One of the oldest settlements of South Africa, the country’s capital Cape Town was founded as a waystation in 1652 by the Dutch East India Company. Through the centuries from that point the town has grown up into a bustling and cosmopolitan city – the 10th most populous on the African continent, it is also one of the world’s most multicultural cities.
Map of Cape Town’s Neighborhoods
1. City Bowl · 2. Bo-Kaap · 3. De Waterkant · 4. Green Point · 5. Mouille Point · 6. Sea Point · 7. V&A Waterfront · 8. Camps Bay · 9. Bantry Bay · 10. Clifton
Take a stroll through the old streets, past its jigsaw of traditional buildings painted in pops of pink and yellow, admire the Cape Dutch architecture mixed with Victorian styles, nestled between the skyscrapers that make up this modern city; located on the West Coast of South Africa, visitors can also enjoy what the sea has to offer – and with the imposing table mountain towering as an icon of the city at 1,084 meters (330 feet) above sea-level, you can see why visitors flock to this metropolis year on year.
But as a city as defined by its different districts as many others around the world, where should you choose to stay in Cape Town that will most suit you? That’s where this list comes in handy.
The natural amphitheater that creates the City Bowl area is made up of a magnificent sculpted dome that is nestled in the middle of Table Mountain and Table Bay edged by the waterfront. Staying in City Bowl is the perfect choice if you want a mix of everything Cape Town has to offer: it has a range of accommodation options right at the foot of Table Mountain and easy to use public transport connections – you can even rent a bicycle and see the sights on two wheels!
The area is where the Central Business District is located and is packed full of dynamic culture with lively bars, some of the best restaurants in the city and late night clubs. The City Bowl district is also home to various interesting sites – explore streets with lines of pretty colonial buildings, art galleries and the oldest building in South Africa: the Castle of Good Hope.
Best Places to Stay in the City Bowl
Cape Heritage Hotel – A stylish hotel in the center of the city, this is the place to stay if you want to be surrounded by elegance and sophistication. Located in Heritage Square and close to shops and restaurants, staying here means you will never be stuck for places to eat. Rooms here are decorated with historical touches and feature vintage rugs, high beamed ceilings, and large windows. Staff provide a high quality of service and go above and beyond to make sure guests enjoy their stay. In the morning, a delicious breakfast is served in the historic dining room and guests can sip refreshing drinks in the hotel courtyard.
Cape Town Lodge Hotel – Decorated in bright pops of color, this hotel’s eye-catching style creates a welcoming atmosphere. Sat at the foot of Bo-kaap, next to Lon Street, some rooms even boast spectacular views of Table Mountain. The spacious rooms come equipped with everything you should need to make your stay run smoothly. Staff are always on hand and very helpful. Decorated with photos harking back to old Cape Town, the hotel’s steak restaurant serves up delicious dinners every evening, which are complemented with a selection of local wines and soundtracked by regular live music performances.
Holiday Inn Express Cape Town City Centre – The interior of this hotel may be uncomplicated, but it provides a comfortable, safe and welcoming place to stay. Staff here are very courteous and will more than make sure that you are always happy, offering tips and local recommendations. The ideal location if you want to be able to walk to a wide selection of tourist attractions in the city, the hotel also has amazing views of Table Mountain. The city bus stops conveniently right outside here too, which makes sightseeing simple. There is a wide array of restaurants in the area for both lunch and dinner.
Colorful Bo-Kaap is bursting with culture. Packed full of cafes, bars and restaurants, the multicultural district is also known as the Malay Quarter, after the large Malay population which has settled there. The quarter is a network of charming streets, each revealing a mix of architecture and culture that makes the area unique. Take a walk around the area’s cobbled streets and discover interesting attractions such as the Bo-Kaap Museum and delve into delicious curries that are served up in simple Malay eateries.
Stay in one of the mid-range, old colonial buildings that have been converted into hotels or a more modern hotel that has a roof terrace with views of the city. Traveling around the rest of the city is straightforward by the bus network that connects to all of the city’s top tourist destinations.
