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Best Places To Live In Cape Town | Top Areas and Neighbourhoods 2024

Andrew Macfarlane
Best Places To Live In Cape Town | Top Areas and Neighbourhoods 2024

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Whether you’re relocating to the Mother City for work, lifestyle, or personal reasons, you’ll probably be looking to move into one of the stunning suburbs directly around the peninsula. The only issue is the price tag.

Luckily, the larger Cape Town Metropolitan area is home to roughly 138 suburbs. So there are plenty of amazing places to live, the only challenge is knowing exactly which one is right for you!

To help you make the right decision, let’s start by first breaking down the top elements to focus on when selecting between the best places to live in Cape Town.

Reasons For Selecting Cape Town’s Best Areas, Suburbs, and Neighbourhoods

There are several factors to consider when selecting the Cape Town suburb that best suits your family. Here are some of the top reasons people keep in mind when choosing a neighbourhood in Cape Town:

Proximity to Transport

Unlike many areas in South Africa, many middle-class in Capetonians use public transport. That’s because of the city’s official Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system, or MyCiti Bus System, which operates along the Atlantic Seaboard up and down the coast - from Hout Bay to just past Atlantis.

The IRT also incorporates bicycle lanes in and out of the central business district (CBD) - so you can expect to see many people from areas like Blouberg cycling into the city in the mornings. At the same time, access to the other areas is accommodated by trains and other local bus operators.

MyCiti Bus Route Map

Although the best system is the IRT, which is very first-world and efficient by many standards, it’s important to know thta that some stops and routes can be problematic. However, the communications team at MyCiti quickly informs riders of any issues.

Also, in the CBD, there are loads of choices for Uber drivers, with average wait times of around 5-7 minutes.

If you’re looking to nip out to a meeting in the Cape Town centre, ordering an Uber is ideal, as parking is limited and can be costly.

And unlike most of the country, parallel parking is a must-have skill. No Capetonian driver has time for you to relearn your driving skills when heading to the office.

Access to Public Schools

Cape Town’s best schools are arguably also some of the best in the country, with many public schools cracking the nod on these lists.

Access to Parks and Open Spaces

If you’re planning to move to Cape Town with small children and pets, having easy access to parks and open spaces is necessary.

Hoever, Cape Town is blessed with the Table Mountain National Park running right through the middle of the metropolitan area. South Africa’s national parks are a treasure and are generally clean and safe. Many suburbs have hidden greenbelts for families to explore with their furry loved ones. 

And how could we forget access to all the beaches around the city? Or a visit to Kirstenbosch Gardens? Cape Town is a city that encourages its residents to use their outdoor spaces.

Traffic Flow

The Mother City is infamous for being South Africa’s second most congested city and the continent’s third, according to TomTom’s traffic index.

Commuting to work can be an absolute nightmare in Cape Town, but if you choose a suburb close to work or decide to use public transport, you can negate this issue.

Shops and Facilities

Accessing retail outlets in Cape Town isn’t an issue, and it’s nice to know that you can pop out quickly and instantly buy what you need.

Not to mention that Cape Town has South Africa’s most extensive e-delivery listing in the country due to the proximity of many takeaway outlets.

The Mother City is also home to plenty of shopping centers wedged into small spaces that will stock all the products you need.

Some of the most notable Malls and shopping centres in Cape Town include:

1. Canal Walk Shopping Centre

Canal Walk Mall Cape Town

2. Cape Quarter Mall

3. V&A Waterfront

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront Mall Cape Town

4. Gardens Shopping Centre

5. Cavendish Square

Affordability

Cape Town’s suburbs have the nation's highest asking prices for homes. Affordable housing in the city’s CBD is an ongoing discussion.

Certain areas will simply be too expensive to entertain, such as Camps Bay, Bantry Bay, Constantia, Steenberg, and many more.

The fact is most centrally located suburbs in Cape Town will be more expensive compared to the rest of the country. This also applies to the rental market, with Seeff reporting that a one-bedroom flat in Cape Town costs between R7,000 to R9,000 a month.

And if you’re looking to buy, IOL found that the Western Cape, and Cape Town, are experiencing a boom in their market and the average sales price is R1.8 million.

Crime

It’s an issue that plagues the nation, and the Western Cape is not immune, especially Cape Town.

Some of Cape Town’s surrounding suburbs are among the world's most violent. Researching the suburb or area's reported crimes is always a good idea.

