Heading to Cape Town and on a budget? Here’s my top 5 hostels for affordable stays in this city.
After all, beautiful Cape Town has more things to do, areas to visit and hostels to stay at than you know to do with.
And if you’re like anything like me, this can be wholly confusing as a backpacker, especially if it’s your first visit to this city.
But fear not, lovely shoestring nomads, I’ve now visited Cape Town 3 times and made it my mission to explore all the different areas and stay in a ton of different hostels to bring you the pick of the bunch.
And here they are, the 5 best hostels in Cape Town… as chosen by me!
- 18 Best Things To Do in Cape Town
- How to Experience Kruger National Park on a Budget
- Complete Cape Town Itinerary
This page contains affiliate links meaning Big World Small Pockets may receive a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you.
I received sponsored stays from both Atlantic Point Backpackers and Bohemian Loft Backpackers, but, as always, all views are my own.
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#1 Atlantic Point Backpackers
My favourite Cape Town Hostel and a complete gem of a find I stumbled on by chance, Atlantic Point Backpackers feels like your home away from home in Cape Town.
Independently owned, with an incredibly personal and relaxed feel, the close proximity of the V&A Waterfront completely ties in with this hostel’s beach house vibe.
A huge communal kitchen, garden, bar and plunge pool means a lot of chill-out spaces and the imminent arrival of a designated co-working space, makes this place a dream for digital nomads, especially as the wifi is lightning fast!
Cleanliness, free healthy breakfasts with good coffee and designated female-only dorms also make this place ideal for solo female travellers.
And with a Whatsapp group running specifically for guests, a daily activity programme and some of the friendliest staff I’ve ever met, this place is perfect if you want to meet other travellers.
I loved my HUGE ensuite private room, as well the location of this hostel in Green Point, and there’s no doubt I would return here in an instant, definitely making it the best hostel in Cape Town for me!
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#2 Bohemian Loft Backpackers
Next on my list is my other favourite Cape Town hostel, Bohemian Loft Backpackers – a cute and independently-run place with a delightfully quirky vibe.
Set in the student area of Observatory (Obs for short) this place is a little further out of town, but offers travellers a very local feel, which I loved.
An alternative and arty kind of suburb, if you’re as into your book stores, health food shops, hipster cafes and vintage stores as I am, then Obs is the place for you!
And situated above the main street with all the delights of this area on your doorstep, Bohemian Loft Backpackers is a real treat of a find.
The huge balcony over main street gives you the perfect people-watching opportunity and the place has a real down to earth and relaxed feel.
Guest kitchen, free breakfast and free wifi complete the picture and you can choose from one of the individually decorated private or dorm rooms.
#3 Ashanti Lodge Gardens
If you’re looking for a more central location, but still don’t want to be in the heart of the city or the party scene, Ashanti Lodge Gardens could be just the answer for you.
One of the longest-running hostels in Cape Town, Ashanti Lodge Gardens have got years of knowledge about what budget travellers what or need… and it shows.
This large hostel, with garden area and terrace out front, pool in the back, bar, guest kitchen and top security, ticks all the boxes – plus there’s a travel desk if you need to rent a car or book any activities or excursions, including trips running into the surrounding countries of Namibia or Botswana.
The only thing that slightly put me off about this place is that it’s big and well-established, which means it does lose something of the personal touch.
However, if this doesn’t bother you, Ashanti Lodge Gardens is spotlessly clean and well located – getting to the centre of town is just a delightful stroll through the Company Gardens!
#4 Mojo Hostel
If you’ve come to Cape Town to hit the beach however, then look no further than Mojo Hostel.
Located in Sea Point and continually attracting rave reviews from shoestring travellers, this long term favourite is surrounded by cafes, restaurants, bars and, of course, the beach.
There’s an amazing roof terrace with epic views and the inhouse bar / café means you don’t have to go anywhere if you don’t want to.
With luxury mattresses, quality linen, digital laptop safes and top-notch cleanliness, getting active in Cape Town is easy from here with Seafront Promenade, which you can cycle or walk, just minutes from the door and nearby Lion’s Head just begging to be climbed!
It’s all about great design in this hostel too and I loved the individual flair to each private room, as well as the pod-style comfort offered in the dorms.
And if it’s bright, airy and vibrant you want, flavoured with a dash of seasalt, then Mojo Hostel is one of the best hostels in Cape Town for you!
#5 91 Loop Street
91 Loop Street is one of the great central hostels in Cape Town, situated, unsurprisingly at 91 Loop Street!
Known as a boutique hostel, this great backpackers offers delightfully minimal vibes with fibre speed wifi, free breakfast and top security.
Ensuite private rooms are available, but even in the dorms you’re guaranteed good privacy with pod-style beds as standard.
And what pods they are, with high-quality mattresses, extra length, personal reading light, keycard controlled locker and in-bed power supply.
Set right next to the hipster-friendly Bree Street and backpacker stalwart of Long Street, this place is in the heart of the action, and with regular social events, a busy tour desk, bar, courtyard and inhouse cafe (which offers guests 15% off) this place is one of the newest and coolest kids on the block!
Mini Travel Guide to Cape Town
When to Visit?
The best time to visit Cape Town is between December and March.
5 Essential Packing Items for Cape Town
#1 Cape Town Lonely Planet – A great travel aide to this city with tons of historical info, maps and top tips, the Cape Town Lonely Planet will help you get the best from your time here.
#2 Metal Water Bottle – Cape Town tap water is drinkable – hoorah! Bring your metal water bottle so you can simply refill from the tap, helping the environment and your small pockets at the same time.
#3 Good Camera – Cape Town is one of those ultimate bucket list destinations and travelling here with a good camera will help you preserve the memories. I highly recommend the mirrorless Sony A6000. Light, compact and robust, it’s been perfect for my Africa travel adventures.
#4 Sun Hat – Cape Town is hot and dry and often, windy as hell. When you’re walking in the city, taking day trips or hiking some of the mountains here you’ll be exposed to the sun for long periods of time, so making sure you pack a sunhat for adequate protection is key. I love this one from Hello Sunshine.
#5 Amazon Audible – Travel to Cape Town from just about anywhere takes a long time – no matter whether it’s on a plane, bus or boat. Having something to listen to while you enjoy the journey therefore is a must! I love Amazon Audible, which is the best audiobook service around!
Best Tours in South Africa
If you’re interested in an unforgettable, well-priced tour in South Africa with guides you can trust, or a self-drive trip organised by a great company, then email me at [email protected] and I’ll send you my top recommendations – simple!
Alternatively, I’m currently offering my readers an exclusive discount on all Absolute Africa tours, meaning you can now travel even more in the amazing country of South Africa and across the whole region of Southern Africa for even less!
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Otherwise, if it’s a safari-focused tour you’re after, check out these South Africa top picks.
Travel Insurance for South Africa
World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.
Travel Money in South Africa
When it comes to paying for things in South Africa, you want to ensure you’re not being charged overseas transaction fees or getting poor exchange rates when using your card abroad, which is why I always take my Wise card away with me wherever I travel.
The easy way to spend abroad with real exchange rates, no markups and no sneaky transaction fees, you can use your Wise card just like a debit card here… and it links easily with Google and Apple pay – sold! Grab yours here.
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And there you have it folks, my pick of the best hostels in Cape Town.
Do you have a favourite in this epic city?
Let me know in the comments below…