Best Places to Stay in Bo-Kaap
Signal Hill Lodge – Sat up high on Signal Hill Nature Reserve and boasting views out across the famously historical Bo-Kaap district, this hotel is a slice of city seclusion away from the hustle and bustle of the city center. Eat your breakfast as you take in the panoramas of city life below and enjoy relaxing in the hotel’s outdoor pool and garden area. Rooms here are clean, contemporary, and often come with views of the city harbor, which is particularly amazing at sunset – especially if complemented with a drink from the hotel bar. There’s no restaurant but a shuttle service is provided to a sister hotel nearby for dinner.
Trendy, upmarket De Waterkant is a fashionable area, crammed full of bars and restaurants that are all centred around the Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village. The area’s cobbled streets are lined with trees and cafes serving single origin coffee and boutiques selling the latest fashion. De Waterkant has a bohemian atmosphere and is known for being a gay-friendly neighborhood. It’s easy to walk from here to the iconic V&A Waterfront and also the dynamic center of the city.
Stay in one of the quaint mid-range cottages with modernized interiors and flowers under the window sills, beautiful balconies and roof top terraces. Take the bus to other parts of the city or you can rent a bicycle and cycle though the old streets in the sunshine.
Best Places to Stay in De Waterkant
The Capital Mirage Hotel – A gorgeously gleaming, elegant and modern hotel which offers top-notch facilities alongside fantastic service. Staying here means you will have everything to make your stay as comfortable as possible; there’s a range of suites and apartments on offer and each comes with a lounge area as well as a kitchen. Enjoy dining at one of the hotel’s three on-site restaurants, or step outside and soak up the vibrancy of the Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village, which is dotted with hip eateries and chic cafes.
The trendy suburb of Green Point is where you will find the Cape Town Stadium which was built for the World Cup in 2010. The area’s central location, just outside the city center, means that it is close to Cape Town’s big attractions, such as Sea Point and the beaches in Clifton. Green Point is made up of narrow lanes and old Victorian villas which create a welcoming, safe atmosphere. Nightlife is a big draw to the district with its liberal, gay-friendly social scene which welcomes everyone into the area’s bars and clubs.
Accommodation in Green Point is made up of low-priced guest houses and mid-range villas, with a selection of luxury hotels also available. The area has seen a lot of improvements in recent years and has become a trendy quarter to hangout for locals and visitors alike. It’s easy to walk to the city centre from Green Point and, of course, to the stadium which often hosts local markets selling African goods.
Best Places to Stay in Green Point
The Cape Royale – For a slice of high-end living in the city, this hotel provides luxury suites equipped with a range of facilities. Rooms are modern, with large windows and amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean – as well as equally amazing large beds, kitchens, and lounges. Throughout the hotel, the neutral color palette and stylish finishes create a relaxing, ambient atmosphere. There’s a selection of eateries within the hotel itself – including a French café – but it’s also within walking distance of the waterfront and various restaurants.
[email protected] Cape Town – This is a fun and youthful hotel that has a wide selection of room choices to suit different traveler’s budgets. Choose from a budget dorm room, a private room with shared bathroom, or a private room with en-suite, and spend time in the friendly, vibrant environment of the hotel. Guests can unwind and get chatting to other people in the communal lounge or whip up a meal in the shared kitchen. The hostel also has a bar and grill attached to it, which serves tasty meals – but the location is within walking distance of some of the best eateries in the area.
Oxford House – Serene and elegant, this hotel is the place to stay if you want a calm environment and plenty of space. The large rooms are decorated in a simple white theme and drenched in sunlight from the large windows. Rooms also come with a small kitchen, which is convenient for making breakfast and snacks. The charming retro building is a secure and safe place to stay just off of a busy main road, it is situated very close to Cape Town Stadium and within walking distance of the Sea Point promenade.
Cradling the Atlantic Ocean, Mouille Point boasts stunning views of both Robben Island and Table Mountain. Stay in a beachside hotel or a villa with sea views in Mouille Point and enjoy laid back life just outside of the city center. Find yourself among the city’s joggers, dog walkers and young families as they stroll along the seaside promenade that begins in Mouille Point and extends around the bay to Sea Point. The area is well known for its standout lighthouse which, with its red and white stripes, is an iconic landmark.
