Cape Town is a breathtaking destination located on the southwestern coast of South Africa, known for its diverse landscape, rich history, and unique culture. As the second-most populous city in the country, Cape Town boasts an array of breathtaking natural wonders, from the iconic Table Mountain to the picturesque Cape of Good Hope.
If you're wondering where to stay in Cape Town, City Bowl is the best place to base yourself as a first-time visitor.
There are several fantastic neighbourhoods in Cape Town which come with accommodation options to suit your budget, preference, and style. But with so many areas to choose from, it can be hard to decide where to stay. To help you plan your trip, we've compiled a list of the top neighbourhoods and accommodation options in Cape Town. We considered things such as proximity to attractions, budget, and safety.
For a luxury trip to Cape Town, consider staying in Clifton, which is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world. You'll also be close to restaurants, shops, and entertainment options.
For a more budget-friendly option, stay in the Bo-Kaap neighbourhood, which is known for its colourful houses and vibrant Muslim community. You'll find guest houses and bed and breakfasts, for a more personal and intimate experience.
If you're after a truly unique stay, rent a holiday home or studio apartment in the trendy neighbourhood of Sea Point. This area is known for its beach front promenade and many rental properties, that come with lots of space and privacy.
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Where to stay in Cape Town
Cape Town is home to a variety of neighbourhoods and suburbs, each offering its own unique benefits and charm. Located between the mountains and the ocean, Cape Town is a culturally diverse city with stunning natural beauty and a bustling city center full of museums and cultural attractions. It's also a great starting point for visitors who want to experience South Africa's amazing wildlife. In addition to these attractions, Cape Town has plenty of other sights and activities to keep travellers busy.
To help you make the most of your trip, it's important to understand the geography of Cape Town and the different accommodation options available in the major neighbourhoods. With this information, you can feel confident when choosing where to stay and have the best possible holiday in Cape Town.
Cape Town is divided into two main sections separated by Table Mountain in the centre: City Bowl, and the Atlantic Seaboard.
City bowl features Woodstock, Vredehoek, Oranjezicht, Tamboerskloof, Gardens, the CBD, Bo-Kaap, the V&A Waterfront and De Waterkant.
The Atlantic Seaboard comprises Mouille Point, Green Point, Sea Point / Three Anchor Bay, Fresnaye, Bantry Bay, Clifton, Camps Bay, Bakoven, and Llandudno.
What is the best part of Cape Town to stay?
Stay in City Bowl if you're a first time visitor, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront for luxury or in Bo-Kaap neighbourhood if you're on a budget. For a trendy stay consider Sea Point.
What areas are safe to stay in Cape Town?
Cape Town's Cape Peninsula suburbs, including Bakoven, Camps Bay, Clifton, and Fresnaye, offer a range of safe accommodation options for tourists, including luxury homes and beach villas. Many of these properties feature the latest security features, making them a secure choice for travellers.
Where to stay in Cape Town for honeymoon?
In Cape Town, Clifton, Bantry Bay, Fresnaye, and Camps Bay are the ideal areas for a luxurious honeymoon. You'll find several upscale hotels with stunning views and luxury amenities.
Where to stay in Cape Town with family?
Sea Point is the ideal area to stay in Cape Town for Family. You have sandy beaches, tidal pools, kids’ playgrounds and sunset views.
City Bowl - Best area in Cape Town for first timers
Cape Town's central business district, or CBD, is located in the City Bowl neighbourhood, surrounded by natural borders such as Table Bay, Signal Hill, and Devil's Peak. The CBD is a vibrant area with a bustling nightlife, which means you'll be close to clubs, bars and delectable restaurants at every corner, particularly on Bree Street.
The first Thursday of every month is a great time to visit Bree Street, as the neighbourhood hosts open galleries and street food fairs.
For a cup of coffee and some shopping, head to Long Street, and read a book while enjoying your favourite beverage.
Staying in the CBD puts you within a short distance from the city's main train station, making it easy to explore the rest of Cape Town. There are also buses, taxis and ubers available from here to help you reach your desired attraction.
The accommodation on offer is varied, from low-budget hostels to luxury hotels. Families can also find a range of apartments which offer larger spaces and access to a kitchen.
Keep in mind that the CBD can get quite busy, and accommodation in the centre may be limited.
Best places to stay in City Bowl
Our top hotel picks in City Bowl are:
- Luxury: Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel
- Mid-range: Cape Heritage Hotel
- Budget: Modern Studio Apartment on Bree Street
Sea Point - Best area in Cape Town for families
Nestled just outside the bustling city centre, Sea Point offers visitors a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of Cape Town. Sea Point is famed for the charming sea point promenade. A place to enjoy a spot of cycling, jogging, walking, or just relaxing with incredible sunset views.
