The Best Places To Stay In Cape Town
Cape Town offers a huge range of accommodation from prestigious hotels in the popular Waterfront area to welcoming guest houses in the upmarket suburb of Oranjezicht or stylish self-catering villas in the trendy Camps Bay.
Each area has its own distinct feel, however as the city is very compact you are never more than 15-20 minutes from the major attractions no matter where you decide to stay.
The V&A Waterfront
The Waterfront can undoubtedly feel touristy, however the upside of this is that many of the city’s leading attractions including harbour tours, Robin Island tours, the aquarium and cape wheel are all within a few minutes’ walk of the various hotels and apartments. It also has probably the widest choice of places to eat and drink in the city, with everything from cafes, casual bars and fast food places to upmarket cocktail bars and fine dining experiences.
As it is such a central point for so many attractions and restaurants, the Waterfront is also well served by the tourist sight-seeing buses, and there are several taxi ranks as well. This means that it is easy to get to other areas such as the cable car or Camp’s Bay, and depending on traffic these should only take 15-20 minutes by car (the sightseeing bus will, of course, take longer).
All-in-all, the combination of excellent accommodation, plenty of interesting things to do, and a wide range of places to eat and drink make the V&A Waterfront the most popular place for overseas visitors to base themselves during their stay in Cape Town.
The City Bowl
In the city bowl, there are a number of different areas that offer a less touristy experience such as Bo-kaap, De Waterkant, Tamberskloof, Gardens and Oranjezicht.
De Waterkant and Bo-Kaap are neighbouring suburbs not far from the Waterfront and at the foot of Signal Hill. They are both are really attractive suburbs with narrow cobbled roads, attractive Cape Dutch architecture and great views of the mountain from some spots. They are home to plenty of trendy bars, cafes and restaurants, and Bo Kaap in particular is famous for its brightly coloured cottages.
Further away from the Waterfront area and closer to the foot of Table Mountain are the districts of Tamberskloof and Gardens. These neighbouring suburbs are close to the centre of the city including the lovely park at The Company Gardens and the bohemian bars and restaurants of Long Street and Kloof Street.
The upmarket suburb of Oranjezicht is set with spectacular views over the city bowl and Table Bay from its location on the foothills of Table Mountain. This area is largely residential, and so it feels far less touristy than the Waterfront and it is also quieter than the other city bowl suburbs, however the downside of this is that you will need to use a car or taxi to get around to the various attractions. It is possible to walk to the Waterfront or Camps Bay, however both would take approximately 90 minutes and we would advise only doing this in daylight and having checked with your hotel or guest house owner as to the best route. There are a few bars and restaurants that you could walk to in these areas, however we would usually advise getting taxi or driving after dark.
Camps Bay, Clifton and Bantry Bay
Camps Bay, Clifton and Bantry Bay do not give the same classic view of the mountain that the hotels in the Waterfront and city bowl areas such as Oranjezicht will offer, however Signal Hill and the Twelve Apostles offer a great backdrop to these trendy beachside suburbs.
Apart from the beach and selection of bars and restaurants there is not that much to do in Camps Bay itself, however it is only 15 or 20 minutes by car or taxi to the Waterfront or cable car station, and Camps Bay is also a stop on the tourist bus routes meaning that you can easily use these to get around the city. In addition to the beach and various food and drink establishments, the main advantage of staying here is that it faces west and so offers sun late into the afternoon whereas the City Bowl and Waterfront will fall into the shadow of Table Mountain well before the sun sets. Grabbing a cold drink with a view over the beach, ocean, and setting sun is one of the best ways to round off a busy day of sightseeing!
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