It’s easy to travel on foot into the center of the city or to discover the area’s plentiful restaurants and local cafes. If you fancy traveling further afield then you can hop on the affordable bus service.
Best Places to Stay in Mouille Point
Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront – If you’re looking for somewhere special to stay whilst in the city, this branch of Radisson Blu is a top choice. Staff provide excellent service and are always friendly and attentive. The rooms are simple, comfortable, and have incredible views of Robben Island and the Atlantic Ocean. Spend time here exploring the city, at the nearby Metropolitan Golf Club, or relaxing in the indoor vitality pool. Then round off your day with a drink from the hotel bar and watch the sunset from the hotel terrace.
Sociable Sea Point is an area full of energy, nestled between Mouille Point and Bantry Bay. Take a walk along its beachside promenade and watch the active locals skate, run and cycle in the sunshine – you can even try out the watersports on offer along the beach. The perfect area for foodies, Sea Point is where you will find various types of cuisine along the beachfront, especially freshly caught grilled fish served alongside a glass of South African wine.
As a cosmopolitan suburb, Sea Point is home to a multitude of people and religions and has some of the most expensive homes in the city. Along the beachfront are upper-end, luxury hotels and apartments which offer a great location and easy transport links into the city center.
Best Places to Stay in Sea Point
The Glen Boutique Hotel – Less than ten minutes from Broken Bath Beach, this place is perfect for enjoying life by the sea in Cape Town. Modern and boutique in style, the luxury rooms come with private balconies and feature sea or mountain views, as well as added extras such as double volume showers. The spa comes equipped with a steam room, a Swedish sauna, and a hot tub. There’s also an outdoor pool for guests to enjoy. It’s easy to see the city sights by jumping on the Citybus close to the hotel, or you can take a city tour organized by the hotel itself.
President Hotel – Staying at this hotel means being able to take a stroll every day to stunning Sunset Beach – located just two minutes away. The large hotel offers modern, clean and simple rooms, with elements of design throughout the hotel reflecting the surrounding seascape. A family-friendly place to stay, there is a large outdoor area with an infinity pool surrounded by sun loungers, so guests can spend time relaxing in the African sunshine. An excellent breakfast is served every morning, and staff will be more than happy to help with planning your daily activities.
Mojo Hotel – Cool and contemporary, Mojo hotel is a modern place with fun design elements splashed throughout. Fans of pop art will enjoy staying among the vibrant, colorful surroundings, in rooms that are minimal and simple in style. They come with modern amenities included – such as the all-important Netflix. Staying at Mojo also means you are within walking distance of both Broken Bath Beach and Sunset Beach – perfect for days spent next to the sea. There are bicycles available to hire so guests can pedal to popular city sights.
Named after Queen Victoria and her son Alfred, the V&A Waterfront is right in middle of Cape Town’s harbor, set against the magnificent backdrop that is Table Mountain. The V&A Waterfront is a big attraction for locals and tourists alike, drawn there for the world famous view and the social buzz of the cafes and restaurants. The area is full of fun, family friendly attractions such as an aquarium, a maritime museum and cinemas.
Hotels along the waterfront are luxury and in a prime location, each offering up stunning views of the city and bay. From this coastal district, it’s an easy and safe walk to the centre of the city and other surrounding districts, where you can discover for yourself what Cape Town has to offer.
Best Places to Stay in V&A Waterfront
The Table Bay Hotel – Old fashioned elegance is on offer at this enclave of luxury. Historical architecture combined with incredible views of Table Mountain make this hotel a special place to stay in Cape Town. Rooms are immaculately clean, comfortable and spacious, boasting large windows. Wake up to views of the harbor and sunrise over the mountain and tuck into the hotel’s large, delicious breakfast. Staff provide a high quality of service and are more than happy to help with special requests, often adding a personal touch.
