.
GOOD TO KNOW: These areas are walking distance from Kloof Street and Gardens.
V&A Waterfront – one of the best areas where to stay in Cape Town
I am a massive fan of the V&A Waterfront (also known as the Victoria and Albert Waterfront). Easily one of the best places to visit in South Africa, this part of town is packed with great restaurants and bars (my favorite is Quay Four – a pub style place with live music almost every night), a food hall with all sorts of options (Knysna Oysters anyone?), a crafts market for endless shopping opportunities, and – in case you want to shop more – a massive shopping mall.
The V&A Waterfront is a working harbor, and it’s where tours to Robben Island, the prison were Nelson Mandela was held, depart from. It’s also were the hop-on hop-off buses go by. Make sure to ride the Ferris Wheel for great views of Table Mountain!
GOOD TO KNOW: The V&A Waterfront is a safe area. The main downside of staying there is that Cape Town hotels there tend to be a bit more expensive.
Make sure to check out the following guided tours:
- Robben Island: Ferry Ticket and Tour with 1-Way Hotel Pickup – a great tour if you care about learning more about the difficult past of the country. For the price of the ticket you will get transportation to Robben Island, a guided tour of the prisons and a bus tour across the island. Opt for the earliest tour for better sea conditions.
- Cape Town City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Tour – a fun and budget-friendly way to explore the city.
Observatory – Where to stay in Cape Town for budget travelers
Popular among backpackers and budget travelers, the Obs – as it is locally known – is also a popular nightlife hotspot. There you will find many affordable hostels. The City Bowl is at an easy driving distance.
GOOD TO KNOW: Where there are backpackers, there are parties and hence noise. Don’t stay in this part of town if you are a light sleeper.
Where to stay in Cape Town in the City Bowl
Here is a selection of the best places to stay in Cape Town that are all located in the City Bowl, arranged by budget.
Luxury Cape Town Hotels
Devonport House is located in Tamboerskloof a fantastic bed and breakfast, a great haven from the city where you’ll find a beautiful room, a swimming pool and a reserved parking space. It’s right by Signal Hill, so perfect if hiking is your thing. It’s at easy walking distance from the South African Museum and Planetarium, while the V&A Waterfront is at 30 minutes walk or less than 10 minutes drive. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Cape Heritage Hotel is located on Bree Street. This fantastic boutique hotel is right in the heart of the city. It features beautiful, large rooms curated in every detail. It’s definitely where to stay in Cape Town if you have the budget to splurge. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Taj Cape Town is walking distance from all the main attractions in town. It features a pool and a fitness center. Rooms are incredibly spacious and fitted with anything you may need for a perfect stay. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
The Capital Mirage Hotel is right by De Waterkant. It has very large suites which also include a fully equipped kitchen. There is a fitness center and even a spa and a restaurant. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Budget Cape Town Hotels
The Backpack is where to stay in Cape Town for travelers on a budget. This is one of the most popular hostels in town, with a choice of dorms, private and family rooms. There are plenty of common areas, a pool and bar to hang out, and activities such as braai (South African bbq) and nights out are organized. A filling breakfast is included in the price of your stay. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Long Street Boutique Hotel is conveniently located on Long Street, so you will be close to restaurants, bars and shops and on the route of the City Sightseeing bus. Rooms are spacious and go from the small basic to the large premium. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Tintagel Guesthouse is located in one of the most charming buildings in the Gardens. Rooms are on the small size but have everything you need for a great stay. Breakfast is included in the price. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Best Airbnbs in the City Bowl
Studio Pad with Table Mountain Views is a stylish studio in the City Bowl, right across the street from the Company Gardens and a minute away from Long Street. You will have a fully equipped kitchen, a communal garden, a pool and laundry facilities. Click here for the latest rates.
High Rise Condo with Mountain and City Views is the perfect place to stay for a couple. The apartment is beautifully furnished, right in the center of the City Bowl and has everything you need for a fabulous stay. It’s very conveniently priced. Click here for the latest rates.
Cozy Downtown Loft is a superb apartment with stunning views of the city. The wooden beams and exposed brick give it a hipster touch. It’s small, but it really has everything you need. You will also have access to a pool and a fitness center. Click here for the latest rates.
