In this first-hand experience guide, we share with you only 3 top Cape Town hostels – and why they stand out.
Is it Table Mountain that entices you? Or perhaps you’re simply excited to discover the best backpackers places to stay.
This is the only guide you need!
- The B.I.G Backpackers – top pick for solo travellers
- The Backpack – great for female solo travellers
- Atlantic Point Backpackers – one for backpackers
Get ready for swimming pools, female solo traveller havens and that all important sociable space.
This guide is perfect for YOU, when …
- tired of bad and crappy hostels
- want to avoid the “young party kids”
- happy to spend 1-2€ for a better experience
Quick Introduction to Cape Town, South Africa
Average price for a bed: Hostels in Cape Town cost 9€ – 16€ per night for a bed in a dorm. A private room starts from 21€ up to 68€ per night. This is a rough average just to give you an idea.
Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.
New to Hostels? Read our full hostel starter guide here. We especially recommend to read:
- how to book hostels (and websites to use)
- 23 items for the hostel packing list
- Are hostels safe? 13 safety tips for hostels
The 3 Best Hostels in Cape Town, South Africa
Let’s jump right into the boutique and backpacker hostels in Cape Town.
We put all three accommodation on the map, you will find the map at the end of the article.
1. The B.I.G Backpackers
The Backpackers in Green Point (B.I.G for short) is a beautiful boutique hostel with a pool.
For sure solo travellers of every kind will love the friendly ambience and home-from-home social spaces.
What does this modern, squeaky clean and highly rated hostel offer?
- An outdoor swimming pool
- Shaded garden space
- Three fully-fitted kitchens
- Free continental brekky
- Two games rooms
- Library/book swap
- Travel desk w/ advice + booking
The real question should be, what does B.I.G NOT offer?! It’s no wonder it’s our chosen best hostel in Cape Town.
It doesn’t stop there.
Let’s talk a little bit about the gorgeous rooms.
You can choose between doubles, triples, family, mixed and female dorms – something for everyone.
The pictures say it all really. The beds are solid and the decor cosy yet modern.
Oh and each room has its very own en-suite which is a bonus!
Although it’s easy to claim, the staff at B.I.G really stand out as caring and social. That’s important, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Located on a peaceful street, it is easy to access the CBD and top bars and restaurants should you want to venture out. Table Mountain and the vibrant V&A waterfront are only a short taxi ride away.
A fantastic place for:
- Solo travellers
- Older Travellers
2. The Backpack Hostel – Swimming Pool
Rolling in close behind is the fabulous award winning hostel that cares about sustainability, contemporary design and awesome amenities.
The Backpack is our only 5 Star Hostel in Cape Town.
It’s in the heart of the city and one we’re sure you’re going to love.
I mean, did you expect to find a hostel that has a swimming pool with Table Mountain views? Probably not, but here you are!
Alongside that, their very own bar is open ’til late each night, and often there are cool evening activities to join.
If you’re not into that, relax in the garden after a swim and upload your photos using the Fibre Wi-Fi – it’s free, after all.
Here it’s possible to accommodate 108 people at one time in 11 room types. These are:
- Single, twin + double rooms
- 4 + 8-bed mixed dorms
- 4-bed female dorms
- Family rooms
- Self-catering apartment
It’s so nice to see colour on the walls and big windows letting in tons of light. Each room is unique, spread over four 100-year old Victorian houses.
Forget boring high-rise buildings. Many of the dorms have single (not bunk) beds and their own courtyard and garden. Fancy pants!
To top it off there is a free continental breakfast and the hostel has its own water supply. If you’re keen to hear more about the sustainability efforts, check out our full review to The Backpack here.
This is one of the best hostels in Cape Town for
- Female solo travellers
3. Atlantic Point Backpackers
Have we managed to find a third hostel with great style, fun amenities and consistently high ratings?
You’re damn right we have (how could you doubt the Hostelgeeks)!
Atlantic Point Backpackers is a short walk from the waterfront and even closer to the Green Point Stadium.
The variety of rooms here – private, single, mixed and female dorms – almost all come with an en-suite for added comfort.
