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Cape Town Travel Tips: cheap accommodation & how to get around

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You probably won’t be surprised if I tell you that Cape Town is one of my all time favourite travel destinations. Since I have been getting a lot of questions about where we stayed whilst we were in South Africa, I have decided to write this blog post to share with you my top tips on how to find cheap accommodation in Cape Town and how to get around.

Cape Town is definitely an affordable travel destination, especially when the rand is as low is it currently is. Eating out, grocery shopping, going to Yoga classes etc. will cost you very little. The only thing that is comparably expensive in Cape Town is the accommodation.

Which area should you stay in Cape Town?

I stayed in Sea Point every time I was in Cape Town and I am absolutely in love with the area!! It only takes around 10 minutes to get to town and 10 minutes to the beaches Clifton and Camps Bay. Furthermore, there is a beautiful promenade in Sea Point, which is ideal for going running and has a fun little outdoor gym. However, Sea Point is definitely more expensive than town. So, if you’ve really got to look after your cash I would recommend staying in the city.

Of course, Clifton and Camps Bay are beautiful as well, but they will most probably be too costly if you are travelling on a budget.

Another great alternative if you have got a car would be the sunset beach/Table view area, which is around 20 minutes from town. A lot of Surfers and Kite surfers stay there and it is absolutely beautiful to watch them do their tricks whilst enjoying the best view over Table Mountain and Lion’s Head.

Table view beach cape town

sunset beach cape townSunset beach 

Accomodation Sea Point

So if you decide to stay in Sea Point here are my go-to places for accommodation:

Air BnB

Whilst we were in Cape Town we stayed at two different places. Both of them we found over AirBnB. However, if you don’t book half a year in advance the flats are likely to be very costly. Thus, here my (probably illegal) life hack: just write to the Air BnB owner beforehand and ask them if you can have a look at the flat so that you can meet them in person and convince them to give you a better price thanks to your charm. Also, always mention if you are planning to stay for a longer period of time , since that will increase their incentive to give you a better price.

Furthermore, suggest to them to do the rental without AirBnB, that way both of you don’t have to pay any additional Air BnB charges. If you are not able to meet up with them before your stay you could just write to them on AirBnB and ask if they would be happy to give you a good price (since you are a student, travelling on a budget etc. etc.)

If you do want to be on the safe side and book over AirBnB make sure to check in advance, since rentals will be a lot cheaper and you will have a much greater choice!

PLS Holiday Rentals

This was the second place Julia and I stayed at, since the first apartment we found over AirBnB was only available for a month. We also found this Holiday Rental over AirBnB. They have mainly two bedroom apartments with a fully equipped kitchen and a bathroom. We chose this place, since we had two of our friends visiting from Germany for two weeks, so we needed two bedrooms.

It is located super close to the best shops in Sea Point (3 minutes from Checkers) and it is very secure to stay at. The price is also all right if you split it between a 3-4 people.

Mojo Hotel

This is a relatively new Hostel/budget accommodation. Like the other place it is also located in the end of Sea Point really close to all the shops and MyCitiBus stops. They have dorm
rooms, cheap double rooms (without a window) and bigger, really nice studio rooms. Julia and I didn’t stay there, but we had a look at the rooms, which were all modern and clean. If you are looking for the cheapest option in Sea Point this might be your pick.

Accomodation bed

clifton beach south africa

clifton 2nd beach cape townClifton 2nd beach

Getting around in Cape Town

Unlike with most European cities, there are basically no public transport options except for the MyCitiBus. So here is how we got around in Cape Town:

Uber

Uber in Cape Town is the best! It is so cheap and convenient. If you take an Uber from Sea Point to the city centre (15 minute ride) it will only cost you 50 rand which is around 3 euros.
Even the ride from Sea Point to Table View beach (around 30 minutes) will only cost you around 9 euros. If you do however want to do a longer trip, for example to the Cape of Good Hope or to Boulder’s Beach penguin colony I recommend you rent a car.

MyCitiBus

As previously mentioned this is the only real public transport in Cape Town. In order to use it, you have to buy yourself a MyCitiBus card (you will need to show your passport), which you will then top up with money. I honestly don’t really get how they calculate the fare of a ride- all I know is that it is super cheap. If you take a MyCitiBus from Sea Point to Clifton beach you don’t even have to pay anything at all.

Black Taxi

Black taxis are white mini buses that take the local people around. They are not the safest mean of transport, however Julia and I did occasionally use them during the day (never use them at night!) to get to the beach or to the city centre. If you have mixed feelings about taking them, I suggest you just go with the Uber or MyCitit Bus instead. I personally took them when I wanted to safe money on an Uber or didn’t want to wait for the MyCitiBus to turn up.

Rent a car

If you are going to explore the Cape Area (which I definitely recommend you do!) you should rent a car, because there is nothing like a road trip along the breath-taking, winding roads of the Cape. Take my advice though: Most people in Cape Town drive like crazy lunatics, so I highly recommend you get a full coverage insurance when you rent the car! Julia for example, wanted to do a U-turn once and the driver behind her ignored the indicator and drove past, which lead to a minor accident. Fortunately for us our mom had convinced us to get a full insurance, which meant we didn’t have to pay for any of the damage. Furthermore, you should keep in mind that cars drive on the opposite side of the road in Cape Town, so before you rent a car you should check in with yourself if you feel confident driving on the left side.

