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Bo'KaapCape Town

Learn about the rich Malay culture and history in this lively and quirky area of museums and brightly painted buildings.

Bo-Kaap is a remarkable district known for its rows of brightly colored houses and joyful ambiance. On the slopes of Signal Hill, this former township is made up of cobbled streets and some of the city’s oldest buildings. Stroll down the narrow alleys and maze-like roads of this quaint neighborhood to get a glimpse into the local culture.

The highlight of the district is the Bo-Kaap Museum, which dates back to the 1760s. Peruse the intriguing displays to find out about the early Muslim settlers who were exiled here from Indonesia and Malaysia centuries ago. Learn how the region became a refuge for freed slaves.

Visit the Auwal Mosque, which is the oldest in Cape Town, having been built in the late 18th century. Inspect the exhibit of the Quran written from memory by the mosque’s first imam while imprisoned for political reasons.

Stroll down the cobbled streets and marvel at the bright coatings of every conceivable color covering the homes. The houses were initially white, before locals began painting them in celebration of Eid, the end of Ramadan. Gaze up at the green peak of Signal Hill and capture photos of the iconic mountain.

Dine at one of the restaurants to enjoy traditional Bo-Kaap dishes, such as tomato bredie stew, sosatie meat skewers and koeksisters, which are syrup doughnuts.

Learn of the gradual gentrification of the neighborhood and the conflicts that have arisen as wealthier families have moved in, replacing long-time residents. Many of today’s inhabitants are descendants of slaves imported by the Dutch from Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and parts of Africa. Note that many locals refer to this district as the Malay Quarter, while the people are known as Cape Muslims.

The neighborhood of Bo-Kaap is just north of the city center of Cape Town. It is sandwiched between the De Waterkant area and the picturesque grounds surrounding Signal Hill. Reach Bo-Kaap by riding a bus to the Old Fire Station on the northern border of this quaint neighborhood.

Top hotels in Bo'Kaap

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Molo Lolo Lodge
Molo Lolo Lodge
4 out of 5
27 Hudson Street, Cape Town, Western Cape
The price is £100 per night

Located in Bo'Kaap, this lodge is within a 10-minute walk of Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village and Long Street. Cape Town International Convention Centre and Kloof ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (77 reviews)

"People are friendly and nice. Breakfast is good. Tte faculty or very clean and location is catchy"…"

Reviewed on 13 Dec 2018

Molo Lolo Lodge
Hilton Cape Town City Centre
Hilton Cape Town City Centre
5 out of 5
126 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town, Western Cape

This family-friendly Cape Town hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Bo Kaap Museum and Long Street. Kloof Street and Cape Town ...

4.3/5Excellent! (406 reviews)

"The staff is very supportive and kind. Also, the hotel is located close to the downtown"…"

Reviewed on 15 Mar 2020

Hilton Cape Town City Centre
Rockwell All Suite Hotel & Apartments
Rockwell All Suite Hotel & Apartments
4 out of 5
32 Prestwich Street, Green Point, Cape Town, Western Cape
The price is £52 per night

This family-friendly Cape Town aparthotel is located in the entertainment district, within a 15-minute walk of Long Street and Cape Town International Convention ...

4.1/5Very Good! (116 reviews)

"This hotel is a bit weird - we had a very pleasant stay, everything was clean and the staff were fantastic. The location of this hotel is great - walking distance to shops, excellent restaurants and bars. The views from our balcony over the city to the water were lovely. The room layout is rather ..."…"

Reviewed on 12 Jan 2020

Rockwell All Suite Hotel & Apartments
Signal Hill Lodge
Signal Hill Lodge
4 out of 5
29 Military Road, Schotshekloof, Cape Town, Western Cape
The price is £21 per night

Located in Bo'Kaap, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Long Street and Kloof Street. Cape Town International Convention Centre and Castle of Good Hope ...

