The Backpack Cape Town
We are South Africa's original backpacker, established in 1990. We are an award winning, Fair Trade hostel that invests in people and communities, giving meaningful and relaxed, travel experiences.
The Backpack is perfectly situated in the heart of Cape Town. We are within walking distance of many bars, restaurants and popular attractions like Green Market Square, Company's Gardens and the Bo-Kaap. We're a 5 minute taxi or bus ride from V&A Waterfront, and 10 minutes from the Table Mountain Cable Car Station.
We accommodate 100 people in 16 room types – 8 bed, 4 bed, 3 bed and 2 bed mixed dorms, single rooms, twin and double rooms with shared or private bathrooms, family rooms and even a self-catering loft apartment! All of our rooms boast a fresh and funky style, which you can expect from a trendy city hostel. Children can only be accommodated in a private room or in the Family Room and must be accompanied by an adult.
We have a community craft shop and also travel desk at the reception so that you can experience Cape Town to the fullest! We offer a free continental breakfast every morning and our café/bar stays open until late every night, including some evening hostel activities. Free WiFi is available throughout the hostel. There is also a self-catering kitchen, swimming pool and garden, pool table, gift shop, luggage storage, laundry service, ATM and vending machine.
We buy biodegradable cleaning products, LED lights, have recycling bins for glass, tins, plastic and batteries, and solar panels to provide hot water plus 3500kWs of electricity. We choose to make a difference and so can you by joining us for a day at our community project; gardening or tutoring children.
Green Accommodation Initiative – Global Youth Travel Award - 2015
Best Social Responsibility - Global Youth Travel Award - 2015
Award for Excellence - Best for Families - Hostelbookers - 2014
Top 10 Best Value Stays for 2014 - Lonely Planet - 2014
1st Place - Best Hostel in South Africa - Hostelworld.com – 2013
We have all the facilities you can expect from a great hotel, such as stylishly decorated Afro-chic rooms offering superior comfort and quality with shared or ensuite bathrooms, private electronic safes and in-house ATM.
Making a difference is more than just an initiative of The Backpack, it is the way we are, the way we work and the way we live! By staying with us, you will be making a difference to the lives of many children.
Stay in touch in our internet café or use Wi-Fi throughout the hostel; swim in the pool with a stunning view of Table Mountain, or meet like-minded international travellers in our buzzy café/bar, serving delicious meals from 7:30 ‘til late.
Long Street, gorgeous Clifton and Camps Bay beaches, Table Mountain, V&A Waterfront and the city centre are all just a stone's throw away.
Our hostel has been accredited by Fair Trade in Tourism, a trade mark awarded to businesses that adhere to fair trade criteria, fair wages and working conditions, fair operations, purchasing and distribution of benefits, ethical business practices and respect for human rights, culture and the environment.
A meet-and-greet airport shuttle service is available at an additional cost.
Guest are welcome to use our fully equipped self-catering kitchen and we have satellite sports channels on TV.
We sponsor a sports program in a community riddled with drugs and gangs. Join us for a day to see what we are up to. Bring your old soccer boots with you. We have a soccer and reading project which we run Monday to Thursday during the school term. If you would like to play soccer or help children with their homework please contact us.
We offer internships to hotel and tourism students.
We keep a basket of wool in our café and lounge. Knit a square or two while you are here—we’ll sew it up and with your help another orphaned baby will be warm. If you have some wool lying about your or your grandmother's house, bring it along!
There’s 24hr security and 24hr check-in.
Children are welcome in the private rooms as long as they can swim.
Our awards include:
Independent winner for Best Practice - Economic Impact - Imvelo Awards 2011
Independent winner for Best Single Resource Management Program in Waste Management - Imvelo Awards 2011
Winner of 2011 AA Quality Assured Accommodation Award - Backpackers Accommodation
Awarded Best Hostel in South Africa 2010, 2009 & 2008 by Hostelworld customers
Awarded 2nd place for Best Hostel in Africa 2010; and 3rd Best Hostel in Africa 2009 & 2008 by Hostelworld Customers
One of the World's Top 10 Coolest Hostels! Guardian August 2010
One of the Top 10 places to stay - Lonely Planet 2010
Winners of the Welcome Awards 2010 - South Africa's most prestigious award
‘Not too laid back, not too loud—guests love The Backpack and it's easy to see why. For years it has stayed ahead of the crowd by constantly adapting, yet always offering top notch accommodation for the price and wonderfully clued-up service from its desk.’ – Lonely Planet
'The most comfortable and best-run in town...one of the best backpacker travel centres around. Recommended.' – Footprints
Please see our Must-Read Hostel Info below before booking.
Availability & RatesTo view availability and prices please select dates and click 'Update Dates'
Hostel Facilities & Policies
- 24 hour reception
- 24 hour security
- Air Conditioning
- Airport transfers
- Bicycle hire
- Board Games
- Book exchange
- Breakfast Included
- Cable TV
- Ceiling fan
- Child Friendly
- Common Room
- Credit Cards Accepted
- Currency exchange
- Fax Service
- Free City Maps
- Free Internet Access
- Free Parking
- Free Wifi
- Hair Dryers
- Hair Dryers For Hire
- Hot Showers
- House Keeping
- Internet Access
- Laundry Facilities
- Linen Included
- Luggage Storage
- Meals Available
- Meeting Room
- No Curfew
- Outdoor Swimming Pool
- Outdoor Terrace
- Pool Table
- Postal Service
- Reading Light
- Safety Deposit Box
- Shuttle Bus
- Swimming Pool
- Taxes included
- Tea/Coffee Making Facilities
- Tours/Travel Desk
- Towels For Hire
- Vending Machines
- Washing Machine
Cancellation PolicyThis property has a 7 day cancellation policy. Failure to cancel within this time will result in a cancellation charge equal to the first night of your stay.
Must-Read Hostel InfoThis property has specific Terms & Conditions.
Please note: Check in is from 14.00 and check out is before 10.00
We have a 24-hour check in service. Breakfast is included in our rates.
We will require a key deposit of R100 per key in cash which will be refunded on check out.
If you would like to make a booking of over 8 people, please contact us directly.
DirectionsShow MapHide Map
From Johannesburg (N1) and Cape Town Airport (N2), continue past the entrance to the Waterfront along Buitengracht Street (M62), towards Table Mountain.
On the corner of Buitengracht and Buitensingel the road becomes New Church. Immediately on your right you will see a parking lot and a large brown building - that\'s us! Drive around the block and into our parking area. You can\'t miss it!!!
Nestled between Table Mountain and Cape Town City. Situated near buzzy Long Street and trendy Kloof Street. Museums, Movies and great shopping on our doorstep! We are on the Red Bus City Tour Route and a block from our new City Public Transport System.
We are on the road from the Waterfront to Table Mountain.
Our Cape Town Studio is not situated at The Backpack, it is a few blocks away in Queen Victoria Street opposite the Planetarium.