Now for listing the best suburbs of Cape Town.

Best Suburbs to Live In Cape Town

As mentioned, 138 suburbs fall under the control of the Cape Town Metropolitan area. This can be split into six major regions. These include:

    • Atlantic Seaboard
    • Cape Town City Bowl
    • Eastern Suburbs
    • Northern Suburbs
    • Southern Suburbs
    • And the West Coast Suburbs

Map Source: https://ontheworldmap.com/south-africa/city/cape-town/cape-town-suburbs-map.html 

Best Suburbs Along the Atlantic Seaboard

The Atlantic Seaboard is home to the country's most recognisable addresses, with legendary mountain and sea views.

The area is seeing a boom in demand due to foreign investors. Sales in the region exceeded R5 billion in the first seven months of 2022, according to Business Insider South Africa. And, according to Property24, the average price paid for property in the area is around R3,5 million.

With so many affluent options along the Atlantic Seaboard, Camps Bay is the best suburb to settle in if you can afford it and Sea Point is a gem if you can find the right home.

Camps Bay High School is a world-class public school with the most majestic views (some would argue too good to be wasted on high school kids). And there is easy access to the CBD as well as to the IRT.

These suburbs also offer ample access to public areas like Camps Bay Beach and the Sea Point Promenade. As well as excellent hiking trails up to Table Mountain or Lion's Head.

Sea Point Promenade

Is safety a concern? While there were a reported 612 crime incidents along the Camps Bay side of the Atlantic Seaboard, Sea Point had more than 3500 incidents.

Other issues with these suburbs would include that they are highly congested during the holiday season, with holidaymakers and partygoers frequenting the areas.

This being said, heading out to work in the morning will not be an issue, as most commuters are heading in the opposite direction; however, in the evenings, expect a delay.

And if you reside in Camps Bay, take note- there is only one petrol station. The next closest stations are in Hout Bay, Sea Point, and Kloof Nek in the CBD of the city.

If you’re looking for a quiet suburb, the Atlantic Seaboard is not an ideal place.

Also, the general cost of living is higher, with most retail outlets aimed at the foreign market, which means commuting to do your weekly shopping.

City Bowl Living

Cape Town City Bowl

There’s nothing more central than living in the City Bowl. With easy access to the two national roads, Table Mountain National Park, and all the city’s attractions, it's perfect for young professionals.

Living in the City Bowl also means easy access to work, restaurants, and nightclubs. If you’re not a social person, this won’t appeal to you.

There are 16 suburbs within the City Bowl area, but this doesn’t mean these are large neighbourhoods.

This being said, each suburb in the City Bowl offers something unique. Whether you’re a student looking to move into digs in Vredehoek, or a professional who wants to live the high life in Higgovale, the city bowl has something for you.

And if you’re looking for a large family home and have deep pockets, Oranjezicht is perfect. You also get easy access to the entire city.

The suburb has two schools close by, St. Cyprian’s School in Oranjezicht and Herzlia High School next door in Vredehoek. Also, you’re close the De Waal Park and Deer Park, which are both child and dog-friendly.

Oranjezicht also has a Mediclinic and Garden’s Shopping Centre nearby.

Travelling to the CBD is also easy by car and by IRT. Traffic through the area is limited and compared to other suburbs in the City Bowl, Oranjezicht is easy to exit into other parts of the city.

But for those on a budget, Oranjezicht is expensive. Property24 found that the average selling price is in the region of R3.2 million. A three-bedroom home in the neighbourhood will go for around R6.7 million.

Living in the Eastern Suburbs of Cape Town

Eastern Suburbs Cape TownThe Eastern suburbs of Cape Town extend to Gordon’s Bay, roughly 53km away, and out of peak traffic is a 50-60 minute commute.

But if you’re not worried about commuting into the city, or you’ve landed a job in the Somerset West region, then the Eastern Suburbs are perfect.

Here, public transport is extremely limited. Only trains and some Golden Arrow routes service the area. This being said, you will be closer to other small towns like Grabouw and Elgin, which are popular local getaway spots.

Also, Stellenbosch is close enough for young adults to make the commute to University easily.

Access to natural parks is also painless, with Sir Lowery’s Pass and False Bay on the door step.

The best Eastern suburb to call home is Somerset West. Situated above the N2, high up the mountain, the leafy suburb is close to loads of local schools, work opportunities, and more.