One thing we can guarantee is that breakfast is included for everyone.
To bring people together, this backpackers has created some wonderful social spaces such as:
- Swimming pool + garden
- Lounge w/ TV
- BBQ area
- Entertainment area w/ pool table
- On-site bar
Unlike the first two hostels, this one likes to arrange group events to help break the ice.
Helpful, smiling staff make the whole experience easier.
What makes this hostel unique is that they give back to the community by supporting local programms and charities. Alongside going green, you know your money is going towards great causes by staying here.
A fun place for cool people like:
- Sociable travellers
What about cheapest hostels in Cape Town?
If you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you wanna save every penny, there are ways to find the cheap hostels in Cape Town.
- Open Hostelworld with full list of budget places to stay in Cape Town
- Order the listing by price
Simple as that.
Read: Smart guide on how to book hostels with Hostelworld
Make sure you use then the other filters and rank per price.
Also keep a close eye on the ratings, especially the “extreme ratings”.
Meaning, the best and worst. These ratings can give great insight on what to expect.
Best Hostels in Cape Town for Solo Travellers?
What is seriously the best hostel in Cape Town for solo-travellers?
We’re always keen to point out the best hostel(s) for solo travellers in every destination we cover. Cape Town is no exception!
With this in mind, we often stick by our top 3 chosen hostels, and for good reason. So you guessed it, we recommend:
- Best Hostel for Female Solo Travellers: The Backpack
- Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Cape Town: The B.I.G Backpackers
If, by chance, you happen to be a solo traveller looking to socialise we recommend Atlantic Point Backpackers.
The organised events and entertainment area make meeting people super easy.
Party Hostels in Cape Town
Fancy some partying hostels in CP?
We tell you what; Cape Town has done well to produce a super cool party hostel called ONCE in Cape Town.
It’s a clever hostel name that you’ll no doubt be using a lot to tell stories of your experience at this fun place.
You’ll be saying, ONCE in Cape Town I enjoyed the…
- Close proximity to Longstreet where the party scene is at
- 3 in-house restaurants (each with a different vibe)
- Outdoor fire pit
- Meditation area
- Bar open until 11pm
Book your stay in a dorm or a private. Either way you’ll be treated to a private bathroom and no curfew.
But wait, we have a second party hostel in Cape Town!
Let’s introduce you to Never@Home before you decide.
From beer pong to board games, it’s all about fun fun fun and winning prizes here.
Stay in and enjoy the restaurant, bar and swimming pool. The bar opens at 12:00 and serves cocktails, so why would you venture further?
Having said that, the best bars on offer are just a 5-minute stroll away along the V&A waterfront.
Enjoy 24-hour reception, no curfew and clean, spacious private and shared dorm rooms.
How to book?
We recommend using Booking.com or Hostelworld for your reservations.
Hostelworld is super safe and the biggest booking platform for hostels.
On both platforms your credit card is 100% protected and the booking 100% confirmed.
We included the handy links to each of the recommended hostel. Just click on the hostel name. The link will lead you to check prices and availability.
Here is the overview:
- The B.I.G Backpackers: Booking.com | Hostelworld
- The Backpack: Booking.com | Hostelworld
- Atlantic Point Backpackers: Booking.com | Hostelworld
Currently, we have no special hostel discounts in Cape Town. I know, it’s a pity. You can subscribe to our newsletter to receive our newest hostel discounts always to your inbox.
You can find all our hostel discounts worldwide here.
All 3 Hostels put on a map + sights
Let us have a look on the map. Below we list all three best Cape Town hostels on a map.
This map helps you to plan your travels easier.
We also included the main tourist attractions you’ve to know in this list:
- Table Mountain
- Cape of Good Hope
- Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
- Boudlers Beach
- V&A Waterfront
- Castle of Good Hope
- Cape Town Stadium
- Robben Island
Looking for fun activities? We have found some great options:
- Cape Point and Penguin Explorer (full day tour)
- Inverdoorn Reserve Safari (full day)
- Cape Town Tandem Paragliding
- Eco-Friendly Shark Cage Diving
Most certainly the best way get around is with the Cape Town City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off bus.
