Cobern Street Backpackers, Cape Town

Long Street
528 Reviews
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Cobern Street Backpackers Reviews

Long Street Backpackers is a party hostel in the city centre in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Location

Long Street Backpackers is located in the middle of Long Street, which is home to Cape Town's party scene. If you come to Cape Town to party, this hostel and its location is a great places to stay. Long Street Backpackers is about 1.5 kilometre from the long distance bus terminal and the railway station. There is not much parking space outside, which makes it less ideal if you have your own car. Many sites in Cape Town's city centre are nearby and taxis are available in Long Street. If sunbathing at the beach is a priority while visiting Cape Town, this hostel is a bit out of the way. Long Street is a place in Cape Town with a high crime rate. Robberies and other forms of scams and theft happen frequently. Be always cautious when going out at any time of the day.

Rooms and Bathrooms

Long Street Backpackers offers both dorms and private rooms. All dorm rooms have bunk beds and differ in size. Bunk beds do not have ladders to climb up and are unstable. All rooms are ensuite. Extra bathrooms are available outside the dorms. The rooms are kept clean well. Safety is an issue at this hostel. Most dorms have lockers, but not all. If you do not have a locker you can leave your valuables at the safe at the reception, but you may not want to leave cash and such with the staff, so this is not ideal. Theft of a guest's belongings has happened. Even though the victim could prove the theft by another guests, the manager failed to take any action and let the thief stay. The safety of the guests and their belongings does not seem to be a priority of this hostel.

Common Spaces

There is a common room outside where you can meet fellow travellers and hang out. There is a braai which you can use. Many guests normally hang out in this area in the evenings. There is also a balcony at the other side of the building overlooking Long Street. In the kitchen you can prepare your own food, but there are also many affordable restaurants and take-aways in the hostel's neighbourhood. There is also a bar at the hostel where you can purchase drinks. When the reviewer was there, most staff was working for Long Street Backpackers on a short term basis. The staff was allowed to drink during their shifts and they got drunk frequently. Staff swearing at guests and other bad behaviour was witnessed.


Long Street Backpackers is a centrally located party hostel where you can have lots of fun. However, if you do not intend to party every day, this is not your best choice. Also, there is a lack of safety at this hostel.
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Cobern Street Backpackers, Cape Town
Cobern Street Backpackers, Cape Town
Cobern Street Backpackers, Cape Town
Cobern Street Backpackers, Cape Town
Cobern Street Backpackers, Cape Town
Cobern Street Backpackers, Cape Town
Cobern Street Backpackers, Cape Town
Cobern Street Backpackers, Cape Town
Martin Straatman Staff Reviewer
Published on 2017-05-04


This place is ideal if you come to Long Street for its vibrant night life. I wasn't to please about the passport rule, but it shows that there number one priority is the safety of there guest. Had a great time and staff was friendly and professional. Love the courtyard and the balconies over looking Longstreet. Want to thank Figo and Juvenal for there help and friendly smiles.

Happy Days
South AFrica

Pretty place, ugly attitude

I booked a week in advance and warned the establishment that I would be arriving late in the evening. I was turned away when I arrived at 6pm for not having a passport. Local ID was not accepted. I hadn't realised that LSB was an enclave of some country other than SA with its own border post, which is the only other place where alternate ID is not acceptable. This 'requirement' can't possibly be legal in terms of the equality court, was not explained on their website, and was hidden at the very end of one email after a whole lot of publicity guff. Management was also extremely rude about it -- escalating an argument, I think, in order to justify throwing me out. At best this works as a discrimination against locals, and my own growing suspicion is that the management actively uses this hidden clause as a way to police who is allowed in -- whether in terms of race, blondeness, age, shortness of skirt or perceived appropriateness to their personal taste I don't know. Certainly felt that way.



Our booking was canceled by the staff less than a few hours before we were supposed to check in. The manager and other staff were extremely rude and uncooperative about the situation. This backpackers has a 24 hour cancellation policy ... guess what ... they did not charge us for "our" cancellation because we did not cancel our booking! Shocking service and very poor business practices. Stay ANYWHERE else in Cape Town, you can take a taxi easily to Long Street and you are not likely to be messed around by a place that will let you down in order to make a profit!

Emma, Davina & Angelique
South African

The Location

Long Street Backpackers hostel is, as the name suggests, located on Long Street in Cape Town. Long Street is the main tourist thoroughfare, packed with hostels, travel centres, and tourist offices, as well as bars, restaurants, and cafes. The hostel is close to a small supermarket where groceries and alcohol can be purchased. Long Street is also in one of the safest areas of Cape Town, and is monitored by CCTV cameras. From the hostel, most of the highlights of the city are within a thirty-minute walk or a short taxi drive away.

