If you are going to visit South Africa almost certainly visit Cape Town. If so, it is important that you guess where you are going to stay. For us some of the best areas to stay in Cape Town are City Bowl, and the neighborhoods that it comprises, Gardens, Green Point and Camps Bay. Meet these neighborhoods and others that we also recommend.
The best areas and neighborhoods to stay in Cape Town
Staying in Cape Town is not complicated, since it has a wide range of establishments suitable for all types of budgets. The only thing you should keep in mind is the chosen area, since it is a city where there are great economic and even social differences between neighborhood and neighborhood.
It is important that you choose areas that offer greater security when it comes to staying. Among the areas that most tourists usually receive each year are the following:
The City Bowl is what the center of the city is called colloquially. It is a place with a natural amphitheater shape, bordered by the Table Bay and the Devil’s Peak, Signal Hill, Table Mountain and Lion’s Head mountains. This area includes residential neighborhoods as well known as De Waterkant, Tamboerskloof and Woodstock.
Here is the central financial district, known by the acronym CBD (Central Business District), an important financial center of South Africa. The South African Parliament is located on Plein Street, the seat of government for six months a year. The provincial government of the Western Cape and the municipality of Cape Town also have their headquarters here.
Strolling through its streets is to see an interesting mix of Art-Deco buildings with imposing skyscrapers reminiscent of the Big Apple in New York. So much so, that some scenes from the movie ‘The Lord of War’ starring Nicolas Cage were shot here, pretending to be downtown Manhattan.
In this neighborhood it is possible to find from charming cafes to sophisticated nightclubs. One of its best known points is the mythical Long Street, a beautiful route of colorful Victorian houses that offers a wide range of bars and restaurants.
But if there is a place of great symbolism, that is the town hall. In 1990 and after more than 20 years imprisoned, Nelson Mandela addressed the entire nation from this building once he was released. In 1994, he would do it again as the winner of the first democratic elections and first black president of the country.
City Bowl Accommodations
Another ideal neighborhood to stay in Cape Town is Sea Point, one of the richest and most populous. It is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the famous Lion’s Head or Lion’s Head Mountain. It is very lively and its promenade, the main hallmark of the neighborhood, is always full of people who come to enjoy the sea breeze.
Another important attraction is the public pool of Bantry Bay. It is a complex composed of two children’s pools, one for diving and the other Olympic. Open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In addition, it also has the popular tide pools of Saunders Rock and Milton.
In general it is an area with a wide range of restaurants, such as Winchester Mansions (Beach Road, 221), with a popular Sunday brunch with jazz music; or Franky’s Diner (Main Road, 303), a place inspired by the 50s that opens 24 hours a day. But there are places with gastronomy from all parts of the world.
The Mojo Market is another important meeting point of the neighborhood. It is a market that opens seven days a week and has 30 different food stalls, in addition to live music shows and screens projecting sports competitions.
Accommodations in Sea Point
Many tourists who sleep in Cape Town do so at Green Point. It is located northwest of the central business district, offering a quiet residential area for young professionals in the city and the LGBT community. Somerset Road is its main street and where most of the cafés, restaurants, delicatessen stores and nightclubs are located.
Among its places of interest is the Cape Town Stadium, built specifically to host some of the matches that took place during the 2010 World Cup. It currently has guided tours that show the changing rooms, VIP areas and other stadium facilities.
It also highlights the Green Point Urban Park, a pleasant park in the middle of the city, perfect for picnics. It has an outdoor gym, a playground, an adventure area and a maze. In addition, it has a great variety of plants and informative posters with the data of all of them.
Finally, we must mention the Green Point lighthouse that is mistakenly called Mouille Point. It is said that it was the first solid lighthouse in the country, being illuminated for the first time in 1824. It was built by the German Herman Schutte, and today it remains practically the same.
Green Point Hotels
Also known as The Gardens, it is a perfect place to book accommodation in Cape Town. It is located just south of the city center, directly below Lion’s Head and Table Mountain. It is a neighborhood with a high class population and numerous hotels, restaurants and chic shops.
It is also an important center for the creative industry, because here is the headquarters of the television e.tv. Therefore, in its surroundings it is possible to find numerous model agencies, advertising companies and production companies. It also houses the famous five-star Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel.
If this area is famous for something, it is for Table Mountain, the quintessential symbol of the city. You can reach its top, about 1086 meters high, through a cable car service. The riskiest can go up or down using some of the hiking trails that run the mountain.
Next to it is Lion’s Head, from where you get an unbeatable view of the Mother City. It has a height of approximately 670 meters above sea level and is especially beautiful during sunsets. If you decide to do the route on foot, it has about two hours of travel.
It is located between the Cape Peninsula National Park and Gardens, just outside Long Street and at the foot of Lion’s Head. It is one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in the city, with an interesting mix of Victorian houses and Art Deco buildings. It is one of the most popular places to stay in Cape Town.
It is just 15 minutes walk from the city center, perfectly connected through the public transport network. It is a quiet and safe area, close to Kloof Street, known as the “Mile of the Resturantes”. There are also antique shops, bookstores and lovely coffee shops where you can sit and have a drink.
Near the neighborhood is the Company’s Garden, a beautiful botanical garden right in the center of the city. It is the oldest garden in the country, its origins date back to 1652, when Jan van Riebeeck’s created this space to grow vegetables destined for the colony. Inside there are not only galleries and museums, but also hosts important festivals every year.