Charming Central Flat in a Refurbished Building from 1916 is centrally located, so you can access all attractions. It’s fully equipped and comfortable, and larger than most Airbnbs in the city – so a great place where to stay in Cape Town for a more prolonged period of time. There is a lovely internal garden. Click here for the latest rates.
This part of the city is where the rich and famous live, in gorgeous villas overlooking the ocean. It stretches across the Northern and Western coasts around Table Mountain, and is home to some of the best beaches in the country. Here, you will find plenty of fabulous hotels – including some excellent budget options! Before I highlight the best hotels in Cape Town located in this part of the city, however, let me tell you a bit more about the various neighborhoods. I will mention them in the order in which they go (anti-clock wise) around Tabel Mountain.
Green Point – Where to stay in Cape Town for adventure junkies
Home of the iconic Cape Town Stadium – the one that looks like a UFO, built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup – Green Point is at just 20 minutes walking distance from the V&A Waterfront, and close to the Sea Point promenade (more about it before) and many stunning beaches.
GOOD TO KNOW: Green Point is a large sports event location, so it can get incredibly busy when they are being held. You will have no shortage of good accommodation options here, but book in advance!
Mouille Point – Where to stay in Cape Town for a proper break
Located between the V&A Waterfront and Sea Point, and close to Green Point, Mouille Point is known for the high-rise apartment buildings and the candy-striped Green Point lighthouse – the oldest operating lighthouse in the country. This is a fairly quiet part of town – don’t expect the bars and glitter of the V&A Waterfront!
GOOD TO KNOW: This is a great place to stay for longer periods of time.
Sea Point / Three Anchor Bay – Where to stay in Cape Town for sports enthusiasts
Named after the Sea Point promenade which goes all the way from Bantry Bay to Mouille Point, Sea Point is a locals favorite for outdoors sports – walking, biking, running and more. With outdoor gyms, parks perfect for children; a pool open during the summer months, it easily qualifies as where to stay in Cape Town for families with children (and sports enthusiasts, of course).
If you need a break from all the work-out, you can always people-watch, or visit an art gallery. Need more? This is one of the safest areas in Cape Town (but by all means, keep your eyes open!).
GOOD TO KNOW: Accommodation options abound in Sea Point.
Fresnaye – A lovely (yet expensive) area to stay in Cape Town
Fresnaye is known to be the most expensive neighborhood in Cape Town – and for a good reason. It provides easy access to the gorgeous beaches, it has views over Table Bay and Robben Island, it’s sheltered from the cold winds that regularly hit cape town. What’s not to like about it?
GOOD TO KNOW: Consider staying elsewhere if you are traveling on a budget.
Bantry Bay – Where to stay in Cape Town for more ocean views
If you want to stay in a part of town that is close to the ocean but relatively quiet, Bountry Bay is the place for you. It’s nicely sheltered from the winds, and the views are lovely.
GOOD TO KNOW: Bountry Bay doesn’t actually have its own beach, but you can easily access the ones in other neighborhoods.
Clifton – Where to stay in Cape Town for access to incredible beaches
Clifton has four beaches which are easily among the most beautiful in the world. The beach snob in me totally approves of this reputation! Sand is nice, soft and white; the giant boulders give it an extra fun look and the clear waters are calling your name (except, water in this part of the country is freezing cold). This is positively where to stay in Cape Town for access to stunning beaches.
The four beaches vary little in terms of what they look like and of the views (all of them face the stunning Twelve Apostles), but are different in terms of what’s on offer. Clifton First Beach is perfect for a sporty crowd – you will see people playing volleyball and other sports. BONUS POINT – dogs are allowed! Second Beach is gay-friendly. Third Beach is open to topless visitors. Finally, Fourth Beach is more family friendly as it is a bit larger and there are lifeguards on duty.
GOOD TO KNOW: Remember that water temperatures are frigid in this part of the country!