4/5Very Good! (120 reviews)
Lovely establishment

"I first got lost at night on my way to the hotel as the GPS took me to the scary part of Bo Kap. Upon calling the hotel I was given a Noon Gun landmark, which helped a lot. By the time I got to the hotel I was welcome by the friendly night duty staff members. Parking was such a mission though. The ..."…"

Reviewed on 18 Feb 2020

Signal Hill Lodge
Dutch Manor Antique Hotel
Dutch Manor Antique Hotel
4 out of 5
158 Buitenchracht, Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, Western Cape
The price is £46 per night

Located in Bo'Kaap, this historic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Greenmarket Square and South African National Gallery. Cape Town International Convention ...

4.3/5Excellent! (78 reviews)
A wonderful place to stay!

"The staff are friendly and especially Natale couldn’t do enough to make our stay wonderful. The hotel has charm and character. Our room was well appointed and everything was in perfect condition. The location is great with local bars and restaurants nearby as well as the main sightseeing places. ..."…"

Reviewed on 13 Mar 2020

Dutch Manor Antique Hotel
Rouge on Rose Boutique Hotel
Rouge on Rose Boutique Hotel
4 out of 5
25 Rose Street, Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, Western Cape
The price is £93 per night

Located in Bo'Kaap, this guesthouse is within a 15-minute walk of Greenmarket Square, Slave Lodge and Cape Town International Convention Centre. District 6 and ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (196 reviews)

"Already reviewed on trip advisor. We liked everything!"…"

Reviewed on 21 Jan 2020

Rouge on Rose Boutique Hotel

Popular places to visit in Bo'Kaap

Bo Kaap Museum
Image for Bo Kaap Museum

Bo Kaap Museum

You can study the exhibits at Bo Kaap Museum, a museum with a storied past, during your travels to City Bowl. Amble around the area's seaside or seek out the local tours.

Table Mountain
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Table Mountain

4.5/5(177 reviews)

One of the world’s oldest mountains creates an iconic backdrop to the Cape Town skyline. Climb to the summit for breathtaking views of the surrounding coast.

Robben Island
Image for Robben Island

Robben Island

4.5/5(87 reviews)

Visit the cell where Nelson Mandela spent most of his sentence and explore the Table Bay island that has also served as a leper colony and a military base.

Camps Bay Beach
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Camps Bay Beach

4.5/5(179 reviews)

See and be seen, admire beautiful sunsets and go hiking in the famous Twelve Apostles at one of Cape Town’s most stylish beaches.

V&A Waterfront
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V&A Waterfront

4.5/5(153 reviews)

You can browse for souvenirs when you visit V&A Waterfront, a popular shopping spot in Cape Town. Wander the seaside or discover the area's mountain views.

Bloubergstrand Beach
Image for Bloubergstrand Beach

Bloubergstrand Beach

4.5/5(40 reviews)

Nothing says holiday like spending a lazy day at Bloubergstrand Beach, a popular beach in Bloubergstrand. Wander the seaside or discover the area's mountain views.

Top things to do in Bo'Kaap

Shark Cage Diving Full Day
Image for Shark Cage Diving Full Day

Shark Cage Diving Full Day

£125
Per adult
Full Day Big 5 Safari from Cape Town
Image for Full Day Big 5 Safari from Cape Town

Full Day Big 5 Safari from Cape Town

£151
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Full-Day Safari from Cape Town
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Full-Day Safari from Cape Town

£162
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
Cape of Good Hope Full Day Tour
Image for Cape of Good Hope Full Day Tour

Cape of Good Hope Full Day Tour

£55
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend
Cape Peninsula & Penguin Beach Half Day
Image for Cape Peninsula & Penguin Beach Half Day

Cape Peninsula & Penguin Beach Half Day

£47
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Full Day Robben Island and Table Mountain Tour from Cape Town
Image for Full Day Robben Island and Table Mountain Tour from Cape Town

Full Day Robben Island and Table Mountain Tour from Cape Town

£172
Per adult

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