Sea Point stretches the entirety of the Sea Point’s beachfront, from Bantry Bay to Mouille Point. The neighbourhood is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise, with easy access to both the beach and the mountains. Saunder's Beach and the Lion's Head hiking trail on Signal Hill are both nearby.
Sea Point is a wonderful choice for families as there are many parks, outdoor gyms, art spaces and a public outdoor swimming pool on the Bantry Bay side on offer in the summer.
Main Road is home to plenty of restaurants, bars, and shopping boutiques. Try a breakfast bagel at Kleinsky's Delicatessen, and indulge in fantastic Italian pizza from Posticino Restaurant. For a fancy dinner out, order oysters from The Mussel Monger & Oyster Bar.
There's plenty of accommodation to choose from including hotels, guest houses and apartments. Sea Point is close to the other beaches, and it's well-connected to the rest of the city for when you want to explore more attractions.
Sea Point is a great all-rounder with a relaxed vibe. Considered one of the safest areas, but caution should always be made at late hours.
Best places to stay in Sea Point
Our top hotel picks in Sea Point are:
- Luxury: The Glen Boutique Hotel & Spa
- Mid-range: Home Suite Hotels Sea Point
- Budget: Leeuwenzee Guesthouse
Gardens - Best area in Cape Town for local vibes
If you seek to discover the secrets of local life in Cape Town and want to stay somewhere less touristy, Gardens is a perfect choice.
The Gardens neighbourhood in Cape Town is located just below Lion's Head and Table Mountain, and is adjacent to both Table Mountain National Park and Signal Hill. It is a popular area among young professionals, and has a variety of shops, hotels, and restaurants catering to this demographic.
Kloof Street is within walking distance, known for the famous Mabu Vinyl from the movie 'Searching for Sugar Man.'
Gardens is home to De Waal Park, known for Gardens Lawn and Tennis Club (members only) and is a popular spot for dog walkers and outdoor concerts in the spring.
For art lovers, make sure to check out The Labia Theatre, an arthouse cinema dating back to 1949.
The Gardens is great for couples, families, and travellers coveting a more relaxed vibe in the city. There are several guest houses and a few villas for travellers, with many small restaurants and cafés to pick from.
The Gardens area is generally safe all around, but take caution wandering around in the early hours. Take an Uber if you venture too far from your place.
Best places to stay in Gardens
Our top hotel picks in Gardens are:
Tamboerskloof - Best area in Cape Town for views
Tamboerskloof is a suburb located between the Gardens and Bo-Kaap neighbourhoods in the City Bowl district of Cape Town. It lies on the slopes of Lion's Head and Signal Hill, and it's well known for its Victorian-style homes and diverse architectural style such as art deco.
Tamboerskloof offers stunning views of the bay, Lion's Head, and Table Mountain, making it a popular and convenient place to stay when visiting Cape Town. Since it is located on the foot of the mountain, Tamboerskloof has a slight incline which can feel a bit steep when walking.
Despite its proximity to the city, Tamboerskloof is a quiet neighbourhood with tree-lined streets and is easy to navigate on foot. The neighbourhood is just 10 minute walk away from Kloof Street and Long Street
There are a variety of accommodation options in Tamboerskloof, including upscale guest houses and boutique hotels, as well as self-catering options and a hostel for travellers on a budget. Accommodation in this neighbourhood can get relatively expensive, but the views are worth the cost.
Best places to stay in Tamboerskloof
Our top hotel picks in Tamboerskloof are:
Bo-Kaap - Best area in Cape Town for history lovers
The vibrant neighbourhood of Bo-Kaap is located on the fringes of Cape Town's city centre and is characterized by its colourful houses and cobbled streets that lead up to the lower slopes of Signal Hill.
The houses, which are national monuments dating back to the 1750s, are painted in bright hues such as pink, orange, lime green, and turquoise.
The residents of Bo-Kaap are descendants of slaves who were brought to the area from Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and the Indonesian Archipelago by the Dutch in the 1700s.
This diverse mix of cultures has given rise to the neighbourhood's strong Muslim influence and rich Cape Malay cuisine, which you should try at the local restaurants.
Bo-Kaap is also home to the Bo-Kaap Museum, which documents the lifestyle of a typical 19th century Muslim family, and the District Six Museum. Guided tours of the Bo-Kaap suburb offer an interesting insight into the neighbourhood's local landmarks and cultural sites, including kramats (shrines) and Mosques.
While Bo-Kaap is generally safe during the day, it can be unsafe at night, and it is not advisable to walk around alone after dark.
Accommodation options in Bo-Kaap range from boutique hotels to guest houses and self-catering options. Bo-Kaap is very popular with tourists, which is why some hotel prices will be much higher than other areas in Cape Town.
Transportation in and out of Bo-Kaap is great, with good and easy access to the public transport.
