Why stay in Cape Town?
Cape Town isn't South Africa's capital, but the South African Parliament is located there. It's the second largest city in the country as well as its southernmost city. In addition to being a great destination on its own, it is also a nice base for exploring South Africa's famous Cape Winelands region.
Among the many sights worth visiting in Cape Town is the Castle of Good Hope, the lovely Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and Robben Island, which is where apartheid era's political prisoners (including Nelson Mandela) were held. Tours are sometimes conducted by former prisoners, which can make for an especially enlightening visit. The District Six Museum commemorates the area which stayed multiracial into the 1960s, despite the government's pressure to declare it for whites only. The area was eventually bulldozed and its residents thrown out. The Bo-Kaap neighborhood, where the Muslim descendants of SE Asian slaves used to live, is a nice place to wander and has lots of great places to eat. The Victoria and Albert Waterfront has plenty of shops and restaurants, and it's where you'll probably go to begin tours of Robben Island and other nearby area attractions. For a commanding view, get a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain - but be sure to bring a jacket.
There are lots of budget accommodations in Cape Town, so sleeping cheap shouldn't be a challenge. Just remember that "hostels" are not just for the young backpacking crowd - they're perfect for any budget-minded traveler who wants to meet fellow travelers. A few Cape Town hostels worth noting are highlighted here.
The Daddy Long Legs Boutique Hotel has 13 rooms, each with a unique design, in a four-story Victorian building on Long Street. Cape Town Backpackers is listed in guidebooks, and is located in the city's shopping and cafe district. It has everything from dorm-style rooms to "honeymoon suites."
Inn Long Street is, as the name indicates, on the popular Long Street and the staff will help you arrange for anything you might want to do in the area. The Backpack & Africa Travel Centre proudly engages in Fair Trade practices and comes recommended by guidebooks.
And don't worry if none of these hostels sounds like just what you're looking for. There are plenty of Cape Town hostels where those came from. Keep reading the descriptions listed here until you find the right one for you.
If you need anything else for your trip, you're in the right place. You can search for cheap airfare to Cape Town and get on your way. And you can also read more about the city before you get there in our Cape Town Travel Guide.