published: 3/10/2023 | March 10, 2023
Known for its beautiful backdrops and stunning beaches, Cape Town has been a popular backpacker hub for years. It’s also becoming a favorite destination for digital nomads too, thanks to the city’s vibrant nightlife and its rich and diverse culture.
Once a very cheap destination, as Cape Town has grown in popularity, so too has the cost of living.
Fortunately, their prices are still very reasonable, and there are plenty of budget hostels for backpackers and Bedouins.
Below you will find a list of the best hostels in Cape Town to help you have fun, meet other travelers, and get a good sleep while spending time in one of the greatest cities in the world.
But first, here are four things you should remember before choosing a lodge in Cape Town:
- location Cape Town isn’t very spread out, and it’s quick and easy to get around most of the main areas, but to guide your decision, you may want to consider things like safety and which attractions you’d prefer to be closest to. Choose a hostel that is close to the sites you want to see and/or the nightlife you want to experience, so you won’t waste time (and money) in transit.
- price – Most hostels in Cape Town are fairly cheap, but some are cheaper than others. If you are willing and able to pay a little more, you can get accommodation with perks like AC. However, the cheaper options still offer plenty of value.
- means of comfort – All hostels offer free wifi and some include free breakfast, but if you want more than that, find the one that best meets your needs.
- Work crew – All of the lodges listed here have great staff! They are very friendly and knowledgeable. Even if you don’t stay at one of the places listed below, research the reviews to ensure you end up somewhere where the staff is helpful and friendly. They can make or break an inn!
Here is a list of the best hostels in Cape Town. If you don’t feel like reading the long list, the following are the best in each category:
Best hostel for budget travellers: Long Street Backpackers
Best party hostel: Long Street Backpackers
Best hostel for solo travellers: Never at Home Greenpoint
Best hostel for nomadsVila Viva
Best hostel for history lovers: Long Street Backpackers
Best hostel for couples: Ashanti Lodge
Best all inclusive hostelVila Viva
Want details of each hostel? Here’s a breakdown of the best hostels in Cape Town and why I love them:
Price legend (per night)
- $1 = less than 250 South African rand
- $$ = 250-300 South African Rand
- $$$ = more than 300 euros
1. Vila Viva
Located in the Tamboerskloof area, 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 motel bar that hosts parties and often live music on the weekends.
Plus, there are many other social perks, like weekly painting and sip nights, barbeque (South African Barbeques), and Whatsapp group Inn. There are plenty of places to hang out and plenty of seating to work online, as well as a lovely outdoor area with a lovely pool, hammock, colorful chairs, and vegetable garden.
Even on a night with a live DJ the rooms are still quiet, clean and comfortable. Each bunk bed is very spacious with thick curtains, niches and a lamp. The bathrooms were really nice too, with modern furnishings and a clean, compact rain shower.
About Villa Viva:
- Clean and comfortable rooms and bathrooms
- Great outdoor area with pool and garden
- Lively bar with weekend activities
Beds from 340 ZAR, private rooms from 935 ZAR.
2. Ashanti Lodge Gardens
In the suburb of leafy gardens, Ashanti Lodge isn’t as well known as some of the other hostels, tucked away in a quiet area, but still only a 10-minute walk from Kloof Street. The hostel has many amenities, including a large pool with plenty of sunbeds and a nice kitchen. It also has a coffee shop that opens for breakfast and reopens at 5pm every night.
Although there were no lights or outlets next to the dorm beds, there were plenty of plugs and USB ports in the room, and if you were lucky enough to get a bunk bed, privacy curtains too. The modern bathrooms have nice high pressure showers as well.
Like Villa Viva, this place has an upscale vibe and is the place to go if you want peace and quiet. Although it is not a crowded place, the smaller size makes it very easy to meet people.
About Ashanti Lodge Gardens:
- Large outdoor pool area
- Modern bathrooms and showers
- Cafe/bar with pool table
Beds from 322 ZAR, private rooms from 776 ZAR.
