Cape Town: some of the best hostels for backpackers

Hostels are a great budget option for those looking to socialize, and they’re the best one can find in Cape Town.

If one is considering hiking in the beautiful coastal city of Cape Town in South Africa, one might wonder where to stay. Cape Town has plenty of hostels / backpackers to choose from, so we’ll be discussing some of the top picks.

One of Cape Town’s main attractions is the iconic and towering Table Mountain – it is a must to climb and the views are breathtaking. Africa as a whole is quite expensive to do on a backpack budget, but although difficult it is possible to travel to many countries in Africa on a backpack budget with the right advice.

About accommodation for backpackers in Africa

In Africa, backpacker accommodation is very different from that in Europe and many other places in the world. In Europe, hostels are little more than inexpensive collective accommodation for penniless backpackers – or backpackers looking for the formidable community spirit inherent in hostels (the hostel vibe).

In Africa, hostels are generally referred to as “backpackers” and they are very different. They usually have hostel-style accommodation, private rooms / chalets, a bar, restaurant, and are often the hangouts for expats and locals who can afford a (relatively) more expensive meal and drink.

  • Accommodation for backpackers in Africa: Normally a fusion of resort, bar, restaurant and hostel concepts
  • Backpackers in Cape Town: Typically a fusion of hostel and hotel concepts

In Cape Town they are still a bit different and are often hybrids of hostels and hotels with restaurants and bars. Here are some of the top picks for Cape Town.

Related: Happiness Is Planning An Adventure Somewhere Far Away: Packing Tips For Solo Backpackers

Curiosity Cape Town

Curiocity Cape Town (they also have a Curiocity Johannesburg), is known as one of the best hostel / hotel hybrids in Cape Town.

  • Site: Prime location (Green Point)

They are located in a three story Modernist building in the Green Point neighborhood. This is a prime location near the beach and the promenade (where you can walk and watch the whales off the coast). It is also close to the city center where there are many beautiful pubs, old buildings, museums and great shopping.

  • Installations: Swimming pool, Outdoor lounge, Café-Restaurant, Kitchenettes

Curiocity is designed to cater for almost any traveler. You can choose between premium deluxe rooms and family apartments, shared backpacker suites and hostels.

They have a swimming pool, outdoor lounge and on-site coffee shop.

  • Accommodation: From luxury rooms to hostel dorms

Premium rooms are equipped with comfortable king-size beds, sitting areas, private balconies and are very clean and relaxing. Their family suites offer 2-bedroom apartments and are equipped with a king-size bed and two bunk beds.

Their backpacker options have dorms for 6 to 8 people and come fully equipped with kitchenettes, living rooms, and private outdoor balconies. There is no pressure or wait to have dinner at their restaurant – feel free to prepare your own meals.

  • Dormitory cost: From 290 Rand ($ 18) per night

But Curiocity takes it a step further and not only offers tours of Cape Town and South Africa’s famous wine country, but they also strive to foster the hostel vibe in their hybrid establishment.

  • Visits: Couricity offers many tours of the region

One can book Cape Peninsula tours, sunset dining experiences, sunrise hikes and meditations, the black route (city tour) and wine tours with them.

Don’t miss their beer + braai evenings. In South Africa, a barbecue is called a “Braai” and South Africans To like their Braai and this “love” with a capital “L”. It’s a must see for anyone wanting to experience this important part of South African culture and it’s a great opportunity to bond with other travelers over a cold dish and steak.

  • When: Braai evenings (BBQ) every Friday
  • Cost: From 400 Rand ($ 25) per person (free drink included)

Related: Here’s What You Need To Know Before Hiking Lion’s Head In South Africa

Mojo Hotel / Inn

Mojo is a hybrid hotel and hostel that spans the 2nd and 3rd floors of a building. The Mojo Market occupies the first floor – it’s a place that vibrates every night. The place is very modern and with many stalls cash is not accepted.

  • Mojo Market: Diversified food market under the hostel

The Mojo Market is a large dining hall with restaurants from around the world. Here, one can find American, Indian, Middle Eastern, Turkish, Chinese, Mexican restaurants and more under one roof.

  • Live music: Played more or less every night

Live music is played every night and it is often crowded. It is not only a tourist destination, the majority of customers are South Africans. It is a favorite haunt for Cape Town residents and people who come to Johannesburg for the weekend.

If you go to the Mojo Hostel you can stay in their dorms and each dorm has its own kitchenette and fridge. The hostel’s community spirit mainly extends to whoever is in that particular room and one rarely interacts with others in the hostel.

  • Pool: Their rooftop pool has been removed

  • Atmosphere of the hostel: The hostel atmosphere is a bit lacking here and there is no common area (apart from the market)

Point: On party nights, it can be noisy

It should be noted that this is sort of a hostel / hotel to party and many South African groups book entire dorms to party the night away. It can be noisy at all times on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Next: Things to do in Africa (other than going on safari)

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About the Author

Aaron Spray
(676 published articles)

Aaron is a first-hand traveler who has visited over 70 countries around the world. He is passionate about travel and opens the world to other intrepid explorers.

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