When I landed in Cape Town around 11:30 AM in the morning after flying over 3 continents, I was beyond exhausted! For others, this would mean wanting to get to the hostel/hotel and check-in as fast as possible and then perhaps shower and get some sleep. But after landing in Cape Town, it felt to me like a dream was finally coming true.
I was finally here! in Cape Town! I was so excited that I couldn’t wait to get out of the airport and start exploring this beautiful place already! At this point, I really didn’t care about my exhaustion anymore. But I did want to get to Longstreet Backpackers asap so I can start visiting around already!
At 209 Long Street, the location of this hostel couldn’t be more perfect! Long St. is literally the heart of Cape Town and the main nightlife scene of the city. But I’ll get to that in a bit…
2 hours after landing in Cape Town, I arrived at the hostel around 1:30 PM. The hostel actually provides a pick-up service from the airport for R220 (1 person)/ R280 (2 persons)/ R300 (3 persons)/ R350 (4 persons); which in Euros would be between € 15 – € 23 in this case. These rates apply from 8:00 – 18:00, after 18:00 it would cost bit more.
Anyway, I chose the pick-up service to be on the safe and reliable side. I also recommend it too, though don’t expect to be picked up by some ‘official hostel car’ or something. Instead they have contracts with taxi operators or private pickup services who will take you to the hostel without any issues, so no worries! The ride from the airport to the hostel took me just about 20 mins on a very rainy day.
Upon arrival, I had to wait about 10 minutes to check-in. The front desk staff, Marius, is one of the best hostel staffs I’ve met so far – he was really funny, friendly, and helpful! It seemed a bit strange that the hostel reception serves also as the hostel bar – or perhaps other way around.
Oh I almost forgot to mention something really important! When you try to book a room through the website of Longstreet Backpackers, you actually fill out a form and then arrange everything through email. They will reserve a room/dorm for you as you require and upon check-in (or check-out), you pay for your room. But when checking in, you actually need to pay a R30 (€ 2) key deposit.
Dorms are R170 (€ 11) per person, while Single rooms are R315 (€ 21) and Twins R445 (€30).
Though in peak season, after 15th December expect to pay between R20-R40 higher!
Inside of the hostel building was actually nice! There is a nice, cozy courtyard where you can sit and chat on the benches, have Braai (traditional S. African bbq) once a week or admire the plants and gardens. There is a staircase in the middle which leads to the rooms on the upper floor. There is a large kitchen for self use and a billiard room adjacent to the bar/reception area. Next to the kitchen is a small dining room which leads to the balcony of the hostel, from where you can have good views of Long Street. Apart from that, there are several bathrooms/showers as well as a luggage storage for everyone to use.
As Marius led me towards my dorm upstairs, he informed me the worst… they don’t provide free WiFi.. I was like, whaaat? this was my first time in a hostel without free wifi! To use the wifi, it costs an additional R20 each day.. and does it get worse? yes it does! The WiFi signal doesn’t reach in most rooms, my dorm included. If you want the best connection, you actually have to go down to the bar/reception area. I was then led into my dorm, which had 6 beds total and there were perhaps just two other occupants, so it was half empty.
Btw, due to lack of heating, the rooms are seriously cold during the southern autumn/winter months when temperatures are low! So make sure you do take extra warm clothing with you when travelling that time. Even better would be to take a travel-size heater maybe 😉
Oh one more thing, you won’t find typical european/british/american plugs in South Africa, which includes these rooms as well. It would be hard to find an adapter abroad which suits South African plugs, so best would be to buy an adapter at one of the many shops near the hostel. Or else you might have a hard time charging up your devices.
I’d also advice to bring your own handwash/liquid soap as none of the bathrooms provide any.
Check Inn : Basically any time of the day. But wouldn’t recommend between 12 AM – 8 AM. Strangely, this isn’t exactly a 24-hour hostel. The reception stays closed from 2 or 3 AM until 8 AM in the morning. Also my first time I ever experienced this..
Check Out : 12 PM
I guess that’s pretty much I have to say about the hostel. I wouldn’t say that it was all that bad, because I had nice company there and met some nice, new people. Marius, Ahmed, Munzir, and other hostel staff were FANTASTIC! They are the ones keeping this hostel alive 😉 Unfortunately the stuff I mentioned above were kinda disappointing so would I stay in this hostel next time? I can’t really decide on that to be honest, though its location is seriously the best and I will mention about that right now!
The Location : Long Street
Lets talk a bit about Long Street, the hostel’s best feature!
It’s one of the most important streets in the city. Filled with locals and travelers alike, at night the place becomes Cape Town’s premium hotspot for a nightout. There are numerous cafés, restaurants, pubs, shops, tourist services, and hotels on both sides of Long Street. For the faithful, there is a presence of a church and two mosques as well.
One other noticeable feature of Long Street are the victorian-style buildings with their wrought iron balconies. It really gives a feeling of Australia’s Melbourne in the 1980s!