5 Secret Tips for Cape Town
We have prepared a little extra for you; so do not run away already.
Personally, we are no experts when it comes to actual secrets Cape Town. So? How can we have here any recommendations?!
Easy: Our friend Annika from Midnightblueelephant.com used to live in the most southern city in Africa. She knows Cape Town inside out plus we enjoy her travel style! This is the perfect mix to bring you this unique secret guide.
Therefore, let us proudly introduce you the 5 secret tips for Cape Town.
With these recommendations you can enjoy Cape Town in a local way. Together with Annika we show you great activities, where to enjoy the local art scene, and where you can get the best burger in town.
- A place where you can drink while doing good.
- Want the best burger in Cape Town? We will take you there!
- The all-in-one stop for your weekend shopping.
- Cape Town’s monthly get together – a city crawl of a different kind.
- Where to find new friends to chase the waves with – great activity!
1. Bar: The Orphanage Cocktail Emporium
Of course, you can just order a beer here, but it would be a pity because the Orphanage makes some of the best and most innovative cocktails in town.
Don’t be put off by the lines at the door or their prices, it will all be worth it once you are dancing the night away with a ‘Daddy Warbucks’.
If you prefer to do good with your cocktail, have a ‘More Tea Vicar?’ which includes a donation to the orphanage that used to be housed on the corner.
Good to know: This bar is located right around the corner of the The Backpack.
2. Yummy: The Dog’s Bollocks (50 Burger per night)
Get yourself the self-proclaimed biggest most badass burger of Cape Town at The Dog’s Bollocks.
The atmosphere oozes New York back-alley charm and the burgers are really all they promise to be.
Write your order on the chalkboard and most importantly get here early, chef Nigel only makes 50 burgers per night.
3. Channel your inner Warhol at First Thursdays
It’s art & socializing – join the cool Capetonians every first Thursday for a gallery crawl of note.
Galleries stay open late, admission is free, and it is a great chance to explore the inner city on foot. See the best of the local art & event scene and, of course, don’t forget to stop on the way for a drink in one of the many participating bars!
For details about the art, events, and the current map of galleries visit the official website first-thursdays.co.za.
4. Catch a perfect wave with Stoked School of Surf
Cape Town’s one and only mobile surf school will take you to the beaches with the ideal wind and swell conditions each day for your lesson.
And if you already know how to surf, but are new to town they offer surf guiding to show you the best spots.
Check out their website for details about lessons and surf trips at stokedsurfschool.com.
5. To market, to market – Neighbourgoods Market
By now a Cape Town classic, the weekly Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill still draws local hipsters and tourists alike.
Get there early for chef’s Luke Dale Roberts famous poached egg rösti and a seat on a bale of straw with a side of craft beer.
This well-nourished you can roam the stalls for local fashion, produce and fresh flowers.
More interesting travel guides to check out:
Flights to Cape Town?
We enjoy Kiwi.com to find cheap flights all over South Africa, including Cape Town and Johannesburg.
This new website has super cool features like a so-called radius search. Just draw a circle over Africa and find the cheapest rates for the area.
Here is our review of Kiwi.
Alright, this is your answer to where to stay in Cape Town.
We did the leg work for you and bring you more hostel guides to destinations:
You can find all our new and updates articles for Best Hostels in here.
Over to you
Was this useful? Do you have any questions, doubts?
Then please please leave us a comment. This list of awesome Cape Town hostels should be as informative and useful as possible.
Your question will help me to understand what I have missed to mention.
Therefore, drop us a comment, we are keen to help you!
Last note: Our commitment
This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter and find the best place on a budget! We ONLY recommend places we know you will enjoy, no matter what.
We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. We only share with you places we also recommend to our best friends and family!
Enjoy this fine hostel selection and all 5 Star Hostels.
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Your Smart Packing List
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.The most important things to pack are:
- eye mask
- key chain flashlight
- the right backpack, the Nomatic (our review of Nomatic here) or Lowe Alpine Lightflite 45 Pack
- packing cubes
- generic padlock (fitting all locker types)
- quick-dry travel towel
- universal power adapter
- travel-sized toiletries