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The best way to get acquainted with Cape Town

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I have a theory that the best way to get really familiar with a city you’re travelling to, is to stay in shared accommodation. Some travellers turn their noses at the thought of sharing a room with strangers. Granted, it’s not for everyone.

But there’s a certain thrill I get when I book into a backpackers and get settled in a dormitory. Meeting people from all over the world? Yes please!

Curiocity offers walking tours through the city

Hostels also usually offer activities like city tours, in-house game nights or community meals, all of which facilitate social interaction and a comfortable atmosphere you probably won’t get at a hotel. Plus, it’s budget-friendly.

Some hostels also offer private rooms, so if you want the best of both worlds, you could opt for that.

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The dormitory

Cape Town is brimming with delightful backpacker accommodation spots, and one of my favourites is Curiocity in Green Point. They function as a budget apart-hotel hybrid, meaning they cater to long-term stays too. On offer are dormitories sleeping up to eight people and each has a kitchenette and bathroom. There are also family rooms, and apartment-style rooms with kitchens that have ovens and stoves, all self-catering.

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A private unit

The property has a vibey braai area, small plunge pool and a lovely common area with both indoor and outdoor seating. Here, you can attend games nights, work, or sip on coffee as the sun goes down.

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The pool is great for an afternoon dip. Picture: Anita Froneman

The location is perfect, too as the city is right on your doorstep, as are the ocean and the mountain.

Rates:

Dorms from R287 per person per night

Family rooms from R2300 per room, sleeps six

Premium private units from R1 207 per room, per night, sleeps two

Deluxe private units from R1 495 per room, per night, sleeps two

Long stays start from R5 500 per month per person in dorms

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