posted: 3/10/2023 | March 10, 2023
Known for its beautiful backdrop and stunning beaches, Cape Town has been a popular backpacker hub for years. It's also fast becoming a favorite for digital nomads, thanks to the city's vibrant nightlife and rich and diverse culture.
Once a super cheap destination, as Cape Town's popularity increases, so does the cost of living.
Fortunately, the prices are still very affordable, and there are many cheap hostels for backpackers and nomads.
Below you will find my list of the best hostels in Cape Town to help you have fun, meet other travelers, and sleep well while spending time in one of the world's greatest cities.
But first, here are four things you need to keep in mind before choosing a hostel in Cape Town:
- Location – Cape Town isn't super spread out, and it's quick and easy to get around to most of the main areas, but to guide your decision, you may want to consider things like safety and which attractions you like best. Choose hostels that are close to the sites you want to see and/or the nightlife you want to experience, so you don't waste time (and money) in transit.
- Price – Most hostels in Cape Town are reasonably priced, but some are cheaper than others. If you are willing and able to pay a little more, you can get accommodation with amenities such as air conditioning. However, the cheaper options still provide a lot of value.
- Facility – All hostels offer free Wi-Fi and some include free breakfast, but if you want more than that, do some research to find the one that best suits your needs.
- Staff – All the hostels listed here have amazing staff! They are very friendly and knowledgeable. Even if you don't stay at any of the places listed below, look up reviews to make sure you end up somewhere where the staff is helpful and friendly. They can make or break a hostel!
Below is a list of the best hostels in Cape Town. However, if you don't want to read a longer list, here are the best in each category:
Best Hostel for Budget Travelers: Long Road Backpackers
Best Hostel for Party: Long Road Backpackers
Best Hostel for Solo Female Traveler: Never at the Green Point House
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads: Living Villa
Best Hostel for History Lovers: Long Road Backpackers
Best Hostel for Couples: Ashanti Inn
Best Overall Hostel: Living Villa
Want the specifications of each hostel? Here is my breakdown of the best hostels in Cape Town and why I love them:
Price legend (per night)
- $ = Under ZAR 250
- $$ = 250-300 ZAR
- $$$ = More than 300 EUR
Located in the Tamboerskloof area, just a stone's throw from trendy Kloof Street and its many popular bars and restaurants, Villa Viva has almost everything you could want in a hostel. It has a lively atmosphere and a hostel bar that hosts parties and often has live music on the weekends.
In addition, there are various other social perks, such as weekly cat-and-sip nights, grilling (South African barbecue), and hostel WhatsApp groups. There are plenty of hangouts and plenty of seating areas to work online, as well as a lovely outdoor area with a nice pool, hammocks, colorful sun loungers and a vegetable garden.
Even at night with a live DJ the rooms are still quiet, impeccably clean and comfortable. Each bunk bed is very spacious, with thick curtains, power outlets and lamps. The bathroom was also very nice, with modern furnishings and a clean pressure rain shower.
Overview of Villa Viva:
- Rooms and bathrooms are clean, comfortable
- Nice outdoor area with pool and garden
- Bustling bar with weekend activity
Beds from 340 ZAR, private rooms from 935 ZAR.
2. Ashanti Inn Park
Located on the leafy outskirts of the Gardens, Ashanti Lodge is less well-known as some of the other hostels, as it is located in a quiet area, but is still only a 10-minute walk to Kloof Street. The hostel has many facilities, including a large swimming pool with lots of sun loungers and a great kitchen. It also has a cafe which opens for breakfast and reopens as a bar at 5pm each night.
While there are no lights or outlets by the dorm beds, there are plenty of plugs and USB ports in the room, and, if you're lucky enough to get a bottom bunk, privacy curtains too. The modern bathroom also has a very nice high pressure shower.
Like Villa Viva, this place has more of an upscale vibe and is the place to go if you want quiet. While not a busy place, its smaller size makes it quite easy to meet people.
Overview of Ashanti Lodge Gardens:
- Large outdoor pool area
- Modern bathroom and shower
- Café/bar with pool table
Beds from ZAR 322, private rooms from ZAR 776.