Cape Town is one of the most beautiful spots on this planet and I can only recommend anyone to travel there sometime. I hope my tips helped those of you who are considering a trip to Cape Town. If you have any more questions, just let me know in the comments and I would be happy to help out where I can!

 

darg animal shelter cape town

darg animal shelter puppyAt the DARG animal shelter in Hout Bay

Chapman's Peak Drive Cape Town roadtripBreathtaking view over Hout Bay from Chapman’s Peak Drive

13 comments

Sarah Beth 2. May 2016 Reply

Hi Janine,

I am planning a trip to Cape Town and everyone keeps telling me how safe I need to be and have the entire trip planned and not go wandering. Did you always stay around the same areas? Or did you at anytime feel unsafe?

Thanks!!
Sarah

    Janine Jahnke 3. May 2016 Reply

    Hi Sarah, To be perfectly honest with you: I never felt unsafe whilst I was in Cape Town. Where are you planning to go? And will you travel on your own? I guess you just have to stick to some basic rules, e.g. don’t walk around alone at night in dark streets (which you really wouldn’t do anywhere in the world) and don’t go running around with an expensive Louis Vuitton bag, showing off your money. Cape Town is amazing and if you are a sensible person you shoudl be more than alright! 🙂 xx Janine

      Sarah Beth 3. May 2016 Reply

      Thanks! I am going with my boyfriend and we’re thinking of staying around Green Point / Sea Point. We’re going to rent a car because we want to do a lot of hiking and do the scenic drives but did you walk around much during the day? Or do you have to drive everywhere? Sorry if I sound crazy but everyone keeps telling me how safe I have to be (and I’m definitely street smart)!

        Janine Jahnke 4. May 2016 Reply

        Hi Sarah, Oh then you should be more than fine!! Greenpoint and Seapoint are definitely safe and you can of course walk around during the day! You will also have a great time when you rent a car, because it will enable you to really go and see everything. Lots of people who have never been to Cape Town always ask me if it is safe etc. but you honestly don’t have to worry about it! Have a great time and enjoy your stay 🙂 xx Janine

Hello Janine!
I’ve been to Cap Town (I have relatives there) a few times and I love it! One of my favourite things to do was to climb the Table Mountain! Your post makes me want to book a trip to South Africa! Thanks for sharing.
xo Margot
PS: where do you usually get your bikinis?

    Janine Jahnke 22. May 2016 Reply

    Thank you Margot, that sounds great 🙂 I get my bikinis from all over the place. My current favourites are: Stone Fox Swimwear & Victoria’s Secret. I also got a lot of pretty bikinis when I was on Bali! Maybe I will see you around Cape Town this year? 🙂 Have a great day! Janine

Anna Bockstette 10. October 2016 Reply

Hey Janine 🙂
eine Freundin und ich wollen über Silvester nach Kapstadt, leider sind alle Hostels in Sea Point zu dem Zeitpunkt schon ausgebucht, kannst du uns evtl. weitere Bereiche in Kapstadt empfehlen?
Wir haben geplant ein bisschen in Kapstadt zu bleiben und dann weitere Teile von Südafrika zu erkunden.
Von deinen Snaps bekomme ich schon richtig Freude und Lust auf Kapstadt und kann es kaum erwarten auch endlich da zu sein! 🙂
Liebe Grüße, Anna

    Janine Jahnke 12. October 2016 Reply

    Hi Anna, Wow das hört sich sehr cool an! Ich bin dieses Jahr auch zum ersten Mal in Kapstadt über Silvester. Schreib mir doch mal eine Email an janinejahnke@outlook.com Ich habe 2 private Kontakte die ich dir empfehlen kann bezüglich Unterkunft 😉
    Kapstadt ist ein Traum und du kannst dich schon auf die Zeit hier freuen 🙂 xx Janine

Riz 8. November 2016 Reply

Stunning Photos!! Found ya in youtube. I’m planning to visit capetown and this is so helpful. Thank you so much for the tips! 🙂 You look gorgeous. 🙂

    Janine Jahnke 9. November 2016 Reply

    Thank you so much! Glad to hear that you found them helpful 🙂 xx

Jana 22. December 2016 Reply

Hallo Janine,
ich möchte schon länger nach Kapstadt, weil ich die Kombination Meer/Stadt/Berge liebe ? Ende Januar wird mein Traum in Erfüllung gehen und ich werde 2 Monate nach Kapstadt kommen. Ich hatte alleine auch erst etwas bedenken, aber deine Beschreibung über Sea Point (wo ich auch wohnen werde) beruhigt mich total ☺️
Ich würde morgens gerne joggen gehen. Ist das bedenklich an der Promenade als Frau alleine laufen zu gehen?
Danke für die tollen Tipps und Beschreibungen und da ich dir schon lange bei Instagram und Snapchat folge, hast du auch dazu beigetragen, dass ich Kapstadt endlich entdecke ☺️
Vielen Dank für den tollen Beitrag und mach’ auch sonst weiter so!
Viele Grüße
Jana

Ilse 22. October 2018 Reply

Hi Janine,
I live in Cape Town for 9 months. But I’m here for 2 weeks now. I read about your black taxi mini busses drive. I thought it would be cheaper to go with these busses if I want to go somewhere out off city. But how can I get in contact with the black taxi’s and how do I know where they going to?

Xx Ilse

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