One of the museums found in this garden is the Iziko Museum. It was founded in 1825, making it the first museum in South Africa. He has been in Company’s Garden since 1987. Among its walls are collections of zoology, archeology and paleontology. The word Iziko is from the Xhosa language and means heart.
Accommodations in Tamboerskloof
It is ideal for those travelers who want to stay in Cape Town to enjoy the beach, but without departing from the main tourist attractions. It is an idyllic location facing the turquoise water of the sea and under the watchful eye of the mountain known as the Twelve Apostles.
It has a charming coastal town air. This may be because it remained virtually undeveloped during the 19th century. Kloof Nek, the road between Camps Bay and the city center was not built until 1848. And until 1887 the Victoria road leading to Sea Point was not completed.
Its beautiful palm boulevard offers a wide variety of cafés and restaurants where you can enjoy a pleasant meal overlooking the sea. On its beaches it is possible to rent sun loungers and umbrellas to spend a quiet day in the sun. In addition, the fun continues at nightfall, as there are numerous bars where you can go out.
Its most famous beach is Camps Bay Beach, which has been recognized by the Blue Flag since 2008. It is a wide expanse of white sand, the largest in the area. It has a lifeguard post and public services, as well as a wide selection of shops and accommodations where you can stay in Cape Town.
Camps Bay Hotels
It is located between Table Mountain and Robben Island, in the heart of the city. It is a neighborhood that transports at the beginning of this port, a place with a strong commercial activity and dedicated to entertainment. The V&A Waterfront shopping center has become one of the biggest tourist attractions of this South African destination.
Around it there are numerous office buildings, luxury apartments and hotels of the highest category for travelers who want to stay in Cape Town in this area. Other tourist attractions that this charming neighborhood offers is the Two Oceans aquarium, named after the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.
It is also worth visiting the Maritime Museum, which shows the naval history of the country from prehistory to the present. From this popular port it is possible to take helicopter rides to appreciate the natural beauty of the city, as well as the boats that take you to see the Robben Island jail where Mandela was imprisoned.
One of the curiosities of the Waterfront is that it has its own seal colony, specifically sea lions. This friendly group of animals meets in the vicinity of the Clock Tower, next to the Bertie’s Landing restaurant. It is a pleasure to see them so closely in the city.
Accommodations in Waterfront Cape Town
It is an area belonging to the Green Point neighborhood, located southeast of the Somerset road and adjacent to the CBD. Built in the 19th century, it is currently one of the most fashionable areas of the city, with a selection of historic buildings, chic shops and cozy coffee shops. It is popularly known as the “Pink District”, due to the wide range of gay bars and restaurants.
With its boutique hotels and tourist apartments, it is an ideal option to stay in Cape Town. It has a perfect location, just a few meters from the 2010 FIFA World Cup Fan Walk ride. It is also a paradise for food lovers. From Italian cuisine to Turkish, everything is possible to find here.
In its Cape Quarter shopping center there are local craft stalls, luxurious restaurants, coffee shops and sports bars. Every year, the Cape Town Carnival is held on the Somerset road. It takes place in March and gathers thousands of people in an event full of color and music.
But if there is something that attracts attention in the area is the Prestwich Memorial, a place for memory that shows the bones found during the construction of Green Point. It is the starting point to explore District One, the ancient cemeteries of the Slave Route.
Accommodations in De Waterkant
It is located south of De Waterkant, on the slopes of Signal Hill. It was created in 1760 and was previously known as the Malay District. Today it is a picturesque neighborhood full of colorful houses where you can learn more about the Islamic population that inhabits this exciting South African city.
Among its streets you can see the Bo-Kaap Museum, created by slaves brought from Southeast Asia and released centuries ago. This group of people was known as the Malay Cape. It is believed that its influence was fundamental for the generation of the Afrikaans language, a simple version of Dutch.
The community that inhabits this neighborhood is part of its historical legacy. One of the most recommended activities is to taste the delicious cuisine of the neighborhood, an interesting mix between Dutch and Middle Eastern cuisine. Dishes that are usually made from vegetables, spices, fruit and meat. Without forgetting, of course, the curry!
It is a curious place to stay in Cape Town. An enriching cultural heritage that will be favored by your visit, since all the contributions made within Bo-Kaap go directly to the members that are part of the community of this historic district.
Accommodations in Bo Kaap
The colorful Woodstock neighborhood is located two kilometers east of downtown Cape Town. Its origins date back to fishermen and country houses that were built in what became Albert Road. It has gone through different phases, but it is currently a modern and modern neighborhood.
It is located at the foot of Devils Peak, with wonderful views of the harbor. It is divided by the Main Road and has elegant and spacious Victorian houses. Investors have decided to bet on the neighborhood to give it a new life. One of its most famous places is the Neighborhood Goods Market, where on Saturday mornings local food is sold.
Here is Castle Brewery, one of the oldest commercial breweries in the country. His building was designed by the American architect, H. Steinmann. At the beginning of the 20th century he managed to save himself from a demolition and today he has regained his former glory. In front of it is the Beach Road, a reminder of how far the coast reached in the past.
It is also interesting to see the Treaty Tree, a tree where the peace treaty between English and Dutch was signed in 1806; and that he witnessed the sale of slaves until 1834 and the hanging of criminals. Any of its tourist accommodation is perfect to sleep in Cape Town and fall in love with this destination.
Accommodations in Woodstock