Cape Town hotel and hostel tips: where to stay?
Cape Town is a big city and has different neighborhoods. Safety can be an issue for some people. It was for us! There are warnings from all angles that in Cape Town you shouldn’t walk the street when it’s dark. We generally followed that advice. We never felt unsafe in Cape Town, not for a moment, and we only had positive experiences. I am happy to tell you more about the nicest and safest neighborhoods in Cape Town!
Safe neighborhoods Cape Town & Hotel Tips
There are a number of nice and safe neighborhoods in Cape Town. This does not mean that the other neighborhoods are unsafe! Nice and safe neighborhoods are:
- De Waterkant (Waterfront)
- Sea Point en Green Point
- Camps Bay
- The center (between the Waterfront and Gardens)
1. The Gardens
We stayed in the Gardens District. This is a lively area, attracting young and old people because of the many shops, restaurants and cafes. The nice and famous streets Kloofstreet, Longstreet and Breestreet are all in this neighborhood.
Why stay at The Gardens?
- Central location
- Fairly quiet in terms of traffic
- Many fun restaurants, shops and cafés
Where to stay: The Backpack
Hostel The Backpack is in an ideal location, right in the center and in a safe area. Although you always have to remain vigilant in Cape Town. The famous streets Kloofstreet, Longstreet and Church Street are within walking distance and the V&A Waterfront can be reached within 5 minutes with your own car or an Uber (taxi/$3.50). There is a swimming pool, a restaurant, a free parking space in front of your door and free WiFi. This fair-trade hostel is located in the trendy Gardens District, on the edge of Tamboerskloof and Bo Kaap.
You can sleep here for as little as $30 per night in a dormitory with 8 beds. That includes a super tasty breakfast. If you want a little more privacy, you have a double room with a shared bathroom for $90 a night. We took a room with a private bathroom. This costs $130 per night including breakfast. You can book here.
2. The Waterkant (V&A Waterfront)
The Waterkant, or V&A Waterfront, is the most touristic part of Cape Town. You can walk around here safely after dark. At the V&A Waterfront you can shop, eat good food and spot whales if you’re lucky. Opposite the harbor is a Food Market and you should really visit it! The covered Food Market is only open during the day (or until 7 p.m.) and here you can taste anything: sushi, Vietnamese spring rolls, smoothies, frozen yogurt, cheese and much more.
Why stay at V&A Waterfront?
- Tourist area and therefore safer
- Lots of shops, restaurants
- Starting point of the Hop-on Hop-off Bus
- DISADVANTAGE: many traffic jams in this section in the morning and around 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Expensive hotels.
Where to stay: Protea Hotel by Marriott
Most hotels in the Waterfront are quite pricey. You won’t find a hotel under $170 per night. Protea Hotel by Marriott Cape Town Waterfront Breakwater Lodge is one of the more affordable hotels where you can spend the night. It is located in a super nice neighborhood and some rooms have a view of the harbor. You can sleep here from $180 per night with two people. Other guests rate the hotel with an 8.
3. Sea Point & Green Point
Green Point is next to Waterfront and Sea Point is next to Green Point. The neighborhoods are located along the coast and are labeled as one of the safer neighborhoods. If you spend the night here you will be close to the beaches and you can walk along the promenade. There is also a public swimming pool with a view of the sea in Sea Point.
Why stay at Sea or Green Point?
- Near the beach and the V&A Waterfront
- Near the football stadium
Where to stay: Milton Lodge
If you want to spend the night for a little less than Sea Point is a nice neighborhood. Milton Lodge has fresh rooms, free Wi-Fi and is located 250 meters from the Sea Point Promenade. Unfortunately there is no air conditioning. You can sleep here from $64 a night including a nice breakfast.
Another hotel tip: Villa Costa Rose
Another good option is Villa Costa Rose. A B&B with a delicious breakfast! The rooms are nice, clean and spacious. This accommodation is a 6-minute walk from the beach. Located in Sea Point, Villa Costa Rose offers panoramic views of Signal Hill, Table Mountain and Lion’s Head. Guests rate this stay with a 9+! A room for two people costs $79.
4. Camps Bay
Well-dressed people, expensive cars and stunning villas: Camps Bay! It is a posh area in Cape Town, with gorgeous beaches and good restaurants. The richest people live here. This neighborhood is full of beautiful villas and spending the night here is a bit more expensive. There is a pleasant atmosphere here during the day, we have never been here in the evening ourselves.
Why stay at Camps Bay?
- Beautiful beaches nearby
- Upscale trendy neighborhood
- Con: Everything is slightly more expensive here
Where to stay: South Beach Camps Bay
If you stay in Camps Bay, you better do it well. South Beach Camps Bay offers various suites and a penthouse with a private swimming pool as shown in the picture above. The rooms are absolutely stunning. This accommodation is located 50 meters from the beach and a pleasant promenade where you will find all the restaurants and bars. Guests rate this stay as 9.2. Well, you can expect some extensive damage to your wallet. Staying here costs a minimum of $186 per night.
5. The Center
The center of Cape Town (Green Market Square) is actually in the extended part of The Gardens. Longstreet, for example, runs through The Gardens, via the center to the Waterfront.
Why stay in the center
- Lively, bubbling.
- Good connection with the rest of the city
- Disadvantage: crowds and also many beggars
Where to stay: hostel 91 Loop
91 Loop is located in the center of Cape Town, just a stone’s throw away from Longstreet and Green Market Square. This chic hostel features a 24-hour front desk, a restaurant, a bar, and a courtyard with a terrace. For $19 you sleep in a ‘capsule’, but there are also normal beds. You can also opt for a double room with private bathroom. You will pay $54 for this room.
Safety in Cape Town
Cape Town is and remains a big city and just like in every city you have to be on your guard. The rich and poor live side by side and the poorest have absolutely nothing to lose. Although the above neighborhoods are labeled as safe, I believe that you shouldn’t take any risks. Here are some safety precautions:
- Do not walk on the street when it is dark (+/- around 9 p.m.)
- Take your rental car or an Uber in the evening (taxi, this costs almost nothing)
- Lock the door of your rental car while driving and standing still
- Do not leave any items in the car, nor any change
- Never go out to withdraw money or refuel your car in the evening
- Don’t show off your expensive watch, telephone or photo camera
- Leave your passport and a reserve debit card in your hotel
- You can pay anywhere with your debit card, so you do not need cash
And furthermore … enjoy! Cape Town is a very nice city, where we have only experienced beautiful things!
Read more about sights and things to do in Cape Town
Our check out our complete road trip itinerary South Africa
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