Camps Bay – Where to stay in Cape Town for stunning coastal views
White sand beaches, views of the Twelve Apostles (even more impressive at sunset), swimming and surfing opportunities, bars and restaurants galore make Camps Bay one of the best places to stay in Cape Town. The only minor downside is the regular wind.
GOOD TO KNOW: This is a very popular part of town in the summer months (November to July) and traffic can get quite hectic. Keep that in mind!
Bakoven – Where to stay in Cape Town for a more local experience
With fine sand, clear waters and giant boulders Bakoven, located between that and Llandudno Beach (more about it below) easily qualifies as Camps Bay’s baby sister. It is a hidden gem that locals like to keep to themselves. There isn’t much on offer for tourists and public services are somewhat scarce, but a quick drive will take you to the more equipped Camps Bay.
GOOD TO KNOW: Bakoven has a good range of accommodation options, from luxury (the area above Victoria Road) to more basic (below Victoria Road).
Llandudno – Where to stay in Cape Town for a quieter retreat
Llandudno is at the bottom of the slope of the Twelve Apostles. This crescent-shaped beach is one of the most beautiful in South Africa, and the perfect place for all sorts of sports, among which surfing. Having said that, it’s a great place for sunbathing and family time! Much like Bakoven, Llandudno doesn’t have many restaurants and shops, but Hout Bay is just 5 minutes drive in case you need anything.
GOOD TO KNOW: This is the perfect place to stay if you are in search of a quiet area.
Where to stay in Cape Town in the Atlantic Seaboard
Here is a selection of the best places to stay in Cape Town that are all located in the Atlantic Seaboard, arranged by budget.
Luxury Cape Town Hotels
Ocean View House is a fantastic boutique hotel located in Camps Bay. Rooms are very spacious and perfectly equipped for a wonderful stay. They have breathtaking views. The onsite pool and the superb breakfast complete the picture – it’s just perfect. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Sea Star Rock Boutique Hotel offers large rooms with ocean views and a hot tub. It’s located in Camps Bay, at easy distance from the beach. If you have the budget to splurge, go for the Penthouse Suite or for the room with a private pool. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
The Tree House Boutique Hotel is located in Green Point. You have the option of picking between rooms with garden view and ocean view (I know which one I’d go for). Guests can enjoy a pool, a bar and even a spa and wellness center. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Budget Cape Town Hotels
The B.I.G Backpackers is an excellent hostel located in Green Point. You will have a selection of spacious private rooms and well equipped dorms. There is an on-site pool and a very good breakfast is included in the price. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Anchor Bay Guesthouse is a lovely small guesthouse in Three Anchor Bay. With only two rooms available to guests, you can be sure you will be nicely taken care of. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
The Villa Rosa, in Sea Point, offers small but beautiful, comfortable and beautifully decorated rooms in a cozy environment. The included breakfast is scrumptious. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Best Airbnbs in the Atlantic Seaboard
Hip Beachfront Apartment with a Minimalist Vibe & Best Views is located in Clifton Second Beach. It is fully equipped with a spacious kitchen, in case you want to prepare your meals. The stunning views and the free parking are definitely great bonuses. Click here for the latest rates.
Stroll the Beachfront Promenade from a Period Apartment is a beautiful apartment located in Bantry Bay. It’s a fantastic place to relax and you will have easy access to the nearby beaches. Click here for the latest rates.
401 Cosmopolitan is located in Sea Point. It’s a spacious apartment with everything you need for a relaxing stay, and the price is more than reasonable considering the location. Click here for the latest rates.
Further readings about Cape Town and South Africa
Make sure to read my other posts to help you plan your trip to South Africa:
- 17 Absolutely Unmissable Things To Do In Cape Town
- 10 Great Day Trips From Cape Town
- 3 Unmissable Things To Do In Johannesburg – On A 24 Hours Layover
- 20 Fabulous Places To Visit In South Africa
- 7 Amazing Estates To Do Wine Tasting In Stellenbosch
- 17 Cool Things To Do In Stellenbosch
- A Guide To The Things To Do In Knysna And On The Garden Route
- 6 Areas Where To Find Accommodation In Knysna
- 11 Reasons Why You’ll Love Phinda Game Reserve
- The Best Beaches In South Africa