One issue is that the N2 is prone to civil strike action, which can be an issue if you need to be in the City Bowl region for work or collect someone from the airport.

In terms of affordability, Somerset West is fairly accessible, with many townhouse complexes being built to accommodate new arrivals to the Western Cape. Average prices for homes in the suburb are around R1.925 million. A starter home with three bedrooms will set you back R2.95 million.

Somerset West is a suburb that honestly has it all. If you work and live in the area, you’ll seldom need to drive into town for anything.

Best Northern Suburbs of Cape Town

The Northern Suburbs of Cape Town are nicknamed “The Boerewors Curtain,” and most of the inhabitants have had an Afrikaans upbringing.

The Northern Suburbs officially start at Maitland and extend all the way to Kraaifontein. And if you tell someone from Maitland or Pinelands they live in the Northern Suburbs, expect to be greeted with a frown.

With such a large area, you get easy access to both the City Bowl from Maitland, and the next city, Paarl, from Kraaifontein.

Bellville is now a suburb of Cape Town but was considered its own separate city in the past. There are several fantastic schools in the area. Stellenberg High School, Fairmount, and Kenridge Primary are all public offerings.

The last few years have seen a marked change in housing developments in the area. Now housing is readily available for young families.

The area is also home to many wine farms, which the locals take advantage of for family outings and bike tracks.

Panorama has a private hospital with a specialty heart unit.

Public transport is an issue, with only trains and Golden Arrow buses operating out of the area.

But, the best suburb to call home in this area has to be Durbanville, because of its old history (established 1652), central location and room for growth.

While developments and retail outlets in the area have been booming lately, Durbanville still retains a small-town feeling.

Durbanville is around 30 minutes from Cape Town by car, but most people live and work in the area as many companies are located nearby. Furthermore, Cape Town International Airport is just a short 15 - 30 minute drive depending on where you live in this area.

CPT International Airport

The average selling price for homes in the area is around R2.7 million, with three-bedroom homes selling for around R3.1 million.

Southern Suburbs - Best Places to live in Cape Town

The Southern Suburbs stretches from Rosebank down to the Cape Point Nature reserve. Again, this is a large area with a huge variety of suburbs, from Rondebosch, an old and established area with historical roots, to the hippie community of Scarborough.

In colloquial terms, once you’ve driven over the Ou Kaapse Weg, you’ve entered the “Lentil Curtain.”

Most would refer to this as “the deep south,” where you get small suburbs like Kalk bay, Fish Hoek, Glencairn, and Simon’s Town, which are quiet out of season.

But in these areas, public transport is limited to the train, which doesn’t go to the Atlantic seaboard side.

These more southern regions are difficult to access, and schooling options are limited. But you do have access to amazing beaches and a nautical lifestyle.

Other suburbs before the pass include Constantia and Tokai, both affluent areas to call home.

If you can afford to live in Constantia, we’d highly recommend you do. With ample access to greenbelts, schools, and more, it is the place to live in the Southern Suburbs.

Expect the average home to retail at R8.5 million. Also, most of your neighbours are going to be older, so if you’re prone to loud events, this might be an issue. Then again, properties are enormous in this neck of the woods.

West Coast Suburbs - Best Places to Live

West Coast South Africa

The West Coast suburbs of Cape Town extend from Montague Gardens to Atlantis, which are roughly 51km apart.

Before the introduction of the IRT system, this area had no public transport into the city, but that has now changed.

Most suburbs along this coastline are new and have been developed within the last decade.

There is ample access to beaches and more in the area. But if you book an international flight, getting to the airport will mean crossing the entire city.

During rush hour, expect long delays in traffic as the roads are small and there are many traffic lights. For those who live and work in the area, you’ll want nothing as everything you need has been developed nearby.

There’s no better place to be in Cape Town on a summer's day than the Blaauwberg strip.

And if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the CBD, Melkbosstrand is a great place to call home with loads of seaside charm.

The suburb has a good local school system and easy access to the beach.

Local property trends indicate that the average house price is around the R3.5 million mark, so it’s the cheapest area to call home along the Atlantic Seaboard.

The only real issue is that the suburb is next door to South Africa’s only nuclear power plant.

Conclusion

Best Places to live in Cape Town

There are loads of options when researching the best places to live in Cape Town, but you need to be aware of their downsides too.

When you’re ready to make the move, make sure you get the best possible moving quotes from South Africa’s top local moving companies with Wise Move!

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