Victoria & Alfred Hotel – A fantastic location right on the waterfront, this hotel’s sun terrace is an amazing place to unwind with a drink and take in the views across the water. Decorated in a mixture of contemporary and vintage design, rooms boast views of Table Mountain or the vibrant piazza. The hotel is right in the middle of all of the action of the area; staying here means you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining options, shopping opportunities, and even interesting markets and local events.
Set on a swathe of a white sandy beach and with a wide choice of hotels, guest houses and B&Bs, Camps Bay is an attractive location to stay during a visit to the South African capital. Camps Bay is a fantastic spot for a refreshing ocean swim – or for a more relaxing dip try swimming at the seawater pool at the end of the beach.
The area has a friendly, fun-loving young atmosphere and is home to welcoming locals who like the laid back lifestyle of the coastal district. If you choose to stay in Camps Bay, you will be in walking distance to many of Cape Town’s other top waterfronts and popular tourist attractions.
Best Places to Stay in Camps Bay
South Beach Camps Bay – Clean lines and contemporary style make this hotel a calm place to spend your city break by the sea. After a busy day in the city or on the beach, return to the peace and quiet of your comfortable hotel room. Staying here means a hassle-free holiday. Rooms come with kitchens and a fully stocked fridge, and you can tuck into the fresh bread and pastries that are delivered daily. The ideal location for beach lovers, this hotel is set right on Camp’s Bay Beach itself. For those who love to swim, there’s the choice of two pools – including a heated rooftop pool.
Primi Royal – A small and secluded boutique hotel great for a romantic seaside getaway, rooms are carefully designed with comfort in mind and have immense views across the beach and Lion’s Head. The hotel bar and lounge also share the same stunning, scenic ocean views and provide a relaxing spot for drinks at sunset. While the hotel itself is a short walk to the beach, with a wide choice of restaurants nearby, its location is peaceful and quiet. There is also a peaceful outdoor pool, providing a pleasant spot to spend time reclining in the sun.
This where you will find the high-end, luxury apartments and villas where the elite of Cape Town live. These extravagant villas are set in the city’s mountainous landscape and look out across the ocean. Just a few minutes from the city centre, the area is also near to the V&A Waterfront and the famous Table Mountain Cable Car which, apart from being a fantastic mode of transport, has stunning views of the cityscape.
The sunsets across Bantry Bay are unimaginably beautiful, lighting up the bay and the surrounding area. Bantry Bay is ideal for couples and families, as there is a choice of accommodation – it is more expensive than other districts, but visitors do have a choice of mid-range to luxury hotels.
Best Places to Stay in Bantry Bay
52 De Wet Luxury Boutique Hotel – This boutique hotel offers a beautifully blissed-out environment to stay close to the beach on the side of Lion’s Head Mountain. Staying in this hotel – with its warm and helpful staff – is like staying in a friend’s very chic and modern beach house. Simplistic interiors and pared-back design let the amazing views of the seascape steal the show. Swim in the infinity pool and luxuriate in the panoramic views across the water of Sunset Beach, Clifton 4th Beach and Broken Bath Beach, which are all within easy walking distance from here.
Stay in a luxury beachfront apartment or spend days in your very own beach bungalow in this very popular area. Clifton is a top location for people who love to spend their holiday on the beach, in the sunshine with their friends and family as there are easily accessible facilities and a clean environment.
As there are only a couple of restaurants and shops in Clifton, once evening falls the daytime’s visitors drift away leaving people who stay on the beach with serene surroundings. It is easy to get to nearby resorts by driving, or catching the bus for a spot of dinner at Camps Bay, and the vibrant nightlife and restaurants of Sea Point – all with the looming backdrop of Table Mountain for shelter.
Best Places to Stay in Clifton
Cape View Clifton – Neutral colors, soft fabrics and chic artwork dotted with delicate design details make this B&B a special place to stay. The rooms offer a world of laid-back comfort and views of the ocean that you’ll find it hard to tear yourself away from. The various suites on offer all have something different and unique about them and make for a great place to stay for a couples retreat. An oasis of calm and courteous service awaits if you stay here; have a soak in your private hot tub on the terrace or take a swim in the hotel pool.