Best places to stay in Bo-Kaap
Our top hotel picks in Bo-Kaap are:
V&A Waterfront - Best area in Cape Town for shopping
V&A Waterfront is one of the most popular places to stay in Cape Town, offering a variety of high-end restaurants, shops, and accommodation.
The Waterfront is located between Robben Island and Table Mountain in the heart of the city's working harbour, the waterfront is a blend of commercial and entertainment venues, featuring pubs, restaurants, speciality stores, craft markets, theatres, and movies.
The two Oceans Aquarium and Maritime Museum provide you with the chance to learn about the history of shipping and observe marine life. There are boat trips around the harbour and along the coast to admire the beauty of Cape Town.
The Victoria & Alfred Basins, built between 1860 and 1920, are notable for their Victorian industrial architecture and are surrounded by the V&A Waterfront redevelopment project, which has been in the works for nearly three decades.
V&A Waterfront is the main stop for the City Sightseeing bus routes, making it very well-connected with other areas of Cape Town.
As a place to stay, the V&A Waterfront is where you'll find your high-end luxury accommodation. There are plenty of upscale hotels here, with some mid-range options. While there are some affordable holiday apartments, this is not the area for budget travellers.
Best places to stay in V&A Waterfront
Our top hotel picks in V&A Waterfront are:
- Luxury: Queen Victoria Hotel by NEWMARK
- Mid-range: Victoria & Alfred Hotel
- Budget: Self catering one bed
De Waterkant - Best area in Cape Town for LGBTQ+
De Waterkant is a busy quarter on the shoulder of the city that has evolved into Cape Town's LGTBQ+ area thanks to its many gay-friendly bars and businesses. De Waterkant is a trendy neighbourhood located next to the Bo-Kaap, known for its bright, colourful houses that have been restored into fashionable cottages and cobbled, tree-lined streets.
During the day, De Waterkant is a bustling business area where people live, work, and shop, but at night it comes alive with energy and some of the city's best restaurants, wine bars, and delis.
Located within walking distance of the Cape Quarter shopping centre, De Waterkant is also close to the city centre, the V&A Waterfront, the Table Mountain cable way, and fashionable Atlantic beaches.
De Waterkant is also close to the famous 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Fan Walk and Bree St. Don't miss seeing the beauty of Cape town from the Ocean and City views observation deck.
The area has a resort-like atmosphere, with many mid-range hotels and guest houses offering authentic local living and stunning views of Table Bay.
Best places to stay in De Waterkant
Our top hotel picks in De Waterkant are:
Clifton - Best area in Cape Town for luxury
Clifton is a luxurious neighbourhood known for its stunning beaches and trendy atmosphere.
The four beaches of Clifton are internationally renowned for their beauty, regarded as some of the most beautiful in the world. Expect soft, pristine sand dappled with many boulders to shelter from the breeze.
At each beach, you'll discover a different crowd. Clifton 1st beach is popular with sports enthusiasts, while 2nd beach is LGBTQ friendly and great for soaking up the sun. 3rd beach is perfect for tanning, and 4th beach is the best option for families with plenty of space, excellent facilities, and lifeguards on duty.
Each beach offers breathtaking views of the mountain ranges and is a popular spot for people watching, playing volleyball, or taking a refreshing swim in the ocean.
Reaching the beaches at Clifton involves a descent down a flight of stairs from the road, where parking can be challenging at times.
Clifton is a luxury area to stay in Cape Town and especially popular with couples who want stunning sunsets and breathtaking views of the mountain ranges. For accommodation, expect luxury villas, upscale hotels and large apartments with terraces and balconies.
Best places to stay in Clifton
Our top hotel picks in Clifton are:
Camps Bay - Best area in Cape Town for active visitors
Camps Bay is a picturesque and trendy neighbourhood in Cape Town, located just a short drive from the city centre. It's the ideal place to stay in Cape Town for active visitors, because of its beaches, including Camps Bay Beach, and its proximity to Table Mountain National Park, which offers numerous hiking and biking trails.
At Camp's Bay, visitors and locals swim, surf, shop and admire the incredible sunsets that burst across the beach each evening.
Camps Bay beach is a long stretch of white sand lined with palm trees, with a boulevard along its length featuring cafés, bistros, and restaurants offering Mediterranean cuisine. This area is known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, but also the ideal place for a sunset run.
The Table Mountain cable way is a short distance from Camps Bay, located over Kloof Nek. The city centre, with its Bohemian Long Street, fashionable Kloof Street, and various museums and attractions, is also easily accessible from Camps Bay.
There's an abundance of accommodation options in Camps Bay, with prices on the higher side. Expect luxurious rooms in top-notch hotels that come with extra amenities and vista points. You'll find some mid-range guest houses and B&Bs, although even they come with a pricer tag than other parts of the city.
