Where To Stay In Cape Town

Introduction

There are so many options in Cape Town. Note that although it is a value for money destination the top end establishments in the city are not shy to charge in line if not more than European and American rates. There is a range of choices from backpacker lodges and hostels to 5 star plus accommodation.

Instead of detailing each of these here we focus on the areas of the city and what they have to offer, all of which have many options. Once you have decided what suits you best just go to the search area of the site and scroll to the area that you want to see under the accommodation key or merely type what you want in the search box above. For example type ‘guest house camps bay’

The City Center

This area is the place to stay if you want to be right in the middle of things. Quite small and easily walkable, the city is a vibrant and happening spot. Efforts to decrease crime and bring the city centre to life have been very successful and it is definitely a 24-hour city. To really be in the centre of the action stay on the upper ends of Long and Loop street. These beautiful streets boast old buildings with delicately wrought iron balconies housing restaurants, clubs, businesses and many other interesting delights.

At night be cautious and be aware of the street children that will do anything to steal and rip you off. You will often be offered drugs in a whisper as you walk past however the city is patrolled and cameras film almost every movement so stay clear of them.

This area is best suited to younger travelers that want a cultural stay at street level rather than a plush pampering.

The City Bowl

This area, named after the fact that it forms a giant bowl, the centre of which is the city centre, is fantastic and easily accessible. The best areas are highly recommended for finding a trendy guest house or boutique hotel. They include Tamboerskloof, Oranjezicht, and Upper Gardens. If you find the right spot the views will be breathtaking and the atmosphere a delight. These areas house young upwardly mobile city slickers that work and play hard. The old buildings and small streets blend together to bring a feeling of solidity and history.

Try stay close to Kloof Street. This windy and steep road is home to countless restaurants, coffee shops, and bars, all of which are worth a try.

You will be amazed by some of the views; sometimes they are hard to escape, as Table Mountain looms high in the backdrop with the city stretching out ahead.

De Waterkant

This picture perfect, village style, the area is home to the gay community in Cape Town. Originally a sector of the Old Malay Quarter or the Bo Kaap, little row houses, once slave cottages, have been snapped up and over restored to way beyond their former glory.

Bright colours and cobbled streets make this place feel very European and cozy. Coffee shops fall into the narrow streets and picture windows look out over Green Point and the ocean in the distance. Certainly not reserved for the gay community this area is recommended if you are looking for something different and accessible. About a 20-minute walk from the city centre and a stone’s throw from the V&A Waterfront, this is central enough to get away with seldom, if ever using a taxi (but you will be fine with your rental car).

Green Point and Sea Point

Both of these areas are a little hit and miss. Both have plenty of great options when it comes to accommodation and both are conveniently close to The City and the Waterfront. If you choose to stay here make sure you have thoroughly researched where you are staying. Many Guest Houses, B&B;’s luxury Hotels and other options are there for the taking. Try and stay above (mountain side) of Main Rd, which runs through both areas. The views from both Upper Green Point and Sea Point are also worth taking into consideration if that’s what you are after.

The Waterfront

Known colloquially as The Waterfront, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront Development is a sight to behold. This modern combination of shops and hotels is right in the middle of Cape Town’s busy port. Endless airy and light corridors filled with great shops and at least 6 excellent hotels can be found here. A great place to stay if you want atmosphere and a feeling of being by the ocean. Swirling Seagulls dodge busy tug boats as they carry out their days work.

The accommodation here can be pricey but worth it if that’s what you are looking for. A very safe option, the area is constantly patrolled by security staff and safe to walk around all times of the night and day. You might get a feeling of being in a theme park quite separate from the city. Very popular with foreign visitors, this would be an excellent choice.

The Atlantic Seaboard

Bantry Bay, Clifton, Camps Bay and Llandudno fall under this category. This exquisite route along the Atlantic coastline is nothing less than the African Riviera!! The rich play here and the prices are to match but nothing beats the sea views and the sunsets. A little more secluded than the rest, Llandudno is separated by a scenic drive along the rocky shores. Great for beaches and beautiful people, this is a must if your pockets are deep and you are looking to catch a tan.

Both Bantry Bay and Clifton hang from steep rocks and look straight over the ocean. A thin and winding main road skirted on both sides with apartment after apartment is the only way through these suburbs. Bantry Bay, a hideaway from the, sometimes relentless, the prevailing wind is not right on the beaches unlike Clifton and the lower roads of Camps Bay.

Camps Bay is a much bigger suburb, with houses going far up the more accommodating mountain slopes. If you are just after a beach holiday make sure you are not high up on the hill as the walk can be a back breaker after a lazy day of tanning. Even the traffic becomes a bit of a nightmare in summer.

The Southern Suburbs

In the shadows of the back of Table Mountain, this is as local as it gets. This is where life just goes on in Cape Town. All very easily accessible by train from the City Centre and within easy driving distance from town this is a great choice for convenience as it is the midpoint between most attractions in the peninsula and close to all major routes. For the more expensive choices try Bishopscourt, Newlands, and Constantia all of which skirt the back side of Table Mountain. They are all very affluent suburbs that are home to some grand houses that epitomise the grand life.

For a nice comfy guesthouse and a village atmosphere, try Harfield Village in Claremont. Situated below the railway line this small area is very homely and has some great restaurants and bars that are an excellent lazy option at the end of a long day of touring the surrounding areas.

Constantia does deserve more mention, as it is a rare find. Nestled on the slopes of the mountain this area was once nothing but rolling vineyards and wine estates. Urban sprawl has seen the area grow but only with the biggest and best of developments but still amongst it all lies a number of excellent wine farms that are open to the public for tasting and wine sales. Breathtakingly beautiful to say the least!

Other Areas

More remote, the following areas offer their own unique taste of Cape Town. In brief:

Hout Bay: Great beach but a little further out of town. A great place to horse ride on the sand dunes or just sit at a seaside pub and have a good meal.

Kommetjie and Scarborough: The place to go if you are looking for a sleepy seaside village away from the hustle and bustle. Both have great beaches and dusty roads. Typical old fishing villages with nothing but relaxation in mind.

Simonstown, St James, Muizenburg: Moving around the Cape Point to False Bay you will find these areas. Scenic and historic these towns are easily accessible by train all the way from the city centre and boast many unique shops and eateries. Try Simonstown for some antique hunting and Muizenburg if you want to learn to surf. A little out of town but still a great option.