3. Never at Home Greenpoint
Never Inn at Home Greenpoint is a popular inn located in the lively Greenpoint neighborhood, close to the V&A Waterfront and the beaches at Sea Point. This is one of the few hostels with air-conditioned rooms, so if you’re here during the height of the summer heat, that’s a plus.
Aside from the AC, the rooms are very basic, with outlets, a shelf, and slow metal beds. The rooms and bathrooms could be a bit cleaner, but overall, decent enough if you’re looking for a cheap place to meet other travelers.
For what this lodge lacks in luxury, however, it more than makes up for in the social atmosphere. It’s quite big, with 48 rooms, so at first, it can be intimidating trying to meet people, but that’s changing quickly. The very friendly staff really go above and beyond to make sure you are having a great time, with daily activities and events such as trivia, barbequehiking, it is very easy to meet people.
Plus, there’s an active WhatsApp group at the hostel, bike rentals, a nice outdoor deck area with a pool, a large kitchen, and a few indoor workspaces if you’re working online.
The hostel’s bar/restaurant, Randy Warthog, is open to the public and hosts regular beer pong and pool tournaments. There’s also a daily happy hour from 6pm-7pm, as well as during load shedding – the not so fun part of South Africa when the electricity goes out for several hours at different times of the day.
If you like to party, this is the hostel to stay at!
Never at Home Greenpoint at a glance:
- Fun bar and pool for lounging
- Daily events and activities
- Great place to meet people
Beds from 295 ZAR, private rooms from 1150 ZAR.
4. Atlantic Point
Atlantic Point is one of the city’s most long-running backpacker hostels. Also located in Greenpoint, near the V&A Waterfront, it has a homey and welcoming feel.
The beds are wooden, the beds are comfortable, and there are outlets nearby (but not every single bed). However, all beds have shelves and lamps, and the rooms and bathroom are very clean. The en-suite bathroom in the dormitory rooms has a separate toilet area, as well as two sinks and a shower.
The staff is very friendly and accommodating, and there is a small inn bar with daily happy hour. There is also a relaxing outdoor grassy area with a pool and a few loungers for relaxing, as well as a work station upstairs. There is also a free breakfast.
Profile of Atlantic Point:
- Clean and comfortable rooms and bathrooms
- community atmosphere
- Cool grassed outside area with pool
Beds from 265 ZAR, private rooms from 925 ZAR.
5. Long Street Backpackers
Long Street Backpackers is located in the heart of Cape Town’s vibrant Long Street, known for its vibrant nightlife and cultural attractions. Only a 10-minute walk from the starting point for historic walking tours and many other historical attractions, this is the place to be if you want to be in the center of all the action.
The outside garden area is a quiet oasis away from the thriving hostel bar, which has nightly events like karaoke, beer pong and open mics. It is very noisy at night since a) it is located right on a busy street full of bars and restaurants, and b) this is another party hostel. So, if you are looking for a peaceful night’s sleep, this may not be the place for you.
This place is also very cheap, which makes it perfect for the budget traveler who wants to be downtown. However, the area is not the safest, so you should take precautions and be more aware of common scams.
(Also, one of the biggest perks is that because the lodge is on the same power grid as Parliament House, it never loses power.)
About Long Street Backpackers:
- Live concerts and nightlife
- Central location with no loads
- Inexpensive and no frills rooms
Beds from 221 ZAR, private rooms from 1190 ZAR.
Cape Town is a big city with a lot to offer, so it is important to choose the right hostel based on what you want to see and do. Fortunately, there are plenty of amazing options here, ensuring you’ll enjoy an affordable and enjoyable visit to this postcard-perfect destination.
Book your flight to Cape Town: logistical tips and tricks
Book your flight
Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines all over the world so you will always know that no stone is left unturned.
Reserve 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, use Booking.com as they constantly show the cheapest rates for cheap guesthouses and hotels.
Don’t forget travel insurance
Travel insurance will protect you from illness, injury, theft and cancellation. It is comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip 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:
Are you looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resources page for the best companies to use when traveling. I list everything I use to save money when I’m on the road. They’ll save you money when you travel, too.
Want more information about South Africa?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide to South Africa for more planning tips!