When visiting Cape Town, is it better to book an Airbnb or backpackers hostel? When making the decision there are the normal influencing factors like: Are you traveling with family, parents, or friends and do you want to meet new people? Perhaps you here in the mother city…. to party?

Cape Town in South Africa is very much like any other world-class city and hence, the same factors that influence your decisions in other cosmopolitan hubs are likely to play a role in your choices in the here.

1. An Abundance and Diversity of People

The first advantage that a backpackers lodge has over an Airbnb arrangement, is that there are ample opportunities to meet new people. From the dorm room that you will be sharing to the communal areas like the bar, lounge, and kitchen, there is normally no shortage of conversation to colour your experience.

The alternative, staying at a private residence, doesn’t allow for the same opportunities.

Group of Friends Jumping

2. Make New Friends

Wolfgang, a guest at Ashanti Lodge Gardens, lost his credit card before he cleared the airport and as a result he couldn’t hire the car that he needed to visit the Garden Route (which was the main reason he was in South Africa). As he checked in he made his woes known. At that moment it occurred to the receptionist that there was indeed a guest, Marie, who had the same plans but needed a travel partner. She introduced the two visitors who hit it off like a house on fire and then got to experience all of the fun from Cape Town to Storms River.

At a private apartment the same solution would have been impossible because a very important element would have been absent: humanity, people or foot traffic. It is for this reason that many avoid the hotel or guest house in Cape Town, favouring instead well known backpackers hostels.

Cape Town Beach Campfire

3. Experience a Great Atmosphere

No, not the one with 78% nitrogen, 21% Oxygen and 0.9% Argon. What we are referring to here is the one with the good vibes, laughs, and tinkling glasses. Light hearted travellers from everywhere converge on renowned establishments and are responsible for the enthusiasm that pervades the backpackers hostel.

Conjuring up the same in your holiday flat or rental would be nothing short of a feat. While the private apartment offers space and privacy, you won’t have the benefit of experiencing the local atmosphere.

People Toasting at a Cape Town Hostel

4. Expert Advice From the Locals

Upon arrival in Cape Town you will have questions like: Where do I get a good pizza, where are the cool hangout spots, or what is the most efficient travel method. 

The staff at the backpackers are always tuned into where there is a vibe, the happy-hours, bargains, and good deals. This kind of information and the accuracy with which it is delivered is not as easily garnered from the internet or other formalised sources.

For the latter and the former reasons, word of mouth (what we call “the bush telegraph”) is way more efficient than any calendar or brochure your landlord can leave at your holiday apartment.

Cape Town Local Girl Showing a Thumbs-up

5. The Option of Privacy

So you really love your sleep, space, and privacy, and as such you just can’t get your head around sharing a room with six other people. We understand, and that’s the reason why hostels in Cape Town (and throughout the world) have the option of private rooms. Meaning, you can have the benefit of your privacy when it’s time to switch off  without straying too far from the good vibes.

Private Room at Backpacker Lodge in Cape Town

Let’s not Forget Though…

A priority to most travellers is affordability and backpackers lodges for most parts, are easier on the pocket. Check out Cape Town lodges and tour options below.