The South African-owned hostel's staff are a combination of local Capetonians and expats and are all very helpful and can arrange all the activities on offer in the locality. The hostel has a small reception/bar area. The staff are on a first-name basis with most of their guests. Each evening there is a daily activity and a free dinner on Sunday evenings. There is an excellently serviced kitchen for guests who want to prepare their own meals and adequate dining space indoors or in the courtyard. There is a fully-stocked information room on all areas of South Africa and a pool table and book exchange. The hostel is a Bazbus stop.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The hostel has about eighty beds located in small, five-bed dorms which have been converted from sixteen separate apartments. The apartment blocks encircle the courtyard which is the meeting point for evening drinks. The rooms are spacious and the hostel provides clean bed linen. There is a bathroom in each block that usually sleeps about ten people. Hot water is available all the time. There are security lockers in the rooms and valuables can also be stored in the reception safe. There are some single and double rooms available at a higher cost.

The hostel is secure -- guests are given the gate code to enter and there is a night security guard. The individual apartments all have separate keys, so safety and security is not a worry.

Common Spaces

Although the bar area is quite small, in summer the party spills out to the courtyard, which has plenty of tables and chairs for guests to use. There are also the terraces, which overlook Long Street. There is a TV room available for guests also.


This is an excellent hostel to stay in, with clean rooms and a good location with excellent hostel facilities. Many tourists arrive in or leave from Cape Town, but it is worth spending four or five days minimum here. There are lots of things to do and the staff in this hostel are very helpful.



Long Street Backpackers was a big disappointment. I've been in South Africa for well over three years, traveling frequently, and this has to be the worst backpackers I've encountered. Although at the heart of Cape Town, it felt eerily unsafe to wonder around this part of town. When I visited it was the peak of winter, however, unlike every other backpackers I'd stayed in no duvets were provided, only a small square blanket (when asked numerous times). The key to our dorm room didn't work properly and it regularly took about ten minutes to enter the room (as well as being the doorman for the other people staying in our dorm)! Stay at your will but beware. I have also stayed at Big Blue Backpackers which was much better, and although not downtown, it's only a stones throw from the beautiful V&A Waterfront.



The Long Street backpackers made for some great times and great friends. Very laid back atmosphere, everyone very helpful. Very social and a great place if you are backpacking alone!


Long Street Backpackers SWEET backpackers. We came into Cape Town to stay a couple of nights we were there almost two weeks. Full credit to Ollie he is a nutter but he knows the story and is everything you could want in a backpacker host. He even manages to do everybody else's job for them after they get too stoned. Anyone who wants to can get amongst Cape Town this is home base close to pubs/clubs/shops. You can bring your own beers inside, there's great cooking facilities, pool table, etc., etc. They just need a good video collection for those rainy/hungover/late days/mornings. For sure stay here.

Johnny Boy

It's a gorgeous place, but I encountered too much racism from the owners to feel comfortable staying there.


More reviews...

Cobern Street Backpackers Reviews from the Web

Fantastic Hostel - amazing amazing staff who were so friendly. Great atmosphere


A lil drab. But seems safe.. windows wouldn't close.not a fun hostel but gets the job done


I had the best stay, friendly staff and neat rooms.

Definitely coming back again


Had a really great time staying here. The staff were all incredible, and I felt super safe the whole time. It gets loud at night, as it is on long street and it's always super busy, but i really didn't mind as most of the time I was out till late anyway


This definitely the hostel for those wanting to party, there are several clubs at your door steps. But beware the music from clubs is super loud, can be a bother if you are light sleeper.


I stayed here 3 years ago too and loved it. Especially because the atmosphere is unforgettable. The staff and people coming in this hostel seem always to have good vibes and makes you feel home. There is a nice bar in the hostel with many events happening and a nice TV room too. It's also in the busiest street in town and you got everything you need close by. The very best thing in this hostel is Eddie the security and manager. He's so amazing and funny that I had to stay longer than I planned.


Great pace. Always meet interesting travelers from all over the world.

Great fun evenings with Salsa dancing, beer pong, quizzes, table tennis.


It's in city center and perfect place for meet with new people and get social staff also friendly and good price however, bathroom and rooms equipment and facilities is not new but it's functional thank you for everything


The best hostel I abe ever stay at.


I chose this hostel based on good reviews but I definitely found it much better.

I had a wonderful experience staying there. Its the best place for meeting people and socializing. All staff are very friendly, helpful and going out of their ways to provide the best service until they meet the customer satisfaction.

The location is perfect and close to whatever you need. The kitchen is very clean and has all appliance you need and more. I enjoyed my stay and will stay there again.

Tima / LA


Really great stay! Ended up staying here twice in the month in Cape Town. Great central location where lots of restaurants and places to go are easily in walking distance. Nice rooms with minimal noise depending on where you are (the street facing room - I think theres only one- is pretty loud). AMAZING helpful staff. Overall a great stay and would definitely do it again!


In most ways very good! The only annoying thing is the lack of power outlets. We stayed in two different 6 person dorms and both only had two power outlets, so we mostly had to charge our stuff in common areas during the day. Staff are super nice though and there's a cute dog!


I did not feel save with the fact that there would be men in the same room as where I would be sleeping

I was under the impression that the rooms would be separated - only women in one area and men in another area, even though it would be in the same hostel

I only discovered it was not the case, after a while being there, and a man came into the room.