Best place to stay in Camps Bay
Our top hotel picks in Camps Bay are:
Green Point - Best area in Cape Town for sports fans
Green Point is a residential and business neighbourhood located in the heart of Cape Town. Green Point is located close to the Sea Point promenade and some of Cape Town's fantastic beaches on the Atlantic Seaboard.
Green Point is close to the popular V&A Waterfront and the Green Point Stadium, which was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Green Point's main thoroughfare, Somerset Road, is home to a variety of cafés, restaurants, and boutiques for shopping. The Green Point beach front extends along the coastline to the Sea Point promenade, which is popular for walking, cycling, and running.
When sports events are held at Green Point, the area can get very busy, so make sure to book your accommodation well in advance.
Green Point has a diverse range of accommodations, including hotels, guest houses, and apartments, making it a convenient choice for travellers.
Best places to stay in Green Point
Our top hotel picks in Green Point are:
Bantry Bay - Best area in Cape Town for honeymoons
Bantry Bay is a beautiful and exclusive area in Cape Town known for its breathtaking ocean views and luxurious accommodation options. If you're honeymooning in Cape Town, this is one of the best areas to stay.
Located just outside the vibrant suburb of Sea Point, Bantry Bay offers easy access to the city's many attractions, including Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront.
Bantry Bay doesn't have a beach of its own, but it is home to Saunders Rocks, a small tidal pool and it's very close to the stunning beaches of Clifton.
For extensive shopping, Bantry Bay is just 15 minutes from the city centre or 45 minutes by public transport. Walk for 25 minute to The Rock, a popular observation point, and continue with a hike towards Lion's Head.
Bantry Bay is an affluent area which comes with luxury accommodation options. You'll mainly find fancy villas with stunning views and posh 5-star hotels.
Best places to stay in Bantry Bay
Our top hotel picks in Bantry Bay are:
Woodstock - Best area in Cape Town for creatives
Woodstock is a vibrant and edgy neighbourhood located in Cape Town, known for its history as a farming village and its current popularity among young professionals and creatives. Woodstock is a bursting hub of creatives, dreamers, and passion chasers.
Still considered an up-and-coming area, it's affordable and only 10 minutes from the City Bowl. Woodstock is an interesting area to take refuge if you're a fan of festivals, farm stalls, and internationally recognized street art. Many young business entrepreneurs and startups have adopted the area as a base, and so an eclectic mix of people have begun to bloom in the area.
Woodstock is filled with antique shops, African market stalls, and a variety of cafés and restaurants, as well as coffee shops and breweries.
Accommodations in Woodstock include guest houses, apartments, studios, and a few well known hotel chains, as well as a backpacker's lodge for budget travellers.
The neighbourhood is near the city centre, Long Street, the V&A Waterfront, and is easily accessible via the Esplanade and Woodstock train stations.
Best places to stay in Woodstock
Our top hotel picks in Woodstock are:
Observatory - Best area in Cape Town for backpackers
Observatory, affectionately known as "Obz," is a trendy and artistic neighbourhood known for its Bohemian atmosphere.
Observatory is mecca for backpackers, filled with affordable hostel accommodation. Nightlife here is a constant buzz with local bars and restaurants offering live music, poetry readings, and good food. The neighbourhood is on the main transport link, or a mere 10 minutes drive from the City Bowl and links to the airport, N2, and M3.
The main road through Obz is lined with unique shops, including book stores, costume rentals, second-hand book and CD stores, and local businesses with an "artsy" focus.
For some holiday fun, head to the Total Ninja Cape Town, a local amusement park, or visit the South African Astronomical Observatory. Don't miss a visit to the Heart of Cape Town Museum to see the replica surgery rooms depicting the first-ever heart transplant in 1967.
Observatory is the main hub for backpackers visiting Cape Town, so if partying until the late hours isn't your thing, there are much quieter neighbourhoods to choose from.
Best places to stay in the Observatory
Our top hotel picks in Obz are:
Llandudno - Best area in Cape Town for coastal drives
Llandudno is an upmarket suburb located 18 km from the centre of Cape Town. Llandudno is a crescent-shaped beach forming the bottom of a steep slope at the base of the twelfth Apostle.
Llandudno is home to one of the most secluded and beautiful beaches in the city, known for its white sands, blue waters, and giant boulders. Great for beach sport and family picnics, it's also one of the most picturesque parts of Cape Town.
There are no restaurants or shops in Llandudno, but the vibrant village of Hout Bay is just a 5 minute drive away, offering plenty of dining and shopping options.
The Constantia Valley wine estates and Steenberg Golf Estate are also a 20 minute drive away.
Llandudno is a great area to stay in Cape Town if you seek quiet away from the centre of Cape Town. Staying in Llandudno does require a car, and it will take around half an hour to get to the city centre.
The area is home to several holiday homes and guest houses, ideal if you're seeking self-catering options.
Best places to stay in Llandudno
Our top hotel picks in Llandudno are: