The best districts to stay in Cape Town

13 November, 2023

Cape Town regularly appears on the lists of “the most beautiful cities in the world”, but just as often appears among the “most dangerous cities on the planet”. Nevertheless, we have good news for you – Cape Town is extremely beautiful, and living here is not at all as scary as it might seem from the distance. In the city itself, along with its suburbs, there are about 130 different areas, and only a few of them are truly dangerous. The rest have a lot of attractive things. The Beloc editors will help you figure out the best places to live in Cape Town.

What is worth paying attention to when choosing an area? The first and the most obvious thing is the price. According to the Seeff agency, the average cost of renting an apartment in Cape Town is about R10,000 per month, which is approximately $500. On the Atlantic Сoast and in the city center, prices will be higher, but in the southern suburbs and on the West Coast you can find very comfortable housing for the same price. The second important point is safety. See if there is a “township” nearby. This is the name given to underprivileged poorer areas with spontaneous housing development and high population density, they have a high level of unemployment and crime. Meanwhile, many parts of the city have security companies that patrol the streets at night. The police regularly publish reports on the number of crimes in particular areas, which can be used as a guide.

After weighing all the pros and cons, we chose the most comfortable places to stay in Cape Town. In the article, we indicated the average prices for renting 1- and 2-bedroom apartments according to the Property24 website.

Atlantic Seaboard

Let’s start with the most expensive and prestigious – the Atlantic coast. These are the areas of Camps Bay, Bantry Bay, Clifton (from R15,000 to R30,000 or $800 – $2000 per month), and slightly cheaper Sea Point and Green Point (from R12,000 to R20,000 or $650 – $1000 per month). They are famous for their beaches, luxurious villas and fashionable restaurants.

On one side you can admire the stunning sunsets with the ocean view and on the other the Twelve Apostles and Lion’s Head rocks are located. If you rent an apartment or house here, you will live next to the sea and will be able to walk along the famous promenade that runs from Clifton Beach almost to the port of Cape Town. On the promenade, you can often see athletes, mothers with children, dogs with their owners, but there are also beggars, who are attracted by the bypassers money or belongings.

The fashionable city park Green Point is located on the ocean shore. The Cape Town Stadium was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It regularly hosts football, rugby matches and also big music events.

Heavy traffic in the evenings is generally a fairly common problem in this part of the city. Another disadvantage is strong wind and noise. However, there are more advantages: this part of the city is always bustling with life due to the best bars and restaurants, and there is access to the most convenient public transport network, MyCiTi buses.

A little different in atmosphere, Hout Bay (from R9,000 to R15,000 or $450 – $800 per month) is a small suburb, a former fishing village further south along the ocean coast. This is a very colourful area with a beautiful beach and amazing mountain scenery. As well as many hiking trails, it has one of the most beautiful driving roads in the world, Chapman’s Drive. Fishing is still practiced in the local bay, as well as maritime training and yacht racing. On the other hand, it is far from the city and all the events, but rather close to the Imizamo Yetu township.

The best districts to stay in Cape Town
Photo: Exploremoretravel

The city center (CBD)

The city center in European cities is usually the most prosperous and safe area. Things are very different in Cape Town. According to police reports, the majority of crimes are committed exactly in the city center. Anyway, the convenient location and proximity to most sights outweigh this defect for many people. You can wake up every morning with a view of Table Mountain, enjoy the historical architecture, explore museums and galleries, relax in the Compagny Garden and De Waal Park. In addition to this, you may stroll through the bars and clubs, especially on the First Thursday of each month, when the center turns into one big party.

The lifestyle in different areas of the center varies, as does the housing: from large Victorian houses in Oranjezicht and Tamboerskloof (from R10,000 to R15,000 or $500 – $800 per month) to small cozy studios in Woodstock (from R7,000 to R12,000 or $400 – $650).

The latter is worth paying attention to for creative young people: Woodstock is home to many clubs with regular live performances by local bands, theaters, designer and antique shops. In recent years, there has been an active renovation here, with the opening of young companies’ offices, new cafes and restaurants, bars and clubs. At the same time, it saved many nice old colonial-style houses, and boring concrete walls are often painted with impressive street art.

The best districts to stay in Cape Town
Photo: Cntraveler

Southern suburbs

One of Cape Town’s main highways, the M3, runs south of the city center along Table Mountain. Driving this road for 15 minutes from the city center, you may find luxury areas with expensive housing, Constantia and Bishopscourt. Rent here is not lower, and sometimes even higher, in comparison to the Atlantic coast, and these are mostly not apartments, but large private houses (from R20,000 or $1000 per month and above). Nearby are the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Newland Forest, and many hiking trails.

This is also the birthplace of South African wine, the production began in the 17th century. The country’s oldest winery, Groot Constantia, is still very popular and it is also surrounded by several other wineries vying for the best views and the tastiest wine.

There are also more affordable housing in the southern suburbs (from R9000 to R15,000 or $450 – $800 per month). For example, the Rondebosch area, where the University of Cape Town is located, is bustling with student life. The Claremont area has beautiful and cozy apartments and it is home to one of the best shopping centers in Cape Town, Cavendish Square.

There are many restaurants, bars, theaters and museums around. Besides, it has several major hospitals nearby. A significant disadvantage is that public transport is pretty bad in the south. There are heavy traffic jams out of the city in the evenings, and in the morning you need to leave for work very early. The southern suburbs are connected to the city center by a railway line, but don’t expect it to be as efficient as the European transport system, because sometimes you have to wait for a very long time for trains. Recently, the old trains were almost completely replaced by clean and comfortable modern trains.

Although all these areas are quite far from the sea, drive a little further south and you’ll find yourself in surfer’s paradise – Muizenberg, home to one of Cape Town’s most popular beaches. The water in the bay is several degrees warmer than in the northern part of the city.

The best districts to stay in Cape Town
Photo: Everythingproperty

West Coast and Northern Suburbs

If the long distance from the center does not bother you, then take a closer look at the Milnerton and Bloubergstrand (from R7000 to R13,000 or $400 – $700 per month). They are quite new, with an actively developing infrastructure. MyCiTi buses have recently been introduced to the West Bank, which makes getting into the city easier. There are even paths for cyclists. The coast of Table Bay with its beautiful beaches is nearby, but the closer the complex is to the ocean, the more expensive it is, of course.

The northern suburbs are behind the so-called “sausage curtain”. They received this nickname because they are home to a lot of Afrikaners, white South Africans of Dutch origin, for whom sausages (boerewors) are a national dish.

The northern suburbs are suitable for those who like a quiet family life; they have good schools, shopping centers, and hospitals. For example, Edgemead (from R8,000 to R12,000, $400 – $650) is where the mayor of Cape Town lives.

And Century City is a whole city within a city with a huge shopping center and offices of large companies. The northern suburbs are isolated from both the city center and the ocean coast, which is why there is almost no public transport there. Anyway, the large Durbanville Hills winery is nearby, and a little further away are the wineries of the Paarl region.

The best districts to stay in Cape Town
Photo: Roomsforafrica

Each of the four districts of Cape Town discussed in this article has its atmosphere. We hope that now you can easily choose the area that suits your lifestyle best and find a place where you feel comfortable!