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Cape Town Student Accommodation | Ultimate Guide

Havana Dauncey
· January 10, 2024
Cape Town Student Accommodation | Ultimate Guide

Are you gearing up to live the student life in the vibrant city of Cape Town this 2024? Well, an important step in moving out of home and setting up your student life is figuring out where you’re going to live.

From the city to the mountain to the beach, you’re never short of options for student accommodation in Cape Town. So whether you're navigating the bustling City Bowl, seeking tranquillity in Rondebosch or embracing the bohemian vibes of Observatory, this in-depth guide will unravel the best student accommodations and neighbourhoods, plus revealing all the secret places to find the perfect student accommodation for you.

Top Tertiary Institutions in Cape Town

As South Africa’s 2nd biggest city, Cape Town is the epicentre of tertiary education in South Africa with a variety of institutions of all different sizes and for all sorts of qualifications.

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Here are some of the main tertiary institutions found near the centre of Cap Town:

  • University of Cape Town (UCT)

  • Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)

  • College of Cape Town

  • Boston City Campus and Business College

  • Vega School


  • ETA College

  • The IIE’s Varsity College

  • AFDA Cape Town

  • Eduvos

Here are some big tertiary institutions found on the outside Cape Town’s city centre:

3 Types of Student Accommodation in Cape Town

Depending on the student experience you’re looking for, you have a variety of student accommodation options to choose from. Let’s take a look at the 3 types of student accommodation so that you can find the best one that suits you!

1. University Residences

University residences are operated by your university or college and offer single, double and triple dorm rooms.

As the biggest university in Cape Town, and the top university in Africa, UCT offers comprehensive on-campus residences for students. UCT’s residences are divided into 3 tiers:

  1. First-tier accommodation: First-tier residences, catering to undergraduates under 21, provide up to three meals daily, double rooms, common areas, and facilities such as pool and table tennis.

  2. Second-tier accommodation: Tailored for senior students, second-tier residences offer meals, single rooms in flats, governance for independent living, and common-room amenities.

  3. Third-tier accommodation: Senior postgraduates find homes in third-tier residences, overseen by wardens, with a Residence Association ensuring a quality experience. Units come with basic furniture and provide access to UCT facilities.

But university residences aren’t for everyone — here’s a list of pros and cons to see if it’s something you’ll enjoy:

Pros of University Residences Cons of University Residences
Immediate community and a social environment No privacy sharing bedrooms and bathrooms
Proximity to campus Noise can be distracting
Fully-furnished Lots of regulations and responsibilities
Potential leadership positions No choice in roommates

2. Private Residences

Private residences are a popular choice for many students because you get the best of both worlds — the freedom that comes with off-campus accommodation combined with the support facilities of a residence.

Like university residences, private residences offer dorm-style accommodation, usually with singles, doubles or triples, where each dorm has its own small kitchenette and bathroom.

Here’s a list of some popular private residences in Cape Town:

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Not sure if private residences are for you? Here are some pros and cons of private residences to help you figure it out:

Pros of Private Residences Cons of Private Residences
A bit more freedom One of the most expensive options
Fully-furnished Can be quite small and plain
Often has great amenities, such as a games room, laundry services, parking, 24/7 security, a pool and eve a gym Not enriely you're own space with little privacy
Easy to secure and comes with lots of support Noise and socialising can be distracting

3. Off-Campus Houses and Apartments

Many students opt for renting accommodation off-campus in the form of a house, townhouse, gated community, digs or apartment. You can either rent just a room and make some new friends or you can get a group of friends to go in together. What’s great about this option is that it comes in all different shapes and sizes, so you can find the best property that perfectly suits your needs. Plus, you have to the whole place to yourself!

Let’s check out the complete list of pros and cons of houses and apartments in Cape Town:

Pros of House and Apartments Cons of Houses and Apartments
Complete privacy and freedom in your own space Usually unfurnished so you need to provide all your furniture and move it in
Often the cheapest option Can have extra costs like electricity, WIFI and parking
More space to entertain friends, including a dining room, lounge and sometimes even a garden Often located a bit further from campus
Choice in who you live with Can be a mission to find and secure

8 Best Areas in Cape Town for Student Accommodation

With all the Cape Town has to offer, it can be tricky finding the best neighbourhood to live in. Fortunately there are some neighbourhoods that are perfect for students and have become the hub of student life. Let’s check them out.

