South Africa's original award-winning hostel and travel centre is simply the best place to stay.
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 security
- Air Conditioning
- Airport transfers
- Bicycle hire
- Board Games
- Book exchange
- Breakfast not included
- Cable TV
- Ceiling fan
- Child Friendly
- Common Room
- Credit Cards Accepted
- Currency exchange
- Fax Service
- Free City Maps
- 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
- Swimming Pool
- Taxes included
- Tea/Coffee Making Facilities
- Tours/Travel Desk
- Towels For Hire
- Towels Included
- Vending Machines
- Washing Machine
Cancellation PolicyThis property has a 1 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.
All major credit cards, AMEX travellers' cheques and major foreign currencies accepted.
We require a R50 key deposit for each person staying at the Backpack. On your departure you are asked to donate it to our community project.
Dormitory or shared rooms may only be reserved by international backpackers. South Africans are required to stay in private rooms.
Our Cape Town Studio is not situated at The Backpack; it's a few blocks away in Queen Victoria Street opposite the Planetarium. We require a minimum stay of three nights in the Studio.
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.