3. Never at the Green Point House
Never at Home Green Point is a popular hostel located in the energetic Green Point neighborhood, close to the V&A Waterfront and the beach at Sea Point. This is one of the few hostels with air-conditioned rooms so if you're here during the height of summer it's a huge plus.
Other than air conditioning, the rooms are very basic, with outlets, shelves and creaky metal beds. The rooms and bathrooms could be a bit cleaner, but overall, they're fine if you're looking for a cheap place to meet other travellers.
Because, what this hostel lacks in luxury, however, it more than makes up for in a social setting. It's huge, with 48 rooms, so at first, it might be scary trying to meet people, but that quickly changes. The super friendly staff really go above and beyond to make sure you have a great time, and with daily activities and events like trivia, grillingand hiking, it's easy to meet people.
Plus there's an active hostel WhatsApp group, bike rentals, a nice outdoor deck area with pool, big kitchen and some indoor workspaces if you work online.
The hostel bar/restaurant, Randy Warthog, is open to the public and hosts regular beer pong and pool tournaments. There's also happy hour every day from 6pm to 7pm, as well as during unloading—the not-so-fun part of South Africa when the power goes out for a few hours at different times of the day.
If you want to party this is the hostel to stay at!
Glance never at Home Green Point:
- Fun bar and pool to hang out
- Events and daily activities
- Great place to meet people
Beds start from ZAR 295, private rooms from ZAR 1150.
4. Atlantic Point
Atlantic Point is one of the longest standing backpacker hostels in town. Also located at Green Point, very close to the V&A Waterfront, has a comfortable and friendly atmosphere.
The beds are made of wood, the beds are comfortable, and there are outlets nearby (but not for every bed). However, the bed had shelves and a lamp, and the room and bathroom were spotlessly clean. The en suite bathroom in the dormitories has a separate toilet area, as well as double sinks and a shower.
The staff are very friendly and welcoming, and there is a small hostel bar with a daily happy hour. There's also a relaxing grassy outdoor area with a pool and some loungers to relax in, as well as a work space upstairs. There is also free breakfast.
A Glimpse of the Atlantic Point:
- Rooms and bathrooms are clean, comfortable
- Community atmosphere
- Cool grassy outdoor area with swimming pool
Beds from 265 ZAR, private rooms from 925 ZAR.
5. Long Road Backpacker
Long Street Backpackers is located in the heart of Cape Town's bustling Long Street, known for its vibrant nightlife and cultural attractions. Only a 10 minute walk from the starting point of the historic walking tour and many other historic attractions, this is the place to be if you want to be in the center of all the action.
The outdoor garden area is a quiet oasis away from the booming hostel bars, which host nightly events such as karaoke, beer pong and open mics. It's very noisy at night because a) it's right on a lively street full of divey bars and restaurants, and b) it's another party hostel. So if you're looking for a restful night's sleep, this probably isn't the place for you.
This place is also very cheap so it is suitable for budget travelers who want to be right in the city center. However, these areas are not the most secure, so you should be careful and be more aware of common scams.
(Also, one of the biggest advantages is that since the hostel is on the same power grid as the parliament building, it never loses power.)
Overview of Long Street Backpacker:
- Vibrant parties and nightlife
- Central location without burden shedding
- Cheap, no frills rooms
Beds from ZAR 221, private rooms from ZAR 1190.
Cape Town is a big city with a lot to offer, so it's important to choose the right hostel based on what you want to see and do. Thankfully, there are tons of great options here, ensuring that you'll have an enjoyable and affordable visit to this postcard-perfect destination.
Book Your Trip to Cape Town: Logistics Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the world so you always know there's not a stone left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld because they have the largest inventory and the best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, go for it Booking.com because they consistently return the cheapest rates for guest houses and budget hotels.
Don't Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you from illness, injury, theft and cancellation. It's comprehensive protection in case something goes wrong. I never travel without it as I've had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
Looking for the Best Company to Save Money?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to work with when you're on the go. I list everything I use to save money while I'm on the road. They'll save you money on the go, too.
Want More Information about South Africa?
Be sure to check out our powerful destination guide to South Africa for even more planning tips!