1. City Bowl

Student Accommodation Cape Town City Bowl

The City Bowl is the centre of city living in Cape Town, offering vibrant, bustling energy and breathtaking views of Table Mountain. With many of the smaller colleges residing in the city centre, students benefit from both the proximity to campus and all the exciting amenities the city has to offer, including trendy cafes, famous restaurants and the hub of Cape Town’s nightlife. Plus, it’s only a Jammie Bus ride away from the UCT campus.

2. Rondebosch

Student Accommodation Rondebosch

Known for its greenery and academic institutions, Rondebosch is home to the University of Cape Town. Students residing in this leafy suburb enjoy the peaceful surroundings just outside of the hustle and bustle of the city, proximity to the university campus and easy access to all the local amenities. With easy access to the massive Rondebosch common and the slopes of Table Mountain, students can easily retreat into nature to ease some of the studying stress.

3. Observatory

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Locally referred to as "Obz," Observatory is a bohemian neighbourhood known for its artistic flair and diverse community. With affordable housing options, quirky shops and a laid-back atmosphere, it attracts students from various backgrounds. The area is also known for its vibrant nightlife, making it a popular choice for those seeking a lively social scene.

4. Woodstock

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Woodstock is a trendy and evolving neighbourhood, blending industrial aesthetics with artistic creativity just outside of the city centre. Students in Woodstock enjoy the hip atmosphere, proximity to both campus and the city and a blooming arts scene. The area's diverse mix of cafes, galleries and street art adds to its unique charm.

5. Claremont

Student Accommodation Claremont

Claremont offers a blend of suburban tranquillity and city convenience. Home to the University of Cape Town's Health Sciences campus, it attracts medical and health science students. The area boasts shopping malls, like the popular Cavendish Square, restaurants, and a bunch of favourite nightlife spots, making it an ideal spot for students seeking the full student experience.

6. Newlands

Student accommodation Newlands

Known for its scenic beauty and sports facilities, Newlands is a leafy suburb popular among students. With the historic Newlands Rugby Stadium and cricket grounds nearby, sports enthusiasts find this area appealing. Students also have access to Kirstenbosch Gardens with a discounted ticket price as well as a bunch of hikes up the backslopes of Table Mountain.

7. Sea Point

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Running along the stunning Atlantic Seaboard, Sea Point offers a coastal living experience for students. While it may be a bit farther from some universities, the lifestyle and recreational opportunities make it a sought-after location. Especially with the famous Sea Point Promenade which is the perfect spot for students to go for a run, walk their dogs, soak in the sea air, visit a trendy cafe, grab a post-class craft beer at a bar or enjoy one of the many seafront amenities, including mini golf, swimming pools, an outside gym and electric scooters.

8. Gardens

Student Accommodation Gardens

Gardens, an urban oasis, is situated close to the City Bowl and offers a mix of historic charm and city life. With its the lush Company Gardens, trendy boutiques, and diverse restaurants, Gardens provides a dynamic living experience. Its central location makes it accessible to various colleges institutions and cultural attractions in Cape Town.

How Much Does Student Accommodation in Cape Town Cost?

The cost of student accommodation in Cape Town varies greatly depending on a variety of factors:

  • The type of accommodation

  • The area

  • The number of rooms

  • The amenities

  • The level of luxury

To give you an idea of how much your student accommodation cost, here’s a breakdown of the average price ranges for the different types of student accommodation:

Type of student accommodation Expected price range
University Residences R3 283 - R9 550
Private Residences R4 950 - R16 000
Houses and Apartments R2 500 - R10 200

How to Find the Best Student Accommodation in Cape Town

Once you’ve decided the kind of student accommodation you’re looking for, you now need to know how to find it. Where to look for student accommodation depends on what you’re looking for. Here are some of the best places to find student accommodation in Cape Town:

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Looking for a Moving Service that Suits Your Student Budget?

Congratulations! You're now ready to discover the ideal student accommodation in Cape Town, setting the stage for an enriching experience at your chosen tertiary institution. Once you've secured your place, the next step is finding a reliable and cost-effective moving service that won't drain your student budget. Enter Wise Move !

Wise Move offers a seamless and user-friendly platform connecting you with reliable local moving companies that won't break the bank. Whether you're relocating within the city or embarking on a long-distance move, Wise Move helps you to evaluate and compare the quality and pricing of different moving services. This way, you can handpick the option that seamlessly fits your distinctive student budget.

Take the leap and request your quote from Wise Move today, marking the beginning of your exciting new academic adventure in Cape Town!

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