The 5 Best Hostels in Cape Town

A view overlooking the beautiful beach of Cape Town, South Africa with mountains in the distance
Last Updated: 10/20/23 | October 20th, 2023

Cape Town has been a popular backpacker hub for years. It’s also fast becoming a favorite with digital nomads too, thanks to the city’s vibrant nightlife and rich, diverse culture.

There are plenty of budget-friendly hostels for backpackers and nomads here. Below you’ll find my list of the best hostels in Cape Town to help you have fun, meet other travelers, and have a good sleep while you spend time in what is honestly one of the greatest cities in the world.

But first, here are four things you need to remember before picking a hostel in Cape Town:

  1. 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’d prefer to be closest to. Pick a hostel that is near the sites you want to see and/or the nightlife you want to experience, so you won’t waste time (and money) in transit.
  2. Price – Most of the hostels in Cape Town are fairly inexpensive, but there are some that are cheaper than others. If you’re willing and able to pay a bit more, you can get accommodation with perks like AC. However, the cheaper options still provide lots of value.
  3. Amenities – All hostels offer free Wi-Fi and a few include free breakfast, but if you want more than that, do your research to find one that best meets your needs.
  4. Staff – All the hostels listed here have amazing staff! They are super friendly and knowledgeable. Even if you don’t stay at one of the places listed below, look up reviews to ensure you end up somewhere where the staff is helpful and friendly. They can make or break a hostel!

Below is my list of the best hostels in Cape Town. If you don’t want to read the longer list, however, the following are the best in each category:

Best Hostel for Budget Travelers:
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads:
Best Hostel for Solo Female Travelers:
Best Hostel for Couples:
Best Overall Hostel:

Want the specifics of each hostel? Here’s my breakdown of the best hostels in Cape Town and why I love them:

Price legend (per night)

  • $ = Under 250 ZAR
  • $$ = 250-400 ZAR
  • $$$ = Over 400 EUR

 

1. Villa Viva

A room inside the Villa Viva hostel in Cape Town, South Africa
Located near the trendy Kloof Street and its popular bars and restaurants, Villa Viva is a fun, social hostel with a bar that hosts late-night parties and live music on the weekends. I especially like that the hostel organizes all kinds of events, like paint-and-sip nights and braais (South African barbecues). There’s also a hostel WhatsApp group that makes it easy to meet people and make plans, as well as an outdoor pool for when you want to lounge around.

I really liked that the dorm beds have thick mattresses (they also have curtains so you can get a decent sleep). Beds have outlets and lights too. The highlight for me, though, was the pressurized rain shower. It was excellent!

Villa Viva at a glance:

  • $$$
  • Hostel Whatsapp group makes it easy to meet people
  • Lively outdoor area with a pool and garden
  • Organizes lots of events and activities

Beds from 420 ZAR, private rooms from 950 ZAR.

Book here!

 

2. Ashanti Lodge Gardens

A pool outside of the Ashanti Lodge in sunny Cape Town, South Africa
Located in the leafy suburb of Gardens, Ashanti Lodge is tucked away in a quiet area (though it’s still just a 10-minute walk to Kloof Street). And while it has a pool and is social, it’s more of a quieter place. Though since it’s quite small it’s still easy to meet other travelers if you’re traveling solo. There’s a shared kitchen if you want to cook as well as a café that opens for breakfast and reopens as a bar every night.

While the dorm beds don’t have curtains, I did appreciate that the mattresses were thick and that there were plenty of plugs and USB ports in the room. The modern bathrooms have really nice high-pressure showers too (a big plus in my book!).

Ashanti Lodge Gardens at a glance:

  • $$$
  • Outdoor pool
  • Great showers
  • Café/bar on-site

Beds from 460 ZAR, private rooms from 865 ZAR.

Book here!

 

3. Never at Home Green Point

The exterior of the Never at Home Green Point hostel in Cape Town, South Africa
This is a fun party hostel located in the energetic Green Point neighborhood. It’s also one of the few hostels with air-conditioned rooms (if you’re here during the peak summer heat, that’s a huge plus). Like most party hostels, the rooms are very basic, with outlets, a shelf, and creaky metal bunks that have thin mattresses.

But what the hostel lacks in comfort it more than makes up for with its super friendly staff and energetic atmosphere. They organize daily activities and events like trivia, braais, and hikes, so it’s super easy to meet people. There’s also an active hostel WhatsApp group, daily happy hours at the bar, bike rentals, a pool, a large kitchen, and a few indoor workspaces if you work online.

Never at Home Green Point at a glance:

  • $$
  • Fun bar and pool for hanging out
  • Daily events and activities
  • Dorms have AC

Beds from 372 ZAR, private rooms from 1,562 ZAR.

Book here!

 

4. Atlantic Point

A sunny common area outside at the Atlantic Point hostel in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa
Atlantic Point is one of the oldest backpacker hostels in town. Located in Green Point, it has a homey, welcoming atmosphere and is one of those hostels that feels like you’re just staying at a friend’s place. It’s not a party hostel, but it’s social and easy to meet people since there’s a pool and a small bar with a daily happy hour. There’s free breakfast too.

The dorms aren’t huge but they’re clean and bright and the beds have thick mattresses as well as lamps and shelves (no privacy curtains though). Only some of the rooms have AC though, so be sure to book one if you’re visiting during the sweltering summer months.

Atlantic Point at a glance:

  • $$
  • Bar with a daily happy hour
  • Free breakfast
  • Chill outdoor area with a pool

Beds from 315 ZAR, private rooms from 1,403 ZAR.

Book here!

 

5. Long Street Backpackers

A sunny courtyard at the Long Street backpacker hostel in Cape Town, South Africa
Just a 10-minute walk from the starting point of the historical walking tours and many other historical attractions, this is the place to be if you want to be at the center of all the action. A fun and social party hostel, it’s also one of the cheapest hostels in the city, making it an excellent choice for budget travelers. The real highlight, however, is that because the hostel is on the same power grid as the parliament building it never loses power (black and brown outs are common in Cape Town).

The outdoor garden area is a quiet oasis away from the booming hostel bar, which hosts nightly events like karaoke, beer pong, and open mics. Like most party hostels, the dorms have cheap metal bunks with no curtains and basic mattresses, but if you’re staying here sleep probably isn’t your priority!

Long Street Backpackers at a glance:

  • $
  • Lively parties every night
  • Central location with no load-shedding
  • Budget friendly

Beds from 195 ZAR, private rooms from 640 ZAR.

Book here!

***

Cape Town is a large city with a lot to offer, so picking the right hostel based on what you want to see and do is important. Fortunately, there are a ton of amazing options here, ensuring that you’ll have a fun and affordable visit to this postcard-perfect destination.

Book Your Trip 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 around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s 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:

Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on South Africa?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide to South Africa for even more planning tips!