My friend was only able to come fetch me a bit later. So I was only there for about 2 hours, did not sleep over for the night! Refund was refused


Its in the busy city. Lots of parties everyday which all end at 04:00 so sleeping is difficult because its loud af. The beds are comfy and clean! But the bathroom, esp the shower & shower door could use a good scrubbing. The outside chilling areas are decorated really beautifully; its a chill vibe. The kitchen is usually a mess; same as the shared fridge - a mess and could use a good scrubbing. The staff is really cool and friendly. The guests are usually friendly too. Overall, its cool


Bathroom needs an upgrade or more cleaning

Rooms definitely needs air-conditioning as it is hot inside, i developed a heat-rash as from the heat inside the room


Absolutely loved the stay here. Checked in with my girlfriend. Couple of things to note: we came in late (midnight) and the party was going - but there were no staff on attendance. We struggled to find someone who worked there to check us in.

Private double bed room has no fan - which can make it quite hot.

The staff are absolutely lovely! Huge shout out to Maddy who was an awesome host.


Ten bars within hearing distance competing to be the loudest until 3am .. every night.


Noisy and the staff doesnt give a lot of information on activities and where to go. Say they have lockers but you have to pay to get the lock. However, if you want to be in the centre and meet a lot of people I d recommned.


An absolutely amazing experience! The team is full of life, energy and ubuntu. The facilities are clean and the location is perfect for anyone who wants to be in central Cape Town.


It was an amazing to be there around 20 days feels like an home the best thing is the place is at the perfect location easy to travel everywhere around . Positive vibes good people around what else we need salsa night at hostel bar on weekends where you catch beautiful girls but you should know salsa otherwise contact salsa teacher riggers




"If Long Street is the heart of Cape Town, then Long Street Backpackers is Long Street's soul."

Long Street Backpackers is one of the original backpacker hostels in Cape Town. It is famous for its friendly atmosphere and fantastic location. Set in a private oasis in the centre of Long Street, there’s plenty of eating, drinking and partying, literally on your doorstep. An unassuming entry from the main street leads you to the large and leafy courtyard. It is a magnet for travellers from all over the world. This is the place to meet fun people and share great times exploring Cape Town’s many beautiful attractions.

Our hostel offers cheap backpacker prices for both rooms and travel/tours. Each dorm has its own bathroom, and there are twin, double and single rooms available.

We have decades of experience with all the best tour providers and our staff will be able to help you make the most of your time and budget while travelling in South Africa. We can answer any tour or travel question you have.

We offer our own regular activities, such as: traditional braais (barbeques), Full Moon parties, beach days, sunset trips, Lion’s Head hikes and more.

• Lively Bar - with the cheapest drinks on Long Street!
• Travel Desk
• Pool Table
• TV Room – with full DSTV
• Kitchen - Large and well equipped
• Dining Rooms
• Balconies
• Public Phones
• Courtyard with Braai (BBQ)
• Free Potjie (a traditional vegetable stew) every Sunday
• Laundry
• Book Swap
• Free sheets, blankets and towels
• Free Luggage Store
• Dormitories and private rooms
• Lockers and safes
• Security guard
• 24/7 on street security
• Free pickup from the airport (8am to 8pm) for a 1 person staying 4 or more nights, or 2 persons staying 3 nights or more

Tours and Bookings
• Wine Tours
• Shark Cage Diving
• Cape Peninsula Tour
• Township Tours
• Skydiving
• Abseiling on Table Mountain
• Kloofing
• Paragliding
• Mountain Biking
• Sand boarding
• Surfing
• Horse riding
• Whale Watching
• Safaris
• Overland Tours
• Baz Bus - Booking, pickup and drop off
• Airport Transfers
• Car Hire
• Intercape Coach Tickets
• Half price entry to Zula Sound Bar - The best live music and nightclub venue on Long Street

Location and Contact


• You'll find us at the intersection of Long Street and Pepper Street.
• We are opposite a large, colourful restaurant called Mama Africa - you can't miss it!
• Ring the bell at the blue gate at street level, and our receptionists will let you in.



Address: 209 Long Street, Long Street, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Cobern Street Backpackers is listed on the following booking sites:

Hostelworld Not listed at HostelsClub


Website Cobern Street Backpackers Cape Town
Phone Number: +27 (0)21 423 0615
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Party Hostel

Solo Traveller


Luggage Storage


Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

Airport Pickup

Bike Rental

City Tours

Lockers in Lobby

24 Hour Security

BBQ Grill


Board Games

Book Collection/Exchange

Cable TV

Concierge/Info Desk

Evening Entertainment


Hot Showers



Live Music/Performance

Lounge Area

Movie Library/Rental

Pool Table


Table Tennis

Credit Card Payments

Wheelchair Accessible

Service Animals

Curfew: No Curfew

Lockout: No

Maximum Stay: Unlimited

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Open Dates: All Year

Reception Hours: 8am to 12 Midnight

Size: Large (60-100 beds)


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